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Old February 23rd, 2014, 04:47 PM   #361
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SMIRNOFF Re-Invent BKK คิดไม่ซ้ำ ทำให้สุด

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Old February 28th, 2014, 12:56 AM   #362
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Multi-language signs are spreading throughout the country
E-Sarn (Lao) script is used at Khon Kaen University sign recently.


Lanna language is used widely for the sign in northern Thailand.


4 languages sign in the deep south.


Khmer language at the bank in Thailand.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 01:47 AM   #363
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The body in the frame
Phoowadon Duangmee
The Sunday Nation March 2, 2014 1:00 am




Residents of Nan stare in wonder and puzzlement as the first arts festival comes to town

A NAKED man covered in white powder is not a common sight in the quiet northern province of Nan. But then, this was no common Saturday morning either.

Seemingly oblivious to the stares he was getting, the white-powdered figure was calmly eating his breakfast in a small restaurant next to the provincial town's famous Phumin Temple. Amused and bemused passers-by tried very hard not to stare as his nakedness as he munched on a sausage, dabbed his lips with a tissue and sipped his hot and sweet chai. Obviously the good people of Nan are not familiar with the works by such artists as Vasan Sitthiket.

"It's not a common sight in Nan, is it?" grins the White Man, who in real life is known as Nattanat Sudrit, a performance artist.

"You'll see more like me, performance artists with a provocative appearance, around the city's landmarks today. We're here for the Nan Arts Festival."

Tucked away in Thailand's North, last weekend was the first time Nan had welcomed an arts festival. Named "Nan Nerb Nerb", a title that pokes fun at the province's super slow life, the inaugural festival was a showcase for performing arts, poetry, movies, painting, photography, installation and music and was aimed at celebrating the small but growing artist community in Nan province.

"In the last few years Nan has become home to many artists. The local artist community keeps expanding," adds Nattanat, who is also a resident of the town.

"Some artists might be baristas or innkeepers but they still create their own works after hours.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 01:54 AM   #364
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Hungry in the hutch
Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Sunday Nation March 2, 2014 1:00 am




A new eatery keeps diners enthralled with a room full of rabbits

EVEN AS Bangkok's cat cafes continue to draw crowds eager to hobnob with the felines and enjoy a brew at the same time, Gullayanee Jiamsinkul is offering a new breed of dining experience - hanging out with furry bunnies.

She's turned the first floor of her home on Lat Phrao Soi 101 into the Lucky Bunny Cafe where diners can eat, drink and enjoy the company of her pet rabbits. The bistro is predominantly decorated in white and every corner is decked out with decorative rabbit-shaped pillows, cushions, tissue boxes as well as ceramic and stuffed dolls.
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Old March 4th, 2014, 05:43 PM   #365
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MONO shop, an initiative by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce to promote Japanese SME entrepreneurs, already made debut at Central World and offers 800 of the best products from Japan's 47 different provinces.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 04:41 AM   #366
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Potential with a loud pop
Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Sunday Nation March 16, 2014 1:00 am



Entrepreneur Ittipat

The Thai craze for popcorn is earning big baht for the country's local and international brands

AT 8 ON a sunny morning just over a month ago a young man wove his way through anti-government demonstrators in the Siam Square area and stopped just outside the main doors of Siam Paragon shopping mall.

Four hours later, Waramet Mantasut became the first Thai customer of the newly arrived Garrett Popcorn and was rewarded for his efforts by the Chicago-based company with four bags and two buckets of the crunchy corn worth a total of Bt4,000 that in keeping Garrett tradition was paid for by the popcorn giant's chief executive Lance Chody.

Five weeks later, the queues outside Garrett are as long as ever and the outlet is raking in the cash.

Popcorn, it seems, has finally made its way out of the cinema and into the mainstream market with several new local brands joining Garrett in targeting deep-pocketed Thais.

So what's behind this latest fad and, more importantly, will it be more than a flash in the pan?

Young businessman Ittipat "Tob" Peeradechapan, the genius behind the popular Tao Kae Noi seaweed snacks, doesn't have all the answers but he's savvy enough not to buck the trend. Days before Garrett opened to great fanfare, he launched his Tob Corn store at Terminal 21, the shopping centre gracing the Asoke intersection.

"Thais actually love popcorn," he says. "The growing number of people going to the cinema has seen popcorn sales reach about Bt2 billion annually. With more Thais travelling abroad, there's also a greater awareness of international brands. Online sales have soared too, so the time was right to expand into popcorn," adds the young chief executive of Taokaenoi Food & Marketing.

Sharing Tao Kae Noi shop's premises, the first Tob Corn outlet boasts a glass-walled kitchen that allows customers to see the popping process. Six flavours - Paris caramel, nori teriyaki, caramel almonds, caramel macadamia, crispy coconut and strawberry - are currently on offer and come in three sizes, with small bags costing from Bt59 to Bt149 and the large size ranging from Bt199 to Bt299.

"Compared to an international brand that's been operating for more than 50 years, I'm a real lightweight," Ittipat laughs. "However, I think my 10 years of experience in the snack business have taught me a lot about the Thai taste and my flavours are designed to please the Thai palate. New flavours will be added every two months. "

"I use mushroom kernels from the US because the round shape and large flake size make it perfect for added coatings like caramel. The Paris caramel flavour, which is made from French butter and salt, has a slightly salty aftertaste that tones down the sweetness of the caramel. The best-selling flavour so far is nori teriyaki so I guess we got the combination of salty nori and caramel teriyaki exactly right," he adds.

Now serving an average of 4,000 customers a week, 70 per cent of them Thai, Ittipat plans to open six Tob Corn outlets this year and reach 100 shops across the country within five years. With the support of Tao Kae Noi's strong marketing channel, popcorn sales are expected to top Bt100 million this year and he's targetting a Bt1 billion turnover in five years. The company also plans to sell its products via modern retail channels in the middle of this year.

"The premium popcorn market has only just got underway but I think we can match the sales of popcorn in theatres," says Ittipat.

Despite prices that range from Bt90 for a small bag to Bt2,300 for a bucket, Garrett Popcorn is thriving and the store is confident it will only not meet its target of 6,000 customers a week before the end of the year but become one of the top three grossing shops worldwide by the end of this year. It is operated by Caramel Crisp Thailand, a joint venture between Garrett and Suchad Chiaranussati, founder of Real Estate Capital Asia Partners.

"We believe what we deliver to customer is happiness. We don't sell popcorn; we sell sensational flavours. Our popcorn is made fresh daily, one batch at a time, and contains no preservatives. The fresh, hand-crafted corn popped in old-fashioned copper kettles offers customers a special experience," says Chody.

Long before Caramel Crisp Thailand and Tob Corn were born, siblings Jakrapan and Preeyanuch Somsakraksanti were beginning to satisfy the Thai craving for popcorn. They opened their first Popco outlet at Chamchuri Square three years ago and now have seven branches in the capital as well as a franchise in Khon Kaen.



"I discovered while I was living in the US that popcorn came in several different flavours. So when I came home, I convinced my younger sister to quit her job and join me in business. Back then no one else was offering freshly cooked popcorn in different flavours," says Jakrapan.

The pair learned by doing and a year later Popco was offering buttery, BBQ, cheese, sour cream, caramel, cashew nut and choco-flake snacks. Bags come in only one size - 90-95 grams for the salty flavours and 190-195 grams for the sweet.

Three new flavours - wasabi, strawberry and durian - are introduced later and another two outlets are in the planning stage. The price is a very reasonable Bt65 a bag for all flavours except the cashew nut and durian, which go for Bt75.

For anyone wanting a bigger bang to their corn, Popco has cheese, sour cream, BBQ and wasabi seasonings and banana and blueberry will be added soon.

"I don't think popcorn is a fashion snack that will eventually fade. Three years of growing profits would seem to prove that," says Preeyanuch, adding that they are selling about 50,000 bags every week.

The Internet is popping too with several local brands, among them Delipop, Le Kate, Popbablycorn and Nine Popcorn, offering their sweet and savoury snacks online. Prices range from Bt100 to Bt400 a bag.

"My mother's passion for popcorn inspired me to create my brand. I brought a recipe from an American popcorn brand then played with it to suit the Thai taste," says Arrak Sawatpanit, owner of Nine Popcorn.

He introduced the corn last year at his aunt's bakery Pak on Asoke and had so much positive feedback that he decided to offer the goodies online. Now available in almond caramel, cashew nut, cherry berry and mixed nuts, his corn is also on sale at Villa supermarket and the multi-store Selected at Siam Center.

While Arrak declines to reveal his sales figure, he is confident that there's plenty of potential for growth.

"It's an easy-to-eat snack that can be enjoyed by all the family and with high disposable incomes, people are willing to spend more on quality," he says.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/sund...-30229270.html
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Old March 19th, 2014, 04:50 AM   #367
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Crafted by an artisan
Pattarawadee Saengmanee
The Sunday Nation March 16, 2014 1:00 am




Japanese food products, furnishings and lifestyle accessories not often found in shops find their way to CentralWorld

SHOPPERS EAGER to discover all things Japanese now have a new treasure trove to explore with the opening of a brand new pop-up store on the fifth floor of CentralWorld.

Promoted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Thai marketing consultant Mediator, Mono Shop is an offshoot of the country's Antenna shops, which offer local specialities from all over the Land of the Rising Sun that aren't widely distributed. Conceived to help hundreds of small and medium enterprises expand to new markets, the Bangkok outlet offers more than 800 quality lifestyle products ranging from stationery, handicrafts, furnishings and tableware to food and beverages and created by artisans from four Japanese regions.

"We're playing the role of a dealer in bringing popular handicrafts and signature foods from 47 Japanese provinces to Bangkok. To qualify for the project, all products must be made from good materials and use traditional Japanese techniques," says Kondo Tatsuo, Mono's merchandising manager



"The Japanese Chamber of Commerce wants to expand markets in both Asia and Europe. China is obviously the biggest market, which is why it has its own Mono Shop while Thailand is regarded as the hub of Southeast Asia." adds Mediator's Kantatorn Wannawasu

The 800-square-metres shop is divided into two zones and is clean, light and airy. Foodies will love the zone stocking everything from instant ramen with different kinds of soup to snacks, dried seafood and kombu seaweed.

Tempting buys include dried squid filled with Japanese rice, other dried seafood, ramen, milk candies from Hokkaido as well as ramen in chicken broth soup, shoyu fish sauce and wheat flour from Honshu.

From Shikoku hails sticky Sanuki udon and somen in shoyu fish soup, while Kyushu offers aromatic soup made from dried fish.

The second zone is home to innovative products and handicrafts mostly from Kyoto and Nara, which are regarded as the arts centres of Japan.

Likely to prove popular with Thai shoppers are the top-quality, handmade Mizuho brushes that many leading make-up artists are already using. Made from goat and squirrel hair, the soft-textured brushes provide a natural and sheer finishing to the cheeks, eyes and lips.

The environmentally conscious meanwhile will be quick to snap up Naoto Fukazawa's Siwa handbags, MacBook cases and glasses cases made from Naoron, a recycled PET fibre that is waterproof and durable.

There's also a line of small bamboo plates, rice bowls and chopsticks coated with urethane that are guaranteed toxin free.

Coming to Mono soon is a range of prize-winning products from the 2013 Good Design Award collection including Hakusan porcelain sets, Ohashi Ryoki's "Suzuki" plate, "Keep-Warm" lunch boxes by The Sketer, rice bran candles from Daiku and smart, slim Abrasus wallets from Value Innovative.



JAPANESE BY DESIGN

>>Mono Shop is located on the fifth floor of the Atrium Zone at CentralWorld. It's open daily from 10am to 9pm. Visit www.MonoShop-Japan.com
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/sund...-30229280.html
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 07:41 AM   #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atom View Post
Multi-language signs are spreading throughout the country
E-Sarn (Lao) script is used at Khon Kaen University sign recently.
Chiang Mai University also put a Lanna script on its sign a long time ago.

Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Campus should follow suit by adding a Jawi script of Malay language to its sign. Jawi script is widely used among ethnic Malay in the deep south of Thailand. Given its proximity to Malaysia, PSU might also consider adding its name in Bahasa Malaysia (Malay language written in Roman characters, a.k.a. Rumi script).

The sign could look like this.

มหาวิทยาลัยสงขลานครินทร์ วิทยาเขตปัตตานี (Thai)
.................................................................... (Jawi)
Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Campus (English)
Universiti Songklanagarind, Kampus Patani (Bahasa Malaysia)

PSU Hat Yai Campus might also consider doing this and perhaps add a Chinese script to reflect the city's cultural heritage. Hat Yai is also in the deep south but out of the area with Muslim Malay-majority.
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Old March 29th, 2014, 02:56 AM   #369
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Unseen Bangkok reveals a vernacular urban landscape
Posted on 28 Mar 2014

Since paved roads occupy only 8.1 per cent of the city, the village-like textures folded inside the hard shells of blocks are hardly seen from major roads.

One good example of the "soft core" inside the block is the area of Ban Phan Thom, an old yan (spatial community of shared functions and history) located to the north of Khlong Rob Krung - Bangkok's original city moat built by King Rama I in 1782 and now a historic conservation district.

Through observations and conversation with the residents of Ban Phan Thom, we discover major changes occurred in the area in the 1960s, when new roads replaced the ancient network of canals. Many traditional Thai-style wooden houses and colonial-style houses were torn down and exchanged for modern wooden and brick houses in simpler forms.

Despite this, the vernacular of wooden houses and narrow lanes still persists, reflecting Bangkok's older patterns of living.

Ban Phan Thom, one of Bangkok's suburban districts in the late 19th century, exemplifies the traces of former lanes (trok) and waterways (khu khlong).

A variety of housing types exhibit the urban history and social development of Bangkok over the past two centuries, such as can be found in multi-generational housing associated with local temples, noble residences and government offices.

Some housing for government workers and rental houses, which can be claimed as one of the original housing estates in Bangkok, still remain. In addition, we can observe a cohesive sense of community existing both informally and formally, as associations supporting local public works.

The ordinary houses (ban) of Ban Phan Thom show a composition of living spaces that support day-to-day living. Some houses show good connections between private spaces, semi-private outdoor spaces (rabieng or chan) and informal shared spaces on the narrow lanes or in the canal-side areas.

Houses of various architectural styles show the layers of urban history, their details and forms gesturing to the circumstances of colonialism, modernisation and the post-war period.

In addition, this hodgepodge of buildings showcases construction techniques and materials appropriately adapted to Bangkok's tropical climate.

Even though Ban Phan Thom is a historic conservation area, its traditional houses and urban landscapes are threatened by physical and environmental degradation.

Stressing this further is a serious migration problem: a considerable number of locals have moved out and new settlers, most of whom are migrant workers, have no historical or social connections to the existing system.

In order to safeguard Bangkok's unseen urban landscapes, we must encourage local residents to appreciate the value of their neighbourhoods. Simultaneously, these areas should work harder to attract younger generations, perhaps organising into a living heritage site for the exploration of Bangkok's history.

Wimonrart Issarathumnoon is a lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University.

This article is part of a research project entitled "Conservation Plan for Urban Communities and the Areas nearby Historical Canals in Rattanakosin Area," presented by the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Urban Planning Department.
http://nation-app.knorex.asia/nation...-30230251.html
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Old March 29th, 2014, 05:15 PM   #370
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GranMonte's grapes-in-bud club
Ekkarat Sukpetch
The Nation March 29, 2014 1:00 am



Visitors arrive to the cheery thunder of tom-toms.

The winery's annual Harvest Festival mixes the delectable with the hilarious

A bit cheekily, GranMonte Vineyard and Winery recently opened its doors to enthusiasts for "Pick of the Season", its annual two-day harvest festival - and got everyone to pick its grapes for it.


Father and son see how fast they can pick grapes.

It was all part of the amusement, of course, along with seeing who was best at guzzling wine from a Spanish porron decanter without too much embarrassing spillage.

Visooth and Sakuna Lohitnavy established the 100-rai winery in the Asoke Valley next to Khao Yai National Park in 1999 and began producing wine two years later. In 2009 their daughter Nikki emerged from Australia's University of Adelaide with a degree in viticulture and took over operations, importing equipment from Oz and Europe and boosting capacity to 120,000 bottles a year.

They're in a valley but still 350 metres above sea level, so the climate is made for growing grapes - Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Durif, Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Semillon, Viognier, Muscat, Thompson, Perlette and Maroo.

A decade ago Visooth started the harvest-festival tradition and visitors flock in from the capital to tour the vineyard, wine cellar and souvenir shop, dine in the 120-seat restaurant Vin Cotto and often to stay in the comfortable guesthouse.

Traditional dancing of the Northeast opened this year's festival as guests tucked into Western-Isaan fusion dishes. Musicians Jirapan Angsawanond, the Blue Sapphires, Pansuang Chumsai na Ayutthaya, Jitjaroon Niyomsiri, Sukhum Limpichart and Chotirot Wiboonlap took turns performing onstage.

The next morning was devoted to games. There were enough people to form 21 teams, which competed at drinking wine from the awkward-for-rookies Spanish porron, grasping a ball with chopsticks and, of course, picking grapes.

Team Baan Khanitha (Anan Songlang and Jesada Martud) somehow managed to scoop up 56 kilograms of grapes in 30 minutes and for their efforts received a huge case of GranMonte wines, a bottle of 2009 Orient Syrah Reserve Magnum and two bottles of 2013 Voignier, total value Bt30,000.

As a consolation prize, everyone else was present for the opening of the winery's latest editions, 2013 GrandMonte Cremant Chenin Blanc and 2013 Sakuna Syrah Rose, which recently won the Blue Gold Award in the Sydney International Wine Competition.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life...-30230321.html
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Old March 29th, 2014, 05:20 PM   #371
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Look what Thailand made
Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Sunday Nation




Sansiri taps local skills and materials for a clever and lovely range of handy items

AFTER 30 YEARS in the property-development business, Sansiri has expanded its wings to offer lifestyle products in the belief that we need more than just a nice place to live. The firm last year collaborated with No 57 on a tea blend, with Panpuri on relaxing scents, with Pasaya on a bedding set and with an Akha hilltribe in Chiang Rai on a coffee blend. There were even five albums of song compilations produced with Universal Music.

This year it's the Artisan collection, with every item limited to just 100 pieces. Materials from different regions of the country are transformed into conveniently transported goods to fit the modern on-the-go lifestyle.

From the North, acacia wood and teak veneer go into a teacup lid, wireless speakers and a power bank. From the South, pewter and panan pandan leaves are the main materials in a beach bag, a wine bucket and wine stoppers. A portable mattress features hand-woven fabric from Isaan, given a touch of luxury with leather from the Central region.

"We got the inspiration three years ago when Sansiri started branching out into Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Phuket and Songkhla," says chief executive officer Apichart Chutrakul. "We got to experience the ways of life and the local wisdom of Thai artisans, which inspired us to seek out the charm of local materials and the meticulous craftsmanship to create this collection."

The Artisan line appears in the Sansiri lounges at Siam Paragon and in Hua Hin and Phuket and at its Escape hotels in Hua Hin and Khao Yai.

"We selected the materials first and then worked with designers to come up with products that perfectly combine time-treasured craftsmanship with functionality and portability," explains corporate-brand manager Paniti Chantayasakorn.

The acacia-porcelain tea and coffee set includes a pot, four cups and two plates. Chiang Mai artisans crafted the hardwood as a tray and lids for the cups that double as saucers. The Patra porcelain cups beautifully match the natural allure of the wood.

Acacia wood is also used in a wireless speaker that also functions as a radio and microphone when connected to a phone via Bluetooth. Northern carpenters had the classic shape of old-time gramophone players as their model meticulously shaping the wood on a lathe. Advanced Nakamichi wireless-audio technology ensures superb sound quality. Insert your SD card filled with favourite songs and you're ready for a musical journey.



The power bank is an increasingly essential gadget in this sharing age when the capacity of a built-in battery is always a concern. Sansiri wrapped its Commo 3500mAH power bank in teak veneer and added a matching leather strap. It makes handling the cable convenient and is a smart backup battery for your gear.

Perfect for summer is the panan pandan beach bag , the leaves woven by skilled southern artisans and the sheets formed into a tube. Leather adds smartness, but the bag remains light and is spacious enough for plenty of belongings. Sedge

(krajood) was considered for the project but deemed too fragile. Pandan leaves from Phuket are strong and weave together tightly.

A tin-copper alloy, pewter from the South makes a great wine bucket and stopper for the bottles.

"Pewter utensils have a characteristic sheen and there are no

toxins, so it's perfect for food and drink containers," says Paniti. "Pewter is unique, durable and aesthetically pleasing, so it was ideal for the wine bucket, which is carried in a finely stitched strap of genuine leather. The bucket and stopper really have a sophisticated look."

The foldable mattress crafted from hand-woven fabrics from Khon Kaen is designed to be portable. In place of the usual kapok stuffing there is lightweight foam, wrapped in the cotton fabric and quick-drying Sunbrella material. You can fold the mattress into a triangular pillow as well, and it too has a leather strap and handle, perfect when you're on the go.



WHERE TO BUY

>>Check out the Sansiri collection at its Bangkok lounge on the third floor of Siam Paragon (02 610 9207-9) and Phuket lounge on the first floor of Central Festival (076 307 205). Both are open daily from 11 to 8.

>>All next month the products will be available at the Thailand Creative and Design Centre shop, the Selected at Siam Center and the Casa Lapin Cafe on Soi Aree.

>>Find out more at www.Sansiri.com/SansiriCollection.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/sund...-30229810.html
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Old March 29th, 2014, 05:27 PM   #372
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Coca-Cola sign up celebrities to popularise World Cup
The Nation
March 29, 2014 1:00 am



Nuntivat Thamhatai, centre, communications manager, Coca-Cola (Thailand), and Prapaipak Weigl, fourth from right, senior brand manager, with all five brand ambassadors of the Fifa World Cup.

Coca-Cola (Thailand), who have been sponsoring the Fifa World Cup for 60 years, and their partners, ThaiNamthip and Haad Thip, have roped in five celebrities as brand ambassadors for the World Cup.

Nichkhun Horvejkul, Mum Sam Cha, Ploy Horwang, "Ice" Apissada Kreurkongka and "Messi J" Chanathip Songkrasin will try to make this summer's Brazil World Cup an event for everyone by inviting people to share their experience of the event. To spread Cup fever, Coca-Cola drinkers are being encouraged to watch World Cup matches in the comfort of their homes and win a "Home Upgrade decorating set".

Fifty sets will be up for grabs per week for a total of 450 sets, worth over Bt23 million, during the tournament. Coke, being one of the main sponsors of the World Cup, will also help bring 64 live matches to Thai households. Also, a special collection of Coke Slim/Sleek cans with flag prints of their favourite teams will be made available for fans to collect as souvenirs.

Nuntivat Thamhatai, communications manager, said Coca-Cola will this month organise the "Coke Let's Join" event at leading department stores, where consumers can get their photos imprinted on Coke's PET bottles. Selected photos will be featured on billboards to promote the World Cup in Thailand. A few lucky ones may be selected for display on a giant Coca-Cola flag alongside other consumers from around the world at the opening ceremony of the event on June 12, he said.
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Old March 31st, 2014, 02:19 PM   #373
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Rising from the waters
Chusri Ngamprasert
The Sunday Nation
Ayutthaya March 30, 2014 1:00 am



The Fine Arts Department has restored the historical monk's seat at Wat Choeng Tha, Ayutthaya province.

German archaeologists join Thai specialists from the Fine Arts Department in painstakingly restoring the temples and artefacts damaged in Thailand's great flood.

MORE THAN two years have passed since the floodwaters receded from the historical temples of Ayutthaya, a World Heritage Site, but the damage they left in their wake is taking longer, much longer, to disappear.

The capital of Siam for more than 400 years, much of the city's former grandeur was immersed in floodwater up to two metres deep for almost two months. But this once prosperous city is not about to concede defeat and thanks to the efforts of the Fine Arts Department and the people of Ayutthaya, the old ruins are still standing tall.

Chaiyanand Busayarat, director of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, points out that floods are nothing new. In fact, the former capital was flooded every year right from the time it was first settled under King U-thong or Ramathibodi I. The kingdom's first ruler deliberately chose the flood plains for the capital, reasoning that the soil would grow richer in nutrients as more sediment was deposited with each flood and that the floods would also prevent enemies from setting up campsites around the city.

"Of course, back then the period of flooding was shorter and the water levels not so high. In 2011, the ground took more than two months to dry out and because of the amount of water and the long period of time, all our historical ruins, artefacts and murals were affected. The bricks at the base of the old ruins absorbed too much water so some of them started to dissolve. Moreover, the weight of the water that was absorbed by the porous bricks affected the base structure of the ruins," says Chaiyanand.

"We have received help from the USA and Germany to restore and conserve some of the affected archaeological sites. The US is helping us restore the footing at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, which has required the services of structural engineers with specialist experience.

"Germany is helping us restore the stucco and brick structure at Wat Ratchaburana. We are lucky to have Dr Hans Leisen, professor for Conservation Science at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, assisting us in studying and restoring the brick and mortar used in the Ayutthaya era.

"My team has gained a lot of knowledge and hands-on experience from the American and German teams. That sharing of knowledge is valuable to all of us," Chaiyanand adds.



Art historian Dr Santi Leksukhum agrees that fixing the structural problems is important but stresses that the restoring of historical ruins requires the expertise of an art historian to ensure adherence to the artistic techniques and the stories behind the paintings and the stuccos.

Unlike in bygone days when both rain and river water was clean, the 2011 floods brought with them soluble salts from the soil along with mud and grease, all harmful to murals and other historical artefacts.

Kwanjit Lertsiri, a Paintings Conservator from Fine Arts Department's Conservation Science Division, admits that the restoration and conservation historical objects and murals has been a daunting task. The restoration team had to clean all the mud and grease then investigate the condition of the murals before starting a timely programme of restoration.

"It was an urgent mission because the salts in the floodwater from the soil led to blisters, flaking and scaling and the disintegration of the lime plaster."

"The best thing to come out of the flood is that we have found many unlisted historical artefacts in many old temples. At Wat Choeng Tha, for example, apart from stunning mural paintings, we found beautiful Thammas, a sermon seat and a Sangkhet, the long seat used for giving sermons. All of them were covered in dust, mud and feline excrement. When the big flood came, hundreds of cats and lots of mice used this Sala Kanparean, the sermon hall in the monastery, as their sanctuary. They were here for almost two months so you can imagine how nasty this place was at the end of it.

"Cleaning a house after a flood is hard but cleaning and restoring these precious artefacts is much more challenging. We cleared out the cats by asking for people to adopt them then cleaned up all their mess. Things started to get trickier when we had to lay our hands on the murals, thammas and sangkhet since we needed to research the artistic techniques used on each object as well as identify materials that matched the original object."

"Another thing the flood taught us was that we really needed a coherent plan for handling disasters that would impact on our valuable historical ruins and objects. Today, we have such a plan along with the practical procedures to follow. We have learned a lot from this disaster and we are also communicating much more with the community so they understand our work, value the historical artefacts, buildings and ruins. They are now much more willing to help us take care of these national treasures."

Kwanjit compares conserving and restoring murals to taking care of a terminally sick patient. Even without flooding, murals deteriorate each day from such natural factors as ground moisture and sunlight. Salts from the soil are transported by the moisture and accumulate in the walls. These salts increase in quantity and even if removed simply crystallise again in relation to variations in the relative humidity, thus accelerating decay.

Kwanjit underlines the need for the community to understand that the restored murals will require periodical treatment and as soon as deterioration is observed, the Fine Arts Department should be contacted without delay.

The practice of opening windows and doors of buildings that house the murals as well as flash photography are also harmful, as heat and light speed up the chemical reactions that cause deterioration.

"The public has to understand that restoring historical sites, artefacts or objects doesn't mean making them look brand new. The conservators try their best to maintain the current condition. They are not here to mould a new head to a headless Buddha statue. Their mission is to preserve those statues," Santi says.

"Kwanjit had done a great job in restoring murals, Thammas and Sangkhet at Wat Choeng Tha. She has tried her best to use the old artistic techniques. All shiny new materials have been dulled down to blend in with the original materials on the artefact. The best restoration is not to make it noticeable that the objects went through any restoration at all," he concludes.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/sund...-30230401.html
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Old April 5th, 2014, 10:45 PM   #374
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When the old is made new
Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Sunday Nation April 6, 2014 1:00 am




The classical Jim Thompson House is the apt setting for an art show about "reconsidering

THE JIM THOMPSON House in Bangkok, that bastion of charming Siamese tradition with its splendid architecture and antiques assembled by the late American "silk king", is hosting an exhibition that takes a fresh and very modern look at what he wrought.

In "Transmission" - the show continuing through August - seven artists from across Southeast Asia utilises various media, from woodwork and painting to video and sound installation, to explore what might be "renewable" in the old wisdom.

Australian-Chinese David Teh from the National University of Singapore was selected as curator because he's been "inside" - five years in Thailand - and has an "outside" view of contemporary Southeast Asian art.

The Jim Thompson House and museum provided "the resource for thinking", says Gridthiya Gaweewong, director of the art centre at the compound on Soi Kasemsan 2. And the exhibition offers a "conceptual interface between cultural heritage and contemporary art".

A Vietnamese collective called the Propeller Group - Phunam, Matt Lucero and Tuan Andrew Nguyen - have erected an elaborately carved jackfruit-wood sculpture at the entrance. "Antique Space Debris" looks like it might be a priceless artefact with its carving borrowed from Hue, Vietnam's imperial city. But there's no authenticity to it, and that's the group's point. For an explanation, see also their short video screening in the adjacent room, "Fade In: Ext Storage - Cu Chi-Day". This is about colonialism and falseness.

The video tells the story of an attempt by the Danish collective Superflex to send it some "art" in Vietnam - wooden toy guns from a Dutch museum. Customs officials in Ho Chi Minh City blocked the replicas, and we end up seeing them being carted around a storage facility while an artist tries to explain to a FedEx employee by telephone that they're only props for a show. The punch line is that these items followed the same trade route - in reverse - that the Dutch used to fill their museum with prized porcelain from China in the 17th century.

Meanwhile Thailand's Thakol Khao Sa-ad, who comes from a woodworking family, found his inspiration in the Jim Thompson residence itself, which comprises six entire or partial old houses purchased in various places and reassembled in Bangkok.

Before the world went metric, Siamese builders used the anthropic system of measurement. Thakol has set out on a table eight pieces of wood, each one sok in length - as long as a forearm - but who's forearm? He measured eight friends' forearms and cut the timbers to match, and of course they're all different lengths. The same holds true throughout the classical Siamese house, in which measurements corresponded to various parts of the human body.



In showing how international standards compare to local and even "personal" standards, Thakol has also hung a one-wa-long piece of wood. Four sok equals one wa and is the equivalent of two metres. Putting the display in context, he's laid another table with his hand-made carpentry tools.

Another Thai, Suwitcha Dussadeewanich, has erected a sala-like structure in the compound that resembles in shape a statue of the Buddha. "Reconsider", adorned with aged timbers from an abandoned school and house, suggests that sacred power stems not from art's finery, but from its social context.

Gridthiya points out that the Jim Thompson House is architecturally a Thai house, but its functions met Western needs, including indoor toilets and air-conditioning. "A drum has become a lamp stand, for example. Thompson interpreted the Thai house in a new way to match his Western lifestyle, and his interpretation is one thing should 'reconsider', as Suwitcha's work suggests."

Sakarin Krue-on's 12 small paintings, tempera on wood, reproduce murals at Bangkok's Wat Suthat and Wat Suwannaram that depict everyday life in bygone times - children at play, women swimming in a canal. The social hierarchy is adhered to, though, with images of monks occupying a higher level.

Sakarin has been studying the Thai paintings that Jim Thompson collected, which generally illustrate the life of the Buddha or the legend of Prince Vessantara, but Thompson too enjoyed scenes of the common people, whether threshing rice, shopping in the market place or even giving birth.

Nick Chan of Singapore fills the gallery with a dynamic environment of ambient sound recorded around the house, art centre and garden, but it's designed to respond subtly to the visitor's presence, right at the edges of the audible spectrum. Natural and man-made sounds become indistinct.

Indonesian Albert Yonathan Setyawan draws on the repetitive patterns of bencharong chinaware, but in his ceramics forgoes its multiple hues in favour of pure white. Flora and fauna motifs merge, suspended between gravity and flight. He also shows two meticulously drawn renderings of bowls and flowers, deploying gouache and gold paint on wood and paper, all delightful reminders of the effort that's required in manual reproduction.

"Undergrowth" and "Flowers in the Planes", two huge paintings by Cambodian Sopheap Pich, dominate one wall. He works primarily with materials plentiful in his homeland: rattan, bamboo, burlap and beeswax, and makes pigments from the earth.

Sopheap too asks questions about modernity and global standards, and here offers grids of bamboo behind which are abstract paintings on burlap. The grids look identical at first, but seen closer are quite different in size. That's the skill that's possible in making things by hand. No precision measuring devices or machinery is needed.



THE PATH TO THE PAST

>>The exhibition "Transmission" continues until August 30 at the Jim Thompson Art Centre on Soi Kasemsan 2 near the National Stadium BTS station.

>>The centre is open daily from 9 to 5.

>>Find out more at (02) 216 7368 and www.JimThompsonArtCenter.org.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/sund...-30230938.html
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Old April 5th, 2014, 11:12 PM   #375
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Chinatown and Old Farang Quarter







One of the world’s oldest, biggest and best-preserved Chinatowns occupies the swathe of riverside between Phra Nakorn and the Old Farang Quarter. It may seem like a quaint enclave, but before Bangkok sprawled, this was the hub of Thai commerce, shopping and pop culture. The neighbourhoods remain maze-like because no one can gather enough land to redevelop, though the planned MRT subway extension may change this living museum. Bangkok may be the capital, but it has never been a quintessentially Thai town. Chinatown embodies how Sino-Thais have shaped this city, both economically and physically, from market to shophouse to mall.

The ancient lanes between the river and Sampeng invite strolling. Further inland, the major roads of Yaowarat and Charoen Krung clamour day and night with vendors, shophouses and traffic. Abutting Phra Nakorn, the ethnic focus shifts at Pahurat, otherwise known as Little India.

Explorers need a spirit of adventure, a tolerance for heat and crowds, light clothing, comfortable shoes, plenty of fluids and a copy of the invaluably annotated Nancy Chandler’s Map. Or you could follow two sign-posted walks from a booth dispensing maps at River City. Confusingly, Chinese street names are giving way to Thai ones, so Soi Issaranuphap is officially Charoen Krung Sois 16 and 21, and Sampeng Lane the anonymous Wanit Soi 1.
To ‘do’ Chinatown, you could focus on temples (Buddhist, Taoist, Chinese and Sikh). Or food (from stalls to fancy restaurants). Or markets, which are Bangkok’s oldest and most diverse. Or weird juxtapositions: casket makers near chicken hatcheries; mosquito coils beside **** rings. Or gawk at the eclectic, mouldering architecture, notably along Thanons Charoen Krung, Songwat and Ratchawong. Or just follow your nose (both scents and stenches) down microscopic trok (paths) and risk getting lost until a landmark pops up.

The surging confidence in Chinese cultural expression emerges most at festivals. The formerly quiet, family-and-temple-oriented Chinese New Year (Jan/Feb) has become a state-sponsored street fest of food and lanterns. Mid-Autumn Festival (Sept) commercialises the celebratory mooncakes, while the Chinese Vegetarian Festival (Oct) sees yellow pennants citywide, signifying ten days of unspicy veganism, white-clad parades and incense-smoked rites. In these periods many temples host funfairs and vivid, high-pitched ngiew (Chinese opera).
http://www.timeout.com/bangkok/featu...kok-area-guide
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Old April 6th, 2014, 12:35 AM   #376
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Old April 7th, 2014, 04:29 PM   #377
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Finally, Foster has arrived to Thailand
‘Foster + Partners: The Art of Architecture’ exhibition hits Bangkok
Apr 07, 2014



The ‘Foster + Partners: The Art of Architecture’ touring exhibition kicked off in Bangkok last Friday and will be running at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre until 29 June.

The show will highlight the practice’s work from around the world around the theme of high-rise, urban design, history and culture—all within the framework of sustainable design. It will also provide an opportunity for visitors to learn more about projects from the Millau Viaduct in France—one of the world’s tallest road bridges—and London’s ecological skyscraper, dubbed The Gherkin, to Beijing International Airport, one of the world’s largest buildings.

“Sustainability has always been a central theme of our work,” said David Nelson, senior partner and head of design, Foster Partners. “We believe that the best architecture comes from finding a balance between old and new, whether that means retrofitting existing cities or creating sustainable new communities.”

The long-running exhibition, which has also been held in China and Malaysia in the past year, is the first time the renowned architecture and design firm has showcased its work in Thailand.

“The projects on display demonstrate how the international scope of our work has widened over the past forty years,” added Nelson. “The exhibition explores how the different teams in our studio work together – and how, when it comes to design and innovation, this integrated thinking sets Foster Partners apart.”

A series of educational events, organised by Foster + Partners and local developer Magnolia Quality Development Corporation, will also be held during the exhibition period, including lectures by prominent members of the practice.



Photo courtesy of Foster + Partners

- See more at: http://www.property-report.com/foste....1ltbcWpu.dpuf
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Old April 7th, 2014, 04:35 PM   #378
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Pattaya makes changes to swimming buoy design after injuries
Friday, 04 April 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 14
By Warunya Thongrod


Pattaya marine officials have begun altering new buoys demarking swimming areas to discourage people from taking dangerous walks on the pontoons.

Following the recent drowning of a foreign tourist who police suspected of having fallen off one of the flat, red-and-white buoys, workers began separating the buoys with gaps large enough to allow rescue jet skis to enter the area. Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh said it’s hoped the gaps will remove any temptation for swimmers to walk on the floats.


Currently, tourists are having fun walking on the buoys, but the city is putting larger gaps between the buoys to discourage their use as anything but a barrier to separate swimmers from boats and jet skis.Currently, tourists are having fun walking on the buoys, but the city is putting larger gaps between the buoys to discourage their use as anything but a barrier to separate swimmers from boats and jet skis.

The wide, red-and-white barriers replaced round orange buoys that marked several locations along Pattaya and Jomtien beaches and have received generally positive reviews from both beach-goers and boat operators. But even before their installation was complete, questions began mounting over the decision to use flat, wide, heavy-duty plastic. Several people were injured while walking on the water fences never intended to be a dock.

Swimmers near the Dusit Curve found the floating body of the unidentified tourist March 16. Only one shoe and a mobile phone belonging to him was found, so police were struggling to identify the corpse. Although they had no basis in fact to back their assertions, officers speculated the tourist had been drunk and went walking on the buoys before falling off and drowning.

Italian tourist Danilo Mappei said he thought the buoy zoning in Pattaya was good and very different than in his country. He did not think the buoys was dangerous and that people were causing their own problems.





- See more at: http://www.pattayamail.com/localnews....bbSYuF7h.dpuf
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Old April 7th, 2014, 05:00 PM   #379
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Foodpanda Expands Its Reach in Chiang Mai
Business

Foodpanda, the world’s leading online marketplace for food delivery announces city expansion and a partnership with Road Runner delivery service in Chiang Mai.



Founded on 26 March 2012, Foodpanda pledged to bring a convenient food ordering service for customers in Thailand providing a greater variety of culinary choices via online and mobile apps.

With the addition of the Road Runner delivery service they aim to bring even more variety and satisfaction to hungry customers, expanding their reach all across the city. Currently having 80+ restaurants at prices to suit all budgets, W by Wanlamun, Sachi, Mexican Grill, Mix Restaurant, 3 Little Pigs, Subway, Chez Marco, Mike’s Pizza & Sam Yan Seafood to name a few, customers can visit their home page at www.foodpanda.co.th, select Chiang Mai, enter their sub-district, find their favourite restaurant near them and easily order food over the internet or via Android or iOS.

"I am proud to announce another strategic partnership of Foodpanda Thailand," says Foodpanda Thailand Co-Founder Alexander Felde. "We have teamed up with Road Runner, one of the biggest delivery providers in Chiang Mai. Road Runner is proving its strength by providing a fast, safe and reliable food delivery service backed up with its two year track record in Chiang Mai. The idea of this joint venture is that both companies focus on their strengths by ultimately bringing the best customer experience to Chiang Mai people. Foodpanda will focus on online and offline marketing and Road Runner will be responsible for all of our deliveries."
http://www.chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=3421
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Old April 8th, 2014, 03:06 PM   #380
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Charoenkrung Road's classic eateries, retro shops and arty new hangouts



The street hits 150 years old this year, so we head back to discover the best street food, hip new cafes and edgy galleries in this historic hood.
By BK staff


Mohamad

There aren’t too many places in Bangkok like Mohamed. From the outside, it might look like a bit of a mess, with its glass cabinets and shelves spilling over with products, but this is part of the charm. Open for 87 years, Mohamad sells pens and paper imported from Europe. These include ink pens from the likes of Pelikan, Venus and Schaffer, mostly from the 70s and 80s, and stationery from the 50s and 60s. Drawing paper starts from B20 and pens from B1,000. If you’re a collector, you might want to drop by regularly, as the shop carries many rare models which aren’t easy to track down.
http://bk.asia-city.com/city-living/...alleries-cafes
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