Campari, Italy’s iconic red apéritif, and Centara Grand at CentralWorld are treating discerning drinkers with a new spot to sip and savour Italian-inspired and classic drinks while enjoying the stunning sunset above the city at Sunset Lounge, located on the 56th floor at Red Sky Bar.
Thailand and New Zealand have enjoyed formal diplomatic relations since March 1956. It is a relationship that has remained dynamic, and Thailand has grown to become the eighth most important trading partner of New Zealand, in global terms.
The two countries’ 67 years of formal diplomatic relations is wide ranging, encompassing security, bilateral, political, trade, and economic links The relationship also includes regional issues of common interest, such as disarmament and climate change, as well as working closely together on environmental matters.
The three free trade agreements that are currently in effect between Thailand and New Zealand are the:New Zealand-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (NZTCEPA), the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Since the NZTCEPA came into force in 2005, total New
Zealand exports to Thailand have more than tripled.Tariffs and quotas on all exports will be progressively eliminated before the end of 2025.As members of the AANZFTA since 2010, this agreement has improved opportunities and access for New Zealand service providers in Thailand, particularly in the education sector.
New Zealand and Thailand are both signatories to RCEP. It came into force in January 2022 and provides commercial benefits for New Zealand goods exporters. RCEP also lowers compliance costs, reduces the time exporters wait for goods to clear customs, and enhances transparency and predictability for businesses in the RCEP region.
Thailand is New Zealand’s 8th largest trading partner, with the total trade in goods between the two countries showing an annual growth rate of about 8 percent. Although the value of the exports to Thailand fluctuates from year to year, since the Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) came into force in 2005, total exports have almost doubled. New Zealand is now also importing twice as much from Thailand as it did before the CEP.
New Zealand's goods exports to Thailand reached a total annual value of just over NZ$1 billion in 2021. Top export categories for 2021 were dairy, fruit, aluminium, wood pulp and medical ventilators.
The main products that New Zealand imports fromThailand are delivery trucks ($694M), cars ($287M), and air conditioners ($165M). During the last 26 years the exports of Thailand to New Zealand have increased at an annualised rate of 12 percent from $111M in 1995 to $2.11B in 2021.
During the past two years, there’s been an unprecedented explosion of Asian American beauty queens, capped by an Asian American Miss USA/Miss Universe (crowned on 14 Jan), so it is special that we were visited by Mrs District of Columbia - the first Thai-American to represent the US capital.
For a few weeks during the recent Christmas/New Year holidays, Thailand was visited by the reigning Mrs District of Columbia (Washington DC), from the Mrs America Pageant.
In this sense, she has bust through the ‘bamboo ceiling’ of American beauty pageants. So this crown is quite a notable accomplishment for Asian Americans, and serves as a marker for Thai representation abroad.
My family is in Canada, and a bit in Costa Rica. I also have in-laws in the United States and Japan, and even a niece in Bangkok.
First job and career:
My first job was working as a guide on whale-watching ships and at a little marine museum along the St. Lawrence River. That job sparked such a passion in me that I have been working on water-related issues ever since!
I have had the privilege of working with high-level policy networks on water security in Japan and throughout Asia-Pacific. I have had assignments with the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, the Asia-Pacific Water Forum, the High-Level Panel on Water and Disasters, the UN-Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, among others.
As hydrological systems are changing right before our eyes, water security is a cause that I continue to be whole-heartedly devoted to. While our societies have accomplished so much in terms of water supply, sanitation, irrigation for food security (to name a few of the water-related issues), climate change is spurring a race for water security and we need to be doing a lot more, now, for our children’s future water security.
The search for quality fresh and frozen seafood that meets the most rigorous standards of sustainability, and satisfies the high expectations of Bangkok’s diners, is a constant challenge for Bangkok’s chefs.
With its global network of approved suppliers and partners, Thammachart Seafood has become the go-to choice of a long list of local culinary figures.
They include Chef Wilfrid Hocquet of Blue by Alain Ducasse, the Michelin-starred restaurant at Iconsiam, Gerard Villaret Horcajo, Chef de Cuisine at Michelin- starred Elements at The Okura Prestige Bangkok, and Daniel Masters, Executive Chef of The Standard Bangkok Mahanakorn,
The company’s products can also be found on the menus of Mandarin Oriental, Four Season, Capella, The Waldorf Astoria, and Anantara Siam. Restaurant customers include Michelin-starred Suhring, Le Normandie and Chef Table Le Bua.
The Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Thailand’s premier sailing venue located two hours’ drive south of Bangkok, seemed the most unlikely place to find Matthew Kelly.
Decades ago Kelly played blues harp on three Grateful Dead albums and in several of the group’s New Year Eve concerts. Before that he was the only white guy in otherwise all-black bands,
KCG & Lexicon vie for SHL supremacy With two forwards down, pre-season favourite Aware lost its luster early on Photos by Tadamasa Nagayama
As we skate into 2023, KCG & the Lexicon Lumberjacks are the favourites to capture the Siam Hockey League championship trophy with KCG on top of the leader board by two points. Shrewd drafting by captains Jesse Starosta of KCG and Justin St. Denis of Lexicon have set their teams up for successful seasons.
Pre-season favourite Aware lost its luster early on when two of its top forwards were lost: Corry Day to injury and Oleg Kabakov to suspension. The league’s fourth squad, Siam Mandalay, has had a rough go it, winning only one game to date.
A third of the way through the season, KCG’s Jan Isaksson leads the league in scoring with 14 points, followed by Aware’s Kim Aarola and KCG teammate Nick Lampson with 12 points. Interestingly, all three players are luk-kruengs, mixed Thai and foreign background.
Fourth and fifth place in the scoring race belong to Mike Freeson & Tomas Stastny of Siam Mandalay. These two players are not used to losing, indeed in the last COVID-cut short SHL season their team, the Novotel Spitfires, dominated the league. Alas, with a new season and a new draft the squad lost its two best defensemen Ken Kindborn to Lexicon & Christoph Anliker to KCG and they haven’t recovered.
Stastny comes from Slovakia’s most celebrated hockey family as he is the son and nephew of former NHL stars Anton and Peter Stastny, and his cousin Paul is currently playing for the Carolina Hurricanes.
An early candidate for the SHL’s rookie-of-the-year award is KCG’s keeper Dominik Vollenweider who leads the league in saves and save percentage. His play has been phenomenal at times, causing opposition players to wonder “who is this guy” after he has foiled scoring chance after scoring chance.
SHL games take place at the Thailand International Ice Hockey Arena on Soi 19, Rama 9 Road from 8:30pm onwards on Sunday nights. You can get league updates by listening to Dom Dumais’ podcasts, sponsored by the BigChilli magazine at: www.siamhockeyleague.com.
The games are also televised on www.thailandTV.tv and produced by Keith Mueller. The SHL would also like to thank Zack Block for his excellent work as both a podcaster and play-by-play announcer over the last few years. Zack is returning to his home in Louisiana where hopefully he will find some games to broadcast in the Bayou.
The ferry leaves Chuksamed Pier, Sattahip, close to U Tapao
international airport, at 5pm and arrives in Ko Samui at about 8am
the following morning.
I nstead of flying Bangkok Airways to Ko Samui, one of the most expensive domestic routes in Thailand, travelers now have the option of taking The Blue Dolphin, a 8,952-ton passenger and car ferry, from Sattahip, some 40 minutes from Pattaya, to the popular southern island.
Operated by Seahorse Ferries, the ferry can carry up to 586 passengers, as well as 100 private cars, trailers and motorbikes. Ramp doors are located at bow and stern.
The overnight journey leaves Chuksamed Pier, Sattahip, close to U Tapao international airport, at 5pm and arrives in Ko Samui at about 8am the following morning.
The cost of a one-way passenger ticket for an airline-style seat starts from 2,500 baht. More luxurious accommodation is available, including VIP (2,800 baht), Comfort (3,300 baht), First (8,000 baht), Suite (10,000 baht), Premier (12,000 baht) and Family (14,000 baht).
“Let me be clear,” announced Bruce when I interviewed him for this article “although I class myself as a sportsman (some people in Bangkok might dispute this claim!!) cycling is not a sport I particularly enjoy and, indeed, I need a very strong reason to get on a bicycle.”
In fact, Bruce’s motivation to undertake this trip this trip from bottom to top of the UK trip came from Taiwan. The summer before last he was asked to make a three-month business trip to Taiwan for Mazars.
Having had to endure strict quarantine for the first two weeks on arrival, he was then released onto the streets of Taipei simultaneously as it entered a complete lockdown for the first time.
Bruce had planned to tour Taiwan by car in his spare weekends but then found that a Thai-based international driving license is not valid in Taiwan.
With a long weekend looming and literally nothing to do, eat, or see in Taipei he borrowed a bike and took a train (only passenger in the compartment) to Hua Lien, the start of a 200km coastal ride down a beautiful stretch of the East Coast of Taiwan.
With almost every hotel restaurant or guest house shut it was a real ‘Lonely Planet’ experience, but Bruce enjoyed it so much he then spent the next five weekends completing the cycle of the perimeter of Taiwan – some 1,200kms.
This Taiwan tour gave Bruce both the inspiration and confidence to tackle the UK’s famous ‘Land’s End to John o’Groats’ challenge, or in his case, cycling from the southern tip of the country to its most northerly point.
Having recently retired after working for 35 years in Asia, he felt that this would be a great way to rediscover the UK, get really fit, as well as raising money for the Bangkok-based Beaumont Ruam Pattana school in Chaiyapum, a cause close to his heart.
Bruce spent three months planning the trip using around 200 ordinance survey maps to ensure that he never had to use a main road once. It meant that the route he chose was 1,730 km, about 200km longer than the more conventional routes, but of course a lot more interesting.
The whole route was then put on Kamoot software. There were many added and unexpected benefits too. The scenery was much more stunning throughout the trip than he had expected.
Bruce also managed to reconnect with a lot of friends around the world and gave a daily update to more than 100 people that was full of many beautiful pictures and interesting discoveries on the journey. He also met, and in some cases stayed with, old and new friends along the way. In the end it was a job not only well done but also very enjoyable.