What first brought you to Asia?
I have been connected to the hotel industry since I was 16 years old. When my mother remarried, her new husband was a hotelier. So I lived in a hotel for a few years in Scarborough then joined them in the family hotel business in Devon.
After that I worked as a cook in Austria for a winter season, followed by a housekeeper position for a Nigerian Prince and his family (I could write a book on that alone!) – then I got a position as a systems administrator at London Hosts, which ran 250 pubs in Central London. I was living in London in my mid 20’s – then my flatmate got a job in Hong Kong. It was to change my life as I followed her months later.
Susan Field is one of the few female expats who actually live up to the term ‘Old Asia Hand.’ For three decades, this charming Brit used her base in Hong Kong to work around the region as a travel writer and owner of a public relations company. Her latest venture is The Palms Retreat, a ‘bijou’ resort on the island of Samui in southern Thailand. In this exclusive interview with Colin Hastings, Susan talks of her fascinating life and remarkable times in Asia.
Afraid of looking a trifle wobbly on the sands this summer? The perfect beach body is just a gym membership away. Here are some of the city’s best deals
How the Department of Special Investigation plans to come down hard on manufacturers and distributors of fake cosmetics and perfumes in Bangkok
By Maxmilian Wechsler
Author Mai Loog set to shock with her book about expat women’s sex lives
BigChilli's agony aunt Anette Pollner is more than just a good listener and provider of sound advice. She is also a professional opera director, and the opera is her first and lifelong love. Still buzzing from her recent successful production of "Who is Afraid of the Opera" with the Bangkok Music Society, here she tells us what it's like to direct a performance and lifts the lid on the city's fledgling opera scene (Photography by John Beara)
You recently directed ‘Who is Afraid of the Opera’ for the Bangkok Music Society. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
That production, with the largest audience the BMS has ever seen, was a real labour of love. Conductor Eugene Eustaquio asked me in November 2011 to create a fully staged opera evening with a large chorus. I decided to tell the story of ghosts and supernatural beings in the opera. For five months I worked with the BMS chorus and soloists to realise that vision on stage, including numbers from Wagner’s ‘Flying Dutchman,’ Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’ and various glorious musical numbers which the BMS performers excelled at. It was a time of passion and delight, and it was one of the happiest productions I’ve ever been involved in. People in the audience commented on the extraordinary energy on that stage. You can see I am still in love...
How two long time expat ladies are transforming homes and condos with their interior design skills
“TO stand still is to fall behind.” When this is applied to property it becomes clear that not regularly refreshing a property effectively equates to damaging what is almost certainly a significant investment.
This is the philosophy behind Bô-Interiors, a company run by long-term British expatriate Patricia Frost and her business partner Nathalie Collard, from Belgium.
Together they realized that there was a serious need for Home Staging services in Bangkok, where far too many properties languish on the market and depreciate.