Page 1

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

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

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



Editor’s Blog Those deadly passenger vans Yet again, thailand has had to face up to another horrendous traffic accident that, for a few days, traumatised the entire nation. During the New Year holidays, a passenger van carrying 15 people left the road and crashed into a truck which, tragically, was also carrying a large number of people. the raging fire that resulted from gas tanks on the van gave survivors of the actual crash itself no chance. they were burned alive. Unfortunately, this kind of deadly situation is all too familiar in thailand, especially during long holiday breaks when millions of vehicles hit the road. the government reacted quickly and amongst the measures it has since announced is the promise to phase out the type of passenger van – known as “rot doo” in thai, or “cupboard van” in english - involved in this particular crash. this is surely a case of too little, too late? It is well known that most of these vans have been illegally modified to include extra seats; they also lack emergency exits and windows that open. Allowing such people carriers to be equipped with highly flammable gas tanks is very questionable too. It is also well known that drivers of these vehicles invariably show little respect for other road users, speeding, overtaking on the inside, tailgating and weaving in and out of the traffic. they are a menace – and an extremely dangerous one too. Van drivers have a long history of flouting the laws regarding required breaks between journeys. to maximise their earnings, they are prepared to forgo sleep and rest in order to take on another journey lasting many hours. It is a deadly behavioural mix that unsurprisingly often ends in a tragedy. Indeed, extreme fatigue of the van driver was cited as the most likely cause of the New Year accident. What other road users should be asking is how these highway maniacs – the owners of the passenger’s vans and their drivers – get away with it. Rarely, if ever, do you see a van being hauled over by traffic police for breaking not one, but many laws. One also wonders how many drivers are checked for hours worked. Very few is the likely answer. And even though internal modifications of the vehicle are easy to spot (count the seats), it’s probably a safe bet to say that few offenders are ever fined or prosecuted. the traffic police, it has to be said, have a colossal job on their hands, overseeing the enormous number of cars now using the country’s roads and breaking laws And they have admitted the task is beyond them: “If we strictly follow what the law says, and issue a ticket for people driving over the speed limit, then we will end up booking everyone,” an officer recently told the BBC. But when everybody else knows who the worst offenders are, why don’t the traffic police do the obvious thing and apprehend them. How come drivers of “rot doo” seem to be above the law? Families of those killed in the New Year accident deserve to know the answers How not to solve the road death toll SURelY one of the worst suggestions on how thailand can cut the appalling death toll on its roads comes from Dr liviu Vedrasco, who works on road safety at the World Health Organization. He reckons the solution is to focus on the most vulnerable group, motorbikes, which account for 80% of deaths. In an interview with the BBC, he said: “If you cannot reduce the number of motorbikes, the next best thing is separating them. Make a dedicated lane; maybe not a hundred percent of roads in thailand, but 6


Strip AD_Operation Smile_Feb17.pdf



10:14 AM

Publisher Colin Hastings editorbigchilli@gmail.com MANAGiNG editor Morgan Thanarojpradit morganbigchilli@gmail.com editor Nina Hastings ninabigchilli@gmail.com sAles & MArketiNG MANAGer Rojjana Rungrattwatchai sendtorose@gmail.com AccouNt executives Thana Pongsaskulchoti thanabigchilli@gmail.com AccouNtiNG MANAGer Saranya Choeyjanya fatcatbigchilli@gmail.com AccouNtiNG AssistANt Janjira Silapapairson janbigchilli@gmail.com Art & ProductioN Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakkanawat PhotoGrAPhy JL & AP coNtributiNG Writers Drew McCreadie, Maxmilian Wechsler, Kelly Harvey



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

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



Editor’s Blog aim to increase the percentage of roads with separated traffic - this will definitely have a tremendous impact.” Instead of reducing death tolls, putting motorcyclists known for their love of speed and crazy antics together in one dedicated lane would result in frequent mass pile-ups and even more deaths. It’s recipe for disaster. Has Dr Liviu ever driven on Thailand’s roads, one wonders. GOSSIP Highland fling WHILe much attention has been focused on the bad behaviour of some Chinese tourists in Thailand, the equally deplorable antics of other nationalities is often overlooked. Two very drunk Scotsmen, for example, were recently spotted in Soi Nana in Bangkok getting angry and kicking two ATM machines because they were unable to get any money; they were probably too inebriated to follow the machines’ instructions. Later, they were seen staggering along Sukhumvit Road, between Sois 4 and 6, where one of them was urinating in a pot plant placed outside a hotel – in full view of other pedestrians and passengers in a line of stationary taxis. Foreign exchange rip-off WHAT’S the easiest to make a small fortune? Start with a big fortune. And there’s nowhere better to verify this than a foreign exchange company in the UK called Moneycorp. An expat on vacation tried it out. “I took my 1,000 baht to them and exchanged it into pounds, receiving 18 quid. Then I changed my mind and converted the pounds back into baht and received 630 baht.” Then, to add insult to injury, he said. Moneycorp, a legitimate enterprise, charged a flat rate of £3.99 on top of each transaction. Welcome to rip-off Britain.

Strip AD_Bei Otto_Feb17.indd 1



1/26/17 9:10 AM


Watch out, the traffic cops are about – with fines at the ready! ■ WITH dozens of laws and regulations up their sleeves, ready to nail wayward drivers, Thailand’s traffic police are not to be messed with. Even when you think you’ve done nothing wrong, there’s a



good chance the boys in grey will pin you with some misdemeanour you had never considered. Police are empowered to levy fines, which have a maximum as well as a more reasonable lower limit, which

apparently is usually applied. The list of fineable offences ranges from something as general as “driving with disregard to the traffic regulations or breaking the traffic laws” and “driving recklessly or disrupting the traffic” to other more serious crimes like as “driving on the footpath” and “driving trucks carrying explosive or dangerous substances without proper labeling signs or tags on the truck.” It may surprise some regular road users to discover that it is also illegal to “pass other cars on the left side without good reason,” a common occurrence, especially on the expressways. And you can’t pass cars “while driving onto a bridge or uphill or around the curve.” Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol are amongst the toughest – “no more than three months’ jail time and fine of between 5,000-20,000 baht.” Repeat offenders face even tougher penalties drivers of a bus, truck, school bus or taxi who allow the passengers to disembark at an intersection or in a traffic jam can be fined 5002,000 baht. There are fines for jaywalkers and even people who do not have proper control of animals. And you may be penalised for

installing or hanging items that disrupt traffic. A commonly committed offence – a taxi who refuses a fare (except if it is dangerous to the driver and/or the passengers) – carries a fine of no more than 1,000 baht. Below are some more of the rules and fines as issued by the Traffic Police: • Using unstable or unsafe vehicles that might cause harm to the driver and others on the road. Fine ranges between 200 baht and 500 baht • Driving a vehicle without a license plate on the road. Fine ranges between 300 and 1,000 baht • Misusing the signal lights. Fine ranges between 300 and 500 baht • Driving a truck with the load longer than the truck’s length without attaching a red cloth or flag at the end that can be seen at least 150 metres away. Fine ranges between 300 and 1,000 baht • Driving on the footpath (except push-carts, children’s trollies, vehicles for the handicapped). Fine ranges between 400 and 1,000 baht Please find a full list of details on our website.

Knighthood for British expert in tropical medicine ■ DR Nick White has become the first Thailand-based British expat for more than 60 years to receive a Knighthood from the UK government. The award, announced in the New Year Honours list, is “for services to tropical medicine and global health.” His appointment as a ‘Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George’ gives him the title ‘Professor Sir Nicholas J White FRS.’ Other than UK diplomats, it is believed that the last British expat based here to win this prestigious award was Sir James Holt in the years after WW2.   Sir Nick, 65, is a hugely respected figure in the world of tropical medicine, having worked extensively in Asia, Africa, the US, and Britain.   He began his career at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, graduating in 1974 as the best medical student across all of the

Bangkok’s new highway to U-Tapao

the Thai-Burmese border. He also established a new unit in Ubon Ratchathani to study melioidosis, a then little-known but terrible disease afflicting rice farmers in Northeast Thailand.    In 1991 he broadened his influence on global medical research by establishing a sister unit in Vietnam working on malaria, typhoid, tetanus, and other important infections.      Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Nick oversaw large clinical trials of new drug treatments for malaria across Asia and Africa, work which has changed the way in which malaria is treated worldwide. He has published over 1,000 research papers, and has received numerous awards for his research and the impact it has had on health.   Sir Nick is also a longstanding and popular member of both the British Club and the Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC). A keen sportsman with a legendary sense of humour, Sir Nick to this day plays cricket and squash. A highlight of his cricketing career came in the 1990-91 season when he was appointed vice-captain of the Thailand national cricket side. He is also a talented musician and cartoonist, and can occasionally be found playing the harmonica in various establishments. around Bangkok.

University of London’s medical schools. His first overseas experience was in Nepal where, under difficult conditions, he carried out work for the Britain-Nepal Medical Trust. After training as a junior doctor in the UK, he came to Thailand in 1980 as a lecturer in the ‘Wellcome Unit’, a collaboration between the University of Oxford and Mahidol University’s Faculty of Tropical Medicine.   Nick worked on the treatment of severe malaria, then a major problem along the border with Cambodia, and helped in studies on snake bites.   After a couple of years’ advanced training in Seattle and Oxford, he returned to Thailand in 1986 as Director of the Wellcome Unit at Mahidol. He expanded the Unit’s research into malaria, starting a new unit among the Karen refugees along

To Chonburi North Pattaya Road

Pattaya Bay

Start of new road

Mapprachan Highway

Mapprachan Lake



Huay Yai toll booths

■ A new highway linking the Bangkok-

Chonburi-Pattaya bypass to U-Tapao international airport at Sattahip is now under construction. Heading north to south, the highway cuts across the R 331and ends at the airport. A major exit links with Jomtien Beach opposite Ocean Marina. When open in two years’ time, the highway will help to alleviate heavy congestion now often experienced in north Pattaya while serving Thailand’s increasingly important third major airport.


Huay Yai Highway

Ocean Marina 331


To Rayong


Khao Chi On toll booths


U-Tapao toll booths Sattahip




End of new road U-Tapao Highway




CeleBrAting more thAn 30 yeArS At the riverSide AuCtion houSe Boasting the largest collection of art and antiquities in Southeast Asia, this auction house has much to celebrate


STABLISHED in July 1985, the Riverside Auction House – a member of Chao Phraya Development Corporation Limited – has become known for housing the largest collection of art and antiques in Southeast Asia and its monthly auction, held on the first Saturday of every month for over 30 years. Certified by the Association for the Propagation and Promotion of objects D’Art, this renowned monthly auction has become a channel whereby buyers and sellers can share knowledge and information on arts and antiques among each other. Today, this information is also widely published on the company’s website and in auction catalogues. A pair of 19th-century Chinese blue and white porcelain covered bowls, each painted with lotus-ponds.



Two 19th-century Benjarong (Lai Nam Thong) stem dishes, each painted with a continuous scrolling floral design.

On July 26, 1985 Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously presided over the auspicious grand opening of the Riverside Auction House Limited, entitled ‘Exhibition Auction of Antiques and Works of Art’. Since the inauguration, the Riverside Auction House has continued to hold a monthly auction on the first Saturday of each month. Traditionally on its anniversary celebration as well as other specially arranged auctions, the proceeds from the grand auction sale of antiques, works of art, and jewellery are donated to worthy charitable causes.

Procedures and conditions concerning the auction 1. Bidding can be done by: interested bidders themselves at the auction; a proxy duly authorised by the interested bidders to execute bids on their behalf at the auction; or a proxy duly authorised by the interested bidders to an official of the Riverside Auction House who will execute bids on their behalf at the auction. 2. Newcomers are required to make a deposit of 50,000 baht. 3. Only the auctioneer may state each bid; there is no restriction on the increment of each bid. 4. The successful bidder is the person who offers the highest final bid at which time the auctioneer will confirm by knocking the hammer.

A 19th-century Chakri teacup with cover painted with blossoming daisies on a green background, made to order for Siam by Serves.

A 19th-century Chinese monochrome porcelain covered teacup painted with birds on the peonies branches against a pink background.

In 1985 a donation of 300,000 baht was presented to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for the Sai Jai Thai Foundation and in 1986 over a million baht was raised from the first anniversary’s grand auction for the Royal Park Project foundation. In 1988 another charity gem and jewellery auction was specially held to raise funds for various projects under His Majesty the King’s Royal Patronage. In keeping with its consistent policy to promote art and culture major exhibitions of rare antiquities, magnificent objects d’art, important historical photographs, beautiful paintings and sculptural works by contemporary Thai and foreign artists have been regularly exhibited at the RCB Auction Room. Some old catalogues can still be found at Antiquarian Suite today. By 2017 the Riverside Auction House has held a total of 377 auctions amounting to more than 70,000 items auctioned throughout its 32 years of operation. Its monthly auction will continue to be held on the first Saturday of each month, as it is the way to promote to wider audiences for greater recognition. In the future the Riverside Auction House has planned an E-auction platform to disseminate product knowledge and price as well as promotions to general public. The platform will also be the knowledge center on arts and antiques that can conveniently reach both local and international audiences.

5. If the highest final bid is below the reserve price of the seller, the auctioneer will announce the reserve price. If the person offering the highest final bid is willing to bid at the reserve price, he/she will be the successful bidder. If the person offering the highest final bid declines to bid at the reserve price, the lot will be withdrawn. 6. The successful bidder must take responsibility for following the procedures, rules and regulations of the authorities concerning the shipment of items of certain kinds out of the country. 7. The successful bidder will be responsible for the packaging and transportation of his/her lot(s) out of the company’s office within five days after the auction day. The company will not be held responsible for any damage or loss of items after the prescribed period. 8. Payments can be made in cash, by cheque or credit card. 9. For payments made by credit card, the buyer must pay the surcharges according to the credit card company’s fee. 10. A deposit can be made in cash, cheque and credit card but the amount must not be less than 25% of the winning bid. The balance must be paid in full to the company within 5 days after the day of the auction.

Riverside Auction House 4th floor Room 459 – 460 Charoenkrung 24 02 237 0077 ext 459, 460 auction@rivercity.co.th www.rcbauctions.com




& proudly announce THE

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

www.thebigchilli.com 16


Abs olu t e Hotel Se r vic e s Group (A HS)

NY C - Th ai B D

Jonathan Wi gl ey , Found e r

■ FROM exporting clothes to importing ice cream, Benjamin Leiner is living proof that Thailand is the land of opportunity for willing entrepreneurs. Serial entrepreneur Benjamin Leiner decided to bring his favourite American ice-cream – Emack and Bolio’s – to Thailand. After two years of work getting 22 flavours approved by the Thai FDA, Bemjamin opened his first Emack and Bolio’s store in 2014. He now has 34 flavours and six stores located across Bangkok including CentralWorld, Central Westgate, Central Ladprao, Siam Centre, EmQuartier and Nichada Thani.” www.emackandboliosthai.com

■ IN just eight years, UK-born Jonathan Wigley has gone from a junior hotelier to a major player in the highly competitive international hotel industry. In 2008 Jonathon founded Absolute Hotel Services Group (AHS), which has already become one of the fastest growing hospitality management/branding companies in Asia. Through its brands - which include U Hotels & Resorts, Eastin Grand Hotels, Eastin Hotels & Residences, and Eastin Easy – AHS controls more than 7,500 keys in almost 70 hotels worldwide. www.absolutehotelservices.com

Ben j a m in L e in e r, F o u n d e r

Food Glorious Food B o b C o o m b s , F o u n de r

K a r ma S ound Studios Chr i s Cr aker, Found e r

■ AWARD-WINNING musician and producer Cris Craker climbed to the top of the British music industry before picking the sleepy fishing village of Bang Saray to build his world class music studio. The unlikely Mecca for some of the biggest names in the music industry has a a growing list of talented young musicians and a solid track record for producing high quality and marketable recordings. www.karmasoundstudios.com

■ IN his 40 years in Thailand Bob Coombs has built a successful company in an industry known for fierce rivalries and shady dealings. The straight-talking founder of Choice Foods was the first to bring chilled beef and oysters from Australia, salmon from Scotland, and a number of other delicacies to Bangkok and was the first food supplier to operate refrigerated vehicles, other than ice cream vans, in Thailand. Food Glorious Food is the retail arm of Choice Foods and is now considered as the leading retailer of premium meats and gourmet delicacies. www.foodglorious-food.com



NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards


Smiling Albin o Daniel Fraser, Adventurer-in-Chief

■ SMILING Albino is a luxury adventure and tour company founded in Thailand by Daniel Fraser, an entrepreneur and television host whose Tourism Authority of Thailand video went viral and helped Daniel win MThai media Most Talked about media personality in 2014. Smiling Albino is a team of travel enthusiasts in Southeast Asia and Nepal who host socially conscious travellers including billionaires and celebrities who seek an authentic, original experience through community-based tourism and industry-leading ethical touring standards. www.smilingalbino.com

Tuk Tuk Fa ctory D e nni s Har te, Found e r

■ AFTER unveiling a successful prototype in 2009, 35-year-old Dutch engineer Dennis Harte is taking Thailand’s ubiquitous three-wheeler to the next phase with his silent and emissions-free electric models. Tuk Tuk Factory (TTF) currently assembles four models of electric tuk-tuks of its own design in Thailand and exports them to countries around the globe, including the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Iceland, the USA and France to name but a few. Thanks to a change in Thai regulations TTF will begin selling their eco-friendly tuk tuks in Thailand in early 2017. www.tuktukfactory.com

18 TheBigChilli TheBigChilli

Fred Tibbitts & Associates, Inc. F re d T ib b it t s , F o u n de r a n d C E O

■ FROM studying and practicing clinical psychology in the early 60s, to obtaining a degree in economics, to becoming a highly respected international wine supplier, to converting to Buddhism and living in a monastery for 18 months, to giving away most of his possessions and eventually turning his own company into a social enterprise which gives all of its money to charity, well, there aren’t many people as humble and caring as Fred Tibbitts. From New York to Delhi and from Bangkok to Hong Kong, Fred’s annual dinners bring together the worldís leading hoteliers for a night of wining and dining and inspiring conversation. The message: ìLet go of what you have and help those less fortunate. www.fredtibbitts.com

M aepin g M an go Riv er side Resor t

D a vid Arm s t ro n g , F o u n d e r

■ AFTER eight years and lots of hurdles, former Bangkok Post Managing Director David Armstrong and wife, Nichapa opened Maeping Mango Riverside Resort in Kamphaeng Phet. The resort, which was architecturally inspired by the blending of Thai and European styles characteristic of the reigns of Kings Rama V and Rama VI, is the materialisation of Nichadaís dream. David now spends his days in Kamphaeng Phet, having breakfast on the veranda, watching the river flow by and the sun rise over the tree tops. www.maepingmangoriverside.com

Sloa n e ’s A rtisan J oe S l oane , Founder

■ THE five-storey shop-house that is Slaone’s Artisan meat factory off Sanphawut Road is filled with the aroma of hand-made sausages, cured meats, terrines and pates, and local cheese and dairy products. Founded by London-born Joe Sloane, Sloane’s Artisan is one of the leading producers of meat and dairy products in the country with clients including wholesalers, restaurants, hotels, Gourmet Market outlets, Villa Market branches in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin and soon in Udon Thani, as well as Rimping Supermarkets in Chiang Mai. The secret to his success, he says, is simply supplying better quality products and working with ethical farms. www.sloanes.co.th

BO U N C E inc Thailand Mar k Jobling, M a na ging Dire c tor

■ MARK Jobling enjoyed great financial success with investments in the power generation industry, but it wasn’t until he became involved with BOUNCEinc and founded a new home for the innovative trampolining recreational enterprise in Thailand that his dreams finally came together. The first BOUNCE in Thailand and the largest in Asia opened at The Street on Ratchadaphisek in December 2015 and Mark recently presided over the opening the second BOUNCE at EmQuartier. www.bounceinc.co.th

Jo’s A rt isan C h eese Jo St ev en s , F o u n d e r

■ BRITISH entrpreneur Jo Stevens was first introduced to cheese making while visiting a friend in Ooty in southern India. A woman had established a small dairy farm and over a period of just two weeks happily passed on her tricks of the trade to Jo. Two and half years’ experimentation later, she now makes a variety of cheeses under the label ‘Jo’s Artisan Cheese’. Working alone from her Sukhumvit home, she currently produces 32kg of cheese a month. Buyers are split more or less equally between Thais and foreigners, and in addition to a legion of friends, Jo’s customers also include many of Bangkok’s restaurants and hotels. www.facebook.com/joartisancheese50

C offeeW O RKS D a le L e e , F o u n d e r

■ IF you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of coffee in Bangkok, there’s a good chance the beans that make it so delicious come from a company owned by an American from Michigan called CoffeeWORKS. Operating since 1995, CoffeeWORKS is today one of the top three suppliers of coffee and related equipment in Thailand. Its 800-plus customers include a long list of major corporations with coffee-thirsty staff, many of the country’s best known hotels as well as specialist coffee shops, cafés and chain outlets. Among them are Dean & Deluca, W Hotel, McCafe outlets at McDonald’s Thailand, and Bluecup Coffee by S&P. www.coffeeworks.co.th



NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards


E quator P u re N at u re Co. , Lt d. Pet er Wai n m a n, F o u n de r

■ Natural cleaning products were all but non-existent in Thailand when Peter Wainman suffered a severe allergic reaction to a harsh chemical cleaner in 2010, he and his wife decided to make natural products themselves. PiPPER STANDARD Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener was founded in 2010, since 2016, sales have grown exponentially; Pipper products now sell in 10 Asian markets, including Taiwan, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. Pipper Standard is the result of six years of research and development and Wainman’s drive to create natural, healthy, effective alternatives to chemical cleaning products. The basis of Pipper products is fermentation technology. In 2016, Wainman received U.S. patents covering this technology and additionally has multiple global patents pending covering 70% of world’s GDP. www.equatorpurenature.com

Trepax In n ov at ion C om pan y (TIC ) P a ul G re e nha lg h, C o -f o u n d e r

■ COMING to Thailand in his mid-20s by way of Dubai, Paul Greenhalgh says that adjusting his personal philosophy and attitudes allowed him to adapt to a country that at first overwhelmed him. Paul and his Thai partners at Trepax Innovation Company (TIC) in Samut Prakan – which he describes as a specialist contracting company that works on the principle of selling solutions – have watched the enterprise grow from a struggling local operation to a global player. www.trepax.co.th

Civil M ast er Inter nat ion al (C M I)

M atth ew Ha rris o n , C o -f o u n de r a nd M a nag i n g D i re c t o r

■ AFTER 16 years at the helm of the Bangkok-based company Civil Master International (CMI), Matthew Harrison couldn’t be happier with his professional and private life in Thailand. His architectural contracting company specialises in virtually anything that involves the exterior of major buildings, including facade renovation, repainting, and repairs. Thanks to a combination of factors, it’s clearly ticking all the boxes. www.civilmastergroup.com

Risk P rotec t ion (Th ailan d) Gr ah am M u r rel l , F o u n d e r a n d C E O

■ MAKING Thailand a safer place to live and do business is 54-year-old British entrepreneur Graham Murrell. His compnay, Risk Portection (Thailand), provides well-trained guards and sophisticated equipment for a wide range of clients, from embassies to jewelry. www.risk-pro.com



L es Walsh En t re p re ne u r

■ LES Walsh is an entrepreneurial executive from Canada who has made Asia his home for more than three decades and with his wife Kulthilda has raised two sons in Thailand. Although Les has enjoyed success in a diverse array of industries including trade and investment, retirement communities, product development, event management, marketing and music, he’s probably best known for organising some of this country’s leading golf tournaments.

NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards


Fine Food &Two Chefs Erw in Eb e rh a rt e r, F o u n d e r

Te a & F ru it s Co. , Ltd. I d o Ber ger , Fou nd e r

■ TRYING to pigeonhole Ido Berger is a difficult proposition, but the description entrepreneur with a strong creative flair works pretty well as a starting point. His resume includes forays into acting, journalism, education, and the food and beverage industry. The latter led to the idea to market mixtures of fruits with selected varieties of tea. And thus, Tea & Fruits Co., Ltd. was founded in 2013 with the motto: ‘Tea and dessert – in the same cup’. www.teaandfruits.com

■ AFTER 20 years of running the kitchens of top hotels in Bangkok and around the world, Austrian-born Erwin Eberharter decided two years ago to go it alone and launch Thailand’s first ready-to-eat range of fine dining meals under his own brand, Chef Erwin. Fresh and Delicious. Erwin and his team combine imported ingredients and raw products with their refined cooking process and creativity to produce chilled, rather than frozen, fine-dining quality meals that are ready to eat in your home in just minutes. www.finefood-twochefs.com

T h e London P ie

Steve Mi nes F o under and Managing Dire c tor

B Ù In t er ior s

■ YORKSHIREMAN Steve Mines and his wife set about building The London Pie from the ashes of The British Pie shop. Day one of The London Pie saw them with one table, one baking bowl, the household oven from their house in Phuket, and a burning desire to show a band of ex-investors what could be done with Yorkshire grit, Thai grit, something to prove, and a chip on his shoulder large enough to be seen from space on a good day. Rising from the ashes Steve’s pies are now available in various outlets, stores and restuarants in Bangkok and Pattaya. www.londonpiebangkok.com



P a t ric ia Fro s t , F o u n d e r

The B eau m on t P artner sh ip

Ti m Beau m o nt , F o u n de r a n d M a na ging D i re c t o r

■ TIM Beaumont has run the Bangkok architectural firm The Beaumont Partnership for almost a quarter of a century with remarkable success. But if his eyesight were a little better, the naturalised Thai born in Norfolk, England, 65 years ago would likely have spent those years roaming the high seas. www.thebeaumontpartnership.com

■ NOT content to follow her husband’s career from country to country, Patricia Frost decided to invent her own. As husband Richard followed professional opportunities from Malaysia to Hong Kong to Singapore to Thailand, Patricia also found opportunities everywhere she landed, leading to the establishment of her interior design company, BÙ Interiors, which she describes as a niche business that creates personalised homes with Western décor styles that can be infused with Asian influence. www.bo-interiors.com

NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards


Sh r im p Asia

P a t ric k G a uva in , F o u n d e r a n d Ma n g a i n g D i re c t o r

T h e Soda Company Ltd Flor i an Preuss, F ound e r a nd M a na ging Dire c tor

■ AFTER 18 years in the airline industry, German-born Florian Preuss felt he had reached a point in his life where he needed new horizons and, perhaps more importantly, control over his future. The upshot is a small company importing quality wines from South Africa into Thailand which has already added a new dimension to Bangkok’s burgeoning wine culture. sodaco.wixsite.com/sodaco

■ HE’S been called a hedonist, eccentric and even ñ at least in his younger days ñ a playboy, but since his arrival in Thailand in 1968, artist and photographer Patrick Gauvain can also rightly claim to be one of this countryís most durable and successful entrepreneurs. Called Shrimp because of his diminutive size, it was his skill behind the lens that led to the amazingly popular Shrimp Calendar featuring a bevy of scantily-clad Thai beauties. Today he runs Thailand’s longest established branding, design and communications firm, focusing on brand engineering. www.shrimp-asia.com

Gateway Equ ipm en t L im it ed Roy Bar re t t , C o -f o u n de r

■ JUST seven years ago, Roy Barrett and his two eldest children, Lisa and Philip, formed Gateway Equipment Limited. Today the company is the major supplier of equipment to golf courses in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, employing over 60 staff with the head office in Bangkok and a branch office in Nakorn Ratchasima and a subsidiary in Vietnam. Providing quality equipment such as turf maintenance equipment, irrigation systems and golf cars to nearly 300 golf courses in Thailand alone. www.gatewayequipment.co.th

ea t igo

M ichael Cl uzel, Co -f ou nder and Group CEO

Caviar H ou se

■ MICHAEL Cluzel is a pivotal

■ IN 2011, 43-year-old Russia-born Alexey Tyutin went into business with Thai national Noppadon Khamsia to raise the sturgeon that produce black caviar on a farm near Hua Hin. In 2015, together with Noppadon, he co-founded Caviar House Co., Ltd. to bring black caviar – a product usually reserved for the elite – to the local Thai and expat community at affordable prices. www.caviarhouse.co.th

member of a group of foreign and Thai entrepreneurs behind the innovative new dining concept known as eatigo. Via website or moblie applications, eatigo makes a business of connecting empty stomachs to empty tables, serving up daily time-based discounts of up to 50% for all participating restaurants including over 100 of the most popular dining places in Bangkok. www.eatigo.com



A l ex ey Ty u t in, C o -f o u n d e r

NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards


CW L Ligh t ing I a n Potter , Foun d e r

■ IN the 20 years since he founded CWL Lighting, Ian Potter has seen the enterprise go from a design and equipment supply company in Phuket to a Bangkok studio providing lighting design services to the hospitality sector across Asia Pacific. With clients including the Hilton Group, Intercontinental, Indigo and Holiday Inn brands from IHG, together with properties from the Dusit and Accor portfolios, we can certainly say the future is looking bright for Ian. www.cwl-lighting.com

VaVa P ipe C ar s t en F is c h e r, F o u n d e r

■ AFTER a sharp decline in in the early 1960s, pipe smoking is again seen as a sign of hipness and intelligence. Carsten Fischer, Thailand’s only full-time pipe-maker, is riding the resurging wave of popularity by making beautiful hand-crafted products in a tiny but efficient workshop he built himself. His pipes are in demand around the world and in Thailand they are prized by architects and army officers among others. www.vava-pipe.com

V IV IN - Th e F in e F ood Specialist N ic o la s Vivin, C o -f o u n d e r

■ AFTER two years of hard work the husband and wife team behind VIVIN – The Fine Foods Specialist, finally have their products on the shelves of high-end supermarkets in Bangkok, including: whole duck foie gras terrine; dried duck magret in a variety of flavours; condiments and spices; and some amazing goat cheese from Chonburi. The dynamic duo also opened their own sales corner in the Central Chidlom Food Hall where shoppers can now sample VIVIN’s wares and learn the story behind each handmade product. www.vivinmaison.com

T. I. N. Tr adin g C om pan y L im it ed Ton y Tay lo r, F o u n d e r a n d Ma n a g i n g D i re c t o r

■ WHEN Tony Taylor started his business in Thailand in 1998, he had just one imported product for sale: a container-load of potato crisps from the UK. To his delight and surprise this most humble of snacks caught on, especially among homesick Brits. He quickly realised that Brits living here pined for all kinds of other foodstuffs from the UK. Tony was ready and able to fill the gaping hole in the local food market and today the energised Londoner controls T.I.N. Trading, the country’s leading importer of English and Australian dried food items, condiments, and beer. www.tintrading.com



NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards


X -treme Spor t s Gear E ddi e E v a n s , F o u n d e r

■ BEFORE coming to Thailand, Canadian-born Eddie Evans made his mark as

Huddy’s D etailing

H udson Walsh, Found e r a nd M angin g Direct or

■ AT the age of 21, most luk-krung (mixed Thai-Western) kids are striving along an academic path toward a bright future. For Hudson Walsh, the owner of Huddy’s Detailing, it’s been quite a different road. He can be found almost every day in a garage in Thonburi detailing some of the most exotic and expensive vehicles in Thailand with a dream to someday work on his own supercar. www.huddysdetailing/wixsite.com

an international rugby player from which he made his living. When Eddie set up X-treme Sports Gear company in 2002, he didn’t envision how extremely successful the enterprise would be 14 years later. The company offices, factory and Eddie’s residence are all under one roof in an eight-storey building near Rama IX Road in Din Daeng district of Bangkok and is having a very successful run with X-treme Sports Gear supplying a wide variety of sports clothing and accessories. www.x-tremerugbywear.com

A ndragogy

Kat e Jack s o n , F o u n de r a n d Ma n a ging Dire c t o r

D C M Solu t ions Julian Ol ds, Fou nd e r

■ JULIAN Olds started his construction company DCM Solutions in 2000 with just a one million baht investment. Today the company has a turnover of around 750 million baht and employs thousands. And it all started with a detour to Bangkok on the way to Hong Kong, with the eventual goal to get back to England to resume a professional rugby career. www.dcm-solutions.com



■ BASED on the principles of adult learning for the long-life learning sector, Kate Jackson founded Andragogy to offer tailor made communications training in business English, customer service, as well as leadership communication and presentation coaching for businesses of all shapes and sizes and learners ranging from C-suite executives to low-level staff. Over the years, Kateís passion and bespoke training programs have caught the attention of several international companies and has worked for the likes of KPMG Thailand, Pfizer and Centara Hotels & Resorts before gaining clients such as Colgate Palmolive, Jaymart, Srichand, David Yurman, Tesco Credit Card Services, and Airbus Asia-Pacific. www.andragogy-learning.com

C or n er st on e

R ic h a rd B e ll, F o u n d e r a n d Ma n a g i n g D i re c t o r

■ IN the space of just 12 years, Cornerstone has grown from a one man start-up into one of Thailandís top construction management companies, with a portfolio of high-profile clients behind some of this countryís best known buildings. Owned and operated by British expatriate Richard Bell, Cornerstone is a totally independent BOIsupported organisation whose key services include project management, construction management, quantity surveying, project auditing and property appraisals. www.cornerstonemgmt.com

School Report

Brighton College Bangkok – Just another branded school?


RIGHTON College is arguably the most successful UK school to open an international campus in Bangkok. Having recently been ranked the top coeducational school by The Sunday Times for the second year running, to what extent does Brighton College Bangkok have the right to trade on the long-established reputations of its UK counterpart? Pupils at Brighton College UK may achieve some of the best academic grades in the country, accomplished not through hothousing, but through a balanced and holistic education that encourages pupils to be the very best version of themselves possible. Prospective families are however right to question whether the quality and authenticity of an international school are comparable with the original UK ‘brand’. In the case of Brighton College, the answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’. The intention is to replicate an authentic ‘Brighton College’ education in Bangkok, and not purely in terms of the academic excellence. The ethos of kindness, the focus on the individual pupil, the partnership between home and school, the



Vanessa Robitaille, Head of Prep School:

Jon Wingfield, Deputy Head of Senior School:

‘Having been the Head of Prep School at Brighton College Abu Dhabi prior to my move to Thailand, I have seen first-hand the enormous benefits of being part of this truly successful family of schools that shares best practice, expertise and board members across the four sites.’

‘I am excited and proud to be joining Brighton College as it opens in Bangkok. Its fresh approach has attracted innovative and ambitious staff with a wealth of experience, whilst the dedicated facilities, technology and equipment are state of the art.’

traditional House system and the offer of extensive co-curricular activities are all part of the Brighton College DNA that is available in the UK, the Middle East and now Bangkok.

This is guaranteed firstly through formal inspections from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), the benchmark for all UK independent schools. Secondly, the school employs a significant percentage of teachers and senior management directly from Brighton College. Their founding Headmaster previously led Brighton College Al Ain, the Head of Prep School was the founding Head of Prep at Brighton College Abu Dhabi whilst the Head of Science joins from Brighton College UK. Their understanding of what a Brighton College education is and their direct contributions to the outstanding achievements of the other schools in the family will undoubtedly help Brighton College Bangkok recreate the same magic in Thailand. Furthermore, Brighton College Bangkok is the only ‘branded’ international school that is managed directly from the UK. The school

recently welcomed Mr Richard Cairns, Headmaster of Brighton College UK and member of the Bangkok Board of Governors, for the fourth time within 12 months. During his visit, he observed lessons, interviewed members of staff and acted as a critical friend to the Bangkok campus, to ensure that the education offered reflects the quality, values and ethos of Brighton College. With the two well-established Brighton College International Schools (Abu Dhabi and Al Ain) both mirroring Brighton College UK by topping their respective league tables, what is the secret behind this family of school’s success? The recipe is simple; it is due to the complete focus on each child that attends a Brighton College. Whilst examination results are important, Brighton College is also renowned for seeing education as a journey, one that continues long after its pupils leave for the world’s leading universities. At Brighton College, the aim is to ignite a love for learning that will burn for a lifetime, and this is the reason why the school differs to others in Bangkok. By following the structure of the overwhelming majority of top independent schools in the UK, its pupils benefit from a full timetable, taught by subject specialists, from the age of 9. At this age children are ready for an additional challenge, enabling them to delve deeper into a subject. Specialist teachers have a depth and breadth of knowledge in their areas of expertise that help to sow the seeds of fascination in young minds. First and foremost, at Brighton College Bangkok, learning is fun. However, the school also believes in providing rigour, and the Common Entrance Examinations that all pupils sit at the age of 13, provide focus. These examinations have enormous benefit, with pupils learning how to cope with formal exams, how to revise and all-important exam technique; all requisite skills for IGCSEs and beyond. These same pupils also prosper from their time spent as leaders in the Prep School. When they join the Senior School, at the age of 13, they are ready to take on responsibility and have the understanding and the

Edward Johnson, Deputy Head of Prep School:

Chris Kulin, Head of Science:

‘Beyond the classroom an incredible array of co-curricular activities allows pupils to discover where their natural talents lie, encouraging them to broaden their horizons and to conquer challenges in a safe and secure environment.’

‘I attended Brighton College in the UK as a pupil and have also taught there for five years. This has given me a unique understanding of the Brighton College focus on the whole child and how this supports academic excellence. I can’t wait to be part of the growth and development of the Prep and Senior Schools in Bangkok.’

approach required to be good role models and ambassadors. This develops from spending two years as the elder statesmen and women of the Prep School, rather than being at the bottom of the ladder in a large secondary school. One hallmark of a truly successful school is the enormous pride felt by its ex-pupils, who remain friends of the school and of each other for decades that follow. This kind of collegiality and solidarity are the result of Brighton College’s unflinching commitment to ensuring that children grow into firstclass versions of themselves and the significance attached to the House system. Unlike at many schools, where Houses are merely team names, perhaps for sports and drama, for Brighton College Bangkok the House system is the most powerful pastoral vehicle of all, where pride and camaraderie abound, and where the qualities of leadership, compassion and empathy become ingrained in every pupil. There is something quite magical about the team spirit that

evolves through an all-encompassing House system. Indeed, when children have a vested interest in one another, a culture of kindness pervades and becomes the norm, as has already evolved at the Bangkok campus. This is where the kind of pride that lasts a lifetime is developed and these are the secure and happy foundations on which tomorrow’s leaders will be built. To find out more about Brighton College Bangkok, please come along to our open house coffee mornings, during term time, on Wednesdays from 9:00 am - 11:00 am and Fridays from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. For more information please call Kim MeadenKendrick, Registrar on 02 136 7898 or email admissions@brightoncollegebangkok.com


BANGKOK Brighton College Bangkok, Krungthep Kreetha soi 15/1, Huamark, Bangkok, 10240 www.BrightonCollegeBangkok.com



School Report

Harrow Bangkok students shine in national competition

HARROW International School Bangkok students recently showcased their entrepreneurial skills at the Junior Achievement Company Programme with two teams from the school entering and both reaching the final round. The highlycompetitive event requires teams from schools around the country start up their own student-led business enterprises. Both teams developed innovative products from recycled materials. During the final, on December 11, 2016, both Harrow Bangkok teams did exceptionally well with Kaska finishing at an overall second place and took the most innovative product award home, while Cacster received the most charitable company prize.

The pirates and mermaids picnic

ON Saturday, January 21, KIS International School hosted a morning of pirate and mermaid-themed fun and games at KIS’s Pirates and Mermaids Picnic from 9am-12pm. The picnic featured many exciting activities including making sandcastles, an under the sea themed puppet show, games, a treasure hunt, and more.

Outstanding Educator Award for Economics Head

EACH year, the University of Chicago invites first year students to nominate an educator who has influenced, challenged, or helped them along the path to intellectual growth. This year, Gary Phillpott, founding teacher and Head of Economics and Business Studies at Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, was selected to receive the annual Outstanding Educator Award by the University of Chicago. He was nominated by a Shrewsbury Class of 2016 Graduate, Chin, now a freshman at Chicago.

RIS celebrates a history of success

RUAMRUDEE International School – founded in 1957 by Redemptorist fathers – was the first WASC accredited school in Thailand offering the choice of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and Advanced Placement courses (AP) in high school. Over the past 60 years, Ruamrudee has guided its students towards academic excellence and supported their individual growth as compassionate members of the global community in which they live.



School Report

A 50 year legacy Long before the arrival of imported British school brands, Traill International School became Thailand’s very first British Secondary school – the start of a legacy of educational excellence


UST 50 years ago, Thailand was still laying foundations for the gigantic economic growth that would take the country by storm for the next few decades. It was at this time in early 1964 that Anthony Murray Traill, the founder of Traill International School, first arrived in Thailand. Having been Great Britain’s athletics coach at the Melbourne and Rome Olympics in 1956 and 1960 respectively, Mr Traill was brought over at the request of the Thai government to coach the Thai national athletics team for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. After marrying Chinda Boonsakun in 1965, they set up a school in 1966



to cater to the educational needs of the children of other expatriates, tired of the long separations of families when young ones were sent back to the west for school. Opening with 82 students, it was initially called The Preparatory School and was renamed Traill International School in the early 1990s. While there were a few schools that had been set up earlier, Traill was the first British school to cater to students all the way from kindergarten to secondary. Traill became Thailand’s first British secondary school, offering O level and A level qualifications to students seeking a university or college education overseas.

Mr Traill believed in the allround development of his students, including academic, athletic, and moral attributes. He combined the achievement of academic excellence with the development of good character, setting the students in a warm and homely environment that was to become the defining trait of the Traill brand. This academic year, five decades later, Traill International School is celebrating its 50th anniversary and looking back with pride to a period rich with achievements and successes. It is an occasion to remember their founder too, a man whose legacy lives on to this day, with fond nostalgia.


RENT V38 Offering a new style of habitat for the urban dweller


ESTLED near Chatuchak Park in northern Bangkok, this apartment complex offers a different type of luxury that is hard to beat. Unlike the typical cookie-cutter style, highrise condo in Bangkok, RENT V38 offers individual living spaces that are as unique, modern, and trendy as the people who live in them. RENT V38 was created to provide a relaxing haven for those living, working, and socialising in the city to escape the frantic pace of Bangkok life. Offering six styles of apartments,

including loft-style studios and one-bedrooms, RENT V38 is suited to all types of city dwellers. Designed by a couple, with more than a little help from their 7-yearold daughter, the plot on which the apartments are built was passed down through their family. As the designers they were on-site, getting involved, and project managing from the start. The land was once used as farming land to sell goods at a local market that is no longer in the area. Within the apartment complex tenants also have access to a state of the art gym with boxing equipment, TRX, free weights, sauna, and endless pool system. Offering personal trainers, numerous classes, and access to an altitude chamber for fullaccess gym members. A perfect way to keep fit, healthy, and feeling great. Conveniently located near a Major Cineplex and Central Plaza you will never be too far from fine dining, shopping, or entertainment. A short five-minute motorbike taxi ride can take you to the rail networks of the BTS or MRT. For more information visit the website www.rentv38.com or www.v38fitness.com or call 0922604270



Expat Sport

The Tens’ TenTh

Some of the fast-flying action from last year’s tournament

Top men’s and women’s rugby teams from across the globe return for the annual Bangkok International Rugby Tens




THE opportunity to watch great rugby games, socialise, and join in various friendly activities is attracting more attendees to the event every year. This year’s event is expecting to host around 2,000 players, over 100 teams from around the world, and over 5,000 spectators. Prominent players at this year’s event include former Springbok captain Bobby Skinstad, former Tongan captain and now TV personality and commentator Willy Lose, South African commentator Dan Nicholl, former Wallaby player Warrick Waugh, and former All Black player Frank Eneri Bunce. The event, now in its tenth year, will take place over two days on February 25 and 26, 2017, with a welcome evening held on Friday, February 24, 2017. Tournament founder, Eddie Evans, was born and raised in Canada and discovered rugby at an early age. He trained throughout school and became evident that he would pursue rugby as a career. He played for the Canadian national time from 1986-1999, won 50 Cups and represented Canada in three World Cups. He went on to play in the UK, New Zealand, and Japan for several seasons before finally retiring in 2001. He then moved to Thailand and founded his company, X-treme Sportsgear Co., Ltd. Wanting to give back to the community, he started planning the first edition of the Bangkok International Rugby Tens in 2004. Today, the tournament is one of the biggest rugby events in Asia and is known around the world. The proceeds from the rugby event go to the Nak Suu Tigers, a rugby programme for underprivileged children co-founded by Eddie Evans. The programme gives children from Bangkok’s slums the opportunity to learn valuable life skills through rugby, providing children with mentoring and vocational training on top of rugby practices, giving these children an opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty and start a new life in the future. This year’s sponsors include Hooters, Four Points By Sheraton Bangkok, RockTape, Sevens Series Singapore, RugbyPass, Bumrungrad Hospital, Bangkok Patana School, APAC Assistance, Health Box, Allied Pickfords, X-treme Sports Gear, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn, Nestle Pure Life, S5 Agency World Asia, Flow House, and Midas PR Group.


a veteraN of tHe iNterNatioNal property sceNe, cHris delaNey worked iN tHe middle east aNd HoNg koNg Before relocatiNg to BaNgkok more tHaN 30 years ago Name: Chris Delaney. age: Timeless. BorN: lonDon, UK. marital status: marrieD.occupatioN: managing DireCTor, sUnplay asia. How loNg iN tHailaNd / asia: arriveD in hong Kong in 1977 passioNs: Car raCing, phoTography, ClassiCal mUsiC, film, Travel, anD fine wines.iNterests: asTronomy, egypTology. curreNt project: sUnplay Bangsaray aCTive lifesTyle. reTiremenT CommUniTy, a properTy DevelopmenT. if you could cHaNge oNe tHiNg aBout yourself, wHat would it Be: i am CerTainly noT perfeCT, BUT aT my age i am ComforTaBle The way i am. Best frieNd: i am BlesseD wiTh a few greaT, gooD frienDs. They Know who They are. wHat qualities do you like iN a womaN: inTelligenCe, anD loyalTy. favourite Bar/ restauraNt: harry’s Bar in monTreUx, swiTzerlanD, anD lenzi iTalian resTaUranT in BangKoK. tHe most iNterestiNg persoN you’ve ever met: miChael sChUmaCher. your curreNt state of miNd: resolUTe.otHer tHaN tHe traffic, wHat would you like to see differeNt iN BaNgkok: more eleCTriC Cars anD solar energy. wHere else would you like to live / retire: swiTzerlanD. Best Holiday: grenaDines on a yaChT. HigH poiNt: CompleTing saThorn sqUare offiCe Tower anD w hoTel for golDen lanD. low poiNt: none in parTiCUlar. aNy regrets: none. self image: low Key. doN’t meNtioN: The eU. wHo would you like to play you iN a movie: liam neeson – BUT woUlD he aCCepT? favourite media: arChiTeCTUral anD Design magazines anD The weeK (UK) east coast or west coast of tHailaNd: easT CoasT, espeCially Bang saray.





Hotel of the month

Thanyapura Phuket Health & Sports Resort Optimise your life at Southeast Asia’s premier sports and health resort ■ Located just 15 minutes from Phuket International airport, thanyapura is not your average weekend getaway resort but rather a health and active lifestyle destination. Situated on 23 pristine hectares at the foothills of Khao Phra thaew National Park, thanyapura focuses on providing world-class health and sports facilities, mindful services, and expert coaching in a lush green surrounding. Based on a unique four-dimensional coaching model for the mind, body, and soul, thanyapura was created with the aim of helping others optimise their potential and live a more fulfilling life through education, mind management, health services, and sports training. Boasting the most extensive range of sports facilities in Southeast asia, facilities include: a 50m olympicstandard outdoor swimming pool with electronic timing system, 600-seater shaded grand stand, 25m training



pool, 900sq m fully air-conditioned fitness centre, boot camp and army assault courses, computrainers, as well as road bikes available for rental. Swimming, fitness, triathlon, tennis, and Muay thai academies affiliated with leading sports associations are also available; providing professional training for athletes at all levels and ages and extending knowledge in their chosen sports field. as asia’s premier sports and health resort, thanyapura also offers a complete Sports Science service to optimise guests’ athletic performance. Lactate testing, functional threshold power test (FtP), and video analysis are available for all guests. the thanyapura Health and Wellness centre features detox, weight-loss, preventative medicine, anti-aging, meditation, and yoga programs to promote overall well-

being for the body, mind and soul. the centre offers tailored programs to suit your needs and includes oneon-one consultations, assessments, analysis, and rejuvenating therapies including: mind training and emotional intelligence, nutrition, spa treatments, physiotherapy, and chiropractic treatments. thanyapura hosts three dining options, namely the diVine Restaurant, diLite Restaurant, and Booster deli & Bar. each dining venue offers organic Western, asian, and thai cuisine with a significant number of specialised dietary alternatives available - including raw and vegan options - made with fresh ingredients from thanyapura’s own certified organic farm. the hotel itself comprises of 115 rooms, with 77 rooms in the Pool Wing and 38 rooms in the Garden Wing. Guests may enjoy free daily breakfast at the award-winning diVine Restaurant, free wireless internet access in room and throughout the resort, as well as free access to thanyapura sports and fitness centre, pools, athletic tracks, sports locker rooms and club activities. 120/1 Moo 7, Thepkasattri Road, Thalang, Phuket. 076 336 000. www.thanyapura.com

Travel Planning the trip: Since visitors are limited to 150 people per day, you need to submit a reservation stating the names of everyone in your group, the number of porters and guides you will need, and the dates for your trip, through Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary office at PO. Box 12, Ban Tham, Tambon Chiang Dao, Amphoe Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai 50170. You can then go and pick up your permit upon your arrival for ascent, and pay the fees which include 20 baht entrance per person, 30 baht entrance for each car, 30 baht fee per tent, and 600 baht garbage deposit (which can be refunded in exchange for your rubbish from the trip). Alternately, you can contact one of several local tour organisers that specialise in Doi Chiang Dao. I paid 2,500 baht for an overnight trip which included guide and porter, food and water, tents and sleeping bags. There are also English-speaking guides available. What you should take: For the trip, a checklist from head to toe should include: 1. Light hiking hat with neck flap to keep off the sun and insects 2. Beanie (for the chilly sunset and sunrise viewings) 3. Sun glasses 4. Sun screen (for face and body) 5. Light T-shirt (with sleeves if you want protection from the sun), and an extra T-shirt for the next day. 6. Light jacket (for the start of the climb) 7. Anorak (temperatures can drop to low single digits after sunset) 8. Gloves (not so much for warmth, but for climbing) 9. Long trousers (to protect your legs from grass and twigs on the narrow overgrown paths, as well as insects) 10. Extra undies to change into the next day. 11. Socks, plus an extra pair. 12. Hiking shoes (either boots or hiking sandals. I wore hiking sandals which were lightweight and served the purpose very well. friend wore sneakers which provided no extra grip and suffered severe cramp as a result.) 13. Wet tissues (this will serve in lieu of a shower too) 14. Tissue paper 15. Personal medication (including insect repellent and ointment) 16. Minimal toiletries 17. Flashlight 18. Head-mounted flashlight (for climbing and for using the outhouse) 19. Camera 20. Binoculars (if you are into bird watching or mountain goat spotting) 21. Drinking water (enough to last the whole trek) 22. Lightweight backpack 23. Cocoon (liner that slides into the sleeping bag for your own personal comfort) 24. Hiking poles



never try to brush away the bees since they will think you are attacking them and strike back. But this is where a light hiking hat with neck flap comes in handy: it doesn’t just keep off the sun, but also assorted insects.


y the third kilometre we were beginning to get weary, so a welcome distraction appeared in the form of Tien Nok Kaew or parrot flower which looks exactly like little purple parrots. There is a proliferation of these cute little flowers in this area, providing a little diversion and a much needed rest to prepare us for the more difficult trail ahead. Soon we reached the half-way point at Sam Yaek Pang Wua (Pang Wua Intersection) where the two trails merge. I was already wondering at that point what on earth I was doing here, but going back wasn’t an option, so we gritted our teeth and prepared for the tough part of the climb ahead. To add insult to injury, we hadn’t even caught up with Grandpa and Grandma yet. There were parts that were muddy, parts that were steep, and parts that went through grass meadows without much shade to protect us from the afternoon sun beating down on our backs.

The 8.5km trail starts leisurely, through beautiful pine forests

“Are we there yet?” was our mantra. As soon as we reached the crest of one mountain, there was another up ahead. We passed Doi Sam Phi Nong (Three Sisters) mountain on the right, and Doi Pyramid on the left, but the arduous climb was compensated by the spectacular vistas that made us hold our breath along the entire route. Yet there were times, I admit, that I couldn’t bring myself to appreciate the scenery. My feet were like lead, and I had to force myself to place one foot in front of the other and keep going. By this time, I felt like throwing my backpack off the cliff. I had brought along an ordinary backpack made of heavy-duty synthetic material, but it turned out to be a bad choice. What you need is a lightweight hiking backpack that has almost no weight in itself, and you need to carry as little as possible. I had nothing but respect for the porters who were weighted down with our camping gear, food, water, and other belongings tied to their backs, with a sling over their heads to help carry the load, yet plodded on up the mountain as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do. It was about 4pm by the time we reached Ang Salung, otherwise known as ‘base camp’. Each guide

Sunset on Doi Luang Chiang Dao Our campsite at Ang Salung

taking selfies, we found ourselves a grassy knoll on the windswept peak to watch the climax of the day’s events – the sunset. And magnificent it was indeed, with the hues of the evening sky changing minute by minute, and the sun’s final rays shooting through the craggy mountain peaks, providing a picture-perfect ending to the day.

had their own little preferred corners to set up camp for their group, and when we walked into our camp site, the tents had been set up, and the kitchen up and running. My first goal was to find the ‘ladies room’, and was informed it was just around the corner, followed by a warning not to expect anything too elaborate. That was the understatement of the year. The ‘ladies room’ was a hole in the ground, surrounded by mesh plastic cloth. You really didn’t want to look down while you were doing your business, or breathe, for that matter. Needless to say, that was my first and last time using the outhouse; after that, I resorted to bushes and high grass, plus a friend to keep guard. We had barely taken a rest,

massaged our poor feet, and put our things into our respective tents, before it was time to attempt the summit – Doi Luang. This was a steep, half-hour climb, when our gloved hands were more useful than trekking sticks. The summit of Doi Luang Chiang Dao was well worth the six hours we took to crawl our way to the top. We were presented with a 360 degree panorama, where we could see jagged peaks of Doi Sam Phi Nong and Doi Pyramid, and, further off on the horizon, Doi Inthanon. At that moment, it was a feeling of utter elation and achievement, as if we had summited Mount Everest. This is what we came for, and we had done it! When we finally finished


e decided to head back to camp just before the sun disappeared, which was a good move. The return trip was much more precarious than the climb up. Those who had prepared head mounted flashlights made good use of them here, since both hands were required to manoeuvre the steep rocky path, and sometimes a bit of sliding down on your behind helped as well. It was well and truly dark by the time we reached camp, and dinner was ready to be served. Believe it or not, our group had prepared wine and steak which we grilled over a charcoal fire. It was the best steak I’ve ever tasted, probably because of the energy we lost during the climb, or just the fact we were sitting on a plastic sheet wearing




our anoraks and woolly hats amidst the plummeting temperatures after nightfall. By 9pm, we were totally worn out and ready for bed. Going to sleep was not easy despite the long and hard climb. I had expected to drop off immediately, but I ended up tossing and turning for most of the night. I thought it was raining, when in fact it was just the wind rustling through the trees. I also imagined

Members of the team stand proud on the summit

hearing someone or something walking around my tent all the time. And the chill penetrated through the sleeping bag and anorak into my spine. Sleep did not come easy. Not long after 4am, people started passing our tents. It was time to climb to the summit of Doi Kew Lom to watch the sun rise above the sea of mist that makes for another stunning photo opportunity. However, our group



had decided we would pass on this sunrise climb, which turned out to be another lucky decision since the peak was surrounded by low-lying clouds, blocking the sunrise or sea of mist. After breakfast, we were ready to start our descent, this time along the shorter but steeper route to Pang Wua. Our trekking poles really came in handy here. Not only was the route very steep at times, it was also muddy and slippery due to the night time precipitation. You had to use the poles to find your balance before finding a foothold. I had thought the descent would take a much shorter time, considering the shorter distance and the force of gravity, but it was a slowgoing process. Meanwhile, the porters, relieved now of their 20kg loads, all went racing and bounding down the mountain like happy goats. They make this trip at least once a day during the hiking season, and they know every rock and cranny and foothold. It was here I had my encounter with a bee. I was apart from the group, since we were each going at our own speed, and I heard a bee buzzing in my ear. I tried to walk as quickly as I could without making any sudden moves, but suddenly I was staring the bee in the face. It was a Spiderman moment, when the world suddenly blurs in the background, as the bee came into focus, hovering in front of my eyes, staring me down.


prayed. To the bee. “Please let me go quietly, please, please. I’m sorry if I bothered you, I didn’t mean to. Please just let me go. Please, pleeeeease!” He seemed to realise I was a pathetic fool who wasn’t worth losing a sting over, so he finally flew to one side and let me pass. I made a beeline out of the area as fast as I could. Finally, I heard the sound of a car horn in the distance – the first sign of civilization. The greatest sense of relief came when I saw a motorcycle parked against a tree. Yes! We made it back to real life at last, in about four hours. As I stepped out of the forest, I saw our truck waiting for us, with an icebox in the back. I grabbed an ice-cold soft drink, something that I rarely do. I think I had earned it! The road back from Pang Wua was plain sailing, and that is probably why the Pang Wua route is more popular with hikers. But I think we made the right decision to climb up the Den Ya Kud route and climb down via Pang Wua. It’s not as tiring, but you do need strong leg muscles for the downward journey. And the euphoria from the successful climb is hard to describe. But now that you’ve done it, it does mean that you will want to rediscover that feeling with more challenging climbs in the future.


Capturing Hua Lamphong’s heartbeat Through the lens of photgrapher Rammy Narula this century-old train station is still as full of life as ever – despite the fact it’s about to go into retirement by Kelly Harvey ■ AS plans get underway to move the central Bangkok railway station to Bang Sue, more and more artworks and exhibitions featuring the iconic station have begun to be displayed at Hua Lamphong as well as other galleries arcoss the city. Designed by Mario Tamagno and Annibale Rigotti in the early 1900s, Hua Lamphong is not your typical Thai-style train station. Featuring Italian Neo-Renaissance architecture, stained glass windows, and a decorated wooden roof, the structure is a piece of art in itself and has both inspired and become the subject matter of many artists. In 2016, the station celebrated its 100th year anniversary, but one year prior to the celebrations an annoucement was made that the Bangkok Railway central station would be reloacted to Bang Sue by



2019 and the historic train station would be turned into a musuem. With the development and modernisation of Bangkok already at an all time high not everyone was jumping for joy at the thought of retiring the cultural gem, including Bangkok-based photographer Rammy Narula. Rammy has spent hours taking photos at Hua Lamphong and has exhibited two Hua Lamphong Train Station series. The second series entitled ‘Platform 10’ was shot from a single platform between May and November 2015 and has now been published as a photo book. “I was born and raised in Bangkok, growing up in the concrete jungle that is its CBD area. In high school, we were often taken on field trips away from the centre but never to Hua Lamphong. I came to see the central station for the first time in 2012 as a photographer

and immediately fell in love with it. I was looking for something interesting and this place felt so different to the Bangkok I grew up in. “The most striking feature of the station I would say is its architecture. Bangkok feels overrun by buildings trying to be modern, but Hua Lamphong has kept its look over the years. The station for me felt like the Thailand I wish I knew. “At the station the most common sight is people waiting for their trains. Some folks are lying down on mats, some sleeping, and many kids travelling with their parents. I once saw a father giving a shower to his son using the hose in the middle of the tracks. It’s really quite a fascinating place. “Life moves quickly and a lot can happen when you’re not looking here. The station, renowned for being very slow-paced, wakes into life each time a

Food& Drink

Romance has found a home FEBRUARY 14 AT RIVER BARGE RESTAURANT EXECUTIVE Chef Andrew Brown and his team will be wearing their hearts on their sleeves and presenting a Valentine’s buffet dinner featuring some very special treats just for the occasion. Priced at B1,200 per person the meal includes a glass of red, white or sparkling wine and a red rose for the lady so you can toast in style.

Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news

28 Charoenkrung Road. 02 307 888. chatrium.com

Nothing beats fresh seafood AVAILABLE SUNDAYS TO THURSDAYS AT VOILA! LOVERS of authentic local cuisine can now feast on a fresh Thai Seafood buffet dinner at Voilà!, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. Dine on huge tiger and river prawns, delicious blue swimmer crabs, plump and tasty clams, marinated squid, sea snails, and much more to enjoy. Thai seafood lovers at the contemporary all day dining restaurant can also enjoy a wide range of superb authentic Thai dishes including wok fried pork spare ribs with garlic and pepper, baked rice with pineapple, grilled vegetables with fried garlic, and more. Available every Sunday to Thursday from 6pm-10.30pm. Priced at B799 per person, 50% discount for children aged 6-12 years, and free for children under 6 years. 189 Sukhumvit Road. 02 126 9999 ext Voilà! sofitel-bangkok-sukhumvit.com

Fabulous food AVAILABLE NOW AT TASTE RESTAURANT FABULOUS seafood feasts are now available at ibis Bangkok Riverside. The seafood buffet includes an enticing selection of tasty appetizers, crisp salads, and Japanese delicacies

Valentine’s delight in the CiTi to accompany fresh seafood such as prawns, octopus, and mussels. Ending off the fabulous feast is enjoy an array of irresistible desserts and unlimited soft drinks. Priced at B790 per person. Available every Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm-10pm. 27 Chareon Nakhon Soi 17.02 805 9824. accorhotels.com

FEBRUARY 14 AT CITI BISTRO FRESH succulent salmon and oysters, sliced cold cuts, traditional Thai dishes, international cuisine, and so much more is available this Valentine’s Day at CiTi BiSTRo. Finish the meal with one of the ‘lovers’ desserts. This lavish feast, including a glass of sparkling wine, is available for just B1,600 per person from 6pm-10pm. 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Road. 02 216 3700 ext 20100. pprincess.com

Setting the mood for romance THROUGH FEBRUARY 28 AT HANUMAN BAR THERE’S no need to wait for Valentine’s Day when you can enjoy sweet moments every afternoon with your loved one. The new ‘Sweet Romance’ afternoon tea set is full of delectable, sweet-tasting delicacies, such as rose water and mango Battenberg cakes, glazed passion fruit éclairs, crème brûlée, macaroons, and Williams pear and praline bars. These items are complemented by an equally delicious selection of savoury items, as well as a choice of tea or coffee. Priced at B800++, this afternoon tea set is available daily from 2pm-5pm. 991/9 Rama I Road. 02 162 9000. kempinski.com/bangkok



Revive your appetite for life WEEKDAYS AT PRIME THE restaurants’ passionateperfectionist American chef and team have devised a delectable international menu of seven starters, nine main courses and three divine desserts to make the midday break in around the corner from EmQuartier an irresistible opportunity to relax and revitalize with colleagues, customers and friends. Choose any two courses from the chefs’ uncompromising a la carte menu for just B350++ per person. Available from 11.30am-2.30pm through the end of February 2017. 12 Sukhumvit Soi 24. 02 011 1111. compassskyviewhotel.com

A night of aphrodisiacs FEBRUARY 14 AT AMBAR TREAT your loved one to a special set of Martin Prosecco paired with five imported oysters. Priced at B2,200, this promotion is available from 6pm10.30pm. 4 Sukhumvit Soi 15. 02 309 3000. fourpointsbangkoksukhumvit.com

Show a whole lot of love this Valentine’s Day FEBRUARY 14 AT DON GIOVANNI DON Giovanni is creating a romantic-themed four-course dinner, served to the sounds of love songs performed live by a professional pianist. The romantic range of dishes includes marinated oysters and Akami tuna tartar with sour caviar cream dressing; pan-fried foie gras with apple mousse; scallop ravioli; oven-baked Boston lobster or aged beef fillet with roasted root vegetables and chocolate and raspberry mille feuille with vanilla ice cream. Available from 6pm-10.30pm, prices per couple start at B7,500++ and include a mini bottle of champagne plus gifts. 695 Phahonyothin Road. 02-541-1234 ext 4151. centarahotelresorts.com/CGLB

A gourmet tour of Saigon THROUGH FEBRUARY 28 AT LE DANANG RESTUARANT FROM the steamy, aromatic alleys of romantic Southern Saigon, Chef Suparb brings you the best of classic Vietnamese cuisine with a menu that highlights the fresh, delicate tastes of the region. The specialties will include, amongst many other options, grilled lamb with marinated black pepper and fried rice with spicy sauce (B810++); steamed tiger prawns with garlic leeks and shitake mushrooms (B520++); deep-fried whole seabass with lemon grass (B520++). 695 Phahonyothin Road. 02 541 1234 ext 4151. centarahotelresorts.com/CGLB

Spanish lunches with cityscape views WEEKDAYS AT UNO MAS TAKE in the panoramic view on the 54th floor of Centara Grand at CentralWorld while dining on a gourmet Spanish lunch. Using ingredients imported directly from Spain, Executive Chef Joan Tanya Dot creates new menus every week featuring a choice of five appetizers, five main courses, and a dessert. Priced at B799++ per person for two courses and B999++ per person for three courses. Served from 11.30am-2.30pm. 999 Rama I Road. 02 100 6255. unomasbangkok.com



Strip AD_Foodland_Feb17.pdf

Strip AD_Roadhouse_Apr16.indd 1



9:43 AM

3/31/16 11:37 AM

Chef’s Corner

Gilles Poitevin Executive Chef at Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok

What’s your cooking philosophy? Use quality ingredients and cook the more natural way. Don’t refine recipes from your culinary cultural heritage too much to keep the real taste.

Most influential chef? My grandmother and my mother. Three words that best describe your cooking? Nostalgia, poetic, artistic.

Favourite cookbook? Larousse Gastronomique. Utensils you can’t do without? Pencil. Best meal you’ve ever had? All cheese. Greatest achievement to date? Transmit my culinary culture for the new generation in Bangkok. Most difficult ingredient to work with? Kidneys. Music you listen to whilst cooking? Mozart Violin Concerto No.3 in G major, K.216. Your biggest mistake you made when you were a brand new chef? Forgot to cover 1,000 crayfish with a net and let them escape.

Favourite wine? Louis Roederer Cristal, Dom Perignon, Pauillac, St- Emilion, Chablis, La Tache, and Château D’Esclans Garrus.

Chef in

focus ■ FOR the past four years French chef Gilles Poitevin has been adding his artistic flair to the kitchens of Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok. Using inspiration from the passage of his home country and Impressionism artwork, Gilles is reviving the recipes of traditional fine French cuisine to create a new menu. French culinary traditions, memories of his grandmother and mother, as well as French history continue to inspire him in his daily cooking. Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok. 865 Rama I Road, Bangkok. 02 217 3000. siamatsiam.com



Have you cooked for any VIPS? Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Sirikit of Thailand. Best advice you’ve ever received? Follow my heart. What do you like to do when you’re not busy cooking? I stay with my lovely Shih Tzu dog named Mr Gigi Inparadisco.

Strip AD_Bourbon St_May16.indd 1

4/26/16 9:29 AM

Strip AD_Newspaper_July15.indd 1

6/30/15 11:33 AM



Dining out




Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy

delicious with lots of fishy ingredients and a very tasty broth which may have included garlic, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, fennel, saffron, thyme, bay, and even a bit of dried orange peel. As food spokesman, Rene Kuhn, mentioned, it must have been good as every bowl without exception was emptied. The accompanying wine Domaine Adele Rouze Quincy 2015 (Loire, France) was a classic Sauvignon Blanc and a great match for the soup.

Sugar Snap Peas with Coppa, roasted Portobello Mushroom Caps and Potato Gratin plus Three Peppercorn Sauce, Béarnaise Sauce, Red Wine Jus and Café de Paris Butter. A marvelous wine, Montes Alpha 2012 (Chile), a Cabernet Sauvignon that matched the description provided by the wine-maker “Deep ruby-red in colour and very fruity, ripe, and intense on the nose with a predominance of red fruit notes such as strawberries and ripe cherries. Black currants and candied fruit also appear on the palate, where the very well-integrated oak contributes notes of toast, toffee, fresh-ground coffee, tobacco, and vanilla. The palate is well balanced with finely tuned rounded tannins that lend the wine a certain creaminess and very pleasing volume. The aromatic sensation increases with greater emphasis on the lactic aromas and fruitiness. Long, pleasing finish.” And most importantly, great value. Mövenpick “Baked Alaska” served with Seasonal Berries was intended to be the final dish. Rene

The main course commenced with Roasted Beetroot and Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese and Charred Brassica with White Beans and Dijon Mustard Dressing. Both were found to be very enjoyable. There followed a choice of Australian Grain Fed Beef Tomahawk Steak, Roasted Grass Fed Australian Lamb Rack with Walnut Crust and finally Kurobuta Pork Neck rolled with Smoked Bacon, Onions and Garlic with many opting to taste all three. Some, including Rene Kuhn found the beef perfect and their preferred choice but my favourite and that of Roy was the lamb with the pork not far behind. To accompany the meat, we found Roasted Wine Tomatoes, sautéed

said it reminded him of the days he spent in Bermuda and gave it full marks. It was served with Monte do Zambujeiro 2012 (Portugal), a blended wine which was found to be both interesting and pleasant to drink. We were not completely finished however as Simon treated us to a round of Appenzeller – “a Swiss national treasure made from 42 herbs” – followed by blue Stilton, aged cheddar, and vintage Port brought to us by guest Ian Dayus. Finally, we could offer our traditional thanks to the Mövenpick team which included GM Simon, Chef Andreas, Max Huber, and the several lads and lasses that had made the evening so enjoyable.

Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit OR the first meal of the year, GM Simon Rindlisbacher led us to the rooftop of the hotel and treated us to a veritable banquet. It was a fine calm evening and the area made a great setting for our first evening meal since the founding of the Club back in 2003. Canapés arrived thick and fast, so fast in fact that the paparazzo failed to take any pictures of them, but I promise they were delicious. On offer was Salami Milano, White Asparagus with Swiss Mayonnaise, Paris Ham with Eggs, Fresh Celery Salad “Waldorf”, Air-dried Beef and Gruyere Cheese, Schingägifpäli (flaked puff pastry with ham filling), Chäschüächli (cheese tartlet), and finally Grissini Sticks Wrapped with Speck. With these came several glasses of Franciacorta ‘Alma’ Gran Cuvée Brut (Lombardia, Italy), a sparkling wine, mostly Chardonnay and made by méthode classique, praised by James Suckling (92/100): “that shows tension and vivacity with cooked-apple, peach and lemon aromas and flavours. Full body, plenty of fruit and a crisp finish.” Roy Dean, wine spokesman, started by paying tribute to both Simon for “delivering a fantastic meal” and to Thomas Boedinger for assembling an excellent flight of wines. We were then seated in groups at round tables – a further departure from tradition – to await the arrival of the condiments of rouille, cheese and croutons for Bouillabaisse and finally, Bouillabaisse itself. The soup was

Guest review by

Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Meet the winners of ISEA F&B Masters 2016/2017 THE Millennium Hilton Bangkok recently announced the winners of the ISEA F&B Masters 2016/2017 – Thailand & Myanmar. First place in the Bar Challenge was Nattapol Chunechoi from Millennium Hilton Bangkok; in the Barista Challenge was Patcharee Sookpaiboon from Millennium Hilton Bangkok; in the Pastry Challenge was Kanjana Onkantong from Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa; in the Culinary Challenge was Peerapat Chaiwichit from Hilton Pattaya; and in the Sommelier Challenge was Kanokwan Pengjeam from Conrad Bangkok.

Special Gipsy Night Press Party UNO MAS restaurant, Centara Grand at CentralWorld recently held the ‘Special Gipsy Night Opening Party’, an exclusive party for press to enjoy the live music with the gipsy guitar player, Keith. Every Wednesday from 6.30pm-9.30pm Keith will perform live music as well as help pass around tapas, London Gin Tonics, London Classic Martinis, Estrella Draught Beers, Sangria Originals and Sangria Blancos which are available at special rates all night long.

Cooking like an Italian LAST month, the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchprasong Hotel hosted an Italian cuisine cooking workshop at the La Tavola & Wine Bar. Using only authentic ingredients imported from Italy, Italian chef Luca lead the class and gave guests all the tips and tricks to make the perfect ravioli from scracth.



New on the


Hot new restaurants, bars & cafes in Bangkok Bistro Convent A SMALL and unpretentious restaurant serving authentic French dishes in a casual and comfortable setting. Located on Convent Road in the middle of Bangkok’s bustling financial district, Bistro Convent’s menu offers classic cuisine with a twist paired with a carefully selected wine list and classic cocktails. The menu features regional specialities from France. Also on offer is the cool and leafy outdoor area perfect for socialising and unwinding after a long day. 40/3 Convent Road, Silom. 02 233 8233. facebook.com/ Bistroconvent

Arno’s Burgers & Beers NEWS for all beef lovers out there. Arno’s Burgers and Beers is another brainchild of butcher and chef Arnaud Carre offering dry-aged local beef grinds fresh daily. The small brick structure is located on Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Soi 15. The menu features house-made buns for Carre’s classic American style burger paired with local and imported choices of draft beers. Also available are pork, vegetarian, lobster, and bunless burgers. Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road, Soi 15. 02 087 5087. facebook.com/arnosburgersandbeers



Burger and Lobster COMING soon to Gaysorn Plaza is the UK's legendary Burger and Lobster. What began as an idea by four friends in Moscow, the chain now has 20 branches in the UK and internationally. The idea was to set up a restaurant with the focus on just one or two main ingredients in the menu. The restaurant is known to offer three items which are hamburgers, whole lobsters, and lobster rolls at affordable prices for quality meals. Coming to Bangkok in March 2017. burgerandlobster.com

Clinton St. Baking Company Bangkok

Siam Paragon presents The Gourmet Garden SIAM Paragon has introduced ‘The Gourmet Garden’ – the world-class dining heaven in the heart of Bangkok. This culinary delight offers more than 30 fine dining restaurants and dessert cafes located in the 8,000 sq m on G floor, Siam Paragon. With a unique philosophy and signature dishes specially catered for Siam Paragon diners, all eateries certainly bring something new to the table and are guaranteed to please all food lovers everywhere.

STARTED by Chef Neil Kleinberg and his wife Dede Lahman in New York in 2001, Clinton St. Baking Company has now come to Bangkok. Offering a variety of waffle menus including many of Neil’s signature dishes like Chicken and Waffle, Clinton Street’s signature Buttermilk fried chicken and crispy Belgian vanilla buttermilk waffle, Blueberry pancake, Banana and walnut pancake, Chocolate pancake served with warm maple butter syrup and Spanish scramble with chorizo. Siam Paragon, G Floor, Rama 1 Road. 02 129 4861-2. clintonstreetbangkok.com

The Gourmet Garden Zone, G Floor, Siam Paragon

The Bestination Street Food of Bangkok COMBINING 59 unique and delicious street food restaurants in one place for all food lovers. Taste original recipes at affordable prices under the concept ‘The Best Street Food of Bangkok’ at Amarin Plaza 4th floor. The newly expanded section offers over 1,500 seats with a great view of Ratchaprasong Road. Amarin Plaza 4th floor. 02 650 4704. amarinplaza.com




Healing the world, one asana at a time From being temporarily blind to giving up her six-figure income, this yogi is taking yoga to a corporate level By Morgan Thanarojpradit


HAT used to be one of the most expensive and disregarded exercise classes, yoga has become a common and popular forms of exercise around the world. It is believed to have a variety of health benefits, for both the body as well as the mind as Voravarai Varikarn found out.

“In the beginning, I wasn’t interested in yoga at all. It was too eccentric for my taste.” Armed to the teeth with selfconfidence and ambition, she rose to a high-level position earning six-figures income in a short period of time. Not immune to the office syndrome and stress from work, she was plagued with periodic but crippling headaches. With her health deteriorating, she became a frequent visitor to various different hospitals and clinics hoping someone would be able to correctly diagnosed her illness and provide the right remedy to cure it permanently. Doctors were puzzled as to the cause of the illness so they diagnosed and treated the symptoms rather than the root of the matter, until the day she lost her eyesight.



Finally diagnosed with an Optic Papillitis – an inflammation of the optic nerve – she went into a depression and lost all hope. However, with the right treatment, her eyesight slowly started to return. It was over four agonising months before she could get back to work again. But the ordeal was not over since the symptoms could return at any time, she began looking for any cure possible to keep it from coming back. During this time was when she was invited to a yoga class by her close friend and she decided to give it another try. It was different because this time, the yogi’s words struck a chord with her and in that moment she decided to dedicate her energy and time to yoga and do whatever it takes to become an instructor herself. Her friends and colleagues laughed at the idea. She couldn’t even walk without getting dizzy or stand still on one leg. But she was determined and so she started on her journey. With every spare minute she had, whether it was during the day or at night, she would practice and study everything yoga. She attended yoga classes every day, twice a day even if she had to wake up at 4.30am to get to class in the morning. Finally, after a full year of never

slacking off on yoga while holding a full-time job, she became a qualified yoga instructor. Today, she is one of the more common names in the yoga practitioners’ circle with almost 9 years of yoga teaching under her belt, and her ambition hasn’t faded. The next step in her journey is to bring simple yoga exercises into the corporate world. Her plan is to help improve the daily lives of office workers for better health and performance. Yoga doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t even have to be done in a studio or in a group and it isn’t all about being able to achieve hard-to-do asanas or poses. Corporate yoga aims to insert selected yet simple yoga exercises into the daily routine. These simple poses will help recharge and refresh the practitioners during the day’s work. The routine can be done in the office and will only take a few minutes to complete.  This programme is not offering organisations a discount group’s price for yoga studio time, but it will offer a self-sufficient health and well-being programme that anyone can use and apply at work for better physical and mental health with long-term results in tow.  facebook.com/YogaIAMbyEiee IG: YogaIAMbyEiee

Expat Women

Be unique wiTh ‘BosTon cluB’

OFFERING new and unique vintage handmade sunglasses straight from Japan, Boston Club is the new must-have accessory for all fashionistas. First created in the year 1984 in Sabae, Japan under the ‘New Japanese Tradition’ concept, Boston Club sunglasses are made from high-quality acrylic, acetate, nickel, light-weight alloy and titanium. Each pair of glasses are made to be stylish and made to last.

Dyson supersonic launch

DYSON recently launched its latest device, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer in Southeast Asia. Head of Haircare Product Development at Dyson (Graeme McPherson) joined by Dyson Supersonic official hairstylist, Krit Jirakietwattana (Kong) to demonstrate hairstyling techniques on Nat Aniporn, Miss Universe Thailand 2015.

panDora’s new collecTion

PANDORA recently launched the new collection, ‘Pandora Rose Collection 2016’ – Shades of Enchantment’. Tanapong Chirapanidchakul, CEO of Tanachira Retail Corporation Co., Ltd., the importer and distributor of Pandora in Thailand led an intimate afternoon tea event at The St. Regis, Bangkok.

l’oréal ThailanD moves up The rank

ACCORDING to the 2016 Universum survey, L’Oréal moved up to the number nine spot from number 11 spot in 2015 as the most desirable employers amongst the new generation. The Universum survey was conducted in 2016 with over 250,000 respondents made up of students studying business management, engineering, and IT across 1,700 of the world’s leading universities. The main factors for the rating were focused largely around the experience the students perceived to gain as well as career paths and progress within the company.



Spa Packages

01 03

01 Sofitel Krabi PhoKeethra Golf & SPa reSort 02 let’S relax SPa 03 the oKura PreStiGe 04 So Sofitel banGKoK 05 Centara Grand at Central Plaza ladPrao 06 Centara Grand & banGKoK Convention Centre at CentralWorld


03 UNTIL March 31, discover the healing benefits of antioxidant-rich Sake and the moisturising effects of Natto with the ‘Sake Kasu Spa Package’ at The Okura Spa. This package includes a 30-minute exfoliating body scrub followed by a 90-minute Ta-ke relief massage and is priced at B4,200++ per person. 02 687 9000. okurabangkok.com

01 START the year with a relaxing 30-minute Jacuzzi Bath followed by a 60-minute Aromachologie Massage at So SPA. Priced at B4,000++ per person, B7,000++ per couple, or B12,000++ upon a pre-paid reservation for four persons. 07 562 7800. sofitel.com/Krabi 02 LET’S Relax Spa has expanded its services to Airport Link Phayathai patrons. Whether you are coming in on an early flight or going out on a late flight, reward yourself with the ‘Value for Money Thai Spa Experience’ at Let’s Relax Airport Link Phayathai. Access the spa from Airport Link Phyathai station exit 4 or BTS Phayathai station exit 5. 02 126 6840-1. letsrelaxspa.com




20-minute head massage along with a lavender-infused warm towel back compresses. Priced at B2,000++. 02 541 1234 ext 4292 and 4567. spacenvaree.com


04 UNTIL Feb 28, the ‘Touch of Wellness Promotion’ at SoSpa offers a foot ritual, 30-minute Pink Himalaya body scrub, and a 60-minute Mohom Indigo massage. Priced at B3,900 per person. 02 624 0000. sofitel.com 05

06 Spa Cenvaree’s signature treatment 05 UNTIL Feb 28, enjoy the

‘Unwinding’ spa package at Spa Cenvaree at Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao. This 90-minute treatment features a 70-minute luxurious Shea butter body massage, followed by a tension-releasing

‘Salt Pot Muscles Melter’ uses a mixture of herbs and coarse salt in combination with a Herbal massage to loosen your body and lighten your mind. The 90-minute muscle relief treatment is now available for B3,000++ per person. 02 100 1234 ext 6511 or 6516. spacenvaree.com


p Last month’s best events in pictures



Best Western makes dreams come true in tokyo BEST Western Hotels & Resorts treated 18 lucky travellers to their dream vacation in Tokyo, Japan as part of the ‘BW Dreams Come True’ competition. The prize included return flights, gourmet meals, and activities in Asakusa’s ‘Sensoji Temple’, shopping at ‘Ginza’ district, and a visit to Mount Fuji with accommodation at the Best Western Rembrandt Hotel Tokyo Machida.

Peach oPened its first southeast asia route

PEACH Aviation Limited recently announced that it will soon open a new route between Bangkok and Okinawa. Under the concept of ‘flying trains’, The daily flights from Okinawa to Bangkok will commence on February 19, 2017 and from Bangkok to Okinawa will on February 20, 2017.

tat hosted 30th Phuket king’s cuP regatta aWard night festive camPaign With great reWards

SURIPONG Tantiyanon, Visa Country Manager, Thailand, and Noppadon Pakprot, Deputy Governor for Tourism Product and Business, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), joined forces to launch Thailand Spectacular Year End 2016. NonThai Visa cardholders received promotional campaign rewards, special privileges, and complimentary gifts when they used their cards at 14 shopping complexes across Bangkok.

TOURISM Authority of Thailand (TAT) hosted a dinner reception and prize-giving ceremony for the 30th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta at Katathani Beach Resort, Phuket. Joining the event were over 1,500 international sailors, VIPs, and various participants from over 30 countries amongst a relaxed atmosphere, delicious food, and drinks provided by the resort.

TheBigChilli 101

Diplomats p Meet the people uniting nations

H.E. Mohsen Mohammadi

Despite being faced with heavy sanctions by Western nations, the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran is proud of his country's many achievements

Page 104

TheBigChilli 103

Diplomat: His Excellency Mohsen Mohammadi

Iranian Ambassador asks for a level playing field



HE timing couldn’t be better for an interview with His Excellency Mr Mohsen Mohammadi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Thailand. He’s just completing his first full year here, and this month marks the Iranian national day and 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Wearing a well-cut suit with a collarless shirt, the trademark dress for Iranian government officials, Ambassador Mohammadi greeted us at his residence in a quiet neighbourhood off Sukhumvit Road. The splendid Persian rugs and artworks give the place an air of elegance and warmth. The ambassador began the interview with an appeal for fair play for Iran from the world community: “On the eve of 38th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran on 10th of February 2017, I would like to take this opportunity to point out some facts regarding Iran and Iranians. “The aims of the revolution successfully carried out by the Iranian people were reflected in their slogans during the protests in 1979 calling for independence and freedom from the US-backed regime of the Shah and the establishment of Islamic Republic, chosen by the people in a referendum with 98 percent approval on April 1, 1980. “The revolutionaries succeeded in overthrowing the throne and achieved their declared goals, but from the very first days of the republic, we have been the target of attacks and plots by the powers who lost their interests in Iran and the region, as well as the leaders of some countries who fear they will meet the same fate as the Shah. From the very beginning we have faced violent acts, including terrorist attacks and separatist activities with support of some foreign countries. In one terrorist bombing 73 high-ranking Iranian authorities were killed. In another attack, the president and the prime minister were assassinated. “Less than two years after the victory of the Iranian revolution, Iraq invaded Iran on September 22, 1980. For the next eight years, Iraq was supported in this invasion by the major Western powers, as well as some leaders of regional countries who were fearful of the impacts of the Iranian revolution on their own people. At the same time Iran was



under the strictest of embargoes on the weapons needed to defend itself. We were showered by missiles, some carrying chemical warheads. We went to one country after another begging for a single Scud missile as a deterrent to stop Saddam Hussein’s attacks on our civilians in the cities. “The sounds of alarms warning of air attacks still echo in the ears of Iranians of my generation. I still well remember thinking when hearing the alarm, ‘Is this our turn or our neighbours’ turn to be hit?’ “We experienced the unfair behaviours of some Western powers, and the lack of assistance from international organisations that were supposed to safeguard international humanitarian laws and protect the Iranian people. Therefore, Iranians today insist to be treated fairly and without discrimination and enjoy the same rights as other members of the international community. We cannot forget that Saddam Hussein came to be regarded as an enemy of humanity not when he was invading Iranian territory and killing Iranians with weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, but only when he attacked Kuwait! I am pleased to say that today, after so much has happened, we now have good relations with Iraq. “We have paid a high price for the freedom and independence of our Islamic Republic. We have been treated with discrimination because we dared to stand on our positions and win our revolution. Unfortunately because of the propaganda of the main global powers dominates the international mass media, the voice of our people has never been heard clearly. The big international news agencies like CNN never have a good word to say about Iran and don’t even mention us unless it has a negative connotation. Even when they are broadcasting the weather for our region, Iran is not mentioned. “All the negative news is partly because the global powers lost the benefits they enjoyed in Iran before the overthrow of the Shah’s regime. For example, Iran was one of the biggest importers of American military equipment, as well as from the UK and sometimes France.” Somewhat surprisingly, according to various websites the Iranian Air Force still flies many old US-made war planes such as F-14, F-4 Phantom, F-5 and C-130 Hercules. They have modern Russian-made and locally produced planes as well.

TheBigChilli 105

Asked about the longstanding sanctions imposed on Iran, the ambassador replied: “I can’t say that we weren’t unaffected by the sanctions. Fortunately we are a wealthy country, so we found ways to bring in goods which got around the sanctions. The problem was that we sometimes had to pay more for these goods. In addition, the sanctions presented an opportunity for the Iranian people as well, the private and the industrial sectors to be independent. We decided to produce most of what we needed inside Iran. “We are not a nation seeking war or violence, and we are not an extremist nation. We are a nation seeking peace, justice, dignity, and equality in rights. In our Shiite religion, extremism and bloodshed have no position, and this is why we are the safest and most stable country in the region, without the terrorist attacks that our neighbouring countries are facing these days. “Speaking personally, as someone who was injured by chemical weapons and who lost his brother in the war Iraq imposed on Iran, and someone who witnessed the suffering of his mother after she lost her son in the war, I really hope for a day when nobody in the world has to experience war. I hope that such discriminatory behaviour from an unfair world order will never be repeated against any member of the world community again.”

Taking a diplomatic direction


n my student days I was always thinking about following a career that would bring me new experiences every day,” said the ambassador. “One day I saw an announcement to recruit students for the Faculty of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). I thought, ‘this is what I am looking for.’ Entering the faculty was a big turning point in my life. After graduating I joined the MFA in 1991 and started my diplomatic experience. “I am a career diplomat. I worked in different departments of the MFA, such as West Asia, West Europe, CIS countries as well as the Disarmament Department and I was posted previously in Uzbekistan, Finland and Germany, but this is my first experience of East Asia. “Before coming to Bangkok I was the head of a department that covers five central Asian countries which were formerly part of the Soviet Union. So I was expecting to take a post in that region, but I was suggested this post in Bangkok. It was a surprising suggestion, but I thought it was a good opportunity for me to discover another part of the world. This is my first mission in the capacity of ambassador. Officially I started my mission on January 25, 2016, and I am very happy to be here. Thailand is a very interesting country with an amazing culture. There are so many attractions and such lovely people.”

Thai-Iranian historical alliance The ambassador said that the origins of the strong bilateral ties between Iran and Thailand today can be traced far back through history. “The relationship between Iran and Siam and in fact between Iran and East Asia dates backs to the Sassanid Empire era, before Iran became an Islamic country. The first official Iranian political mission in Siam



was established in 1686, during the reign of King Soleyman (Safavieh Dynasty), but written records now in the British national museum confirm that there were already many Iranians in important positions assisting the Royal Family and in government administration of Thailand at that time. “One of the most famous Iranians who lived in Siam in ancient times was Sheikh Ahmad Ghomi, a merchant and clergyman who came here in the 16th century and was well received by the King Narasuam Sug Tam. He served as a sincere and trusted friend to the King, and after more than 400 years he is still remembered by Thais as a great man and by Iranians as a source of pride and honour. He was appointed by the King as Sheikh-al-Islam (supreme leader of Muslims community) in Siam. His tomb is located at the centre of Rajabhat University in Ayutthaya city and the anniversary of his death is still commemorated. “In modern times official diplomatic relations between Iran and Thailand began in 1955. The Iranian Ambassador in New Delhi was appointed as the first accredited Ambassador to Thailand in 1956. Since then, the bilateral relationship has always been friendly, based on mutual respect and interests. There have been no conflicts or tensions to speak of between our two countries. “In 1985, when we were at war with Iraq, the Thai minister of foreign affairs in a speech at the United Nations denounced Iraq as the invading party. The people of Iran will never forget that. My appointment as ambassador to Thailand occurred simultaneously with the lifting of the unfair politically motivated sanctions against Iran. This can be considered to be a turning point in our status on the international stage. In the past year many countries around the world are looking at Iran as a land of new opportunities, and the Thai authorities are well aware of this. “In January 2016, just a few days before I left Tehran for Bangkok, Dr Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, was at the head of a big Thai delegation from the government and private sectors which visited Iran holding the 9th Joint Economic Commission. This was followed just two weeks later by a visit from Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Affairs Minister, which resulted in the signing of six agreements, mostly in the area of economics. “Subsequently, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Thailand in March 2016, attending the 14th Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) ministerial meeting in Bangkok. During the visit he met with his Thai counterpart as well as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to follow up the latest developments in bilateral relationship. “In October 2016, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani paid a formal visit to Thailand, to pursue bilateral as well as multilateral objectives in the framework of the second ASEAN Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit. The President was accompanied by four Cabinet members, the head, as well as various representatives of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce. President Rouhani met with Prime Minister Prayut and Thai Cabinet members. They discussed the latest bilateral developments and ways of expanding the already friendly relationship between our two countries. We are laying plans for a visit from Prime Minister Prayut to Tehran this year.

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque

Isfahan city

Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad in Ayutthaya

Masouleh village

“These high-level delegations demonstrate the desire of the governments on both sides to begin a new era of cooperation after the removal of illegitimate sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. “One more visit I want to mention is that of Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to Iran in 2004. This was a joyful occasion for all Iranians,” said the ambassador. He added that there is already a very good level of mutual understanding and cooperation between Iran and Thailand. “With support from Thailand, Iran was accepted as a member of the ACD and more recently the TAC (ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation). With Iranian support Thailand was accepted as an observing member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. As Iran and Thailand are effective and influential members of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO, an intergovernmental regional organisation established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey) and ASEAN, respectively, we share an understanding of the importance of regional alliances and laying the groundwork for increased cooperation between West and East Asia.”

Economic and cultural ties


egarding trade, the ambassador said: “From Thailand we import rice, rubber, electronic and auto parts, cooling and ventilation devices, paper, wood products and fruits. “We export to Thailand oil, steel, petrochemical and ceramic products, minerals, fisheries products and some electronic parts. “We also export a small number of our famous Persian carpets, which are very popular in Thailand among the wealthy. These days some carpets are produced by machine. But the really good ones are still hand-woven and they are very expensive. The making of fine carpets in Persia started thousands of years ago. Some great examples of classic Persian carpets are on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.


“So many areas of cooperation have been explored and is at the agenda by both sides. For example, exchange of knowledge in automobile manufacturing, new technologies, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical and food industries, agriculture, fisheries, clean and renewable energy, mutual investments, implementing joint projects in third countries and so on. “Alongside the efforts to strengthen political and economic cooperation, Iran and Thailand have always paid attention to the cultural dimensions of the relationship and encouraged interactions between our peoples. “The number of flights between our two countries has increased significantly. More than 120,000 Iranian tourists visit Thailand each year, but the number of tourists from Thailand to Iran is far less. Thailand has a very impressive presence in the tourist industry, and we are pleased to accept help from the Thai side to improve our prospects as a tourist destination. Minister of Tourism and Sports Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has taken a very positive approach toward strengthening cultural interactions between Iran and Thailand. She visited Iran in August 2016. “During this visit and during the visit of our president in October, Mrs Kobkarn had some very constructive discussions with her Iranian counterpart. She is going to Iran again in February 2017 and during this trip a memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation will be signed. “A media group from Thailand visited Iran and prepared enchanting reports and films regarding the tourism attractions of Iran. Iran has 7,000 years of written history and has an astonishing number of unique attractions, including for ecotourism. There are 15 places in Iran registered by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.” Asked if there are particular sites he would recommend, the ambassador said: “It depends on the tourists’ preferences. Iran is a wide country and there are so many attractions to see. We have mountains, desert and coastline. We have four seasons at the same time. Now in some regions it may be minus 20°C, and in others plus 30°C. We have very good options for eco-tourism.”

TheBigChilli 107

Hua Chang Heritage Hotel

UNTIL March 31, the ‘Romantic Saver Package’ offers a four-night stay for two for B15,000. The package includes buffet breakfast for two, complimentary upgrade to a spacious and luxury premier deluxe room, 15 percent discount at the Miss Siam restaurant, unlimited in-room Wifi access, and an extended check out until 3pm.

Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld

LIFESTYLES ON 26, located on 26th floor, has launched its latest membership promotions. Purchase a Group membership for B38,000 and receive a 5% discount; a group of three people receive one month free; or purchase an Off Peak membership (9am-5pm) for B25,000. 02 100 6299. centarahotelsresorts.com/CGCW

02 217 0777. huachangheritagehotel.com

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

Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok

Well Hotel Bangkok  KEEP fit and healthy while

U Inchantree Kanchanaburi  UNTIL March 31, stay in a deluxe room with break-

fast for two starting at B2,999 per night. Book directly through the hotel’s website for a minimum of two consecutive nights and receive a complimentary B500 food and beverage voucher. 03 452 1584. ukanchanaburi.com

travelling with the new Well Fit Box, now available in all Executive Suites and Executive Rooms. Guests can also enjoy complimentary homemade fruit infused water with stations in the lobby and Fitness Centre. Book directly through the hotel and enjoy extra benefits including a free usage of the mini-bar and discounts at Well Spa and Eat Well Café. 02 127 5995. WellHotelBangkok.com

Metropole Bangkok  ASCOTT opened Asia’s first unique

luxury serviced residence under the crest collection – Metropole Bangkok. Located in Thonglor, the luxury serviced residence offers 116 spacious apartments with a choice of a studio or one-bedroom apartment, some units also offering a private balcony. Meticulously designed with luxurious furnishings, fine amenities as well as fully-equipped kitchens, each apartment features high ceilings and most offering floor-to-ceiling windows that offer remarkable views of the city. 02 314 8555. the-ascott.com



ENJOY the ‘Suite Experience’ package at Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok until December 30. Receive a 30% discount off the Best Available Rate when guests stay two consecutive nights or more; complimentary Club Executive privileges including access to the Club Executive Lounge with breakfast and evening cocktails; spa or dining credits to the value of B500 per person; one signature cocktail at Blue Sky Bar; unlimited internet access; a late check-out until 4pm; a 20% discount at all hotel’s restaurants; a 30% discount on spa packages; and a 5% discount at designated outlets at the Central Department Store. This package is applicable for Club Deluxe rooms, Club Deluxe Suites, Premium Deluxe Suites, and Executive Suites. 02 541 1234 ext 4116-19. centarahotelsresorts.com/CGLB

MIDA DE SEA HUA HIN MIDA De Sea Hua Hin offers a luxury, chic resort experience near the centre of Hua Hin’s famous sightseeing area. Experience a perfect sea-breeze holiday only two and a half hours from Bangkok. The hotel offers a short walk to a private beach where you can relax and swim.

Ideally situated along Hua Hin Beach, you’ll find an array of activities right on your doorstep including: six international golf courses; Huay Mongkol Temple; Vana Nava Hua Hin; FN Outlet Shopping Mall; Phra Ratchaniwet Mrigadayavan; Night Street Market; Black Mountain Water Park; Plearn Wan Marketing; Cicada Market and; Santorini Park.



Discover contemporary décor and an idyllic sandy beach at Mida De Sea Hua Hin with private balconies and captivating ocean views in every room. The hotel provides 115 units including royal suite, duplex pool access, duplex one, two, or three bedroom, and deluxe. Larger living space from

45-169 sq m with a quiet environment throughout your stay makes Mida De Sea Hua Hin the ideal location for both leisure and business.

Day Dream Destination The hotel’s facilities include a fitness centre, sauna and stream room, outdoor salt water swimming pool, business centre and Wi-Fi capability in all public areas and new contemporary meeting rooms to cater to both business events and weddings. Don’t miss the delicious Thai cuisine and international dining at M Cafe´ and Delizioso.

Escape to a family-friendly resort Envision a romantic wedding or enjoy time with your friends and make memories you’ll treasure forever.

TheBigChilli 113

Hua Hin

01 ENJOY an Arabian-style  dinner for two throughout the month of February 2017 at Marrakesh Hua Hin Resort & Spa. Have a romantic dinner on the beach with the special ‘Romance by the Sea’ – a four-course romantic dinner set for two on the beach with personal butler. Priced at B5,999 per couple.

01 Romance by the sea Arabian style 02 Children’s Day with Centara Grand Hua Hin 03 Lucky winner at Dusit Thani Hua Hin CENTARA Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin donated total of B7,500 and hosted  lunch for the blind students at Dhammikawittaya School under the Royal Patronage of


HM the King in Petchburi.


DUSIT Thani Hua Hin Hotel Manager,  Chonlaniti Racharit, presented a pair of return tickets Bangkok-London-Bangkok – courtesy of British Airways – to Mike Roman Nedelko and his family, the lucky winners of the sensational draw prize offered to any diner joining selected festive events at Dusit Thani Hua Hin between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.



Hua Hin

New Year at the Dusit Thani Hua Hin DUSIT Thani Hua Hin celebrated the New Year 2017 with ‘A Glorious Black White Gold Silver Banquet’. Arranged extravagantly, the banquet offered an array of sumptuous dishes specially created by the resident chef and champagne cocktails.

Marrakesh Italian Traditions MARRAKESH Hua Hin Resort & Spa and Cafe’ Buongiorno – a century-old Italian boutique wine producer – introduced the ‘Italian Boutique Wine Dinner in White Christmas’ in celebration of the Christmas Eve at Al Bahr Beach Bar with six-course culinary creations accompanied with the Italian Arrigoni and Trappolini wineries.

TheBigChilli 115

Profile for The BigChilli Co., Ltd.

The BigChilli February 2017  

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

The BigChilli February 2017  

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