Chloe Mason, a recent graduate of Harrow International School Bangkok, on what it’s like when nowhere feels like home.
It’s always a challenge explaining to people where I come from. For my whole life I have never lived in my hometown, and being half British and half Chinese has made me feel like I don’t belong anywhere. I was brought up in Vietnam, where the native language sounded like gibberish, and having attended three different schools – moving from a school with a French curriculum to an American one and then to a British one – I spent my childhood and adolescence in places like Hanoi and Bangkok.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/confessions-of-a-third-culture-kid
ANAND PANYARACHUN - THAILAND’S WITNESS TO HISTORY
A brilliant new book about the country’s two-time former Prime Minister gives the inside story on what really went on behind the scenes during some of the most unforgettable and turbulent episodes in Thailand’s recent past.
Called ‘Anand Panyarachun and the Making of Modern Thailand’, this monumental 600-page tome is an absolute must for anyone interested in the country’s political development and international relations over the past six decades. Driven, naturally enough, from Anand’s perspective, the book covers his personal experiences in all the major events of this period, including Thailand’s evolving relationship with China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the US, the fall of Indochina, the Thammasat massacre in 1976, and the military interventions that led to his rise in national prominence in the early 1990s.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/anand-panyarachun-thailands-witness-to-history
BANGKOK’S AMAZING 26 BILLION BAHT ‘VILLAGE’ ON SOI LANGSUAN
Huge city centre condominium project by the Crown Property Bureau will have more than twice the amount of open green space required by regulations.
AMID the surge of ever grander, taller and more luxurious condominium developments in Bangkok, the Langsuan Village project by the Crown Property Bureau (CPB) aims to stand out from all the rest. CPB says the eco-friendly development under construction in the centre of the city near Ploenchit Road will have residents thinking they are “living inside a park.”
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/bangkoks-amazing-26-billion-baht-village-on-soi-langsuan
With all the congestion, chaos and constant threat of motorcycles coming at you from all directions, driving in Bangkok is a nightmare.
And when you stop, things don’t get any better, for parking your car often proves a huge ordeal – unless, of course, you are wealthy enough to employ your own driver.
Many of the city’s car parks are woeful, characterized by dark, narrow corridors, sharp turns, impossibly small parking slots, high hourly charges, and guards who seem to think their duty includes delivering a steady stream of ear-piercing whistles.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/park-at-your-peril1
CHINATOWN: FOUR DAYS, FOUR NIGHTS
Bangkok boasts one of the world’s most interesting Chinatowns, a huge and vibrant area intriguingly different from the rest of the city. Dean Barrett recently immersed himself in its never-ending alleys and discovered a wealth of fascinating traditions and characters, temples and shrines, and reminders of China of old.
As the city’s Chinatown is one of the world’s greatest I decided the only way to really explore the place is to stay in the area, especially since it was Chinese New Year. And so, finding that most hotels were already booked, I checked into the Riverview Hotel beside a Chinese temple and just a stone’s throw from the Chao Phraya River.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/chinatown-four-days-four-nights
BARRY OWEN: ARTIST, HUMOURIST, AD MAN
Remembering one of the true pioneers of Thailand’s advertising industry.
Barry is credited with introducing a new style of advertising that was uniquely Thai. Some of his most memorable early work was done for Singha Beer, and he was instrumental in building the brand’s distinctive Thai image and identity. This was to become his trademark. He was also a talented designer, and also collaborated with American, Bangkok-based author Steve Van Beek, on the design of a number of books including ‘Slithering South’ and ‘Bangkok Then and Now.’
Read more: https://issuu.com/thebigchilli/docs/the_bigchilli_magazine_nov_2014/12
Irish-Thai filmmaker Thomas de Warrenne Waller has a long list of local and western movie successes behind him. Now he’s looking to China’s booming market for new opportunities, reports Maxmilian Wechsler.
“The problem is that there are no laws or government mechanisms in place to support the film industry in Thailand as there are in many places. There’s too much red tape. We always run into problems with Immigration, the Labor department, Customs and other government agencies.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/thailands-movie-master
FROM BANGKOK TRAVEL EXPERT TO PIG FARMING IN UDON THANI - THE AMAZING JOURNEY OF AN EXPAT BRIT WHO'S EVENTUALLY OPTED FOR CITY LIVING
After working in the travel business in the UK and Europe, London-born Andrew Lewis came to Thailand in 1979 and eventually got a job in the same industry in Bangkok.
In 2001 he and his Thai wife bought land in Udon Thani province and Andrew decided on a complete change of lifestyle – growing vegetables, farming fish and finally raising pigs. It was hard work, but Andrew enjoyed his new and successful life as an upcountry farmer. Then his circumstances changed and suddenly he was back in Bangkok.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/pig-farming-in-udon-thani
CITY OF NOISE
Annoying, unhealthy and inescapable, noise levels in Bangkok are on the increase – and yet little or nothing is apparently being done to curb this much-hated phenomenon.
Exposure to noise over 100 dB for a sustained period of time can cause hearing loss. This is about the noise level at some Bangkok cinemas! Normal conversation is about 60 dB, not loud enough to present a health risk, but a single sharp whistle blast ranges between 104 to 116 dB. If you are unfortunate enough to be within earshot of one of Bangkok’s many hyperactive car park security guards on a regular basis, you may be doing some serious damage to your eardrums.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/august-29th-2014
A stunning environmentally-friendly school constructed mainly of bamboo is nearing completion in beautiful hilly woodlands near the fishing village of Bang Saray, some 20 kilometers south of Pattaya.
“It’s so wonderful to see the children running in the gardens and amongst the trees, right back to nature,” said one parent who recently invested in property in Bang Saray.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/the-amazing-bamboo-school
MEMORIES OF PATPONG
For years, Bangkok’s most famous street was unchallenged anywhere in Asia as the ultimate playground for tourists, expatriates and locals. In this report, The BigChilli has invited some of Patpong’s best customers over the past half century to go down memory lane and explain the district’s special magic and why they believe it is now in decline.
When it comes to remembering the area’s glory days, no one does it better than Tim. His memory is phenomenal. In a moment, he can recall names and faces of the many characters, good and bad, who once frequented the area, including the rich and famous as well as gangsters, drug runners, foreigners who made and lost fortunes, mamasans and “all of their husbands” and, of course, the countless girls who passed through Patpong over the years.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/patpongs-favourite-son-tim-young
CHRIS CRAKER’S KARMA SOUND STUDIOS
Karma has proved a perfect fit. Located on two rais of quiet woodland a short walk from Bang Saray beach, the studios offers cutting edge facilities that are now in such demand, they operate consistently at 90% capacity.
At the heart of the complex is the main studio. Impressive in size and scope, this is divided between a live studio for actual performances and a control room bristling with high-tech equipment, all imported from the UK. Karma has two additional studios, and plans are well underway for a fourth – a dedicated Video/TV studio from where TV shows and music videos can be shot all under one roof.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/news/chris-crakers-karma-sound-studios
Memories of Mark Graham, one of this country's greatest friends who reveled in Thailand's natural wonders but feared for their future. Sadly, his work went unfinished as he was killed in a plane crash in southern Thailand 20 years ago.
IN this article, Mark’s daughter Fiona Tarini Graham remembers her father’s exceptional life – his schooling, family, work, extraordinary range of talents, and his unbridled passion for his adopted country.
Towards the end of his life, he would pick a rucksack with water, a flask of coffee, salarni cheese, bread, a good book & a hammock, then wander into the forest for several days. I would ask him if he ever got scared. He'd say "no, the tigers are my friends."
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/remarkable-life-times-and-untimely-death-of-a-true-conservationist
DAVID LYMAN: LAWYER IN THE ‘EYE OF THE HURRICANE’
he head of Thailand’s oldest and biggest independent law firm, David Lyman has found peace and serenity in his adopted home.
As a youngster, David Lyman didn’t want to become a lawyer as his parents and many of his relatives were. Instead he joined the US Navy, but couldn’t escape his destiny. While debating whether or not to stay in the Navy,he decided to try studying law, and said to himself after the end of the first semester: “This is what I really want to do!” Four decades later he can still say, “I never regretted it.”
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/revisiting-great-stories-of-the-past-part-9-david-lyman-lawyer-in-the-eye-of-the-hurricane
PARK LIFE IN BANGKOK
Swap concrete and cacophony for grass and serenity by visiting one of these lush oases in Bangkok.
Two leafy lanes in the heart of Bangkok are undergoing a dramatic change – with trendy restaurants and quirky businesses creating a village atmosphere.
While a host of international restaurant brands have elected to take up residence in the air-conditioned confines of Bangkok’s growing number of swanky shopping malls, Sathorn Road is witnessing a mini dining revolution of its own – and it’s rapidly transforming an entire neighbourhood.
Sathorn 10 and 12, two of the city’s leafiest avenues, are now bearing all the hallmarks of an exciting new dining and entertainment zone, with a dozen or so independent restaurants already open – and many more in the planning stage.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/feature-stories/sathorns-cooking
‘MY DAD LOVED THE SUN. BUT IT KILLED HIM’
IN 2007, Philip Collins, a Briton who loved the outdoor life in Thailand and maintained an incredible level of fitness for a 70-year-old, was disagnosed with skin cancer. Two years later, after a slow but agonising demise, he finally succumbed to the disease.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/news/my-dad-loved-the-sun-but-it-killed-him
OUR UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER
Black clouds unleashed heavy rainfall on Bangkok during the last few days of July, but the downpours didn’t allay fears that Thailand is in the grip of a severe and unprecedented drought – and without lots more rain 2015 will end up being the driest on record.
Read more: https://www.thebigchilli.com/news/our-unpredictable-weather