Ganj Coffee, a new coffee shop on Dongtan Beach, Jomtien, certainly thinks so
In December 2020, the Heath Minister of Thailand allowed certain parts of the cannabis plant (ganja) to be legally sold for commercial purposes. Many coffee and tea shops, and restaurants have been jumping on the bandwagon to infuse cannabis leaves for fun and pleasure in both food and beverages.
Many questions have been asked about the plant’s ability to produce psychoactive effects on the consumer. Cannabis Sativa, which is indigenous in East Asia, including Thailand, is a medicinal plant. Significant research indicates that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the only major psychoactive metabolite, and this is mainly produced from buds or blossoms.
Apart from flowers, buds or blossoms, the rest of Ganja has been used for centuries as important ingredients in Thai herbal medicine. There are many health benefits from its use in food and beverages, including but not limited to helping lower blood pressure, decreasing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar, helping insomnia and much more.
Ganj Coffee – Dongtan Beach
Ganj Coffee is a new coffee shop recently opened on Dongtan Beach, Jomtien. Ganj is short from the word Ganja in Sansakrit which means cannabis in Hindi or marijuana in Spanish. In Thailand it’s called gancha in Thailand.
By Little Wandering Wren
If you haven’t been to Phuket in recent months then come on down! There has never been a better time to visit. It is pristine and empty with fabulous resorts and hotels. However, with the returning tourist clock ticking don’t leave it too long. Phuket is readying itself as an Immunity Island to entice and welcome back international tourists.
Phuket was developed as one of the world’s leading holiday destinations with visitors drawn to its wondrous beaches. What ruined Phuket for me in the past was that it became too popular, and as I live in Thailand, I’m not going to vacation with the masses.
However, as Covid 19 transformed the world, it also changed Phuket and since Christmas my husband and I have swapped our Bangkok city living for the gentler, good for the soul Phuket way of life. As was our custom for the past year, we went on staycations every weekend. We now continued our Thailand Staycations in Phuket hotels in nearly twenty hotels.
Look again Thailand, the island is truly special AND its people really need your help.
Bangkok-based Robert Tyler recalls how close he and his team came to conquering Denali, formerly Mt McKinley, the highest mountain in North America
"The moment the diagnosis was made it felt like a death sentence. Cancer at 40 with two kids still dependent on their mom …"
The simple fact is this: when you go to Alaska, you get your ass kicked.
Not for the first time, climber Matthew Twight’s words came to mind. With crampons fixed firmly in the snow, our team crouched in defiance of the electric storm that hummed around us. Josh, our youngest climber, cradled his damaged hand. He had been injured by an electric shock when unclipping his metal carabiner from the conductive nylon rope that threatened to shock the whole team.
I threw my metal axe to the side and waited for instructions from Chad, our talisman and lead guide. In the deteriorating visibility I discerned a radio abandoned in the snow; one of the many metallic items discarded by the team after the first shock. Would I feel the lightening rod that killed me or would the lights just mercifully go out? The anticipation was sickening.
We were 200 metres from the summit of the highest mountain in North America. At 6190 metres, Denali was the dominant peak of the austere and impenetrable Alaska Range. Three weeks earlier, we had been nine jet-lagged strangers sitting in a circle in a bland Anchorage travel lodge. Like practitioners of meditation, each climber took turns to share their intention; why they were choosing to subject themselves to three weeks of extreme physical exertion, sleep deprivation from 24/7 daylight, the constant threat of cold injuries, and the disjointing effects of high altitude. I hadn’t been ready to explain that I sought restoration following a turbulent series of life events. There are things you share with a room full of strangers, and things you don’t.
From the rice fields of Isaan to fame as a filmmaker, the long struggle of a country girl who overcame cancer to put her family and career back on track
By Robin Westley Martin
The year 2020 was the year that the scourge of Covid began to affect all our lives, to a greater or lesser degree. I myself lost a childhood friend, and it was a major contributing factor in the closure of my café business in Bangkok.
The pandemic, then, created difficulties for everyone, but for some there was worse yet to come. One such was Naruemon (Ploy) Chaingam, who was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer at the same time as the Covid pandemic was gathering steam around the globe. This is her story – a story of courage and determination.
The Northeast of Thailand, known as Isaan, is the poorest part of Thailand, and its economy is largely agriculture-based. This is where Ploy was born, in Sisaket, a province bordering Cambodia. Ploy was an observant and inquisitive child who took a deep interest in what was going on around her. From an early age she knew that a life in the rice fields was not to be her destiny.
Ploy is now a confident 40-year-old woman who has two teenage boys, aged fourteen and fifteen, and she has juxtaposed being a caring single mom (since 2010, when her children were three and four years old) with a successful career in journalism and documentary film-making. She learnt to speak English by herself (her spoken English is better than some Thai politicians I have interviewed) and Ploy is well-known - and respected - by the foreign media community in Thailand.
So let’s find out a little more about what makes Ploy tick:
Robin: When did you first become interested in journalism and film work, and what was it about making documentaries that drew your attention?
Ploy: Growing up in a poor farming village in Isaan you see the real Thailand, the grassroots. It felt a long way from the Bangkok I saw on TV, let alone the rest of the world. But what things I was able to find out (long before smartphones and Google search) gave me a hunger to learn more about my country and further afield.
This was our first visit to Savelberg and it proved to be an excellent choice of venue. I must begin by mentioning the excellent service led by Hostess K. Pui that we enjoyed from start to finish.
We were accommodated in the restaurant’s private room which has ample space for more than 20 diners and is reached by elevator.
Proceedings started with a Club favourite, Bellavista 'Alma' Cuvee Brut NV (Lombardy, Italy), which might best be described as a cost effective Italian response to champagne. It is attractively pale yellow in colour, with green reflections. Fine, elegant yet rounded and beautifully balanced, the grapes used are 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero and the bubbles are small and long-lasting.
Wine spokesman (for the first time) Vernon Johnson shared with us of experiencing his first sampling of wine, a Chateau Lafite, collected from a local drugstore without knowing its provenance or reputation but much enjoyed. He confessed not to be a fan of sparkling wines but this one had made a great start for the meal.
Our first starter course was Beef Tartare, made from Simmentaler Beef (from Switzerland) served with a Mustard Tartar Sauce, Potato Sorbet and Cannelloni of Bacon. It was a very different Beef Tartare to my expectation and one heartily endorsed by Food Spokesman Mark Guthrie, who gave us a brief overview of the history and many common variations of this iconic dish.
The second starter was a Monkﬁsh fillet served with a medley of Organic Tomato, Tarragon, Chive, Basil, Shallot and Parsley. It was an expertly prepared dish and the vegetables and herbs beautifully complemented the sweet taste and firm texture of the Monkfish - which some have called “a poor man’s lobster”.
Both starters were well paired with magnums of Claude Riffault Sancerre Les Boucauds 2018 (Loire, France), which for me was the wine of the lunch. Ageing of the Sauvignon Blanc lasts 7 to 8 months, when the wine was bottled before the arrival of summer. On the nose, the wine revealed aromas of white fleshed fruit and citrus and tastes including gooseberry, grapefruit, lime, and melon. Vernon thought the pairing was good and an enjoyable full-bodied wine.
Robin Westley Martin in front and behind the camera at Bangkok Chit Chat
Bangkok Chit Chat, a YouTube and Facebook channel talk show that focuses on interesting people and topics in Bangkok and beyond is the offspring of two enterprising expats, Andrew Sloan, and Andy Francis.
Both have 30-plus years of experience living and doing business in Thailand, and being known as ‘guys around town’. I first became friends with Andrew over 30 years ago when he was the advertising and marketing director for Business in Thailand, where I was the news editor and writer.
I have also known Andy Francis for the same length of time – albeit vicariously – through his work as a DJ on several radio stations, and also as the DJ at some of the venues and functions around town that I attended.
Recently, since the birth of Bangkok Chit Chat, I have renewed my friendship with Andrew, and have formed an amity with Andy. All three of us have a lot in common, and we all do our best to see the bright side of life.
Andrew – the owner of Clip Cube Media, an agency focused on digital media and online brand management – thought that there was a place for a not-too-serious discussion show that himself and his friends would find entertaining. When his buddy Andy Francis, a well-known media personality, also expressed his interest in the project, the formation of Bangkok Chit Chat began in earnest.
Andrew already had the premises, and he wanted to make an impact with his new venture, so no half-measures were taken. In mid-2018 he began building a studio, and equipping it with cameras, green screen, lighting, sound-proofing, studio sets, and computer editing software. The whole shebang cost about 750,000 baht, but would have cost rather more had Andrew not been hands-on during the construction.
The stage was set, and in early 2019 they were ready to roll … Bangok’s very own homegrown TV interviewers were about to hit the airwaves. Andrew Sloan and Andy Francis complement each other well: Andrew has the business background and is able to research well the subjects they have choose to invite to the studio, and Andy, with his background in the entertainment industry is able to add another slant to the proceedings.
hey choose their subjects together, and when their invitation has been accepted they start their work on the research, and what questions they need to ask their guest interviewees. It’s all very informal, and the banter goes back and forth between them and their guests. This is not to say that it is a comedy exercise, as some of the topics cover important matters.
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Guests begin their culinary journey in Signature Bangkok’s plush, velvet draped and live piano lounge exclusively for dinner where guests are greeted with expertly prepared aperitifs and sparkling wine paired with canapés. In a graceful, contemporary dining room overlooking Bangkok’s spectacular skyline, the main meal unfolds with a choice of a 3- and 5-course Chef’s Menu, with organic vegan options available.
Ninety-five percent of Signature Bangkok’s wines are biodynamic, making this one of the best collections in the city. Menus are paired with wines, although the Signature Bangkok’s Master Sommelier is available to assist guests in selecting a bottle to enjoy with the meal.
Chef Thierry Drapeau, who leads the culinary team, was formerly the founder and Chef de Cuisine of the 2-Michelin star Thierry Drapeau Logis de Chabotterie in Saint-Sulpice-le-Verdon, Loire Valley.
Serving only 30 guests per lunch and dinner
Reservations required. Tel 02 309 3939
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Popular city-center landmark now better than ever after
Sindhorn Midtown Hotel
Bangkok’s longstay deals
Starting from THB 29,900 net per month, residents can get settled in cozy rooms that are minimal in style but well-equipped with kitchenette, widescreen TV, in-room air purifier and high-speed Wi-fi internet.
The monthly stay also includes extra benefits that can be personalized to each resident’s preference such as breakfast, housekeeping service, water and electricity supply, car parking, and special 20% discounts on food at all outlets and laundry service (excluding dry-cleaning service).
Besides the comfort of their private rooms, residents will be able to enjoy the Working Space area on the lobby floor of the Hotel Tower and exclusive 20% discount on food, including a variety of dishes from Tr.EAT by Saneh Jaan.
Sindhorn Midtown, 68 Langsuan Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok.
Contact 02-796-8888 or email@example.com.
Sindhorn Kempinski Hotel Bangkok’s delivery service from kitchen to doorstep
Order from Loukjaan by Saneh Jaan, the younger generation of the celebrated Thai restaurant Saneh Jaan, whose menu features signature dishes from the original using heirloom recipes together with new creations.
All use nutritious and organic ingredients from local Thai farmers, and homemade sauces, pastes and dips.
Also available are best-selling bakery items such as Kempinski’s signature sourdough baked onsite daily.
Sindhorn Kempinski Hotel Bangkok, 80 Soi Tonson, Lumphini, · Bangkok 10330. Tel +66 2 095 9999 M +66 8 1969 3636
City getaway at
Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
Get Away this summer for a ‘Siamcation’ and unwind in a luxurious city resort at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.
Kempinski Hotel Bangkok. Book now for stays up to 30 June 2021 from THB 7,555 net per room per night.
All guestrooms have a view over the lush green tropical garden and swimming pools. Each guestroom minibar is replenished once daily with complimentary snacks and drinks.
The 32-hour Siamcation includes:
• Breakfast for 2 adults and up to 2 children up to 12 years in existing bedding
• THB 3,000 hotel credit per room or suite per night to use for redeeming hotel services on regular price offers
• Early check-in at 10:00 hrs and late check-out until 18:00 hrs • Executive Lounge privileges, including an afternoon teatime from 14:00 to 16:00 hrs and evening cocktails from 17:00 to 19:00 hrs.
• Kempinski giveaway, including a bottle of Siam Kempinski Cabernet Sauvignon red wine and sweet treat
Monday-to-Thursday Extra Inclusion:
• Additional THB 1,000 hotel credit per room or suite per night to use for redeeming hotel services on regular price offers
Contact www.kempinski.com/en/bangkok/siam-hotel/special-offers/ or contact the Reservations Department on +662 162 9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.