Simplify your shopping with our list of gifts that fit.

Places to Shop - Expert Advice

For ... Parents

Think of all the times you’ve forgetten their birthdays, yet they still love you as much as when you were their little kid. At this festive time of year, take the opportunity to make amends and treat them properly. They deserve it.

Start with a handwritten note on the card that says, “This will keep you beautiful” and you’re sure to bring a smile to your mom’s face. The RMK X’mas Set (B2,600) from Central features RMK make up base and liquid foundation in a flash silver box.

For dad, get him something classic yet modern—just like him: a Nano shirt. Choose from the Cullinan Nano Capsule, which has anti-bacterial fluid injected into the fabric or the Cullinan Nano Perfume (B1,450), which is imbued similarly with perfume. Both available at Central.

Your mom’s been carrying around that old keychain for ages. Get her a new one with a touch of luxury: a Large Bohinc Key Purse (B6,645) from Playground!.

How about a multi-use box for your parents? Try a flower painted box by At Home (B450) from J-Gallery, which can hold anything from jewelry to spoons and forks.

For ... Colleagues

You work in the same soulless rabbit warren, you have coffee together, you share your feelings when the chips are down, you ask them for help when you are hungover or to lie to your boss when you sneak out to see your gig in the afternoon…aren’t these enough reasons for buying them something, jerk? You don’t want to spend too much, though.

Even if your female colleague is neither an executive or a lady, the DoiTung Ladies Executive Set (B1,500) from Mae Fah Luang, with a scarf, notebook and cosmetics bag, might make her look more lady-like, somehow.

For that colleague you’ve been secretly admiring, go Juicy Couture from Central: Lipstick (B1,650) or the Juicy Couture T-shirt pendant (B2,450). They double as key rings, too.

The Evita hair pin (B1,190) from Central, is specially designed with two legs and is suited for chicks who not only have thick hair but thick heads. Throw in a book and the package is complete.

A Starbucks Cash Card (starting from B100) is easy and something you know will get used.

For your astrology-reading friends, pick up some fortune cookies (box, B100) from My Place restaurant.

Climbing bags and roll top totes from RENE CHU Copenhagen (B3,500, B6,500 respectitvely) at Manga in CentralWorld are the epitome of hip and super-functional for all urbanites.

Give those with pillars of documents on their desks a Flower Paper Weight by M.L. Chiratorn Chirapravati (B2,000). Or try a painted photo frame by At Home (B450).

Help your friends get a good start on the year by planning ahead with this chic 2007 planner (B888) from Playground!.

For ... Gigs

Want to impress that new heartthrob in your life? Appeal to her cute side with a custom-made bear from Build-a-Bear (B695 plus) from Central, which you can stuff with tiny hearts, your own voice messages or, if you are at a loss for words, their ready-made messages. Dress it up with a Jean Jacket (B395) or other tops as you wish or just go bearback. It takes just 10-30 minutes to make one.

Keep her pretty in pink next year with a pink gift set from Marks & Spencer (B1,495). Though it may appear to be a more appropriate gift for grandma, your mattayom gig will surely love it.

Impress him with a Nokia N5300 XpressMusic (B9,620) from Nokia Shop, which can hold 1,500 songs in a microSD card (2GB) and can transmit music to your home stereo without wires.

Everyone loves an Apple. Try an inMotion iM500 (B6,590) from Mac Studio.

Planning a secret rendezvous with your gig? Surprise her with a Juicy Couture passport holder and bag tag set (B3,250) and your holiday season will surely be sweet.

She’s a smoker? Show your love with a Smokeshirt (B350) from Playground!, which covers the nasty warning picture with a pretty one. A healthier choice is the Little Music Box (B395) from Playground!, which plays one of four songs; “Happy Birthday,” “What a Wonderful World,” “Close to You” and “Can’t Take my Eyes Off You.”

An empty face pillowcase by Pang Nualphan Prasantong (B200) from J-Gallery is a nifty gift on which your gig can draw your face whenever you are apart.

For ... the Authorities

They are the ones keeping an eye on your street and just can’t wait to get a hold of your urine. Mr. Brown-Uniform has to work his ass off in order to keep us safe and it would be a good thing to get them something nice. Start with a DoiTung Coffee Lover Set (B990) from Mae Fah Luang—two coffee mugs and DoiTung Arabica coffee in a nice box. If he doesn’t like the mug inside the box, try a Starbucks Christmas Tree Mug (B380), an On With the Tradition Mug (B380), or better yet a Red Cup Tumbler (B460) for the longer hot drink.

A Motorola Bluetooth Headset H500 (B2,190), which works with all brands of phone, from the Motorola Shop is ideal for your neighborhood traffic cop. It’ll allow him to take his mistress’ call and still stop traffic so you can enter your soi.

Don’t forget to get something for the security guard in your building. Instead of the usual bottle of Black, surprise him with an Anti-Stress Back & Shoulder Massage from Suk Spa (B600/1 hour), which may help him release some of the tension you’ve been inducing all year.

For ... the Boss

Bosses may be the only lifeforms that you hate all month long, then love on payday. If you’re lucky enough, you might even love them more when they authorize your requested bonus or raise (hint, hint). No matter how bad they treat you during the year, you still “should” get them something to show that you know how to give and not just take, take, take!

Get your metrosexual boss a male toiletry gift set from Marks & Spencer (B1,495) at Central. That will please him during this celebratory time of year. Remember: bosses are human, too.

The leather Desk Pad from Liberia (B16,900) will surely make your boss’ desk look more exclusive and make it quite obvious that your lips are firmly placed on his/her butt. Or be less blatant and go for an elegant mocha and pink paperweight (B1,590).

What boss couldn’t use a little Colon Hydrotherapy (B2,400) from HydroHealth? Hand it over and hope for the best in the coming year.
Everyone loves to listen to music, even your cruel boss, so gather some cash from your collages and chip in for this JBL time machine dock for iPod (B11,990) from Mac Studio: Apple Center. It also has radio (FM and AM) and an alarm clock.

Spend Money Here

Central Chit Lom: Ploenchit Rd., 02-793-7777. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Chit Lom.

HydroHealth: 4/F, Erawan Bangkok, Ploenchit Rd., 02-250-7800, 02-250-7808. Open daily 10am-8pm. BTS Chit Lom.

Jay Mart: 4/f MBK Center, Phyathai Rd., 02-217-9368. Open daily 10am-9pm.

J-Gallery: 4/F, J-Avenue, Thonglor. Open daily 10:30am-7pm. Products are available through Dec 15 only.

Liberia Fine Stationer: Siam Society, 131 Asoke, 02-661-6480. Open Tue-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm.

Mac Studio Apple Center: 323/1, G/F, J-Avenue, Thonglor, 02-712-7620. Open Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-9pm.

Mae Fah Luang: 4/F, Siam Discovery, Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-2427. Open daily 10am-10pm.

Manga: 1/F CentralWorld, 02-613-1177. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Chit Lom.

Motorola Shop: 3/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-610-9574. BTS Siam. Open daily 10am-9pm.

My Place: 824 Thonglor, 02-381-8812. Open daily 11am-10pm.

Nokia Shop: 3/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-610-9778/9. Open daily 10am-9pm. BTS Siam.

Playground!: 818 Thonglor, 02-714-7888. Open daily 10am-10pm.

Starbucks: Try 231 Thonglor, 02-712-9691. Open daily 7am-10pm. BTS Thonglor.

Suk Spa: 1/30 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-651-2672, 02-651-0461. Open daily 11am-10pm. BTS Nana.

Expert Advice: Personal Stylist

Name: Apiwat Yodpraphan
Company: The Emporium
Cost: Free
Booking: Recommended. 02-269-1000 ext 1336.
Thursday and Sunday 10am-6pm

1. Buy something practical that is good value for money. Pricey but useless items do not count as much as gifts people can use.
2. Avoid personal stuff such as perfume, earrings, bracelets and clothes that involve size.
3. Find something that enhances their appearance and is handy in their career.
4. Quality is another element in choosing a good gift. Fine quality represents courteousness, thoughtfulness and the taste of the giver.
5. Keep up-to-date and study the trends.
6. Take into account his or her hobbies and interests.
7. Do some research beforehand. Ask their close friends or observe what particular items the recipient needs, what brands he/she uses, his/her favorite color and his/ her lifestyle.
8. Find something that goes with their personality. If he/she is an outgoing person and has to attend social functions a lot, an accessory that transforms his/her formal attire to a social dress without hassle is perfect.
9. Find something meaningful for your special or beloved one. Pamper them with a precious watch, or limited edition gift.
10. If you really can’t find the right gift, come to us for help.

Expert Advice: Personal Shopper

Who: Varindran Chancharoeng
Where: Central Chit Lom
Cost: Free
Booking: Recommended. 02-793-7044

Great Gifts From Boys to Girls
1. White gold with a small diamond pendant, or heart shaped jewelry on small chain like a necklace or bracelet
2. Heart-shaped brooch or pin (says “I always love you,” “You’re always in my heart,” or “I’m saving money for Valentine’s Day”)
3. Small eternity ring
4. Silk or charmeuse baby doll lingerie with bikini bottom to heat things up in the bedroom
5. Black or red silk satin or charmeuse teddy, one or two-piece. Should be very, very short for the same purpose as the baby doll

Great gifts From Girls to boys
1. Fun and affordable sports watch
2. Palm pilot
3. IPod with your voice programmed in it so he can concentrate while working out at the gym
4. Sweater or cardigan, just to remind him that you’re always around to warm him up no matter where he goes
5. One dozen fun and bold printed boxer shorts. Clothing you can share wearing for fun

Expert Advice: Lifestyle Consultant

Name: Ruankaew Dechprom
Company: Gaysorn Shopping Center
Cost: Free
Booking: Recommended. 02-656-1177

Suggestions for Holiday Gift Shopping
1. Purchase gifts when you find them, even if an occasion is several months away.
2. Great ideas come from everywhere. Don’t be afraid to talk to the people who know the recipient best. They’re likely to have great suggestions.
3. When in doubt, choose a gift that the recipient will actually use. Practical items are usually better than novelty.
4. White is classic, practical, and safe. When you have to buy a gift for an unfamiliar person, white is best as everything looks gorgeous in white.
5. Go surfing through websites for a wide range of choices and gift ideas to match the person’s interests.
6. If you don’t know the person well or are going to someone’s home for the first time, traditional gifts of wine, food, coffees or teas are foolproof.
7. Save your receipts just in case a return or an exchange is necessary.
8. Select a container that the recipient will want to save. Every time they use the container, they’ll remember you.
9. Gifts do not have to be expensive to be appreciated or appropriate. Gifts that show your time and effort are just as special as expensive ones.
10. If you run out of ideas, let me know!


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Singapore’s Ember branches out to Bangkok.

With an entire stretch of venues that cater to the in-crowd, Lang Suan is a great place to scavenge for good food. So it’s not surprising that one of Singapore’s acclaimed restaurants, Ember, has decided to open its Bangkok baby here. Located in the front of Lang Suan Balcony near Soi 5, this fashionable eatery is located in a three-story house. The third floor, which will house a room for private parties, is under construction. The all-white ground floor has all glass walls with a bar in the center.

As is the case in the Merlion City, European with a touch of Asian is what you’ll find here—naan instead of pizza breads, for example. For starters, crisp-fried Japanese oysters in a buttery vegetable sauce (B450) and fried soft-shell crab in a creamy wasabi sauce (B250) are both recommended. Or, for lighter palates, a spicy gazpacho soup with onion pakoras (B265) will jumpstart your tastebuds.

Fans of foie gras will want to try not one but four different foie gras dishes (not on the same day, though), starting with the signature crispy foie gras with pear chutney and beet-orange chili reduction (B650). And while we’re on the subject of politically incorrect foods, the Chilean seabass with mushroom and bacon ragout in truffle-yuzu butter (B650) is another delicious choice. There are also meat dishes ranging from B570 for chicken to B880 for a ribeye steak, as well as a lone pasta: linguini with seafood and Thai basil pesto (B510).

Desserts are vicious killers at Ember. Highlights include a warm banana tart with homemade lavender ice cream (B250) and an extremely chocolatey warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream (B280).

At lunch, Ember offers very reasonable two- (B345) and three-course (B370) sets, which include coffee or tea.

After our superb tasting and tour, we sat down with Suif Ahmad, operations manager of Ember Bangkok, and Chef Haikal Johari.

Why did you decide to open a branch here in Bangkok?
Suif Ahmad:
The opportunity was given to us by Dr. Bhichit Rattakul, who helped us find the place to expand our restaurant. It is our first branch outside Singapore.

How would you describe the food? Is it fusion?
Chef Haikal Johari
: We are making modern European dishes with an Asian touch. We are not a fusion restaurant. I think the term is misused a lot these days. Fusion brings up the image of throwing different types of food together without any identity, but here we are focusing on the European while also adding in Asian flavors to make them distinctive.

What are your signature dishes?
Suif Ahmad:
Crispy Foie Gras (B650), Pepper Crusted Australian Lamb Rack (B850) and Chilean Seabass with Mushroom and Bacon Ragout (B650).

Are the customers here different from ones in Singapore?
Suif Ahmad:
They are different here. In Singapore though our restaurant is located in a hotel, the customers come from all over. But here in Bangkok right now the customers are mainly the people who come to Lang Suan and when they see us they walk in. Our target customers are mainly foreigners and businesspeople.

Enjoy European with Asian accents at Ember, 99/11-12 Lang Suan Balcony, Ploenchit Rd., 02-652-2086. Open Mon-Sat 11am-2:30pm, 6:30-10pm.


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Who would have thought that daydreaming in a jewelry workshop class could end up giving you B30,000 and a chance to visit Milan representing Thai designers? For Chawalit Banpot, or Off, that’s how it all went down. The third year design student from Udonthani Rajabhat University won the 2007 Bombay Sapphire Designer Glass Competition Thailand with his whimsical diamond-like martini glass. He shares with us his passion and how his precious gem has become a ticket to Milan where the world will be seeing his creation for the first time.

How did you come up with this “jewelry” masterpiece?
I was just sitting in my jewelry design class at university and daydreaming about this competition when the idea just popped into my head. Why not make a glass shaped like a piece of jewelry? So I decided to design a martini glass that resembles a diamond.

How long did it take you to create it?
Even though it took me only five minutes to think of the concept, it took me three whole days to actually complete a satisfactory model. It is just like how a diamond is made, delicately with focus on the details so the outcome can be perfect.

How did you become interested in design?
Ever since I was little I always broke things just to see how they were put together. Then I tried putting them back together the way I wanted and it never worked so I wanted to make my own.

Who’s your favorite designer?
Myself. It might sound a bit self-absorbed but if you don’t like what came out of you then you don’t have enough confidence to be a designer.

What will you be doing after Milan?
I’m going to continue my studies until I graduate. And between breaks I hope to get an internship somewhere in the field of product design or interior design so I can strengthen my knowledge and also practice with professionals at the same time. My dream is to design cars, but there’s a lot to learn.

What are your thoughts about the future of Thai designers?
Thai designers will succeed if they have enough guts and confidence to show off their ideas. They have great ideas, but they are too afraid to show them off. It also doesn’t matter whether or not you went to a fancy design school abroad. I’m coming from a small university in the Northeast that not many people have heard of. Being a designer means you must trust your instinct and basically believe in yourself. Just create it and see what happens.


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