Pattaya welcomes in a wet Year of the Monkey
Despite evening showers washing out some of the
festivities, Chinese New Celebrations around the city continued throughout
the evening on January 22 with only some acrobatics being cancelled as
Pattaya residents and tourists welcomed in the Year of the Monkey.
Every year Thais of Chinese descent celebrate the
traditional lunar New Year in grand style and this year was no exception.
Festivities began in the afternoon with ceremonies taking place at city
hall and a wide array of festivities in the Naklua area featuring the Lion
dance and the dragon procession.
As always, the city welcomes any type festival and
Walking Street was the center of activity as a 7-headed Golden Dragon
paraded and the 9 colored Lion Dance pranced through the streets, drawing
a crowd of well over 1,000 people to South Pattaya.
Later in the evening as the heavens opened, the rain
sent many residents and tourists running for dry cover. But the rain did
little to dampen the fun. As the skies cleared, residents and tourists
made their way to South Pattaya to once again enjoy the spectacle of
Chinese New Year and receive a traditional Ang-pao (red envelope) with a
little financial good luck for the year ahead.
Later in the night famed Thai singers the China Dolls
entertained the numerous visitors for the rest of the evening,
contributing to the festive atmosphere on through the night.
headed Golden Dragon, considered to be one of the longest in the world was
s sight to behold.
streak into the night sky heralding in the Year of the Monkey.
Malhotra has his hands full with these kids up on stage.
(Petch) Intharamanee star MC of the festivities, looks cute in her China
Doll dress takes a break waiting for the rain to stop with her mother
Nine coloured Lions danced merrily around the festival grounds.
and foreigners walk under the giant dragon, which according to Chinese
legend brings the person good luck and fortune.
perform Chinese dances with jest and gusto.
children all ready to get into the show, patiently wait for the rain to
of revellers thronged walking Street to grett the dragons and lions.
men beat on Chinese drums to keep up the tempo of the heartbeat during
high altitude death defying acrobatic performances.
little rain wasn’t going to stop these people from enjoying the show.
‘China Dolls’ keep the mood in full swing.
Chinese lions can do such feats to prove prowess and strength.
Romanian wine dinner: a gastronomical bonanza
by Peter Cummins
“What a swell party that was” - one of the many happy
songs from the 1950s musical, “High Society” - could well have been
repeated at the Royal Cliff Grand Ballroom last Friday though ‘party’
would not quite be the right description for this splendid affair. It was,
in fact, the first-ever Romanian Wine Gala Dinner, presided over by H.E. the
Romanian Ambassador to Thailand, Cristian Teodorescu accompanied by Madam
Panga Vathanakul (right) entertains the Romanian Ambassador H.E. Cristian
Teodorescu and his wife Adriana.
Open to Royal Cliff Wine Club members and invited guests,
the evening was, as usual, a “sell out” – so popular have these
Some, whose knowledge of the Republic of some 23 million
people, located in South-Eastern Europe, was a vague thought of the infamous
Count Dracula, vampires, the birthplace of gypsy tribes and the
superstitions surrounding Transylvania. But, all the attendees at that
evening came away from the dinner party somewhat chastened and better
informed about the Republic straddling the Black Sea and the Danube Delta.
Romanian Ambassador H.E. Cristian Teodorescu, David Jones, Michael Birchall
and Hugh Millar aficionados of the finest things in life.
Colourful posters and strips presented a broad panorama
of a beautiful, fertile country which, after hundreds of years of warfare,
ethnic violence and harsh suffering under the brutal rule of the last
Communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, emerged into the world of the 1990s
as a viable, democratic state.
Mr. Jacek Paruch, Madame Adriana Teodorescu, Mrs. Luke Siewicz, Mrs. Sontaya
Landolt and the ever-charming captain of the Royal Cliff Wine Club Ranjith
His Excellency, who speaks eight languages, was obviously
delighted to be able to showcase Romania and the excellent Romanian wines,
noting that, even with the immediate past political turmoil, Romania and
Thailand have had diplomatic relations for three decades. There have been
many mutual exchanges of students, culture and history in these years and,
in 1999, a Romanian Cultural Centre was established in Bangkok to further
Club member, Mrs. Pauline Morrison (left) received a bouquet of flowers for
her Birthday from Ranjith and Chitra Chandrasiri.
The evening’s menu, prepared by Royal Cliff expert chef
Walter Tenische, was superb, to say the least. An hors-d’oeuvre of white
tomato mousse with poached river prawns, dill-marinated cucumber and mesclun
salad, topped with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and pesto oil. A Prahova
Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2002, Murfatlar-Medgidia made a fitting complement to
this and the delicious smoked butternut cream soup with braised oxtail
timbale and Barbeasca grape pearls which followed.
lovers of fine wines and dining. (l-r) Tore Trosdahl, Mio Aamlid (adopted
Norwegian), Cath Christensen and Jan-Olav Aamlid.
Thereafter, throughout the dinner, four more excellent
wines flowed copiously, not forgetting the reception wine, a sparkling Cuvee
Millennium Sec, served as each person stepped off the elevator. A team of
Royal Cliff beauties was standing by with tray-loads of wine, each girl
having a miniature replica of the blue, gold and red Romanian national flag
painted on the left side of her face: “A kiss from Count Dracula?” one
Hoppe MD (left) of Emerson Electric-Copeland chaperoned his team of wine
lovers to the dinner, (2nd left-right) Terry Purcell, Emerson (China) Motor
Co. in Qingdao, P. R. China, Paul Ryan, Sue. K. , Ken Jarosz - from Emerson
Hermetic Motors headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Zena Gonzales and
Successive wines, generously supplied by Mr Hannes
Landholt from his Landholt cellars, were: S.C. Vildelmar, Cabernet Sauvignon
DOC 1998, Dealu Mare; Prahova Valley, barrel matured Special Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, Dealu Mare; Prahova Valley, barrel matured Special
Reserve Feteasca Neagra 2000, Dealu Mare; and Prahova Valley Dry Muscat
The wines did full justice to the gourmet meal which
followed the hors-d’oeuvre and soup, with the pink pepper crusted cod loin
which simply melted in the mouth, garlic-thyme marinated lamb rack, baked in
herb crepes, a plate of assorted cheeses and, finally, (phew!) a cold honey
souffl้ with marinated strawberries on raspberry coulis.
Walter; you exceeded even your own high standards!
Managing director of the Royal Cliff, Panga Vathanakul
and her staff were out in full force to register appreciation for the
outstanding success of the evening due to His Excellency and embassy staff
as well as Hannes Landolt.
Usually, at these sumptuous occasions at the Royal Cliff, at least one
will coincide with a Wine Club member’s birthday: Pauline Harrison hit the
‘half-century’ mark that night and was rewarded by Royal Cliff wine
connoisseur par excellence, Ranjith Chandrasiri.
Laem Chabang Port - ‘Hub Port of the Region’ - celebrates 13th anniversary
Theerayudh Dummanonda, managing director of Laem Chabang Port, and
Phuthisat Namdej, Laem Chabang Port’s executive subcommittee manager,
along with the port’s management, last week hosted their 13th anniversary
celebrations. Deputy transport minister, Vichet Kasemthongsri was the guest
Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook; Vichet Kasemthongsri, deputy transport
minister; Phuthisat Namdej managing executive subcommittee of Laem Chabang
Port; Theerayudh Dummanonda, managing director of Laem Chabang Port and
Wittaya Kunpleum, advisor to the minister of tourism and sports.
The event was held on the evening of January 21 and
attended by key members of the community, plus more than 500 well-wishers.
deputy minister enjoys a game of slipper throwing at a wall of nails.
The party was held on a vast area of terminal C0
with lovely ladies welcoming all the special guests and people involved in
the success of Laem Chabang Port for the past 13 years.
Joining in the celebration were directors and the
management of 10 private companies operating at the Laem Chabang Port, which
included Laem Chabang Cruise Center Co. Ltd., Thai Laem Chabang Terminal Co.
Ltd., Ao Thai Cargo Co. Ltd., Baan Poo Terminal Co. Ltd., LCB Container
Terminal 1 Co. Ltd., Evergreen Container Terminal (Thailand) Co. Ltd.,
Eastern Sea Laem Chabang Terminal Co. Ltd., T.I.P.S. Co. Ltd., Laem Chabang
International Terminal Co., Ltd., and Uni-Thai Shipyard and Engineering Co.
dancers thrilled the guests with their vibrant moves
After the registration there was a video presentation
about the operation of the Laem Chabang Port and its expectation of becoming
the ‘Hub Port of the Region’, since its first day of operation on
January 21, 1991. Today Laem Chabang transports more than 3 million
containers per year and is ranked 17th in the world.
ladies ensured that the guests enjoyed the party to the fullest.
Games were set up around the area and delicious foods
were served. The highlight of the evening featured a brilliant performance
by the renowned Patravadi Theater entitled, “Triumph of Laem Chabang Port
2004”, which was followed by a mini concert by famous Michael Tang. The
evening concluded with various ‘Luk Thung’ (country music) singers.
of Laem Chabang Port 2004’ by the renowned Patravadi Theater.
BCCT moves and shakes
Biggest pub night turn out rocks Shenanigans
You could have been forgiven for thinking they were
giving away free beer, the way Shenanigans was packed last Friday for the
British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) pub night. But however, they
were, as happens at all the very popular BCCT pub nights! People were
queuing at the door, trying to get in. Somehow, the Shenanigans staff
managed to fight their way through the packed bodies to deliver bar snacks
to be washed down with the amber liquid.
of the evening (l-r) Graham Macdonald, Director of MBMG International, Peter
Malhotra MD Pattaya Mail, Pornthip (Moo) Shenanigans Office Manager, Kim
Fletcher, landlord of Shenanigans, Jimmy Howard Country Manager, Katoen
Natie and Greg Watkins Executive Director of BCCT.
With sponsorship from MBMG International, Shenanigans,
Katoen Natie, the Pattaya Mail and Kilkenny Beer, it was certainly a
full hand as well as a full house! Rushing around, playing press
photographer, was the executive director of the BCCT Greg Watkins, while
three real Pattaya Mail photographers, plus Les Nyerges and Capital
TV with Pattaya Mail Plus and Dr. Iain doing his searching
interviews, made sure that the world would hear about it later.
Wilson (centre), Operations Director of GKN Driveshafts, entertains two
colleagues from the UK.
But of course, networking was the name of the game, and
the new Bartercard office in Pattaya was making many business contacts, with
trade consultant manager Chanyudth Kaikaew looking as if he had just
discovered Eldorado. The old and new auto guys were also seen in a huddle,
with George Strampp (Automotive Solutions and ex TRW boss), Dham Dhamodharan
(currently TRW boss) and GKN Driveline’s Roger Wilson all trying to
extract secrets from each other.
Kaikaew, (left) Trade Consultant Manager and Gary Owen (right) Brokerage
Manager of Bartercard (Thailand) Pattaya Branch get acquainted with the
lovely people of the BCCT at the networking evening.
MBMG International’s Graham Macdonald was particularly
pleased with the evening, being head of the Eastern Seaboard committee of
the BCCT, reporting that membership in this region has skyrocketed recently.
Greg Watkins felt that the current economic growth rate in Thailand was on
target, and was pleased that his BCCT members were all sharing in this.
right) and P.R. (Dham) Dhamodharan, (right) Plant Manager of TRW in Bowin,
enjoy their pints with two ‘unidentified networkers.’
Jimmy Howard, the amiable 60-year-old footy player, was
there representing his sponsoring company, Katoen Natie, as was Alain
Durwarder. Jimmy explained eloquently, for someone loudly proclaiming he was
needing a beer, just what “Katoen Natie” means in its native Flemish
(which Jimmy certainly isn’t)! After his brief Pattaya Mail Plus TV
interview he was seen getting on the outside of a large beer.
Kim Fletcher, Shenanigans landlord, spent most of the
evening clearing pathways for the staff to get through with the drinks and
food, while attesting to the fact that he personally had chopped the apples
for the Surprise Sangrias, dispensed by the lovely Miss Moo (she should
really change her name to Miss Gorgeous or something more appropriate).
Newcomer to manufacturing in Pattaya was Stuart Saunders,
but despite being an Aussie could see that networking with the BCCT was the
name of the game and spent the evening tying people up in dental floss, one
of his principal products. If you floss every night you will live for an
extra 6.4 years, said the well read Stuart. Well, that’s the
Dispensing scholastic advice was Rob Roberts from Pattaya
International School, while trying to find if the delightful Miss Hillary
was attending that evening. I believe she did, but after Rob had gone.
Many stayed on after the ‘official’ end of the pub
night, to dine on the Shenanigans carvery. This was, for many, because they
were not in a fit state to go further, and a breather and some food
certainly helped. However, with Kilkenny’s at B. 120 all night, many did
not leave (soon enough).
The BCCT pub night was certainly a success if the
fistfuls of business cards were anything to go by, and all concerned should
be congratulated on a brilliant networking night.
Gung Hay Fat Choy a la
Siam Bayshore Resort
by Peter Cummins
Chinese New Year came to the Siam Bayshore Resort’s
splendid beachfront restaurant where MD Hans Spoerri and resident manager
Duncan Miller presided over a superb buffet. Actually, Hans was ailing and
had to leave the lively scene very early, but he assured us he would see the
“grand finale” from his bed.
All night there was a vast range of music, dancing and
shows from the stage, with the beautiful nighttime Pattaya Bay as the
backdrop. Of course, to usher in the Year of the Monkey - appropriately
enough - the hotel staff regaled the diners and revellers at the very
well-packed water-front area, with a “Monkey Dance”.
Obviously, a show like this, especially for Chinese New Year, could not
be replete without fireworks. And it was spectacular. We from the Pattaya
Mail and the Pattaya Blatt hoped that the good Hans managed to enjoy it as
much as we did.
Bayshore guests receive their ‘Ang Pao’ or little bags of money for
luck. This year little monkey figures were also given out.
Achana Snitwongse Na Ayudhaya MD of the Montien Hotel held Chinese New Year
celebrations with Lion dances to usher in good luck throughout the year of
the Monkey at the Marco Polo Chinese restaurant.
Stamm, GM of the Amari Orchid Resort welcomed the Year of the Monkey with a
lavish Chinese and international buffet including Chinese cultural Shows and