HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Sparkling visit for Austria’s “Father of Crystals”

Lanna scholar back in Pattaya for second time

Spirits evoked in Dutchman Andr้’s beach house

Colourful yai bua flowers can be made by anyone

Nature and the art of interpretation

Time out for an ice cream

Charity Club of Pattaya welcomes first platinum sponsor


The Bay Restaurant gets the nod from the Italian Embassy

Pickles at PCEC

Albert & Susan Celebrate 55 years together

German boatman lands beautiful Thai woman

Thinking caps on for the PILC Quiz Night

Sparkling visit for Austria’s “Father of Crystals”

Elfi Seitz

Stopping over in Bangkok and Pattaya on his way to China was Gernot Langes-Swarovski, head of Austrian Tyrol-based crystals specialist Swarovski, and renowned as the “Father of Crystals”. Welcoming him to Thailand was Josef Aigner, head of ACD Thailand Co, a company that makes objets d’art set with Swarovski crystal components.

Josef Aigner (right), head of ACD Thailand Co., welcomes Gernot Langes-Swarovski to Pattaya.

ACD was established in 1999 and now has around 200 employees, many of them based at the workshops in Pattaya. The company designs and produces its own brand Crystela art products, which it distributes to more than 140 affiliated shops and boutiques throughout Thailand. ACD artisans also set jewellery such as rings, earrings, necklaces or dress adornments.

The secret is to weave crystals of any size into a hard surface and to agglutinate them permanently. This is done using a patented Swarovski technique, ACD being the first and so-far only company worldwide to be allowed to use this method on a commercial basis. ACD craftsmen have to undergo a three-month training course to learn the technique.

Many pieces produced by ACD in Pattaya can be seen at the famous Swarovski museum Kristallwelten in Austria, in the Tyrol.

Many pieces produced by ACD in Pattaya can be seen at the famous Swarovski museum Kristallwelten in Austria, in the Tyrol.

Langes-Swarovski is the great-grandson of the founder of the company, who had migrated from the former Czechoslovakia to Tyrol and set up Swarovski workshops there in 1892.

On his visit to Thailand, Langes-Swarovski was accompanied by his wife Eva, his daughter Diana, Alain Xaviver Meree, Christian Koidl, Kurt Schwarzenberger and Chockchai Vulkuk together with wife and son. After inspecting the ACD factory they celebrated their visit at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort and at the Montien Hotel.

Lanna scholar back in Pattaya for second time

Elfi Seitz

Professor Penth and his wife in front of the Bali Hai patio at Siam Bayshore Hotel.

Back in Pattaya for his second visit is Professor Hans Penth, one of the world’s leading specialists on historical manuscripts from the Lanna era. Professor Penth, the author of many books about Siam during the Lanna period, teaches at the university in Chiang Mai, a city he has made his home for many years.

He first visited the Siam Bayshore Hotel in Pattaya last year. Now he and his wife are back for a second relaxing visit away from grind of academic life, and are resolving to come back on a yearly basis.

Spirits evoked in Dutchman Andr้’s beach house

Elfi Seitz

Dutch Buddhist Andr้ Machielsen has been living in Pattaya for over 30 years. He loves the traditions of Thailand, and with his Thai wife Tieuw and son Sam he observes the regular holy days and festivals.

The sacred spirit house is adorned with offerings.

Every year, a “spirit blessing” ceremony is held in his house on the beach. This is to pay respects to the deities and spirits of the earth and ocean and is done by offering them beautifully decorated altars of food and gifts.

On the day, the tones of classical Thai music played by maholi musicians reverberated throughout the area, and inside, nine monks were waiting to ask for Buddha’s blessings on the occupants and their friends through chanting and prayers. At the end of the religious observances, the lady of the house and her friends served a meal to the monks.

Andre Machielsemn leads family and friends in the blessing ceremonies.

A surprise awaited us after refreshments: The medium Chatparitta Dhammawatcharaphan, who is well known as being able to channel different deities and spirits, was introduced. We watched as this beautiful Thai lady with the aristocratic facial features fell into a state of trance. Then the goddess Kali possessed her body and spoke through her. She predicted many things for the attendees, and astonishingly she was able to describe aspects of each person present that the lady as a person could not have known.

No one was quite sure how much time had passed since we sat down, but as our session dispersed we were all deeply moved and full of hope that we could participate in such an event again soon.

Colourful yai bua flowers can be made by anyone

Vase of flowers made from yai bua material

Chatchanan Chaisree

Bang-On Naknual, of the women’s development group at Village No 5, Pong sub-district in Banglamung, is an instructor in the making of “yai bua” flowers such as ginger, lotus, orchids and roses.

She says it’s easy to do, but takes time and needs patience on the part of the students. Basic materials are wire, plastic tubing, and yai bua.

Prices start from 10 baht to over one thousand baht. The market amongst individual households is not that large, she says. Most of the flowers go to official functions organised by the district office or local executive. Anyone interested can find out more by calling 07-1316431.

Butterflies made from yai bua material

Nature and the art of interpretation

Monika Podleska exhibits at Art Café

Peter Nordhues

A new exhibition at Art Café features the works of Monika Podleska, a German artist who takes her motifs from nature. Twenty-seven of her paintings are on display.

Art Café owner Joe Stetten welcomed guests to the cocktail reception on June 6 and thanked all the sponsors, who include Pattaya Mail and Pattaya Blatt.

Jo Stetten introduces Monika Podleska before unveiling her masterpieces.

Monika Podleska, who has been painting for 30 years, grew up partly in Norway which helped to nurture her love of the forms and colours of nature. She and husband Eberhard moved to Pattaya in 1997, and many of the pieces on display at Art Café were created here. Most of the works are water colours, but there are some silk paintings amongst the collection.

“As a child and teenager I was never much interested in art,” said Monika. “Only after I was married did I become interested. Then I had a great opportunity to have lessons from a famous artist in Germany. Later I went to other schools, to improve my style and learn some others.”

She goes with open eyes through nature. “I sometimes take pictures of motifs and when I get into the right mood, I start painting them. But I never just copy, I combine my own feelings about the object. On other occasions I just sit amongst nature and start to work.”

Painting is not Monika’s only form of artistic expression. She also makes pottery and creates porcelain dolls.

The exhibition at Art Caf้é is on until June 18. All the paintings can be purchased. Monika’s piece “Anthurium” will be auctioned, the proceeds going to the Camillian Social Centre in Rayong.

More info at Art Caf้é: tel 038 367 652 or email [email protected] artcafe-thailand.com

The ‘Anthurium’ will be auctioned off on June 18, proceeds of which will be presented to the Camillian Social center.

Time out for an ice cream

Opening day proceeds go to Redemptorist Street Kids’ Centre

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Time Out Gelato Co Ltd opened a new outlet at Carrefour in Central Pattaya on June 1, with Pinit Phoonsiri, Pattaya’s promotion and tourism development chief presiding over the ceremony. Directors Avi and Thanisorn Harnkobkul were on hand to serve up ice cream to the guests. All income from opening day was given to Redemptorist Street Kids’ Centre in Pattaya.

Pinit Phoonsiri, chief of promotions and development of tourism in Pattaya, was the official opening presenter. Directors Arvi and Kobkul donated all income from the first day to the Redemptorist Street Kids’ Centre in Pattaya.

This homemade ice cream made its debut on June 14 last year, at Walking Street. Customers took very quickly to the different flavours and styles of ice cream that are made every day, along with the waffle cones, smoothies, and pancake ice cream. The second branch was opened in Tuk Com in South Pattaya, with the Carrefour outlet number three. The fourth will open soon at Central Festival Center.

Charity Club of Pattaya welcomes first platinum sponsor

The Charity Club of Pattaya has received its first platinum sponsor from husband and wife team Louix Van Den Bergh of 4A Properties Real Estate situated in Jomtien Plaza.

The Charity Gala Dinner and grand prize draw and auction which will be held at the Dusit Resort Pattaya on Saturday October 1.

Ticket prices will be 1,600 baht. This will cover live entertainment, a free bar and a Thai and international buffet.

All the money raised will be split between 3 charities.

Contact Christina on 095454185 or Malcolm 097441040, or email chari tyclubofpattaya @ yahoo .com

EDITORIAL: Powerful incentive for saving energy

Suchada Tupchai

Over the years Pattaya has focused on tourism and numerous activities to promote the industry. However, one subject that has disappeared off the radar is that of creating new locations to attract new visitors and capture a new market. This has been long talked about, but nothing has been done.

Tourism promotion is the city’s responsibility but so too is stringent and specific planning for long-term projects. Particularly welcome therefore is the trial planting of mangroves at the beach end of Soi Naklua 12. Here, between 20,000 and 30,000 mangroves are being planted in a desolate area that can no longer be used as a beach. The results of the trial will not be seen for at least three to six months, but it needs to be followed eagerly because the aim is not only to reinvigorate the environment but eventually to create a raised walkway through the area as part of an eco-tour programme.

A new mangrove forest has been started in Naklua. Let’s see how it is progressing in three to six months’ time.

Mangrove swamps in Pattaya are of particular interest because the city’s natural resources and environmental conditions are constantly changing. Commercialisation has taken to the forefront, with developing and improving the local environment running a poor second. The paradigm must shift and residents need to readjust their attitudes and take responsibility for their own backyard.

The benefits of the project, should it be successful, are substantial. If Pattaya can build on the success of the province’s efforts of developing and maintaining a large mangrove area, extending on the established but limited mangroves that already exist in this area, the city will have a new place for visitors to wander through.

There are many obstacles but the project is new and time will tell if it is successful, and as such create a new dimension for eco-tourism in a city overflowing with development and construction projects. The main factor in this decision is the human one: can people change their habits, take care of the environment and contribute to improving marine resources which ultimately benefit everyone?

The most important part is that we, as residents and visitors, join in the efforts to improve our environment whether it is for commercial value or otherwise. We are all relatively small by comparison to Mother Nature, but we have all played our part in thwarting her efforts through our own practices. It is time we gave something back.

The Bay Restaurant gets the nod from the Italian Embassy

Miss Terry Diner

In line with the Dusit Hotel’s forward moves, their recently revamped ‘The Bay’ Restaurant received an accolade from the Italian Embassy, being selected as the only Pattaya Italian restaurant to be chosen by the embassy and the Italian Trade Commission to be part of their Italian Culinary Week.

A little known fact is the influence on Bangkok (and Thailand) which came from Italy. For example, Government House, Silpakorn University and the Hua Lampong Railway Station all owe their design to Italians such as Corrado Feroci, CarloAllegri and others including Giorgio Berlingieri, the co-founder of Ital-Thai.

Of course Italian cuisine has also left its mark on the world, and on Thailand too. To celebrate this, the Italian authorities decided to select 14 restaurants to produce a culinary tribute to the ‘mother country’, and I was fortunate enough to experience The Bay’s Italian Food Festival, lovingly watched over by The Bay’s new Italian chef Maurizio Menconi.

For lovers of Italian cuisine, this new chef has certainly brought a new sparkle to The Bay, and if it is available, the spaghetti neri alle cozze, vino bianco, pomodori, basilica e olio d’oliva (ink squid spaghetti with mussels, cherry tomato, basil and olive oil) is superb, served correctly al dente.

The Dusit is also now preparing its own ice cream and the creamy deep dark chocolate is wonderful, taken with the Batasiolo Moscato D’Asti Bosc DLA Rei dessert wine. Do try it! You will not be disappointed.

Pickles at PCEC

Carl Kull, the new part-owner of the Pattaya-based “Rancho Texas”, was the guest speaker at the Pattaya City Expats Club at their regular Sunday morning meeting recently.

Carl Kull, the new part-owner of the Pattaya-based “Rancho Texas”, was the guest speaker at the Pattaya City Expats Club.

Carl gave a special presentation he called, “How to be a Pickle Tzar in Thailand,” incorporating a talk about setting up a food business, or any other business for that matter, and getting the appropriate government approvals. He emphasized that with the new regulations, inspecting groups and various licenses it is almost the same as in the US.

But, more specifically, Carl introduced the members to the various pickles and salsa that his company prepares.

In a fairly light-hearted presentation Carl explained the development of the pickle industry and the differences in preference between the European and American markets. He and his staff had very kindly prepared for distribution to the first 100 attendees bagged samples of his pickles for members and guests. These were made in two kinds: “hot and fiery” and “sweet and fruity”. They obviously found favour among the members as more than one jar was opened and eaten during the course of the meeting!

As usual there was an opportunity to ask questions of the speaker. For more information about Rancho Texas: [email protected] ranchothai.com or fax 038-716-920. You can buy the pickles at Best, Friendship, Belucky and Foodland.

For more information about the Pattaya City Expats Club and its regular meetings and special events go to www. pattayacityexpatsclub.com

Albert & Susan Celebrate 55 years together

The Dusit Resort, Pattaya hosted a special party on Saturday May 21 to celebrate the 55th wedding anniversary of Albert (aka Barney) & Sue Barnett. The English couple has been coming to Thailand for many years and indeed regards the Dusit as their second home.

Friends and family joined them for a wonderful dinner and everybody sang the beautiful ballad “Love Me Tender” to mark fifty-five years of wedded bliss.

Albert & Sue Barnett look great - hard to believe they are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.

When asked what was the secret to such a long and happy marriage, the jovial Barney, who is sometimes referred to as Captain Mannering because of his striking resemblance to the character from the much loved BBC TV series: Dad’s Army… His response was:

“Each day is a new day in itself, we don’t notice the passing days. We are happy together and we respect one another and we love each other.”

His Wife Sue added, “We are very different but we agree to differ … you have to respect the differences.”

Jim Gardener, a very good friend of the couple, told us that he met Barney & Sue about 8 years ago at the Dusit at which point Barney intervened to say that he felt Jim was his long lost brother, “At the Dusit we are part of a family as we have made many friends over the years.”

So it seems that the key to a successful marriage is to respect and love each other and to recognize each other’s differences.

Happy Wedding Anniversary Barney & Sue and here’s to many many more in the future.

German boatman lands beautiful Thai woman

Elfi Seitz

Through the German company Asia-Dreams, 48-year-old boatman Rolf Bach from Ochtendung near Koblenz met the beautiful Supart Bansuwan, 28, from Thailand, and fell in love with her immediately. It took only three months until the couple became engaged.

Das junge Paar mit Dieter Horray (Mitte), dessen Gattin die Chefin von Asia-Dreams ist.

The engagement celebration took place at the German restaurant Schweine-Dieter, because Supart is related to the owner’s wife. Many friends were invited and the mood and food were very good.

The couple will soon fly to Rolf’s home country to get married and spend their honeymoon on one of the two boats Rolf owns.

Two birthdays were celebrated together with the engagement: that of the happy young bride-to-be, and the other of Oon, the cute little daughter of butcher Karl.

Thinking caps on for the PILC Quiz Night

Gillian Thom

Pattaya International Ladies Club recently held its first Quiz Night, generously sponsored by the Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa and Four Winds International Movers.

Over 70 contestants put their brains into gear and hilariously muddled their way through four rounds of testing general knowledge questions. The evening had an “English Pub” theme and started with a delicious buffet of pub type food, including fish and chips, steak and kidney pud and the “World’s Longest Sandwich”! The draught beer meant that the questions seemed to get easier as the night went on – and the level of noise as the answers were pondered around the room also definitely went up.

The all-male winning team Four Winds International Movers won beauty treatments from Estee Beauty House.

There were 11 teams in all, and the overall winners were the all-male (a first for PILC!) team from the co-sponsors, Four Winds International Movers. Other winners included the Sore Losers, the Weakest Link, Tinglish (a multi-national team from the Marriott Resort itself), Tip 2 Win, 5 Wiz + One and the Global Thinkers.

The evening had been organized by several PILC members, including Helle Rantsen, Rosanne Diamente and Gillian Thom and the event was beautifully presented by the Marriott. Gillian, assisted by husband Andy, read the questions on the night and kept the evening on a light note, and Rosanne had sourced some excellent prizes for the top teams, including meals at the Marriott Resort & Spa, Shenanigans and Casa Pascal, beauty treatments from Estee Beauty House (rather bemusedly received by the gentlemen of the winning team), pizzas from Pan Pan, and lovely lacquerware boxes from Kala๋ Art & Decor.

Eggheads were not forgotten either, with wooden spoon prizes being presented to the lowest scoring team – and hopefully all the teams will come back to the next event to defend their titles.

PILC were delighted that the evening, as well as being great fun, and an opportunity for spouses and working members to attend, also had the benefit of raising over THB 60,000 for various PILC-nominated charities and it is hoped that the event will definitely become a regular fixture on the club’s calendar.