Year of the Dog celebrations a howling success in Pattaya
Bali Hai Pier was the focal point for the Chinese New Year
celebrations that heralded in the Year of the Dog and which centered on
the dates of January 28 and 29.
Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn started off the proceedings, whilst
government and private organizations, along with businesses and the public
joined in the fun around the pier, along the seafront, and throughout
Pattaya, where many of the shops were decorated in red, the auspicious
color for the Chinese at this time of the year.
Celebrations began on January 27 with cultural and lion dance performances
by troupes from the Xian Opera House and the Nanhai Dragon Dancing Team of
the People’s Republic of China, on Walking Street. Locals and foreigners
thronged the way, taking photographs and enjoying the performances.
January 28 saw the New Year’s eve events officially begin. Parades were
held along Beach Road, making their way to the pier. A fireworks display
was held in the evening. The Miss Pattaya Chinese 2006 pageant was also
held which was won by Wantiya Ingcharoen, who took home 50,000 baht in
prize money that was for her an especially auspicious start to the Year of
Chonburi Member of Parliament, awards Miss Wantiya Ingcharoen with her
well-earned Miss Pattaya Chinese 2006 pageant winnings.
Watthanasartsathorn presides over the start of the Chinese New Year
celebrations in Pattaya.
Wise men bring good fortune
to everyone for the New Year.
This youngster is bringing
in the “young” Year of the Dog during the parade down Beach Road.
Parade participants are all
smiles as they march down Beach Road.
The parade down Beach Road
brought out plenty of Pattaya pulchritude.
“Shhh, Chinese New Year
celebrations are about to begin.”
The Luang Poo Meng Disciple
Camp put on a gymnastics show and lion dance to celebrate the Chinese New
Year at the Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa.
Part of the celebrations
included “building” the largest “Phu Khao Mii Tiaw” (noodle mountain) in
A beautiful fireworks
display signaled the beginning of the Year of the Dog.
James performs at the
Chinese New Year celebrations at Bali Hai pier.
Luang Pho Tim followers from
Rayong perform a spectacular lion and golden dragon dance.
Miss Wantiya Ingcharoen
(center), winner of the 2006 Miss Pattaya Chinese beauty pageant, shown
here with the runners-up.
The parade on Beach Road is
a site to behold.
The Miss Pattaya Chinese
2006 pageant draws a large crowd.
Golf, Thailand’s present
heart throb, perform at Bali Hai pier.
The Montien Hotel, Pattaya
celebrated Chinese New Year 2006 with a theme
party to welcome the Year of the Dog at the hotel’s Paradise Garden Pool.
Norwegian magazine does swimwear
model photo shoot in Pattaya
Vi Menn models were in town to
shoot the magazine’s special supplement for this year.
Norwegian men’s magazine, Vi Menn (which means: We Men) was here in Pattaya
last week to do the photo shoot for their annual supplement.
Vi Menn sells 100,000 copies a month, and with Norway having a population of
over 4 million, that makes it the best selling publication per capita in the
Anderson poses at the Hard Rock Hotel swimming area.
The magazine is based on lifestyle with features on fashion, wellbeing,
technology and every month features a different girl on the cover with a
4-5-page spread inside. Every so often it has a supplement and every year
there is a special on ladies swimwear.
It was this project that brought the team from Vi Menn along with five
lovely ladies to Pattaya for a photo shoot in and around the city.
Luckily, Pattaya Mail was invited to the Hard Rock Hotel to see what goes on
behind the scenes.
Sorensen has her makeup applied by a professional assistant.
Journalist Peter Nagy was overseeing the shoot and kept us informed as to
what was going on during the shoot. He said, “Last year we went to Spain for
the swimwear shoot but the girls and the crew found it to be very cold, and
the models have to wear very little for much of the day. So this year we
decided to come somewhere a lot warmer.”
The project was shot over six days using locations such as the fishing
village of Bang Saray, and Koh Larn, as well as the pool at the Hard Rock.
The five models are all from Norway. Paul from Pattaya Mail on TV had a chat
with 22-year-old Unni Major, a beautiful brunette who had been voted by the
magazine’s readers as Miss 2003. This was her first time to Thailand and she
said she loved it and found it to be very exotic.
interviews Linni Meister for Pattaya Mail on TV.
Bubbly blonde Linni Meister told us she has a black belt in shopping so
therefore she just loves Pattaya. Apparently she had also taken to the stage
in one of the city’s bars mostly frequented by men – where she stole the
show and was bombarded by ping pong balls.
Green eyed 25-year-old law student Marianne Sorensen joked that she wasn’t
studying whilst she was here as the modeling took up all of her time. She
explained that, “Well, you have to be relaxed and yeah there’s some shots to
be taken – but you have to shop and at night you just have to party.”
Also present at the shoot was the dark skinned 25 year old Shauntavia Loo
and a girl whose name was as beautiful as she was; 23 year old Aurora
When the magazine comes out, the first month will have the supplement with
the five models gracing the pages in their skimpy outfits. The following
month a DVD will be issued free, showing the filming, and indeed it will
also feature the Pattaya Mail on TV team as well.
Sailing, yacht racing and cruising: A Burgeoning lifestyle for Thailand
Part 3: Boat-building, marinas and the marine infrastructure
Story and photos by Peter Cummins, Pattaya
This is the last part of the series which has featured the genesis of the
marine sector, and Pattaya, Phuket and the Eastern Seaboard as major players
in this lifestyle sector in Thailand.
An artist’s impression of the
new Ocean Marina condominiums, with the new Portofino tower (L) about to
In the meantime, curiously enough, someone has been
reading my ‘masterpieces’ - - much to my amazement - and, therefore, I must
quote from Jerry Hoss in Bermuda: “I myself prefer NOT to be a
consumer-tourist and spend in a day what a local person will have to work a
week or month for,” writes Jerry. “If I cannot bring my own boat or motor
home I will always look for a home stay or cheap guesthouse… To think it
would come to this, after all my life travelling the world first class on
expense account as a former journalist/PR man!” he adds.
Apart from a number of excellent observations Jerry makes, I must quote him
again: “As a yachtsman and great fan of Thailand I am glad to read your
feature about the budding marine tourism industry in Thailand. They finally
see the light, I guess.
“But so far only Phuket seems to have the proper facilities to accommodate
cruisers and lifestyle yachties, as well as regatta racers,” he contends.
(Jerry Hoss, Bermuda - formerly of Pattaya, Bangkok and Phuket: 1993-98)
The Royal Varuna Yacht Club –
heading for its 50th anniversary.
I think my previous articles will lay to rest his comment
that it is really only Phuket which can cater to yachties, although I lead
off, again, this time, with the 19th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta and several
references to Phuket.
Of course, not one of the 19 events of the Phuket King’s Cup Regattas so far
held since 1987 could have even “left the moorings”, so to speak, without
the overwhelming support of the Phuket Governor’s Office, the Royal Thai
Navy, the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand and the founding club.
Probably one of the best examples of the progress of marine-related
industries, could be the Phuket boat-yard of Australian entrepreneur Mark
Pescott, whose own-designed and built catamaran broke every speed record at
the Regatta. The fastest boat out there, the Mark Pescott-designed Firefly,
“Moto Inzi”, helmed by Roger Kingdom was clocked at an incredible 24.9 knots
in a wind of around 21 knots during the regatta’s Kata Group Andaman Sea
This is a triumph for the Thai marine industry: the Moto Inzi was built
entirely in Phuket and the sails were made by Rolly Tasker’s Phuket loft –
one of the world’s biggest.
Boatyards and boat building infrastructure are also at Koh Samui, Pattaya,
Jomtien and Sattahip, producing top-quality craft for local consumption, as
well as the export sector.
huge hull of the first catamaran looms up at the Ocean Marina’s Serenity
Most encouraging was that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s government
recognized the enormous potential of Thailand’s marine leisure industry and
targeted it for special government attention.
Adding even more to the marine tourism boom is the big number of marinas
either now operating, a-building or planned throughout the Kingdom’s
waterways, to mention some: the View Talay, the Phuket Marina Residence, and
the Boat Lagoon, built on a disused tin mine, is permanently full. There is
a Paradise Bay planned, the ongoing Yacht Haven, a new pier with berthing
facilities at Ao Po and, for the first time, the Layan Marina will be
constructed on Phuket’s west coast.
There is also a plan to lure super yachts to the southern island, with
adequate facilities for these ‘floating castles’ and marketing plans are
targeting Scandinavians, Japanese, other westerners and Thai-based expats.
Gasson’s second BuzzCat on sea trials recently.
As would be expected, marinas are catering to this lifestyle, with luxurious
accommodations, shopping facilities, restaurants and, of course, wet and dry
berths for yachts up to super maxis. Alongside the older, more established
marinas at Phuket, is the just-opened Royal Phuket Marina, which was just
received the “Marina Five Gold Anchors Award”, as only the second marina in
the region to receive this recognition from the British Marine Federation.
Further north, at Jomtien on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, is the country’s
biggest, the Ocean Marina, now embarking on Phase 2, building the Portofino
Condominium and, with a vital monthly racing programme, and one of the
Kingdom’s biggest and most popular regattas, the Raimon Land “Top of the
Gulf “ Regatta scheduled for May.
There are boatyards a-plenty at the Ocean Marina, including Serenity
Shipyards, producing their huge catamarans and Bill Gasson’s yard next door,
producing BuzzCats (motorized catamarans) and eight-metre keelboats.
And it was just a few years ago that the “Mirabella”, the largest production
yacht ever built (at that time) – a 40 metre (130ft.) Pilothouse Sloop, was
built by Concorde Yachts at the Ocean Marina, followed by another 40m sloop
the “Philanderer”. Both these craft are plying the Seven Seas.
Yet another yard, in Bang Saray, the Concordia Yachting Limited, is
producing sailing yachts of up to 25 metres, 20m catamarans and a whole slew
of other types of craft.
A little further north again is the newly-built Royal Varuna Yacht Club,
under the Royal Patronage of HM the King. This club, founded in 1947, could
epitomize the marine lifestyle, with many Thais and foreign residents taking
their first, tentative steps to enter the big water-world.
There are yacht training courses at several locations along the Eastern
Seaboard, with the Royal Thai Navy facilities in Sattahip, the Royal Varuna
Yacht Club in Pattaya, Sunsail courses at their various locations and
Yachtpro, Asia’s largest sailing school, will be expanding its Phuket based
operations to the Ocean Marina at Jomtien from 21 January 2006.
Courses to Day Skipper Certificate under the accreditation of the
International Sailing Schools Association and American Sailing Association
will be available in a variety of user friendly formats, ideal for residents
and holidaymakers alike.
New “holiday” sailing programs are being introduced in addition to the
popular Boutique Bareboat service.
The Yachtpro facility is being operated in cooperation with Blue Wave
Watersports Asia, a well known and respected entity in the Pattaya area, who
have been involved in the local sailing scene for many years.
“The Pattaya operation is the culmination of nearly a year’s work,” said
Yachtpro MD Rob Williams. “Formatting courses, training instructors and
providing the back-up facilities and services our client’s require has been
a big task.”
“Setting up an internationally recognized sail training facility is much
more than just hanging a sign out and going sailing,” Pattaya’s Gary Baguley
added. “I’m sure the time we’ve taken will be reflected in our clients’
Thus, with so many structures in place and on the drawing board, Thailand is
riding the waves of economic expansion, through concentrating on the marine
leisure and its myriad related sectors.
No doubt, two men, just rescued from the China Sea after 11 days exposed on
a life-raft, also appreciate the advent of marine tourism. New Zealander
Steve Freeman and Australian Mark Smith survived their ordeal. “Would you
sail again?” Mark was asked after being brought back to land – unwell but
alive and recovering: “Once a sailor, always a sailor,” Mark joked.
This is a real vindication of the efforts to promote Thailand through the
marine industries by both the public and private sectors.
Baan Natcha throws a New Year party
Gives away valuable prizes
On January 6, 2006 Baan Natcha held a Bali Style opening
party to introduce their new village project on Pattaya 3rd Road and to
thank their customers for their confidence in the project.
It was a most pleasant atmosphere where guests received a chance to sample
some good Thai cooking and to make friends and meet new neighbors.
Suthep Srisomboon, the MD of the project, welcomed his guests, saying, “The
Baan Natcha community is built by a local multi-generation Thai family
company with a diverse business portfolio. We are long-standing members of
the Pattaya business community and our reputation for excellent customer
service is your assurance of an excellent housing investment solidly backed
to completion. Buyers will find these homes particularly well suited for
comfortable living and their low maintenance design and high security
location a welcome feature.”
As part of the welcoming party many raffle prizes were won and those who
booked their homes that day were also presented with more valuable bonus
Suthep Srisomboon (managing
director) and Praiya Srisomboon (executive assistant) of the Baan Natcha
Ms. Nisachon Kerdmee took
advantage of the monthly signing bonus and received a huge Samsung
Lots of prizes were given out
With such lovely neighbors,
who wouldn’t want to live in Baan Natcha?