P.I.C. Group opens new office building
Holds staff party to celebrate
The P.I.C. Group, consisting of the P.I.C. Hospital,
Sugar Hut, P.I.C. Super Food, P.I.C. Kitchen and the Jazz Pit, opened their
new office building on February 16. The opening ceremonies coincided with
the annual staff party.
Sunya Viravaidya (right), and Gen. Nipon Paranit, P.I.C. executive advisor,
declared the building officially open, setting in motion the festivities
that continued throughout the night.
Before officially opening the new offices, Dr. Sunya
Viravaidya, P.I.C. managing director said, “It’s good to see staff
enjoying themselves at the party as we celebrate the New Year ... Today we
also celebrate the opening of the new office building, which represents 1
million baht renovation. We focused on providing a comfortable working
environment with a lot of glass as to not add extra weight to the
Dr. Sunya also encouraged his staff to work hard and help
improve the hospital’s reputation to become even more of an international
The “Business Building, since 1974” houses a variety of staff,
including Public Relations, Accounting and Finance, Computer and Personnel
departments. The company has grown since it inception over 30 years ago.
by Ian Frame
A friend recently showed me a stunning photograph of a
butterfly resting on a leaf. I accused him of gluing the butterfly onto the leaf
to get his perfect shot. I was extremely jealous, since for several months I had
been attempting to capture just such a shot myself. I could frequently be seen
rushing like a banshee around flowering bushes at my condominium, while trying
to photograph these elusive creatures. I am sure that the security personnel
considered me crazy. Every time I got my lens within shooting distance - off
they would fly. The results of my endeavours were distant, out of focus, and
sometimes even out of frame.
houses are magic places for photographer wanabees or lepidopterists (those guys
who study butterflies). (Photo by Ian Frame)
Then “Eureka!” - I discovered the butterfly house at Nong
Nooch Village. Butterfly houses are magic places for photographer wanabees or
lepidopterists (those guys who study butterflies). The photographs which I had
been seeking for months were obtained within a few minutes. I suspect that the
resident butterflies are content as well, since there are no birds waiting to
gobble them up, no strong winds, plentiful food, lots of butterfly friends, and
they can pose every day for tourist types such as me. However, the downside for
butterflies living in many commercial enterprises is that they may eventually
find themselves mounted in glass presentation cases.
The shots taken at Nong Nooch Village and Saithip Butterfly Garden have since
been e-mailed to envious friends living in cooler climes, and of course I never
mentioned that they were obtained in butterfly houses.
Nong Nooch Garden museum displays rare artifacts
Nong Nooch Gardens recently opened a museum on the premises
to display nearly 1,000 rare and beautiful artifacts that have been collected
through the years, in order that the public may view this magnificent
Thangsuk, a Burmese style Crafted Wood Buddha which is said to have miraculous
power over aging, is over 400 years old.
A particularly rare item is the Luang Por Thangsuk, a Burmese
style crafted wood Buddha, which is said to have miraculous power over aging and
is over 400 years old. There were also many other ancient artifacts such as
ancient silver, weapons that ancestral warriors used to fight and protect the
country, five primary colors of ancient artifacts, and rare musical instruments.
This museum was opened to retain and collect rare items, and
show them to tourists, children, students, pupils and the public. Visitors to
the museum can study and learn about this ancient period including how they used
objects to trade for other goods, and how they used weapons for survival in the
country. Devotees will also be able to pay their respects to Luang Por Thangsuk.
Nong Nooch Garden representatives Kwanwan Khantisuk from Sattahip district
and Sodawan Buranasiri, a representative for Nong Nooch Garden director, Kampol
Tansatcha, made merit with a Buddhist ceremony and offered breakfast to priests.
They then held a good luck ceremony before officially opening the exquisite
The Reluctant Hero
I am pleased that the following interview coincides with my
pieces on heroic leadership because the interviewee fits into the category very
snugly, although his palpable modesty would prevent him from coming even
remotely close to admitting as much. Hidden deep within the jewel that is Asian
University, Dean Robert Shrubshall of the Liberal Arts faculty is living proof
that size and scale are not synonymous. Inside the diminutive shell with kind
features and gentle smile, there lies a giant of a man with burning intellect
and genuine respect for humanity. His office reflects his passions: it is full
of books, art and his work with Asian University. And, for the promotion of
convivial conversation, there is a bowl of Yo-Yo’s on his desk, which are
readily offered to all who enter. They are, I discovered, very moreish.
Shrubshall: “I feel very much at home here.”
AW: Good evening, Robert. Why should a student come to
RS: Good evening. Have a Yo-Yo. (I take a
terrifically tangy orange Yo-Yo) Well, if they’re interested in an
international education and they want to study either Business or Engineering,
then they should take this university seriously. Of course they can go overseas,
but that’s very expensive.
AW: What makes a university ‘international’?
RS: In our case, three things. First, the fact that we
use an international language. Everything is taught in English and we try to
create an English language environment so that students are using English
outside the classroom as well as inside. Second, one of the reasons we’re
successful is because our classes are ‘learner centred’. Being ‘learner
centred’, by the way, isn’t just about size, although our classes are small
and this helps. It’s about teachers realizing and utilizing that students
bring to the classroom a lot of things, like their cultural and social
backgrounds. Thirdly, Asian U works closely with universities overseas. (Asian
U enjoys a very international faculty) In the case of the Engineering
faculty, they have a very close relationship with Imperial College in London,
who check the standard of our curriculum delivery. I think what really makes us
international depends on the kind of students we produce and what kind of degree
they have. If you look at where they go after Asian U, I think you can say that
we are truly international, because they either join prestigious international
companies, where they also do very well, or they win scholarships to good
universities overseas to continue their studies.
AW: Can you tell me a little about the history of
Asian U and the types of courses that you offer here? (I discover lychee
RS: The university is very young. This is its seventh
year. It was set up by our president, Dr. Viphandh Roengpithya, an alumnus of
Imperial College, with the support of our chairman, Khun Anand Panyarachun. When
prime minister, Khun Anand enabled international schools to be set up in
Thailand and once you have the schools, it follows that you should have some
universities. We started with two faculties, Engineering and Business and we now
have a third, Liberal Arts, in its third year. Building on successful English
language based BA programmes, we are hoping to diversify into courses such as
Communication Design and Journalism. We want to expand to meet the demand for
these kinds of subjects.
AW: How has a gentleman such as yourself ended up in
this beautiful part of Thailand?
RS: I started teaching English in England, but I
always wanted to travel so then I taught English as a foreign language. I’ve
worked in quite a lot of countries in this area, either for the British
Government directly, or through the British Council or the Centre for British
Teachers. I taught in Malaysia, Nepal and then moved into something a bit
different in Bangladesh and Cambodia where I was involved in writing English
language textbooks, countrywide. But after eleven yeas of doing that, I wanted
to go back to the classroom, in an environment where I could continue to write
material. I had visited Thailand a lot, and thought it would be very nice to
AW: Do you think of Thailand as your spiritual home? (Robert’s
RS: I feel very much at home here. It’s about the
easiest country to live in but I am also very fond of other countries. I love
India very much and in some ways that is the spiritual home for me.
AW: Can you say a little bit about your high school
here? How is it going?
RS: It seems to be going very well. As you know, a lot
of universities in Thailand have a ‘demonstration school’ within the
university which I think is for two reasons. Firstly, that it’s a source of
future students and secondly that these schools are part of an education faculty
in a university. Maybe that’s what we’ll be doing in the future. I think it
would be a nice idea.
AW: Where do you think Asian University will be in
five years time? (Lemon Yo-Yo)
RS: I think we will succeed in expanding. Our numbers
will increase. Our courses will expand. The college (high school) will expand. I
hope that we will become more international in terms of our student intake. I
think we have twelve nationalities at present. I think we will develop more
facilities and more capabilities. I really feel that this university has an
enormous amount to offer in terms of quality education in Thailand.
AW: Well you clearly attract people of the highest
calibre, including Nobel Laureates.
RS: Yes, they’re coming to give lectures about their
areas of expertise but also about world peace as part of the International Peace
Foundation. This is very much part of the academic and intellectual life of the
university, which I hope will encourage people to think more deeply, to be more
questioning and perhaps be less parochial.
AW: It’s certainly a great way to raise the profile
of the university. Thank you very much, Robert.
RS: Thank you, Andrew. Have another Yo-Yo.
AW: You know, I think I will.
Grand opening of the Panchalae Project
Feeling they are filling a unique need, Chanchai Panchasarp,
managing director of Panchasarp Co. Ltd. recently opened the Panchalee Boutique
Residence Condominium Project at Jomtien Beach. This is a boutique residence,
and is being billed as a “first of its kind”, unique in Thailand. Rooms
start at 5.2 million baht, and the target market is high-class customers and
(Seated L to
R) Chonburi MP Chanyuth Hengtrakul, Chanchai Panchasarp, managing director of
Panchasarp Co. Ltd. and Simon Landy enjoy the opening ceremony of the new
Panchalee Boutique Residence Condominium Project at Jomtien Beach.
Chanchai Panchasarp, managing director of Panchasarp Co. Ltd.
who has been a real estate leader in Thailand for over 50 years said, “The
company’s policy in 2005 was directed at real estate for customers that were
different from usual projects like single houses. After analyzing the marketing
survey, it was found that the condominium market in Pattaya City still has
customers with the capacity to buy, but that real estate is now in short supply.
Jomtien Beach is a good location for taking vacations, and is officially and
continuously developing. Therefore we developed the Panchalae project by
inviting Simon Landy, who has international real estate experience, including in
Thailand, to cooperate in project development, and to choose the representative
of the sales management company, who is internationally accepted in sales
techniques for potential target reach,” Chanchai said.
Panchalee Boutique Residence Condominium Project at Jomtien Beach is a boutique
residence, and is being billed as a “first of its kind”, unique in Thailand.
Rooms start at 5.2 million baht.
“I believe in Pattaya City’s potential. Market analysis
showed clearly that there is demand for a top quality project for level A
high-class customers, but presently there are not enough. To make a decision to
come into the condominium market at this time bears no risk at all, because we
have allies who know about the target needs to buy, develop and design
responsibly for the customer’s needs. We also have data about our ability to
satisfy customer groups, which is a good sales point,” said Chanchai.
“The Panchalae Project is a low-rise condominium with 7
floors and 75 units on an area of 5 and a half rai along Jomtien Beach, at a
value of 325 million baht. The project was constructed in a boutique residence
style; for example living closely with nature and in comfort, similar to a
single house. Units also have a separate sidewalk in each unit to increase the
private atmosphere. They have full public utilities; fitness, a free form
swimming pool, jacuzzi, a large parking lot, and a 24 hour security guard,”
“I think by Panchasarp entering into Pattaya condominiums
at this time, it could wake up the market once again after being calm for more
than 7-8 years,” Chanchai said.
During the grand opening Chanyuth Hengtrakul, Thai Rak Thai Party MP for
Chonburi Province zone 6, opened the proceedings. A delicious buffet was
provided; a music band performed, and a wonderful Thai dance and an underwater
dance show were also staged.
EDITORIAL: Don’t place too much hope
on a quick solution - Police are overworked
As the region, and Pattaya recently brought in the Year of
the Rooster, the city had an extraordinary number of visitors. The increase had
been attributed to many changing their destination from the south to the east
coast. On the positive aspect, business owners profited because of good sales.
On the negative, such an increase in tourist numbers also brings out the
undesirable element of society. The criminals and thugs are preying on tourists
as they search for quick cash to feed their habitual desires - and this year
proved especially violent.
Since the beginning of February Pattaya has lost face and
cash confidence after a number of foreign tourists reported thefts and muggings.
The muggings are of particular concern, since injuries to the victims were quite
serious, specifically an elderly couple with the husband being admitted to
hospital for a concussion. Fortunately, at least one of the offenders was
caught, but in many cases the thugs successfully flee the scene.
It is not only physical assaults against tourists; there are
a myriad of criminal activities that society’s scum use to relieve people of
their valuables. Some con their victims before making off with the goods, some
take only what’s valuable and some victims face violent criminals. These
people do not think or even care the damage they do to the city, the nation and
its tourism industry, much less to the victims. There is no immediate solution
at hand, so it would appear, and the weight of the situation and increasing
number of crimes falls on the responsibility of law enforcement officers in
Pattaya and Banglamung - the problem is they are inundated with cases - so much
so that it would be difficult to eradicate the problem.
We see police and crime prevention volunteers at work on a
daily basis trying to uphold the law and deal with the criminal element with
what resources they have to work with in order to provide an element of safety
in the city - even as the hooligans continue their machiavellian activities and
create chaos throughout Pattaya and its surrounding areas - to the point where
everyone is having to be extra careful. Tourists are not the only targets;
residents are being subjected to the same evils - if not worse.
As we approach the upcoming revamped Pattaya Festival this
year, as the city strives to attract more visitors, it also attracts the
undesirable elements. Senior police officers need to focus on increasing police
numbers to provide better law enforcement coverage and higher standards of
public safety. The importance cannot be stressed enough - can they help make
this a tourist haven or do we place false hopes on their ability to cope with
the sheer numbers with which they are already overwhelmed?
Whatever the case may be, Pattaya’s tourism industry is at
the heart of the economy and as hosts we must provide the best for visitors, to
make them feel welcome, in order that they come and visit again.
Students from Burapha University visit Pattaya Mail
Students from the Communications Faculty at Burapha
University visited Pattaya Mail Publishing Company recently to study
trends in journalism according to the basics of their courses.
successful tour, students stop outside the Pattaya Mail offices for a group
Primprao Somsri, Pattaya Mail sales and marketing
manager, and Suwanathep Malhotra, sales and marketing administrator, welcomed
freshman students with Majors in Communications from the Human and Social
Faculty at Burapha University, Chonburi Province, to study the newspaper’s
Student visits to the newspaper are a part of their basic
communications course as freshman, so later in their schooling when they are
junior classmen they can rely on this knowledge and ability that cannot be found
in their books or studies in the classroom.
The students prepared and presented questions, and then
received data from the experienced Pattaya Mail team in every department.
They then exchanged some souvenirs with Pattaya Mail employees before
Many interested organizations, including students from many institutions,
have come to study at Pattaya Mail because it is the leader in journalism
in English and German in the eastern part of Thailand and is now in its 12th
year of operation.
Coffee, chai and chat
at Indian by Nature
The Pattaya International Ladies Club held their monthly
coffee morning recently at the elegant Indian by Nature Restaurant on Thappraya
Road, which is owned and run by the vice president of the club, Avninder (Av)
Khanijou. Av always puts on a special feast for the group, and this occasion was
no exception, with many new and exciting Indian delicacies to tempt the palate.
International Ladies Club held their monthly coffee morning at the elegant
Indian by Nature Restaurant.
PILC President Sharon Tibbits thanked the members for
attending and gave a roundup of events scheduled to take place in the coming
months. Helle Rantsen, chairperson of the Welfare Committee, also spoke about
the club’s charitable projects, and invited members to visit the Street Kids
Home on February 23 to have a first hand look at the group’s work.
The coffee mornings form one of the club’s regular get-togethers, and are a
good way of meeting up with new and old friends alike. Anyone wanting to join
the group, or who would like more information about its various activities,
should telephone President Sharon Tibbits on 06 0956928 or Vice-President
Avninder Khanijou on 038-374-303.
PSC presents sporting equipment to Wat Boonsamphan School
The Pattaya Sports Club (PSC) through the efforts of charity
chairman, Bernie Tuppin, made yet another donation to the local community. On
Tuesday morning, February 15, Bernie and Nongyao Couch made their way to the Wat
Boonsamphan School to hand over 20,000 baht worth of sporting equipment.
to R) Nongyao Couch, Ararn Suwanakul, Wat Boonsamphan School director and Bernie
Tuppin, PSC charity chairman inspect the previously installed filtering
The pair was welcomed by students, teachers and school
director Ararn Suwanakul. Bernie handed over the equipment, which included
footballs, volleyballs, takraw equipment and more for the students.
Two years ago, the PSC donated 40,000 baht worth of water
filter equipment for clean drinking water at the school, and Bernie took the
opportunity of this visit to inspect the equipment. Two years had taken its toll
and the need for replacement parts was apparent.
Ararn Suwanakul, school director said the school currently
comes under the Chonburi Region 3 Education Office and has approximately 700
students and only 14 teachers.
“The area is filled with construction workers and laborers and they need to
send their children to school. We do not have enough teachers or space to cope
with the increasing numbers. However, it is through the support of private
organizations such as the PSC that we can provide the basic equipment for the
students,” said Ararn, who added that the District Administration Organization
also provided support.
Jesters, PSC and PILC jointly lay foundations for new emergency shelter at Huay Pong
The PILC, PSC and Jesters Care for Kids have once more joined
funds to build a shelter for young boys on the grounds of the Huay Pong (girls
side). The ground breaking ceremonies for the new shelter took place on February
10, with Lewis Underwood from the Jesters, Bernie Tuppin, PSC charity chairman,
Sharon Tibbitts, PILC president and Helle Ransten, PILC and RLC charity
right to left) Srisuda Taomuangjai, Woody Underwood, Bernie Tuppin, Sharon
Tibbitts and Helle Rantsen, along with honored guests take part in the
ground-breaking ceremony at Huay Pong.
The shelter, which will take 60 days to complete, will be
used for young boys (0-10 years old) who are at very high risk and have to leave
their home because of different kinds of abuse. The boys will stay in this
temporary shelter until a better solution can be found for them.
Srisuda Taomuangjai, head of Children and Family
accommodation at Huay Pong said, “We are very fortunate and very happy that
these organizations have supported us. This new emergency building will be of
great benefit to the children.”
Following the speeches, the group moved on to the first foundation pole for
the new 8 x 20 meter building and tossed in the ceremonial coins for good luck
before moving on to the vocational training building, which provides training
for Rayong’s region 1 children and young adults.
Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital introduces new technology and techniques
Dr. Iain Corness
The new director of the Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital, Assistant
Professor Somchai Pattana-Anek, presented the very latest technology that has
recently been installed at his award-winning hospital, to the local and Bangkok
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit is the largest and most modern on the
With the recent expansion to the hospital, and more building
taking place to open further extensions in 2006, the hospital was keen to show
that it is one of the foremost hospitals in Thailand and at the cutting edge of
A prime example of this was the new Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI) unit, the largest and most modern on the Eastern Seaboard. This
equipment, which allows non-invasive and safer imaging of the body than
conventional X-Ray technology, has cost almost 50 million baht and will be a
central point for diagnostic excellence. Up till now, patients from any Eastern
Seaboard hospital had to be referred to the smaller and older unit in Chonburi.
With this new MRI Center Pattaya now has the latest diagnostic technology at its
new director of the Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital, Assistant Professor Somchai
Pattana-Anek, presented the very latest technology at his award-winning
The latest trends in cardiac care were also shown in the
Heart Center, with Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital resident Cardiologist Dr. Manoon
explaining the way that cardiac catheters have changed the treatment of many
cardiac conditions, including blocked coronary arteries.
Other new units shown to the media were the Neurosciences
section which encompasses Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry and the Beauty
Center housed in an ultra-modern building offering all the latest techniques in
cosmetic surgery and body re-shaping.
However, there was one outstanding unit which was shown to
the press gallery, and that was the Eye Center, now dubbed the ‘SuperSight
Center’. Eminent ophthalmologist Dr. Somchai T.shokesatian has developed a new
surgical technique (SuperSight) to be able to use the newest pliable
intra-ocular lens developed in Europe. The end result of his research and
surgical skill is the patient being able to totally dispense with glasses, both
reading and long or short sight correction. This has been such a successful
break-through that Dr. Somchai has been awarded a certificate of excellence from
Germany, but his work-load at the SuperSight Center has been so high, with
demands from overseas for this radical new vision breakthrough, that he has lost
4 kg in weight in the past few months!
Some of these new features are so important, that I will be
highlighting these in separate articles and documentaries in the Pattaya Mail
and Pattaya Mail on TV over the next few weeks.