Nearing the end of her annual three-month stay in Bangkok earlier this year, Italian artist Arianna Caroli realized that returning to her homeland would not be easy because of all the travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.
So instead of lamenting her predicament, this stylish and animated (in that unique and wonderfully Italian way) lady decided to simply stay on in Thailand and continue her lifetime passion for painting. It launched an interesting new chapter in her life.
Through connections, Arianna found a great location that would for the first time allow her to showcase her various artistic endeavors to a Bangkok audience – a vacant shop in the lobby of the Athenee Hotel in Wireless Road. Today, this shop is an exclusive outlet for her paintings, home accessories and a wide range of attractive clothes, from wispy scarves and aprons to gorgeous shawls and even stunning interpretations of simple everyday clothing found in Thailand.
Although she intends to eventually head back to her homes in New York and Italy, where graduated in ancient literature and archeology from the University of Rome, for the time being Arianna and her beautiful collection is a permanent fixture in the hotel, lighting up the public area in a joyful blaze of fluorescent colours that characterize her work.
“It’s the first time in 30 years that I’ve actually stopped somewhere on a semi-permanent basis, and it has allowed me to focus and remain strong inside,” says Arianna, who describes herself a “nomad and citizen of the world” who finds inspiration in the cultures colours of the East.
1997 was the year Chulabhorn Research Institute was initiated by Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn to conduct research in biomedicine and biochemistry. American Pacific International School in Chiang Mai was established and the Constitutional Court was founded. The 88-storey, 303-meter Baiyoke Tower II was completed, making it the tallest building in Thailand. Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) opened in Bang Na district of Bangkok, as did the CentralPlaza shopping center on Rama 3 Road and Emporium luxury shopping mall on Sukhumvit Road.
Many years ago I lived in a US military camp in the middle of the desert in Saudi Arabia. Basically five thousand smelly farting marines, whose only joy in life was the arrival of a Lockheed Hercules full of beer once a week. However, discreetly living amongst these marines was a select group of individuals from numerous US intelligence agencies.
One of these agencies lived in the office next door. The whole building was US military so they were able to leave that door open without fear of other "spies". Instead, they had to put up with individuals like me, who would arrive at the office and stand at the door, singing the James Bond theme, whilst pretending to either have a gun or a magnifying glass in my hand - I was informed that it was amusing for the first 50 or 60 times.
So my point is, I have encountered many of these individuals over the years, and from harsh experience I have learned that when Americans from intelligence agencies knock on your door, even if they are smiling, it is wise to politely ask "why?"
At one point there were so many spooks in Saudi they quite literally did not have enough desks, so I had to provide two desks for two different Americans. One was like something from The A-Team; he could make anything electronic out of the content of the bin. The other, despite his business card saying consultant, was a psychiatrist with two separate dissertations on warfare psychology.
The Siam Hockey League (SHL) 2020-21campaign has seen the defending champion Novotel Spitfires stay undefeated after five games. Novotel, led by captain Mike Freeson, Swiss star Tomas Stastny and Thai national team captain Ken Kindborn, seem to find a way to win no matter what the score, coming from behind three times in the final minute to clinch victories.
Facing their closest rival KCG captained by Harrison Oztemel on November 1st, Novotel stormed back to win with 47 seconds left in the game after KCG (4-1 on the season), had tied it on a goal by Jari Eerikainen on a great pass from Thai-Swedish star Jan Iskasson just 12 seconds before that.
Iskasson, with his determination, stickhandling wizardry and joyous celebrations when he scores has been a force to be reckoned with since coming out of quarantine after returning to Thailand.
A lifetime exploring Thailand has equipped Dick Sandler with a rare and exceptional knowledge of this country – and he’s put it to good use with a series of eco-friendly resorts. His latest – Our Jungle Camp in Khao Sok – is simply sublime
When Dick Sandler says that he’s overwhelmed by the beauty of Khao Sok in southern Thailand, you’d better listen up. Here’s why.
For more than half a century, this soft spoken American has travelled to the farthest corners of the kingdom looking for places of outstanding beauty. Once identified, he has gone on to establish a series of unique eco-minded resorts that would make even the most conservative of conservationists go weak at the knees.
Dick has always been way ahead of his time. A natural born lover of tropical jungles and wildlife, he was one of the early pioneers in Thailand’s now burgeoning eco-tourism sector – though more by accident than design, as we will explain.
What's your signature dish?
All dishes can be all my signatures as long as they fit my philosophy - delicious and simple - just like spaghetti with tomato sauce.
Most difficult ingredient to cook with?
Spaghetti cacio e pepe.
What's tastier - Italian rice or Thai rice?
If we talk about food, Italian rice is great for Italian food. If you talk about women, Thai is tastier than Italian (from my humble opinion).
Have you created an entirely new dish?
When I drive the car or motorbike, I think about that.
Greatest achievement to date?
When customers and staffs are happy, and satisfied with my dish.
Famous people you've cooked for.
Robert De Niro, Barbara Stresand, Michael Schumacher, Paul Because, Giovanni Agnelli, Geoge Bush, and my Mom, my two daughters and my wife.
Utensils you can't do without?
Best advice you've ever received?
Do what you know best and don't overdo it.
What's your favorite dish to cook for yourself?
If you weren't a chef, what would you be?
Farmer, this is where I'm from.
What's next for you?
I will go in the kitchen and cook and teach my daughter.
Who controls the Mekong River?
China defends its right to build dams on Southeast Asia’s most important river, while millions in downstream countries claim these hydropower projects are having a devastating effect on their economies
In this article we present both sides of the debate By MAXMILIAN WECHSLER
Like the two banks on the opposite sides of every river, so there are two very different views on whether the People’s Republic of China has the right to build a series of dams on the Mekong River.
Unsurprisingly, the Chinese government feels it has been perfectly justified in developing numerous hydropower projects in recent decades on the Lancang Jiang River, which originates in China high in the Tibetan plateau, and then changes its name to the Mekong once it leaves that giant communist nation.
Some observers in the Southeast Asian nations downstream of that boundary line – Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Myanmar – claim that China’s development projects have hobbled the once mighty Mekong and caused widespread devastation within their borders, affecting in particular the millions of people who depend on the river for fishing and agriculture.
The rest of the world almost unanimously takes the side of the downstream nations, but international pressure has had only limited success in pushing China to take steps to mitigate the consequences of its Mekong policy.
To give both sides a fair hearing, we present here excerpts from articles published in Thai and international press that are critical of that policy, as well as statements from the Chinese embassy in Bangkok and articles in the state-controlled Chinese press supporting the policy.
Readers can judge for themselves which side they want to be on. But first, some basic facts on the Mekong River:
What happened then…? On returning to Bangkok and at a party I met Bob Coombes, owner of Choice Foods and a small group of steak restaurants. He offered me a job and I started as the general manager of the five steak restaurants.
A few years later we converted the two Bangkok locations into pubs – The Bull’s Head and the Barbican. The Bull’s Head in Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 is the original Royal Oak. I took a bet with one customer who didn’t believe I could make the transformation from the Angus Steak House to the Bull’s Head in just four weeks. We were nailing down the floor boards about 10 minutes before opening but we did indeed open in time. I won a nice crate of champagne for that!
Tell us about your current company My work now, with DSM Wellness Management, is to assist owners and developers to conceptualize, build and operate wellness services. We mostly work on large scale projects which may include hotel and residential components.
We have set up resorts in Bali and India, a functional wellness centre in Bangkok (BodyConscious) and currently working on three wellness resorts in China and conceptualizing wellness real estate communities for a group in Singapore. In London, my partner Sharon is working on establishing a bio-hacking centre.
What are the most popular treatments? In BodyConscious our most popular services are diagnostic services. Our clients often want to know what’s really going on with them – they want to understand the root cause of their challenges. Many of our clients have conditions such as diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, libido or other hormonal challenges – they initially see a Functional Medicine Doctor who prescribes the tests and guides them towards natural changes.