HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Pattaya welcomes in a wet Year of the Monkey

Romanian wine dinner: a gastronomical bonanza

Laem Chabang Port - ‘Hub Port of the Region’ - celebrates 13th anniversary

BCCT moves and shakes

Gung Hay Fat Choy a la Siam Bayshore Resort

Pattaya welcomes in a wet Year of the Monkey

Suchada Tupchai

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.

This 7 headed Golden Dragon, considered to be one of the longest in the world was s sight to behold.

Rockets streak into the night sky heralding in the Year of the Monkey.

Tony Malhotra has his hands full with these kids up on stage.

Kanthamanee (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 Piromya.

The Nine coloured Lions danced merrily around the festival grounds.

Locals and foreigners walk under the giant dragon, which according to Chinese legend brings the person good luck and fortune.

Children perform Chinese dances with jest and gusto.

Cute children all ready to get into the show, patiently wait for the rain to stop.

Thousands of revellers thronged walking Street to grett the dragons and lions.

These men beat on Chinese drums to keep up the tempo of the heartbeat during high altitude death defying acrobatic performances.

A little rain wasn’t going to stop these people from enjoying the show.

The ‘China Dolls’ keep the mood in full swing.

Only 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 Adriana Teodorescu.

Khun 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 dinners become.

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.

(l-r) 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.

(l-r) Mr. Jacek Paruch, Madame Adriana Teodorescu, Mrs. Luke Siewicz, Mrs. Sontaya Landolt and the ever-charming captain of the Royal Cliff Wine Club Ranjith Chandrasiri.

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 the interchanges.

Wine 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.

Norwegian 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 patron teased.

Bruce 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 Billy Ryan

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 2001, Murfatlar-Nazarcea.

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 of honor.

(L-R) 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.

The 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. Ltd.

Beautiful 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.

Lovely 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.

‘Triumph 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.

Sponsors 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.

Roger 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.

Chanyudth 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.

George Strampp, (2nd 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 ‘flossify’ anyway.

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.

Siam Bayshore guests receive their ‘Ang Pao’ or little bags of money for luck. This year little monkey figures were also given out.

Khun 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.

Dominic 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 fireworks.

Skal International