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News

Bangkok Publishing Residence was originally a printing works

Bangkok Publishing Residence uses ancient printing machinery as part of the décor

original features of the building intact. Over in Chinatown, on the corner of Mahachai and Charoen Krung roads, stands a graceful old building that was erected in 1900 for Lady Mom Rajawong Rosalin Gaganang, a direct descendant of Rama IV.   Now owned by a philanthropic foundation that donates its income to various medical organisations, the building has been converted into the Cacha Bed Heritage Hotel, providing individual rooms and dormitories with bunk beds, along with a rather pleasant chill-out spot on the roof, directly behind the pediment, for drinks.   In the Old City, Inn A Day is a former sugar warehouse, located directly on the bank of the Chao Phraya River in the historic Tha Tien market, with the Temple of the Dawn on the far bank peering in the windows, and the Grand Palace within five minutes’ walking distance.   The hotel has only 11 rooms, with the entry-level room measuring a tiny 20sqm, but Tha Tien is a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood and the hipster ambience makes this attractive accommodation for those who are not too worried about space.   Neither is it alone. Set in the same lane, almost next door, is Sala Rattanakosin, which has been formed from a warehouse and two late 19thcentury shophouses. There are 16 rooms here, and a rooftop bar where the Temple of the Dawn can be viewed over a glass or two.   On the other side of the Old City, near the second moat and within easy walking distance of landmarks such as Golden Mount and the Metal Castle, the Bangkok Publishing Residence is a former printing works. The owning

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family, who published a number of magazines during the second half of the last century, have converted the works into an eight-roomed hotel that is also something of a museum to the long-lost art of hot-metal printing. Behind its rather blank 1960s façade on Lan Luang Road, the hotel houses ancient printing presses and blocks, vintage typewriters, and the tall metal stools that compositors used. A four-storey atrium with a catwalk and exposed girders maintains the factory atmosphere, but the rooms have been fitted out in modern comfort.   Only a few minutes on foot from the Bangkok Publishing Residence, on Dinso Road stands another former printing works, the family-owned Printing House, set inside a building that is more than seventy years old and was used to print textbooks.   Retaining the industrial ambience, the main storage area on the ground floor is now the lobby; there is a bar on the rooftop, while the building’s six storeys house fifteen guestrooms, including dormitories with bunk beds.   At flashpacker grand central, Khao San Road, a seventy-year-old timber house standing on the side of the canal opposite Wat Bowon Niwet has been converted into the Canale Hostel, with much of its old wooden panelling and flooring retained and with some of the rooms having a balcony looking out over the water.   One thing all these conversions have in common is a creative interior design, the various odd shapes and spaces allowing different room sizes and décor, and with a tendency to industrial chic that fits perfectly with the flashpacker groove.

Rooms with bunks are far from the image of old-style hostels, with roomy bunks and bright design, and are as suitable for families with young children as they are for gregarious young students. Most of the poshtels also have female-only dorms, while those with individual guestrooms and suites tend to be as good as any fourstar hotel.   Google “Bangkok poshtel” and any number of options will be listed, for the rise of the poshtel is becoming so all-pervasive that along with the smaller types with only a few rooms being hammered into tiny premises, new poshtels are being constructed.

The Printing House has a prime location in Bangkok’s Old City

The Letterpress Café at the Printing House

Many of these, inspired by the heritage conversions, take their design theme from industry, although the enterprising Sook Station, near the Udomsuk BTS Skytrain station, somewhat alarmingly boasts a jail theme.   There is a lot more potential in this market, and anyone owning an old building that has plenty of interior space is sitting on a gold mine.


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THE HOT LIST

12 great things ahead to see and do in and around Bangkok

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01 Resurrection Thai Philharmonic Orchestra Prince Mahidol Hall 2 Nov 7pm, 3 Nov 4pm This immense orchestral and choral production of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony confirms it as the most colossal of all musical works. Here Mahler confronts mortality and rebirth and expresses his tender love of Nature. A marvellous experience. thaiticketmajor.com

02 Vampire and Friends Halloween Party Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya 3 November 6pm-9pm 400 baht Adults and kids alike will enjoy a fun Saturday night packed with spooky games and unique Halloweenthemed treats. The prizes for the games are bigger and better this year! Make this Halloween even more memorable by dressing to impress and winning one of the fantastic prizes awarded to two

kids and two adults with the best Halloween costumes. +66 38-250-421 Ext. 2878

03 Melbourne Cup Pullman Pattaya Hotel G 6 November 9am to 12:30pm From 1,000 baht A breakfast buffet style party with sparkling wine and prizes for the race which stops 2 nations. Join the fun! +66 38 411 940-8 specialeventspilc@gmail.com

04 Berliner Philharmoniker Prince Mahidol Hall 9 Nov 7:30pm 3,000-20,000 baht This one-time performance by the Berlin Philharmonic and its charismatic young conductor Gustavo Dudamel brings its beautiful tone, creative colours, and high standard of artistry to one of the world’s most beloved symphonic works: Mahler’s Symphony no. 5. thaiticketmajor.com

05 Mariah Carey BITEC 9 Nov Mariah Carey is the best-selling female artist of all time with more than 200 million albums sold to date and 18 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles (17 self-penned), more than any solo artist in history! www.thaiticketmajor.com

06 Kenny G Muangboran, Samut Prakan 10 Nov 5pm 1,500-4500 baht Kenny G, the most successful jazz saxophonist of all time, brings his show to Bangkok with the theme song “Smooth, Standard, Bossa Nova, Latin” performing with a jazz band from Thailand’s leading music university, set amongst spectacular Thai architecture in an ancient city. thaiticketmajor.com


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07 Melanie C GMM Live House @ CTW 8th Fl 11 Nov 8pm 1,500-7,000 baht The first full concert in Thailand of Melanie C, one member of the legendary SPICE GIRLS. Enjoy these beautiful moments with her! thaiticketmajor.com

08 Cigarettes after Sex Moonstar Studio 8 13th November 7pm 1,800 baht Swooning in the spirit of influences such as Mazzy Star and Red House Painters, the sumptuous songs elevate this band to the ranks of those acts who create ethereal worlds of their own. Like the best movie, Cigarettes After Sex holds you in a hell of a spell. ticketmelon.com

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09 Mind Body Spirit Fair Rembrandt Hotel 17 & 18 November, 9:30am From 300 baht The Mind, Body and Spirit Fair is Bangkok’s first event dedicated to health, wellbeing and natural therapies. Come and discover over 50 exhibitors, 26 free workshops, try a natural healing session or a card reading, and sample some tasty health foods! www.mbsbkk.com

10 Christmas Bazaar Holiday In Pattaya 18 November 10am to 4pm 150 baht, children under 12 free The amazing PILC Christmas Bazaar for the whole family. While you shop for Christmas

presents your children will have the opportunity to meet Santa. Support the PILC Christmas Bazaar Charity Raffle and win fantastic prizes. With over 70 vendors present there will be Christmas shopping to be done by ALL specialeventspilc@gmail.com

11 Bangkok Marathon Grand Palace 18th November 00:00am - 8am The biggest International Marathon race in Bangkok will be held from marathon the Grand Palace. Along the route you will see a beautiful city view and many attractions places of Bangkok. http://www.gotorace.com/event/ bangkok-marathon-2018/

12 Snow White by BCT Creative Industries at M Theatre 30th November 7:30pm From 900 baht Traditional British Christmas pantomime - meet Snow White and help her find her prince. Join our Magic Fairy in her epic battle with the Wicked Queen. See the Magic Mirror in action. Cheer our dwarves as they protect Snow White when she is left alone in the forest. https://bangkok.oneplace.events/ theatre/snow-white-nov-30th


GET JOLLY ON THE RIVERSIDE WITH AVANI.

Join us at Avani Riverside for a dazzling array of Christmas and New Year’s Eve events. Feast on traditional festive dishes with the family. Celebrate the season with friends. Cheers to the new year overlooking with fireworks on the Chao Phraya River. Great music, amazing food, spectacular river views. CHRISTMAS EVE BUFFET AT SKYLINE A FESTIVE FEAST WITH FANTASTIC VIEWS Monday, 24 December 2018 from 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm • THB 1,900 per person includes soft drinks, tea and coffee • THB 950 per child (4 - 12 years) SPARKLE & SHINE NEW YEAR’S PARTY 2019 AT GRAND RIVERSIDE BALLROOM AND THE TERRACE Monday, 31 December 2018 from 6:00 pm till late night • THB 4,999 per person includes soft drinks, juices, local beer and wine • THB 2,500 per child (6 - 12 years) includes soft drink and juices • THB 30,000 per table of 4 persons at exclusive area with spectacular river views includes soft drinks, juices, local beer, wine and a complimentar y bottle of Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Imperial, France, NV or two bottles of Spirits A NIGHT IN THE GLITZY CITY AT ATTITUDE • THB 15,019 per person includes a 375 ml. bottle of Billecart-Salmon Champagne • THB 28,019 per couple includes a 750 ml. bottle of Billecart-Salmon Champagne Prices are inclusive of applicable government tax and service charge. For more information and reservations, please call +66 (0) 2431 9100 or email riverside.bangkok@avanihotels.com

AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel, 257 Charoennakorn Road, Thonburi, Bangkok 10600, Thailand T +66 (0) 2431 9100 E riverside.bangkok@avanihotels.com avanihotels.com


Insight

Profile

Stephen Leather Bangkok-based author Stephen Leather is one of Britain’s most prodigious and successful writers, with almost 50 books and six screen plays to his credit. He is also a top selling Amazon Kindle author, and the second bestselling UK author worldwide on Kindle in 2011. Leather, 61, enjoys considerable fame locally for his books on Thailand, especially Private Dancer and Confessions of a Bangkok Private Eye.

When did you first visit Thailand?

When did you first realise you enjoyed writing?

Most of the year, these days.

I began writing when I was in college, but never managed to get beyond a few pages

First job? I was employed as a biochemist for ICI, shovelled limestone in a quarry, worked as a baker, a petrol pump attendant, a barman, and worked for the Inland Revenue. I began my writing career as a journalist, working for newspapers such the Glasgow Herald, Daily Mirror, The Times, Daily Mail, and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong Yeah, that is all true!

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I was working on the South China Morning Post and flew over for short holidays. That was back in the late Eighties and Thailand was very different then from the way it is now. Working on the SCMP was great fun, back then Hong Kong was a British colony and with the handover to China approaching, there was plenty to write about.

How much time do you spend here? The range of topics covered in your books is truly astounding – everything from suicide bombers, gangsters, vigilante cops and vampires to Osama Bin Laden and Somali pirates. Where do you get the inspiration? Most of what I write about is based on fact, though obviously my plots are fictional. The Jack Nightingale supernatural books are different, obviously, and that world I have to make up. But the Spider Shepherd books are very much based in the real world. My thriller plotlines are plucked from the newspapers and also the result of chats


I have with people from that world. Research is relatively easy these days – the internet answers most factual questions. Twenty years ago researching the simplest facts took time and effort, these days Google does all the hard work.

You’ve created hero figures like Dan Shepherd and Jack Nightingale who appear in several of your books. Is this a useful or essential literary device? Who do you base their characters on? Continuing characters tend to sell better than one-off thrillers. It’s also fun writing about the same character over several books as you get time to develop them. I have written sixteen novels featuring SAS trooper turned undercover cop turned MI5 officer Dan “Spider” Shepherd and he has aged in real time, as his son and friends. I tend not to base characters on real people, though I do tend to use names of people who have been nice to me on Facebook or posted reviews about my books.

For many people your book Private Dancer about a doomed relationship between a writer and a Soi Nana bar girl is essential reading for newcomers to Thailand. Is it in any way autobiographical? I think anyone who lives in Thailand for any length of time will experience much of what happens in Private Dancer. It’s a work of fiction, but as lot of what happens is autobiographical, or based on stories that I heard sitting at the bar in Jool’s many years ago. Jool’s on Soi 4 is now a 7-11, but twenty years ago it was a hub for expats and one of the few restaurants where you could get good English food. I would sit at the bar until late just listening to the stories the regulars told.

The Bombmaker - made into TV movies in the UK, and have a number of projects in the pipeline, or development hell as it’s called.

How successful has Amazon Kindle been for your book sales? Most of my income comes from eBooks these days, both from my self-published work and those books that are published by Hodder and Stoughton. Amazon has been a huge supporter of mine over the years and they have done wonders selling my backlist, as eBooks and as paperbacks, which is something traditional publishers have always struggled with. In the old days if someone wanted a copy of one of my earlier books they would have to place an order with a book store and wait a week or so before going to collect it.

These days Amazon will deliver any book you want within 24 hours, or instantaneously if you want it on your Kindle. That means if you get a new reader who likes your work, they can easily buy all your other books. Should budding authors go straight to self-publishing? No. Far better to get an agent and then, hopefully, a traditional publishing deal. Self-publishing is a tough business and most writers make very little money from it.

Can you tell us a bit about your other books on Thailand I wrote Confessions of a Bangkok Private Eye with Kiwi Warren Olsen, basically describing the cases he worked on during his time in Thailand. It was good fun and as it’s all based on fact it gives a good description of the problems people can run in to in Thailand. Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon is a detective story set in Thailand. I wrote it for fun but it never sold well so I’m not sure if I’ll write another.’ The problem is that books set in Thailand just don’t sell as well as the books set in the UK or the US. I’m not the only author who has discovered that! It’s very hard to make a living writing books set in South East Asia. I’m not sure why that is, but it is a fact.

Do you have a personal favorite of the books you’ve written? Nah. There are a few that I think I could have written better, but there’s no clear favourite. Though Pay Off was my first, so that means a lot, and The Chinaman was my first real bestseller, so that one is close to my heart.

Any chance of Hollywood movie based on your books? The Chinaman has already been made into a Hollywood movie, directed by Martin Campbell and staring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. It made a cool $140 million, which isn’t shabby. I’ve had two books – The Stretch and

TheBigChilli

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Insight How many authors out there are financially successful? These days, not many. The big names – the likes of Lee Child and Stephen King – are still making vast sums but most writers have seen their incomes decline, partly because of price-cutting by retailers like Amazon, but mainly because people have so many more options now entertainment-wise. Twenty years ago if you got on a plane or a train, most travellers would be reading a book or a magazine. These days they are more likely to be looking at their phone or their iPad. According to the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, average earnings for professional writers have plummeted by 42% since 2005 to under £10,500 a year. That means the average writer is earning less than £6 an hour. The writers who have suffered the most are the ones who are on what they call the mid-list, the mid-ranking authors who produce one book a year and who sell a few thousand copies. They are not profitable for publishers and so many of them are no longer being offered publishing contracts. As a result, the number of professional writers whose income comes solely from writing has plummeted to just 13% in the UK, down from 40% in 2005. Don’t worry about me, though. I write three books a year to add to the sixty or so I have in print. My backlist sells well and I have a strong, supportive fan base. I’m doing fine.

Who's your favourite author?

Soi Cowboy, watching the world go by. I love Check Inn 99 in Soi 33, there’s always great live music there, including a superb Beatles tribute band every Wednesday night. Great music and cocktails too at Zanzibar in Sukhumvit Soi 11. Food-wise, the best breakfast in Bangkok is in the Robin Hood near Prom Prong BTS station. For Thai food I enjoy Love Scene in Soi 23. For steaks I go to El Gaucho in Asoke or Soi Thonglor, and for French food I love Le Bouchon in Patpong. For exercise I play squash with Anantana Prasertratanakul (Nan) who is on the Thai national team and who is a great coach. I try to play with her twice a week and it’s awesome exercise.

Any favorite Thai dishes? Hell yeah. Kana Moo Krob, Kung Chae Nampla, Khao Kha Moo, I could keep going but it’s making me hungry!

Your recent FB posts feature photos of your lunch and dinner; others show an interest in rubber ducks. Why? I do enjoy playing on Facebook. Twitter is quite mean and hurtful a lot of the time but most of the people I interact with on Facebook are fans. I tend to post a lot about my work but I do also put up photographs of my food and things like my rubber duck collection. I think readers like the fact that they can interact with their favourite authors and they appreciate the fact that I don’t just post about my books.

Can we see you playing your saxophone at Bangkok gigs?

I’m a huge fan of John Le Carre. Also love anything by Len Deighton and Gerald Seymour.

Ha ha. I doubt it. I’ll never be good, but I do enjoy playing the sax.

High and low points in your career:

Apart from Bangkok, where else do you like to spend time in Thailand?

There have been no real lows, so far, I have gone from strength to strength. The high point I guess would be going to the LA premiere of The Foreigner, based on my book The Chinaman. It featured Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan and was directed by Martin Campbell, who also directed Casino Royale and GoldenEye.

Most interesting people you’ve ever met? I was hanging out at the SAS base in Hereford in the UK last year and met a lot of interesting folks there. I used to drink with one of the gangsters involved in the Brinks Mat robbery, and he was definitely interesting. And one of my drinking buddies has had a fascinating life but if I told you about it he wouldn’t kill me but he’d never talk to me again!

Where do you hang out in Bangkok? My favourite drinking spot is outside the Shadow Bar in

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I used to go all over and spent a lot of time in Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya. These days I tend to confine myself to Bangkok. Mass tourism has been a big boost for Thailand’s economy but I preferred it when there weren’t so many tourists around. I prefer to lose myself in a big city rather than wandering around surrounded by tourists and touts.

Other than Thailand, where else could you live? I could easily live in Marbella in Spain. I love the weather, the food and the wine. And London is the best city on the world. I could easily live there.

Any upcoming literary events here or elsewhere we should know about? Nah, I tend not to festivals these days. Or book tours. I prefer to concentrate on writing.


Insight

came on a trip to Cambodia a few years ago, and was on a tour of the slum areas of Phnom Penh, where he saw sick young orphans wading ankle deep in garbage, scavenging for food. In the middle of this, his phone rang. It was a call patched through from his Hollywood office, and on the line was one of the world’s biggest stars, let’s say in the $20 million plus per movie league. A VVIP. The star was pissed off, and ranting, because he’d just got on his private jet in Tokyo, heading to LA, and Sony had not provided its latest PlayStation games on board and this was just unacceptable. “My life is not supposed to be this difficult,” were the words, I believe he actually used.   As my buddy surveyed the shit pit around him, he had this massive epiphany. He flew back to Hollywood, gave up his $1m a year job, and now runs an NGO in Cambodia helping underprivileged kids. And I don’t hear him complaining.  

Before Yakuza me, take a look at yourself

In 1995, I was asked to escort a woman from Bangkok to Japan in exchange for USD800 and round-trip air passage to Los Angeles via Osaka. She was a former Thai national who had become a US citizen just in time to divorce and return to Thailand as an outcast.  I felt very sorry for her, since my own first wife was a Thai who had become a US citizen the year we filed for divorce.

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Unknown to me, this woman was a Thai who had worked in Japan as a hooker (I suspect for the Yakuza) and been caught trying to enter and kicked out before.  While she had a US passport, it wasn’t hers.  The local talent had put her photo in it.   apanese Immigration spotted the forgery immediately.  They split us up and I heard a great deal of yelling and screaming and I became quite angry at the Japanese. I complained, and an officer curtly said: “It’s not your concern. Only you know the truth!”  Bullshit! I read my Lonely Planet Japan guide and waited, and they came to take my statement.  After not being able to boot their own computer, and then being able to get it to produce only kanji, we opted for a longhand statement.  I wrote, truthfully, that we had only recently met but would probably marry.  (We did.)    Copies were given to two women and they and the male officer looked at it and started laughing out loud. I guess that there was no way of flushing out the truth when giving what they felt was a false statement.  Not knowing the truth, I was livid. First, they gave my friend the third degree, now they’re ridiculing me! I screamed at them, “Hey! Do you want me talking about you to your face in French or Spanish?” Their jaws dropped, they were catatonic for a couple of seconds, and then became

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the most polite people you could imagine. I guess I’d passed their lie detector test.   They allowed us to sleep in the same cell ($400 a night for two people).   On the flight home, I asked, “Honey, why did we spend the night in jail?”  She replied, “Wait for Bangkok.” The stewardess asked if I wanted coffee or tea. I shouted, “No, I want brandy!” She brought me a beer glass full of cognac.   The Thai mafia was waiting for us at the airport and walked her through. My friend came clean that her first husband beat her, and her motherin-law had adopted her baby and she had fled to Japan and was trying to return. In November, we married.  In December, she succeeded in getting back into Japan.  I spend all my lowly teacher’s salary shipping her things to her. After that, I only heard from her when she needed something.  Finally, in August, she called to say she was never returning to Thailand.  I cried. Ain’t love grand?  

Moooving right along

It was Singapore in early 60s: D had been to a fancy dress party, had quite a few drinks, then driven home in his little mini. He came roaring down Bukit Timah Road, didn’t see this cow, and went straight under it … the cow straddled in ungainly fashion with two front legs on one side of the car, and two back legs on the other side. The police came along to be


greeted by the surreal sight of this European dressed as a fairy with this cow stuck over his bonnet.

Straight shooter

Doing a deal in China, my prospective clients asked me what my fee was. I said are we dealing Western style or Asian style? They asked what difference does it make. I said if we’re dealing Western style my fee is US$200,000. Full stop. If we’re dealing Asian style, I’ll tell you my fee is $500,000, you’ll ask for $100,000 instead and we’ll waste 3 months on acrimonious bargaining before we finally agree on $200,000. So what’s it to be then? They sheepishly agreed to go the Western route.

Round(about) trip

There were two Finnish guys who were about to take a taxi (not a meter-taxi, but one of those Thaistyle pick-up truck taxis that roam around the streets of Pattaya and so many other South-East Asian cities). Their intention was to take the taxi from South Pattaya to Naklua. Now, depending on the exact location this trip would be about 3-10km as Naklua is, if not a part of Pattaya, then at least the very next city to north of Pattaya. Enter the scene: hail a taxi to halt and conversation goes something like this: “You drive to Naklua?” “Chiang Mai?” “No, Naklua.” “Ehh, Chiang Mai?” “No, no ... not Chiang Mai! We want to go Naklua!” “Yes, yes. I know Chiang Mai.”   At this point it might be worth educating you, dear reader, that Chiang Mai, the former capital of Thailand is located in North Thailand, nearly 1000km from Pattaya. As the other Finn turns to his buddy saying: “Is this guy an airhead or what? Let’s get another taxi.” His friend states: “Well, what`s the rush? After all, we`re on a holiday, aren`t we?”   So, what eventually happens is the guys jump in the taxi, make him stop by in a nearby market where they buy a thick mattress, some beer and two bottles of Mekhong (a very low

quality Thai whisky). The other guy jumps in the back on the mattress and the other one on the co-driver`s seat in the front. And off they travel overnight to Chiang Mai, drinking whisky and praying to the God that their drug-affected taxi-driver to not crash or do anything stupid. Entering Chiang Mai, they ask the driver to drive straight to the airport where they pay the driver and immediately buy flight tickets to Bangkok and take a meter-taxi 127km back to Naklua.  

An absolute minefield

At the Oakwood Apartments (now Ascott Makati) in Manila one night, we were fast asleep when we got a call: “Rebel soldiers have occupied your apartment block, but stay where you are and don’t attempt to get out, whatever you do.” Oh, OK. There were about 11 Aussies in the block, including the female Ambassador and her family, plus Federal Police Officers.   The 320 rebel soldiers had got in as part of their ‘Plan Charlie’ and were wiring C4 explosives throughout the place, and they could actually watch them assembling bombs out the front of their building. We hugged and cried and shivered and sweated with fear. Meantime the Marines and the police surrounded the place, and negotiated.   Finally by 8am we got the message: “They’ve agreed to let all foreigners leave the building. Take nothing. And please don’t trip over any wires on your way out.” Claymore mines had been planted, with rebel snipers on the roof.   We were relieved to say the least, and surprised because we assumed we were being targeted as foreigners (especially with the diplomats in the block). They bussed us away from the scene with haste, with just the clothes we had on. A few hours later, the rest of the residents were also allowed to leave without any violent incident.   It became known as the ‘Oakwood Mutiny’, and was a protest about corruption of the Arroyo government of the day, part of a larger looming coup plot. By 11pm that night, the rebels had all surrendered and returned to their barracks under a peace deal.

My ride is here Our neighbours had a dinner party one night, and I met this American guy who was promoting arts and fabrics from a particular hill-tribe near the Burmese border at Sop Moei. I didn’t know the place. “Where’s that near?” I asked him. “Nowhere,” he replied. “In the rainy season it’s a 3-day elephant ride to the nearest 7-11.”  

Level playing field

This English mate of mine had fallen for a bar girl in Pattaya. Over repeated visits he decided to set her up with a house in her province, Isaan, on condition that she doesn’t work anymore. Fine. Perfect. Agreed. A really nice house was then built. He had to return to the UK, and called daily, but got a bit suspicious when she never seemed to be home when he called but she was always “at home cooking” when she called him. So, unbeknown to her, he flew back to Isaan without advising the exact arrival date. He arrived home to an empty house. He called her family, pretending to be calling from the UK. “Yes, yes, she here, maybe out back on balcony.” From where he was standing, clearly she wasn’t. He left a message for her to return call. “Yes, I’m home cooking now.” She was lying. He called the builder/developer and said he’d like a few modifications done. The next day, two bulldozers turned up and flattened the lot. He hopped on a plane back to the UK having learned his lesson.

Donkey piss

We had arranged a trade mission to China, and were briefing all the Australian businessmen and entrepreneurs about Chinese customs, that they should dress and talk conservatively and avoid certain mannerisms. One of the guys, an Aussie winemaker of some note, starts out his presentation: “Did you hear about the bisexual donkey? He had a ‘he’ in the morning, and ‘haw’ at night!” The buyers thought this was hilarious (but whether they understood through the translator or not I’ll never know). The following morning he received a massive order for 15.5 thousand cases of wine!   TheBigChilli

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Insight Stand by your plan

I’d bought a condo off-the-pla in Bangkok. As it was the penthouse suite, I’d asked for a few customizations of the floor plan and materials and fixtures. Denied. But within a year or so, the developer ran into financial difficulties. The other owners were withdrawing and asking for refunds. I took it as a chance to step up my demands. So we said, “Look, we are standing by you, so you must give us these materials instead.” OK. The construction continued for another year before more financial difficulty. More owners bailed, much unrest etc. Again I went to him. “We believe in you and this project. But now what we need is for this footprint instead, plus a special bar counter which runs the length of the lounge room, in marble, and so on.” Approved. And that’s how we finally got to live in our dream home on Sukhumvit Road.

The police say we’d better drive to the station. Interviewing and statement taking ensues, with the ‘help’ of a cutie from across the road as translator. “How much do you like children?” she asks.   “Well, I do, except for the stupid ones who don’t look where they’re riding,” says K. She’s fishing for us to see how much we might want to pay.   “It’s not my fault I’m not paying him anything.”  

Brand name hotel

Arriving into Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, one time, the officer handed my form back to me. “No hotel, no address, cannot.” Not having easy access to these details, I grabbed a pen and filled in the details as carefully as I could: “Some Hotel. 123 Fake Street.” “OK now, sir,” he said, stamping and waving me through.

A moving scene

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fter a day’s sailing outside Pattaya, we were driving back to the hotel down a backstreet when suddenly from out of nowhere – BANG!!! – a youngish Thai kid rides his bicycle into the side of our car. Shit! We pull over, and I see him lying in the road, bike mangled, bleeding from various wounds. Some villagers pull him over onto the driveway of the temple. I get out to check he’s OK, take photos of the debris, scene of the accident. The police arrive (the station’s only 300m down the road). They also take photos of the impact place, the debris, etc. We explain he suddenly bolted away from his friends and hit us side-on.

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Stu Lloyd has been a storyteller for over 30 years, firstly as a copywriter and creative director, then as a travel writer (he’s visited 70 countries and counting), military history specialist guide through Southeast Asia, and works with Fortune 500s in Asia on innovation and strategic storytelling skills development. He was once described as “the perfect storyteller!” by The Telegraph, UK. For more on Stu Lloyd and the other books he’s written, visit www.stulloyd.com

Then the senior police guy starts his housekeeping questions. “Address.” K gives his Bangkok address. “Oh, hi-so,” says the policeman. “Do you want to buy some beach land, I can get you a special discount?”   “How much do you like children?” asks the translator again.   “Ok, we will keep your car,” says the policeman.   “No, that’s not the law,” says K, not knowing the law but the police all look at each other, as if to say, any of you guys know the law?

“That’s got nothing to do with the facts of the case,” asserts K, whose phone rings at that point. “OK, J is on his way,” J being a helicopter pilot friend of his who lives locally.   “Is that a good idea?” I ask because J just consumed most of a bottle of rum on board the boat.   J arrives, and -- in local dialect -breaks the ice with the police. By now the kid’s mother is there (arriving at the police station on a motorbike with no helmet, but that’s OK apparently). All she’s interested in how much she might get. Finally it’s agreed. K will pay a 1,500 baht “towing fee” (er, we drove from the accident scene to here) and get his car back.   “Sign it, quickly,” says J of the proffered ‘receipt’. The copper pockets the 1500.   After 2.5 hours of interview at the station, as we’re walking out to the car, the policeman asks, almost as an afterthought: “Have you been drinking? And how fast were you going?” K dismissed this crazy line of questioning with a laugh. Then we promptly headed for the Tahitian Queen to drown our sorrows and have a chuckle over it.   Fast forward one month later. K says, “You’ll never believe it. I’ve got a court summons for that accident. It’s all my fault apparently and the police say we hit the kid at the intersection (the intersection being 1 km down the road).”   “What???” I say. “But what about our photos? What about their photos? And the statements?” Counted for shit, apparently. And as a passenger and witness, not once was I asked for ID nor a statement.   K’s lawyer told him he should plead guilty before the court day, otherwise he’d be charged and lose his work permit and therefore be deported (after building up a successful business in Bangkok over 20 years). He ended up paying close to $10,000 to make it all go away.  

Big appetite

The waitress in a Bangkok restaurant came to take our orders. “I’ll have the daily special,” I said. “Yes, me too,” said my buddy. You guessed it – we ended up with three daily specials – one for me, two for him!


Paul Spurrier

Tim Beaumont

Friese-Greene Club Cinematography

The Beaumont Partnership Development & Sustainability

Jean-Louis Graindorge

Edwin Wiek

Gallothai Confectionery

Wildlife Friends Foundation Animal Rescue

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Insight

WHY AN AMERICAN BUSINESS OPERATING IN CHINA IS NOW HOT ON THAILAND “The opportunity gates are now open for Thailand and other developing countries with the right resources to walk through to their dreams, and dramatically raise their standards of living,” says 40-year veteran of doing business in China By Maxmilian Wechsler

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MERICAN businessman Larry Sloven has just finished a meeting with the Board of Investment (BOI) – and he looks extremely happy with what he’s learned. The director of Capstone International, a China-based company that manufactures products ranging from LED lights to power tools in Shenzen province, is looking forward to moving some of his operations out of China – and Thailand is very much on the agenda. “We’re planning on establishing a subsidiary office in Thailand to manage the manufacture of a new line of digital electronics products to be launched in January 2019 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,” explains Mr Sloven. “We will manufacture LED lighting components and our new line of LCD panels encased in wood. Production will start in March next year. We will take advantage of existing components factories in Thailand. We have all the suppliers lined up.” The American-born businessman first began doing business in China around 40 years ago. For the last three decades, he’s lived in Hong Kong, where Capstone is based.

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But now he’s ready to launch the manufacture of Chinese products in other Asian countries, and Thailand is the logical place to begin. “The decision to divert some Capstone activities to Thailand is part of a twopronged approach -to avoid putting all the eggs in one basket, so to speak. I see Thailand as a country that can offer what China has offered over the past 40-plus years.

The new US trade tariffs have been a wake-up call for people who thought things would never change. “I believe this can be an excellent place to manufacture consumer products that are not extremely cheap and not extremely expensive,” said Mr Sloven. He added that the transition would take time; to duplicate the production infrastructure of China, inclusive of supply chain management, is no easy task.

“I opened up my first company in China in 1983 in order to create my own electronics products. I wanted to be independent and not rely on products everyone else could buy and sell. I decided to permanently move to Asia in 1989 after I discovered my local partner in Hong Kong was diverting my European business to another company. “I wanted to be headquartered in Asia and sell to my customers direct from Asia. So I eliminated my two USA warehouses and reorganized my operations to successfully make the transition. There were some legal issues, and I spent two years dealing with them in High Court in Hong Kong. Eventually I was successful. “Being in Hong Kong gave me direct access to suppliers in real time. As well, I started to develop my own products with my own in-house engineers and designers. The biggest obstacle I faced was that I was a foreigner competing with the local people. Most American buyers believed they should only deal with local people, who often promoted the impression they had big power since their relatives on the Mainland were military generals or party bigwigs and whatnot. However, over time I established my own relationships through networking and I gained the confidence of some large American retailers.”


Background

“I am a New York boy who knew only that if I wanted money, I had to earn it. I didn’t get an allowance. I mowed lawns, pulled weeds, raked leaves, shoveled snow and had a paper route. Those were the opportunities in the 50s and 60s. My first real job I started at 13, working for my father loading trucks, carrying wood, and eventually driving my own truck. “I graduated from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, with a degree in business. I was going to go into my father’s business, but he died at the beginning of my senior year and my mother lost the business. So I started over, and finally I found an opportunity to work for an automotive accessory importer. This gave me my first experience selling goods from overseas. “After a while I branched out and started representing companies that imported products and sold them to retailers in the US. When I couldn’t find companies to represent, I learned how to import products myself.”   Mr Sloven sees himself as somewhat of an adventurer and pioneer in terms of his business strategy, and it’s hard to deny that he’s taken bold moves to open new markets moves that have paid off handsomely. Long before it became fashionable or even profitable, in the early 1980s he moved his operations to China, where he specializes in product development outsourcing for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and retail companies. He was the official buying agent for US-based Dick’s Sporting Goods, and from 2001-2004 assisted in the development of private label hardware and accessory lines for Circuit City. He’s also been involved in development, manufacture and sourcing of products for AT&T, Duracell, Rayovac, Stanley, Attari and Farell Sport Concepts. Mr Sloven is a former board member of the American Club in Hong Kong and a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Shanghai. He joined Capstone International Hong Kong in 2012. The company manufactures products ranging from LED lights to

power tools in Shenzen province and exports them to the United States, where they are sold by some of the country biggest retailers. “One thing that proved extremely valuable to my success is that you can make things happen very quickly in China. It is a 24/7 country and there’s a real sense of urgency. However, you must control your own destiny. Do not let other people control you. Most people in the 80s and 90s believed in the fast buck, the one-hit wonder. They also valued you for what business you could give them, and when they found bigger opportunities they jumped ship to someone else. However, that has changed. Business relationships have become more stable.”

direct access to suppliers in real time. As well, I started to develop my own products with my own inhouse engineers and designers. The biggest obstacle I faced was that I was a foreigner competing with the local people. Most American buyers believed they should only deal with local people, who often promoted the impression they had big power since their relatives on the Mainland were military generals or party bigwigs and whatnot. However, over time I established my own relationships through networking and I gained the confidence of some large American retailers.      “One thing that proved extremely valuable to my success is that you can

Larry Sloven

Moving to Asia

“I opened up my first company in China in 1983, and I did so in order to create my own electronics products. I wanted to be independent and not rely on products everyone else could buy and sell. I decided to permanently move to Asia in 1989 after I discovered my local partner in Hong Kong was diverting my European business to another company. “I wanted to be headquartered in Asia and sell to my customers direct from Asia. So I eliminated my two USA warehouses and reorganized my operations to successfully make the transition. There were some legal issues, and I spent two years dealing with them in High Court in Hong Kong. Eventually I was successful. “Being in Hong Kong gave me

make things happen very quickly in China. It is a 24/7 country and there’s a real sense of urgency. However, you must control your own destiny. Do not let other people control you. Most people in the 80s and 90s believed in the fast buck, the one-hit wonder. They also valued you for what business you could give them, and when they found bigger opportunities they jumped ship to someone else. However, that has changed. Business relationships have become more stable. “The Chinese are wonderful people, and I want to stress that Capstone International Hong Kong has no intention of abandoning China. China is changing direction to focus on hi-tech and robotics, as has been spelled out in the country’s 2025 agenda. As a matter of fact, Capstone’s major JV factory is

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Insight investing some serious money in automation and robotics to offset extra costs due to US tariffs. In addition, they are building in-house components that they usually buy from suppliers. “The Chinese have had over 50 years to manage and build up their production infrastructure, along with the mentality and training level of Chinese workers. As we all should be aware, the Chinese government has been very forthright in their 2025 agenda, which clearly states the intention is to become the world leader in robotics, software development and development and implementation of all advanced technology. “Owning a factory and producing consumer products is no longer really on the national agenda. In addition, younger educated Chinese want to raise the bar for success in China. Being an investment banker, stock broker, e-commerce developer, lawyer or doctor is the high profile image they want to strive for. Finally, the new US trade tariffs have been a wake-up call for people who thought things would never change. The Chinese government has been speaking clearly for some time of the need to speed up the process of dual sourcing of Chinese goods.”      

Thailand the next frontier

M

r Sloven is confident that Thailand’s government, the BOI and business leaders can make his plans happen, and he’s happy to be able to spend more time in a country he already knows very well. “I started traveling to Thailand on holiday with my wife and two very young children years ago. From the start I fell in love with the culture and the people and their smiling helpful faces and personalities. I felt like I had found the perfect place. I have visited Thailand well over 50 times. For a period of 15 years I only vacationed in Phuket. It is like a Shangri-La. I had a house in Ban Chai Nam, which was unfortunately destroyed in the 2004 tsunami.

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“There are many advantages in doing business here. Thai people are intelligent, well-mannered and cultured. Compared to China, Thai people have greater fluency in the English language and a more Westernized mentality. There is a stable currency, great health care and the standard of living is quite good. “Thais have the intelligence, attitude and work ethic to develop into a strong international exporter. However, I feel that many Thai manufacturers are uncomfortable about branching out of their comfort zone of only selling to the local market. You do find many Japanese-, Korean-, and Taiwanese-owned factories here that make brands for export, however even these brands are reluctant to take on the Chinese market.

Thailand can be a manufacturing and financial center like Hong Kong by using its abundant resources, and supplement these by accessing neighboring countries’ strengths.      “The Thai government must educate the workforce and the manufacturing sector and instill in them the confidence and core competencies to follow the Taiwanese and Chinese model of self-sufficiency, and not allowing anyone to take advantage of them. To help guide the country on this path I believe the government should seek the assistance of Americans and other Westerners who have practical experience negotiating the global economy. “Thailand can be a manufacturing

and financial center like Hong Kong by using its abundant resources, and supplement these by accessing neighboring countries’ strengths. But in order to do this the Thai people need to be more creative and proactive. The BOI is very much on the right track and it can benefit from the assistance of Westernized experts in creating the proper infrastructure and incentives for factories and workers. Thailand should take advantage of the new globalized society and bring in experienced people to make the transition to a thriving export-based economy. “In essence, you can put the puzzle together all by yourself, or find someone who knows the lay of the land to be your trustworthy ‘seeing eye dog’. I would advise the Thai business sector to hire consultants who know the drill. Don’t send a global sourcing analyst who has never gotten their feet wet out in the real world. Find an adventurer who’s been around the block a few times, a Davey Crocket or Daniel Boon. The opportunity gates are now open for Thailand and other developing countries with the right resources to walk through to their dreams, and dramatically raise their standards of living. “I definitely want to help move Thailand to be on a par with China in terms of manufacturing and global distribution. I am considering all options, especially on supply chain issues. There are, no doubt, many differences in the way business is done in Hong Kong and China and the way it’s done in Thailand. I am not familiar with Thai bureaucracy. However, I am not going to build factories. I am going to leverage what exists and reorient skill sets to suit my needs. I will let the Thai factory management deal with the bureaucrats. “I have had numerous meetings with expats living in Thailand who are doing export business, and I have met with the Thai Department of Trade many times. I am very proud to say I have helped change the lives of many people in China by putting good and fair business practices in place at companies I have been associated with. Now I am ready to bring a pioneer spirit to Thailand, then Vietnam and possibly Cambodia.”


DAILY 12.00-01.00

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137 Pillars Suites Bangkok’s most surprising hotel Enjoy a five-star stay in an architectural masterpiece

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F you’re looking for a Bangkok hotel that’s surprisingly different, exciting and refreshing, stylish and memorable, then 137 Pillars Suites & Residences is an outstanding choice.

For a start, it’s located in what is essentially an urban part of Bangkok, low-rise and still very green, some way down Sukhumvit Soi 39, though within easy reach of local amenities like BTS Skytrain and several major shopping malls. The tropical gardens and elegant Porte Cochere entrance of white marble columns continue the surprises that characterize this unique hotel and architectural masterpiece. All of its 34 ultra-luxurious suites and 176 residences bear the masterful touch of leading interior designers P49 Deesign & Associates, while the two infinity edged pools offer spectacular and uninterrupted views of Bangkok’s southern districts.

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Guests who appreciate good food have a fine selection of gourmet dining opportunities. Other benefits and privileges of staying at 137 Pillars Suites & Residences include chauffeur driven limousines for airport transfers and other destinations, complimentary shuttle service to nearby amenities, business centre, two meeting rooms, fitness centre and pool with jacuzzi, golf driving range and simulation studio, and the exclusive Nitra Spa & Wellness centre.

RESTAURANTS Nimitr – a stunning restaurant whose name in Thai means ‘Special Dream’ has a menu featuring Asian inspired gastronomic cuisine with a western hint. Jack Bain’s Bar - perched high above the Bangkok skyline, this lovely venue serves bespoke cocktails, sabered champagne, whiskeys and fine spirits.


Bangkok Trading Post Bistro & Deli – serving Western and Asian eclectic comfort cuisine, this venue is state of the art with chic gardens and totally chilled out ambiance. Leonowens Club – located on Level 26 for the exclusive use of Suite guests and private members, the lounge offers a full selection of a la carte breakfast items, afternoon tea and pre dinner cocktails, as well as secretarial and guest services. Marble Bar – located on Level 27 with magnificent sunset views, this is perfect for a glass of champagne, a wine or cocktail right up until midnight. Here too is the bar’s celebrated I-Spy glass window. The Pool & Pool Bar – also on Level 27, this is an architectural marvel, and a great place to swim with city-wide views. Roof Top pool, Sky Bar and Cabanas – for Suite guests, this oasis hosts the hotel’s incredible 360 degree infinity edge pool, with stunning views over Bangkok and beyond.

ACCOMMODATION 137 PILLARS SUITES feature 34 luxurious Suites ranging from 70 - 127 sq m, located on the top floors, with exclusive access to the rooftop and the 360 degrees infinity pool, Skybar and cabanas, as well as privileged access to Leonowens Club lounge on level 26. All suites offer a butler service, in-room private wine cellars, walkin wardrobes, marble bathrooms with circular bathtubs, TV and Bose sound system, plus Posturepedic Ultra Plush beds with Egyptian cotton linen. Under the management of GM Bjorn Richardson, the 137 Pillars Suites & Residences has received numerous positive reviews from guests who clearly like their hotels to be surprisingly different and exciting, yet stylish and comfortable. For an exceptional stay, there’s nothing like it in Bangkok.

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Dining Out

Mallard Bangkok A lifestyle kitchen where rustic food meets passion and imagination

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OR lovers of rustic food with a delicious difference, look no further than Mallard Bangkok, located on Sukhumvit Soi 49. Under the direction of Chef Semet Mehmet of first-class experience in Turkey, Norway and New York. Mallard has created a lifestyle kitchen that sees every dish offering a combination of culinary art, passion and genuine inspiration. The restaurant’s unique rustic identity is built on the use of local ingredients like sweet green strawberries, musk ox and flowers harvested from the seashore. “At Mallard we want to give our guests the same sensation they get whenever they visit their parents’ home – heartwarming food and cozy atmosphere,” says Chef Semet.

SIGNATURE DISHES

Mallard does not have a signature dish because Chef Mehmet said that he cannot choose the best dish for

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the same reason most of us cannot decide on who we love most. However, he does recommend Mussels with roasted garlic (460 baht) - fresh mussels cooked in creamy garlic sauce with confit and roasted garlic - and lamb rack (720 baht) marinated with garlic and thyme, served with mint pesto, baked taro, white beans in tomato

vanilla, lychee, passion fruit and lime, and Aperol Spritz (250 baht) with Aperol, prosecco and soda

sauce and red wine onion sauce. Mallard has widened its appeal by adding some great Thai rustic dishes to its menu. To accompany these dishes, Mallard has a long list of great drink options, including wines and cocktails such as Passion Kiss (250 baht) consisting of vodka,

Join Chef Mehmet and his team to discover why Mallard is the number one Mediterranean-rustic restaurant in Bangkok.

ATMOSPHERE

Mallard has indoor and outdoor zones featuring natural decor and rustic cultures. Staff are always on hand to take care of guests and offer advice on menu choices.

16 Sukhumvit 49, Sukhumvit Rd, Klong Tan Nuea Watthana 10110 Bangkok, Thailand Tel: 02 – 662 – 6117 E-mail: info@mallardbangkok.com


a life style kitchen where rustic food meets passion and imagination open daily 11.30 am - 11.30 pm. Sukhumvit 49. contact : + 66 (0) 2-662-6117, +66 (0) 96-882-1543 email : mallardbangkok@gmail.com FB/IG : mallardbangkok Strip AD Mallard oct18_m2.indd 1

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LoLa By Cocotte

Lola is an Italian woman who has spent her entire life travelling the world to find the food she truly loves, and did! In Bangkok, she found the perfect spot in Ekkamai 12 to create a retro and cosy but trendy corner to present the best dishes from America and Italy with cheese and delicatessen as well in an unique atmosphere, with a giant Brunch Party every Sunday which is free for kids! Opening hours: Monday to Friday : 06:00pm-00:00 (last order 10:30pm) Saturday: 11:00am-03:00pm & 05:00pm-00:00 (last order 11:00pm) Sunday: 11am – 4pm (Brunch) & 06:00pm-00:00 (last order 10:30pm)

New

39 Ekkamai alley soi 12, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand 06 2208 8828

on the scene

Beer Pong Bar

ATOMIC has arrived at Thonglor Soi 10. ATOMIC, Thailand’s first and only gaming bar dedicated to Beer Pong, is kitted out with flashy high-tech tables and special sensor-activated cups that light up when a ball is dunked. Beer Pong has quickly grown to be an international chill-time sensation. ATOMIC boasts a comprehensive bar, and makes it easy to meet new people and make new friends. 082 502 5848 (English) 099 150 2442 (Thai)

Hot new restaurants, bars & cafes in Bangkok

Peacock at Waldorf

Exuding glamour and luxury, the opulent new Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is located by the bustling Ratchaprasong intersection in the heart of Bangkok and features three restaurant concepts, a lounge and two bars, including Peacock Alley, which sits on the same level as The Brasserie, and is an ideal lounge for picturesque afternoon teas and light meals. Modelled after the New York original, Peacock Alley presents delectable homemade pastries and refreshments throughout the day. 02 846 8888 www.waldorfbangkok.waldorfastoria.com

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O’Malley’s: The Irish Local

O’Malley’s Irish Pub & Restaurant Bangkok has opened on Silom Road, bringing the premise of ‘The Irish Local’ to the Thai capital. With an extensive range of world classic ales and iconic pub grub, terrace, fans, several 60-inch TVs and HD projector for live sporting events, and a custom-made pool table, O’Malley’s brass tap bar boasts 10 premium draught beers, and plans live-band events and parties. gm@theclubhousebangkok.com


Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Prohibition Party

The Zuk Bar welcomed guests in suits and glam to a Prohibition Party set in the roaring 1920s for a fun night of booze and loud live jazz from May Fonpa and her band, with a best costume prize too!

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Fruit Mixing Ceremony

At the Fruit Mixing Ceremony that precedes Christmas every year at Zing Bakery, Centara Grand at CentralWorld, some of the hotel’s management team were joined by Suthikiati Chirathivat, Chairman of the Board, and Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts to participate in the ceremony. CREATE AD.Bourbon st_2 M3.pdf

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Dining Out

UNO MAS

Wining and Dining against the Bangkok Skyline By Aparat Konghoen

CHEF PROFILE

Sandro Aguilera, the Executive Chef of UNO MAS Restaurant, is a Spaniard who is passionate about food. He has over 22 years of experience working with Relais & Châteaux Hôtels in Brittany France, as well as Hotel Arts by Ritz Carlton and 2 one-star Michelin restaurants in Barcelona Spain. Chef Sandro joined Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld after being Executive Chef at Centara Grand Beach Resort in Koh Samui.

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NO MAS on 54th floor of Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld offers an amazing dining experience with stunning panoramic views over Bangkok, serving classic traditional Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine like “Gambas Pil Pil” (prawns sizzling in olive oil, chillies and garlic) or “Paella” (rice with seafood and more).

SIGNATURE DISHES

During November, Executive Chef Sandro Aguilera presents the new Seasonal Tasting Menu, showcasing the best in-season produce imported directly from the Mediterranean. Consider these: ’Hen Egg’, a delightful amuse-bouche of organic egg yolk with truffle and porcini flavouring; ‘Eggplant cream’ with tuna belly and grilled onion beetroot oil; ‘Salmon Trout’, accompanied by burrata cheese and pomegranate dressing; and ‘John Dory’, with vanilla potato cream, beetroot oil, asparagus, and almonds.  Follow on with ‘Pyrenees Duck’, roasted duck breast alongside porcini, duck foie gras, grain mustard, porcini purée, and duck reduction. For dessert there are apricots in caramelised puff pastry with saffron ice cream.

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Try all six courses for a fixed price of 1,950++ baht or simply order à la carte.

ATMOSPHERE

UNO MAS comprises 3 unique zones: a welcoming reception area with blue glazed floors and bamboo clad walls leading to the Wine Cellar, an eight-metre wine tower cosseting over 2,000 bottles from the Old and New Worlds, then two semi-alfresco levels offer cosy ledge-seating and bar stools, with the Dining Deck offering amazing views and substantial meals from a show kitchen where chefs use fire pits and a unique oven to prepare the signature roast Spanish suckling pig and other specialities.

UNO MAS is open every day from 4pm to 1am, tel 0 2100-6255, with parking available at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. Website: www.unomasbangkok.com Facebook: UNO MAS Instagram: Unomas_Bangkok Twitter: UNOMAS_BANGKOK email diningcgcw@chr.co.th


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Food& Drink Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news

All you can eat dim sum Lunch Go all out with All You Can Eat Dim Sum Lunch at Man Ho Chinese restaurant at JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok, served fresh to your table for 888 baht net per person with free-flow Oolong or Chrysanthemum tea from Monday to Friday (11:30am – 2:30pm), including many irresistible treats and over 40 delectable all-time favourite freshly homemade dim sum. www.facebook.com/JWMarriottBKK http://jwmarriottbangkok.com/news-and-promotions-2/

Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin The renowned Michelin-star restaurant, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok welcomes the season with the Winter Journey set dinner menu crafted to bring out distinctive Thai flavours in each dish using daring combinations. Comprising eight tantalising courses, it includes famous ‘street food’ nibbles, captivating and exotic main courses, and a truly unique mesmerising and enchanting dessert as a special surprise. Priced at 3,200++ baht. +66 (0) 2 162 9000 www.srabuabykiinkiin.com

Jay & Daisy Afternoon Tea The Jay and Daisy Afternoon Tea is available at Mondo, the Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok’s all day dining venue. This new set is presented uniquely in a leather-bound picnic case and includes traditional scones with jam and clotted cream and a selection of tempting pastries and cakes. One set includes two welcome drinks on arrival, a cup of coffee, and a teapot. Priced at 850 baht net per set. +66 (0)2 620 6666 www.sukhumvitbangkok.hilton.com

Celebrate New Year at Eastin Grand! Bid farewell to 2018 and usher in 2019 at Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok. The Glass House Restaurant offers an international dinner buffet from 2,000 baht net. Poolside Party at Blunos Restaurant has a poolside soirée from 8pm at 1,500 baht net including live food station and 3 drinks. Sky Lounge on 33rd floor offers the capital’s stunning views with free-flow soft drinks and selected adult beverages plus canapés and DJ priced at 2,200 baht net. 02 210 8100 www.eastingrandsathorn.com

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New Plant-Based Menu at Anantara

Seven Savoury Dishes with a touch of Chocolate Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is celebrating Swiss cuisine and the versatility of chocolate with a new global menu of savoury dishes. The ‘Chocolate on the Salty Side’ promotion runs until 20 November at selected Mövenpick hotel and resort restaurants worldwide and showcases the wonderful versatility of chocolate. The inspired creations include appetisers, main courses and desserts and are made in keeping with tradition. +66 2 119 3100 Hotel.Sukhumvit15.Reservations@movenpick.com

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel has unveiled flavourful vegan dishes in a new plant-based set menus, featuring nutritious yet delectable dishes containing less saturated fat and more vegetables in your diet. Two new tantalising set dinner options are available at Siam Flowers in Parichart Court, priced at 1,500++ baht for the 6 course set menu, and 2,500++ baht for 7 courses per person. 24 hours advance reservation is necessary. +66 (0) 2126 8866 Ext 1201 www.siam-bangkok.anantara.com

Dim Sum Guru Pampers Palates Loong Foong Chinese Restaurant at Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada welcomes Chef Kwan from Kuala Lumpur to showcase his skills and

Peking Duck at China Table Loy Krathong at Shangri-La Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok invites you to celebrate the enchanting Loy Krathong Festival with “The Grandeur of Rattanakosin” on 22 November, a memorable evening of superb cuisines, delightful music and remarkable shows. Choose your ideal evening location from Riverfront Poolside, Horizon Cruise, Salathip, or Next2 Café. Prices start at 4,500 baht net for adults and 2,250 baht net for children aged 4 to 11 years old. 0 2236 9952 www.golden-circle.com/thetable/ restaurants-bars/thailand/shangri-la-bangkok/

Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok invites you to enjoy a classic Peking Duck cooked to perfection by our Master Chef at China Table. One of our signature dishes, it is irresistible for its crispy skin, special sauce and accompaniment of steamed homemade pancake. Additionally you can select an innovative second course creation for free, from many options including succulent minced duck meat with bamboo shoots or fried duck with garlic and chili. +66(0) 2 302 3333

passion in presenting an addictive range of dim sum dishes from 2-11 November. Long Foong’s always impressive all-you-can-eat à la carte dim sum buffets are served for both for lunch and dinner, priced at 790++ baht (Monday to Friday) and 890++ baht (Saturday and Sunday). 02 694 2222 ext 1540 fb.bangkok@swissotel.com

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Truffles Menu at Scarlett

Tsubaki Afternoon Tea

From now until 15th December, Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant showcases Burgundy truffles, also known as Autumn truffles, renowned for their light aroma and delicate flavour. Scarlett has created a special menu including porcini cappuccino with grated truffle, baked truffle camembert with garlic and parsley croutons, grilled beef tenderloin with Périgourdine sauce, and chocolate and black truffle mousse soufflé. Open daily from 6pm to 1am.

Enjoy a special Tsubaki Afternoon Tea with family and friends at Up & Above Bar, Okura Prestige Bangkok. Sets include delicate pastries and sparkling sake sorbet. There’s also a selection of savoury treats served with premium Illy coffee, Saro or freshly brewed Tsubaki tea from Mariage Frères. Available all December, daily at 2pm – 5pm from 1,290++ baht. 02 687 9000 www.upandabove@okurabangkok.com

02 352 4000 www.facebook.com/Scarlettwinebarbangkok

Breast Cancer Charity Project Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is participating in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with its Crème Fraîche, Strawberry and Bergamot delicacy to raise awareness for this cause. These treats are available in the hotel’s Lobby Corner and Verandah restaurant with each cake at 149 baht net. The hotel will donate 35 baht to The Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation for each cake sold. +66 (2) 659 9000 www.mandarinoriental.com/ bangkok

Thanksgiving at Goji Kitchen + Bar Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park is celebrating with a traditional Thanksgiving Buffet dinner at Goji Kitchen + Bar on 22nd November from 18:00 – 22:00 hrs. The menu includes roast turkey with cranberry sauce, honey glazed ham, bacon Brussels sprouts, sweet potato with marshmallow gratin, pumpkin & pecan pie and much more, with chefs preparing special delicacies in front of diners. Priced at 1,868++ baht per person. +66 (0) 2 059 5999 www.bangkokmarriottmarquisqueenspark.com

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New Year at CentralWorld

Centara Grand at CentralWorld is offering dinner & party packages starting at just 3,500++ baht per person with 10% discount on bookings until 10 November 2018! There’s Spanish Surf & Turf Celebration at UNO MAS Restaurant, an 8 course Gala Dinner at Red Sky Restaurant, a Countdown Party at Red Sky Bar, or the exclusive Grand Countdown Party at CRU Champagne Bar. Get more information now on these exceptional packages and make a reservation! 02-100-6255 www.diningcgcw@chr.co.th


Guest review by

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All’s well at Tables Grill

T was our first visit to Tables Grill, the flagship restaurant of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, where we found both excellent cuisine and great service in wellappointed surroundings.   Our special thanks to GM Gordon Fuller, to Sylvain Même, the attentive Manager at Tables Grill, to Chef Hans Zahner and the rest of their highly professional team.  Food spokesman Mark Guthrie took careful note of the surprise amuse bouche - a tasty tomato confit foam over a rich olive oil together with a marinated mackerel morsel on turnip.  This was served with an excellent aperitif, Alma Franciacorta Bellavista Brut NV (Brescia, Italy).   As usual, the wines were all provided by the Club, and we note with appreciation that Tables Grill never applies a corkage charge to wines brought from outside. 

The first starter course was a beautifully presented Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Confit Tomato and Red Cabbage.  As Mark noted, it was not only delicious, but also an Atkins-friendly option, as the wrapper was made of turnip rather than traditional pasta.   This was accompanied by Gruber Röschitz Grüner Veltliner

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Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy

Muhlberg Reserve 2015 (Weinviertel, Austria).  Already impressed by the sparkling wine, our normally outspoken winespokesman Fritz Mayer complimented Thomas Boedinger on this month’s choices; he thought the Grüner Veltliner fantastic. There followed Eggs Mollet with Green Pea Velouté and Squid Ink Croutons.  It was a seemingly simple yet elegant dish featuring a perfectly soft-cooked egg that almost begged to be sopped up with tasty bread.   It was served with Kumeu River Chardonnay “Hunting Hill” 2014 (Auckland, NZ).  This wine did not receive universal praise (a bit too oaky for some, including Fritz) but I enjoyed it very much. Next came Confit Wild Norwegian Salmon served with Zucchini and Homardine Sauce.  The fish itself was perfectly cooked, and nicely complimented by the surprisingly delicate lobster-based sauce.  We enjoyed this dish with more of the Chardonnay, which turned out to be a great match for the salmon. Our main dish was a sizeable portion of Australian Wagyu Oyster Blade with Carrot Mille-Feuille and Beef Jus.  Cooked sous-vide to ensure its tenderness, the beef looked almost

like a medium rare steak, except for a pronounced natural grain typical of this cut.  Topped with a carrot foam, the carrot mille-feuille was both beautiful and delicious – and nobody missed his potatoes!   To match this course, we had Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 (Veneto, Italy), which had been carefully decanted a couple of hours ahead of the meal “to reveal a complex and unique beast with its intense bouquet of raisins, figs, dark cherry, dark chocolate, oak.  Pure velvet on the palate, with flavours of raisin, prune, and smoky oak”, as quoted by one critic.  Another great wine according to Fritz. Our sweet course was Chocolate Pithivier with Banana Chantilly Cream, Almond Tuile and Vanilla Ice Cream, which was accompanied by the rest of the Amarone and then Atlan & Artisan Epistem No. 3 2013 (Mallorca, Spain).  The latter is a medium-bodied wine, not overly complex, the colour of Pinot Noir but bolder taste. The remainder of the Spanish wine was consumed along with a selection of fine cheeses generously provided by Thomas Nowak.  These included French Reblochon, Swiss Vacherin Fribourgeois, and a stinky traditional Swiss mountain cheese.  Even those who lost the British-European debate over the proper order between dessert and cheese courses enjoyed them all.  It was close to 4:00 PM before we finally finished our coffees and passed on in the Club’s customary fashion our well-deserved thanks to the Tables Grill team, led by Chef Hans Zahner and Manager Sylvain.


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Expat Women

Nicole Sheldon – the ‘White Chinese medicine doctor’ Holding a Chinese medical license and another from the US, this busy American lady holds workshops and gives medicinal cooking classes, while running a family in Thailand By Ruth Gerson

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ICOLE Sheldon is a Colombian/American woman practicing Chinese acupuncture in Asia, based in Thailand, who has successfully merged her expertise with the art of spices and healthy eating.

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It’s an unusual combination that stems from Nicole’s interest in both fields – medicine and food – but instead of choosing one over the other, she has created her own, and very special, career: acupuncturist and herbalist.

Born in Bogota, Columbia, she began to travel with her parents at a young age, living in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, and ultimately in Thailand, moving here in 1983, where she spent her childhood and teen years. Studies followed at Tufts


University just outside of Boston, where she took pre-med courses majoring in medical anthropology with a minor in Latin American studies, intending to continue her medical studies. While at university, this energetic young woman was seeking meaningful and interesting life experiences in addition to her fulltime studies, preferably medically related. And so she structured her class schedule to allow time to pursue this ambition, beginning in community services, working on Battered Women Hotline and in an HIV/AIDS Acupuncture Clinic, talking in the latter to patients and learning how acupuncture had helped their immunity in AIDS related illnesses. Working there roused her interest in acupuncture. Nicole’s dissertation for the course work in an ongoing two-year Ancient Medicine seminar was “Garlic through History”, which sparked her interest in the link between food and medicine. This led to her applying and receiving a grant in 1999 to study and research the Green Revolution in Cuba, a movement that came into existence after the Soviet Block collapsed in the early 1990s and Cuba ceased getting help, finding itself cut from the world. This forced the Cuban government to seek self-reliant methods to sustain its economy.

Asked “Why garlic?” Nicole answers, “Garlic is everywhere – in rituals, medicine, food.” For her research work in Cuba, Intersection of food and medicine, Nicole received an award from Tufts University. This and similar work began to cast doubts on her initial desire to pursue the traditional medical route. Torn between career decisions, Nicole needed time away from her previous activities, finding work in New York City in the advertisement industry. Although it was totally different from her earlier experiences and the areas of studies in which she planned to continue, she now

feels that these two years of work added an important dimension to her knowledge, at a time when Internet technology came bursting onto the markets. At the end of her stint on Madison Avenue, Nicole considered attending the famous Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris. However, being the practical and sensible person that she is, Nicole thought ahead of the future life that she envisioned for herself, which at some stage would include a family and children, and she decided to go into healing. And so began a very interesting career that would take her life in a new direction. Nicole then applied to Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, a school of Chinese medicine in New York, better known in her circles as PCOM where she studied from 2001 to 2005, completing a five-year course in four, by the end of which Nicole became what is known as OMD, Oriental Medicine Doctor. Following her studies she remained in New York, working as acupuncturist in a private clinic. This was a pivotal time in her life, not only in cementing her career, but also the time when she met Sebastian, her future husband. In 2006 Nicole decided to further her education in her chosen field of alternative medicine and traveled to Beijing to apprentice with Dr. Wang JuYi (then in his 70s), an acupuncturist and herbalist who was considered one of China’s living treasures.

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uring her studies with her mentor, Nicole also learned Yao Shan, which is medicinal cooking, as well as fluency in the Chinese language. She jokingly calls herself, “White Chinese medicine doctor.” In 2007 after one year in China Nicole’s future was about to change when she went back to New York to attend a friend’s wedding. There she reconnected with Sebastian, with whom she had lost touch, and instead of returning to Beijing she remained in New York. She and Sebastian got married, with nuptials in the following year in Colombia, then settled in Chicago, where Nicole opened her own acupuncture clinic. The pull of China was too strong for Nicole to resist and three years later, as luck would have it, her husband was employed to work there. Back in her element, Nicole now studied full time Chinese language followed by three years of research on Chinese medicinal plants and food, the results of which she hopes to publish in a book, to

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In 2006 Nicole decided to further her education in her chosen field of alternative medicine and traveled to Beijing to apprentice with Dr. Wang Ju-Yi, an acupuncturist and herbalist who was considered one of China’s living treasures. be augmented by medicinal cooking recipes translated from Chinese. In 2014 Nicole and her husband decided to stop their global wanderings and settle down to start a family. They chose Thailand as their home with Nicole’s connections to the place. This has been a fortuitous move for Nicole, as around 15 years ago the Thai government began licensing Chinese medicine. “It is an interesting time,” she says, “as the Ministry of Health wants to fully integrate Chinese medicine into Thai hospitals – both public and private.” Now, a few years later and with two young children, holding a Chinese

medical license and one from the US which she maintains up to date with CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) every four years, Nicole holds workshops and gives medicinal cooking classes, juggling work with family time. Her knowledge of the Chinese language enables her to write herbal prescriptions in Chinese which she sends to Hua Chieu Hospital in Bangkok’s Chinatown, where the first Chinese Traditional Medicine Hospital was established in Thailand. Meanwhile, Nicole’s goal is to get her Thai medical license to enable her to practice and work in Thailand indefinitely.


Expat Women THE FAMOUS JAGUARPATTERN CC CREAM

CATHY Doll’s Speed White CC Cream, also known as the famous jaguar-pattern CC Cream, was highlighted at Central Court of Central World Department Store. This product, with over 20 million pieces sold and receiving awards from many institutions, features onsen mineral water to moisten up the skin while reducing dullness with the oil-control effect, and offers sun protection of SPF 50, and is also available in six shades. www.cathydolls.co.th

THAI TEXTILES AT YOUR FINGERTIP

MS. Umaporn Sukmoung, Director General, Department of Science Service presented ‘Adding Value to Natural Coloured Hand-Woven Fabrics Project’ at the launch of ‘Color ID Labeling’, an app which collects the exquisite charm of textiles from the 20 best sources. The colour analysis technique is used to separate the identity of each woven textile category, combined with QR Code and AR Code technology, for Thai textile lovers. Available for download via APP STORE and PLAY STORE.

THE SIGNATURE OF CRYSTAL FOREST

SWAROVSKI have opened ‘The Signature of Crystal Forest’ concept store in CentralWorld. The store is Bangkok’s first digitalized Crystal Forest, featuring Thailand’s only Crystal Rock TV display, a digital panel outside the front of the store showcasing the seasonal collections. Mew Nittha Jirayungyurn, one of Swarovski’s Brilliant 8, was in attendance at the opening of the concept store, which features stunning crystalline architecture created by celebrated designer Tokujin Yoshioka, showcasing Swarovski’s myriad of crystal collections. www.swarovskigroup.com

JAPANESE SECRET BEAUTY HUB

KAMALA Leegomonchai recently introduced Destinare, the first “Japanese Secret Beauty Hub” in Thailand, at Gaysorn Village. Destinare presents the art and science of holistic massage from Osaka, Japan. The event was full of warmth and joyfulness, and saw many celebrities join Destinare founder Kamala Leegomonchai including Shinobu Sato, Inthariya Nhuthep, Pilan Sriveerakul, Sombatsara Teerasaroch, Milin Yuvacharaskul, Punchalee Phenjati, Pimpaka Maneethai, Natedao Wattanasimakorn, Ganda Saitum, Kanop - Lukkana Jaovisidha, Jarujit Baiyoke, Pimlert Baiyoke, Yuki Srikarnchana, Pimpayap Srikarnchana, and Apinara Srikarnchana.

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School Report

Real opportunities for everyone at Traill International School

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HERE is no such thing as a typical student at Traill International School.  We treat all of our students as individuals with different aspirations and potential.  We take the time to get to know our students so that we can educate, support and encourage every single one of them to be the best they can be.  To show you how this works in practice we would like to tell you the story of Maitoe.  He is an extremely polite and eloquent young Thai boy and you would be forgiven for thinking that he had spoken English all of his life.  The truth is, that when Maitoe joined TraillInternational School in 2014, he could barely speak or read English.  After a year in our ESL (English as a second language) full immersion class and through hard work and

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support from our talented teachers and his family, he was able to exit ESL and enter mainstream classes.  He said that at first he did struggle to “think in English”, but the more he persisted, the easier it got.   He is inspired every day by his teachers, whose passion for their subjects helps to bring the lessons alive for him. In June 2018 Maitoe achieved  an incredible 8 ICCSE examination passes with  A*, A and B grades and is now studying for his AS examinations in Business Studies, Mathematics and Physics. That is not the whole of Maitoe’s story however, because he is also a talented footballer who plays regularly for our Traill U16 football team.  He trains every day and encourages younger students to get involved in the sport. This June, we arranged for him to travel to Scotland as part of the Traill Elite Football Programme

to train with Dundee United Football Club for three months.  He so impressed their coaches with his skills and attitude, that they chose him to play in several reserve matches against some of their fiercest competitors.  Few players of his age and probably none within Thailand will have played at such a high level. Maitoe thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feels that he gained invaluable insight into the life of a professional footballer from everyone at the club, including first team players and coaches. We pride ourselves that at Traill we are able to offer our students real opportunities to succeed, whether they are academics, athletes or talented musicians and actors.  At Traill we achieve together.

www.traillschool.ac.th


Feature

BURIRAM’S A WINNER WITH SPECTATORS AT

Thailand last month joined the exclusive list of MotoGP host countries when the first-ever Grand Prix was held at Buriram International Circuit. The racing proved a spectacular success, but how was the event from a spectator’s view? Motorcycle enthusiast Jon Davie and three other expat mates travelled to Thailand’s Northeast to attend the event. Here’s what they experienced

PLANNING IN ADVANCE:

Once the official announcement was made in 2017 that MotoGP would be coming to Thailand, myself and three friends determined that immediate action would be needed to secure accommodation within reasonably easy reach of the Buriram circuit. Hotel rooms closest to the circuit had doubtless been allocated to personnel directly connected to the event prior to the dates being announced so the best we could do was a hotel in Nang Rong, 50km from the track. We booked this almost exactly a year in advance. Tickets for the race weekend went on sale early in 2018 and we secured these via a PTT promotion within three days of their being made available. Price for a weekend ticket in the main grandstand 2,550bt.

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THAILAND’S FIRST-EVER MOTORCYCLE GP DEPART FOR BURIRAM FROM SATTAHIP, FRIDAY 5TH OCTOBER, 9 AM:

Our tickets covered both Saturday (for practice and qualifying sessions) and Sunday for the races themselves so, following an uneventful five-hour drive, we arrived at our hotel on Friday afternoon to be ready for an early start on Saturday. We were unsure what traffic conditions would be like on the approach to the circuit and whether we would encounter long queues at the gates, so our pre-booked taxi picked us up at 8.45am. We needn’t have worried! Traffic was light to within 1km of the circuit on what turned out to be a 45-minute drive. A police checkpoint was giving directions for parking but we were simply dropped at the gate and walked in. As we already had our tickets we were directed to the shuttlebus area but people collecting tickets or exchanging online e-tickets for the proper plastic item were being dealt with most efficiently.

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he shuttlebus service was provided by local farmers and their ‘e-tan’ trucks but, as the journey was only 400m at most, standing in the back of one of these for a couple of minutes

was no hardship. I counted 40 trucks constantly on the move back and forth from grandstand area to entrance so, once again, queues were either minimal or non-existent. The approach on foot to the main grandstand was through a complex of marquees where motorcycle manufacturers and assorted accessory companies had created an impressive show. The layout was such that access to the displays was easy and never felt overcrowded. Having earmarked a few items for later purchase, we made our way to

the grandstand and it was here that we met our only snag of the day. The handing out of wristband passes and security checks of electronic items went as smoothly as every other step in the experience so far, but the long staircase up to the seating area presented a bit of a problem to one of our party. He was/is still recovering from a leg injury (motorcycle involved needless to say) and struggles with anything beyond a few shallow steps. I pointed out an elevator to the side of the staircase, and away he hobbled to await its return whilst we

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Feature climbed the stairs and waited for his arrival. Frustratingly, the elevator never did arrive and, to the best of my knowledge, didn’t operate for the two days we were there. Anyone with mobility problems may be well advised to check access before attending here. Anyway, our friend gritted his teeth for the weekend and survived the climbs and descents whilst giving free reign to the fruitier expressions in his vocabulary.

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nce in the grandstand, seats were all available on first-come, firstserved basis so we had the choice of front row overlooking the pit-lane, up to the back of the stand which affords an uninterrupted view of virtually the entire circuit. On both this and race day we selected seats facing on of the large TV screens which gave live feeds and replays of the action together with timing and placing information. We were also situated

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directly opposite the podium although sadly not close enough to gulp down any free champagne. During gaps in proceedings, we headed to the food court area close to the grandstand where, apart from the usual race-track fare of burgers and hotdogs, a decent range of Thai food was available and we were pleasantly surprised by how reasonable the prices were. Noodle and rice dishes were under 100 baht and the western options were just a few baht more. The pleasant surprises continued when we headed to the beer tent

(choice of beer was Chang or Chang - served properly cold). A small plastic glass of beer was 50 baht. A small can of beer at a smaller bar outside was 60 baht. Very reasonable indeed and, unsurprisingly, business was brisk but the staff were fast and efficient so no-one stayed thirsty for long.  In a not-unrelated matter, we noted that, throughout the weekend, the restroom facilities were kept spotlessly clean and well maintained. Qualifying for all three races Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP - was completed by mid-afternoon so,


after another wander around the manufacturers’ stands we headed out to the main road to meet up with our taxi. The shuttlebuses were still busy ferrying people back and forth but we opted to walk the 10 minutes to the exit where our driver had found a spot to park right by the gate. Back to the hotel. An evening exploring the sights and sounds of Nang Rong. All in all a very good day.

SUNDAY 7TH. RACE DAY:

Although we had found virtually nothing to complain about with

regards to Saturday’s experience, we were aware that Race Day could be another story altogether. Crowds were bound to be much larger (not everyone is interested in qualifying sessions after all) and additional ‘events’ staged for the world’s media coverage have a tendency to disrupt the schedule at big events like this. Consequently we resolved to leave the hotel an hour earlier than Saturday. Nang Rong’s nightlife, such as it is, had failed to lead us astray so we were in the taxi clear-headed and full of anticipation of a great day’s racing, at 7.45 am sharp. The journey to the circuit was a carbon-copy of the previous day. There were certainly many more cars parked out on the road passing the circuit but there was no traffic jam and we were dropped outside the circuit at about 8.30 am. The ‘e-tans’ were already hard at work but, like the previous evening, we opted to walk in.

Demand for good seats would inevitably be much higher than the previous day so we headed straight to the grandstand to stake our claims. Good seats were secured without difficulty and we settled in for the day. As a very rough estimate I would say that the proportion of western spectators was about 25%. The 75% Thai audience, containing many family groups including children, were fantastically enthusiastic and obviously very knowledgeable about the riders and the teams with support for Honda and Yamaha being, unsurprisingly, very strong. There are more than enough accounts available of the races themselves so I won’t mention those here. With the racing concluded by mid-afternoon, we returned to the beer tent for the usual post-race analysis and rehydration and to await the arrival of our taxi. Despite the notably larger crowd, our departure from the circuit was as easy as the previous day and brought to an end what had been a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. What I am keen to stress is just how exemplary the running of this, a truly world-class sporting event, had been. Having visited numerous racetracks throughout Europe and the UK I can, in all honesty, say that this was one of the best organised, best value top-end race events I have ever attended and if anyone has even a passing interest in motorcycles or motorsport in general, they should make attendance at next year’s event a priority.  Don’t forget your earplugs!

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DIPLOMATS p Meet the people uniting nations

His Excellency Geoffrey Quinton Mitchell Doidge Amazing journey from victim of apartheid to Ambassador of ‘Rainbow Nation’

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Diplomat: H.E. Geoffrey Quinton Mitchell Doidge

Amazing journey from victim of apartheid to Ambassador of ‘Rainbow Nation’

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Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER

IS Excellency Geoffrey Quinton Mitchell Doidge was born into the apartheid system of old South Africa. As a ‘coloured’ man, the deck was stacked against him, but through intelligence, hard work and courage was able to become a successful businessman. With the release of Nelson Mandela and the arrival of a new day in South Africa, Mr Doidge put his extraordinary abilities to work in the service of the fledgling democracy he dearly loves. The story behind the man who was appointed Ambassador to Thailand in September 2016, presented here in his own words, is simply amazing. “I was born in Kokstad, East Griqualand, in what was formerly known as Cape Colony. Post-democracy it is called KwaZulu-Natal. Kokstad is named after Captain Adam Kock III, who led his people from Phillipolis in the Freestate, over the feared Drakensberg Mountains. He came over Accident Mountain Pass (Ongeluksnek) to settle in East Griqualand, which was named after the first people to occupy and own the land, who were later disposed under the Black Land Act of 1913 and the Group Areas Act.      “I am the second eldest of Ernest and Felicia Doidge. My parents, were very successful farmers and my childhood days were spent on the farm, Glen Edward, on the foothills of the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains which form the border between South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho. The Drakensberg mountain range is the highest and longest mountain range in Southern Africa with peaks that stand 3,482 meters above sea level and extend northeast to southwest for 1,125 kilometers.        “In summer the mountain range is transformed into a spectacular area of natural beauty. Stretching for hundreds of kilometers, it makes up the spine that holds up the greatest plateau in southern Africa. There is an abundance of plant and animal life, including many protected species, and the plateau boasts some of the most beautiful rock art and paintings from ancient times, which is a testimony as to who the original owners of the land were. In winter the

peaks are often snowcapped. I have always regarded this as God’s own country, and I have many fond memories of going trout fishing, horse riding, hunting, hiking and camping with my Dad. “My family is Catholic and so I attended mostly Catholic schools run by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. I learned to speak Sesotho, Isixhosa and Isizulu, and of course English, which I consider my mother tongue. I was later compelled to accept an Afrikaans education. “Growing up in racially divided, communities, churches, schools, shops, health services and so on began to change my outlook on life. I saw my parents being belittled and shouted at simply because they entered the post office door by the front door, which they done for decades, but which now had a sign above it saying ‘Whites Only’. This was humiliation at its worst. Whichever way I turned, what the United Nations declared to be a ‘crime against humanity’ – apartheid confronted me. My family fell on hard times and the apartheid state became brutal as it enforced the system. “What then followed was totally unexpected. We witnessed racially based forced removals, dispossession of land and assets and evictions. These became a daily occurrence and my father would go out in the dark of the night, putting all of us at risk, to help move so called, ‘black people’ to safe areas to avoid confrontation with the police. “I was an ambitious young man who knew what I wanted to achieve in life. I started work at the age of seventeen, and at twenty I landed my first management job at a parts department for a Toyota franchise. I married my wife Carol a year later. I had two ambitions in life: one was to have my own business and the second was to make a contribution to ending the brutal system of apartheid. “When I turned 26, a close friend of mine and I decided to start our own business to trade in auto parts. We had no idea what we were going up against until we came face to face with the brutal realities of apartheid. We were prohibited from trading in a so called ‘white business area’. Notwithstanding these challenges, there was no turning back. It just had to work and so it did. On the March 13, 1978 we opened our doors for business in an area

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proclaimed to be off-limits for business people from our racial group and with hardly any capital. After three years of extreme hard work and determination to succeed at all costs, we were able to register our company Rob-Jeff (Pty) Ltd, trading as Parts Centre Kokstad, with a turnover of over one million rand per annum.

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fter more than a decade in business Carol and I sold our shares and began to focus on the liberation struggle. Carol and I shared a common vision in politics and although we had a very young family at the time, the risks of being arrested and charged with treason did not deter us. We are founding members of the then Kokstad Civic Association, Chairman of the Kokstad Branch of the African National Congress (banned at the time), the East Griqualand Border-Kei Development Forum and several other Civil Society organizations in east Griqualand and the Republic of the Transkei. “After the release of Nelson Mandela, I was elected to Regional and National leadership positions of the African National Congress. Our roles in the liberation struggle exposed us to risks and there were three attempts on my life. Carol and I were nominated to stand for elections in 1994, and Carol decided that victory was finally in sight and she withdrew her nomination. “What made me a political activist: My family was classified Coloured under the foundation law of the brutal Apartheid system: namely the notorious Population Registration Act of 1950, which classified all South Africans as either Bantu (Africans), Coloured (those of mixed race), White or Asian (Indians and Pakistanis). My grandfather was an Englishman, Ernest Doidge, a cabinet maker from Devonshire, England, and my grandmother was Stella Rose Doidge, daughter of Sir Walter Booth. In my Dad’s family some members were classified ‘white’ and others as ‘coloured’, which compelled to them to be separated. The system of apartheid was brutal and was appropriately declared a crime against humanity by the United Nations. “The struggle for liberation lasted for well over eight decades and it was ended in 1994 when each and every South African irrespective of race or gender was able to cast their vote. For the majority of South Africans it was the very first time that they could vote.  “The ‘Original Sin’ of land dispossession started in 1913, and is still going on 105 years later. This is what President

Kirstenbosch botanical garden

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Mabhida Stadium

Ramaphosa has the task of finally resolving. This matter he will handle competently, as when he negotiated one the most successful political settlements in modern history and helped to write the most progressive constitution. This matter will be settled within the framework of the constitution and the law, of which South Africa’s independent judiciary is the custodian of. “Very few can claim that they understand the inhumanity and indignity that the apartheid system inflicted upon so called non-whites (blacks, coloureds and Indians). While many are quoted as acknowledging that the system was wrong, unless they experienced it themselves they will never really know what these racial groups experienced. We are the Rainbow Nation that ended racial discrimination and opted for a nation ‘United in Diversity’ and that collectively stood for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that is helping to heal the wounds of the past, and achievement the people of South Africa are proud of. “President Nelson Mandela was 75 and Archbishop Desmond Tutu was 62 when they voted for the very first time. Chief Justice Michael Corbett convened the first sitting of the National Assembly and on the 9th May, elected members constituted the first non-racial, non-sexist, democratically elected National Assembly, with the largest number of women members in history. Justice Corbett presided over the election of the first democratically elected President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. On the 10th May, 1994, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, President Mandela, South Africa’s took his oath of first democratically elected President took his oath of office. “When Nelson Mandela entered the National Assembly for the very first time, members and guests in the public gallery went ecstatic and burst into freedom songs and this one resonates in my mind, ‘Mandela, there is none other like you’ sung in isiXhosa. “Whilst some ululated, others sang whilst others, burst into tears. The struggle for freedom had lasted for three hundred and fifty long and hard years; Nelson Mandela and many other leaders served decades in prison. “South Africa adopted the proportional list system for elections and I was elected to public office, on the Eastern Cape list. I served as a ‘backbencher’ for the first few weeks and was the elected to serve as one of the three whips responsible for Parliaments, Programme and Legislation. “Our first task was to establish and setting up a democratic ‘people’s parliament’ so the rules and standing orders had to


Cape Town

South Africa is famous for its wines

be redrafted, amended and at times new drafts submitted. At the same time we had to consider legislation to transform State, and at the same time Parliament had two years to draft a new Constitution and to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to deal with the past. “The Constitutional Assembly, chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa was established and I served on Theme Committee 2: that had the mandate to deliberate, give inputs and make recommendations to what is now Chapter 4 of the Constitution, which deals with the Executive and Parliament. All members of the Theme Committee were also members of Parliamentary Portfolio and Standing Committees and had obligations to participate in the demanding legislative process of transforming the state from Apartheid to a Constitutional Democracy. In the first three years of the First Democratic Parliament both houses had busy legislative schedules aside from writing the Constitution, some 250 Acts were assented to by His Excellency President Mandela. Members of the Constitutional Assembly also participated in expansive and biggest public participation program, ever in the history of South Africa. People were consulted on controversial matters such as the death penalty, property rights and many other topics. “Parliament also had to consider and pass crucial legislation such as the Promotion on National Unity and Reconciliation Act in 1995 which gave us the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, now world renowned for its uncompromising process of truth telling, accountability and publicly at that. “From the onset of my political career in Parliament, I have served in several positions over the past twenty four years, from being a Provincial Whip for Programming and Legislation Whip, Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party, Chairperson of Committees, House Chairperson of Committees, and last held positions are as Cabinet

University of Cape Town

Minister, High Commissioner and Ambassador. I have served many Parliamentary and Cabinet Committees of National importance. “I believe I served at the most interesting time in our history and have been exposed to the leadership of the greatest leaders of all time, to mention a few, President Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu, Albertina Sisulu, Mama Tambo, David Ndawaonde, Wilton Mkwayi, Chris Hani, Steve Tshwete, Winnie Madikizela Mandela and this list goes on. I also had the honour of meeting Oliver Reginald Tambo and many more inspirational figures.”

Coming to Thailand

“My last assignment before coming to Thailand was as a National Government Cabinet Minister. I served under President Kgalema Mothlante and then President Jacob Zuma. President Zuma appointed me High Commissioner to Sri Lanka in April 2011 and I was there for five and a half years. Sri Lanka was my first diplomatic posting and it was a steep learning curve for me.

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“I visited Thailand in May 2016 for the very first time and took up my post as ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar on September 13, 2016. Our tour of duty is normally four years, but could be just over the prescribed period. The past two years have been interesting and exciting for Carol and me to be posted to Thailand. We are very busy at the mission, and the time is flying by really fast. We were of course in Thailand at the time of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and witnessed first-hand the love and sincere respect that the Thai people have for their Monarch. It was a humbling experience. Attending the Royal funeral and cremation was a very emotional and incredibly impressive, once-in-a-lifetime experience. “We both found the people of Sri Lanka, most amazing and friendly. We are proud to say that Sri Lankans opened their hearts and homes to us and we have become one with them. We were able to identify with and were able to make a significant contribution to the transition, given our own South African experiences. We witnessed the country come together and become one of the most promising countries of South East Asia, with enormous potential. Of course we have lots of friends there and we miss them.  

Bilateral relations

T

here is very interesting story to be told about Thailand’s relations with South Africa. The first arrival of the Siamese in Africa was recorded by a French envoy to the Court of Ayutthaya in the 17th Century. The envoy reports that on 26th April 1686. the Siamese boat was shipwrecked at Cape Agulhas, South Africa, which is known as the ‘Cape of Storms’ and is the geographic southern tip of the African continent. The Siamese sought shelter from the governor of Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel and later on boarded a Dutch VOC ship back to Siam. “The first Consul of Siam was appointed in 1914 and was based in Cape Town, and later on in Durban. After the Bandung Conference in 1955, Thailand’s diplomatic ties with Apartheid South Africa were suspended in 1956. “After the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 many countries began looking more favourably toward South Africa and the transition that was unfolding. On 10th October, 1992, the Thai Cabinet approved the opening of the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Rosebank, Johannesburg, later moved to Pretoria. “In 1993 the two governments decided to establish formal bilateral relations and Thailand upgraded its representation to the ambassadorial level on 9th December 1993. “In 1994, Mr Narumitrekagarn was appointed the first Thai Ambassador to South Africa and Mr Roel Hendrick Goris first South African Ambassador to Thailand. He presented his credentials, to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 26th April 1994, a day before the first democratic elections in South Africa. Later on the Royal Thai Embassy in Pretoria was established. President Mandela visited Thailand in 1997. “Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Thailand and South Africa in 1993, relations

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between the two countries have strengthened substantially in all aspects. Thailand has embarked on a strategy to expand its influence and its ties with Africa, and in this process views South Africa as a strategic trade partner. South Africa also views Thailand as a gateway to Southeast Asia and the Mekong sub-region countries. “South African-Thai Chamber of Commerce was established in 1995. A bi-lateral trade agreement was signed in May 2001. Figures from 2017 show a strong 7% growth in bilateral trade over 2016. Total trade volume is around US$3.2 billion, with Thailand enjoying a substantial trade surplus. It should be noted that South Africa is Thailand’s biggest trading partner in Africa, whereas Thailand is South Africa’s largest Southeast Asian trading partner. The South African Embassy in Thailand strives to increase South African access for its products and work is under way to achieve this. We largely focus on value-added exports products and the giving priority to agricultural products and several other sectors. “The top five exports from South Africa to Thailand in 2017 were iron and steel machinery, wood pulp & paper, chemicals and automotive parts. Top five export products from Thailand in 2017 were original equipment components, vegetables, machinery, automotive parts, plastics and rubber products, respectively. Original equipment components were the most important Thai exports to SA accounting for half of the total Thai exports. “Thailand has always maintained a trade surplus with South Africa, and the main reason is that nearly half of its exports to South Africa consist of original equipment components for the automotive industry, and in particular for Toyota Motors and Ford Motor in South Africa. The combination of the equipment components and automotive parts were 62% of the total Thai exports. “In this regard, several Thai manufacturers of automotive parts have seen bright prospects in locating their production in South Africa and are now exploring opportunities in setting up plants to supply parts to SA car manufacturers directly. Thai investments in South Africa began with small and medium sized businesses in agriculture, processed food and trading and trading of products such as plastic and canned food. “Whereas several South African companies recognize the importance of Thailand and have established several operations in manufacturing and in professional service in Thailand, there is room and potential for more investment. “This year it is estimated that close to 100,000 South Africans will visit Thailand, with far fewer Thais visiting South Africa.”  

Development of South Africa

“The tide has turned under the stewardship of His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, who ushered in a ‘New Dawn’ when he became head of state earlier this year. His vision of a new growth path for economic development, employment and transformation, is welcomed by the majority of the South Africans, the markets and investors and the international community. The President has placed the country back in the realm


of being a promising investment destination with policy certainty and global competitiveness. President Ramaphosa led the negotiations for a political settlement and establishment of a democratic South Africa and chaired the Constitutional Assembly which wrote the Constitution of South Africa. South Africa has eleven official Languages with a population of fifty seven million people. “Whilst we are member of the G20, we are also member of BRICS. South Africa is well positioned currently as we account for fifty percent of the continents spending power, the highest Industrial output and South Africa’s gross domestic product comprises twenty five percent of the entire continents GDP. In the southern hemisphere we have the busiest container handling port which with a turnover of 2.3 million container moves per annum. “The development needs of the majority of our people have been the uppermost urgent matter of the Government since 1994. There were areas in our country where people had no running water, no electricity, no roads, no bridges, no clinics, no telephones, and no hospitals, no schools and the newly elected Government adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme as it official policy to address the legacy of the past. The country has made significant strides and whilst the gap is closing we face many other challenges such as long devastating drought which has lasted for several years in certain provinces. Considering where the country was in 1994 significant strides have been made. “South Africa has come a long way since 1994, and is currently a member of the United Nations and participates fully in all other multilateral institutions and plays a constructive and meaningful role in global affairs. Next year we will take up the non-permanent seat on the Security Council, with the support of the African Union and its member states. “South Africa was the last country to join BRICS. This request for participation happened after consultations with the Global South and South Africa has always made its position clear that its participation in BRICS is to also be the voice and platform for Africa and is also a the former co-chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation FOCAC. President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted heads of state and governments of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) that are all members of the G20, with over 3.1 billion people, or 41% of the world population, and four of them in the top ten of the

world population. “All of these countries have considerable influence in their regional affairs and represent the largest emerging market economies. They have a combined GDP of US$18.6 trillion and US$4.46 trillion in combined foreign reserves. “South Africa finds itself in a unique, but special position because it also has strong historic and economic relations with European Union countries. Africa needs the type of technologies which will allow it to leapfrog into the fourth industrial revolution. “There were many bilateral agreements signed between South Africa and the BRICS partners. The 10th BRICS Summit Johannesburg Declaration makes it clear that we need to safeguard and strengthen multilateralism, restore the centrality of the United Nations in order to maintain international peace and security, advance development, plus promote and protect human rights. BRICS is leading in people-to-people relations civil society actors, academics, business, labour and our youth can also bring huge advancements in our relations.` “South Africa has at the recent United Nations General Assembly continued to call for comprehensive reforms of the United Nations and Security Council and has shown its commitment to the World Trade Organisation systems. “This year South Africa is also Chair of Southern African Development Community (SADC) and has always played a lead role in the SADC Parliamentary Forum. “South Africa as chair of the Indian Ocean - Rim Association (IORA) will host the IORA Council of Ministers and the Committee of senior Officials meetings in October and November 2018. “South Africa supports and is a signatory to the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area, which will fundamentally transform African economies, giving rise to a new industrial age on the continent.”  

Personal

In closing, Mr Doidge said: “As for my hobbies and relaxation, I like touring, traveling, exploring, photography, walking, dancing, sports, writing and I am an avid reader. I don’t have all that much free time, but fortunately love my job of representing my country so I am always inspired and positive!” CV of Ambassador Geoffrey Quinton Mitchell Doidge on website: www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/category/diplomats

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p Last month’s best events in pictures

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

YOUNIQUE MARKET BY CPNLEAD

Central Pattana Plc (CPN), Thailand’s largest leading retail property developer, led by President and CEO Mr. Preecha Ekkunagul, joined hands with 40 SMEs who participated in “CPNlead” (CPN Leading Entrepreneur Advanced Development), a scheme to improve SMEs in the marketing and retail sectors. “YOUNIQUE MARKET” is one of the activities under the CPNlead program aiming to train and empower SMEs to excel, and is a collaboration with Thammasat University.

STYLE BANGKOK - ASIA’S LEADER OF LIFESTYLE

The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) led by Deputy Director-General Mrs. Vannaporn Ketudat, recently announced “STYLE Bangkok Oct 2018”, an international consumer goods trade fair that offers all sorts of lifestyle products which combines Bangkok International Fashion Fair and Bangkok International Leather Fair (BIFF & BIL), Bangkok International Gifts and Bangkok International Houseware Fair (BIG + BIH), and Thailand International Furniture Fair (TIFF). Famous artists and celebrities joined the event at Warehouse 30.

UP THE RIVER DURING QINGMING

River City Bangkok joined hands with the National Palace Museum (Gu Gong) to present “Up the River During Qingming”, an exhibition showcasing Chinese art through spectacular multimedia installations. Mr. Yuthachai Charanachitta, Group opening joined by Ms. Lee CEO of Italthai Group, and Ms. Linda Ching-Hwi, Deputy Director of Cheng, Managing Director of River National Palace Museum, and other City Bangkok, presided over the celebrated guests.

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A NEW ERA OF ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS AND MICE

The Mall Group, Thailand’s leading retail and entertainment complex developer, and AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, have announced a strategic partnership destined to make Thai retail history. The 10+ billion baht investment in two world-class arenas, “EM LIVE” and “BANGKOK ARENA” , is scheduled to open by the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, and will place Bangkok at the forefront of world retail innovation, entertainment events, and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE).


ED TUTTLE FURNITURE COLLECTION FROM JIM THOMPSON

Jim Thompson announces the launch of the Ed Tuttle Furniture Collection in collaboration with Ed Tuttle, perhaps best known for his work on hotel properties worldwide. The complete furniture collection offers everything from handsome armchairs to abstract sofas and inlaid stone mosaic tables. Side tables and lamps with hand-woven Thai silk shades are also included. 4 different vignettes showcase this exquisite collection at Jim Thompson Home Furnishings Showroom in Bangkok. In addition, we are launching a new fabric called ‘Rice’ conceptualised by Tuttle and produced in-house by Jim Thompson. This hand-woven silk-blend with a beautiful texture and sheen is designed specially to compliment the furniture. +66(2) 632-8110 showroom@jimthompson.com

ORIENTAL PRINCESS BAGS DESIGNED BY VATANIKA

Oriental Princess recently launched “Oriental Princess Veda and Vanda Signature Bags Designed by VATANIKA”, a collaboration between Oriental Princess and designer Vatanika Patamasingh na Ayudhya which blends fashion and Asian beauty palettes with “Oriental Chic”. The results are two ranges of chic bags: Veda Satchel Signature Bag, and four styles of Vanda bags namely Clutch, Crossbody Bag, and Medium & Small Cosmetic Bags. This exclusive range is produced in limited quantities, which are available in all 285 Oriental Princess shops nationwide as of 5th October 2018.

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Wedding Anniversary Package

Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok announces the Wedding Anniversary Package until 30th December, priced from 7,999 baht net per night for Deluxe Suite and 9,999 baht net per night for Premium Deluxe Suite Room. Benefits include a free daily international buffet breakfast, 2.5-hour Thai body balance for two, complimentary in-room bouquet and chocolate mousse cake, and choice of exclusive set dinner! 02 541 1234 ext. 4416 or 4460 cglbcatering@chr.co.th

White Sand Beach  White Sand Beach Residences Pattaya of-

fers 30% discount on the best available rate when booking at least 7 days in advance for stays until end January 2019. Rooms feature a private balcony, a beachfront swimming pool, private access to the beach, kids club, gym room, and an all-day dining Port Cafe. Rates start from 3,178++ baht for Studio Ocean View, 10,395++ baht for Family Two Bedroom Ocean View, including breakfast. +66 (0) 33 005 210 www.whitesandbeachpattaya.com

MATES’ RATES Need a quick cheap getaway? Check out these great offers

‘Shopaholic’ room package  Centara Grand at CentralWorld has launched a ‘Shopaholic’ package for any type of room at the hotel from 6,500++ baht/night/room for stay period until 30 November 2018. Benefits include a complimentary BTS day-pass for all guests, 20% discount at all hotel F&B outlets, free late check-out on request and buy 1 get 1 on-site foot massages. Terms & conditions apply. 0-2100-1234 ext. 6761 – 6763 www.centarahotelsresorts.com

Stay longer and save up to 30%

At Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin, you can save up to 30% with breakfast included. Enjoy 30% off on 5-night stays and more, 25% off on 4-night stays, 20% off on 3-night stays,15% off on 2-night stays. Book direct on our website and get an exclusive $20 restaurant voucher per stay. Promotion Code: STAYNSAVE - Terms and conditions apply. + 66 (32) 520 777 www.movenpick.com/hua-hin

Well Healthy Package  Well Hotel Bangkok in Sukhumvit 20 is Dusit Bonus Night  Get a free extra night when booking two

nights or more at Dusit Thani Hua Hin before 7th December subject to room and rate availability with free wifi throughout the resort. Prices from 3400++ baht per room per night. +66 (0) 3252 0009 dthhrsvn@dusit.com

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offering the Well Healthy Package which includes a 3-night stay, daily breakfast, a 60-minute head massage for two, a three-course healthy lunch or dinner for two, and free access to fitness class with Muay Thai Cardio, Sexy Abs, Aero Cardio and body weight, free mini-bar and 25% discount at Spa and Café. Package starts from 9,700 baht. +662 1275995 www.wellhotelbangkok.com


Beyond Bangkok Seasonal ‘Coconut and Coconut Milk’ Dishes

Hilton Pattaya is offering a variety  of flavourful dishes and desserts made

from ‘coconut and coconut milk’. Flare Restaurant presents authentic Thai food and desserts on level 15 from 6pm to 10.30pm, Drift Lobby Lounge & Bar has a wide selection of appetisers and desserts on level 16 from 10am to 11pm, and Horizon Rooftop Restaurant & Bar offers a delicious three course set menu of an appetiser, a main dish, and a dessert on level 34 from 6pm – 11pm. +66(0)38 253 000 pattaya.hilton.com

NOVEMBER SPECIALS  Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa announce

their promotions for November. The Deck on 4th November has its Sturvember Brunch, showcasing local sturgeon from sushi to BBQ plus other global cuisine from 1,300 baht per person. Yam Yen offers Romantic Dinner by Design every day from 3,900 baht net per couple. Luna Lanai offers your choice of location for Picnic every day from 1,500 baht net per set. +66 (0)32 708 000 ext. 1112

ENTICING DINING & SPA PROMOTIONS

Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa has revealed its latest line-up of dining and wellness promotions for November 2018. At Big Fish & Bar, there’s Tuna Specials from midday or Chef’s Table in the evening. At Amber Kitchen, enjoy Loy Krathong Dinner on 22nd November from 6pm or Thanksgiving Dinner on 25th November at midday. Or Dine Along the Beach on 29th November from 5pm or luxuriate with Pampering Package at Quan Spa from 10am to 9pm. +66 (0) 32 904 666 huahinrestaurants@marriott.com

DINE ALONG THE HUA HIN BEACH

Thann Flagship Store in Chiang Mai

Thann, the renowned and innovative Thai beauty brand, has launched its newest flagship concept store in Chiang Mai with a retail shop on the first floor and the art and jewellery gallery on the second floor on Phrapokklao Road just opposite Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara, opening daily from 10am to 10pm. Thann combines natural therapy and aromatherapy with modern dermatological technology and natural materials. +66 (0)52 060 449 www.thann.info

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Hua Hin’s “Dine Along the Beach” on 29 November is hosted by Hua Hin’s Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, Hilton Resort & Spa, Marriott Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency, and InterContinental Resort. From resort to resort, a five course dinner with one sumptuous course from each resort, including Burrata Cheese and Smoked Thai Eggplant, Keemao Sea Treasure, Sea Bass with Garlic Parmesan and Pesto, Tom Yum Seafood Bisque, and Chocolate praline dome. Priced at 2,499 baht net per person, only 50 places are available. +66 (0) 3251 2021 huahin.regency@hyatt.com

New look for restaurant & bars at Layana

Layana Resort & Spa on Koh Lanta Krabi has refurbished its restaurant and bars with exciting new food and drink menus. At SeaSky Restaurant, dine under the stars or in air-conditioned comfort, with Thai and Mediterranean cuisine for lunch and dinner, or at Sundowners Bar enjoy amazing sunsets, a nightly bonfire, Thaithemed cocktails and craft beers, while White Bar’s extensive selection of healthy refreshments and wholesome tapas keep you fit and smiling! www.mbkhotels.com

Royal Cliff Wins Award  Having won the TTG Travel Hall of Fame Award for the 12th year and the Asia Today CEO award, Royal Cliff Hotels Group won its first Entrepreneurship Award under the “Corporate Excellence” category. The official Awards Ceremony welcomed successful entrepreneurs and VIP guests, with Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Commerce, Chutima Bunyapraphasar and the Chairman of Enterprise Asia, Mr. Tan Sri Dr Fong Chang Onn. +66 38 250 421 ext: 2732 www.royalcliff.com

FRESH FINE DE CLAIRE OYSTERS

At Radius Restaurant, Cape Dara Resort Pattaya until the end of November, you can explore enjoying oysters with Executive Chef Kittisak Khuengthi in many ways, such as Fresh from France served with Thai herbs and roasted chilis, Tom Yum Oyster cream soup, and the exquisite Crispy Oysters with XO sauce. Join us for delicious dishes every day from 11am to 10pm. 038 933 888 reservation@capedarapattaya.com


Beyond Bangkok

Fly Beyond Tonight 2018 Hosted by Grey Goose in collaboration with event organiser ZAAP and designers MILIN & SIXTWELVE to celebrate People, Fashion and Music, Fly Beyond Tonight 2018 featured 4 international DJs - Jonas Blue, SNBRN, Cesqeaux, JVST SAY YES - and premier Hip Hop acts Thaitanium and MINDSET. Fly Beyond Tonight took place at Intercontinental Hua Hin Resort, Vana Nava Sky and Vana Nava Courtyard.

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Beyond Bangkok

A journey of chocolate with a twist Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin unveiled a global menu of seven savoury dishes with a touch of the finest Swiss chocolate called “Chocolate on the Salty Side”. Sven Walter, General Manager, welcomed distinguished guests in Hua Hin to sample this excellent chocolate selection. The Chocolate on the Salty Side promotion will run through 20 November at selected Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts restaurants worldwide. + 66 (32) 520 777 Facebook.com/movenpickhuahin

Thirsty Thursday by the Sea Ocean Bar, an extension of a recent refurbishment of Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua Hin, has opened anew. Discerning guests from Hua Hin Ladies, hotel guests and VIPs were invited to the launch celebrating the bar’s soft opening. Special nibbles were presented at the evening, paired with specially crafted cocktails in an easy-breezy atmosphere aside the Gulf of Thailand with an acoustic duo band adding to the relaxing mood. + 66 (32) 520 777 Facebook.com/movenpickhuahin

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The BigChilli November 2018  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. November 2018

The BigChilli November 2018  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. November 2018