AustCham Wing-Ding at the Royal Cliff
story and photos by Peter Cummins
It was, indeed, a great evening at the Royal Wing’s
splendid Benjarong Restaurant, for the year’s second AustCham Seaboard
Sundowner. Intended to be held pool-side, the seasonal downpour necessitated
a switch to the inside foyer of the Benjarong - one of the Royal Cliff’s
best restaurants. The evening was still able to proceed in a pool-side
ambience, however, due to the open-fronted area of the Benjarong, facing the
pool and the Gulf.
new elected committee and directors.
R) Something of a ladies night out for business, Sandra Lambrinos, Supharat
Haemachewin, Rachanok Khamsaeng and Jitrapan Moore create their own circle
R) Archie Dunlop, Pat Gosset, Andrew Wood, Anil Singh, Pater Cummins and
Graeme Moore were not to be left by the wayside, had their own Seaboard
Sundowners meeting in among the activities.
H.E. Australian Ambassador Miles Kupa graced the
gathering with his inimitable, most friendly and informal style and Royal
Cliff GM Andrew Wood, welcoming the group to the Royal Cliff for the first
time, pointed out the negative impact which SARS was having on Thailand’s
erstwhile burgeoning tourism industry. Like any good sailor, though, Andrew
reasoned that we must ‘ride out the storm’ to be able to sail into the
calmer waters of yore.
Given the heightened frequency of terror attacks,
Ambassador Miles informed the gathering of the precautionary measures -
especially fore-warnings of potentially dangerous areas - frequently updated
and available on-line to all Australian citizens and AustCham members. Miles
also referred to the development of the proposed Australian-Thai Free Trade
Agreement which was coming to fruition. Sponsored by Melbourne-based
Swinburne Tummasiri’s Laem Chabang office, delicious food and the usual
flow of beer, spirits and the red and white rivers which all AustCham
members and their guests have come to expect, the evening. We were even
regaled by a lovely Thai dancer whose deft hand movements and graceful
demeanour enthralled the group.
R) H.E. Miles Kupa, Australian Ambassador (left) and Annie Weber, AustCham
executive director (right) present Rangsiya Leeaswat, Swinburne’s
marketing assistant a bouquet of flowers for her beautiful dance performance
at the Seaboard Sundowners.
R) Geoffrey Harrison, director Swinburne Tummasiri, Annie Weber, executive
director and David Wright, AustCham president chat about the current
R) Dale Maxewell, Rod Cummins,Tom Grant and Ranjit Chandrasiri discuss the
Royal Cliff’s Wine Club.
R) Dale Maxwell, Tom Davies and Vicki Emmanuel enjoy the AustCham networking
R) Pat Burbridge, Xena Gonzales, Ranjit Chandrasiri and Yanisa Musiksawat
talk about Swinburne Tummasiri’s latest developments in English language
Geoffrey Harrison, director, Swinburne Tummasiri
explained the training role played by Swinburne, noting that a number of
innovations for further education were being tabled.
Newly-elected president of AustCham, David Wright,
commended Executive Director Annie Weber and her trusty lieutenants who were
implementing very active programmes of great benefit to the members and the
Following the most successful evening, AustCham members proceeded on
Saturday morning to the school supported by the Chamber for some English
teaching for the children.
members return to their origins at the May meeting
by Brendan Richards
The first Skål Club was founded in 1932 in Paris by
travel managers, following an educational tour of Scandinavia. The idea of
international goodwill and friendship grew and, in 1934, the
"Association Internationale des Skål Clubs" was formed with
Florimond Volckaert as its first president, who is considered the
"Father of Skål".
and guests had a great time at the Jomtien Boathouse & Grill.
Skål International today has approximately 25,000
members in more than 525 Clubs throughout 80 nations.
In 2003 and half a world away, members of Skål
International Pattaya and East Thailand returned to their Scandinavian roots
at the Jomtien Boathouse for their monthly luncheon.
Ottesen explains the finer details of a traditional Danish smorgasbord
Ib Ottesen and his team laid out a Danish style
Smorgasbord lunch complete with herring, cold cuts and cheese. The superbly
prepared lunch exceeded the expectations and appetites of Skål members in
At last month’s meeting Dr. Iain Corness spoke on SARS
and urged people in the tourism business to impress upon the public the real
truth about the problem and not to be so quick to push the panic button.
Many of the region’s hotels and travel professionals are still struggling
with the current climate, but the operators are hoping that good news would
soon be forthcoming.
With the return of president Murray Hertz, new committee
members were elected with the main focus being the upcoming Skål Eco
David Smith, general manager of PMCI’s environmental
section was elected as a committee member to spearhead the operation along
with Vice President Peter Malhotra and Secretary Andrew Wood in conjunction
with the government appointed committee to focus on submitting an
application on behalf of Pattaya and the eastern region for the 2003 Skål
Eco-Tourism Awards, which is the path to sustainable tourism.
More good news was the announcement of the recent mobile
cabinet in Pattaya whereby the political heavyweights were in town to review
the city’s status as tour destination and look at improving the overall
perception and economic output.
Andrew Wood, club secretary and Royal Cliff general
manager announced the upcoming Mega Fam Trip by German travel agents.
"Over 100 travel agents from around Germany will visit Pattaya in the
following week. The trip is sponsored by Thai Airways and we are part of the
itinerary in which we have planned activities. The group will get a chance
to swim in the bay and visit the islands," added Andrew.
As local businesses batten down the hatches for tough
times, good news such as this is a welcome ray of sunshine for the future of
tourism and business in Pattaya.
The next Skål meeting will be a dinner at the Moon River Pub whereby
everyone is invited to attend from 7 p.m. June 20.
TAT announces new “Hansa; Happy Pattaya-Chonburi” tourist campaign
Discounts for domestic tourists to boost sluggish sector
During the recent mobile cabinet meeting trip to Pattaya
City, Purachai Piumsomboon, deputy prime minister, the cabinet, and
governmental officials were invited to the Bali Hai Marina to attend the
opening of the ‘Hansa’ or ‘Happy Pattaya-Chonburi’ campaign in the
presence of Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat, Thawit Chaisawangwong, chairman
of Pattaya’s city council, Chansak Chavalit-Nititham, Chonburi MP, local
officials and business operators.
ter visited the Mini
Captain Purachai (right) and Juthamas Siriwan (left), TAT governor.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Central Region 3,
Pattaya City, Pattaya Business and Tourism Association and many local
business operators cooperated in organizing the campaign in hopes of aiding
Pattaya businesses that are feeling the crunch triggered by the SARS scare,
and regaining tourists from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.
At the beginning of May Pattaya business groups, mainly
hotels, held a road show at Sirikit National Convention and Exhibition Hall,
Bangkok to promote the 50% discount price to Thai tourists in order to help
the city’s economy. Some hotel room prices, including breakfast price, are
now ranging from 499 baht to 3,999 baht per night.
musician Thewan Sapsaenyakorn and his band entertained the crowd during the
‘Happy Pattaya-Chonburi’ campaign launch.
artist Prasart Sajjatham set up a booth to display his talented sculptures.
The opening of the ‘Hansa Pattaya-Chonburi’
exhibition included musical shows by Thewan Sapsaenyakorn, famous Thai
Saxophonist, shows from Million Years Stone Park, Nong Nooch Garden, Tiffany
Theater, and booths promoting several tourist attractions in Chonburi and
Pattaya Beach Road will hold a variety of fun activities and interesting
attractions along the seaside opposite Soi 4 on Saturday June 21, June 28,
July 5, and July 12.
Young Chiang Mai lad wins cold underwater “marathon”
Earns 30,000 baht for staying under 3 minutes 32 seconds
Nineteen-year-old Chiang Mai lad, Sakpat Musikboonlert
stayed submerged in 5 degree Celsius water for 3 minutes 32 seconds in the
semi-final round of the Underwater Marathon held at the fountain at Royal
Garden Plaza last Saturday.
Blumenthal (back row left) from Mermaids Dive Center, Manit Boonchim (back
row center), Tourism Authority of Thailand Central Region 3 director, and
Somporn Naksuetrong (back row right), GM of Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
with other dignitaries present prizes to all the winners.
Boonchim (left) presents the top prize to winner Sakpat Musikboonlert from
The feat was achieved during the Mermaid’s Dive School,
Royal Garden Plaza and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum sponsored
contest, and earned him a place in the final round of the competition.
The contest drew thirty strong men; most of them from the
navy, to challenge each other in the cold-water diving contest. The
temperature of the water in the 2.4-meters long, 1.6 meters wide, and 1.7
meters high tank read a chilly 5 degree Celsius.
Contestants were asked to dive under the water, and the
person that stayed under longest would win the grand prize and a certificate
of recognition from the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum.
Amazing fire-eaters from King Kong Island.
deep concentration to stay submerged for any length of time in the cold
Whilst setting the contest’s best time, Sakpat shocked
the audience when his nose started to bleed in the third minute.
Sakpat went into the final round with 5 other men, and
even though he did not stay in the water long enough in the final round, the
judge crowned him the winner since no other men could beat the time he set
during the prior round.
Sakpat received 30,000 baht, a Ripley’s Believe It Or
Not certificate, and Mermaid’s Dive School voucher. The 5 runners-up
received 2,000 baht each.
Manit Boonchim, Tourism Authority of Thailand Central
Region 3 director, presided over the opening ceremonies and presented the
The contest also featured a fun performance by the
dancers from King Kong Island.
The next big event will be Thailand’s Hot Dog Eating
Championship II on Saturday, May 31, beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the 1st Fl.
of the Royal Garden Plaza, Pattaya. 50,000 baht goers to anyone who can eat
25 hot dogs and buns within 12 minutes. 10,000 baht for near misses.
Sheik Muhammad Ali Mosque holds fundraising fair to build new school building for Islamic studies
City pledges 1 million baht towards construction costs
The Sheik Muhammad Ali Mosque on Siam Country Club Road
opened a fundraising fair last Saturday evening. Tuanhaji Manoon Srisanarm,
vice president of the Islamic Council of Ayutthaya was the guest of honor
for the opening of the tea drinking ceremonies.
Chavalit-Nititham (3rd from left), Haji Musa Wongharn and the committee at
the Sheik Muhammad Ali Mosque fundraising fair to build a new school
building for Islamic studies.
During the ceremonies, Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat
announced that the city will support the education of children in the area
and the Islamic community by partially funding the construction with 1
million baht. The announcement was well received by the community.
The Imam of the Sheik Muhammad Ali Mosque, Haji Musa
Wongharn, said, "The charity tea drinking activity was organized as
part of the effort to raise funds for the new building. The school will be a
center for education in Islamic religion, philosophy and improvement of
general skills to the children in the community before they graduate and
become contributing members of society. The only thing missing is the
required funds to complete the building."
Funding for the center has been undertaken by local community donations.
Pattaya City hosts Family Health seminar
Education is the key to healthy living
Over 80 people from Pattaya’s surrounding communities
attended a seminar on Family Health at Pattaya City Hall last Friday
morning. The seminar, organized by the Pattaya Department of Health, Hygiene
and Environment in cooperation with the Pattaya Health Club was organized to
educate local citizens and community leaders on various health issues faced
by individuals and families.
Apichartsorakai (right), president of Pattaya Health Club listens intently
to the presentation.
Chaicharn Limtongcharoen from Banglamung Hospital discussed bone disorders
with the assembled people from Pattaya’s surrounding communities who
attended a seminar on Family Health at Pattaya City Hall last Friday
The city’s health department is attempting to inform
residents on how to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, thereby
reducing the burden on families and the region’s health system.
The project is well supported by local organizations such
as the Pattaya Family Health Club as well as community leaders who recognize
the importance of disease prevention and lifestyle improvement for local
Special guest lecturers at this second seminar were Dr.
Chaicharn Limtongcharoen, who discussed bone disorders and Dr. Piya
Chiewprasit who addressed the subject of SARS.
Both medical professionals are from Banglamung Hospital. The hospital has
been very supportive of health education projects in the district.
International jamming comes alive at Jazz Pit
Fed up with plaguing news about Saddam and SARS that have
sent a lot of businesses down the drains and people into miseries, the Jazz
Pit came up with an idea to liven up the city and lighten up the weary
Sergeenko saws away at the fiddle during the international jam session at
the Jazz Pit.
Popravko (left) and Vilena Pikkarainen add their cool sounds to the evening.
Pattaya International Jamming sessions during the weekend
of May 16 & 17 drew unexpected large crowds, both patrons and jazz
The in-house trio Vilena, Ramil, and Nikolai were joined
by friends from Bangkok and abroad, Konrad, Hans, Gregory, Alexander and
Roustem, just to name a few.
(center) joined the in-house trio of Vilena, Ramil and Nikolai, adding his
own style to create a wonderful new sound.
Packed on both nights, various pieces were played out on
keyboards, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, flute, cello, and drums.
From classical jazz to contemporary and blues, even some
rock and roll upon the guests’ requests.
Enthusiastic and not so enthusiastic jazz lovers saw
themselves singing, swaying and dancing along as the group of professionals
played and sang into the wee hours of the weekend mornings.
It was indeed a fun weekend for all who were there. We were promised by
Dr. Sanya that many more jam session can be expected in the near future in
Pattaya, and only at the Jazz Pit.
Bai Mai Khaew Foundation holds “Hotels with natural preservation” seminar
The Bai Mai Khaew, or Green Leaf Foundation, held a
seminar themed "Hotels with the natural preservation" at Dusit
Resort Pattaya on May 12. Dr Jirapol Sinthunava, secretary of the foundation
and Jampoon Chawasiri, the assistant of the foundation both addressed the
audience comprised mostly of Pattaya and eastern region hoteliers.
Jirapol Sinthunava urges the assembled crowd of hoteliers to strictly follow
the city’s resource and waste management regulations for the good of the
environment and the welfare of the region’s residents.
The Bai Mai Khaew Foundation works in conjunction with
the region’s hotels to preserve and protect the natural environment.
During the seminar hoteliers were urged to strictly follow the city’s
resource and waste management regulations for the good of the environment
and the welfare of the region’s residents. Hotels were also encouraged to
become members of the foundation.
The Bai Mai Khaew Foundation stresses the importance of marine life and
seashore preservation in Pattaya and nearby provinces. The seminar was held
to create more awareness on this topic in the hotel and travel industry.