Pattaya’s first ‘Miss Condom’ heralded a big success
Pattaya’s first ‘Miss Condom’ pageant held last
week was heralded as a huge success with a large number of people attending
the fun event. The event also marked the beginning of Pattaya’s St.
Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Pairat Suttithamrongsawat (left), Mechai Viravaidya, PDA president and team
Cabbages and Condoms walk the streets to promote AIDS prevention.
winning contestants of Pattaya’s first ‘Miss Condom’ pageant; No. 7,
Jim Yai (centre) from Blue Hawaii, Runner up, Dao (left) from Sexy Bar and
third place Nuch, from Roxy Bar.
The pageant was officially opened by Mayor Pairat
Suttithamrongsawat on the stage in front the Public Health center on Soi 6.
During his opening speech the mayor said, “We all know
the problem of sexually transmitted diseases, and specifically HIV knows no
boundaries. HIV and AIDS affect people from all walks of life and
socio-economic levels, therefore it is important for government and private
organizations to promote and educate prevention of transmission. The city
would like to thank the Population & Community Development Association,
the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital and the Norwegian Church Aid for their
Once the official formalities were over, there were
plenty of games and entertainment for the throngs of people watching the
Viravaidya (right), president of the Population & Community Development
Association (PDA) hands out condoms to punters.
of fun and games during the ‘Miss Condom’ pageant, including this novel
way to fill a condom.
The Miss Condom Pageant consisted of 32 ladies who work
in the bars on Soi 6, each vying for the title of Miss Condom Pattaya. Miss
Jim Yai from the Blue Hawaii Bar was the winner and took home a trophy and a
The following day everyone was invited for free health checkups at the
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital. Cabbages and Condoms Restaurant and Hotel also
provided information on family planning between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The Italian Winemaker’s Gala Dinner
By Miss Terry Diner
If you are fond of the lilting Italian way of speaking
English, then you should have been at the Italian Winemaker’s Gala Dinner
at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort last week. Featuring wines from the Fantinel
label, Wine Club captain Ranjith Chandrasiri brought over Marco Fantinel,
the owner and third generation winemaker of the Fantinel vineyards, who
captivated all the women in the packed ballroom with his Italian accent. He
also captivated much of the diners with the choices of his wines, some of
which had not been experienced in Thailand before. As always, Ambrose Wines
were there to make it all happen, even if Managing Director Ron Batori could
not (get well soon, Ron).
R) Andrew Wood, Christine Verbeke, Bruno Forrer, Panga Vathankul and Mrs Van
R) Ranjith Chandrasiri, wine club captain and resident manager of the Royal
Cliff Grand, Panga Vathankul, managing director of the Royal Cliff Beach
Resort, Marco Fantinel, vice president of Fantinel Wines, Andrew Wood,
general manager Royal Cliff Beach Resort and Maurizio Rocco, export manager
for Fantinel Wines.
I have written extensively on the standard of the
Winemaker’s Dinners, as being some of the best value for money culinary
events in Pattaya, and this was no exception. Executive Chef Walter Thenisch
and his team produced items such as the king lobster, clams and green
asparagus with saffron, tomato and extra virgin olive oil blended
vinaigrette as starters and following it up with an oh-so-European clear
barley and pea soup with juliennes of crispy prosciutto di San Daniele. One
could imagine eating this in a rough hut the Italian Alpine region, while
washing it down with a Santa Caterina, Tocai Friulano Collio, DOC 2001 -
which is exactly what we did, other than the fact that we ate and drank in
the five star Grand Ballroom, surrounded by attentive wine and food service
personnel! Bella! Bella!
The main course (out of six) was an adventurous oven
roasted pigeon supreme on glazed endives with a delicate sauce made from
Recioto, Amorone wines and figs. My pigeon came with a message attached to
its leg which said, “I go best with a Borgo Tesis, Merlot Grave Friuli,
DOC 2000,” and it was quite correct. This wine was my favourite for the
evening. Bravo! Bravo!
R) Regular guests of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Mr. and Mrs. Peter
Phillips, Andrew Wood and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wingham.
R) David Jones, Michael Burchall, Andrew Wood and Hugh Miller enjoy fruit of
the vine from Fantinel estate.
Ferin from La Piola (2nd left), and friends join Andrew Wood, GM Royal Cliff
Beach Resort for a pre-dinner drink.
Cliff’s three culinary masters (L to R), Walter Thenisch, Stefan Beutler
and Didier Bachelet whipped a fantastic meal for guests at the Winemakers
dinner last week.
The Winemaker’s Gala Dinner was another success, with all tables being
booked out, Ranjith being unable to accept any further bookings one week
before the event. The restaurateurs of Pattaya were out in force that
evening. They know a good thing when they see it. Applications to join the
Wine Club should be made by email [email protected]
Casinos in Pattaya:
Good or Bad?
by Andrew J Wood, GM
Royal Cliff Beach Resort
As Thailand ponders the question of whether to legalise
casinos and with Pattaya earmarked as the likely venue, we asked Andrew
Wood, general manager of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, whether it would be
good for tourism in Pattaya.
The answer to this question is quite complex. On the
surface it would appear to benefit all sectors of the tourism industry in
Pattaya and if one were to imagine a Las Vegas style complex with dinner,
shows and hotel then ‘yes’ it would be an attractive proposition.
Certainly my recent experience of visiting the
Philippines and Cairns in Australia would support this view. The casinos
were well regulated, attractive and of the highest standard. If Thailand can
reach this standard and keep it ‘clean’ then it might work. The fear of
many, unfortunately, is that this will be difficult.
Gambling in Asia is very popular. I suspect the largest
numbers of gamblers in Pattaya (were it to be approved) would be Thai
followed by Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Japanese and Singaporean visitors.
Currently those Thai’s who wish to frequent casinos take themselves (and
their money) to neighbouring countries, so yes, it would be good to keep
this revenue in Thailand.
As to a resort casino attracting new MICE business and
being good for the tourism industry - most definitely. For an event
organiser it is an added attraction if they wish to have an optional evening
out. (Some companies may not condone or encourage their employees to gamble
so it would still have to be an option.) Estimates for the number of
additional visitors the casino would attract are difficult to estimate. With
Pattaya already receiving over a third of the 11 million visitors to
Thailand and with recent infra-structure improvements, the new international
airport, fast motorway connections to Bangkok and the excellent choice of
hotels and restaurants, I believe it could be upwards of 750,000 to a
million additional visitors within 3 years. For example, Japan - over one
million visitors to Thailand annually but only 90,000 to Pattaya. And
let’s not forget China - get ready for an absolute explosion of tourism
related business in the next few years. If you want an example of just how
quickly China is developing ask the PC computer manufacturers who are
currently the world’s No 1. producer: China.
As for the social impact - we will have to wait and see.
Thailand, being a Buddhist country, will have to weigh heavily on the moral
decision as to accepting gambling or not. In truth there is much hypocrisy
about gambling in this country. The majority of Thais already gamble,
whether betting on horse racing, the lottery, football or whatever ... it is
already here, and legalising casinos would have the advantage of raising
much of it from the under-growth.
As a consequence of gambling, if it were allowed, I do
hope that part of the revenue collected in taxes will be used to benefit
Pattaya and the region, with infrastructure enhancements and good
maintenance of essential services and to continue with the good work being
carried to beautify Pattaya. The similarities between Cannes and Pattaya can
then continue to grow ever stronger, particularly if we get our promised
On the question of will we / wont we agree to license
casinos in Pattaya, it would appear that the pro lobby have a strong line-up
of supporters including the locally born minister of tourism and sport and
his family, one of the most influential in Eastern Thailand. Add to this a
number of powerful cabinet advisors and a recently conducted local poll
coming out in favour for the pro lobby.
Little is heard of the opposition, but the rumblings are
there, quietly and out of public view. The fear being expressed is what
effect it could have on Thai culture and particularly the effect on
As to my own view - yes it will certainly bring in more
tourists and possibly even raise the price of real estate. But is it a good
thing? I’ll need to spend more time with my priest before I can answer
Acrobatic show highlights Sriracha
Chinese New Year celebrations
Plenty of dragon dances and acrobatic shows imported from
Sichuan, China, were performed at the Pacific Park Sriracha as part of their
annual Chinese New Year festivities.
gold medal acrobatic group from Sichuan put on a show that thrilled the
This lavish event was presided over by Wichien
Techapaibul, the managing director of Sriracha Nakorn and attended by many
dignitaries and guests including Chatchai Thimkrachang, Sriracha municipal
mayor, and other executives from various companies in the area.
The occasion marked the beginning of Chinese New Year as
well as an opportunity to show goodwill between Thailand and China.
This show rendered a stunning performance from the gold
medal acrobatic group from Sichuan, which thrilled the audience. Sichuan is
the province that gave birth to the dragon dance.
The performers are graduates of gymnastics from Hue Nan
Institute, a well-known school that has produced many well-known and winning
gymnasts from China. Performers from this institute have performed in more
than 145 countries around the world, including their latest performance in
Thailand’s Nakorn Sawan.
Over 100 members of the troupe performed in Sriracha with shows including
dragon dance, lion dance, a bicycle show, and fire dragon.
Space Shuttle Columbia and Songkran
Commentary by Dr. Iain Corness
The Space Shuttle Columbia has been lost, and with it
seven astronauts have lost their lives. America, India and Israel mourn the
loss of their nation’s space scientists. Seven families mourn the loss of
a member, a loved one, a partner, a parent, a child. They died in the
pursuit of exploration of space, to make space travel a reality for the
future world. They cannot be replaced.
Songkran in Thailand is coming shortly, and hundreds of
families will take the time after the week of the national holiday to mourn
the loss of hundreds of Thai citizens. Loved ones, partners, parents,
children who will die in the pursuit of ‘sanuk’, a moment of hedonism,
leaving a lifetime of sorrow for those who are left.
The world mourns for the astronauts. I do too. Will the
world mourn for the hundreds killed in the Songkran road toll? I hope not,
because it is needless, avoidable and a national disgrace that this can
happen every year. One day the government will truly look at the problem,
but I am sure it is not this year. Thailand, I mourn for you too.
Thunder Rock Dinosaur Park
I first visited Thunder Rock about a year ago when it was
still just the vision of a man with a dream. The man was Craig Rhodes, and
he was so full of energy, drive and enthusiasm. As I stood next to him and
looked out at the piles of rocks and dirt I have to admit to being somewhat
skeptical, and I said call me when you have completed a bit more.
Look at those teeth.
When Craig called me again it was about a year after my
first visit. I didn’t know what to expect but certainly not the amount of
effort and work that has gone into creating a really different theme park
for Pattaya. The park currently has twenty-three life-size dinosaurs on
display and they are increasing the number of dinosaurs and other
attractions all the time.
the more tranquil scenes at the park.
“Dino-burger” and some fries?
As I walked round the winding paths past waterfalls,
streams and lakes, I listened to the authentic jungle noises of a time long
past and gazed up at the huge open mouths of the magnificent dinosaurs that
ruled the earth so long ago; it made my imagination play strange tricks. I
could have been Rachel Welch running across the plains in my fur bikini (OK,
so use your imagination).
The park is set out so that you do get a very realistic
idea of the size and power that these massive beasts had, especially when
you see the fierce T-Rex doing battle with a Torrosaurus. The children will
love it. All the dinosaurs are the correct size, and each has full
descriptions in both Thai and English.
He looks mad.
follow the path, you never know what you might find around the next bend.
At present a new moving dinosaur, a Spinosaurus, is being
created, plus an 18 hole mini golf course, and within the next couple of
months the park will also have an exciting water ride through the caves and
who knows what you will meet inside? Future developments include a
volcano-shaped museum, a children’s petting zoo (no dinosaurs!) and a
display of modern raptors. All of the new developments are scheduled to be
finished within twelve months.
The park is open until 8 p.m. I should imagine walking
round the park in the dusk is even more stimulating for the imagination. And
don’t worry, they have thought of everything. When you come out of the
park and need to relax you will find an international restaurant with a
fossil find play area for the children. The restaurant is open to the
general public and designed so that you wouldn’t be surprised to see Wilma
Flintstone serving you.
The park is suitable for all ages and is open from 10
a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. It is located on the Sukhumvit Road, four
kilometers past Tesco Lotus, South Pattaya. 349\5 Moo 12 Nongprue. Telephone