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BOOK NOW! Early Bird saviNg 10% Off uNtil 10 th March

March

31 2017

TICKET THB 2,000 NET with free flow of selected drinks from 21:00 - 22:00 hrs. Showtime 22:00 - 23:00 hrs. For more information and reservation 02 541 1234 ext. 4151

For more inFormation and reservation t: 02 541 1234 ext. 4151 | e: fb_office@chr.co.th centarahotelsresorts.com/cglb


Publisher Colin Hastings editorbigchilli@gmail.com MANAGiNG editor Morgan Thanarojpradit morganbigchilli@gmail.com editor Nina Hastings ninabigchilli@gmail.com sAles & MArketiNG MANAGer & CoNteNt ACquisitioN MANAGer Rojjana Rungrattwatchai sendtorose@gmail.com ACCouNt exeCutives Thana Pongsaskulchoti thanabigchilli@gmail.com ACCouNtiNG MANAGer Saranya Choeyjanya fatcatbigchilli@gmail.com ACCouNtiNG AssistANt Janjira Silapapairson janbigchilli@gmail.com Art & ProduCtioN Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakkanawat CoNtributiNG Writers Drew McCreadie, Judith Coulson, Maxmilian Wechsler, Kelly Harvey, Anette Pollner, Johanna Dekoning

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No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written permission from The BigChilli Co., Ltd. The opinions and views of the writers are not necessarily the views of the publishers. All details are deemed correct at the time of print, the publisher, the editor, employees and contributors can not be held responsible for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions that may occur. The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or amend any submitted artwork, photographs, illustrations and manuscripts. The BigChilli welcomes unsolicited contributions but assumes no responsibility for the safe-keeping or return of such materials damaged or lost in transit.

The BigChilli Company Ltd., 1/7 5th Fl. Room 504, Siboonrueng Bldg. 2, Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 ☎ 02 233 1774-6, 02 266 7141 Fax: 02 235 0174 :thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com :thebigchilli.com Strip AD_Pullman_Mar17.indd 1

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News

Judges uphold ‘earnings rule’ that keep foreign spouses out of the UK Brits with Thai wives or husbands face cynical ruling that could split up families

■ THOUSANDS of British expatriates married to Thai nationals face major financial hurdles if they return with their spouses to the UK. Supreme Court judges last month upheld a rule that forbids Brits bringing a foreign wife or husband into the UK unless the British citizen is earning at least £18,600 a year (or £22,400 if they have one child, then by an additional £2,400 for each subsequent child). The decision has been branded as cynical and discriminatory against the poor. Expats claim that the new rules make it very difficult to return to the UK – and suggest that they could lead to families breaking up, with one parent and children being left behind in Thailand. “This is a particularly tough rule for expats who have lived overseas for many years but want to go back home with their Thai spouses,” said

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a long-term British businessman at near-retirement age. “Finding a job in today’s economic climate in the UK is never going to be easy, especially for older people who are no longer in touch with the job market. How can they easily find work that pays £18,600, or even more if kids are involved? “I can see them being forced to leave their families here in Thailand, and hope for the best.” A growing number of expats on fixed income government pensions are being forced to consider their future in Thailand because of rising expenses. “But a move back to the UK is virtually impossible now,” said another Brit. “It looks like we have no choice but to stay here and see our standard of living decline.” The judges said the government’s rules had the “legitimate” aim of ensuring couples “do not have recourse to benefits and have

sufficient resources to play a full part in British life”. However, they added that the rules did not take sufficient account of the welfare of the children involved, or of alternative sources of income, such as a home, savings or substantial financial support from family. Nor does it take into account the earnings of the overseas partner - even if he or she has higher qualifications, or are likely to be employed in higher-paid work than their British spouse. The rule was introduced by the former coalition government to stop foreign spouses becoming reliant on taxpayers. It does not apply to wives or husbands from within the European Economic Area (EEA). As a sop, however, the Home Office will henceforth need to make sure that each decision takes into account the rights of children - and whether a couple have other assets - perhaps a home, savings, or substantial financial support from family. Criticism of the rule is widespread. The Spectator magazine said it “stinks of discrimination and injustice. It is hard to see how it is anything but a blatant breach of the right to a family life, enshrined within the European Convention on Human Rights. And yet the Supreme Court has upheld it.” It goes on: “It is cynical and wrong to treat all British citizens who fall in love with a foreign national as if they were fraudsters and human traffickers. Splitting up genuine families in a futile effort to trim a few off the net migration figures is a horrible use of power. “The income law………is simply discrimination against the poor.”


policy, residents are able to simply lock their doors and head on to their next adventure, assured that their property and obligations are being taken care of by the team. On-site trained healthcare professionals offer peace of mind to residents regardless of what life brings at any stage. In a stress-free environment members are free to live the life they dreamed of, to spend quality time with loved ones or do things they’ve always wanted to but perhaps didn’t have the time. Maybe it’s learning a new language, crafting a masterpiece, or literally on its doorstep, residents are treated to all benefits of the seaside town’s natural surroundings, fresh air, and easy pace of life, yet are only a few hours away from the world-class hub of bustling Bangkok. Five-star service permeates every aspect of the resort-like residences, from the manicured gardens and pool area to the in-room spa services and warm smiles from staff that greet each resident. The units are straight out of a design magazine; elegantly appointed with luxurious fixtures and an open plan concept that brings the natural surroundings into the home.

But it is truly the community at Sansara that makes it standout. With only limited pool villas and apartments available, the community is small in nature, tightly knit, and vibrant; a congregation of likeminded individuals that share a passion for learning, growing, and enjoyment of life. Freedom from worry or stress is the ultimate luxury catered to at Sansara. With round-the-clock security and a unique ‘lock and leave’

perfecting their swing, there’s never a shortage of engaging and unique activities to dive into. Regardless of whether you fall more on the ‘50s’ side or the ‘plus’ side, Sansara will ensure you live the life you love. To find out more about joining the community contact: 0632680088 info@sansara.asia www.sansara.asia facebook.com/sansarablackmountain

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THE

& proudly announce THE

Thailand International Business Awards 2016 New date: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 BUILDING on the success of the Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014, the BigChilli is joining forces with the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) to launch a new initiative aimed at recognising Thailand’s most successful and dynamic businesses and entrepreneurs. Awards exist in order to acknowledge excellence in performance, process and creativity, to compare against peers, to highlight best practice and to reward supporting staff. By participating in TIBA you will raise your profile, grow your networks and develop new commercial opportunities. A team of independent judges will review the nominations and select the winners in each of the categories. All nationalities of company and individual are welcome to enter whether they are nominated or self-nominated. Nominations are open to any company registered in Thailand regardless of size or affiliations. For more information see:

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NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards

2016

Les Walsh, Entrepreneur

Daniel Fraser, Smiling Albino

Elizabeth Romhild

Peter Wainman, Equator Pure Nature

Er win Eberharter, Founder

Hudson Walsh, Huddy’s Detailing

Mark Jobling, BOUNCE

Ian Potter, CWL Lighting

Florian Preuss, The Soda Company

Patrick Gauvain, Shrimp Asia

Dale Lee, CoffeeWORKS

Alexey Tyutin, Caviar House

Kate Jackson, Andragogy

Richard Bell, Cornerstone

Jonathan Wigley, Absolute Hotel Ser vices Group

Joe Sloane, Sloane’s Artisan

Steve Mines, The London Pie

Roy Barrett, Gateway Equipment

Jo Stevens, Jo’s Artisan Cheese

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NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards

2016

Entrepreneur: Elizabeth Romhild

Expat artist Elizabeth adds porcelain to her portfolio By Maxmilian Wechsler

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LIZABETH Romhild – a Danish-born painter, sculptor and designer – has lived and worked in Bangkok since 1988 spoke about her art and new business at her studio apartment on Sukhumvit Soi 4. The lofty sanctuary provides the tranquility Elizabeth needs to concentrate and find inspiration, as well as space to display her extensive portfolio of distinctive and colourful paintings, sculptures and porcelain.

Background Elizabeth describes herself as a self-taught artist whose talents were nurtured by immersing herself in the diverse cultures and places around her. Born in Denmark in 1960 to an Armenian-Iranian father and Danish mother, she spent her childhood in Iran. As an adult she settled in Saudi Arabia, America and Indonesia before making Thailand her adoptive home almost three decades ago. She began drawing at an early age, but says it was not until she reached the age of 26 that she considers herself “born as an artist.” That’s when she picked up a brush and began to pour her spirit onto canvas. From the outset of her artistic career her vibrant use of colours has drawn high praise. “Colour pervades my imagination no matter how hard I may try to mute my palette. Over time my art has become bolder and at the same time simpler,” said Elizabeth. “I would describe my style as modern figurative and distinctly colourful. My works are quite recognisable. I play along a fine line

of sensuality and eroticism, without getting sexual. I like to capture the deeper and more hidden emotions of eroticism, which are not always connected to sexuality,” Elizabeth said. “I always listen to my heart for inspiration. It may not be intentional, but artists often seem to be painting their own reflections.”

Captivating the curator It was Didier Hamel, the Director and Curator of Duta Fine Arts Foundation in Jakarta, who “discovered” Elizabeth. He wrote about the experience in an essay titled “Elizabeth Romhild – ‘Oriental Sensuality’: “I remember very well when this young lady came by the Duta Gallery one sunny afternoon back in 1988 with some works to show me. Most of these depicted landscapes, some done in Jakarta and its surroundings, and others in Bali. These were in fact her first oil paintings. “We selected the best paintings, which were mostly seascapes, and decided to do her first solo exhibition in August 1988. The paintings exhibited gave a good feeling but were not yet truly very exciting. But the central and most important point is that this exhibition was the first real step of her artistic career. “When Elizabeth moved to Thailand she regularly sent me photos of her new paintings, and I was delightfully surprised: she had left behind her landscapes and gone onward to create her own visions. A true artist gradually emerged! Around 1998 her compositions really reached their zenith.

Finding inspiration in Thailand “My husband Peter’s company transferred him to Thailand in October 1988,” said Elizabeth. “After our two children were born and Peter started a new job here we decided to stay. We’ve lived more than 30 years in Southeast Asia now, and I have been working and developing my art the whole time.” She remarked that Thailand can be challenging for foreigners, and even many long-time expats feel that they never really belong. “But my children were born here and I feel this is my home. And my work has been very well accepted also in the local art scene, which I am very happy about. “Bangkok is a vibrant city that has inspired many artists. The Thai culture is very rich, and even though Thailand is not the subject of my art I think being here for twenty-eight years has unconsciously influenced my work. I was delighted when I was invited to show a couple of my works at an exhibition called ‘Thai Trends from Localism to Internationalism’ at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. For me this meant that I was accepted in the Thai art scene.

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Insight

RIVER CITY BANGKOK: THE ANCHOR OF ARTs & ANTIQUEs The first and only shopping centre on the banks of the Chao Phraya River where exquisite art and antiques have been traded amongst collectors from around the world

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HEN we talk about art and antiques in Thailand, the first name that comes to mind is ‘River City Bangkok’. For more than three decades, the boutique shopping centre on the banks of the Chao Praya River has continuously featured art and antiques under the concept of ‘The Anchor of Arts and Antiques’, tastefully fusing classic beauty with a contemporary setting to create a one-of-a-kind lifestyle destination for art lovers of every generation.

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Since 1985, art and antiques have flowed from across Asia to River City Bangkok bringing with them great stories valued beyond time. Today, the boutique shopping centre has become Asia’s premier art and antiques hub, the largest in Southeast Asia.


The shopping centre’s first and second floors are the lifestyle and dinning zones, featuring a variety of shops that span from specialty stores for silk, tailored suits, jewellery, spas, furniture, and home décor to restaurants and cafés by the river. On the third and fourth floor, River City Bangkok lives up to its reputation as ‘The Living Museum’ with a plethora of art and antiques shops. With the largest collection of art and antiques in Southeast Asia as well as an auction certified by the Association for the Propagation and Promotion of Objects d’Art, River City Bangkok is the premier hub for all art lovers and collectors. The renowned auction is widely accepted among art connoisseurs. Visit River City Bangkok and discover the world of timeless treasures today.

River City Bangkok 23 Charoenkrung Soi 24, Talad Noi, Sampantawong, Bangkok, 10100 www.rivercitybangkok.com

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Travel

Hotel of the month

Bluesiam Villa Extensive sea-views, Jacuzzi bathtubs, and 11 bedrooms all within walking distance of Surin Beach ■ FOR a family holiday or friends’ getaway, a villa is often the perfect choice. Located on the tropical island of Phuket, just a one-minute walk from the prestigious Surin Beach, Bluesiam Villa is one of the only private villas in the area that caters to large groups while offering full seaviews and complete privacy. Set over six floors, the villa offers an impressive 11 bedrooms with each sporting an extensive sea-view, 10 bathrooms – four of which feature Jacuzzi bathtubs, private infinity swimming pool, indoor gym fitted with equipment, spa and massage rooms, sauna, large kitchen, living room, dining area, home cinema, wine cellar, barbeque, pool table, several picturesque salas, and private parking. The grandeur of this boutique villa is accentuated with a fine collection of art and antiques. The large kitchen is fully equipped and features an oven, stove, coffee maker, dishwasher, electric kettle,

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microwave, bar counter with high chairs, large dining table, as well as all the necessary kitchenware and utensils. The home cinema is equipped with a cd-player, computer, dvd-player, iPad, projector, and sound system. Other equipment available at Bluesiam Villa includes a washing machine, clothes dryer, iron and ironing board, iPod docking station, printer/scanner/fax, as well as sun beds and pool towels. The Villa Manager and his team are on call 24 hours a day to cater to your every need. Some of their signature services include welcoming champagne, free WiFi throughout the villa, maid service, travel planner, and security guards. Services upon request include a babysitter, bartender, beach activities, beach parties, car rentals, chef, cooking classes, daily breakfast/ lunch/dinner, day trips, Dj, grocery shopping, laundry, money exchange, private parties, seafood bbq, shows,

spa and massage treatments, thai boxing classes, van and personal driver, watersports, wedding planner, or yacht charters. 126/10 Surin Heights, Cheang Talay, Phuket. www.bluesiamvilla.com


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Travel

Bang Saray – Pattaya’s southern star The two resorts couldn’t be more different. No wonder people are investing in property in this charming province

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I

By David James

N less than 30 minutes you can leave the glitz and gaudiness of Pattaya and find yourself in a neighbouring province that couldn’t be more different in character and pace, thanks to its timeless fishing village, markets for-the-locals, clean, sandy beaches, and near pristine countryside dotted with rolling hills and forest. Welcome to Bang Saray, the Eastern Seaboard’s hidden secret. It’s a reminder of what first attracted visitors to this long stretch of coastline decades ago. And considering it’s just 20 or so kilometres south of Thailand’s busiest beach resort, Bang Saray’s relaxed way of doing things comes as a very pleasant surprise.


While Pattaya has undergone a major transformation, this nearby province has somehow escaped the attention of developers, tour operators, and mass tourism. Locals and expats who have discovered Bang Saray in recent times hope it stays that way. And they have good reason to be hopeful, for the authorities here have been extraordinarily disdainful of so-called progress by putting the interest of local people before all others. This is seen in the way that they have rebuilt

part of the beachfront to suit the traditional Thai way of enjoying the sea, with carports and vendors selling picnic mats. Even more amazing is the public park and football pitch that occupies what is probably the most valuable piece of real estate in the entire province. It may not be everybody’s idea of a modern beach resort, but it underlines the authorities’ determination to stave off the get-richquick brigade and their questionable developments. Seen another way,

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it’s this kind of philosophy that gives Bang Saray its inestimable charm. At least a third of the 20-kilometre coast here is devoted to Bang Saray’s thriving fishing industry, with dozens of jetties affording a safe anchorage for hundreds of boats. The phrase ‘catch of the day’ has real meaning in the local markets. Freshly caught fish arrives on no particular day – you have to take your chance when to buy the best fish and crustaceans. But when they’re available, you’re in for a real treat and an inexpensive one at that.

The village’s many seafood restaurants are famed for the quality of their cuisine. Most are located on piers built over the sea, so even in the hottest of days and nights, there’s a cooling breeze. Best known are Rim Hat Seafood, Bang Saray Seafood, and Jay Juk Seafood. The main beach road has seen a number of pleasant bars and trendy outdoor restaurants open during the past couple of years. All are low-key affairs that blend in nicely with the resort’s tranquil ambience.

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or years, it was said that Bang Saray would never have a high-rise building on its beachfront because of the nearby presence of the Royal Thai Navy. Sadly, this is no longer the case as one 30-plus storey condo has been built, but locals are certain it is an anomaly, a one-off project that won’t be repeated. Another third of Bang Saray’s coast boasts soft sand and reasonably clear seas, though much of it is covered during high tide. The village itself comprises a main street characterised by dozens of independent bars, pubs, bistros, and coffee shops. Then there’s a delightful lane that runs parallel to the sea which is full of little houses and shops, all geared to the needs of local people rather than visitors.

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Accommodation is confined mostly to small guest houses and inns. There are exceptions, of course, including the U Pattaya, located on one of the best stretches of beach, as is the nearby Sea Sand Sun Resort. A Marriott hotel is scheduled to open on the main beach road, emphasising the resort’s growing popularity. But there’s more to Bang Saray than the beach. Located on the main Pattaya-Jomtien-Bang Saray road are

the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens, which features daily ‘cultural’ shows and arguably the best collection of flowers and plants in this corner of Thailand, as well as the Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark boasting all kinds of breathtaking and hair-raising rides! Also nearby are two superb golf courses, Phoenix and the Royal Thai Navy course.

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he hilly countryside to the east of Bang Saray is rapidly becoming one the most favoured areas for residential investment on the Eastern Seaboard. Several upmarket housing projects, such as Buraran and Sunplay Bangsaray, make the most of their elevated sites to give

residents wonderful panoramic views of the coast while living in a wooded compound and green environment. Property prices here are still very reasonable and the long-term investment projections are extremely favourable. Bang Saray’s star is also on the rise because of its proximity to U-Tapao International Airport, Thailand’s third largest such facility after Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang. A new highway is being built beyond the hills of Bang Saray to ensure that the airport’s growing importance won’t impact on the resort’s tranquility. Of course, locals recognise the convenience of having such close access to a major airport. By car from Bangkok, the journey to Bang Saray takes about two and half hours. Once the new highways open, travel time will be marginally shorter.

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Travel

Explaining major investor interest in Bang Saray

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EW places in Thailand are currently receiving more attention from local and international investors than Bang Saray on the Eastern Seaboard – and there’s no shortage of good reasons to explain why that is happening. One of them is the development of Sunplay Asia, a world-class residential project featuring The Heights, a luxurious low-rise condominium that commands spectacular views from its hillside setting, primarily of the charming fishing village of Bang Saray itself but a long coastline of delightful beaches as well.    Growing interest in Bang Saray is

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also due to its uniquely convenient location on Thailand’s rapidly expanding eastern provinces. Not only is the village just a 90-minute drive from Bangkok and 30 minutes from Pattaya, but it is also close to U-Tapao International Airport, the country’s third most important airport after Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang. A high-speed rail link between Pattaya and Bangkok will further reduce travel time to the development.   Easy access to and from such important centres and facilities is clearly a great benefit for residents and investors, who can also look

forward to enjoying one of the most unspoiled areas in this corner of Thailand. Other benefits of living in this scenic region include several of the country’s finest golf courses, extensive sailing opportunities in the Gulf of Thailand and beyond, water parks, quiet cycling lanes, and the By David James famous winery at Silverlake.   Tranquil Bang Saray village meanwhile offers outstanding dining in seafood restaurants renowned for the freshness of their produce as well as a number of traditional local markets. The town centre features a choice of low-key internationalstyle bars and bistros, including the popular dining venue known as the Bangsaray Club, but none of the glitz associated with Pattaya some 30km down the road.   The Heights, designed by renowned Thai architect A49, The Heights is a collection of 70 one, two and three-bedroom freehold contemporary condominiums offering generous layouts and branded fixtures and appliances.   This project is at the heart of a 175-rai (28-hectacre) site, and sits adjacent to the 5,000 sq m Sunplay Bangsaray Club.


School Report

UN Refugee Agency Appoints NIST Alumna as Goodwill Ambassador

NIST International School shared history with the United Nations. At the end of January 2017, a school alumna, Praya Lundberg from the Class of 2007, was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Also known as the UN Refugee Agency, this branch of the UN is tasked to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. Goodwill Ambassadors for the UN Refugees Agency are selected not only for their status as well-recognised public figures but also for their dedication to raising awareness of these issues.

Harrow Bangkok pays tribute to H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

HARROW Bangkok hosted an orchestral concert in memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej called ‘A Light to the World’. Students, parents, and staff came together on Thursday, February 2, 2017, to mark the 100th day since the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej with an outstanding rendition of portions of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony accompanying an extraordinary video illustrating His Majesty’s life and work.

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School Report

Early offers the way for Shrewsbury's Class of ‘17 Graduating students receive outstanding offers from top local and international institutions

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IXTH Form students at Shrewsbury International School are again setting their sights on exciting futures at some of the world’s leading universities and colleges. Students have already secured over 230 university offers to top institutions in the UK, USA, Canada, Thailand, China, Japan, and the Netherlands, and whilst the full list will not be known for a few more months, 2017 is already shaping up to be another very successful year for the school’s graduating students and Higher Education team. A brace of offers for Wannakorn (Ki-Ki) Tapanakornwut (Engineering) and Tachakrid (Earth) Tachatirakul (Medicine) to Cambridge University – ranked as the worlds’ 4th best university – head the UK offers to date. There are also several other offers to leading UK universities including Edinburgh University, London’s Imperial College, King’s College, and London School of Economics, all ranked within the world’s top 50. Early news from US colleges is also extremely promising, with Head of School Carlos Romero Jantacomma securing a place at top-ranked Yale University, and fellow Year 13 student Pira (Pip) Srivikorn accepting his place at UPenn’s Wharton Business School. Meanwhile Sorawan (Tammy) Vesvarute has accepted her place at Mount Holyoke College – part of the highly regarded Seven Sisters consortium – also attended by her own sister Tat (Shrewsbury Class of 2016, now at Smith College). Offers to well-known UK and US

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universities and colleges form only part of the picture, however. The British curriculum offered at Shrewsbury leads to qualifications that are recognised and respected by universities and colleges around the world, and it is no surprise that the list of offers to date also include a number of new institutions in several different countries; a reflection of the efforts made by the Higher Education team to encourage students to broaden their horizons, to research alternative options, and ultimately to select universities and courses that are the ‘right fit’ for both their academic aspirations as well as their personal interests and overall university experience. For many students, the right choice is here in Thailand and we are again pleased to report on a number of offers to prestigious engineering and medical courses to

the likes of Thammasat, Mahidol, and Chulalongkorn universities for both Year 13 students in their final A level year, and Year 12 students, whose applications are supported by internationally recognised GCSE and IGCSE qualifications. In addition to her place at Mahidol, Head Girl Pearl Yodwongjane has also earned an offer from St George’s University, London. Meanwhile, the ongoing work of the Higher Education team to build links with universities around the world is underlined by several offers in other countries, including a trio of offers to the prestigious University of British Columbia – ranked 36th in the world – and which the Higher Education team visited last May; part of an intensive study trip to universities and colleges on North America’s West Coast. Similar trips to universities in Japan, UK, and USA are planned over the coming months.


Seal of approval for Shrewsbur y’s new principal

Why did you choose to become a teacher?

In August 2017, Mr Christopher Seal (currently at Millfield School, England), arrives in Bangkok to take up the position of school Principal at Shrewsbury International School’s Riverside Campus. Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, just 5 minutes from Saphan Taksin BTS station, Shrewsbury prides itself on offering an inspirational academic programme for over 1,600 boys and girls aged 3-18 years that is based on the English National Curriculum, adapted throughout to meet the needs of its international, multi-lingual community. Classroom learning is supported by an extensive programme of extracurricular activities. Under the 12-year tenure of current Principal, Mr Stephen Holroyd, Shrewsbury has established itself as one of the leading International schools in South East Asia, achieving public examination results that rank amongst the very highest achieving schools in the region and alongside the very topperforming independent schools in the UK; internationally recognised GCSE and A level qualifications that enable Shrewsbury graduates to progress to leading universities around the world. Mr Holroyd himself will remain a central figure in the wider Shrewsbury organisation, where he will oversee the foundation of further schools in Hong Kong (opening September 2018) and China, as well as a brand new Shrewsbury primary school here in Bangkok (opening August 2018), and significant redevelopment of the original Riverside Campus. While in Bangkok for a weeklong visit meeting with staff and parents at Shrewsbury, The BigChilli interviewed Mr Seal about his new role at Shrewsbury.

When I finished school I went on to Loughbrough, one of England’s great sporting universities, with the dream of becoming a professional sportsman. It was at this university, however, that I started to seriously consider teaching as a career. I remembered how I looked up to my own teachers when I was at school – people who continue to shape my life even today – and the incredibly positive way in which friends who had already moved into teaching would talk about the profession.

What do you enjoy most about working in a school? The people. It’s an incredible privilege to work with young people – to help them discover their true potential and to share in their success. I’ve been lucky to do this alongside committed teachers and supportive parents, all working towards the same goal; being immersed in an environment like that, helping to create a culture of success is extremely fulfilling, and often humbling too.

Why Bangkok, and why Shrewsbur y? On previous visits to Bangkok, my wife and I have been struck by the vibrancy and authenticity of the city. There’s also the real sense that this

is a city that values its traditions and cultural heritage and that also embraces development and change, not least terms of education. I have known Shrewsbury’s UK school for many years, and have visited it several times. I have tremendous respect for the way in which the students and teachers there conduct themselves, and the exceptional standards that the school has achieved. The opportunity to lead this school was something I felt compelled to explore, and having now spent a fair bit of time here – enjoying musical recitals, drama performances, seeing the student and parent leaders in action, athletes training dawn till dusk – this place really does have an amazing energy. I can’t wait to get stuck in.

What have you done and what will you bring to this role? I’ve worked in education for my entire professional life. Having cared for pupils around the clock, I really understand the difference that sound guidance and emotional support can make to a young person’s wellbeing, and in turn, to their progress and development as a student. My focus will always be on ensuring that students are happy at school. If a student is happy, success will follow, and the sense of fulfilment I personally get from seeing young people achieve their potential is what motivates me every day.

Where are you from? I was born in the Southeast of England, but I went to school in Kent and I currently work at Millfield School near Glastonbury.

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School Report As a parent, why do you think parents in Thailand should consider international school education for their child?

What will be your focus when you arrive in Bangkok, and what changes would you like to implement at the School?

here are many excellent schools all over the world, of varied types, and I would not seek to argue that one is necessarily better than another. The key thing for any family is to make the right decision based on their children’s needs, and also the situation they find themselves in as a family. Whilst the focus on academic performance is ever-present, I think that the very best international schools like Shrewsbury understand their responsibility to offer much more than that: to provide strong pastoral care and counselling, to balance linguistic needs and priorities of the international community, to focus on the development of skills and qualities alongside academic grades, and understand that offering a broad and varied co-curricular programme serves to complement learning, rather than distracting from it.

I’m a great believer in avoiding ‘change for change’s sake’. My first task is not to change but simply to understand; to build an effective understanding of all aspects of the school, to enable and empower staff to continue their excellent work and inspire pupils to give of their best in everything they do. There will be change, of course, and it seems to me that one of the great strengths of this organisation is the willingness to learn from experience, to embrace best practice, and to manage change in an assured, effective, and purposeful way.

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How do you like to spend your free time? Family is my real focus, and we all enjoy spending time together – dining out, going to the cinema, or travelling new to places. I’ve spent much of my time on the sports field over the

years, but the body is no longer able to cope with cricket, and certainly not rugby. I’ve been working hard at my golf recently and so I look forward to playing on the beautiful courses around Thailand. Away from sports, I am an avid reader.

What is a personal philosophy / a mantra you live by? For a number of years I worked with a cricket professional who lived by the mantra, ‘just do better’. I quite like the open-ended nature of it, and it fits nicely into the more recent literature on the benefits of ‘marginal gains’. Small improvements in many areas make a real difference. I also take inspiration from Norman Croucher, who had both legs amputated at the age of eighteen. Fitted with prosthetic legs, Croucher first walked the length of Britain, then climbed some of the tallest mountains in the world. When asked how he did this, he replied ‘one step at a time’. So taken together my own mantra is probably ‘doing better, one step at a time’.

BIST to boost Thai education hub initiative in ASEAN BROMSGROVE International School Thailand (BIST) – a top British international school in Thailand and the only school in the country affiliated with the prestigious Bromsgrove School in the UK – presented its personalized learning programmes and a ‘no child left behind’ concept supporting the Thai government’s initiative of making the country an ASEAN education hub.

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School Report

Looking back on 50 years of achievements and success

C

ELEBRATING its 50th anniversary, Traill International School looks back with pride to a period rich with achievements and successes. Traill International School, established in 1966, takes pride in providing quality education for students from all backgrounds, race, nationalities, cultures, and religions. The Traill community represents over 26 nationalities all working towards a common goal – bringing out the best in all those who attend the school. The school’s intention is to develop an education facility which truly serves the local communities by producing high-quality graduates who

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will become valuable members of the society in the future. Offering a first-class competitively priced education with a known reputation of outstanding academic results where students proceed to some of the world’s leading universities including Cambridge, and more. Traill aim’s to provide support to the students and encourage them to reach their full potential. Amongst the proudest academic achievements are the Cambridge examination scores, however, Traill students are also top achievers in the arts and sports. Today, the school offers a new campus with state-of-the-art facilities that are consistently evolving while still offering carefully planned and well thought-out designs

showcasing the same signature warmth, innovation, and security that Mr Anthony Traill, the founder, developed over half a century ago. Looking back on the past 50 years of continuous achievements, Traill International School now looks ahead into the future. One can be certain that high standards in curricula, facilities, and educational offerings will continue to be a part of the future and Traill will continue to provide a secure environment where students can confidently develop into well-rounded individuals who will become valuable members of the societies in the future. The future looks bright for the 50-year-old Traill International School and we can’t wait to see how the school will take on the 21st century.


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and role models, gaining enormously from this opportunity. The academic challenge continues as pupils prepare for their first external examinations and sit the Common Entrance (set by the Independent Schools Examination Board, UK). This is excellent training for our pupils, teaching them the fundamentals of exam technique and revision skills while providing a strong foundation for Senior School.

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To meet the Prep School team and find out more, please contact the Admissions Team and book on one of our Open House events in March and April 2017.

www.brightoncollege.ac.th admissions@brightoncollege.ac.th +66 (0)2-136-7898


Expat Sport

Thailand’s new hockey league Story by Scott Murray Photo by Tadamasa Nagayama

There is a new sports league in town and it’s rapidly gaining fame and notoriety

THE Siam Hockey League (SHL) started playing in mid-November 2016 and its four member teams (Sports Corner/ Titanium, Aware, the Sukhumvit Spitfires, and Hooters Nana) will play until late April 2017. As word of the league grows there are plans to expand to five or six squads and maybe even add a second tier for the less experienced players. Although the league is primarily composed of expats from countries including Canada, the USA, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, and Switzerland, the referees are all Thai and serve under the capable tutelage of IIHF certified Sakchai ‘Jeab’ Chinanuvantana. The league came about after John Schachnovsky, Scott Murray, and Christian Olofsson organised a charity game for the Thai Red Cross in late May featuring NHL defenseman Johnny Oduya. They raised 80,000 baht on the night, but sensing a synergy they decided to try and revive the expat hockey league, For more information visit the website at www. formerly known as the Thai siamhockeyleague.com or World Hockey League, which the Siam Hockey League had lain dormant since April of 2015. The three took the titles SHL Facebook page

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of President, Vice-President, and Secretary, respectively, eventually adding Alex Manton as Administrator, Alasdair Fawcett as Treasurer, Pratch Siridhara as Head of Marketing, and Jeab as Referee-in-Chief. They decided to make it a non-profit league, setting out to secure four team sponsors and putting any extra revenue they earned back into the league, thereby making it cheaper for players to join the league. They also set out to make sure that the talent was divided evenly on all squads – consisting of 13 skaters and 1 goalie per team, aged 16 and above. Another 20 skaters are listed as substitute players, filling in for those traveling, injured, or in other ways unable to play on any given game night. The 20-game schedule sees matches primarily played on Sunday nights at 8.30 and 9.30pm but there is the occasional Monday and Thursday night game. All games are played at ‘The Rink’ on the 7th floor or the Central Grand Rama 9 shopping mall – free admission. A ‘Player of the Game’ award is presented after each game, with the deserving winner getting a 400 baht voucher for a meal at Rollin Stone Wood Fired Pizza. SHL players also participate in the Thai-run Bangkok Ice Hockey League, which operates when the SHL doesn’t – from May to September. The players also play weekly pick-up shinny hockey and form the Flying Farang teams that compete in local and regional tournaments held in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila, and Hong Kong. Another commitment from the SHL League Committee is to be active on social media and have an online presence throughout the course of the season. Efforts have been made to provide interesting content and quality infographics that will motivate players as well as attract fans and sponsorship. The SHL has even appointed Dom Dumais, a podcaster and vlogger residing in Bangkok, to be the official podcaster of the league. He has, in return, become a big supporter of the league and his podcasts and interviews with players are fun and very entertaining (www.domdumais.com/shl-standing). The SHL website and Facebook page are packed with high-quality photos of the games, its players and the people involved in the ice hockey community in Bangkok.


Humour

Magners International Comedy Festival makes triumphant return to Thailand

■ THIS is going to be a hilarious year, and we are not talking about Donald Trump as President. Thailand will be hosting The Magners International Comedy Festival from March 23-25, 2017, for the second year in a row with more shows, more cities, and more laughs. The Magners International Comedy Festival is the largest comedy festival in Asia with shows in Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Bangkok shows will take place at The Comedy Club Bangkok and the Altitude lounge at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit. Chris Wegoda, Co-Creative Director of The Comedy Club Bangkok and Thailand Country Manager of the festival, can barely contain his excitement. “Last year’s festival was very successful. This year is going to be epic. We added Phuket, Hua Hin, and Pattaya to the festival this year. We will have two shows in Bangkok featuring Indian comics, and our Gala show offers a VIP package including free flow Magners and food provided by the chef team at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit. It’s going to be amazing.” The Indian comics Chris referred to

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include one of India’s top comedians, Sorabh Pant, founder of East India Comedy, as well as Azeem Banatwalla, and Magners Comedy Competition 2016 winner Sunanda Sachatrakul. In addition to the Indian comics, Canadian favourite Lars Callieou will be performing both in Bangkok and in Phuket. Britain’s Martin Mor is returning for the second year, and Irishman Aidan Killian will be there as well. BBC star Matthew Giffen is also returning. One of New York’s fastest rising stars, Dan LeMorte will be representing the USA, happy just to be outside of North America, and looking forward to the peaceful civility of Bangkok. New Zealand expats, be excited to hear that Andre King, one of the country’s best, will also be performing. This will be Andre’s first

time as part of the festival. Hosting the show in Thailand has fallen on the very capable shoulders of The Comedy Club Bangkok. “After the successes of Jimmy Carr and Eddie Izzard’s shows in Bangkok, we are really looking forward to continuing our quest to bring the best comedy here,” says Wegoda, high on the exhilaration that comes from knowing The Comedy Club Bangkok has become one of the most highly regarded comedy clubs in Asia. The festival in Thailand will open with a Gala show on March 23 at Altitude at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit. Six comedians will perform including Canadian Comedy Award Winner Brian Aylward and fellow Canadians Dana Alexander, Kelly Taylor and Justin Rivera. The event is sponsored by Magners and a free-pour, all-you-can-eat VIP option is available. Shows for Bangkok will be at Altitude, The Western Grande Sukhumvit on March 23 and The Comedy Club Bangkok March 23-25. For the complete show schedule and tickets go to ComedyClubBangkok.com, FB page: ComedyClubBangkok


Insight

tHai top fitNess fouNder mark aBBott likes to keep Himself Busy – from workiNg iN BusiNess developmeNt for cp to writiNg columNs for meN’s fitNess tHailaNd Name: Mark abbott. age: 32. BorN: Johannesburg, south africa. marital status: Married occupatioN: business developMent Manager for the chairMan of cp group. i aM also a coluMnist for Men’s fitness thailand, Mc for full Metal doJo, board MeMber of tMMaf, and Youtube vlogger for thai top fitness. How loNg iN tHailaNd: 11 Years. tHai proficieNcy: fluent in reading, writing, and speaking. passioNs: wingsuiting, Motorbikes, golf, fitness, triathlons, and anYthing that gets the adrenalin puMping. if you could cHaNge oNe tHiNg aBout yourself, wHat would it Be: discipline – You can never have enough discipline. Best frieNd: steve lYnch. favourite Bar/restauraNt: craft. your curreNt state of miNd: the world is You oYster – thailand has been verY good to Me. tHailaNd’s Best-uNtapped poteNtial: it’s resourceful people, More opportunities should be given to those without the right connections. otHer tHaN tHe traffic, wHat would you like to see differeNt iN BaNgkok: a More efficient sYsteM for donating second hand goods and helping charities, More freedoM for donations and More recYcling initiatives. Best Holiday: africa – the whole continent is aMazing! HigH poiNt: getting MY current Job at cp – people repeatedlY told Me i’d never get a good Job in thailand, but i did. low poiNt: hurting MY knee and leaving the Marines – which lead to a high point. aNy regrets: zero. wHo would you like to play you iN a movie: edward norton.

Profile

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By Kelly Harvey

The hoT LisT

18 great things to see and do in Bangkok & beyond...

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01 _ism

04 Platform 10

07 ModernDog

March 4 HOF ART Residency THE first art exhibition presented by the 00’s artist group, comprised of 23 newly graduated artists, features one-of-a-kind artworks from all of its members. Expressing each individual’s identity in art, opinion, conscience toward society, and styles without any restriction.

Through March 10 S Gallery, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit SHOT on a single platform at Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok, Platform 10 is the culmincation of Thai-Indian artist Rammy Narula’s work at the beloved station. Having beautifully captured the ebb and flow of continous motion, the series has now been published as a photo book with Peanut Press, a publishing house in New York.

March 18 Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani THAILAND’S all-time favourite band is celebrating its 22nd anniversary with a knockout performance at their ModernDog 22 concert. The iconic 90’s band was the pioneer of Thai alternative music and has long been a favourite with Thai students. Their live shows and unique musical style never fail to impress.

www.facebook.com/00sartistgroup

02 Temper Trap March 8 Muang Thai GMM Live House THE acclaimed Aussie rockers who have sold more than a million albums worldwide and wowed crowds at legendary international music festivals including Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and Coachella, are heading to Bangkok for one exclusive show. The Sweet Disposition-singing band will be joined by local favourites Scrubb and Electric Neon Lamp.

www.thaiticketmajor.com

 

05 Solitude

Thai Wake Park March 18 – 20 MAKING its second appearance on the Bangkok events calendar, the premier outdoor House and Techno music festival returns for two days of art, gourmet food and cutting edge music. Grab

Tickets range from B1,500 – B2,500. www.thaiticketmajor.com

www.midnicegallery.com

03 The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

06 Rabbit on the Boat

March 9 – 12 Next to Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort NOW in its fifteenth year, this unique tournament involving players riding elephants, has raised and donated over 46 million baht to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population.

Tickets range from B1,000 – B3,5000.

www.sofitel-bangkok-sukhumvit.com

Through March 11 Midnice Gallery and Café THROUGH his series of platinum/ palladium prints, photographer Pat Sathienthirakul presents an alternative perspective on space, objects, and the environment around us. With his platinum prints the artist simply freezes the moment in time without change.

www.anantaraelephantpolo.com

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08 Kolour In The Park

www.kolourinthepark.com

09 Wonderful World of Disney On Ice

March 11 Vanvarang Ship RABBIT Hole will be hosting an evening filled with live music, food, and art all on the decks of one boat. A big, big boat. The infamous Vanvarang ship will be docked all night on the Chao Praya River, so you can come and go anytime throughout the evening.

March 30 – April 2 Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani TAKE a walk down memory lane as Anna, Elsa, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy journey through Disney moments that span generations. Featuring eight movies, more than 50 favorite Disney characters, and the recent smash hit, Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory. Fun for the whole family to enjoy.

Tickets: B650. www.ticketmelon.com

Tickets range from B600 – B2,500. www.thaiticketmajor.com


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09

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10 J Jetrin

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13 The Colour Run Thailand

15 Kolour Warehouse Party

Tickets: B2,000.

April 1 – 2 Makkasan Airport Rail Link Station REGISTRATION is now open for the ‘happiest 5km on the plantet’. This fun-packed run promises lots of laughs as competitors throw handfuls of coloured powder at eachother during the race. Dress in white and prepare to look like a newly splattered canvas.

www.centararesortshotels.com/

www.thecolorrun.co.th

April 22 Tigger Twins Studio PROMISING to bring you sound that makes your body wobble and a lighting show that will take you to the next dimension at Bangkok’s first major warehouse party. Headlining the 10-hour day/ night event in a modern industrial warehouse are two heavy-hitting international artists, Wankelmut and Breach, who will be joined by local Djs Alex Fischer, Chote, Coran, and Gramophone Children.

March 31 Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok CALLING all J Jetrin fans! The Thai heart-throb will be performing in an exclusive concert in the Lobby Lounge at Centara Grand in Ladprao. Don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal with him at Live It Up in the Lobby Lounge by J Jetrin.

centaragrand

11 Thailand Startup Summit 2017 March 31 Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok MEET the founders and cofounders of Thailand’s best startups, learn about the best startup ideas, find out who has been funded and why, and network with the best in the Tech community. www.thailandstartupsummit.com

12 XTerra Phuket April 1 Phuket AFTER the success of XTerra Samui in September, AMA will host the next off road Triathlon in Phuket. XTerra Phuket will again offer something for everyone with the triathlon sprint and standard, duathlon and multi distance trail run. As always the triathlon includes an ocean swim, mountain bike and trail run along beautiful beaches and challenging trails. www.ama-events.com

14 Coldplay April 7 Rajamangala Stadium MULTI-AWARD winning British rock band, Coldplay, is coming to Bangkok as part of their A Head Full of Dreams Tour, named after their latest 2015 album release. Since 1996, the band has gained international fame stardom as a post-Britpop, alternative band selling more than eighty million records and winning a host of awards. Fans can expect all-time favourites including The Scientist and Viva la Vida as well as some of their latest releases such as Hymn for the Weekend. Tickets range from B1,800 – B6,500.

Tickets: B800 pre-sale and B900 at the door. www.eventpop.me

16 Bike Zone Tri Dash Bangkok April 23 Bangpoo Golf and Sports ORGANISED by Go Adventure Asia, this grass root series offers beginners a safe environment to get started in triathlons and allows advanced athletes to tune up for bigger races. The 2017 series comprises of 8 races over the traditional Dash distance of 400m swim, 20km bike, and 5km run.

17 River Kwai Trophy Adventure Race 2017 May 27 Felix River Kwai Resort, Kanchanaburi THE most popular and largest Adventure Race in South East Asia is back for its 12th edition. Over 200 international teams will run, mountain bike, swim, and kayak their way through challenging scenic trails exploring the mountains, farmlands, jungles of Thailand and the historic Kwai valley. www.ama-events.com

18 Laguna Phuket Marathon June 3 – 4 Laguna Phuket LAST year saw 6,000 runners from more than 60 nationalities take to the trail for this familyfun affair. In conjunction with the Laguna Phuket Foundation, the event is held in support of educational and social development of local communities, marine and natural environmental conservation. Five distances are available: 2km, 5km, 10.5km, half marathon, and marathon. www.gotorace.com

www.gotorace.com

www.thaiticketmajor.com

For more hot events, and to submit your own, go to thebigchilli.com

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Feature

Hubba-To

Bangkok’s best coworking spaces for digital nomads Hiding in plain sight, the new and hip coworking spaces in Bangkok are offering more than just comfortable spots for digital nomads and startup entrepreneurs to work in by Morgan Thanarojpradit

F

OLLOWING the boom of startup businesses in Southeast Asia, many operators emerged capitalising on this new lifestyle trend by creating various stylish and luxurious coworking spaces in Bangkok. Coworking space operators now offer a new level of convenience to all business nomads both expats and locals alike. With more flexible terms for rental offices or desk spaces on shared floors, the most important characteristics seem to be the community-building aspect offering programmes and events to create a networking community. Here are 12 coworking spaces in Bangkok any digital nomad should visit

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HUBBA

Ekkamai Known as one of the first coworking spaces in Bangkok aiming to cater to both startup entrepreneurs and independent workers. Offering a comfortable place to work, the facilities definitely live up to its reputation as the most established coworking space in Bangkok. Rate: B299 per day and B2,990 per month

The Hive

Phrom Phong The Hive - six-storey high loft-style building with rooftop bars and a Spa - offers an expansive and professional coworking space with a very businesslike atmosphere for all guests with periodical events hosted as part of

community-building activities. Rate: B350 per day and B5,500+ per month

Workloft

Silom Another premium community-based workspace located conveniently next to BTS and MRT stations on Silom Road. This unique coworking space focused on offering productivity enhancing environment to support all business with private offices, coworkspace hot desks, meeting rooms, event spaces with fully equipped facilities. Rate: B100 per day and B3,000+ per month

Colab on Convent

Silom Impressing on providing more


than just a physical space for busy travelling businessmen, Colab on Convent believes in providing space to establish a community of collaboration and creating a connection in the most convenient atmosphere in the city centre. Rate: B300 per day and B4,900++ per month

Launchpad

Silom Offering a wide open space resembling Silicon Valley workspace with a mixture of startup teams and digital nomads with an emphasis on technology, this coworking space offers a quiet and professional atmosphere for all renters. Rate: B260 per day and B5,400 per month

Draftboard

Chidlom Located in the business centre area in Bangkok, the coworking space caters to numerous creative freelancers and designers. It has been expanded to accommodate more activities for renters. Complete with necessary facilities, this is another coworking space digital nomads should visit. Rate: B250 per day and B5,900 per month

Klique Desk

Sukhumvit Soi 23 An inspiring coworking space in Bangkok decorated in colourful tones of yellow, black and grey, this shop-house style building has been transformed into a professional yet comfortable coworking space that is only a short walk from Asoke BTS/ MRT station. Rate: B300 per day and B3,600 per month WorkLoFT

Muchroom

Pradipat Soi 23 Located near Saphan Kwai BTS station, this 50-year-old building has been redesigned to reminisce that of a comfortable and contemporary home suitable for shared working space. Offering professional workspace with the best office features with the homely atmosphere, this coworking space is another enjoyable location to visit for all digital nomads alike. Also available are afternoon tea break on Tuesdays and yoga classes on Wednesdays. Rate: B240 per day and B3,900 per month

The Hive Bangkok

Sukhumvit Soi 49 Only five minutes from Thonglor BTS station on a motorcycle taxi, this coworking space is known as the most diverse and dynamic in Bangkok. Converted from a large shop house, this 5-storey coworking space is laid out to suit all freelancers, designers, entrepreneurs and digital nomads alike. Offering basic office facilities, the best features include rooftop bar and garden. Rate: B350 per day and B5,500 per month

HUBBA-TO

on Nut, HabITo community mall Established itself as a Co-creation Community, HUBBA-TO offers stunning and efficient workspaces and services for members. This active community provides a variety of services that are more than just a coworking space. Also available are workshops, events, and community activities. Rate: B299 per day and B2,990 per month

CoLab

Poolsub Space

Charoennakorn Soi 8 Established in 1983 as a garment factory named Poolsub Arporn, the family business involved exporting children’s clothing to the Middle East until 1991. The building was a warehouse for one of the largest toy company in Thailand for the next 23 years until the year 2014 when the building was recalled and renovated to create a professional coworking space as it is today. Rate: B200 per day and B4,500 per month

Regus ZEN World Tower

Zen World Tower 4, 12th Floor Strategically located at Rajdamri Intersection, the Zen World Tower is close to restaurants, banks, five-star hotels, retail shops and entertainment outlets easily accessible with the BTS Skytrain. Offering a perfect solution for local and overseas business nomads and companies looking for flexible and fully-equipped office spaces with comprehensive services at a reasonable price. Rate: B790 per day and per single desk rate It’s not enough just to offer spaces, internet and good coffee anymore. It’s all about the image, the services, the location and the community events. Tackling the specific niches has become the best tactic to keep the business rolling in whether it is writers, designers, crafters or workshop-addicts.

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kilometres from the Thai-Myanmar border in Suan Phung district of Ratchaburi province. They forced the driver to take them 65 kilometres to Ratchaburi town, where they debarked at the walled six-acre, 770bed provincial hospital around 7.30am. The rebels were wearing camouflage outfits and had their faces covered with balaclavas, dark masks or scarves. Some wore berets or floppy bush hats. They were armed with assault rifles, hand grenades and Claymore mines. The driver said

Masked gunmen

that they first commanded him to drive to Bangkok, but when they saw the hospital they said to stop here. “I thought that they had no plan,” said the driver, adding that they had passed through 10 military and police checkpoints on the road, but none were manned. This is hard to understand. At that time the road from Takolan to Ratchaburi was under tight security and motorists expected to be stopped along the way. Sometimes they were told to open the boot and submit to a full vehicle search. It’s odd that a bus with 10 foreigners dressed as they were and carrying war weapons made it to downtown Ratchaburi without being detected. Upon arriving at the hospital grounds the guerrillas immediately took control, firing their automatic weapons repeatedly into the air. Radio reports said a teacher from a nearby school was slightly wounded by a stray bullet. The militants, who shared one mobile phone, issued a warning that the front of the main hospital building had been mined and threatened to start killing hostages if Thai commandos stormed the facility.

A photo of a Claymore directional anti-personnel mine placed near the main entrance to the hospital was later published, with the English words “Front Toward Enemy” clearly visible. The mines are designed to be detonated remotely. The guerrillas likely obtained them from the Karen National Union (KNU). According to one KNU senior member, the group’s armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army, were at that time in the possession of Claymore mines made in the United Kingdom. Health officials estimated that up to 1,200 people were inside the hospital, about 200 of these hospital staff and the rest patients and visitors. The attackers at first herded all the doctors and nurses into the emergency room, but later allowed them to move around the hospital to tend to patients. Doctors in the hospital confirmed that the gunmen placed mines in the compound and threatened to harm their captives if security forces came too close. Many very ill patients, pregnant women, children, and elderly people were among the hostages. Some were seen crawling to safety, carrying their intravenous drips down ladders set up outside of back windows. It was a heart-breaking scene. General

Prasong Soonsiri

Ratchaburi town to allow hundreds of police cars, ambulances and other emergency vehicles, as well as government officials and Thai media, to reach the hospital quickly. Soldiers from nearby military bases rushed to the scene, joined by Special Force troops from Lopburi. Soon hundreds of police and soldiers surrounded the hospital, establishing a 300-metre ‘no-go zone’ around the perimeter. The Governor of Ratchaburi province, Komain Daengthongdee ordered the evacuation of nearby administrative offices and schools. Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kon Thappharangsi appealed to the guerrillas not to harm anyone inside the hospital, saying: “I want to tell those who seized the hospital that it is not right to use patients for bargaining.”

Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai

Interior Minister Sanan Kachornprasart

Surayud Chulanont, Commander of the Royal Thai Army made it known that as a professional soldier he found the hospital seizure reprehensible, noting that even in wartime hospitals are regarded as neutral ground and attacking a hospital is considered a crime against humanity.

Rapid response As word of the attack spread police closed outbound lines of the wide highway from Bangkok into

General Surayud Chulanont

T

he guerrillas issued a five-point list of demands including medical care for their fighters injured in recent clashes with Myanmar military troops. They also wanted Thai authorities to grant about 200 God’s Army soldiers refuge in Thailand and demanded that the Thai government persuade Myanmar to halt its offensive against God’s Army. In the afternoon, Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai chaired a meeting of Thailand’s anti-terrorism committee

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Feature on how to deal with the crisis. Speaking after the meeting General Surayud said he had ordered his troops to stop shelling guerrilla bases on the Myanmar border, another of the hostage takers’ demands. He also agreed to open Thailand’s western border to God’s Army soldiers seeking medical treatment in exchange for the safe release of all the hostages. However, Thai officials did not agree to the militants’ demands to supply them with two helicopters and guarantee safe passage out of the country. The guerrillas were asking for a team of 10 doctors and communications equipment to go with them in the helicopters.

Déjà vu When the reports of the hospital takeover appeared in the local media, memories of the seizure of the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok in October 1999 were still fresh. People were surprised and outraged that Myanmar militants were bringing their struggle to Thailand again. The situation at the hospital was beamed live to viewers in Thailand and around the world. The siege became a top international news story and by nightfall hundreds of reporters swarmed the hospital. Leaders of Myanmar exile groups based in Thailand were just

Bodies of 10 Myanmar rebels lie on display

as surprised as everyone else, and frantically called one another to try to get information on the attackers. What they found out was passed on to Thai authorities. The Myanmar exile community in Thailand faced harsh reprisals after the embassy siege, and the leaders were very distressed to see another international incident that would likely damage their causes and relations with the host country. As the army commander raced to the scene from Bangkok, the government immediately established a negotiating team led by Interior Minister Sanan Kachornprasart. While negotiations were in progress, during the day until late at night the gunmen released about 70 hostages made up of the seriously ill, elderly, women, and children. Another 17 hostages escaped by a back door. They were taken to one of two command centres for debriefing. A police source said more than 100 hostages had probably managed to flee the building without the knowledge of the authorities. A Thai TV cameraman was allowed to enter one of the buildings occupied by the guerrillas. His live broadcast showed frightened hostages, some hugging each other, and guerrillas walking around them brandishing assault rifles.

REPORTS OF DEATH GREATLY EXAGGERATED

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uoting ‘dissident sources’ one exile website gave a list of names of the militants killed by security forces at Ratchaburi hospital. One of these was Ye Thi Ha, alias Sai Naing, leader of the VBSW. Some media also reported that he was among the dead, but this is incorrect. One prominent exile says with certainty that he met Ye Thi Ha at a food outlet at Bangkok’s Victory Monument in 2004. Other Myanmar exiles confirmed that Ye This Ha would meet people there. One said: “He regards Thailand, especially Bangkok, as his second home. Until last year [2004], his favourite meeting place was a restaurant near the Victory Monument. I met him there once. At that time he wore his hair long and braided. I didn’t feel safe with him after he said the Thais were looking for him, so I left him immediately. “He is very clever and brave. Despite the risk of being captured by the Myanmar authorities, he entered the country disguised as a ladyboy and went to Mandalay and Yangon [Rangoon].” Ye Thi Ha was arrested in Thailand for hijacking a plane in October 1989 and for having war weapons and ammunition in November 1993. He had a reputation as an expert bomb maker and reportedly cooperated with a Western intelligence agency. Ye Thi Ha rented an apartment in Saphan Kwai not far from Victory Monument. When police finally located him they set up a raid on the apartment, but just as they were ready to burst in and arrest him, a call allegedly came from someone very high up telling them to back off. It seems that Ye Thi Ha was valuable to someone. He made the following announcement in an audio broadcast from the Democratic Voice of Burma on August 5, 2003: “As the Warriors, we will be mainly targeting the Myanmar generals who have been holding on to power and controlling the country, and we will keep on fighting them.” A source close to the VBSW said that in 2004 Ye Thi Ha asked compatriots living in the United States, Germany and France for a large amount of money, allegedly to produce sophisticated explosive devices.

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Ye Thi Ha

Hard line this time

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rime Minister Chuan met with Supreme Army Commander General Mongkol Ampornpisit at Government House that night, and afterward both men were rushed to Ratchaburi to attend another meeting at Bhanu Rangsi military camp. The PM emerged around 1am looking serious. He had already made the difficult decision to take a hard line this time against Myanmar militants who wanted to promote their case in Thailand: earlier that night he had given the order to storm the hospital. While negotiations were still under way, about 40 commandos infiltrated the hospital compound under the cover of darkness dressed as patients or medical workers. They hid their weapons in the kitchen and quietly instructed hostages to turn off the lights and lie on the floor. A nurse who was held hostage later told a Thai TV crew that staff had received a phone call from security forces before the attack telling them to turn off all lights and not to move, whatever happened. Sharpshooters with two-way radios were seen taking positions on the perimeter of the hospital. Around 9pm the rebels asked to meet with a BBC reporter and cameraman, but they had apparently already left the scene. Shortly after midnight, six children were released. Sporadic gunfire was heard from the hospital compound and there was a lot of activity in the area. Police commandos and military teams could be seen taking up positions. The throng of reporters was moved further back.

The twins and God's Army members inside a church in Takolan Village, February 1999

At about 5.30am two concussion grenades were set off at one corner of the compound to create a diversion and a signal. About 20 explosions rocked the hospital compound before first light, and under the cover of smoke bombs, the 70 to 80 commandos began their assault. They charged the main nine-storey hospital building, trading shots with the rebels as army helicopters circled overhead using spotlights to search for anyone trying to escape. The pre-dawn assault lasted for about an hour. As the smoke cleared hundreds of shocked patients, many in stained hospital gowns, rushed out of the building. After the gunfire stopped, dozens of ambulances pulled up to the hospital to transport patients – some clearly exhausted and in great distress to other hospitals. At around 9am the commandos emerged from the hospital. Freed hostages embraced them and the assembled media cheered them. Troops held back reporters who wanted to interview the hostages. After the siege was over, explosives experts combed the compound with mine detectors. Later in the morning journalists were allowed inside the hospital compound to have a look around. They were also shown the weapons used by the guerrillas and the ten bodies wrapped in white sheets. They were buried immediately, with no autopsies performed.

What officials said The PM, this time taking a hard line stand against Myanmar’s opposition

forces who want to promote their case in Thailand, gave order to storm the hospital late on Monday night. After the raid, officials said no patients or staff were injured; five members of the security forces apparently sustained minor wounds. Mr Sanan said the guerrillas deserved their fate because they had brought so much trauma and suffering to the Thai people, especially to those in the hospital. Lieutenant General Taweep Suwannasingh, Commander of the First Army Region who also commanded the raid, told the assembled members of the media that security forces had no choice but to do whatever was necessary to save the hostages. There were questions about the contrasting response from the Thai government compared to the VBSW takeover of the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, when the Thai government conceded to all demands and flew the militants by helicopter to the ThaiBurma border. Prasong Soonsiri, national security adviser to PM Chuan, said the assault should serve as a warning to other guerrilla organisations inside Myanmar and affirm to the government of Myanmar that Thailand would not tolerate terrorism. “This is a statement from Thailand that you can no longer do this kind of thing to us. If you [exiles] are hurt and need medical treatment, we are happy to help. But we won’t stand sieges.” Myanmar’s military government praised Thailand for the “decisive” end to the siege by “terrorists”, in sharp contrast to the criticism of the handling of the embassy takeover.

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Feature

Bangkok’s Guide to:

By Kelly Harvey

local markets

Markets come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing that’s certain is you’ll always find a bargain

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OR centuries markets have been the centre point of Thai communities. Bringing people together to trade and buy fresh produce, because every Thai knows the markets are where you’ll find the best prices. But markets are not exclusively for Thais. This month we visited some of Bangkok’s biggest and most popular fresh markets to see what bargains we had been missing out on and find out exactly how much we could save on our monthly shopping bill.

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Klong Toei Market If you’ve ever eaten street food in Bangkok (and who hasn’t), then you’ve certainly eaten food made with ingredients from this market. Klong Toei Market is Bangkok’s largest fresh market and is undoubtedly one of the cheapest. Majority of Bangkok’s food vendors make their way to Klong Toei in the early hours of the morning to buy their stock straight off the delivery truck. Meat,


poultry, seafood, fruit, vegetables, fresh herbs, selected dried spices, oils, rice cookers, cutlery, and clay pots – almost anything you can think of can be found at Klong Toei Market. The market itself is located on the corner of the Rama III and Rama IV intersection. Hidden behind a line of tuk tuks and trucks, the market goes unnoticed by those who don’t know it’s there. Upon arrival, you’re greeted by the welcoming smell of Roti Sai Mai and sugary sweets. To the side of them: rows upon rows of green vegetables under the shade of a tin-roofed metal structure. As you progress down the aisles you soon reach a kaleidoscope of colours made entirely of fruit. Guavas the size of your head, watermelons too big to carry, and mangoes so yellow they look fake. And the prices? Unbelievable. Strawberries for 25 baht per kilo, kale at 30 baht per kilo, dragon fruit for 50 baht per kilo, rose apples for 35 baht per kilo, and much, much more!

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s you progress further into the market and leave the cool shade of the metal structure you’re soon hit by a wave of heat, and with it the smell of raw meat and seafood. Klong Toei Market is definitely not for the fainthearted, but there’s no reason to turn around and run as all the meat is kept out of the sun and the seafood is constantly packed with ice. Different cuts of chicken range from 25-70 baht per kilo or whole chickens start at 80 baht, pork ribs 120 baht per kilo, beef 230 baht per kilo, a whole fish for 40 baht or three for 100 baht, and different varieties of prawns ranging from 160-360 baht per kilo. Not forgetting the herbs, 5 baht for one bunch or three for 10 baht. It’s no wonder locals walk around proudly carrying their bags of produce they got for 100 baht. The market is busy throughout the day but quietens down in the evenings. Motorcycles, shoppers, cart vendors, and attendants carrying giant baskets of produce weave through the maze of stalls like worker ants. Best to go in the mornings before 12 pm to grab produce fresh off the trucks and beat the Bangkok crowds. But be wary – fishy ice water covers the floor and often splashes on your feet, so be sure to wear closed shoes. How to get there: Queen Sirikit MRT station exit 1 or Klong Toei MRT station exit 1 – the market is a short walk away from either of these stations Opening hours: Open 24 hours

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enjoyable shopping experience. Rows running parallel are lined with perfectly ripe organic fruits and vegetables; fresh meat, seafood, and poultry; kitchenware and utensils; and a wide range of traditional Thai treats. Fruit displays are plentiful and stacked carefully as vendors take pride in their produce. Gold jewellery, fine clothes, and intricately woven baskets can also be found at Or Tor Kor Market. But with high-end produce comes high-end prices. Or Tor Kor is definitely not as cheap as your average fresh market, but it is still affordable. Different varieties of fish

Or Tor Kor Market

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n 2012 CNN Go ranked Or Tor Kor Market as one of the world’s best fresh markets – and it’s no surprise why. Compared to other fresh markets in Bangkok, Or Tor Kor is the Rolls Royce of markets. Known as a high-end market, Or Tor Kor is held in a brightly lit open warehouse next to Chatachuk Weekend Market. Benches, market maps, and direction signs are situated throughout the market while high ceilings, pristine white tiles, and mounted fans keep the market cool and breezy, making for a highly

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range from 350-700 baht, strawberries at 80 baht per kilo, rose apples 150 baht per kilo, and grapes 250 baht per kilo. The food court offers a range of dishes from the four regions of Thailand and white tables erected away from the heat of the vendors’ cooking station. Large fans also provide a cool breeze making a comfortable environment in which customers can enjoy their treats. How to get there: Kamphaeng Phet MRT station exit 3 Opening hours: Open daily from 6 am – 6 pm


Huai Kwang Market Huai Kwang Market may not be as extensive as Klong Toei or as luxurious as Or Tor Kor, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character. Huai Kwang Market does not have a traditional structure encompassing it; instead, the market forms a 100-metre permanent fixture along the pavement and takes up the front of gold shops and other mom-and-pop shops.

Upon arrival you’ll immediately notice the seafood. Known for its seafood, the entrance of the market is lined with trays of fresh fish, squid, crustaceans, and shellfish – expect some fishy icy water to cover the pavement. Prices are similar to Klong Toei Market with two large fish going for only 70 baht and mussels for 60 baht per kilo. As you walk around the corner you’ll soon find meat, vegetables, herbs, oils, fresh coconut shavings, and much more on offer. How to get there: Huai Kwang MRT station exit 3, the market is a short walk away Opening hours: Open 24 hours but picks up after 4 pm

Suan Phlu Market

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uan Phlu is one of the oldest communities in Bangkok making Suan Phlu Market one of the oldest too. Hidden inside a warehouse on Suan Phlu Road, this humble market operates incognito to those who cannot read Thai – with only a small signpost written in Thai above the two roadside entrances giving away its location. The market is small in size and takes up approximately 50 x 50 metres. The produce on offer is, however, more than sufficient for anyone looking to grab groceries for a quick dinner. Meat, poultry, seafood, fruit, vegetables, Thai herbs and spices, oils, eggs, rice, and noodles are all on offer. Prices are slightly higher than that of Klong Toei Market but are still extremely affordable. With the high number of expats living in Suan Phlu and its proximity to several condominiums, there’s no reason for expats to spend their hard earned salaries at overpriced supermarkets. How to get there: Lumpini MRT station exit 2, then a short taxi ride to Suan Phlu Soi 8 Opening hours: 6 am – 8 pm

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Food& Drink Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news

Surf & Turf Sunday brunch SUNDAYS AT PRIME TAKE your pick of prime, fresh seafood and lean, tender meats, prepared with flare, every Sunday at PRIME International Urban Restaurant. Fresh oysters; blue crabs; shrimps; and blue mussels alongside Australian beef fillet, rib eye, and sirloin; Kurobuta pork chop; Scottish salmon; and much more. Priced at B2,200 person, including complimentary soft drinks. Available from 11.45am – 3pm. 12 Sukhumvit Soi 24. 02 011 1111. compassskyviewhotel.com

Bangkok Gourmet Festival 2017 MARCH 3 – 5 AT ROYAL PARAGON HALL

Sustainable Sunday brunch SUNDAYS THROUGH MARCH 5 AT PANORAMA REDEFINING the city’s favourite Sunday brunch, Panorama at Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park, in partnership with Jagota Brothers Trading, is hosting an afternoon of yellowfin tuna, brought to you by Sustainable Fisheries. Savour the taste of the French classic, yellowfin tuna tartare, or sample freshly-sliced tuna sashimi or melt-in-your-mouth Otoro sushi. Also on offer is Panorama’s Sunday brunch spread. Priced at B2,099++ per person and available from 12pm – 3pm. 952 Rama IV Road. 02 632 9000. bangkoklumpinipark.crowneplaza.com

THE Bangkok Gourmet Festival 2017 brings together a collection of Thai master chefs and international celebrity chefs with world-class experience and expertise from Asia, Europe, and North America, who collectively hold 10 Michelin stars – the first of its kind in Thailand. For three days the spacious Royal Paragon Hall on the 5th floor of Siam Paragon will be transformed into a fine food paradise where visitors can taste numerous food items and witness culinary innovations in food culture. Food lovers will be treated to a creative 'bite-size'≠ culinary tasting experience from more than 60 fine dining restaurants. Among them are the famous Iron Chef Table, Savelberg, Osha, Ginza Sushi Ichi, J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain, Lenzi Tuscan Kitchen, Crostini Italian Restaurant, Honmono Sushi, Benjarong Thai Cuisine, The Reflexions, Lobster & Oyster, Cuisine de Garden, Upstairs Mikkeller, Saffron, Indus, and many more of Thailand’s leading restaurants. 991 Rama I Road. 02 610 8000. bangkokgourmetfestival.com

Pick your combo THROUGH MARCH 31 AT GIORGIO’S THROUGHOUT March, Giorgio’s at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers is offering a mouth-watering pizza combo promotion. Choose your favourite pizza set from three different sizes: the Small Combo – a pan of pizza and two appetisers (B499++), the Medium Combo – a pan of pizza and three appetisers (B599++), or the Party Combo includes your favourite choice of two pans of pizza and four appetisers (B799++). Available daily for dinner from 6pm – 10.30pm. 2 Charoen Krung Soi 30. 02 266 0123. royalorchidsheraton.com

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Perfectly prepared pigeon AVAILABLE APRIL 1 – 30 AT SILVER WAVES THROUGHOUT April, Silver Waves Chinese Restaurant is serving up perfectly plump pigeon dishes that will tantalise your taste buds. Enjoy delicacies such as crispy roasted pigeon, Cantonese-style pigeon in soya sauce, or stewed pigeon with Chinese herbs in a clay pot as you watch the world drift by from lofty heights above the Chao Phraya River. 28 Charoenkrung Road. 02 307 888. chatrium.com


Bigger and better!

The chefs are getting fruity!

SUNDAYS AT GOJI KITCHEN + BAR EVERY Sunday, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park will be showcasing a selection of dishes and delicacies from around the world. Enjoy multiple live cooking stations preparing dishes in front of your very eyes; a wide selection of Asian flavours, from fresh Japanese

Japanese-Italian culinary love affair

THROUGH MARCH 31 AT SCARLETT WINE BAR & RESTAURANT THE chefs at Pullman Bangkok Hotel G are getting fruity to celebrate the bounty of French grown apples and pears. Using the finest produce from renowned Mouneyrec Brothers fruit merchants, the special seasonal menu will feature a selection of delicious main dishes and desserts including poached lobster with Granny Smith apple and celeriac

sushi and sashimi to Chinese ‘xiao long boa’ steamed buns; a wide variety of traditional Thai favourites; as well as a mouth-watering selection of desserts. Priced at B1,800++ per person, children aged 7 – 11 years eat for half price, and children under the age of 6 years eat free. Available from 12pm – 2.30pm.

THROUGH MARCH 31 AT SCALINI HILTON Sukhumvit Bangkok will host Japanese-Italian guest chef Masanori Tezuka from Japan for a sensational blend Japanese and Italian cuisine. After spending more than 10 years fine tuning his culinary skills in Italy, Tezuka-san returned to Japan where his unique blend of Italian and Japanese flavours has generated a loyal following. Some of the dishes featured on Chef Masanori’s special à la carte menu include: Hamachi carpaccio and tomato soup with mozzarella; violet potato ravioli; Hokkaido scallops with shrimp; and seared Wagyu beef tenderloin. Available from 6pm – 10.30pm.

rémoulade, pan-seared foie gras with poached Passe Crassane pear in red wine, pork tenderloin and caramelised Belchard apple with calvados and almond crumble, and pain perdu roast Chantecler apple and beer sherbet. Available daily 6pm – 1am.

199 Sukhumvit Soi 22. 02 059 5999. marriott.com

11 Sukhumvit Soi 24. 02 620 6666. hilton.com

188 Silom Road. 02 352 4000. pullmanbangkokhotelg.com

Michelin star inspiration

For the love of cheese! TUESDAYS – SUNDAYS AT LA TAVOLA & WINE BAR CALLING all cheese lovers! The Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel is offering an Italian cheese menu you won’t be able to resist. Italian cheese platter with honey rosemary, grilled Wagyu striploin with parmigiano reggiano mash and truffle sauce, and sundried tomato risotto with stracciatella cheese and green beans are some of the cheesy dishes on offer. Available for lunch and dinner. 518/8 Phloen Chit Road. 02 125 5020. marriott.com

AVAILABLE NOW AT J’AIME HEAD Chef Amerigo Tito Sesti and his team at J’AIME have introduced a new menu created from Michelin starred chef Jean-Michel Lorain’s recipes. The menu exemplifies Jean-Michel’s passion and inspiration combining tropical vegetables, herbs and spices with leading ingredients from the four corners of the culinary world. Some of the highlights include: creamy herb soup with yellow snails, musky green sponge cake, romaine and wasabi fondue; beef tartare with Mediterranean vegetables, herbs and marinated lemon; fine pike mousse with slow-cooked salsify, apple and fish jus; and pear declination with almond Florentine. Available as an à la carte, 5-course, 7-course or 10-course tasting menu. Open daily for lunch from 12pm – 2.30pm and dinner from 6 pm – 10pm. 105, 105/1 Soi Ngam Duphli. 02 119 4899. jaime-bangkok.com

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Dining out

By Kelly Harvey

Red Rose

Old Shanghai meets Shanghai-chic

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HINATOWN has long been a hot spot with tourists and locals alike for its weekend markets, vibrant nightlife, and of course, authentic dining. Housed in one of Chinatown’s early important architectural landmarks, the Red Rose Chinese Restaurant & Jazz Lounge brings a piece of Old Shanghai charm and swanky jazz beats to the buslting neighbourhood. Inspired by the women of Shanghai, the Red Rose epitomises all the glitz and glam of the 1930’s after the liberation of Chinese women. Live jazz music against a backdrop of dark Chinese wood and sultry red finishings transports you to a romantic bygone era.

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Offering a mix of traditional and contemporary Chinese and Cantonese dishes, the Red Rose caters to all paletes and has strictly no added msg. The cocktails too stick to Chinese traditions and are made with Chinese alcohol – and they’re stronger than the Chinese Olympic gymnastic team!

Signature dishes A traditional Chinese meal, like Thai meals, always comprise of several dishes shared among guests. Starters, a soup, and a main dish are the key components to any authentic Chinese meal. For starters we recommend: Deep-fried Spicy Shrimp Shumai served with watermelon chunks and lychee (B120); Rib Eye Beef Spring Rolls served with kimchi (B380); and of course, Peking Duck – crispy duck skin served with steamed pancakes, slices of spring onion and cucumber, and home made sweet sauce, followed by stir-fried duck meat with garlic or black pepper sauce(B1,600). A soup is a must for any

traditional Chinese meal. Our recommendation: Double Boiled Pumpkin Soup with seafood wrapped in a thin egg white crepe (B350). For mains, the Steamed Snow Fish with superior a light soya sauce (B600) is a must-try! Not forgetting the cocktails, the Red Rose’s signature cocktail, the Green Bamboo (B240), made with Chu Yen Ching rice whiskey, Sprite, and lemon. Atmosphere The restaurant’s 1930’s decor mixes bold colours with classic black and white, smooth mirrors with rich velvety textures, and elaborate wrought iron detailing with sleek polished surfaces Parking Parking is available at the Chaloemburi Parking Lot. For a more scenic route take the Chao Praya Express Boat to Ratchawong Pier, or avoid the traffic by taking the MRT to Hua Lamphong station. Opening hours Open daily from 11am-11pm with last orders at 10.30pm. Live jazz music starts from 7pm Tuesdays through Sundays. Shanghai Mansion Hotel. 479-481 Yaowarat Road, Bangkok. 02 221 2121. shanghaimansion.com


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Dining out

Guest review by

Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy

L’Appart, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

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UR first visit to L’Appart was most enjoyable. The hotel had opened their flagship restaurant especially for us and we found a suite of rooms tastefully furnished as a luxurious 19th century Parisian apartment, separated into a series of interconnected rooms, each with its own identity. As we sat nibbling the tasty canapés, the library setting gave us the chance to sip Stephane Tissot Cremant de Jura Blanc Extra Brut from Jura, France before we moved into the dining area. The wine is made with methode champenoise and provides an introduction of this region’s two best-known indigenous dark grapes – Poulsard and Trousseau (albeit to the tune of only around 5% each) – into the classic blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Some found the wine rather dry, others too sparkling, but for me it was very good; however wine spokesman Kim Walker said in a very witty speech in his opinion it had not been a great choice. A 6-course meal followed commencing with Truffle ravioli, with a hint of truffle in the accompanying sauce. As food spokesman, Tom Whitcraft said, just the right amount of truffle and did the job. The wine chosen to accompany this, Cantina Terlan Gewürztraminer 2014 (Alto Adige DOC, Italy), was a good match; the wine-maker accurately described the stimulating aroma of the Gewürztraminer [which] is reminiscent of lychee and mango with delicate notes of honeysuckle. Kim could only fault the wine for its name, impossible for an Australian to pronounce, he claimed. Next came Roasted Beetroot salad with cumin yogurt mousse; a generous helping of beetroot, it had to be said, even for Grahame Fox, a

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true connoisseur of beetroot, but an agreeable balance of taste between the beet and the yoghurt. With this we found Cantina Terlan Chardonnay 2014 also from Alto Adige, Italy, a very good Chardonnay, with nuances of banana, quince, passion fruit, mango, and sugar melon. However, Kim saw the wine turn into a disaster after his neighbour had poured a

glass of it over Kim’s notes. The salad was followed by Green pea velouté with feta and thyme crumble, for which Tom jested, it tasted like green pea soup and was very well prepared. To compete a trio of wine offerings from South Tyrol, Cantina, Terlan Pinot Nero Montigl Riserva2011 came next. Kim thought this was a good example of Old World Pinot and an excellent match for the soup.

The main course of Roasted double lamb chop, Mediterranean ratatouille and pan is with Burnt lemon jus was excellent with the lamb cooked to perfection and complemented by the ratatouille and a generous helping of roasted garlic. The accompanying wine, Tim Smith Barossa Shiraz 2013 (Barossa Valley, SA) had received 96 points from Robert Parker which I personally thought was overly generous; it was rather sweet  and there could be no doubt that this was a heavy bodied wine with an ABV of 14.5% and deep flavour, firm grainy tannin and well balanced acidity, then mixed dark berries, vanilla and Barossa coal run through to a long and tannic finish; as Kim pointed out, it would put hair onto one’s chest. Two of this month’s birthday boys, David and Mark, celebrated the day with glasses of Calvados for all accompanied by Baked apple and camembert (really cool and a nice combination of apple and Camembert) before a final dish, Vanilla crème brulée with madeleine completed the meal. The final wine served was Pokolbin Dry Red Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley, NSW), the last of our 2015purchases before Thomas Boedinger took over as Wine master. It didnot seem to fulfill the promise claimed by the wine maker of a Shiraz of great finesse; however, our compensation came in the form of a special malt whisky,12 Year Old Port Casked Glenmorangie, contributed by Nigel, also with an important birthday to celebrate in February. It was left only for us to thank the team from L’Appart, led by Chef Jerome Deconink, F&B Co-ordinator Jonathon Forestier, K. Waniwan and the many others who helped us enjoy a great meal. We hope to be invited back!!


Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

A night of Chivas and cigars HILTON Sukhumvit Bangkok in partnership with Chivas Regal launched the first ‘Chivas and Cigar night’ at Mondo Restaurant. The event featured three distinctly different blends of Chivas Regal whisky: Chivas Regal 12 years, Chivas Regal Extra and Chivas Regal Mizunara. Each whisky tasting was paired with sample dishes created by Chef Supoj Suwanwong that feature in Mondo’s new menu for 2017.

Amarone Classico Journey EASTIN Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok in collaboration with G Four Fine Wines hosted an Amarone Classico Journey featuring five distinctly different wines from the renowned Zenato estate. The wines were perfectly paired with authentic Veneto cuisine created by the hotel’s Exectutive Chef Stefan Nietsche and Chef Job, Chef de Cuisine at LUCE Italian Restaurant. Among the dishes were a selection of salami and cheeses, traditional risotto with Amarone wine, roasted porchetta, and traditional giant pork sausage.

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Showcasing Spain’s wine heritage THE Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok recently hosted ‘An Evening with Raimat Wine Dinner’ to showcase the multi-award winning Raimat wine. Master chef Carlos Bravo and his team at Mexicano created a six-course menu featuring garden fresh local and organic produce, meats, and seafood paired with a selection of Raimat wines.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 FOR the third year in a row Gaggan took the title of Asia's Best Restaurant and The Best Restaurant in Thailand at the fifth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony was held at W Hotel Bangkok. Nahm, Sühring, Bo.Lan, Issaya Siamese Club, Eat Me, The House on Sathorn, Le Du, and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Bangkok also made the prestigious list.

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Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

From left: Pradapporn Chantaworaluck, public relations manager; Robert Maurer-Loeffler, group director of operations city hotels Thailand – Centara Hotels & Resorts; Winfried Hancke, group director of operations food & beverage – Centara Hotels & Resorts; Visootha Lohitnavy; Carlos Sanchez Vizan; Sakuna Lohitnavy, president of GranMonte Asoke Valley; and Chef Santiparb Petchwao.

GranMonte Wine Dinner at Suan Bua CARLOS Sanchez Vizan, resident manager of Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok, recently hosted a sixcourse wine dinner prepared by Chef Santiparb Petchwao, paired with Thai wine from GranMonte, one of Thailand’s premier winemakers, based in Khao Yai. The dinner also featured a special guest, Visootha Lohitnavy, Thailand’s first female winemaker and director of viticulture and winemaking operations from GranMonte, Asoke valley.

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New on the

scene

Hot new restaurants, bars & cafes in Bangkok

Stone & Star UNWIND after a long day’s work and dine on fusion dishes. Crafted from the finest ingredients their dishes still maintain the original tastes of Thai street food at Stone & Star. Also available are high quality baked goods and pastries along with handcrafted coffee and tea. Various creative concoctions of mocktail and cocktail drinks are also available at night to enjoy with the live performances on the weekends. 7 Soi Chidlom, Ploenchit. 02 255 4079. Stoneandstarrestaurant.com

GODIVA launched at CentralWorld

THE first GODIVA shop in Thailand introduced the 2017 GODIVA Valentine’s Day Collection (Buffet de Gateaux) with a limited edition box. The collection comprised of six different packaging designs with between five and 11 specially selected chocolates in each box. The chocolate collections were specially created for the month of love include six flavours: Strawberry Shortcake, Sacher Torte, Crème Brûlée, Paris Brest, Lemon Cheesecake and Green Tea Chiffon Cake. 2nd Floor Groove Fashion Zone, Central World, 999/9 Rama 1 Road. 02 640 7000. facebook.com/ GodivaThailand

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La Crêperie CONSIDERED the French creêpe specialist offering handmade dishes mainly with fresh, imported ingredients for an authentic outstanding taste, La Crêperie can customise the dishes to various flavours to cater to the needs of the customers. The Gourmet Garden Zone, G Floor, Siam Paragon 991 Rama 1 Road. 02 662 6499. facebook.com/lacreperiebangkok


Wang Jia Sha INTRODUCING a contemporary touch to the traditional Shanghainese cuisine, Wang Jia Sha Hong Kong under the Gaia Group, offers all the world famous delicacies from Shanghai including xiao long bao, tan tan noodles, and stir-fried spare ribs with plum sauce, a plethora of contemporary Shanghainese dim sum are also available. Siam Paragon. 991 Rama 1 Road. 02 129 4661.

Reach for the stars at CRU Champagne Bar CENTARA Grand at CentralWorld together with G.H. Mumm – one of the largest Champagne producers with highest sales in France – give Red Sky’s rooftop the chicest revamp: a luxury rooftop champagne bar. CRU Champagne Bar is here to offer an unforgettable experience with a 360-degree breathtaking view and a wide range of champagne to choose from. Centara Grand at CentralWorld 999/99 Rama 1 Road. 02 100 1234. centarahotelsresorts.com

Gokoku cake shop RECENTLY launched premium roll cake shop straight from Osaka, Japan, Gokoku offers premium roll cake made from purely premium fresh milk cream with soft and light taste that has won the hearts of the Japanese people for many years. Now available in the Gourmet Garden Zone, Siam Paragon. The Gourmet Garden Zone, G Floor, Siam Paragon. 991 Rama 1 Road. 02 551 0022. gokoku-thailand.com

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Health

One person dies from diabetes every seven seconds

By Judith Coulson

What is Pre-Diabetes and why we need to take it seriously

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IABETES is a global challenge and one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. Worldwide, almost 400 million individuals have diabetes. This means that one in 12 people in the world today have the disease. This number is expected to increase to 592 million in 2035 that is one new case every three seconds according to Mediterranean Group for the Study of Diabetes.

Pre-Diabetes If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, it means you have a higher-thannormal blood sugar level but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes yet. If you don’t get treatment, it can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other serious organ failures. It’s real. It’s common. But most importantly, it’s reversible. You can prevent or delay pre-diabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes.

Understanding pre-diabetes diagnosis Your doctor may refer to pre-diabetes as the following: • Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), which means a higher-than-normal blood sugar after a meal • Impaired fasting glucose (IFG), which means a higher-than-normal blood sugar in the morning before eating • Insulin resistance, which means your body can’t use insulin effectively

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Symptoms of pre-diabetes Pre-diabetes has no clear symptoms. Some people may experience conditions that are associated with insulin resistance, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and acanthosis nigricans, which is a brown to black, poorly defined, velvety hyperpigmentation of the skin. This discoloration usually occurs around the elbows, knees, neck, armpits, and knuckles. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it’s important to consult your doctor if you experience the following symptoms; increased thirst, frequent urination especially at night, fatigue, blurry vision, sores or cuts that won’t heal. These are symptoms typical of type 2 diabetes and may indicate that your pre-diabetes has progressed to type 2 diabetes. A doctor can run a series of tests to confirm this.

Causes of pre-diabetes The food you eat turns into sugar which the body uses for energy. The pancreas makes insulin to allow the sugar in the bloodstream to enter the cells. This is how insulin helps lower the blood sugar level. In the case of pre-diabetes, the cells don’t respond to insulin properly and this is called insulin resistance. According to newest research and the recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and several government health agencies around the world, pre-diabetes is strongly linked to 90% lifestyle choices and 10% genetics.

Risk factors for pre-diabetes Anyone is vulnerable to pre-diabetics but some factors might increase the probability. If you’re over 45 years old or you have a body mass index (BMI)


higher than 25, your doctor may want to screen you for pre-diabetes. With teenage obesity growing globally, a diabetes screen is recommended for people that are struggling with obesity for 10 years or more, no matter at what age. Another risk factor for pre-diabetes is being sedentary.

Pre-diabetes treatments Treating pre-diabetes can also be thought of as a prevention for the type 2 diabetes. If your doctor diagnoses you with pre-diabetes, they’ll recommend certain lifestyle changes. Studies showed that active lifestyle changes can reverse pre-diabetes and prevent the development of diabetes 2 even in genetically prone subject groups. Furthermore, active prevention is more successful in treating diabetes 2 patients than drugs, with a 58% lower risk of developing stroke heart disease and other illnesses including nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage where poor blood flow may lead to amputation, skin infections, trouble with hearing, and Alzheimer’s disease.

into your daily lives include riding a bicycle to work, walking instead of taking the bus or driving, going to a gym regularly, or participating in recreational sports with friends and colleagues. According to the American Diabetes Association, a mere thirty minutes of exercise per day and a loss of 5-10 percent will help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes progression by over 58 percent. However, to seriously lose weight you will need to increase to at least 200 minutes per week. You might want to ask a fitness trainer for guidance.

Find more information and resources about how to deal with pre-diabetes and make efficient lifestyle choices under http://lifestylefoodclinic.com/lifestylefood-news/big-chili-resources, password: big chili

Judith Coulson is a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist and Nutritionist working with individuals, executive teams, schools and companies based in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. lifestylefoodclinic.com corporate-wellness.asia

How to prevent diabetes Pre-diabetes is totally reversible. You can prevent or slow the development of pre-diabetes and diabetes through lifestyle changes. One study showed that a 5 to 7 percent weight loss greatly reduces the risk of diabetes.

Eating right Eat more fibre-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and talk to a nutritionist for personal guidance and nutrition education.

Exercising more You can reduce your risk of diabetes by being regularly active. Thirty minutes of any activity that raises your heartbeat to your target rate, such as walking, is recommended. Try to incorporate more physical activity

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Property dealer extraordinaire From a young bride to a true entrepreneur, Sally Eubbani has made her mark on Bangkok in her own way by Ruth Gerson

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RRIVING in 1966, Sally dedicated her early years in Thailand to family life, bringing up three children. Ambitious and energetic, after the birth of her third child she chose to venture out and see the possibilities of employment for young expatriate women. She found an interesting position at the elegant Jim Thompson silk store – to welcome shoppers to the store and assist them. Having mastered several languages including French and Arabic that were the languages of her native Lebanon, Sally was the perfect candidate. Although this work was interesting for a while, Sally looked for a long term venture into which she could direct her energy, develop ideas and turn a profit. And so in the 1990s she and her husband Salim opened their own trading and property company. It was a suitable area for them as Salim had experience in this field having lived in Thailand for a number of years and had worked in property development. And so Darvick Enterprises, an extension of the family business from Hong Kong, and Ban Siam Impex, Salim and Sally’s own property company, came into existence. Sally, looking to further extend her sphere of activities branched out on her own, this time into buying condominium units. In the late 1990s this new concept in property had reached Thailand of literally “owning bricks in the sky”. Up to that time all property was connected to was the land it stood on with the privilege of ownership limited to Thai citizens. The availability of condos was a new avenue of selling property to foreigners, a boon for agents and dealers in the housing and commercial building market.

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Sally bought her first condo at the ITF building in downtown Bangkok with a budget allotted to her from the mother company. “I did not know what to do with it”, she confesses. Gathering courage she knocked on her new neighbour’s door to find out who decorated and furnished the unit. This inquiry led to her being introduced to Khun Took, the owner of the then recently established Sahavichai Company, who had previously worked for the well-known Peter’s Furniture. It was a fortuitous meeting as a great partnership arose from it, one that is still going strong today. Khun Took had the know-how and the necessary staff while Sally provided funds for the new joint venture. Later Khun Took branched out of Bangkok, building and renovating properties in Krabi’s Koh Lanta, Pattaya, Hua Hin and more. Sally opted to remain associated with Bangkok projects only. As the business grew it became multi-faceted encompassing sales, brokerage, decor and rentals. Among the clients are big businesses, embassies, as well as private owners.

Some clients are long time loyal customers while others are new. When asked to what she attributes her success, Sally admits that she and Salim make the perfect working team: “Everything I know I learned from my husband,” she says. “I am the impulsive ‘front person’ with quick decision making while my husband is my anchor, holding me back when needed.” It seems that this balance has been paying off, as Sally is still active today having sold and decorated several apartments within this calendar year. When asked about the complex aspects of her work she points to the difficulty of remodeling commercial buildings, as all the work there has to be done at night. “It is impossible to function at daytime on such a schedule,” she says. Sally now plans to cut back on her work in the property business, although she is not ready to give it up altogether. Meanwhile she has found a new and satisfying interest of selling fashion jewellery. She seems well suited for it as she likes matching and color coordinating her daily wardrobe. These attractive pieces of jewellery add a special touch to the entire appearance. The Italian designed jewellery is produced in Thailand using imported materials but is not sold locally, except by Sally who sells to friend and acquaintances only. In fact, selling jewelry was part of Sally’s retirement plan of ten years ago, a reality that has not come to pass yet. She confesses that she gets bored easily, always looking for something new to do. So retirement does not seem to be imminent. She would like though to slow down, play more bridge, a skill that she picked up upon arriving in Thailand and which has served her well. Sally was on the Thai national bridge team representing Thailand in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. She still participates in bridge tournaments drawing high scores. For now Sally goes on, enjoying whatever life in Thailand can offer. Sahavichai furniture Ltd. Part.


Advice

Expat Women

Expat life getting you down? Professional counselors Anette and Johanna are here to help.

Q My husband has changed I’m originally from Singapore and I’ve been married to my Thai husband for over 10 years. We met in Australia where we both studied and then we lived in Singapore for a few years. Those were happy years. We were good friends and a good team. Then we moved to Bangkok, and things started to change. We now live in a compound with my husband’s parents and brothers. Everyone knows what we do (or don’t do). Very slowly, my freedom has become smaller and smaller. My husband is spending a lot of time with his parents, and with his colleagues from work. But he expects me to be there for him at home, almost like a stay-at-home wife, although I also have a busy job. He started to shout at me, blame me for small things that went wrong, and is constantly demanding apologies. He has never apologized for anything himself. I’m not sure, but people have told me that he has become close to a young woman at work. The only person I feel I can talk to is his mother, but she always says, ‘Well, he’s a man, just humour him and do what he says.’ Is this true? Is this just what Thai men are like? A few weeks ago we had an argument. My husband threw his clothes at me and moved out of our bedroom. I have already apologised on the advice of his mother but he says it’s not enough. My own family is far away but they say they support me in whatever I decide. But I don’t know what to do. I’m scared. Jessica, 33, Singapore

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• Anette Pollner Adv. Dipl. Couns., is one of seven international counsellors at NCS Counseling Center in Saphan Kwai. She trained in London and the US and worked as a staff counsellor at Bart’s Hospital in London.

Dear Jessica This is a tough situation for you. You entered your marriage on the understanding that you would be a team of friends and now it has become a place of suffering and confusion. First of all, your husband’s behaviour is not acceptable. He is not treating you as an equal, and certainly not with dignity or respect. His constant demands for you apologies are a form of bullying. He is trying to shame and humiliate you. And as a consequence, you feel small and weak. Throwing objects at you is very aggressive behaviour. The way he behaves towards you verges on psychological and emotional abuse. And it seems as if he is about to cross the line towards physical abuse. Abuse is not alright. You don’t have to submit to abuse in marriage. You say that most of these changes have happened since you both moved to his country and family environment. His mother seems to support his bad behaviour towards you. Is that perhaps because she has experienced something similar herself? But no, it is not ‘normal’ for Thai men to treat women so badly. That is a story told by bullies in order to make it easier for the bullying to go on unchallenged. Your husband is not acting in harmony with any laws or customs in Thailand. He is just trying to intimidate you. I completely understand how difficult your situation is. You are alone in a foreign country and in your husband’s family. Nobody seems to be on ‘your side’ – and the fact that it is even necessary to take sides is a very bad sign in your marriage. Right now, you are being overwhelmed in a toxic relationship. I would suggest that you burst the bubble in two ways (at least): Talk to some of your female friends, and then take an extended holiday at home, in your own family in Singapore. Reconnect with who you were before. Then ask your husband to visit you in Singapore and start talking with him there. Revisit memories of your early marriage. It may also be a good idea to commit to couples counselling and explore what went wrong and how you can progress from there. I hope your husband is willing to do this. Maybe he got confused by his return and is trying to impress his family in some way. Maybe he is suffering from reverse culture shock. Definitely, he is the one who is out of balance and needs to get back to who he is. Couples counselling is very useful in situations like this but it may take some time to get to the heart of the matter. Meanwhile, you urgently need to protect yourself from sliding further down in the toxic bubble. Take your husband’s latest aggressive acts as a wake-up call.


Q My son is not a loser but he’s acting like one I am so fed up with my son. He is the youngest of four siblings and our only son. We had high expectations of him, but he is a big disappointment. We sent him to university but he misbehaved in his third year, so he was expelled. We felt so much shame. My son is 24 years old. He wanted to start his own business so we gave him money to do this but the money was all gone and no business has been established. He also has no income. We have no idea where the money went. All he does now is play games on the computer and go out with friends. I scolded him but his response is “ignore mother” – and often he just leaves the house. The entire family is now angry with him and we all tell him time and time again that he should change, get a job and how he has shamed us, but still nothing has happened. What can we do? Angie, 54, Bangkok

NCS Counseling Center provides counseling, coaching and care for people in emotional need. Contact: 02 179 8503, ncs-counseling.com, anette.p@ncs-counseling.com or send your questions to thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

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• Johanna DeKoning MS is the Clinical Director of NCS Counseling Center. She trained in the Netherlands and Australia.

Dear Angie What can you do? You can’t change your son. The only person you can change is yourself. And you could ask if perhaps some of your other family members are willing to support changes in the family. Your situation has a background in which all of this has developed and to really help we should look into the complete picture. First of all, your son is now an adult and needs to take responsibility for his own life. This means also that when he doesn’t act responsibly, he will have to live with the consequences of his behaviour. When I read your letter it looks like he has ‘bailed out’ and thus he can continue with what he does – escaping into games or activities with friends. It looks like he certainly does not have problems as he does not experience negative consequences of his behaviour, other than an angry family. The whole family is on his case and he has been told numerous times to change, but he does not, and this tells me ‘he knows your concerns and complaints. He knows how everyone looks at him and he has decided to just leave it like that. Then he escapes in games and with friends.’ So in order to bring a change maybe you could look into how you approach your son in a different way. Is there a way in which he already experiences negative consequences of his behaviour? What does this all look like from his side? You’ve tried blaming him but that has had no effect. Could you instead start a conversation with your son and ask him what his dreams are and what he would like to accomplish? You could also express that you feel sorry about things that happened in the past, but that you would like to find out how you could help him with a fresh start. Ask him if he has any ideas. Agree together on some consequences that are fair according to him and you and that offer him hope or give him a new perspective. It might also help to look at your family from a fresh perspective. If you all feel ashamed of your son, can you guess how he feels about himself? Have you thought about shame and how that could prevent him from getting back on his feet? Also how was your son raised? Did he ever have responsibility for himself or things? Did he, as a child, have to overcome obstacles or was all of that done for him and as a consequence he may not have learned to deal with setbacks and frustrations? It looks like your son has developed “escaping” as a coping mechanism. Your family situation is very difficult and family therapy might be a way to deal with it. If your son would agree to receive personal coaching (or counselling) he could work on his disappointments regarding university and work experiences, his self-image and how he would like to develop himself and his relationships within his family. See if you can get him to see a coach. Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to put things into proper perspective. In the meantime, try to start an open conversation!

TheBigChilli

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khariteS Launch

THE three co-founders of ‘Kharites Medical Aesthetic Clinic’ – Apantree Srimuang, Anukool Rattanaphan, and Chayaphol Urapong – welcomed honoured guests at the launch of ‘Kharites Medical Aesthetic Clinic’ – the non-surgical medical aesthetic treatments and wellness clinic at Bangkok City, Sukhumvit Soi 11.

Fruity Skincare by St. iveS

Landmeé ‘Love Story’ coLLection

MARKETING Director of Unilever International, Azeem Puri, recently launched St. Ives – an American scrub brand – in Thailand. The bestselling brand from America has been trusted by women around the world for over 35 years with the ‘Allure Reader Choice Award’ to guarantee quality. St. Ives skincare products are made from 100 percent natural fruits that will delight your skin and senses.

TO add a refreshing look to its distinct vintage style, Landmeé brought in new generation stylist Katieismonster for the ‘Love Story’ collection. The laucnh was held at The Apothecary Venue, and was received by A-list guests, celebrities, and fashionistas.

the PearL neckLace by mikimoto AS the world-renowned pearl accessory brand, Mikimoto, has teamed up with Assouline publishing house to launch a book of rich stories called ‘The Pearl Necklace’ to narrate the legacy and history of pearl accessories. The launch party was held at Hall of Mirror, Level M of Siam Paragon. Guests and pearl enthusiasts were able to marvel at an exquisite exhibition featuring an array of Mikimoto’s timeless masterpieces.

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Social

p Last month’s best events in pictures

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Mövenpick Hotels & ResoRt’s expansion THAILAND is still a key strategic destination for Swiss hospitality group Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts with three new properties launching in the Kingdom in 2017, adding to the brand’s existing four hotels and resorts in Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket.

scB Minions plus deBit caRd

SCB joined hands with Chubb Samaggi Insurance to unveil the SCB Minions Plus debit card with the colourful and loveable ‘Minions’ characters printed on the card front as well as offering an array of exclusive privileges. 112

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BRand pHuket launcHed

PHUKET Hotels Association unveiled ‘Brand Phuket’ at the annual Thailand Tourism Forum event held at the InterContinental Bangkok. The brand identity was created by global branding agency QUO to refocus Phuket tourism on positive stories and experience, the natural beauty and the people of Phuket.


Muse all yeaR at MuseuM siaM

MUSEUM Siam recently launched ‘Muse All Year’ – the promotion of museums and learning centres will present the general public with fun and informative activities all year round in Bangkok and regional areas. The all-year activities include temporary exhibitions such as ‘Tom Yum Kung’ in March, ‘Thais DIY’ in May, the opening of ‘Noise Market 6’ in June, and the opening of the ‘Night at the Museum 7’ in December.

ap tHink diffeRent stRategy

AP (Thailand) PCL – the leader in real estate development for urbanites – led by CEO, Anuphong Assavabhokin, announced the fourth year of partnership between AP Thailand and Mitsubishi Estate Group (MEC) and revealed its ‘AP Think Different’ strategy, calling for stronger cooperation and developing the living standard of resident.

BMW tHailand’s HBo asia’s oRiginal seRies tHe ultiMate Joy HBO Asia Original series premiered expeRience HALFWORLDS season two for free for viewers in Thailand on HBO Asia’s website. The entire eight-part, hour-long back-to-back HBO Asia Original dark fantasy drama series aired on February 26, 2017.

BMW Thailand unveiled the exclusive ‘The Ultimate JOY Experience’ programme offering customers stunning lifestyle experiences in Thailand and at captivating destinations around the globe – all curated specifically for BMW owners. TheBigChilli 113


Diplomats p Meet the people uniting nations

H.E. Gilberto Fonseca-GuimarĂŁes de Moura The Ambassador of Brazil brings a cool and calm attitude to diplomacy

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Diplomat: His Excellency Gilberto Fonseca-Guimarães de Moura

Brazilian Ambassador brings mellow Latin style to Bangkok

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Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER

MBASSADOR Gilberto Fonseca-Guimarães de Moura joined the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty) in 1975; he was assigned to his first posting abroad, East Berlin, one year later. The ambassador has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in service of his country, and views his current posting in Bangkok as another opportunity to watch history unfold in an exciting cosmopolitan capital. He began his term here, as representative of the largest and most populous South American country, in July 2014.   We met in the entrance of the ambassador’s three-story residence, which is lined with the Brazilian flag along with the flags of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, the three countries under Mr de Moura’s jurisdiction. From the outset of the interview it was obvious that this very pleasant man has a tremendous knowledge of the world, people, and politics. Just as remarkable, he has a good sense of humour and a gift for putting people at ease. When told that the interview would be published in March he said: “Well, my 65th  birthday is March 12, so the interview will be my birthday gift.”       

Background

“I was born in 1952 in Rio de Janeiro, at that time the capital of Brazil. The first capital was Salvador da Bahia, in the Northeast, and the current capital is Brasilia, in the middle of the country,” said the ambassador. “My father comes from the Northeast and my mother is from Rio; her ancestry is Portuguese. My childhood was spent in Rio and that’s where I was educated. I sat for examinations at the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy – the Rio Branco Institute (in honour of the Baron of Rio Branco, patron of the Brazilian Diplomacy), graduating with the class of 1975. That was the last year of the academy’s residence in Rio, having thereafter moved to the planned capital city of Brasilia.

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“I joined Itamaraty because since I was a child I always wanted to be a diplomat. I never had second thoughts. Maybe I was influenced by my grandfathers. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a businessman who lived in England for many years; my grandfather on my father’s side was a criminal lawyer and a sugar-cane farmer owner, who introduced me to history and politics.” “When I was perhaps ten years old, I created an imaginary country of which I was Prime Minister. I gave the country a name and was caught up by the fantasy. My father even designed a map for my imaginary country, and I wrote its history. I decided the official language of my imaginary country was German. Don’t ask me why, but it’s interesting that my first posting was in what was then the German Democratic Republic (GDR), also known as East Germany. I started as third secretary at the embassy there. Bangkok now is my second ambassadorial post. The first was in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I served before coming here.”

Brasilia

The ambassador explained that Brazil was first colonised by the Portuguese; Brazilian cities grew up along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Since the 19th Century, Brazilian authorities sought to secure and develop the ‘sertões’, the vast inner lands of Brazil, very little inhabited. There was a feeling that it would be better to move the capital further inland. But it was not until 1960 that the President of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek, who was of Czech origin, took the final decision to transfer the capital to Brasilia. “He was a brave man. It took a lot of courage to do that. There were two major personalities involved in the building of Brasilia. The first was President Kubitscheck, and the other was the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. Together with the urban planner Lucio Costa, he designed the new capital, including the buildings of the National Congress, the Presidential Palaces, the Cathedral, the National Theatre, and the various ministries and other structures.


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His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodinradebayavarangkun receivng credentials form H.E. on March 6, 2015 at Ampara Palace

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Photo courtesy of the Brazilian embassy

Beetle. I got acquainted with all the guards and I would always say hello. They were always very nice to me. “I was then in my early 20s. Of course, when you are so young you are much more extrovert. You go out during the evening, you meet with friends. I have very good memories of this time. People say that your first posting is like your first love. You become attached to it. I was treated very well in the GDR and I met many well-known figures, like Erich Honecker, who was GDR’s leader, Fidel Castro, Muammar Gadhafi and others.   “When the Brazilian ambassador left East Berlin I became Chargé d’ affairs for a while, so I had the chance to be present at many events where I could meet these people. It was a very interesting experience. “At that time, Brazil was under a military regime, and so were Chile and Argentina. Latin American governments in general were right-wing, so Communist East Germany was also a contrast in terms of politics. I met many people, young and old, in East Germany. I have to tell you, a lot of them,

rasilia has the shape of an airplane. In the middle, you have all the official buildings, and on the north and south are the ‘wings’ where the people live. There is a major lake surrounded by houses. It is quite an interesting city. It sits about 1,200 metres above sea level, which is a bit high, so the temperature is very pleasant. In the daytime it doesn’t get too hot, and in the evening it’s always cool. “At first, people in government didn’t want to move to Brasilia because Rio is such a nice place. We have Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and it’s such Left: National Day, September 2014 at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit a charming city. But the decision was made and the Right: The 'Brazil Embassy Football Championships' at the the British School in Phuket, 11 - 13 June, 2016 whole government and all ministries made the move. The last ministry to go was Itamaraty, and this was especially the older generation who had survived World War partly due to resistance from some foreign embassies in Rio. One and World War Two, felt that the socialist regime was Once the Brazilian MFA moved to Brasilia all embassies had more secure. The state was a major protector, and they had to follow, and this happened in and around 1972. By then, the free education and medical care. They had their homes and entire infrastructure was in place. employment guaranteed. The old Soviet regime was not, of   “My father was an architect and he was involved in the course, any kind of model to aspire to, but it did provide a process of building Brasilia. He was a contemporary of Mr certain amount of social stability. Niemeyer and of all the people who designed the new city. “However, the younger generation saw things differently. As a young architect, he saw it as a beautiful new world. They wanted the benefits of capitalism. For example, for He was passionate about Brasilia and I share his passion.” young East Germans pizza was a dream. I would buy pizza Assignment in GDR in West Berlin and bring it into East Berlin to eat with my friends.” The Ambassador, who besides East Germany had “My first post outside Brazil was to East Berlin. It was cold been stationed in Poland and Slovenia, said he had always in the winter and very dark. It was a major contrast for a felt ‘very comfortable’ in Central Europe. Brazilian who likes the sun and the beaches. It could have “Before I was designated ambassador here I came been very depressing, but you know, I really liked it there. once to Thailand due to a meeting in Indonesia. I was in It was a very special time. For me it was like coming back to charge of relations with some Asian countries and I had a history. When I saw the Brandenburg Gate for the first time I stopover here. I believe this was in 2011. At the time the was very impressed. The east side is the most beautiful part of Brazilian Ambassador to Thailand was a very good friend Berlin. It has the Opera House and the Pergamom Museum, of mine because we’d both been posted in Canada. So, I the most beautiful structures in the then divided city. had a chance to stay in this very house over the weekend   “I lived close to the Wall. I used to go to West before going on to Indonesia. Berlin very often, so I had to cross through the Walls’   “I couldn’t have imagined that just a couple of years checkpoints. I just flashed a special ID card. Most of the later I would be living in this house. In comparison to other time I crossed in my car, which was a small Volkswagen countries I have served, the climate in Thailand is great. This

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is the first time I have been posted to a tropical country. The weather in all my previous foreign posts Germany, Bolivia, France, Poland and Slovenia – was very different. In Bolivia I was in the capital, La Paz, which can be very cool because of the altitude (3,360 metres). I feel at home here, even though Rio is not quite as hot as Bangkok. “Another thing I really like about Thailand is its extremely kind people. They are so delicate. I am very impressed by the respect shown to elders and foreigners,

case, there is no free lunch nor dinner. We work in the morning, in the afternoon and especially in the evening. If you go to all these events, you will cultivate contacts.   “We also have locals who help us. If I am interested in finding more detail or clarification on some subject, they are a good source. I am very satisfied with the great degree of cooperation extended from the Thai MFA and its Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, which I am very involved with. One Thai gentleman I met there recently speaks very good Portuguese. In fact, there’s one diplomat at the Thai embassy in Brasilia who can speak perfect Portuguese. It’s still much more common to meet Thai people who can speak Spanish than Portuguese.”

Embassy, bilateral relations and exchanges

Rio de Janeiro

and the way Thais communicate their feelings. I really admire their behaviour and dignity and so many other qualities. When I go to Brazil and people ask what I like most in Thailand, I always say it is the Thai people. “I also find the ways that Thai people cultivate and nourish their culture very beautiful. Thai people are rightly proud of their culture and this is reflected in their great respect for family. These are values that we now unfortunately seem to be losing in some Western countries. “As far as working with Thai officials, the doors have always been open. To sum it all, it’s a real privilege to be here. “The most moving moment I have experienced during my time here was the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is incredible to see the love and respect of the Thai people for their king and I’ve been very touched.”

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he ambassador described a typical day: “I arrive at the embassy at 9am. To reach my office at Lumpini Tower on Rama IV Road from the residence in the morning takes about 30 minutes by car, although it’s just a little over one kilometer away. Traffic can get terrible and the small sois around my house are often blocked. Sometimes I leave the official car behind and walk or even take a motorcycle taxi to the office. When I take the car, I read the newspaper so by the time I arrive at the office I have an idea about current major events and of what is coming next.   “An important part of my job, of course, is to feed Itamaraty with good, up-to-date assessments of the overall climate in the country. The English-language newspapers available in Bangkok give good hints. We also nurture specialized press sources, local contacts and international primary sources, which includes other diplomats. Socialising is an important aspect of the job. But in this

“We have five Brazilian full diplomats, including myself, five attachés coming from Brasilia and about 12 Thai staff, four of whom are fluent in Portuguese. The number of diplomats has increased and the number of activities we handle as well. Asia has become very important for Brazil and Thailand is a hub and a fundamental partner in Southeast Asia. I actively represent Brazil within the UN community headquartered in Bangkok, and to Laos and Cambodia. “It is a lot of work and our embassy is starting to feel shortstaffed. It is becoming small in the face of a great demand. We may have to move to another place or rent additional floor-space. In the meantime we are expanding to better fit the demands of the Consular Section. More Brazilians are coming to Thailand and more Thais are going to Brazil as well. “The Brazilian embassy here doesn’t have a police or a resident military attaché so far. We have a military attaché based in Jakarta who covers Thailand and comes here often. But there has already been a political decision to install a permanent military attaché with residence in Bangkok. Concerning a Police Liaison, we don’t have at the moment enough cases that would justify its installation. “Brazil and Thailand established diplomatic relations in 1959 and our respective embassies were opened soon afterwards. Relations between our two countries are harmonious and expanding. As I said before, the importance of Thailand and Southeast Asia in general is increasing. This is the opinion of my ministry and my own opinion as well. There is a lot of potential here and I can say very frankly that Brazil’s agenda is becoming bigger in areas like trade, economics and research. Interpersonal exchanges are increasing and I believe this is very healthy. There was a lot of interest in major events in Brazil like the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and a fair number of Thais made the trip to watch these events. Overall, though, tourism between our two countries still favours the other direction, by a factor of about ten to one.

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Hua Hin 01 Vana Nava Hua Hin 02 Risotto delights at Salas 03 Husband day care promotion 04 PBI World Tennis Camp 05 Reef & Beef at Centara Hua Hin 06 Annual scholarship donation ceremony 01

02

SHERATON Hua Hin Resort & Spa  offers a selection of delicious risotto to

choose from including risotto arancini, arugula risotto, grilled lamb tenderlions on a bed of balsamic risotto and more. Followed by Salas’ renowned chocolate lava cake to end the meal. Priced at B220. 032 909 900. sheraton.com/huahin

04

ASIA’s first Water Jungle, Vana Nava  Hua Hin received two prestigious awards

in 2017. The first recognition was from the Wave Review Award in the Best Billboard Category for the colourful and well-designed BTS Motion Billboard or the BTS Skytrain in Bangkok by the World Waterpark Association. VanaDio was also selected for the Brass Ring Award of Excellence in Games and Retail by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions for the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities worldwide. To celebrate this success, Vana Nava Hua Hin is offering 10% discount on online bookings and a promotional price of B900 for an adult ticket including the underwater studio experience. facebook.com/vananavahuahin

EXPERIENCE the PBI World Tennis  Camp at True Arena Hua Hin – a world

class complex and the largest, most comprehensive sports centre in the seaside town of Hua Hin. Experience the same hard courts as in the Australian Open and receive instruction from PBI professionals from around the world. Book during Songkran and receive a group welcome dinner. 032 909 633. truearenahuahin.com

03

COAST Beach Club & Bistro at  Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua

NEED a break? Sheraton Hua Hin  Pranburi Villas is offering a husband and

wife promotion at special prices with Spa Villa for her and Luna La Pran moment for him. Standard Package priced at B2,050 – a 90-minute of Thai or aroma massage plus 90-minute of free flow local beers, and a Deluxe Package priced at B2,290 – a 90-minute of Thai or aroma massage plus 90-minute of free flow local beers and/or house wine. 032 909 900 ext 3135. sheraton.com/ huahin

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05

Hin brings a variety of coast side dishes including tempting appetisers, fresh fish, seafood, and prime quality meats with live cooking station to complete the beachside atmosphere and live entertainment to match. 032 512 021-38. centarahotelsresorts.com

06

CENTARA Grand Beach Resort &  Villas Hua Hin General Manager David

Martens presented scholarships and gifts worth a total of B71,210 on the annual scholarship donation ceremony. The donation is to provide better education opportunities for 60 underprivileged students from five schools in Hua Hin, Prachuab Khirikhan, and Petchburi. The donation amount was donated by the hotel guests during the Christmas Lighting Ceremony on December 14, 2016.


Phulay Bay  UNTIL October 31, Thai citizens and

expats can enjoy a spacious 150 sq.m. Reserve Pavilion for B11,000++ per night. Rates include breakfast for two, non-alcoholic beverages in the mini-bar, butler service, daily trip to Hong Island, and roundtrip airport transfer. 075 628 111. ritzcarlton.com

MATES’ RATES Friends or Family visiting Thailand? Let them know about these deals

Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20

UNTIL October 31, book and stay for a minimum of three nights and get up to 20% discount on room rates and free late check out until 2pm.

Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld

02 009 4999. novotelbangkoksukhumvit20.com

THROUGHOUT 2017, guests who travel with their children can enjoy the ‘Family Discoveries Package’. The package includes The Superior World Room with a special upgrade to The Premium Room, daily buffet breakfasts for a family of four (2 adults and children under 12 years), complimentary extra bed or a baby cot for any child under 12 years, welcome drink upon arrival, special turndown service with milk and cookies for children, 20% discount on food and beverages at hotel restaurants, and 20% discount on the a la carte treatment menu at Spa Cenvaree. Priced at B6,100++ per night.

Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia

WITH 15 new deals signed across Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, 2016 proved to be a successful year for Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia. Looking ahead to the coming year, some of these properties will be among 8 new additions slated to open in the region in 2017. 02 168 7533. bespokehospitalitymanagement.com

02 100 1234 ext 6761 – 6763. centarahotelsresorts. com/cgcw

Hua Chang Heritage Hotel  UNTIL March 31, the ‘Romantic Saver

Package’ offers a four-night stay for two for B15,000. The package includes buffet breakfast for two, complimentary upgrade to a spacious and luxury premier deluxe room, 15 percent discount at the Miss Siam restaurant, unlimited in-room Wifi access, and an extended check out until 3pm. 02 217 0777. huachangheritagehotel.com

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U Inchantree Kanchanaburi

UNTIL March 31, stay in a deluxe room with breakfast for two starting at B2,999 per night. Book directly through the hotel’s website for a minimum of two consecutive nights and receive a complimentary B500 food and beverage voucher. 03 452 1584. ukanchanaburi.com


Strip AD_Operation Smile_Feb17.pdf

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1/27/17

10:14 AM

Rooftop Hydroponics Farm at Hilton HILTON Pattaya introduced Hilton Pattaya’s first Hydroponics Farm to build a more integrated sustainability culture encouraging environmentally smart choices for both in and outside of work. It is considered the highest hydroponics farm in Pattaya.

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The BigChilli March 2017  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. March 2017.

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