Summer Breeze

Spa Herbnara (117/8 Parnchit 5, Soi Thonglor, 02-712-9501/09. promises to cool down the summer with three special promotions. Choose between a 90-minute body scrub and Aloe Vera body massage at B1,000 (regularly B2,000), a two hour Akasuri scrub and deep facial cleaning treatment at B1,400 (from B1,900) or a facial and herbal milk bath at B1,200 (B1,900). Through Jun 30.

Drink & Dance

A new café and dance studio is coming to town. Determined to stir up some serious dance fever in Bangkok, Salsa Hacha (130/5 Silom Soi 6, 02-634-3383/4. offers tango, belly dance, zouk, merengue and of course salsa. Even a striptease course is available at this fusion cafe. B100 per class; B3,500 per 10 hours of either workshops or series of coursess. 10% discount for group registration (minimum 4 persons).

Fast Fit

Fitness freaks, now hear this! The Bodhi (4/F, Erawan Bangkok, Ploenchit Rd., 02-250-7882/3. has just debuted its latest machine. Step on Fit Vibe and its vibration plate will strengthen your muscles, reduce weight and prevent cellulite. This especially suits those who want to get in shape real fast because spending only 20 minutes on the machine equals an hour training session. Try it now at all branches of The Bodhi.


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Cascade Club, The Ascott, 187 Sathorn Rd., Yannnawa, Sathorn Bangkok, 02676-6969.
Aldo’s is divided into a large air-conditioned room and an outdoor pool area, which features romantic cabana dining. Offers delicious and healthy Mediterranean cuisine and a great wine list. Dining under the roof of a sala with a pool beside you—that’s one romantic Songkran.


Four Seasons Hotel, Ratchadamri Rd., 02-254-1137. BTS Ratchadamri. Open daily 11am-midnight.
The ducks as well as the punters love the misty fans in this cool outdoor hangout. Dipping yourself in the pond or using that water to splash into your date’s face is not recommended—unless you really hate him/her.

Bay Ta Ra-Bar Ta Le

100 Jakraphong Rd., Soi Rambutri, Pranakorn, 02-281-2899, 08-6323-5403. Open daily 6pm-1am.
Secluded bar with vivid blue pool and painfully hip glass building as a backdrop. The alfresco area gives you space to chill out on white beach chairs while the band plays Thai and English songs nightly. Nice.


13/16, Moo 9, Pradit Manootham Rd., Bueng Koom, 02- 943-9496/-7. Open daily 5pm-1am.
This establishment actually sits on the water. The sophisticated lighting creates a convincing illusion of intimacy. Live music performed by in house bands starts at 7pm. Expect Thai pop rock, commercial pop and inter songs, plus lots of golden oldies of Thai/inter pop tunes.


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BK talks to various people on their thoughts about the closing of Suan Lum Night Bazaar and take a look at 10 other places we will be sad to see go.

10 other places we will be sad to see go

Anchan Gaemchei
Manager of Bangkok Forum

What’s the definition of “public space”?

It can be a concrete building or a virtual space open for gatherings and discussion. A basic example is a park, but a web board or online community can also be a public space.

What kind of public space does Bangkok need?
Both real and virtual spaces. Recently, I heard the news that the Vietnamese government is now encouraging people to send comments and suggestions through the internet. I think our BMA has something like that, but it’s not widely known. It should be the people who suggest how things should be done, not the government telling us to sit down and listen to their ideas.

What can we do to save our public spaces?
Set up seminars, coordinate with NGOs, collect people’s opinions with comment boxes…

Which part of Bangkok should be conserved?
All of it. Bangkok is not a good city to build huge projects because our land is soft and lower than sea level. Skyscrapers also require a lot of energy for their air-con. We need to think about global warming and the next generation’s future.

Anusorn Tipayanon
Architect, columnist, author of Muang Yen

What’s your opinion on the closing of Suan Lum Night Bazaar?

We need to carefully consider things before we let every space in our city become more and more commercial. Sellers will always attempt to reach more customers. It is inevitable for big companies to be attracted to such a prime location as Suan Lum.

In your opinion, how is Bankok’s city planning?
Our city became a mess from the moment we had Chinese shophouses. They combine residential and commercial areas together with living upstairs and a first floor used as a shop. A good city plan should start with zoning.

What are criteria for preserving one area?
A way of life, a certain indigenous uniqueness. The question is, what do we want to keep, and what do we want to borrow from other cultures?

Can you suggest some ways to improve our city?
I think it’s hard to do anything for Bangkok now. But in old cities like Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, Prae or Nan, we should start zoning seriously before it’s too late.

Neil Thompson
Deputy Managing Director of BEC Tero Entertainment

What’s your opinion on Suan Lum closing?  

We are sad that we will lose a great downtown venue. However, we are hopeful that when they develop the site they will include a performing arts facility. Bangkok needs a lot more of these.

Why did BEC Tero choose Suan Lum?
We have always been on the lookout for good venues with downtown locations and easy for patrons to access. With the underground station and the link to the Night Bazzar, the Suan Lum hall was ideal.

Do you think Bangkok should have more venues for concerts/events?
Yes, Bangkok is in dire need of more venues with various capacities. We have the best indoor arena in Asia with Impact Arena but beyond that, there is a big void. With Paragon and Central World both offering multi-purpose halls, it relieves the pressure on exhibition venues, but they are not well suited to concerts. There is still a need for a downtown indoor venue with 5–7,000 seat capacity, good acoustics, and where everyone can see the show. The more venues we have, the easier it is for promoters to bring in a bigger selection of artists and shows to Bangkok.

Brian Mertens
Author of Bangkok Design

How do you feel about the end of Suan Lum?
The city might just lose another bit of its soul. And it might also lose an economic asset both for tourism and for cultivating local design and crafts. If you look thoroughly, you’ll find that several hundred budding designers and crafts entrepreneurs have taken root there. Leading architect Amanda Levete, of London’s Future Systems, recently visited Bangkok and cited Suan Lum as the thing she found remarkable about the city. She gets flown around the world by governments and companies begging her to design for them, so she knows what’s out there.

People like malls. Aren’t malls a sign of progress?
That’s how Singaporean planners thought, and so they sacrificed much of the city’s old neighborhoods and traditional markets. Now Singapore is under chronic pressure to find enough tourists and enough shoppers. They have to throw money at advertising, promotions, and devising new cultural attractions that don’t have much authenticity. Suan Lum is not old, but it’s certainly authentic. It’s real people presenting the things they create themselves, not corporations and brands. You just don’t find this kind of charm in a mall.

We already have Siam Square and JJ. Don’t they cover our needs for cheap retail space?
Suan Lum is better for grown-ups to shop because it’s cooler, less congested and a bit fancier than Chatuchak. It’s more diverse than Siam Square, which is focused on youth fashions.

Isn’t the real battle putting Thai designers into the malls?
The malls need the Thai designers, not the other way around.

Dr. Suvit Yodmanee
Minister of Tourism and Sports

What impact will the closing of Suan Lum Nigh Bazaar have on tourism?

Suan Lum Night Bazaar is a major tourist attraction in Bangkok, but I don’t think it will affect tourism as a whole if it were to close down. Tourists who come here can always find other places to visit; there are many more. And yet, Suan Lum is a great place to come and relax; people will definitely miss it.

Should there be more places like Suan Lum?
It actually depends on the type of tourists, too—a place like Khao San for example attracts only a certain type of tourist—so one place alone can’t affect the tourism industry as a whole.

Chol Bunnag
Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University

If Suan Lum closes, do you think it will affect the Thai economy?

The effect won’t be that big, but people will have fewer choices for sure, assuming that goods sold at Suan Lum and Chatuchak differ from those in malls. The real issue here is not this though, it is the use of public space.

Can you explain?
Suan Lum itself has two characteristics: it’s a commercial space rented out by vendors and a free public space located next to a public park where people can come and go as they please. This is different from a mall.

What’s the value of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar?
It generates social networking. A few months ago, I remember there was some kind of local cooking contest at BEC Tero Hall. Street vendors came together and exchanged know-how. This kind of connection building is called social capital. If Suan Lum shuts down, this capital will be lost.

Do you have any suggestions?
Well, Central already got the lease so it’s up to them now. I hope they offer wide open spaces for people to sit and talk.

Do you think the government should intervene?
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) should do something. This is about the welfare of the community, not just a conflict of interests between P Con and the Crown Property Bureau. At least they should do a survey among the affected community.

10 Places We Will Be Sad to See Go

1. BEC Tero Hall
Many concerts, parties and events have been organized here since its opening in 2003. The stage has welcomed numerous international and Thai artists.
New Location: None planned.

2. La Belle
Lopburi Soi 3, 08-9110-6160.
We love this Bollywood-in-Bangkok shop for its Indian mosaic lamps, chandeliers, mirrors and candlesticks.
New Location: No immediate plans.

3. Doi Tung Coffee
Doi Tung Development Project Tourist Center, 02-252-7114 ext 217 or 234.
A trendy coffee shop under royal patronage, Doi Tung is more than an ordinary café. Its selection of coffee is part of the Doitung Development Project, which was initiated to alleviate poverty in rural areas. The shop also offers cottage handicraft and design products, all locally made.
New Location: None planned.

4. Gakabear
D463-464, Lopburi Soi 6, 08-1584-4327.
Fluffy bears are the passion of Khun Kla, who runs this shop as a sideline job. Here you can find all sorts of teddy accessories: teddy safety belts, teddy mouse pads and teddy pillows. Prices range from B145-490.
New Location: Possibly Siam Square or Chatuchak Weekend Market.

5. His Story
Lopburi Soi 8, 08-9000-2999.
This stall stands out from others with its classic décor and fashionable outfits for men. His Story has a variety of choices of shirts, pants, shoes and bags at prices starting at B1,290.
New Location: No immediate plans

6. La Roue de Paris
The Ferris wheel attracts lovers, friends, and families to Suan Lum for B100 per ride. Bangkok doesn’t have another big wheel, and if it needs to move out, we’ll sorely miss the fresh air up there.
Next Destination: Singapore.

7. Ruaen Ngam
Lopburi Soi 1, 02-231-3269, 08-5815-9038.
Another local design outfit, this one offers ceramics, big and small. They’ll also make custom items.
New Location: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Section 7 Soi 1.

8. Sitz Design
Lopburi Soi 5, 02-736-1846.
The showroom of a local design company, Sitz has been selling stylish furniture and offering interior design services here for three years. Every piece in the shop is made at its own factory.
New Location: 29/10 Soi Sri Akssorn, Fuel Rd.

9. Traditional Thai Puppet Theater (Joe Louis)
02-252-9683/4, 02-252-5227/-9, 02-251-0978/9.
Winner of the best traditional performance award at the 10th World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague last year, this is Thailand’s most widely known puppet show, yet it’s still at risk of being closed. Nightly shows at 7:30pm.
New Location: None planned.

10. The Violin Shop
Ayudhya Soi 5
You wouldn’t expect to see a secondhand violin shop in a night bazaar, but there it is. Like taking a step back in time, the elderly shop owner always seems to be sitting there, busy fixing an old instrument or reading a newspaper.
New Location: Narathivas Road Soi 10 TKTKTKT phone number

Duangtawan Nilayon thinks about saving Suan Lum Night Bazaar!


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13 Samsen Rd., Phranakorn, 08-9769-4613. Open daily 6pm-noon.
This Banglampoo bar hosts live blues and jazz by energetic local musicians nightly. Unlike most jazz bars, this watering hole is petite, cozy and a little bit grimy—just the way the regulars like it. It’s a great place to meet other down-to-Earth music lovers without having to put on shoes or damage your wallet.

Bamboo Bar

Oriental Hotel, 48 Oriental Avenue, 02-659-9000 ext 7690/1. Open Sun-Thu 11-1am, Fri-Sat 11-2am.
Sheri Elle White from St Louis, Missouri, performs smooth and sassy jazz amidst the Bamboo Bar’s Colonial elegance and refined atmosphere. Hear her from 10pm until close, Mon-Sat, through 30 Jun.

Diplomat Bar

Conrad Hotel, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Rd., 02-690-9999. Open Sun-Thu 10-1am, Fri-Sat 10-2am. BTS Ploenchit.
This swanky lobby bar attracts a mixed crowd of in-house guests and locals. From Apr 19, hear accomplished American singer Cheryl Hayes, who was the opening act at Bangkok’s Royale Jazz Festival (Mon-Fri 7:30pm, Sat 9:45pm. Through Jul 8). Happy hour 4-6pm: buy 1, get 1 free.


3/8 Phya Thai Rd., 02-245-3592. Open daily 6pm-2am. BTS Victory Monument.
This bastion of jazz and blues may be getting on in years but it’s certainly got charm. The real aficionados head for the downstairs stage, while drinkers and billiards players casually check out the action from the mezzanine. Jazz Mon-Thu; blues Fri-Sun.


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We always need more space and more time. We believe that if we spent more time working, we could earn enough to buy more space. Two artists, Wittawat Tongkeaw (32) and Ditapong Boonsanong (30), teaching in two different universities, believe that if we can stop moving for a while, we might better appreciate everything around us. Their Time—Space exhibition will be open until Apr 12 at Number 1 Gallery. By Pattarawit Jaroenkit

How did you come to work with each other?
He [Witawat] contacted the gallery first. Fortunately, the gallery was looking for another artist and I was there with my work.

What can we expect from your work?
We always rush in Bangkok. We hurry to go to work, to have lunch, or to go home. Beauty is not hard to find if you just slow down a little. I want to tell people that there are many beautiful places in Bangkok if you know how to see them. Even the simplest thing can be a great art work.
Ditapong: It’s all about time; when time passes, things change. For instance, there were many fine buildings on the New Road, but now they look old and dilapidated. I want to say that nothing lasts forever.

Why do you paint on a zinc-coated sheet?
Because I can use techniques that I can’t use on canvas. Painting on a zinc-coated sheet makes the picture look old with its spoor and rust. When we look at those pictures, we feel as if they are something really old and have existed for many years.

Where is your favorite place?
I like everywhere in this city. But the most impressive moment is at dusk: with sunset, the sky’s color is shaded in many colors and it looks gorgeous.

Why aren’t art galleries as popular as cinema nowadays?
People have gotten used to movies and television. Unlike films, art galleries have no television commercials or money to buy advertising media. People have grown up with these things, so they feel more comfortable going to see a movie than going to see an art show.
Witawat: You should think of going to see an art exhibition like going to see a film. The first thing you’ll see is the beauty of the pictures, and it’ll be so much better if you can understand what those pictures are trying to say. In fact, many years ago, people used to see art works at temples, but now we have grown up with something else: pop culture.


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Legendary Touch

For the ultimate in football delusion, step into the shoes of Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho. Of course, at B62,000 they’re not exactly geared towards the favelas children who will make up tomorrow’s Brazil National Team—why you probably won’t even want to get them muddied at all! What shame. With their distinctive design based on Ronaldinho’s personal instructions, these shoes could truly possess the power to remote control the ball into the goal. At Nike shops and authorized dealers. (Try Sport Revolution, 1/F, Siam Center, 02-662-4036/7. Open daily 10:30am-10:00pm.)

Ni Hau!

Learn to speak basic Mandarin Chinese and enjoy a delicious meal at the same time. A bright buy-one-get-another idea from The China House, The Oriental Hotel (48 Oriental Avenue, 02-659-9000. costs you B1,150 for a three-course meal—dim sum, soup and noodles—plus fruit and Chinese tea. Each topic of conversation is selected and monitored by the Centre Art & Language Academy (CALA). Book now at 02-659-9000 ext Public Relations.


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250 Sukhumvit Rd., 02-649-8385. Open daily 6pm-2am.
Here you’ll find a large circular area with cozy couches (a.k.a. “love seats”) lining the periphery. Ignore the DJ and draw her in close with those magic words, “Will you marry me? At least for the next two hours?” That’s sure to charm the pants off her. If not, settle for some nibbles; the menu was designed by a two-star Michelin chef.

Crystal Lounge

28 Sukhumvit Soi 20 (next to Koi), 02-258-1599. Open daily 11am-1am.
A nice place to lure your date for dining, then scoot over to the crystal shop to buy her a little ring and drop that question like a hot 10 baht coin. Will she pick it up, or will she just pass on by, like a stingy hiso striding past a nude beggar? Well, you have nothing to lose by trying. Crystal Lounge is redefining the meaning of “one-stop service” for lovers.

Moon Bar at Veritigo

61/F, Banyan Tree, 21/100 South Sathorn Rd., 02-679-1200. Open daily 5pm-1am (weather permiting).
This sky-high, open-air rooftop bar offers a panoramic view of the city, with telescopes on hand to provide pervy close ups. Lounge and jazz music enhance your mood. For a memorable evening, do the deed at Moon Bar…then never look back.

To Die For

H1, 998 Soi Thonglor, 02-381-4714. Open Sun-Thu 11:30am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11:30am-1am.
You’ve been with your significant other for how long now? Well, as they say, either poop or get off the pot. Tie that knot without a second thought! This is a romantic place to make it happen, and in those recliners in the back, you can even propose horizontally! Honestly, though, she won’t mind where you take her, as long as you really mean it, and she really is the one “to die for.”


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Diving Master

Ready or not, Songkran’s coming. Prepare yourself for big splashes and super-sweaty crowds in Khao San with the latest Dive Master 500 collection from Victorinox. Designed for divers and swimmers, this robust, futuristic wristwatch is waterproof to depths of 500m and comes with non-reflective glass. Choose metal or rubber bracelet. B22,700 (rubber bracelet). Available at Time Deco (3/F, Central Chidlom, 1027 Ploenchit Rd., 02-793-7777).

Size Does Matter

King-size worshippers, hear this: Playground! has just brought an XL brand straight from Belgium. A simple concept, Extra-Large is aimed at those who love everything HUGE. There’s a long list of stuff for you to choose from, ranging from ordinary objects like pencils, erasers and straws to the essential-but-not-so-common giant condom. B500-5,000. Available at Playground! (818 Soi Thonglor, 02-714-7888).


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Finnegan’s Irish pub & Restaurant

23/1 Sukhumvit 4, 02-656-8160. Open daily 9am-1am.
This is a snug little bar, cozy and congenial. Authentic Irish breakfasts are served: Enjoy homemade soda bread and white pudding. Pub quiz on Wednesdays. Live Irish music on St. Patrick’s Day.


12/1 Sukhumvit 4, 02-255-0644. Open daily 10am-1am.
Breaking the mold of other Irish pubs, the newly-opened Hanrahan’s is refreshingly free of stained oak, horse brasses and other “ye olde” trappings. The design is modern and light. Excellent decked rooftop garden. Happy hour 4pm-7pm, daily drinks promotions, pool table and live music every night except Sat.

The Irish X Change

1/5-6 Convent Rd., 02-266-7160/1. Open daily 9am–1am.
Magnificent pub breakfasts (B149, served from 9am-noon) and other hearty fare. Happy hour (Mon-Fri 5-9pm) features B75 pints of Tiger and Heineken, and live bands perform Wed and Fri from 9:30pm. Secretary Night (Thu) offers a host of deals and music by Lee Shamrock.

Shamrock Bar

2/F The Center, Khao San Rd., 02-282-4366. Open daily 6pm-1am.
The nightly live music draws people to the Shamrock Bar, but the real reason to head there is it's the only place on Khao San Road with draft Guinness (B200/pint). And, hey, if you get bored, there’s another bar downstairs.


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Make outfit for resemble Kazakhstan No. 6 most famous man .... is nice!

Get yourself a big brown tote bag (B4,800) from Blue Bovine and a pair of brown sunglasses (B3,890) from Nice Optic.

Super-Borat khaki suit (B2,900), black shirt (B490) and pants (B690) from Carrot.

A gold tie is needed to make it truly freaky in Borat’s unique way. We recommend a cheap one from Wan Variety at only B100.

You can find simple black leather shoes anywhere. These plain black shoes (B1200) from the Parisian shop in MBK will do the trick.

Complete the set with your own fake mustache (see below), fool around with people in the middle of Siam Square and boom…here comes Borat!

DIY: Borat mustache

You’ll need:
- False eyelash adhesive
- Cotton wool pads
- Toothbrush
- Black marker pen

1. Cut up the cotton wool pads into the shape you want.
2. Paint the pieces black with the black marker pen, and wait for them to dry.
3. Fluff up the pads by brushing them carefully with the toothbrush.
4. Apply adhesive on both the pads and your skin. Stick them on.


Carrot: 1/F, Siam Theater, 02-658-3768, 08-1555-5883
Wan Variety: M 43, 3/F, MBK Center, 444 Phaya Thai Rd., 08-1929-7784, 08-9688-5502.
Parisian: B60, 3/F, MBK Center, 444 Phaya Thai Rd., 02-611-8070.
Blue Bovine: G/F, MBK Center, 444 Phaya Thai Rd., 02-686-3741, 08-9125-8105.
Nice Optic: 198 Siam Square Soi 1, 02-251-0654, 02-251-8468. Open daily 10:30am-8pm.

Check out our movie review of Borat


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