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Year of the Dog celebrations a howling success in Pattaya

Norwegian magazine does swimwear model photo shoot in Pattaya

Sailing, yacht racing and cruising: A Burgeoning lifestyle for Thailand

Baan Natcha throws a New Year party

Year of the Dog celebrations a howling success in Pattaya

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
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 the Dog.

Chanyuth Hengtrakul, Chonburi Member of Parliament, awards Miss Wantiya Ingcharoen with her well-earned Miss Pattaya Chinese 2006 pageant winnings.

Mayor Niran 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 Thailand.

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.

Paul Strachan
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 world.

Aurora 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.

Marianne 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.

Paul 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 Anderson.
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 start construction.

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 Race.
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.

The huge hull of the first catamaran looms up at the Ocean Marina’s Serenity Shipyards.
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.

Bill 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’ satisfaction.”
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 prizes.

Suthep Srisomboon (managing director) and Praiya Srisomboon (executive assistant) of the Baan Natcha Project.

Ms. Nisachon Kerdmee took advantage of the monthly signing bonus and received a huge Samsung refrigerator.

Lots of prizes were given out that night.

With such lovely neighbors, who wouldn’t want to live in Baan Natcha?