HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Danish Princess visits UNICEF Project at Bumrungrad Hospital

Copeland Corporation becomes PC Classic’s Platinum Sponsor

A sparkling world of its own; Crystal World

What colour is your taste?

Danish Princess visits UNICEF Project at Bumrungrad Hospital

Story and photos by Peter Cummins, Pattaya

Princess Alexandra of the Danish Royal Court recently visited Bumrungrad Hospital to see first-hand the programmes initiated by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) designed specifically to assist disadvantaged girls from the north and the north-east.

Princess Alexandra chats with Thailand UNICEF representative, Dr. Gamini Abeysekera.

The Princess distributes mementos of the visit to the interns.

UNICEF’s Youth Career Development Programme (YCDP) is a joint collaboration for child protection being undertaken by 19 of Bangkok’s leading hotels, the Standard Chartered Nakornthon Bank and Bumrungrad Hospital. Originally launched by the Pan Pacific Hotel Bangkok and UNICEF in 1995, “at risk” young girls are selected from the poorest areas of Thailand’s north and trained in the hotel and hospitality sector at the particular hotel and, in the case of Bumrungrad, in the medical and health-care operations.

The Princess, a gracious, eloquent and vibrant person, warmed to the Hospital staff and the lovely trainee nurses, who, in turn, were very much at ease with her polite and rather informal style.

A mother of two young children herself, she was quick to grasp the details of the training programmes, pointing out, with a ready smile, that being a mother she had little time to ponder situations but, rather, must see details quickly.

“There are always two young children vying for my attention,” she added.

A “wai” from the Princess works wonders with the gathering.

Bumrungrad seniors and the charming staff of the “Kid Zone”: smiles all around.

Khun Varanya briefed the Princess on the partnership between the hospital and UNICEF and pointed out that the hospital is the only one in the YCDP scheme and, since joining in 2000, Bumrungrad has accepted 20 eligible students per year, providing training and scholarships for continuing education and career opportunities at the hospital. Three outstanding students were granted scholarships for nursing studies at university.

Curtis J. Schroeder, the director of Bumrungrad, informed the Princess, “Nine trainees from the first programme were recruited and now are working with the hospital.”

The Bumrungrad contribution

It was in 200 that the hospital was approached by the Pan Pacific Hotel and UNICEF to join YCDP and help poor young girls through provision of a Nurse Aide Training Programme. “We were very excited about this,” Khun Varanya informed the Princess. “As the Bumrungrad management team, we soon realized that this was one way that we could help the Thai community - and the country. We also realized that many young girls were interested in pursuing a career in the health-care field,” she added.

The Hospital’s Nurse Aide Training Programme started with the nine graduates, mentioned by Dr Curtis, and comprises two parts. The first six months are more theoretical, focusing primarily on anatomy, English language, medical terms and bedside care.

Practical “hands-on” training follows and each student is trained in each department by the hospital’s senior staff. Progress is closely observed by unit managers and upon graduation, the girls are recruited as full-time hospital employees.

In the course of the Nurse Aide Training Programme, the hospital provides free lodging, food, books and all other necessities, including a monthly allowance. Moreover, for any who pass the entrance exam for a government university to continue their bachelor degree, the hospital will also provide a study grant. So far, there are three trainees who are now studying in university level.

UNICEF is very happy with the Bumrungrad programme and co-operation and, as was pointed out to the Princess, it is the only hospital in Asia to be certified by the US-based Joint Commission of International Accreditation.

Bumrungrad staff welcome HRH to the hospital’s marvellously-appointed “Kid Zone”.

The Princess took time to visit the superbly appointed Hospital “Kid Zone” and continued animated discussions there with the staff and a group of press and media who had gathered for the occasion.

“I am delighted with my visit to Thailand,” she said. “Everywhere I went, I was met with kindness, generosity and smiling countenances.”

Visibly moved, the Princess informed the gathering that she will take back to Denmark a lasting impression of the warmth and generosity of Thai people. “Even the most disadvantaged want to give something,” she said, adding that her message to the Danish people and government will be to recommend more support for assistance programmes for Thailand and its people.

Copeland Corporation becomes PC Classic’s Platinum Sponsor

Story and photos by Peter Cummins

It could be said that the quality of an event is a direct reflection of the level of the sponsorship; or does the quality of the sponsorship dictate the level of the event? The forthcoming Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta, to be held off the Resort on Saturday, 29 March 2003, has continued to improve in both size and quality over the years since it was first established in March 1995. This, the ninth sailing, certainly, is a direct outcome of the great sponsorship, which has reached unprecedented heights.

Bruce Hoppe, MD of Copeland Corporation proudly welcomes the PC Classic Committee, Andrew Wood, GM of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, Peter Malhotra, MD of Pattaya Mail and Dr. Iain Corness, Executive Editor, the Chiangmai Mail, at the state-of-the-art manufacturing factory in Rayong, to announce Copeland Platinum sponsorship of the regatta.

Royal Varuna Flag Commodore, Robert England, with wife Sandra “on the wire” is a hot favourite for the Hobie Cat title at the PC Classic.

Battling it out in the PC Classic 2002: A Nacra 5.5 and a Hobie Cat 16.

The most recent company to “come aboard” is the Copeland Corporation, a division of Emerson, which has become the Regatta’s Platinum Sponsor and, in doing so, joins the illustrious other supporters whose contributions greatly benefit Pattaya-Jomtien, the Eastern Seaboard as a whole and Thailand, generally. Among these are Ambrose Wine Limited, Barter Card, Carlsberg Beer, Coca Cola, Jomtien Boathouse, LCB Container Terminal 1, Pattaya City, Royal Cliff Beach Resort, Rieckermann Thai Engineering Co. Ltd., Royal Varuna Yacht Club and the Tourism Authority of Thailand - always a great advocate of sports, especially those which are marine-related.

As sections on the preview and publicity for the forthcoming regatta, a sponsor profile will be published as a special illustrated colour supplement, which will be distributed with a forthcoming issue of the Pattaya Mail.

In the meantime, we shall continue to update our readership on the regatta in successive issues leading up to and including Friday, the 28th of March 2003.

Anyone interested in watching the action and enjoying the ambience at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort seafront promenade is cordially invited to come to the Cliff about 14.00 hrs on Saturday, 29th March. The venue will be clearly marked and, as one would expect from a Five-Star Hotel, excellent seating and comforts will be available. At the end of the racing, please also join the sailors, race managers, hotel guests and other spectators for a Carlsberg Beer, a Coca Cola and some canap้s.

A sparkling world of its own; Crystal World

Located exactly opposite Best Supermarket on North Pattaya Road, Crystal World opened its doors not too long ago. This shop specializes in glasses and decorative items made from crystal. This place has some amazingly gorgeous things to offer shoppers with discriminating taste.

Owner Sangwan Duangsri with some of her glittering jewelry items on offer in Crystal World.

Crystal World stocks beautiful wine, beer, champagne glasses and everything one needs for an elegant bar. Lovely, long stemmed glasses crane their heads like flowers to the top, just waiting until they are filled with drinks.

High-grade crystal glass has its own delicate sound. Just tap it softly and listen to the mellow tone. Prices for these glasses range from 520 to 3,200 baht each - very reasonable compared to the prices for comparable quality in Europe.

Displayed next to all the glasses are decorative items made out of crystal by Swarovski. This company from Austria leads the world in the production of crystal stones.

Decorative items made of high-grade crystal glass from Swarovski.

Crystal World offers a range of figurines, mostly birds and fish. A huge crystal fish is the most expensive item in the shop at 383,000 baht. Naturally there are much cheaper items available, like the chopsticks, decorated with crystals for only 373 baht; a great gift item. The crystal-lay pen from Swarovski is another good idea for a present and still very reasonable at 1,525 baht. There are other beautiful items, like carafes, shiny candleholders of silver or glass and much more to give away or to buy for yourself to make your home more beautiful.

Hot sellers include a lovely line of jewelry. Many of them are from Swarovski, glittering in competition with the genuine diamonds.

Jewelry set with precious stones is also available including rings of all sorts with diamonds and other precious stones, earrings, chains and bracelets. There is something for everybody’s taste. Items of fine jewelry are priced from 2,400 baht and up. Customers who make a purchase over 5,000 baht will receive a free gift.

Owner Sangwan Duangsri made another very generous offer to all Pattaya Mail readers: bring this article and you will receive a discount of 25% on any purchase. Now that’s an offer no one should miss. Visit this fairytale world and take some of its magic home with you.

What colour is your taste?

By Ranjith Chandrasiri

There is an important step between knowing how to taste wine and finding the wines that you like. That step is putting taste into words. There are two hurdles here: coming up with the words to describe what you like or don’t like, and then getting the other person to understand what you mean. Naturally, it helps if we all speak the same language.

Unless you want to drink the same wine for the rest of your life, you are going to have to decide what it is that you like or dislike in a wine and communicate that to another person who can steer you in the right direction. Appearance and aroma are not critical in finding a wine you like. If you prefer white, red or pink, it’s because of the way the wine tastes, not because of the colour.

When you first begin to taste wine, you are usually faced with two opposite problems. The wine was so simple that you really couldn’t find anything to say about it or the flavours were so complex that you couldn’t sort them out. Learning to describe the taste of a wine in wine language is the secret.

Wines have flavours, but wines don’t come in a specific flavour - strawberry, chocolate or plain vanilla. While you might enjoy the suggestion of chocolate in a red wine, you wouldn’t want to go to a wine shop and ask for a chocolaty wine. Instead you would refer to “families of flavours” in wine.

Fruity wines - the ones that make you think of fruit when you hold the wine in your mouth.

Earthy wines - These make you think of mushrooms, walks in the forest, dry leaves and so on.

Spicy wines - Cinnamon, cloves black pepper for example.

Herbal wines - Mint, grass, hay, rosemary and so on.

And there are so many other flavours in wine that you could go on and on.


Beginners sometimes describe dry wines as sweet because they confuse fruitiness with sweetness. A wine is fruity when it has distinct aromas and flavour of fruit. You smell the fruitiness with your nose and in your mouth you “smell” it through your retro-nasal passage. Sweetness, on the other hand, is perceived on the surface of your tongue. When in doubt, try holding your nose when you taste the wine. If the wine is sweet, you will be able to taste the sweetness despite the fact that you can’t smell the fruitiness.


All wines have acidity for both its flavour and its preservative quality. Acidity is more of a taste factor in white wines than in reds. For white wines acidity is the backbone of the wine’s taste. White wines with good amount of acidity taste crisp, and those lack acidity taste fat and flabby. The sides of the tongue trigger your perception of acidity. You can also sense the consequences of acidity (or lack of it) in the overall style of the wine - whether it’s a tart little number or a soft and generous sort for example. Classify the wine you are tasting as tart, crisp or soft.


Tannin is the substance that exists naturally in grape skins. Because red wines are fermented with the grape skins, tannin levels are far higher in red wines than in white wines. Just as acidity is to a white wine, tannin is the backbone that gives the structure to a red wine. Because tannin sometimes taste bitter, you sense tannin near the back of your tongue. Wood tannin contributes a warm sensation on the insides of the cheeks. The cumulative effect of both is a puckering drying sensation. Depending on the amount of tannin, a red wine can be called astringent, firm or soft.


A wine’s body is an impression you get from the whole of the wine. It is the impression of the weight, which is usually attributed to alcohol in a wine. Think about the wine’s fullness and weight as you taste it and classify the wine as light, medium or full-bodied.

Good wine should have texture; it shouldn’t be thin like water. It can be subtle or thick and ropey like oil on canvas. It should also have what is called a long finish, which is the lingering sensation in the mouth. The balance of a wine - critical to its quality - depends on having all these factors present in the right amount.

When the wine is in your mouth, the multiple taste sensations - flavours, sweetness or dryness, acidity, tannin, balance, length, body and texture - occur practically all at once and the experience is so sensational that the best you can do is to try to describe it.

Ranjith Chandrasiri is the resident manager, Royal Cliff Grand, Royal Cliff Beach Resort and the Founder of Royal Cliff Wine Club, Pattaya, Thailand. Email: [email protected] or [email protected] Website: http://www.royal cliff.com/rcwineclub.htm

Skal International