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Publisher’s blog

High-rise that people once feared is demolished

Bangkok’s tallest buildings


hokchai Tower’s tag as Bangkok’s tallest building was passed in 1981 to the Bangkok Bank Head office in Silom. From 1987 to 1993, the Baiyoke Tower 1 (150m) held the title. From then - Sinn Sathorn Tower (1993-1996) 195m - Jewelery Trade Centre, Silom (1996-97) 221m - Baiyoke Tower 11 (1997-2016) 304m - MahaNakhon (2016 -) 314m MahaNakhon will be replaced later this year by Magnolias Waterfront Residence at IconSiam, which will top out at 315m, just one metre taller. Looking ahead, Bangkok is not only moving sideways but upwards too, with the Rama 1X Super Tower due for completion in 2022 rising an impressive 615m (2,018ft) with 125 floors. One Bangkok will include a 380m tower (1,247ft) with 90 floors when completed in 2025.

Cyclists’ heaven at Skylane


angkok’s first high-rise office block, the 26-storey Chokchai Tower, located between Sukhumvit 26 and 24, has been demolished to make way for an even taller building. Often referred to as the Chokchai Steakhouse because of the cabaret club and restaurant of the same name on its top floor, the prominent tower was once Bangkok’s tallest building when erected in 1977. The 23-storey Dusit Thani, which is also due to be demolished early 2019, previously held that title from 1969 to 1977. When the Chokchai Tower first opened, local residents could not believe such a tall building could withstand heavy wind and would eventually topple over.




yclists were a rare breed in Thailand two decades ago. Now they’re everywhere, lycra-clad men and women braving the traffic on busy roads in pursuit of their favourite pastime. Cycling has become a major business, with thousands of bikes – some hi-tech versions costing up to 800,000 baht – being sold every month. But for all the latest gadgetry, colourful outfits and crash helmets, every time cyclists go out on the road, they face all kinds of potentially fatal hazards, from speeding motorcycles, selfish motorists and irresponsible truck drivers to potholes, open drains, filthy fumes and the odd mad dog. All of which makes the reopening of the Skylane cycle track at Suvarnabhumi Airport after a major upgrade even more welcome. In

Gardener’s world of woe


foreigner was recently fined for watering the garden in his wife’s restaurant in Jomtien. Officials who turned up unannounced at the premises told him he needed to have a work permit to carry out such chores. Obviously, he couldn’t produce the necessary documentation, so he had to cough up the cash. And hand over gardening duties at the restaurant to someone else.

Pack ‘em in, six to a room this issue of The BigChilli we report on Skylane, a fantastic facility where cyclists can enjoy 23.5 kilometres of safe, traffic-free riding in a wonderful open environment. The amenities are superb and the overall design breathtaking. And it’s free and open to everybody. Congratulations are therefore due to Dr Vichit Suraphongchai, Executive Chairman of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and long-term New Zealand expat David Mulligan, who shared a vision to create a world-class cycle track. With generous support from a number of major companies, they’ve given Thailand’s community of cyclists a gift of inestimable value. Skylane is already proving tremendously popular. Other similar circuits will be needed soon enough. There’s no stopping the cycling boom. But for it to proceed further, Thailand’s roads have to be made safer for cyclists. And that should be a top priority for this nation’s leaders.

Non-stop moaner


he driver sitting in front of me couldn’t stop moaning. About the congestion, traffic lights, the state of the road and why he shouldn’t be expected to make any right turns – they were too difficult. He was a really grumpy old man. My only response was “If you don’t like your job, find a new one.” He just growled. Now, who do you think he was? 1. Bus driver 2. Uber driver 3. Taxi driver. (No prizes for guessing correctly).


esidents at a Pattaya luxury housing estate can’t be happy that the management is offering empty properties for rent with accommodation for up to 12 people. Some of these properties have only two bedrooms. So how do they pack in six people a room? By laying out mats to designate floor space. Three-bedroom houses offer even more sleeping space. By sharing the rent, the cost per person is low. But owners of neighboring houses are dismayed by the sheer numbers of overnight stayers, especially when they party noisily until dawn. Not to mention their cars and the heaps of rubbish they create.

Making a meal of those online restaurant reviews


ow can anyone take online restaurant reviews seriously after a London man succeeded in getting his non-existent restaurant called The Shed at Dulwich to the top of Tripadvisor by posting all kids of fake reviews? His amazing story is already an urban legend for the way it fooled the website into believing that The Shed was real. The premises were actually a garden shed the trickster lived in. Eventually he opened his “restaurant” for a one-night experiment, getting friends to help out as cooks and waiters, and using microwaved food. Incredibly, the reviews of that single occasion were positive. “This proves that if I can make a fake restaurant in my shed.... anything is possible,” he was reported as saying.



Publisher’s blog


pologies to Martin Blunos, Executive Chef at Blunos, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn. In the last issue, we said you were based at your sister hotel, Eastin Hotel, Makkasan. That was incorrect. Diners looking for a great dining experience from a two-star Michelin chef, head to Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn. Tel 02 210 8100 ext 7502 or email

Boris Johnson unfairly targeted by that speech


e’re happy to give Britain’s beleaguered Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson the benefit of the doubt regarding his widely reported remarks that some people have suggested refer to Thailand’s sex tourism. The written copy of his recent speech issued to journalists beforehand said: “As I have just discovered we have more than a million who go to Thailand every year, where according to our superb consular services they get up to the most eye-popping things.” Mr Johnson changed this in his actual speech to “where our superb consular services deal with some of the things they get up to there”. At no time did he use the phrase “sex tourism.” That has been dreamed up by headline writers (“Johnson jokes about British sex tourism in Thailand” wrote The Independent newspaper) and repeated by critics of the Foreign Secretary, who are calling for his resignation. Thailand is full of wonderful attractions, beautiful beaches and mountains, outstanding cuisine, great festivals and extraordinarily friendly people, all of which can be described as eye-popping. Mr Johnson hasn’t stained Thailand’s reputation. His critics have. editorbigchilli 8


Strip AD_Big Tom_Aug17.pdf


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PUBLISHER Colin Hastings MANAGING EDITOR Morgan Thanarojpradit EDITOR Nina Hastings SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Rojjana Rungrattwatchai ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Thana Pongsaskulchoti ACCOUNTING MANAGER Saranya Choeyjanya ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT Janjira Silapapairson ART & PRODUCTION Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakkanawat PHOTOGRAPHY JL & AP CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Drew McCreadie, Maxmilian Wechsler



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 Co., Ltd. 8/2 FMA Group Building, 5 Floor, Room 501, Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500. ☎ 02-635-5085, ☎ 081-358-1814 Fax: 02-635-5086

Strip AD_Operation Smile_Sep17.indd 1

8/26/2560 BE 10:42 AM TheBigChilli 9

The Bank approached the Airports of Thailand (AOT), who manage Suvarnabhumi Airport, with the concept of creating a world class cycling facility to promote a healthy social lifestyle for the good of all. Key to this was the vision to provide a range of facilities for the whole family in a secure and safe environment. After much discussion and aligning of objectives, the Bank and AOT reached agreement to develop the facility and work started to realise the vision. “A few years ago, Dr Vichit and I were cycling on the old Green Lane that was here previously and Dr Vichit realized the track had enormous potential. He believed it could be

and cycle racks. Restaurants, retail outlets, coffee shops and VIP rooms for sponsors will be rolled out over the coming months. Elegant bridges and a dramatic spiral ‘cyclist stairwell’ have been added, connecting the main area to the airport’s long-term car parks. Another interesting feature is a huge inflated canopy shaped like a bird’s wing that serves as another rest area. The new-look Skylane is

the brainchild of Dr Vichit Suraphongchai, Executive Chairman of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB). He’s been assisted in implementing his vision by his long-term friend and colleague David Mulligan, a civil engineer from New Zealand, who in the past owned a company that provided the management, design and construction of the Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital.




Tim Arthayukti COO and Director Iberry Group

“I love it and have been a regular here since it first opened many years ago. The new Skylane is an extremely convenient venue in Bangkok to practice riding skills in a safe and controlled environment for all levels of riders from beginners to professionals. The new world class facilities make riding enjoyable whether people come regularly or just returning to the sport like myself. It’s a unique venue allowing me to ride at my own pace and practice group riding skills by slipping behind fast pelotons.”



turned into a world-class facility promoting a healthy lifestyle that was also socially and family oriented. When he came-up with the idea and we looked around at the potential site for the bike centre, it became clear that this could become a major Corporate Social Responsibility for the Bank and potentially other Thai corporate sponsors” explained David, who first arrived in Thailand in 1980. “The Bank began discussions with AOT, who had taken the original initiative to convert what was previously the airport service road into a cycle track, and persuaded them that our joint vision was achievable.”

To finance Skylane’s multi-million baht refurbishment and additional facilities, a number of major Thai companies were approached about sponsorship. Those that agreed include SCB through its Foundation, which is implementing the project for a ten-year period as one of its corporate and social responsibility initiatives. Others similarly attracted by the healthy lifestyle and family concept include True, ThaiBev, PTT, Indorama Ventures, Gulf and Bangchak Corp. Revenue from the retail outlets is shared with AOT. Also on board is Samitivej Hospital, which is supplying free medical and emergency services at the track.


n recognition of cyclists’ varying speeds and the paramount need for safety, the main track is actually divided into a purple lane for fast riders and a blue lane for more leisurely cyclists. Rest stops, complete with toilets and shade, have been located at strategic points along the way. Several that offer unusually close-up views of planes taking off and landing are invariably the most popular, especially for ‘selfies.’ Distances and location markers are provided along the way so that a rider’s position can be quickly reached in case of emergency. There is also is a shorter track 1.6 km in length and another track of equal length for joggers. Future plans include a purpose-built cycle track for kids and beginners designed by specialists in Australia as well as lawns for events. David, who now runs the project through the Cycle Track Management Company, which in turn is owned by SCB Bank Foundation, is a keen cyclist himself who can be seen on the track several times a week. Since most visitors transport their bikes in their cars or trucks, the need for ample parking space is essential. Within the complex, there is a partially landscaped car park for 1,500 vehicles. The second plot, which is owned by AOT, is linked by a 1.2 km bridge and can accommodate more than 3,500 cars. But such is already the popularity of Skylane, particularly on Sunday

Beverly Jangkamonkulchai Parent Relations & Communications Manager St. Andrews International School Sathorn Campus

morning, space can be scarce so some people leave their car on the main road. All parking is free except for the AOT long-term parking lot. “Lots of thought has gone into this project to make it safe and ecofriendly,” says David. “Many of the track and car park lights are powered by solar panels, for example. We also plan to make plastic recycling and clean energy important components of the project. An example is the skywing inflated canopy, which is made from recycled PET (plastic bottles). “The idea is to provide a safe and secure environment hence we work with Samitivej Hospital to provide free medical services for any accidents within the facility. They have two health stations - one at the bike centre

I like the New Skylane as it’s wider and allows for the faster cyclists to be a little further away! It’s great for someone who loves to exercise on their bike without having the risk of cars hitting them! I usually go every weekend with my family and any other days I have off!”

and one half way around the track to ensure rapid response to cyclists.” Leading companies like PLanscape were engaged for the landscaping and Steven Leach Associates for design and architecture, and Aurecon for all engineering design. The majority of the construction was carried out by Italian Thai (ITD) assisted by specialist subcontractors. “Dr Vichit and I are passionate about this track,” continues David. “And if it inspires others to follow us, we are very happy with that too.” How to get there: Take the exit to Suvarnabhumi Airport on the elevated expressway (Bang Na to Chonburi), turn right at the first traffic lights, then left at the T-junction, then U-turn under the first flyover. Skylane will be on your left).







10 great things to see and do in Bangkok & beyond …


By Morgan Thanarojpradit

01 Evergreen - Music Craft Community

March 4 Blue Parrot Bangkok, Revolucion Cocktail Bangkok LOUNGE by the pool, enjoy lay sports and soulful grooves while indulging your senses with a fresh brand of Urban Festival. Fun activities include Pétanque competition, Causes & Fairtrade Craft Showcases, all day BBQ and more. events/1983466481913540

02 Russell Peters returns to Asia

March 4 Impact Exhibition Hall 1 AEG Presents and Live Nation BECTero announce the return of the global comedy phenomenon Russell Peters with his Deported World



Tour. He will perform in Bangkok on March 4 at Impact Exhibition Hall 1, Muang Thong Thani.

03 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo

March 8-11 Anantara Riverside Bangkok ON the banks of the Chao Phraya River, this year’s instalment of King’s Cup Elephant Polo promises to offer a full range of fun and festivities for the whole family. The activities include an impressive opening parade, children’s education day, Ladies Day (known as the Bangkok Ascot) and a variety of entertainment, DJs lineup and pop up food market.

04 Yum Fest Bangkok

March 10-11 Jam Factory CELEBRATING all things delicious, Jam Factory will host the Yum Fest Bangkok on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Prepare yourself for possibly the greatest food fest in the City of Angels with street food, eating contests, food trucks, restaurant stalls, local food tours, beers, live music and so much more. events/174099066540362

05 The Ultimate Star Wars Symphony Concert March 15 Thailand Cultural Centre SIAM Sinfonietta led by Somtow Sucharitkul will present the first symphony concert in Southeast Asia with all the best-loved music from all nine of the Star Wars movies.





Income for this concert will go to support Siam Sinfonietta’s April tour to Carnegie Hall to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Thai-American relations.

06 TRANSMISSION The Spirit of the Warrior

March 17 BITEC Bangna Hall AFTER the massive Asia debut in March 2017, Transmission Festival Bangkok will return in 2018. Experience a new epic, audio-visual experience, with music lovers from all over Thailand, Asia and beyond in attendance. groups/686296558194344

07 World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony March 17-18 Ayutthaya World Heritage Site MUAY Thai boxers and fighters from around the world gather to participate in the annual World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony and Miracle Muay Thai Festival to show their appreciation of the beautiful art of Muay Thai at Ayutthaya World Heritage Site. events/1948467082039987

08 John Legend in Bangkok for the first time

March 23 BITEC Bangna Hall AMERICAN singer, songwriter and musician John Legend will be making his debut in

Thailand in March. His soulful tunes have captured audiences around the world, and Legend is heading across the globe on his Darkness and Light Tour.

09 Thailand Tattoo Expo 2018 Vol.2

March 23-25 BCC Hall, Central Plaza Ladprao VISIT this year’s edition of the Thailand Tattoo Expo which will be held at the BCC Hall, 5th Floor, Central Plaza Ladprao featuring the most extravagant works of art, the largest collection of tattoo artists in any one place and more. The event is from March 23-25, from 10am-10pm. thailandtattooexpo


10 Bangkok Rising presents: The Vagina Monologues 2018

March 29 Check Inn 99 BANGKOK Rising presents a thought-provoking and highly controversial theatre production about women and girls around the world. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is an awareness-raising project demanding a change and an end to violence against women and girls and a push for gender equality. Proceeds will go to House of Refuge (www., and the V-Day Foundation. Tickets are B300. events/486680528395101

TheBigChilli 15


Hotel of the month

Riad Hua Hin Hotel


EFERRING to the Arabic word meaning traditional-style Moroccan homes with a garden in the middle surrounded by the buildings, the word ‘riad’ reflects an image of a small oasis embraced by trees protecting travellers from sandstorms. Riad Hua Hin Hotel is located in Moo Ban Hua Don in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. It might not have a private beach, but it is only a 200-metre walk to the nearest one. Designed to reflect the colourful atmosphere of Moroccan homes, the walls are painted in bright colours

while the walkways and surrounding areas are decorated with beautiful lamps and Arabian-style decor. Riad Hua Hin Hotel presents a unique architectural design featuring colourful buildings and peaceful vibes. The most interesting feature has to be the unique welcoming committee which is the team of



rescued cats that roam around the premises. The furry welcoming squad includes Jeeja who is also the hotel’s logo, Rueng, Rung, Jub-Jib, Japan, Pele, Panda, Jun-Jan, Thong and Mae Lueang. They are not allowed inside the accommodation but are allowed to roam free in the compound.

The resort offers three types of accommodation: Sleeping Cat rooms are the largest rooms located near the pool, next are the Sitting Cat rooms which are mid-sized and the Standing Cat rooms which have no balcony. Also available is the on location restaurant serving breakfast and snacks and the Riad Cafe serving bakery items, snacks and coffee or tea. Located only a few minutes’ drive from central Hua Hin, this resort is sure to offer a relaxing getaway in a setting surrounded by cuddly felines. Riad Hua Hin Hotel. 75 Moo Ban Hua Don, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110. 089 899 7979.









“Many resumes received by HR professionals don’t match the vacant job specific requirements. “Blue collar employees tend not to be on LinkedIn, which means apart from Facebook, which is mostly social, they don’t have a professional digital footprint - which is essential these days even if they have limited education or work experience. “In our industry, people are the biggest asset, but we hire primarily based on personality, attitude and interests rather than education and work experience. A traditional CV, however, doesn’t portray those qualities and is lacking the ability to provide hiring managers with a better sense of who the person is. “Instead, Splitshift gives people an opportunity to showcase more of their personality, interests and passions, rather than focusing purely on work experience and education. Profiles can be updated to show how someone’s career is progressing. “Overall, I believe the site can make the recruitment process far

more efficient.” Hotels and service industry businesses are similarly encouraged to post insider information on the website about their work environment and company culture. “People can browse for jobs via advanced search options, receive relevant job alerts and follow their favourite companies,” notes Mr Manthe, a Bangkok-based Swiss national who is currently GM of Chatrium Hotel Riverside. “Human resources and hiring managers can post jobs, receive candidate alerts, browse through all the available profiles and instantly reach out to candidates that match their requirements rather than waiting for them to apply.” The website offers free access to a vast archive of online training and education resources provided by community members, including video tutorials, online seminars, training manuals, virtual mentorship and advice from industry professionals as well as news relevant to the hospitality

and service industry. It also features a messaging system for users. “Its vision is to build an online community that brings like-minded people together and provides stepping-stones and inspiration for everyone interested in the service sector in Southeast Asia - one person, one job and one career at a time,” adds Mr Manthe. “Working in the hospitality industry is very secure employment.” For more information, visit or contact



Humour ■ I have had the pleasure and trauma of working as a professional improv comedian on a cruise ship in the Caribbean for 14 months. At the end of my time there I was physically unable to return to Canadian weather, and so ended up in Thailand. My time on the cruise ship gave me an interesting lesson on the true nature of fame. Each cruise lasted about a week. It would begin in a US port like Miami or New Orleans. In the morning, you would rush off the boat and head to the local CVS store to stock up on toothpaste, shampoo, and your favourite snacks that weren’t available on the ship. Heading back to the ship, you would enter through the staff entrance but would soon find yourself trapped amongst the new passengers, who would meander around the ship, in awe of its shippy amazingness. All you wanted to do was get back to your cabin and dig into the snacks you just bought. You would politely push your way through the crowd, being ‘that guy’ that everyone quietly thinks to themselves, “What’s the problem with that guy?! Why is that guy in such a rush? What a loser!” During the first day at sea, I had no responsibilities. I was just another passenger. I was just the guy in line in front of you at the buffet. But day two, as a member of The Second City comedy sketch show, I would perform in the large 700-seat theatre aboard the ship. Everyone in the audience is there to have fun, having lubricated their senses of humour with a day full of drinking and burning themselves in the sun. The shows were always very well received. The next day, I was that guy who looked a lot like the guy in the show last night. “Is that the guy from the show?” the cute women would giggle to each other (or at least that is what I assume they were saying). They were a bit impressed and intimidated by me, so they would do their best to pretend to be disinterested in me. Surprisingly, they were all very good at it. Two nights later, our team would perform our improv comedy show.

The next day, I was famous. People would smile at me as if they recognised me and kinda expected me to recognise them, like they wanted me to say, “Hey, you’re that person from the audience of 700, right?” And they would offer to buy you a drink. (Having people buy you drinks is part of your job on the ship, as the cruise companies base their profit model on food and alcohol sales, not on the cost of the cruise.) Anyway, the next night I performed with some of the comedy cast as part of an impromptu rock band. Several of us can play musical instruments, so we would take over one of the several bars on the ship, and rock out. The next morning, I was a bonafide rock star. Cute women would be interested in having sex with me. (You can’t. It’s not allowed. I know, lame!) People would ask about my career and when I was gonna be on Saturday Night Live, ‘cause I am good enough. No, I’m better than the cast of SNL, and they can’t understand why I am not already on the show! I assured them that if SNL called, I would refuse the call! They took down my name, got selfies with me, and promised to look me up on Facebook and the internet. They were my fans! They loved me! Then we would pull into Miami. I would wave to everyone and accept their best wishes and thank-yous for the incredible shows as we got off the boat. Then I would go to CVS to pick up snacks. Returning to the boat I would find myself trapped amongst the new passengers meandering around the ship in awe of its shippy amazingness. All I wanted to do was get back to my cabin and dig into the snacks I had just purchased. I would politely push my way through the crowd, being that guy that everyone quietly thought to themselves, “What’s the problem with that guy?! Why is he in such a rush? What a loser!” …

The True Nature of Fame



By Drew McCreadie

This is my jam, and it was always much better than the very successful sketch show. Because the show was improvised, we got to interact with the audience a lot more. The cute girls would whisper to each other, “It was that guy from the show! We need to meet him!”

This month at the Comedy Club Bangkok Mar 2 - Tinder Hell: The Return Audience horror online dating stories retold on stage with tasty embellishments by our improvisors. Tickets B400 in advance B500 at the door with drink and drink specials. Mar 9 - Stand-up Comedy Eleanor Conway A comedy about sex, sobriety and the modern addict. A true story of triumph. Eleanor is bringing her show to Asia and Bangkok! Tickets B600 in advance B800 at the door with drink and drink specials. Mar 23 - Stand-up Comedy Chris Henry Scottish comic, Chris Henry, is back with a brand new show. Tickets B400 in advance B500 at the door with drink and drink specials. The Comedy Club Bangkok, Sukhumvit 33/1 (above The Royal Oak Pub)

Expat Sport

Chiang Mai Sixes THE Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes is one of the largest amateur cricket tournaments in the world and one of the most long-lasting having been played for the first time in 1988. Last year saw a great celebration as the tournament was held for the 30th time and 2018 sees the completion of a full 30 years of a wonderful event that brings hundreds of people to visit the historic city of Chiang Mai annually. The 2018 Chiang Mai Sixes runs from Sunday, April 1 to Saturday, April 7 and 36 men’s teams will take part at the Sixes this year, along with four ladies teams, so there is a chance for cricketers of all abilities to win a trophy. Many well-known international players have taken part in the Sixes over the past 30 years including former England captain Mike Gatting who summed up the unique atmosphere of the Chiang Mai event: ‘this tournament is all about making friends and I have enjoyed myself immensely’. Teams from all over the world have taken part in the Sixes, and the Bashundhara Cricketeers from Bangladesh has often been the team to beat over the past decade. The NCL Dynamites are travelling from Dhaka this year looking to win the Cup, along with a veteran team full of former Bangladesh Test players who are looking to remind spectators of their considerable talent. The tournament is not just about the overseas teams as a host of Chiang Mai local teams also take part in the



Bigger and better than ever after 30 years

competition with the young Thai cricketers particularly enjoying the experience of playing on such a big stage. The Chiang Mai Sixes supports the excellent work done by Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance by providing coaching in local schools. It pays for underprivileged Thai children’s educational needs through the Hill Tribe Fund. Over the years, many of the regular teams have made generous donations of cricketing equipment for junior cricketers with Chris Love of Blythswood CC contributing to a recent visit to Gymkhana Club in Chiang Mai. Local children and the youngsters who play for the Lanna Thais team were delighted when they were able to take the field in brand new cricket shoes. Thanks to all our generous sponsors and advertisers who help support the event with CM Custom Tailors for the blazers so they can look smart on a cricket tour. Please come to Gymkhana Club to watch the event that combines some entertaining cricket, a great social scene and most importantly helps young and often underprivileged Thai children gain enjoyment and better opportunity in life from playing cricket as well as looking after their needs off the field. Full coverage of the Chiang Mai Sixes is on, and we will be providing live streaming of every match and ball-by-ball scorecard updates for 2018.


Meet Matthieu Reynaud, Dream Hotel Bangkok’s new General Manager

Our success is our people, who enrich extraordinary experiences and simple pleasures with their charm, personalities, and unique flair that always bring customers back


WARDED the Best General Manager regional winner South East Asia at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2016 in Doha, Qatar, Matthieu Reynaud is the newly appointed General Manager of Dream Hotel Bangkok under the umbrella of Dream Hotels Group. He is bringing with him years of worldwide experience to the hotel’s operations. He was working as General Manager at the Pathumwan Princess Hotel and Group General Manager at Chaweng Regent Beach Resort and Melati Beach Resort & Spa and held several managerial positions at AccorHotels group before that. What is your background in the hospitality industr y? I started my career in Food and Beverage department as a restaurant manager and went up through the ranks to reach the position of Director of Food and Beverage, then moved to the second post – Executive Assistant Manager. My first General Manager post was in 2011. What motivated you to pursue a career in the hotel industr y? I have always been fascinated by the

smiles and happiness on the faces of both employees and guests. It is just amazing. Whether the guests are rich, average or famous, or just merely celebrating and enjoying some time off, they seem to be happy. On top of that, I have always been interested in luxury brands, high-end retail and hotels and the experience it offers. As the General Manager of Dream Hotel Bangkok, what is your work philosophy? As an upscale lifestyle brand, Dream Hotels created an exceptional service and built-in nightlife entertainment in every property around the world. We have to make our product and services stand out. The soul of a hotel, created by service and genuine hospitality, is what differentiates us from others and what brings the customer back. What challenges has the hotel faced over the last few years and how have you dealt with them? The market is becoming more challenging as we are facing an oversupply in hotels, which leads to price competition. However, our hotels’ strategic location and value-

for-money propositions enable us to maintain a high number of returning guests as well as bringing in new business opportunities. We encourage visitors from all regions to visit and enjoy the authentic Dream Hotels’ lifestyle experience our property and Bangkok has to offer. How do you predict business in 2018 will pan out for Dream Hotel Bangkok? We are very optimistic, and we are expecting a high demand for both business affairs and leisure at our property in Bangkok. Our first two months saw above 90 percent occupancy on average. Also, all the indicators we have at the moment show the trend of a rising in RevPAR for 2018 and the tourist arrivals continue to drive trading performance through strong occupancy. We are looking forward to serving more guests and offer them authentic Thai hospitality throughout 2018. Dream Hotel. 10 Sukhumvit Soi 15,, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. 02 254 8500.



Meet the Chef SERVING UP Alessandro Eusebi

Pizza Master Chef at da Vinci Italian restaurant

Cooking philosophy Good food can make people happy Most influential chef Marchesi – Paul Bocuse (RIP) The proudest signature dish? Pizza flambé The most difficult ingredient to work with? Fresh Buffala Mozzarella Your biggest mistake when you were a brand new chef? Forget to put yeast in the pizza dough Three words that best describe your cooking? Simple, good looking, tasty The utensils you can’t do without? Rolling pin What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? My mother’s home cooked food



Best advice you’ve ever received? Drive carefully Music you listen to whilst cooking? Contemporary Italian music What’s your greatest achievement to date? Produced over 450 pizza in one day The most memorable person you’ve ever cooked for? Italian great singers What’s your favourite wine? Amarone What do you like to do when you're not cooking? Driving my Ducati What would you be if you weren’t a chef? A motorbike mechanic

Chef in


■ PIZZA Master Chef Alessandro Eusebi is bringing with him years of experience as Pizza Master Chef from Italy. He is the expert in preparing and baking delicious pizzas in wood or gas ovens and was awarded the Professional Certificate Master Pizza Chef in 2010 (Scuola Nazionale Maestri Pizzaioli) in Rimini, Italy. He has been working as the Pizza Master Chef at da Vinci Restaurant since November 2017.

da Vinci Italian restaurant, Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok. 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Khlong Toei, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110. 02 261 7100. FB: davincibkk

Dining Out

Tapas Vino Sharing food is the basis of a good social life


OASTING its new look and feel, the Tapas Vino is now the perfect socialising ground for diners from all walks

of life. Today, the restaurant presents delectable tapas as well as an array of delicious cheeses and cold cuts with choices of Mediterranean cuisine. Modelled after the familydining culture, the restaurant offers shareable plates where diners can come and enjoy their time with families and friends. Overseeing the food department is Mr Andrew William Brown, Director of Culinary and F&B services with years of experience working in renowned restaurants and hotels around the globe.


We started with the cold cuts and cheeses (B650++), an array of cured ham, Jamon Serrano (24 months), Jamon Iberico Pata Negra (42 months), Parma ham served with crusty bread, followed by the Chistorra Chorizo (B220++), a plate of Chistorra Chorizo grilled to perfection and served with creamy mash potatoes. Next up was the Set Two (B300++) plates which include Patatas bravas, ham croquettes and delicious and juicy garlic prawns. Then came the grilled lamb chops (B680++), a plate of perfectly grilled lamb chops served with roast potatoes, vegetables and ajili mojili sauce; and the seafood Paella (B890++), a plate of Spanish-style rice served with freshly cooked seafood such as river prawns and mussels. Ending the meal on a sweet note was a plate of crème brûlée (B190++) done just right topped with dark chocolate in the shape of a spoon on top. Book directly through the website today you can enjoy up to 50 percent discount on food.


The new look of the restaurant incorporates more wood and bricks offering a warmer, friendlier tone to

the overall atmosphere which still blends very well with the elegant red and gold ceiling.


Parking is available at the hotel. Tapas Vino. Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit. 30 Sukhumvit 21, Asoke Road, Bangkok 10110. 02 204 4000.



Guest review by


Park Society, SO Sofitel

UR first visit to SO Sofitel Bangkok proved to be a great success. Park Society, their flagship restaurant was opened especially for our lunch, and the rooftop venue provided us with unrivalled views of Lumpini Park. Wine master Thomas Boedinger selected an elegant flight of four Old World wines that left Roy Dean, our wine spokesman, almost lost for words of praise. The first wine was Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug 2015 (Wachau, Austria). Hefeabzug (or sur lie) means that the wine is fermented on its lees and bottled without racking. This adds to a creamy mouthfeel of the wine and can also add a slightly nutty character. It proved to be a worthy aperitif with a fetching nose and agreeable finish and paired nicely with the refreshingly different amuse bouche – pineapple sapphire – which made for an excellent start to our lunch. Next, we enjoyed a starter of Salmon Trout served with pickled vegetables, horseradish, honey, and shavings of vegetables. Beautifully fresh, the dish was both tasty and eye-catching and was matched perfectly with our second white wine, Koehler Ruprecht Riesling Kallstadter Spätlese Saumagen Trocken 2015 (Pfalz, Germany). Our food spokesman, Andrew McDowell,



Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy

greatly enjoyed this starter and complimented Chef Joost Bijster for the piquancy provided by the contrasting horseradish and honey, while Roy apparently agreed with Robert Parker who had bestowed 90 points on the wine, calling it an outstanding elegant wine. There followed an East-West fusion of Lobster meat served with a tom yum inspired Lobster Bisque infused with lemongrass, chillies, kaffir lime, mushroom, galangal, and fresh lemon. The bisque was delicious, though some felt it could be a bit spicier and a mild criticism perhaps could be levelled at the small size of the portions of lobster. This dish too went very well with more of that lovely dry Riesling. Andrew described our main course, a Wagyu Beef Tenderloin, as being a “little firmer than melting in the mouth”, nevertheless very tasty. It was well accompanied by a flavoursome garnish and sauce with just a hint of truffle. This course was matched with Domaine Roche Audran Chateauneuf du Pape 2015 (Rhône, France), wine that would typically be the highlight of any lunch. Made from 100% old vines Grenache, this delicious wine opened up nicely after a few minutes in the glass. Full marks are due to Thomas for finding such a great but affordable example of Chateauneuf du Pape! Roy also congratulated the restaurant for the selection of glassware during the meal.

Moving on, we were presented with a wide selection of cheeses served with quince paste, almonds, and fresh bread and crackers. We enjoyed this with the last and best of our wines, a Classic Amarone (Corte Rugolin Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Crosara della Strie 2011 from Veneto, Italy) that was full and rich with notes of ginger, tobacco and wild cherry. It showed good balance between acidity, fruit, and tannin, and it delighted those who judge the wine not only by taste but by the percentage of alcohol (an impressive 16 percent). Concluding our feast, there remained an Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse topped with an orange compote served with salty caramel and hazelnut ice cream. Andrew found the orange to be a bit more sour than he expected but otherwise pronounced it an excellent dessert. This was topped off by choices of fresh coffees. Our birthday boys this month, Mark and David, contributed two bottles of 15-year-old Glenfiddich (Solera Reserve) to the gathering, and it was, therefore, fitting that the younger and more handsome of the pair stepped up to present a token of our appreciation to the team of servers and chefs who laboured long and hard to make this lunch so enjoyable. SO Sofitel Bangkok. 2 North Sathorn Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500. 02 624 0000.

Food& Drink Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news

Discover Spain’s most succulent dish AVAILABLE NOW UNO MAS presents an extravagant dish of pork meat encased by the sweet and crispy skin, Cochinillo Asado or the ‘suckling pig’ is an absolute must for all Spanish food fanatics. Priced at B1,990++ per plate, the dish is served with a selection of sauces, traditional and not-so-traditional, green Mojo sauce, gravy and Thailand’s very own nam jim jaew.

Savoury culinary treat AVAILABLE NOW UNTIL MARCH 31 LA TAVOLA & WINE BAR at Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel welcomes the Costata Steak season, a serious juicy treat for the meat lovers. Native to the ancient culinary art of Tuscany, Costata Steak is a prime cut of beef with a distinctive taste and texture. The meat is hanged and aged between 15-21 days and served as a cut of thick meat cooked to perfection that can be enjoyed with a glass of wine. Priced at B400++ per 100g, the steak is available daily at La Tavola & Wine Bar. 02 125 5020.

02 100 6255.

Mouton Cadet wines at L’Appart rooftop restaurant and bar AVAILABLE ON MARCH 15 THE Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit hotel is to showcase five outstanding wines from the Mouton Cadet estate in Bordeaux at a Cocktail Dinner Party. The event, on March 15, will take place at L’Appart rooftop restaurant and bar where Head Chef Nicolas Basset will present fresh and creative menus. Presenting the white, red and rosé wines is Mouton Cadet’s regional Brand Ambassador Florent Bouvier. The exquisite dinner is priced at B1,950++ per person. 02 126 9999. restaurant-5213_R003-l-appart-bangkok.shtml



Tantalising BBQ Ribs at Renaissance Bangkok AVAILABLE FROM NOW UNTIL MARCH 31 RENAISSANCE Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel presents guests with Tantalising BBQ Ribs offering juicy, tender treats for all carnivores. The ribs are carefully marinated with the homemade soy and garlic sauce for hours before smoking until the meat is tender with a hint of caramelised crust then served in half rack and full rack straight from the grill. Priced at B400 for a half rack and B700 for a full rack, the Tantalising BBQ Ribs is available daily at The One Beer Garden from 5-11pm until March 31, 2018. 02 125 5111.


James Robert Wilson - GM Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok


HAT first attracted you to the hospitality industry? I used to work part time in a restaurant in both Kitchen and Restaurant Service and I enjoyed the experience so much I decided to pursue a career in this field.

become more obvious. People are now looking more for experiences that just consumable products with creativity and unique positioning or offerings becoming more of a requirement. What are the most challenging aspects regarding your new position? A hotel General Manager wears many hats. We are here to give guests great experiences and to develop and empower our people. The challenge in my new position is to keep adding additional value to all that has gone before.

Have you always been passionate about the hospitality industr y? Yes, I cannot imagine doing any other job. Working with people makes every day new and exciting. What do you consider to be the highlights of your career so far? This is a very difficult question. I am very humbled by the recognition received from Hotels Magazine for my involvement in charity work in Europe, Middle East and Asia. I also celebrate the Silver Investor in People Award received in Dubai and the Best Global Newcomer Award from Investors in People I received in Abu Dhabi. Both of these awards were for the development, involvement, empowerment of our hotel people. As the new General Manager for Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok, what sets it apart from the competitions? They just don’t build hotels like this anymore. Centara Grand Ladprao is a Bangkok city landmark. It is one of the few remaining great grand hotels

which were built 30 plus years ago. Centara holds strong Thai values. We care a lot about our people and we are very fortunate at Centara Grand Ladprao to have over 90 employees who have been with the hotel more than 25 years. It’s almost impossible to get this kind of experience and knowledge within one hotel. Since 2006 until now, what significant changes have you notice in the hospitality industr y in Thailand overall? Having returned to Thailand after 4 years in the Middle East I definitely notice a higher volume of Chinese travelers both as groups and independent travelers. The tastes of the younger market have become more global and wine appreciation has

How do you envisage the hotel’s development over the next five years? We are investing heavily in 2018 in new base technology for the hotel operation, social media platforms and new computerised equipment for our leisure club. Finally, when you’re not busy working, how do you like to spend your free time? Most people think Chatuchak market only opens at the weekend, but in fact parts of the market operate all week with various stalls. I enjoy walking around this huge space watching people and soaking up the sights and sounds. You can literally buy anything in the market and it never ceases to amaze me what is available for sale.



Celebrate the Tastes of Spring AVAILABLE FROM APRIL 2-22, 2018 THE Okura Prestige Bangkok’s Michelin Plate signature Japanese restaurant, Yamazato, is welcoming spring with special Gozen lunch platters and a Kaiseki dinner featuring the freshest of seasonal delicacies. The first Spring Gozen lunch platter includes firefly squid with clams, wakame seaweed, leek and miso sauce, a soup of shrimp dumpling with mushrooms and canola flower and more. Spring Gozen and Kaiseki dinner are priced at B1,300++ and B4,500++ respectively. Spring Gozen lunch is available from 11am - 2.30pm and dinner from 6-10.30pm. 02 687 9000.

Executive Chef Gibb Elevates Culinary Trends in Bangkok AVAILABLE NOW ANANTARA Sathorn Bangkok Hotel has launched the new trendsetting menus at ZOOM Sky Bar & Restaurant and ZOOM Sky Lounge. The exciting new menus are the creation of the Executive Chef Gibb and Adtavorn Charoonpontithi. The new menu features dishes like black truffle fries, Sicilian Calamari Fritti, Laarb Moo and spicy raw fish and more that will enhance and excite the sensory experience in every bite. 02 210 9000 ext 4304.

Blunos at Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok

Happiness comes in pairs at On the Table Tokyo Café AVAILABLE FROM NOW UNTIL MARHCH 31 ON the Table Tokyo Café is doubling the flavours of happiness for everyone with its “Perfect Match” campaign. Thai foodies can pair a pasta plate with a rice offering from a list of ten fusion dishes for only B490 from today until March 31. Enjoy the pairing with two sets of miso soup and salad.



AVAILABLE NOW CHEF Blunos presents an array of popular dishes among the restaurant’s guests including the lobster roll, pork belly and Peking duck pizza and many more. Coupled with the warm and chummy personality of Chef Blunos, his classic comfort food in the appealing ambience by the pool at Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok will offer a gastronomic experience one can’t forget. 02 210 8100.

Quality Italian at affordable pricing


INCE Jamie’s Italian, a partnership between British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his mentor, Gennaro Contaldo, opened the first restaurant in Thailand at the ground floor of Siam Discovery in November 2016, the restaurant has put its own stamp on the Bangkok restaurant scene by offering dishes using high-quality, sustainable and traceable ingredients, at an affordable price.

Jamie’s Italian makes fresh pasta in-house daily, in front of customers, using bright red Bottene pasta machines brought straight from Italy. The pasta is offered as a starter or Italian ‘primi’ course size, or as a main course portion and prices start from B260. Since its launch, the pizzas are what Jamie’s Italian has become known for, with a selection of eight dishes on the menu starting from B345. They’re hand-stretched to

order, loaded with cheese and the toppings range from truffle and wild mushroom to prosciutto produced by Quattro Stelle, a Calabrian family now based in Sydney whose livestock are hormone-free and use traditional methods of salumi production. Alex Barman, the head chef, is always in search of local suppliers that meet Jamie’s strict food standards and has joined hands with Sirin Farm, located in Chiang Rai, who are dedicated to producing freerange chicken and eggs based on sustainable farming practices. The restaurant also works closely with Sloane’s butchers in Bangkok and Delish Foods who grow their own greens hydroponically, as well as supplying fresh fruit and vegetables. With a range of antipasti and grill dishes, as well as the pizza and pasta, the Jamie’s Italian menu features something for everyone. Visit for a quick lunch of a bowl of pasta and glass of wine, or splash out on a truly Italian-style dinner with friends. Jamie’s Italian. Siam Discovery Ground Floor, Room G06. 989 Rama 1 Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330. 02 255 5222 or



Royal Thai Appetizers at Suan Bua Restaurant AVAILABLE NOW UNTIL MARCH 19 SUAN BUA Thai Restaurant, Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok presents the Royal Thai Appetizers where guests can enjoy delicious and rare traditional Thai recipes with fresh ingredients by Chef Santiphap Petchwao. Highlights include Thai dumpling stuffed with shrimp (B350++, flour dumpling stuffed with salmon (B350++, egg net wrapped with marinated pork (B350++), shrimp meat wrapped with bean curd paper (B350++), crispy golden cup with assorted vegetables (B320++) and taro stuffed with mushroom and cabbage (B320++) and more. 02 541 1234 ext 4151.

Red Sky’s ‘Surf & Turf Tower’ for two AVAILABLE NOW RED SKY presents the special offer of its signature ‘Surf & Turf Tower’ featuring two tiers of succulent seafood and meat including ribeye Wagyu, Australian lamb rack, grilled Maine lobster, giant Andaman shrimp, Alaskan crab and Hokkaido scallops. Priced at B5,955++ per couple the lavish tower comes with side dishes of fresh seasonal vegetables, stuffed potatoes with various sauces and dips. The Surf & Turf Tower is available daily from 6pm - 1am. 02 100 6255.

Travel the culinary world at Goji Kitchen + Bar

Biscotti unveils new creations

AVAILABLE NOW GOJI Kitchen + Bar is the new all-day dining restaurant at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. It serves up an extensive selection of authentic cuisines from across Asia alongside popular Western dishes. The international gourmet buffet price is B898++; lunch buffet is B828++ while dinner buffet ranges from B1,278++ to B1,868++ (prices vary between Sunday to Thursday and Friday to Saturday). Saturday brunch buffet priced at B828++ and Sunday brunch buffet is B1,868++. Additional beverage packages range from B99++ to B950++ per person.

AVAILABLE NOW BISCOTTI at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, one of Bangkok’s favourite trattoria-style eatery is serving up sensational new dishes by Chef Andrea Buson. Hailed from Venice, Chef Andrea is bringing with him a plethora of rich flavours from the region. New creations include grilled scallops with cream of buffalo mozzarella, a cherry tomato confit and paté of Liguria olives; a Venetian risotto based on his grandmother’s recipe of peas, pancetta, seared foie gras and Parmesan; and a personal favourite, wild-caught Sockeye salmon seared with Bronte’s pistachio pesto, cherry tomato and purple potato.

02 059 5999.



02 126 8866 ext 1214.

Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Champagne specials at ATTITUDE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant ATTITUDE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant presented a rare secret bubbles celebration for only the privileged few at Anantara Riverside Bangkok with the limited edition Champagne Ernest Rapeneau Brut Extra Aged. Guests celebrated Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year with the Moet & Chandon PINK Vending Machine where guests can just pop the cork and enjoy.

Grapes Unplugged, wines of Australia at Tapas Vino THERE’s no better way to finish a long day than a chilled out evening sipping on a glass of wine, or two. Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit presented the four th edition of Grapes Unplugged, a leisurely wine night at Tapas Vino. Guests thoroughly enjoyed an array of wine curated by the sommelier from Down Under.



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The cost of wine when you bring your own

From 10,000 baht per bottle to zero, what Bangkok restaurants charge for corkage


NTIMIDATED by the long wine lists presented in most of Bangkok’s restaurants, or even worried about the cost? Then bring your bottle of wine. Most Bangkok restaurants allow customers to forgo their in-house wine cellars and open bottles they’ve brought from home. But there is a price to pay. The corkage price can vary enormously, from an eye-watering 10,000 baht per bottle



at Mezzaluna, which was recently awarded two Michelin stars, to free. However, the majority of restaurants charge between 500 and 1,000 baht per bottle. Some restaurants do not charge corkage at all. Among them is the fivestar Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, which has delighted its customers by dropping corkage in all of its outlets, even though they all stock an extensive range of wines of their own, which are also available to diners. Sensi, however, has a different policy, charging

600 baht per bottle, half of which goes to a local charity. It’s no secret that most restaurants are flexible on corkage, reducing or even dropping fees for regular customers. A friendly word with the manager or owner can prove very useful. The BigChilli survey here includes corkage usually charged on wine, as well as on whisky and champagne is certain cases. VAT and service are often added on top.

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok Corkage: No corkage fee Venue: Bar@494 is a hidden gem in the city centre, small and classy and stocks some of the best wines in Bangkok the bar also offers international a la carte dishes 02 254 1234. bangkok. grandhyatt May Veggie Home Corkage: No corkage fee Venue: 100 percent vegan cuisine restaurant in central Bangkok 089 042 7215.

Dressed Corkage: No corkage fee Venue: cafe with healthconscious sandwiches, wraps, pasta and more in a casual setting 02 631 1993. Arno’s Butcher And Eatery Corkage: No corkage fee Venue: a modern-day butchery-slash-eatery offering dry-aged beef at reasonable prices 02 678 8340. www.facebook. com/arnosbutcher El Mercado Corkage: No charge if purchase the second bottle at the premises Venue: an alternative for foodies, restaurateurs, chefs and those seeking affordable food not easily found in Bangkok 099 078 3444. Aldo’s Mediterranean Bistro and Wine Bar Corkage: Usually no corkage fee Venue: a modern Mediterranean bistro and wine bar sports contemporary decor where diners can enjoy the exquisite meals in sophisticated atmosphere 02 676 6982. www.facebook. com/aldosbistroandwinebar Himalaya Restaurant Corkage: B200 Venue: cosy Himalayan restaurant serving up food from the unique region 02 258 4489. www. No. 43 Corkage: B300 for wine and B200 for spirits Venue: located at the Cape House Bangkok, the elegant yet cosy restaurant brings the most exquisite Italian and Thai cuisine to

the plates 02 658 7444. www. Madame Shaw Bangkok Corkage: B300 Venue: serving traditional Thai flavours and dishes made by renowned chef, Jittini Wangsin 02 258 1205. Bistro 33 Corkage: B300 for wine Venue: one of the most contemporary dining venues offering an extensive selection of wines and spirits in casual yet elegant setting 02 260 3033. Stix Corkage: B400 Venue: a new Asian skewer bar in Thonglor serving up beer, sake and highballs 02 077 6595. El Tapeo Corkage: B400 net for wine Venue: Spanish eatery and wine bar serving up tasty tapas 02 052 0656. About Eater y Corkage: B400 Venue: natural wine bar and restaurant serving up comfort food with Mediterranean influences 02 665 2772. Broken Eggs Corkage: B400 per bottle Venue: eatery and bar serving up tapas in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in Ekkamai 02 047 7811. www.facebook. com/brokeneggsbkk Arroz Spanish Rice House Corkage: B400 per bottle of wine

Venue: Spanish eatery featuring tapas and paellas in mid-century residencestyle in Thonglor 02 258 7696. www.facebook. com/arrozbkk Via Maris Corkage: one bottle free corkage for every two guests (wine only), maximum of five bottles for every table; additional bottle B499 each Venue: new bistro serving up vibrant dishes featuring flavours from the Mediterranean 02 236 5558. Gianni Corkage: B500 for wine Venue: tucked away in a quiet courtyard, this sophisticated restaurant offers an array of fine Mediterranean dishes 02 252 1619. Food Exchange, Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 Corkage: B500 per bottle Venue: a modern interpretation of traditional food markets with a city view and open cooking stations 02 009 4999. restaurants. Cocotte Corkage: B500 for wine and B800 for whisky Venue: a contemporary restaurant specially sourced their ingredients from the Royal Projects farms in Chiang Mai to bring the best organic products to the tables 092 664 6777. Amara Bangkok Corkage: B500++ per bottle and B1,000++ for extra large bottle Venue: A hipster hotel situated in Bangkok’s busiest business area offering delectable

international and Thai cuisines. 02 021 8888. bangkok. Dexter Cafe & Bar Corkage: B500 net for wine Venue: cafe, restaurant and bar serving up all-day dining and international comfort foods 02 636 6222. www. CHOW Cafe & Bar Corkage: B500 net for wine Venue: restaurant and bar serving up Thai and Asian fusion dishes, cocktails and spirits 02 318 2273. www.facebook. com/CHOW.Bangkok El Chiringuito Corkage: B500 per bottle of wine Venue: restaurant and bar in Chinatown serving up delicious Spanish-inspired dishes 085 126 0046. elchiringuitobangkok Blunos Corkage: B500 per bottle of wine Venue: A poolside luxurious restaurant led by Executive Chef Martin Blunos offering an array of superbly satisfying dishes at enticing prices. 02 210 8100 ext 7502. blunosbangkok Millennium Hilton Bangkok Corkage: B500 for wine and B1,000 for whisky net (or otherwise depend on the outlet’s manager’s decision) Venue: a contemporary and cutting-edge dining options with the breathtaking view of the Chao Phraya River 02 442 2000. www.facebook. com/Hiltonbangkok



Insight DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sukhumvit Bangkok Corkage: B500 per bottle Venue: the hotel’s dining outlets offer an international selection of prime ingredients dining and a great selection of wines, spirits and cocktails 02 649 6666. www.facebook. com/DoubletreeSukhumvit Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok Corkage: from B500 to B1,000 at all outlets Venue: the hotel has an array of outlets including Blue Sky Rooftop Bar & Dining, Don Giovanni, Chatuchak Cafe, Dynasty, Hagi, Le Danang, Suan Bua restaurants and Lobby Lounge 02 541 1234. www.centarahotelsresorts. com/centaragrand/cglb Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld Corkage: from B500 to B1,000 while Red Sky Bar and CRU not allowed Venue: the extravagant hotel offers numerous



outlets including The World, Dynasty, Uno Mas and Red Sky restaurants. 02 769 1234. www.centarahotelsresorts. com/centaragrand/cgcw Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 Corkage: B500 for wine, B1,000 for whisky Venue: a wellness-focused modern hotel located on Sukhumvit Soi 20 offering an array of delectable healthconscious international and Thai cuisine 02 127 5995. Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok Corkage: B500 for wine, B1,000 for whisky Venue: located in the Pratunam area, the hotel offers a new take on the City of Angels with international dining choices and rooftop bar 02 625 1234. www.centarahotelsresorts. com/centara/cwb La Monita Taqueria Corkage: B500 Venue: a delicious, Mexican eatery serving up homemade

and authentic dishes 02 651 5605. Osito Unique Spanish Corkage: B500 Venue: comfort food venue serving up deli sandwiches, dinner tapas, wine and cocktails 02 651 4399. Osito/Osito.html Thai Niyom Cuisine Corkage: B500 Venue: Thai restaurant serving up dishes made with bold ingredients and flavours 02 044 1010. www.facebook. com/ThaiNiyomBKK Rossini’s Corkage: B500 for wine Venue: an Italian restaurant dedicated to serving the best and traditional Italian cuisine amidst the enchanting Tuscan villas atmosphere 02 649 8363. Bourbon Street Restaurant And Oyster Bar Corkage: B500 for wine Venue: the only place

in Bangkok presenting authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine in Bangkok 02 381 6801. Indigo Restaurant Corkage: B500 for wine, B600 for champagne Venue: an excellent European restaurant offering tempting meals coupled with a selection of wines and spirits 02 235 3268. Eat Me Restaurant Corkage: B500 for wine, B1,000 for whisky Venue: a modern eatery serving international cuisine, drinks and delectable desserts 02 238 0931. Sensi Corkage: B600 for wine (half the corkage fee goes to charity) Venue: seemingly off the beaten track, the restaurant is set in a beautiful home offering high-quality, innovative fine dining dishes 02 117 1618.

J’aime by Jean-Michel Lorain Corkage: B600 for wine and B1,000 for champagne Venue: an eclectic fine dining experience in the City of Angels 02 119 4899. Hard Rock Cafe Corkage: B600 for wine and B700 for 1-litre bottle of whisky and B1,000 for 1.5-litre bottle of whisky Venue: a world-renowned rock ‘n’ roll-themed chain restaurant with a high-energy and friendly vibe serving best American classics 02 658 4090. bangkok The Missing Burro Corkage: B600 per bottle of wine Venue: an eatery serving up authentic Mexican dishes in a laid-back atmosphere 090 913 2131. Sensi Restaurant Corkage: B600 per bottle of wine or B1,000 for whiskey Venue: a chic and elegant Italian eatery in downtown Bangkok 02 676 4466. Blue Parrot, Revolucion Cocktail Bangkok Corkage: B600 for a wine bottle, B1,000 for a spirit bottle and B1,600 for champagne Venue: a cool, poolside restaurant serving up lunch, brunch, dinner, tapas and drinks 02 235 4822. www.facebook. com/blueparrotbangkok Quince Eater y & Bar Corkage: B700 for wine Venue: a contemporary Mediterranean-inspired

market-style kitchen cuisine located in the upmarket residential area of Bangkok 02 662 4478. www.facebook. com/quincebangkok Lenzi Tuscan Kitchen Corkage: B750 for wine and B1,900 for whisky Venue: an Italian restaurant serving signature dishes created by the beloved Chef Francesco Lenzi using best produce from Tuscany 095 251 5040. New York Steakhouse Bangkok Corkage: B750 for wine Whisky, champagne 1,000 baht Venue: an award-winning legendary yet laid-back dining steakhouse 02 656 7700. dining/new-york-steakhouse Enoteca Italiana Corkage: B790 for wine Venue: prized for its unique Italian cuisine and an exquisite wine list, Enoteca Italiana is one of the best Italian restaurants in town 02 258 4386. Issaya Siamese Club Corkage: B800 for wine Venue: an elegant gardensetting eatery hidden in a small street near Rama IV Road serving touristfriendly Thai food 02 672 9040. Outback Steakhouse Corkage: B700 for wine and B1 per ml for spirits Venue: a modern Australian-themed restaurant offering steaks and all-time favourite Aussie dishes 02 658 0202. OutbackSteakhouseTH

La Scala Italian restaurant Corkage: B700 for wine and B1,200 for champagne and whisky Venue: serving contemporary and innovative Italian cuisine and a comprehensive drink list amidst the elegant decor 02 344 8888. bangkok/en/dining/ restaurant-la-scala L’Opera Italian Restaurant Bangkok Corkage: B750 for wine Venue: a rustic bric-a-brac restaurant serving classic Italian cuisine 02 258 5606. Landmark Hotel Corkage: B800 for wine and B1,200 for whisky at Rib Room & Bar Steakhouse and B500 at Artur Venue: the multi-awardwinning restaurant specialises in traditional and contemporary French cuisine focusing on an array of steakhouse favourites 02 254 0404, 02 658 6288. Brasserie 9 Corkage: B900 for wine and B1,000 for whisky Venue: serves up traditional French cuisine with contemporary twists 02 234 2588. Char Rooftop Restaurant and Bar Corkage: B800++ for wine and B1,500++ for whisky Venue: a restaurant and rooftop bar at the Hotel Indigo offering innovative fusion dishes with a great selection of wines, spirits and cocktails 02 207 4999.

Nahm Corkage: B1,000 for wine Venue: a chic contemporary dining room offering modern Thai cuisine 02 625 3388. metropolitanbangkok/ dining/nahm Savelberg Corkage: B1,000 for wine Venue: located at The Oriental Residence on Wireless Road, the one Michelin-star restaurant serves French cuisine with a comprehensive list of wines, spirits and cocktails 02 252 8001. Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Siam Kempinski Bangkok Hotel Corkage: B1,000 for wine, B1,500 for champagne and B3,000 for whisky Venue: a one Michelin-star dining offering an array of creative and innovative Thai-inspired dishes 02 162 9000. Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Corkage: B1,000++ for wine and B2,000++ for whisky at L’Appart and B1,000 net at Voila Venue: an upmarket high-rise restaurant in an upmarket Parisian penthouse apartment setting serving elegant French cuisine with an array of best-loved cocktails 02 126 9999. www.restaurants. Jamie’s Italian Corkage: B700 for wine and B900 for whisky Venue: a famed restaurant under the creation of its namesake offers an array of delicious and creative



Insight menus 02 255 5222. italian/thailand Renaissance Bangkok Corkage: B750++ for wine and B1,000++ for whisky Venue: a myriad of dining outlets offering international and local food using the best-sourced ingredients 02 125 5000. Hilton Sukhumvit 24 Corkage: B900 net at Scalini and Mondo Venue: a modern luxurious hotel with two elegant dining outlets offering exquisite Italian cuisine and international cuisine 02 620 6666. Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park Corkage: B1,000++ per bottle for dining outlets. ABar and ABar rooftop do not allow. Venue: a collection of beautiful dining outlets offering international, Japanese, Italian and Thai cuisines 02 059 5555. InterContinental Bangkok Hotel Corkage: B1,000 for wine at both Theo Mio Italian restaurant and Fireplace Grill & Bar Venue: a contemporary hotel situated on the Ratchaprasong Intersection, one of the busiest business and shopping areas in Bangkok 02 656 0444. Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant Corkage: B1,000 Venue: a contemporary



wine bar and restaurant on the 37th floor of Pullman Bangkok Hotel G offering great French cuisine and a selection of wines, spirits and cocktails in an intimate ambience 02 352 4000. www. Bo.Lan Corkage: B1,000 for wine and B1,500 for whisky and champagne Venue: a Thai restaurant located in Sukhumvit area offering an array of finedining dishes 02 260 2962. The Reflexions, The Athenee Hotel Corkage: B1,000 Venue: the elegantly decorated restaurant located in The Athenee Hotel offers delectable contemporary French and European cuisine accompanied by a comprehensive list of wines 02 650 8800. Toro Corkage: B1,000 Venue: Barcelona-style restaurant from NYCBoston serving up delicious tapas 02 392 7790. www. Touché Hombre Corkage: B1,000 Venue: Mexican restaurant serving up canapés in a cool atmosphere 02 392 7760. www. ToucheHombreBangkok Savoy Corkage: B1,000 Venue: punch bar with classy and stylish singing rooms 02 392 7637. www.

Above Eleven Corkage: B1,000 net for wine; B1,500 net for spirit and mixers must be bought separately Venue: rooftop bar in the heart of Bangkok designed to look like Central Park in New York City 02 038 5111. aboveeleven. com/bangkok Lucky Fish Corkage: B1,500 Venue: Japanese gastropub that is a cafe by day and bar by night 02 392 6926. www. Evil Man Blues Corkage: B1,500 Venue: jazz and cocktail bar that is chock full of charm and delicious drinks 02 392 7740. www. Beer Belly Corkage: B1,500 Venue: craft beer bar equipped with games like pool, Jenga and more 02 392 7770. www. Hopeland Corkage: B1,500 Venue: Korean restaurant with arcade games and a cool, futuristic vibe 02 392 6922. www. Elements Restaurant, Okura Prestige Hotel Corkage: B1,500 for wine Venue: a welcoming urban restaurant featuring a chef’s table in front of the open kitchen, serving an array of international cuisine 02 687 9000. Le Normandie Corkage: B2,000 for wine Venue: acclaimed restaurant serving creative

French cuisine, presenting fresh and precise flavours with exquisite tastes amidst the beautiful view of the Chao Phraya River 02 659 9000 ext 7390-4. Vesper Corkage: B2,000 for wine; B2,500 for spirit Venue: a full-fledged cocktail bar with seriously cool decor 02 235 2777. Mezzaluna Corkage: B10,000 for wine Venue: this two Michelin star restaurant serves innovative European cuisine with the finest and highest dining experience in Bangkok 02 624 9555. Sky on 20, Novotel Sukhumvit 20 Corkage: Not allowed Venue: a fantastic restaurant and bar with breathtaking panoramic view of Bangkok skyline 02 009 4999. www.facebook. com/skyon20bangkok L’Atelier by Joel Robuchon Corkage: Not allowed Venue: presenting delectable French cuisine in an elegant and contemporary fine-dining setting 02 001 0698. Suhring Corkage: Not allowed Venue: serves traditional Thai dishes with contemporary European influences amidst relaxed yet elegant environment 02 287 1799.

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Hunting for pearls - best oyster outlets in the city Presenting delicacies from the sea on the plate By Morgan Thanarojpradit

PEOPLE either love them or hate them, eat them raw or cooked, with champagne or wine but pregnant ladies aren’t allowed. Can you guess what it is? Oysters, of course! This issue, The BigChilli scours the city to bring you a list of places to find these delicious molluscs. *Prices subjected to 7% VAT and 10% service charge except stated otherwise.




A modern and stylish award-winning Italian restaurant with the reputation for creating a memorable dining experience, Scalini Italian restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere that’s perfect for both family gatherings and friends socialising occasions. Featuring an open kitchen, the overall atmosphere creates a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere. The menu items may vary depending on the season and the available ingredients. Boasting freshness of the ingredients, the oysters on offer are mainly Fine de Claire priced at B900 for six pieces and B1,700 for 12 pieces. Scalini Restaurant. Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok. 11 Sukhumvit 24 Alley, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110. 02 620 6666.


A luxurious steakhouse situated at Millennium Hilton Bangkok not only offers the breathtaking view of the Chao Phraya River but also exquisite indulgences of prime cut meats and more. On offer today, PRIME Steakhouse presents special Perrier-Jouët & oysters promotion with a bottle of Perrier-Jouët and 12 oysters at B6,500 with a glass of Perrier-Jouët with three oysters at B1,500. PRIME Steakhouse at Millennium Hilton Bangkok. 123 Charoen Nakhon Road, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600. 02 442 2000. hotels/thailand/millennium-hiltonbangkok-BKKHITW/dining/index.html


THIS no-frills restaurant makes guests feel like they have walked into the ocean with the decor and all the seafood on the plates. The majority of oysters here are from the Pacific Northwest USA, especially Puget Sound, Washington and Northern California. There’s a mix of oysters from the Atlantic Northeast USA and Japan from time to time. Boasting the largest varieties (30+ rotation), patrons can choose from 10-12 types of oysters on the raw bar at any given time with prices ranging from B100-165. Opens from Monday to Saturday 6-11pm, Sunday 12-2.30pm and 5.30-10pm. Every Sunday from 12-2.30pm lunch reservations receive 50 percent off freshly shucked oysters. The Oyster Bar Bangkok. 395 Narathiwas Soi 24, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120. 02 212 4809.


OFFERING an array of grilled dishes packed full of flavours, a selection of organic salads and tasty dessert that will satisfy all taste buds, Riverside Grill at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers also present an array of delectable and fresh oysters a la carte. Oysters on the menu include spiced Coral-oysters ceviche (B380), half dozen oysters’ Kilpatrick (B790) and half dozen Californian oysters (B790) all freshly shucked. The Riverside Grill at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers opens daily from 5-10.30pm. Riverside Grill, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers. 2 Charoen Krung Road Soi 30, Siphya, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500. 02 266 0123. www.



THE Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok presents a luxurious skyscraper in Bangkok’s Lumpini neighbourhood. The old palace architecture inspires the Thai-colonial design of the hotel. Presenting an array of delectable dishes at The Reflexions including a great selection of delicious oysters on the menu. On offer include the Majestic oysters from Ireland with special unlimited a la carte brunch menu available only on Saturdays from 12-3pm. Priced at B3,988 per person. The restaurant closes every Sunday and Monday. The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel. 61 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330. 02 650 8800.

THE restaurant serves Fine de Cancale n°3 from France. The daily a la carte priced at B90 for one piece, B480 for six pieces and B920 for 12 pieces. Special price available every Thursday at B45 net per piece and everyday wine pairing prices range from B750 to B2,950 (six pieces with a glass of wine to 24 pieces with a bottle of wine). Chef Clément Hernandez also created an Australian Wagyu beef and oyster tartare with shallots cream dark bread and condiments priced at B460. Brasserie Cordonnier. 33/29, 33/30 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. 02 038 5113.





OFFERING an exquisite selection on the menu including authentic French and Italian Mediterranean style cuisines in a chic and relaxing atmosphere, guests can find the finest cuts of meats, freshest seafood and delectable seasonal organic produce every time. For fresh and premium quality oysters, Blend Bistro & Wine Bar presents selections like Fine de Cancale, currently on special offer at only B62 each or B740 for 12 pieces; Sydney Rock, Kumamoto, Harty, Barron Point and more. The prices range from the current special at B62 to B175 each. The restaurant and wine bar receives two deliveries per week to ensure optimum product freshness. Also on offer is daily white wine and oyster promotion comprises of two Fines de Cancale oysters and one glass of French Chardonnay white wine for B350. Blend bistro & wine bar. 531-533 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110. 02 258 8808.

SURROUNDED by the bustling ambience, Uno Mas – Spanish for ‘one more’ presents unique flavours and vibes to the 54th floor at Centara Grand at CentralWorld, Bangkok. Presenting the delectable Boudeuse oysters priced at B130 a piece from David Hervé oysters farm in Charente-Maritime (France), Hervé’s oysters are exported to some of the best restaurants in the world. Uno Mas, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. 99, 999 Rama I Road, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330. 02 100 1234.


FROM the brains behind Fallabella, the Pirate Chambre is a collection of European bistro trends with worn-looking rustic bare brick walls, wood panel bar with brass railings, steel frame beveled glass and neon light marquee signages topped with a few crystal chandeliers. The fresh oysters on offer are available in one, six and 12 pieces per plate. The available options include Barron Point (B125, B720, B1,440), Kusshi (B175, B980, B1,940), Kumamoto (B175, B980, B1,940), Pickering Passage (B135, B790, B1,560), Pacific (Australian) (B125, B730, B1,440), Fine de Claire No. 2 (B125, B730, B1,440), Tsarkaya (B205, B1,220, B2,400), Normandy (B125, B720, B1,440), Coffin Bay (B125, B720, B1,440) and Tasmanian (B125, B720, B1,440). Pirate Chambre. 518/5 Phloen Chit Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330. 02 252 5131.


WITH more than six years serving as a professional seafood chef, Marian Baranek brings with him an extensive experience in the premium seafood industry. Lobster & Oysters moved to a new place under the new name, Marian with a new concept called Urban Gastro Bar. The new exciting oyster menu include fresh oysters imported such as Royal Cabanon and Marennes Oleron from France, Tara from Ireland and Pacific from Holland. The most popular dishes are L’idéale or the ideal oyster from France and La Royale Cabanon from France. Price ranges from B145-B2,100. Lobster & Oyster/Marian Urban Gastro Bar. 251/2 Thonglor 13 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, 10110. 092 662 5555.




THIS restaurant is Bangkok’s newest rooftop chilled-out venue, offering innovative bar and restaurant experiences with towering 360 degree cityscape view on the 40th floor of Anantara Sathorn Bangkok. Open from 5.30pm to 1am from Monday to Sunday, the ZOOM experience starts with relaxing sunset refreshments that lead into a fresh approach to urban dining. Featuring Fine de Claire oyster nº4 priced at B590 per half-dozen pieces served with lemon gel and Miso chilli powder. ZOOM, Anantara Sathorn Bangkok Hotel. 36 Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra 8/1 Alley, Yan Nawa, Sathon, Bangkok 10120. 02 210 9000. zoom-sky-bar-restaurant


BOURBON Street Restaurant & Oyster Bar by Doug Harrison offers authentic Cajun and Creole Cuisine in Bangkok. Located on Ekamai Road, the venue presents delectable Louisiana favourites including blackened fish, Gumbo, Jambalaya, fresh live imported oysters, boiled live crawfish, USDA prime steaks, Hickory smoked ribs and even pizzas and Mexican specials.

COCOTTE FARM ROAST & WINERY Oysters on offer at Bourbon Street include Barron Point, Eagle Rock, Majestic, St Kerber, Fine de Claire Vendee, Creuse, Fine de Claire and Pink oysters. The prices range from B80-B150 each, B540-B900 per half a dozen and B960-B1,800 per a dozen with a choice of caviar from France at B1,650. Bourbon Street Restaurant & Oyster Bar. 9/39-40 Soi Tana Arcade, Sukhumvit 63 Road, Ekamai, Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. 02 381 6801. www.

TUCKED away deep in Sukhumvit Soi 39, Cocotte Farm Roast & Winery is located in the 39 Boulevard Building. Operating on noble principles, it claims to prepare every dish using only the ingredients sourced from local organic farms and food artisans such as the Royal Projects in Chiang Mai. The interior is split into two areas featuring rotisseries on one side and a bar bistro on the other, while showcasing the open kitchen in the back. On offer includes an array of Irish oysters (Majestic) in orders of three, six and 12 for B640, B1,220 and B2,200 respectively. Cocotte Farm Roast & Winery. Soi Sukhumvit 39, Khlong Tan Nuea, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. 092 664 6777.



School Report

Berkeley Offering Full Scholarships in High School BERKELEY International School is now offering both academic and sporting scholarships for high school students. Multi-talented sporting girls and boys are encouraged to apply. The scholarships

are offered in full and will stay with the students until graduation. Berkeley International School features state-of-the-art sporting facilities to help fully develop athletes in all areas and the

school already has a proven track record with national team players within our ranks and a championship athletic team.

Bromsgrove celebrates 15th anniversary OVER 600 students, teachers and staff of Bromsgrove International School Thailand (BIST) gathered at Windsor Park Campus to form the letters ‘BIST’ as a celebration



of the school’s 15th anniversary. Bromsgrove International School Thailand (BIST), with its affiliation to the prestigious Bromsgrove School UK, has

become Southeast Asia’s premier British curriculum boarding and day school for Thai and international students.

School Report

Eight Oxbridge Offers for Shrewsbury Class of 2018


HREWSBURY International School Bangkok’s already proud academic record has received a fresh boost with the news that eight students from the graduating class of 2018 have received offers from Oxford and Cambridge universities in the United Kingdom. This comes on the back of record A-Level results in 2017 when 40% of exams achieved the A* benchmark – five times the UK average -- and further underlines the school’s position as a regional leader. School Principal, Chris Seal, said “This is a fantastic achievement for these students and testament to the hard work they have already put in and the continued excellence of our Higher Education team, who work closely with students on their university applications. “What is particularly pleasing about these latest offers is that they



very much reflect our belief that academic progress goes hand in hand with an enjoyment of co-curricular interests outside the classroom.” Indeed, Yanissamone (Jane) Ngarmnil (Chemistry) and Yasmin Nguyen (Human Sciences), who have both received offers from the University of Oxford, are also currently preparing to take lead roles in the school’s major annual stage production. Meanwhile, Natcha (Pun Pun) Yongphiphatwong is a recent TEDx speaker and winner of the Bangkok Economics Essay Competition impressed St Peter’s College at the University of Oxford from where she has received an offer to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE); one of the world’s most highly regarded undergraduate courses. Head Girl, Pimara (Pimmy) Soongswang is amongst five students to receive offers from Cambridge University. Pimmy’s passion for sustainability and environmentalism

is reflected in her choice to read Land Economy at Queen’s College. There’s also a quartet of Cambridge offers to undergraduate Engineering courses; traditionally a popular choice for Shrewsbury students. Shrewsbury’s Director of Higher Education, Jo Fretwell, added; “Our focus at Shrewsbury is to ensure that all students are given the advice and support they need to pursue Higher Education choices that are right for them. In the case of the Oxbridge admissions process, this is something that both Universities themselves are renowned for testing with unrivalled rigor, and why they offer just a handful of places for every thousand applications.” We are now accepting applications for Senior School Years 7 – 12 for August 2018. Limited places are available. Please call Ilka Hodapp at 02 675 1888 ext 1110 or email

School Report

Standing on the shoulders of Giants


MAGINE Bangkok over 50 years ago when highrise buildings were rare and there were only a few main roads. It was a time when innovation was necessary to get things completed to an international standard. This was when, in 1966, the Traill International School was established (then known as The Preparatory School). The concept and the vision for the school was the brainchild of Mr and Mrs Anthony Traill who wanted to open a British curriculum school in Thailand. With an engineering background, Mr Traill managed most of the construction projects himself, either training the workers in modern construction methods or being hands-on. He felt that classrooms needed to be cooler for better focus and concentration, thus making Traill the first school in Thailand to be fully



air-conditioned. He followed this by introducing computers; the school being the first to have computers in the classrooms, quickly followed by two computer laboratories and soon thereafter becoming the computer examination centre in Thailand for London University. Mr Traill believed in the rigorous aspect of the British education system, focusing the school curriculum on mathematics and the three sciences. This was balanced with health and nutrition, and a great sports program. All students could access and take part in any programme. He knew that in the school’s unique warm family environment, children were happy and would naturally flourish in their area of interest. Fifty years later, the warm family community of happy children is felt immediately upon entering the campus.

Playing her part, Mrs Traill dealt with all the legal matters, administration and the day to day hard work it took to set-up and sustain an international school in Thailand. She was and continues to be the backbone of the school. Throughout the years the school has grown and flourished into an extremely successful international school whose list of awards, both academic and sporting would fill volumes. School Director, Mr Robert Traill says, “our school offers something special and truly unique – producing happy and well balanced students with their feet firmly planted on the ground. The achievements all come naturally after this.” So what about the future? This is in the steady hands of the school Board, including Mrs Traill and her son Robert. The plan is to build upon the past successes and to consolidate the unique ethos. Something the late Mr Anthony Traill would certainly have approved of.

School Report

Heading to Harvard


odd Chutichetpong, an award-winning scientist and Senior at Ruamrudee International School, recently learned that he was accepted to Harvard. We interviewed him to learn more about what it takes to get into the best of the best. How long have you been a student at RIS? 12 years—since Kindergarten. Why Har vard? I’m interested in computer science technology and bioengineering, while also passionate about history and English. Being in a technical field typically gives you a narrower approach to things, but Harvard offers an excellent balance to this with a liberal arts education that will broaden my horizons. I understand that you’re an inventor. What have you invented? My first invention was an ironing board that transforms waste heat from the iron into usable electricity. Most recently, I invented a sensor that rapidly diagnoses drug-resistant tuberculosis. The current test takes 30 days because TB is one of the world’s slowest growing bacteria; mine takes three days. I earned first place in the Biological Science

category for this invention at the ASEAN Student Science Project Competition. I was also selected as “Thailand’s Youth Inventor and Innovator of the Year.” What else do you enjoy besides science and inventing? I’m on the RIS golf and cross-country teams and am a member of the Habitat for Humanity club. I also founded two school clubs: the Unicef Club and the STEM Research Club. At home, I like to cook with my dad, and I enjoy Marvel movies and reading.

How has RIS contributed to your success? RIS brought me out of my shell by providing activities with leadership opportunities. Because our high school courses are discussionbased, versus just being “fed facts,” it builds skills necessary to interact and collaborate with others. Being

encouraged to scrutinise what I’m learning has been monumental in becoming the scientist I am. RIS’ service learning programmes helped me become more compassionate and able to realise the potential impact of my research and how it can improve the world. Which courses helped you get to where you are now? IB Physics pushed me to think beyond my capabilities, and our AP Biology teacher debunked the notion of biology requiring mostly memorisation because she made learning biology into more of a story. She also extended our learning beyond the curriculum by ending each class by sharing current science updates, which helped me create a connection with the real world. That class led to my interest in life science research. What are you taking away because you’ve been at RIS? The fact that RIS offers both the AP and IB programs was beneficial for me. IB focuses on deeper understanding and research, while AP covers a larger range of topics but not in as much depth. I believe it’s made me a more adaptable learner, which has prepared me better for college.



Spa & Wellness 01

RARINJINDA Wellness Spa, Thailand’s finest and innovative wellness spa, is offering luxurious pampering in spa sanctuary with latest spa technologies rooted in Thai hospitality. The spa treatments are creatively adapted from traditional and contemporary spa theories around the world aiming to deliver a luxurious Thai exotic spa journey towards health and wellness. 092 969 1054. 01 02 03 04 05

RARINJINDA PRESENTS THE ULTIMATE WELLNESS EXPERIENCE UNWIND JAPANESE-STYLE WITH ‘SAKURA SPA SECRETS’ PACKAGE LA VIE COLONIC HYDROTHERAPY SENSE OF TOUCH BY QUAN SPA YOGA FOR RUNNERS: SPECIAL SESSION SPA Cenvaree is offering a stress-buster ‘Sakura Spa Secrets’ massage and body scrub package. The two whole hours of ‘me time’ is priced at B2,568 net per person a session. The programme is separated into three treatments targeting different parts of the body with a combination of therapeutic techniques. Starting with the foot cleansing ritual followed by Sakura body scrub and Sakura body massage and finishing with complimentary refreshments. 02100 1234 ext 6511, 6516.


Special Promotion for Colonic Hydrotherapy: Pay only B5,000 instead of B8,000 for a couple at La Vie wellness 11 Fl., Gaysorn. Promotion ends of March 2018. 02 253 8588.




04 IT is believed that a simple act of touch can connect, stimulate, relax and regenerate the body’s natural healing process. Quan Spa, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel presents “Sense of Touch”, a 120-minute journey featuring relaxing herbal steam, body scrub and soothing massage of your choice for B2,900++ per person. Available from today onwards. 02 125 5000.


A great yoga workshop for those who love to run like the wind ... or like Toon Bodyslam. The workshop is sure to help you run better, faster and more efficiently without injuring yourself. Available on Saturday, March 17, for only 30 persons at Lullaby Yoga Studio 1st floor, Q House Sathorn Life Centre priced at B2,000 per person. 02 677 7470-1 or 081 566 2121 or visit


SIAM Piwat Co, Ltd, owner and operator of Siam Paragon, Siam Centre and Siam Discovery under “One Siam” joining force with KBank Credit Card launched the greatest Chinese New Year celebration with a campaign “Siam Delightful Chinese New Year. The auspicious event features 999 Chinese lanterns, imported impressive performances from China and various promotions and special prizes.


USING floral line frames and patterns to tell the story of spring and summer, the Canitt Spring and Summer 2018 collection are inspired by drawings of famous impressionist Claude Monet. The collection portrays the delicate sweetness of modern day women. Experience the beauty of the new collection today at Canitt boutique at Siam Paragon, Central Chidlom and Parklane Ekamai.


BIG C together with Famous Bras brand launched a new campaign called “Seven Bras Seven Wonders” at Big C Extra Mega Bangna with a sexy fashion show by Mission Creative Star. The promotion offers up to 60 percent discount and buy one get one free or buy two get one free depending on the model. Big Card members can use 500 points to exchange the special discounts.




MORE Pure Trading Co, Ltd, importer and licensed distributor of high-quality baby and children’s brands led by two executive’s moms, Ms Wimonpan Vootiprux and Mrs Wichapa Pripinichai, longtime friends who have a strong passion for baby care products. Childs Farm products are one of the best natural solutions proven by the highest growth in the baby category in the past three years and won numerous awards from all over Europe. Childs Farm products only use natural ‘free-form’ ingredients and essential oils to produce a range of mild, kind and delicious-smelling toiletries that will care for the delicate hair and skin of newborns, babies and young children.


INTERNATIONAL Women’s Club of Thailand held its first luncheon of the year in January at Rembrandt Hotel. The event marked a handover of the new President from Mrs Kathlyn Pokrud to Mrs Tharinee Tavjaroen.


PRESENTING the new and most popular cycling class called Rhythm Cycling, this spinning session will give you new vigour in life. Each class lasts 45 minutes in which you can burn up to 800 calories. You will be able to build as well as burn and have great fun in the process. Brought to you by Absolute Cycle, the Rhythm Cycling classes are available at Amarin Flagship Studio, The Commons Studio, JAS Studio, G Tower Studio, Crystal Park Studio, The Circle Studio, Onnut Studio and Boat Avenue Studio.

MEMORABLE ART EXHIBITION SHOWCASING 84 paintings by the country’s most talented artists to mark the 84th anniversary of The Old England Students Association under the Royal Patronage (OESA) is taking place at OESA Clubhouse from April 20 onwards.



The Vespas from the website

Online and on the make “There’s a well-known website that advertises the sale of second-hand goods in Thailand,” the expat began. “That’s how I originally learned of this phony bike company. The website is respectable and it offers a lot of good deals. I bought some secondhand musical equipment through the site and everything went well. But unfortunately they don’t check out the sellers. Anyone can place an ad. Some advertisers have links to their own sites. I clicked on a headline that read ‘Fully restored brand bikes for sale’. That turned out to be a big mistake. “The description of vintage Vespas and Lambrettas and the restoration work done on them was very impressive. They broke it all down in detail and guaranteed the bikes had been restored to excellent condition and all parts were genuine. I decided I wanted to purchase a classic, sexy reconditioned bike to cruise around Bangkok on the weekends. I picked out a 1963 Lambretta, which is a nice piece of machinery. The bike in the photo appeared to be just what I was looking for, but the photo was all I got. “I know I should have gone to the address they gave for the shop

in Sisaket province in the Northeast before transferring any money, but I didn’t. They were very cool and they had me convinced I was doing business with a reputable company. Obviously they are counting on customers thinking it wouldn’t really be necessary to make such a long trip upcountry.” The expat said that particular website quoted prices underneath photos of its reconditioned scooters in English pounds. He later observed that there was another site with an almost identical design, and even the same email address and opening and closing hours, but the prices were in US dollars. Another difference is that the shop was located in one large town in southern Thailand. “I sent the shop in the Northeast an email identifying the scooter I wanted. I got a response right away from someone calling himself ‘Mr Pierluigi M- - - - - - , Head of Sales’. I later realised that Pierluigi was most likely the victim of identity theft and had nothing to do with the company. Apparently the scammers wanted someone with an Italian sounding name to make it seem more authentic. He wrote: ‘You are in luck, we are giving big discounts at the moment. The bike is only 70,000 baht,

plus 3,500 baht for the shipping costs.’ “Before signing the contract I was sent by email copies of Pierluigi’s passport, the company registration and Certificate of Importer-Exporter Code issued by the Ministry of Commerce. Everything looked legitimate to me. I felt foolish when I learned it was all fake. The phone number printed on the Ministry of Commerce certificate doesn’t exist. “I told them that I was based in Thailand and asked about the baht-topound exchange rate they were using. I was then asked to transfer money for the bike to an account belonging to a Thai woman. He sent me a copy of her Thai ID. I made the transfer. In hindsight, I should have transferred only a deposit, not the whole amount. I now have some information about the woman and the bank account. “I got an email saying the money was received, thank you very much. Shortly after that I received an email from Pierluigi saying his boss was asking for an extra 40,000 baht to register the bike. I then spoke to Pierluigi on the phone for the first and only time. He refused to send the bike to Bangkok without the green book, or registration. He said, ‘We can’t do that,’ to which I replied, ‘You certainly can’. I was pretty angry after the call. There wasn’t any small talk with this man. We spoke in English. He sounded like an African to me. I am sure he had an African accent. Since our conversation a new contact mobile number has been put on the website, which is still running. They are still using the same email address.”

Seeking restitution “It became clear to me I wasn’t going to get the bike for the price originally quoted, and any money I sent for registration would be lost as well. I filed a complaint with the Thonglor police station in Bangkok. The expat then went to a branch of the bank which operated the account he had transferred the money to. After hearing his complaint a bank officer gave him some information on the account. Apparently the account contained considerable amounts of money at times, but it had been



Feature emptied a short time before the expat went to the bank office. “I took the police report and other documents issued by the Thonglor police to the bank and after a lot of explaining and pleading they agreed to close the account. But by then there was only 100 baht left. I wasn’t allowed to actually see the deposit and withdrawal details, but the bank officer told me that the account holder had been doing pretty well. “I wasn’t the only one sending money into the account. Money was being transferred from other individuals and from other banks, which makes it more difficult to trace. A lot of money went through the account, but it didn’t stay there. They were too smart for that. “I have to say I got very good cooperation from the Thonglor police and from the bank. I don’t think that the owner of the account played a major role in the gang, and I learned that the account had been taken out under the name of a woman who reported that her Thai ID was stolen. The ID showed an address in Suphanburi province. “What I think happened,” said the expat, “is that ‘Pierluigi’ or another member of the gang paid a casual acquaintance to open the bank account and afterward took the bankbook and ATM card and told her to report her ID stolen.” One government official told The BigChilli that there are ways to open a bank account with a stolen ID and added that stolen Thai IDs can be purchased on the black market.


he expat said he is worried because the scammers had his passport and may try to use his identity in their nefarious schemes. “They asked me for a copy of the main page of my passport and I sent it to them. I reported the whole incident to the British Embassy in Bangkok and I told them these crooks had a copy of my passport. I also notified a fraud department based in the city of London to tell them that my passport might be used in a scam. “I also sent an email to the Italian embassy telling them that it was highly likely that Italian passport holder Pierluigi M- - - - - - , born in 1963, was the victim of identity theft. He was not involved in the scam, I know this with a fair degree of certainty. What I think happened is that Pierluigi tried to buy a bike from them and they asked for a copy of his passport just as they asked me. They are using his name, and it makes sense. If you are going to buy an Italian bike then you want to buy it from an Italian. So this was kind of a good marketing move. Now they may be using my passport copy to lure victims in this or another scam. “When I look back I see some things that should have thrown up a red flag before my eyes. For one, I sent an email asking the correct fuel-oil ratio for this old bike. The reply was, ‘I will answer your questions later.’ He obviously didn’t have a clue. Anyone with any knowledge of these classic bikes would have given the answer straight away. He fumbled around when I asked another basic question as well. “There’s not much I can do now except try to get the word out about this rip-off so no one else gets burned. I have been doing an honest business in Thailand and to lose money this way really rankles. I wonder how many more people have fallen for this scam. I am sure they don’t care if their victims are expats or Thais as long as they get the money. “Some friends of mine in Bangkok showed an interest when I told them I planned to buy a reconditioned Italian scooter. I gave them the link to the website, but fortunately I was able to sound a warning before any of them transferred any money. That’s the only good thing to come out of all this,” said the Brit. He added that he had seen an advertisement on the second-hand goods website offering expensive breeds of Japanese dogs for sale in Chiang Mai. The mobile number given was the same one used in the scooter scam.



Email trail Following are excerpts from emails sent by ‘Mr Pierluigi M------, Head of Sales’. (Editor’s Note: We have left the emails in their original form, including incorrect English, to help potential victims identify the suspect scam messages they may receive). Purchasing procedure for Thailand based potential customers. • When sending us an e-mail back with your chosen model, kindly include a scanned copy of a clear picture of of your passport which shall be needed when preparing the sales contract as well as your delivery address. • When we receive a copy of your passport with your chosen bike, we shall prepare and send to your the sales contract so you can read and sign. • You read the terms of the sales contract. If our sales terms are okay by you, you sign, after which, you shall make payment to our bank account details which shall be included on the contract. • When you make payment, you send a picture of the transfer receipt or cash deposit slip or receipt. • When we receive the receipt, we shall use the receipt as proof of payment as well as the contract as proof of sales to apply for the green book. We have a contact at the transportation office who works in collaboration with us and issue the green book within 48 hours so he speeds up the process. Once the green book is out, we post you bike to your provided address. • After a maximum of 48 hours, you shall your bike and once your bike arrives, you have 30 days to drive and observe your bike and confirm that you are satisfied with the bikes performance. • NB: All bikes come with a 1 year warranty which implies, we shall finance and repair of your bike should you have any mechanical break down within the first twelve months with the exception of an accident. • Head of Sales: Mr Pierluigi M------. After the Brit sent 73,500 baht the scammer acknowledged the transfer: My Contact at the office just called me now and explained to me that, on my website the cost of bike is 2600 GB Pounds. But on the contract is states that you paid 73,500 THB. He said that the biggest boss at the transport office who signs the green book has refused to sign and approve your green book processing today. He says the boss wants the amount paid for bike to match the cost price of the bike on our website. So says his big boss converted 2600 GBP to THAI BHT and the amount was = 113,171 THB. He says his boss says in order for him to approve the green book to be produced and released today, you need to pay another 39671 THB in order to complete the total amount. He explained me that protocol which the boss wants to be followed and that in the past he did not often take close look at the figures but of recent he has started looking at the figures on every sold bikes website dealer before signing and approving the green book. So my contact says, since we are okay with 73500 which you sent already and we don’t want any more money. We should tell you yo send another 39671 THB to our account and send us the receipt. Once we receive the receipt, we send it to him, so the boss can approve the green book to be processed. I can transfer back to you the 39671 THB to your account. Treat it as a matter of urgency and let me know when you send it by emailing to the receipt okay. The Brit replied: Pierluigi. The full amount of 73,500 needs to be returned to my bank by midday. No excuses acceptable. If I don’t get an alert from my phone by 12.01 I will assume I have been scammed and proceed with legal action. I have your passport copy (if that is indeed you) so I suggest you reimburse me and get the money from your boss. In earlier message the scammer explained: N.B. The prices in British pounds are for INTL customers.

DIPLOMATS p Meet the people uniting nations

Charge d'Affaires Mohamed A. Zenati Thai hands and hearts wanted in the reconstruction of Libya



Diplomat: Mohamed A. Zenati

Thai hands and hearts wanted in the reconstruction of Libya Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER


N an interview at the Libyan Embassy offices at Galaxy Place Tower on Nonsee Road, Charge d’Affaires Mohamed A. Zenati admitted that trying to promote a positive image of his country isn’t always easy. “A lot of negative things have been reported, especially in the Western media, like the boatloads of people from Libya trying to reach Europe. First, I must stress that Libya has a long and noble history. The region has been settled for many thousands of years. In the 7th century BC Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya and early inhabitants had close contacts with the ancient Egyptians. The Greeks established city states in the eastern part of the country and later Libya became part of the Roman Empire. “And despite some highly publicized tumultuous events in recent years, there are a lot of good things happening now in the country. Unfortunately, they are hardly ever reported. I have noticed that the Thai media doesn’t print much news about Libya and in general Thai people don’t know much about my country. Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to tell readers of The BigChilli what is really going on. I want to tell them that there are many ongoing projects designed to rebuild the country,” said Mr Zenati, adding that he is on a mission to bring Thai workers and the Thai embassy back to Libya.

Background Mr Zenati was born in Tripoli in 1958 and studied Economics and Science at the University of Libya. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1981 and started out as an attaché. In his long career he has held many important positions in Libya and abroad. He was promoted to the rank of ambassador five years ago but due to political considerations his position in Thailand is that of charge d’affaires and head of mission. He took his post in February 2015. His term is four years.

“I visited Thailand for the first time in 2013 to attend a conference in Hua Hin. I was director-general for Asia and Australia and head of the Libyan delegation. I was delighted when I was later appointed to serve here. Thailand is a very nice place. I like the country and I like the people. The food is delicious and foreigners are treated very well. I like the way Thai people are always smiling. I have already visited many places outside Bangkok, including Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Koh Chang, Koh Samet, Kanchanaburi, Samut Sakhon, Phuket, Samut Songkhram and Krabi.” Like many foreigners, he finds Thai a difficult language to learn. “I can speak Portuguese, Malay, English and a little Turkish. I have always liked to learn languages and I found it easy, especially when I was younger, but Thai language doesn’t come easy for me.”

Bilateral relations “Libya and Thailand established diplomatic relations in 1977. In the past there have been a number of official visits exchanges and our countries have a history of consulting and coordinating on regional and international issues of mutual interest. A Royal Thai embassy was opened in Tripoli in 2009. There was a Thai ambassador in residence there from 2010 until 2014. Unfortunately, in that year the security situation in Libya became so bad that many embassies packed up and went home, including the Thai embassy. So now there is no Thai embassy in Libya, but we are looking forward to reopening it in the near future. We are also hoping that Thai companies and workers will soon come back to Libya,” Mr Zenati said. “The Libyan embassy in Bangkok started operation in 2014 and we have been in this building since May 2016. We are happy here. The location is good and convenient. There are six Libyan officials working here and four Thai staff. The Thai MFA and other authorities have welcomed us with open arms.



“We have a growing exchange of trade between our two countries. You will find many Thai products on the market in Libya, like car spare parts and accessories, beauty products like cosmetics, clothes, kitchenware, rubber products, paper, refrigerators, washing and drying machines, prepared and preserved fish, rice, precious stones and jewelry. “Many Thai workers are coming to Libya and Libyans are doing business in Thailand. Some have import-export offices here. Some Libyan clothes traders have been in Thailand for 50 years. One such company has an office in the Pratunam area. Libyan businessmen have long been coming to Thailand for trade and investment purposes. Some reside here and are married to Thai women and some are doing joint ventures with Thai partners. “As I have said, until recently there were a large number of Thai companies and workers in Libya. I am working with the Thai MFA to bring them back, along with the Thai embassy. Before the revolution, 15,000 to 20,000 Thai workers were employed in Libya by foreign companies. They were employed in infrastructure and construction jobs and in the oil, health and other sectors. The skills of Thai workers are needed to help in the restoration of Libya. “My country has suffered a lot due to the political unrest and now we are rebuilding what was destroyed. There are a lot of new projects going on in infrastructure, construction, communications, transportation, oil and other fields. We hope that Thais will come very soon to participate in the re-construction. In the past experts and investors from Thailand were involved in several big projects in Libya. We hope that Thai investors and business people will see the potential in developing their portfolios in Libya during this crucial time.

CV of Mohamed A. Zenati Education July 1981: Bachelor of Economics. Work Experience 1981-1987: Attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1987-1991: Third Secretary at Libyan embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. 1992-1998: Second Secretary and Assistant Head of Division at European Department. 1998-2002: First Secretary at Libyan embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. 2002-2004: Counselor, Head of Division at Asian Department. 2004-2007: Counselor, Head of Division at Cooperation Department. 2007-2012: Counselor and Charge d’ Affaires, Libyan embassy in Ankara, Turkey. 2013-2015: Ambassador and Director-General of Asia and Australia Department. 2015 until present: Ambassador Charge d’ Affaires of Libyan embassy in Bangkok. Meetings and conferences Participated in numerous official meetings, regional and international conferences all over the world, including: 2006: African-Chinese Forum in Beijing, China. 2009: Turkish-Africa Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. 2013: Thai-Africa dialogue, Hua Hin, Thailand. 2013: Japanese-African Development conference in Tokyo. 2013: 68th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.



“It is my duty to explain to the Thai government that the situation in Libya is much improved and it is safe to return. Our embassy in Bangkok is always willing to answer any questions from the Thai government and business community.”

Feeling the way to freedom


he situation in 2014 was very bad, but we have progressed quickly. We started from zero. After the revolution in 2011, it was the first time Libya had tasted democracy and freedom. We didn’t have any experiences to prepare us for that. “We tried to convince people that we must have political parties, and also that we must respect each other and respect others’ opinions. The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) was formed as a result of the Libyan Political Agreement which was backed by the United Nations and signed on December 17, 2015. Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj was appointed Prime Minister. A UN special envoy came to Libya and helped us to work out a roadmap to full democracy. The UN is committed to helping us prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections by the end of 2018. Delegations from many countries are currently visiting Libya and helping the government by holding meetings, training our police and so on. “After the revolution there was a split in the army. Many factions were formed and war weapons became widespread. Now we are starting to dissolve the militias and collecting weapons. We are taking this and other important steps with assistance from the international community. We hope that after the election Libya will have stability and peace, and become a prime destination for companies and tourists. Libya is a rich country in many respects and we have a lot to offer the world.”

Economy back on track

“Since 2016 the economic situation in Libya has begun to improve. Economic growth depends on political stability. The economy suffered greatly in the years of internal tensions, we had economic recession and rising unemployment. Big projects were stopped. Many countries were investing in Libya, but that all came to an end as things deteriorated. The political agreement reached to establish the GNA was an important step in stabilising the general situation, as was termination of terrorist groups in Sirte and Benghazi. The GNA is the legitimate government and is recognised by the international community. The government has worked hard to improve the security situation, create stability in the country and resume the export of oil. Exports are now at around one million barrels per day and production will keep increasing in the future. “Many countries haves re-opened their embassies in Tripoli and international companies have returned as well. Projects are being resumed and new ones are being started. We signed a contract last month with an Italian company worth US$100 million for reconstruction of the international airport in Tripoli. The project is planned to be finished within 18 months.




Libyan Knights

Libya factsheet Libya is an Arab Muslim country situated in North Africa with a 2,000km coastline on the Mediterranean Sea in the north. It borders Egypt on the east and Tunis and Algeria on the west. Niger, Chad and Sudan border the country on the south. Like a lot of African countries, Libya has been occupied by many foreign nations. The population of Libya is about 6.65 million, almost 100 percent of them Sunni Muslims. Libya is a very large county occupying about 1.76 million square km that include large desert and coastal areas. The biggest cities are Tripoli (capital), with a population of about 2.2 million; Benghazi with about 1.1million people; and Misurata which has about 500,000 residents. In ancient times the Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya and the Greeks established city states in the eastern part of the country. Later Libya became a part of Roman Empire. The Spanish and the Knights of John occupied Tripoli in the 16th century, until Ottoman rule began in 1551. Libya was part of the Ottoman Empire for four centuries (1551-1911). In 1911 Libya was occupied and colonized by Italy until the end of the Second World War in 1945. After the victory of allied forces Libya was put under the administration of Britain from 1943-1951. On December 24, 1951 Libya gained complete independence and declared itself a monarchy named the United Kingdom of Libya, with King Idriss Alsanussi as Head of State and a constitutional parliamentary system. In 1963 some foreign companies made the important discovery of petroleum in Libya, leading to economic growth and many development projects throughout the country. This greatly improved the lives of Libyan citizens. In 1969 Muammar Gaddafi, a military officer, seized power and proclaimed the Arab Republic of Libya. Gaddhafi ruled for 42 years until he was toppled in 2011. The revolution that removed him was a part of what became known as the Arab Spring. A general election was held in 2012 and the General National Congress became the first Libyan parliament in decades. The new government faced considerable difficulties in restoring peace and stability to the country. Another general election was held in 2014 and a new parliament and interim government were chosen. Under the sponsorship of the United Nations a deep dialogue between Libyan parties from all over the country was held in Morocco. The parties approved the Skhirat Political Agreement, signed on December 17, 2015. In line with the agreement, the Presidential Council and Government of National Accord were formed and quickly started work in Tripoli to improve the country’s political and security environment.



Nafusa Mountains

“Libya has an African investment portfolio valued at US$6 billion that includes various business sectors on the continent including hotels, mining, timber, agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and petroleum. The Libyan African Investment portfolio has hotels in 12 African countries. We also invested in the telecommunications sector. We have supported 60% of projects of the African satellite program. We also own 1,250 gas and petrol stations in 22 African countries. “At the moment, Libya’s estimated reserves of crude oil are from 48 billion barrels to 74 billion barrels. This means we have the capacity to export crude oil for many years in the future. Libya’s estimated gas reserves are from 55 trillion cubic feet to 177 trillion cubic feet. Our huge oil and gas reserves give us a tremendous economic advantage in the long term. “Under the supervision of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), the financial situation in the oil and gas sector has improved in 2017, especially as far as exports. It is important to say here that we are seeing the normalisation of the security situation in Libya. This means that oil and gas companies have begun to conduct business as usual. In December 2017 crude oil exports were about 1.1 million barrels per day. Mr Zenati said the NOC’s business plan is to develop oil production in three phases. Phase 1: Increase capacity to 1.32 million barrels per day within a year. This will require an investment of US$500 million. Phase 2: Increase oil production capacity up to 1.5 million barrels per day by the end of 2018. Moreover, the plan is to

implement oil field projects and pipelines in order to achieve more efficiency and effectiveness. Investment: US$1.2 billion. Phase 3: The NOC aims to increase oil production capacity up to 2.2 million barrels per day at the beginning of 2023. Investment: US$18 billion. “The Libya Investment Authority has so far invested US$196.7 billion in foreign banks and stock exchanges. In 2016 the Authority saw a profit of US$219 million from interest on deposits and US$112 million from stocks.”

Illegal migration “An important topic I want to discuss is illegal migration. Libya is a destination and transit country for millions of illegals. Most are from Africa but many come from Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as Arab countries. We have a history of treating migrants very well. We have shared with them our lives, bread and butter – everything. But now there is a huge influx of people, mostly young Africans, who hope to travel by ship to Europe. It’s estimated there are now 500,000 to 700,000 illegals in Libya. They work for a while, save some money and then buy passage on boats operated by traffickers and depart for Europe. The situation is placing a big burden on Libya. Libya is very large country and the border along the desert in the south of the country is easy to cross. “With all our other problems, we don’t have the capacity to control our borders. We need cooperation from other countries. Libya is trying to help some of those unfortunate people. The boats are arranged by gangs and

Libyan countryside


networks that are not only from Libya but also from other African countries and Europe. They coordinate together and make money from people’s suffering. “We are very concerned about recent media reports, mainly from CNN, that say there is slavery in Libya and imply that the government is turning a blind eye. This is very disgusting and it’s not true. Our government condemns all such alleged acts which completely contradict our religion, our values and Islamic culture. We have launched a very comprehensive investigation into this issue and if anyone is found guilty they will face justice.


fter the investigation is completed, we will show the media the truth. What we can say is that some criminal gangs in Libya are involved. Actually it happens in many countries. The illegal migrants have chosen Libya because it is close to Europe and they hope to find work there. They are coming from countries with a lot of poverty. We are asking the international community, especially in Europe, to cooperate with us to solve the problem because this is the most likely destination for the illegal migrants. “Mass migration is a global phenomenon. We have to cooperate in order to resolve this problem from the roots. We have made a proposal and even delivered a statement in 2006 during an Africa-Europe summit held in Tripoli to the effect that there is a great need to establish development projects in African countries so people can have jobs and live well in their home countries so that they don’t have to immigrate anymore abroad. “The situation in Libya is unsustainable. We cannot afford to have so many migrants in our country. They need shelter and food and in our present situation we need to take care of our people first. We are trying to coordinate with Italy and Germany to arrange ways for the migrants to get to Europe without having to go through traffickers. We are talking with neighboring African countries and asking them to accept their nationals back. “We are very concerned about the media reports. The government has issued statements about the slavery claims made by CNN and I have spoken about them to the Thai press. I have written a statement and talked to the Thai MFA to explain our position. “Libyans are very simple and decent people. In Libya there’s no such thing as slavery. We think that what happened is that CNN filmed some people negotiating prices for boat trips. The Niger embassy in Libya has also said that nothing like slavery is happening to their people in Libya. It is very important for us to maintain good relations with other African countries. Libya is one of the most important countries in Africa. As I have said, we invest in other African countries and many of their citizens work in Libya legally. “Libya is one of the founders of the African Union and through that organisation we promote peace, prosperity and an integrated Africa. We encourage investment and promote rural, social and gender development,” said Mr Zenati, adding that Libya is also a member of the Arab League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the UN.




p Last month’s best events in pictures



Social|Last Month’s Best Events

SenSe of Love by benz TTC

TTC Motor Co, Ltd hosted ‘She’s Mercedes…Sense of Love By Benz TTC’. Th exclusive event held at Baker X Florist was for Benz TTC clients aims to showcase the experience of the new generation of women in the society living life to the fullest.

THe Grand openinG of “MoMenTouS”

THE managing director of Index Living Mall organised a grand opening event of Momentous, a brand new multi-living store with furniture that showcases the American luxury style. This is the first and only fashion store in Thailand under the concept ‘Live in the moment’ - a significant and precious time of life. The store features various furniture and home decorations with a magnificent design from around the world.

MuSeuM SiaM LaunCHeS ‘MuSe paSS SeaSon 6’

THE National Discovery Museum Institute, Museum Siam, launched a new season of museum pass entitled ‘Muse Pass Season 6’ offering privileges valued over B4,500 for only B299 per card. The privileges include free admission at up to 63 museums and learning centres throughout Thailand and special discount for food, beverages and souvenirs. This is to promote and cultivate Museum culture in today’s society. Also available is the Museum Siam mobile application which users can buy and access online. 112


MarrioTT HoTeLS & TCC expandS porTfoLio

THE iconic flagship brand Marriott International will open the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse in March. Owned by TCC Land Asset World (Asset World Corporation, a member of TCC Group), the five-star hotel is on Surawongse Road. This will be the first Marriott branded hotel in Thailand to offer flexible accommodation.

WiLd Turkey bourbon MaSTer CLaSS 2018 CAMPARI Group and Italasia Trading (Thailand) Co, Ltd recently hosted Thailand’s first exclusive session, “Wild Turkey Bourbon Master Class (Thailand) 2018” conducted by the Master Distiller Wild Turkey Distillery with over 30 years experience in the business, Eddie Russell at Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit.

Gpx deLiverS THe LaTeST ModeL

GP Motor (Thailand) Co, Ltd held GPX Demon 150 GR Exclusive Launch Event for #DreamRider and delivered over 8 Demon 150 GR, the latest GPX model to VIP customers at Hard Rock Cafe open space, Siam Square. TheBigChilli 113

Beyond Bangkok 01


RAILWAY Restaurant promises to thrill your palate with ‘Spectacular Seafood Creations’ featuring an array of irresistible seafood dishes uniquely curated by Executive Chef Steffen Hoffer. Highlights include Snow Crab Risotto, char-grilled Butterflied Tiger Prawns and Railway Thermidor. The seafood campaign is available every Tuesday to Sunday for dinner throughout March from 6 - 10.30 pm, prices starting from B420++ per dish. 032 512 021.

01 Spectacular seafood creations at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin 02 Kids stay, play & eat for free 03 A little more fun at Costa Well Resort Pattaya 04 Salmon in style at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa 05 Modern Menu at Big Fish & Bar 06 Royal Cliff Hotels Group win TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award For Top Luxury Hotel 02

TREAT your family to a fun-filled stay at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. The perfect family getaway package includes breakfast for two adults and two children, complimentary kids club for children between 4-12 years old, free use of tennis courts and equipment for children from 15 years old and under until 6pm, children under 15 years old eat lunch and dinner free per each accompanying, fullpaying adult. Priced at B3,680++ per night, book your perfect family getaway today. 032 708 080.

BIG FISH & BAR, the stunning seafront restaurant at Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, recently unveiled a contemporary new menu created by its exciting young Head Chef, Xavier Charest-Réhel. A Canadian national, Chef Xavier is only 25 but has developed a reputation as being one of the most compelling young talents in the industry. He is bringing his awardwinning culinary style to diners at Big Fish & Bar, which overlooks Hua Hin’s sandy beach and the Gulf of Thailand. Having reinvented the menu at Big Fish & Bar, guests can look forward to dishes that are simple yet stylish, with the best and freshest ingredients with a unique, personal twist. 032 904 666.




A Santorini-inspired Costa Well Resort Pattaya recently launched the Ramayana Package that includes two tickets to Ramayana Water Park (valued at B1,190 per ticket), daily breakfast, free late check out until 4 pm (only on Monday - Thursday and subject to availability). 033 679 885, 091 019 9555.



ENJOY the delectable Pacific salmon dish in style at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. Salas Pool Restaurant invites all to discover the rich variety of Wiid Sockeye Salmon through excellent selections including Sockeye Capaccio, homemade salmon Ravioli and more. Prices start at B320 net per dish, and SPG members enjoy up to 20 percent discount on food and beverages. Available Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am - 9 pm at Salas Pool Restaurant. 032 708 000.

THE award-winning Royal Wing Suites and Spa was recently recognised as the winner of the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards for Hotels in three categories: Top 25 Hotels in Thailand, Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Thailand and Top 25 Hotels for Service in Thailand. The Travellers’ Choice award winners were based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in one year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide. 038 250 421 ext 2732. or

Beyond Bangkok

Barton & Guestier Wine & Dine Affair at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa AN award-winning InAzia Restaurant at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, in collaboration with Barton & Guestier, recently hosted a wine dinner “Barton & Guestier Wine & Dine Affair� by Executive Chef Jakub Mares. Guests enjoyed an array of delectable dishes paired with wines amidst the beautiful ambience of InAzia Restaurant.

Third edition of the Thailand Yacht Show set sail THE official launch of the third edition of the Thailand Yacht Show took place in February at Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket. Presiding over the event was Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports joined by Prakob Wongmaneerung, Vice Governor of Phuket, Andy Treadwell, CEO and founder of the show, together with VIPs from TAT and the yachting community.

TheBigChilli 115

Beyond Bangkok

Cool down your summer at Amara Bangkok

MAKE this summer getaway special with the best deals from Amara Bangkok. Make reservations from today until April 30 for stays during April 1-20 and receive 15% discount off the best available rate. Guests will also enjoy additional perks including one-day BTS Skytrain pass, a Songkran survival kit for bookings during April 12-15, complimentary late check out at 4 pm and 20% discount on food and nonalcoholic beverages. Terms and conditions applied. 02 021 8888.

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

Centara Grand’s ‘Business Essence Package’

White Sand Beach Residences Pattaya

AN award-winning luxurious beachfront resort, White Sand Beach Residences Pattaya launched a minimum stay promotion offering a massive discount for extended stay guests. Book a minimum of three-night stay and get 35% off or a fivenight stay and enjoy up to 40% discount on the best available rate. The promotion is valid for booking from now until March 31, for stays from now until October 31, 2018. 033 005 210, 062 684 2922.

PRESENTING a brand new ‘Business Essence Package’ for guests booking one of our exclusive Deluxe World rooms, Centara Grand at CentralWorld offers 36 sqm room in fantastic high-rise views of the city and a host of amenities for ultimate convenience. Priced at B5,800++ per night, the package is inclusive of perks. The package is available from today until October 31. 02 100 1234.

Centara Grand’s ‘Family Discoveries Package’

Discover the best ‘getaway’ for your vacation  INDULGE in the ideal tropical getaway and enjoy a perfect holiday escape to Away resort

properties in Chiang Mai, Koh Kood and Kanchanaburi. Away Resorts present three-day two-night package for two with exclusive privileges including sumptuous meals, afternoon high teas, round-trip from airport or ferry transfers or a spa treatment. Offer is valid from today until October 31.



CENTARA Grand’s ‘Family Discoveries Package’ presents a range of different room sizes, a host of amenities at a fantastic location at Centara Grand at CentralWorld. Priced at B6,100++ per night for the Superior World Rooms with a special upgrade to The Premium Room which can accommodate two adults and a child with an added option of an extra complimentary bed or a baby cot for children under 12 years old. Book today until March 31 and receive a 20% discount on food and beverages at the hotel’s restaurants and 20% discount at onsite spa treatment.

02 100 1234 ext 6761-6763.

Beyond Bangkok

BLU Party RADISSON Blu Resort Hua Hin held its first dazzling party under the theme “White Linen & Panamas� at Ivy Lounge, beachfront rooftop bar where guests enjoyed drinks, creative tapas while overlooking the breathtaking view of the Gulf of Thailand.

TheBigChilli 117


Meet the GM: Bruce Dupuis, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa


XPLORING a new location in Thailand, Bruce Dupuis recently took on the challenging position of General Manager of Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa and Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas. Bruce and his family arrived in Hua Hin in 2017 and he has high expectations of what’s to come. He has been working in Thailand for over a year and is eager to explore his new home with his family. Discussing his new position, he expressed enthusiasm about the

location and the challenges ahead. “I love meeting new people and travelling the world. My work gives me the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the people and culture. When you visit a country on vacation, you only get to see the surface. I also enjoy being a part of my guests’ vacations and celebrations. Delivering a great guest experience or delivering a flawless event is very rewarding. “The hours can be a bit long, and you are usually working when other people are not. However, that is the nature of the hospitality industry. You

either love it or hate it. I am fortunate that I have a supportive family who are incredibly understanding.” “Hua Hin has a good mix of history and modernisation. As a Royal City, there are lots of historical features commemorating the Royal Family _ the train station, “Klai Kangwon palace” and “Royal Hua Hin Golf Course” the first golf course in Thailand to mention a few. Hua Hin also features new shopping centres, water parks, state-ofthe-art cinemas, animal sanctuaries and thriving night markets. “Hua Hin is a comfortable driving distance from the chaos of Bangkok and offers the best of both city and resort living without all the commotion of some of Thailand’s more famous tourist destinations. It is full of smalltown charm, and the residents offer genuine Thai hospitality.” Bruce loves to spend his spare time with his family, particularly playing tennis with his son and trying to keep his eight-month-old entertained. Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. 1573 Petchkasem Road, Cha-Am, Phetchburi 76120. Tel. 032 708000



The BigChilli March 2018  
The BigChilli March 2018  

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