Though most people go out to see pretty faces or meet interesting people, enjoying art with a drink is not a bad idea either.

Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand

Want to drink with journos? This is the place to do it. They also host rotating photo exhibits, mostly of the serious variety dealing with hard news stories. Can you handle that?
FCCT, Penthouse, Maneeya Center Bldg., 518/5 Ploenchit Rd., 02-652-0580/-1. Open daily 10am-11pm. www.fccthai.com.

Phranakorn Bar

This artsy venue featuring three floors and a rooftop bar not only boasts an art gallery showing the works of starving artists but is also priced for the young and skint. They have a good menu of drinks and Thai food. The music is a mix of Thai pop and jazz.
58/2 Soi Damnoenklang Tai, 02-622-0282. Open daily 6pm-1am.

Sripoom

Funky retro bar with cool furniture and eclectic music—no cheesy "El Nin Yo", no run-of-the-mill hip-hop. They also host cute painting and photo exhibitions.
95 Chakrapong Rd., Chanasongkram, 02-281-4445. Open daily 9pm-1am.

Traphic

A tiny bar with prices you haven’t seen in Bangkok in seven years. Paintings, photos, breakbeats, drum ’n’ bass—holy moly, this place is an intellectual traffic jam! Ah, so that’s where they got the name …
171 Tanao Rd., Phranakorn, 06-539-2510, 04-052-2723. Open Tue-Sun 4pm-1am.

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DJ Matman is a UK-based hip-hop DJ who has won numerous DMC championships for his ill scratching skills, including the London DMC Heat 2006, the UK DMC Battle for Supremacy 2005, South East Mixing Championships 2005 and so forth.

In your pocket: A Prose CD, Earwax mix CD (by me!), digi-cam and phone

Never leave home without: Sneakers on my feet

Stupidest trend: Back to front clothes

Favorite audience: Bangkok crowds!

Happiest moment: Realizing my dreams

In 20 years: Constantly elevating towards higher goals

All time fave song: Ultramagnetic MC’s—“Poppa Large (East Coast Mix)”

On a night out you… Drink & conversate

Last lie: “I don’t tell lies”

Rule for life: Spread love not hate

Day job: Freelance promoter

First Job: Kitchen porter (i.e. washing dishes)

Idol: Jazzy Jeff

(Would like to be) Remembered as: An influence.

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Spa Paradise

Sooth yourself with a relaxing treatment at one of the newest spas in town, CHA Spa (9 Soi Thonglor 25, 02-381-7000), which has some interesting packages on offer. A recommended one from the CHA menu is the Oriental Revival treatment, which uses green tea and black sesame to revive your skin. These are combined with a unique nourishing oil massage that will improve your circulation and your Qi energy. At B1,450 for a 90 minute treatment, it ensures you a pleasant moment. Other treatments available include Essence of Siam (B550/90 minutes), a holistic Siamese style treatment using luk prakob, and Heavenly Uplift (B2,500/90 minutes), a facial treatment that includes a gel-based masking and regenerating massage technique.

Scent of elegance

Traditional looks sometimes go well with contemporary style. Trying to blend different aspects together, “Selection” is a new fragrance line from HUGO BOSS, which comes in a standard package but is unexpectedly fresh and fruity, including creative scents such as green apple, tangerine and grapefruit.
B3,100. (Try 1/F, Central Chidlom 1027 Ploenchit Rd., 02-793-7777).

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While some like to do the American thing and split the bill, why not just go to these places where you can pay one price and then booze it up until you pass out? Repeat as MUCH as you like.

Akiyoshi

It’s neither bar nor a topnotch hotel hangout but just another Japanese restaurant in Mango City. However, with the irresistible deal of B199 daily, you are free to gorge yourself on as much draught Heineken, Singha and of course Asahi as you can from opening until closing (Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, 5:30-10pm. Sat-Sun and public holiday 11am-10pm). Lets enjoy wasabi and beer this weekend, then.
1521/1 Sukhumvit Rd., between Soi 67 and 69, 02-381-2267/-8.

Unicorn 70’s Bar

Sitting in a small sub soi off Khao San is Unicorn, which originally targeted the boy-on-boy market but not anymore. For B199, you can get free flow draught beer from 7-10pm daily while Mr. DJ and the bands entertain you with indie pop, rock and of course, coyote dancers.
164 Khao San Rd., 02-281-2366. Open daily 7pm-1am.

Zuk Bar

How about starting off the night with a little wine? Free flow, that is. Hmm… that could mean one heck of a sloppy evening, but hey, be that posh dude you know you are and head over to Zuk Bar. This elegant yet intimate setting allows you to gaze over a lotus ponds while you sip a choice of seven brands of reds and whites. Gather some friends together and chat like civilized beings. B1,000 from 5:30-8pm daily.
Sukhothai Hotel, 13/3 South Sathorn Rd., 02-344-8888. Open daily 6pm-1am.

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Let’s face it: when you’re drinking all night, toilet quality is important, and it’s one of the things that can make a place stick in your mind. Okay, some of these places are not really “bars,” but you can definitely have a nice drink at any of them.

D’Sens

The avant-garde toilet beckons you to urinate onto a sloped glass wall, through which you can watch people jogging in Lumpini Park 22 floors below. But if you can see them, doesn’t that mean…?
22/F, Dusit Thani Hotel Bangkok, 946 Rama 4 Rd., 02-236-0450. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 6-10pm; Sat 6-10pm. www.dusit.com.

Calderazzo

Chat with your friends and see each other’s…faces…while relieving yourself. Everything is simple and clean in this restroom. A futuristic communal urinal is divided into three sections with a drain located in the center.
59 Lang Suan Rd., 02-252-8108/-9. Open daily 11am-2:30pm, 6-10pm.

Ishq

This ravishing Sino-Colonial style room is decorated in shades of Oriental green and red. Shining urinals line a glass terrace that faces a small garden; your privacy is protected behind blinds with strings of metal beads. It’s like having a pampered pee in your own private garden.
142 North Sathorn Rd., 02-634-5398/-9. Open daily 11am-11pm.

Route 66

This is a real woman thing. Despite the conspicuous plumbing, this retreat seems more like a bar-within-a-bar where toilets are just another type of seating. The posh powder room is extravagantly decorated with a glass-walled dressing room and cute male musicians performing on weekends. So the next time your girlfriend says, “The lines were so long!” be skeptical.
29/33-40 Royal City Avenue, Block B, Rama 9 Rd., 01-916-2898. Open daily 8pm-2am. www.route66club.com.

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Calling All Metrosexuals

Women of Thailand, rejoice. Your men need no longer steal your moisturizer or nick your facial scrub thanks to the folks at Watsons. The beauty and health care purveyor takes aim at that rapidly growing segment of the population popularized by the Thai movie Metrosexual through its “Watsons Men’s Skincare” line. So go on, men, and enjoy your own brand of facial wash (B80), scrub (B100), lotion (B150) and masks (B150), as well as a soothing aftershave balm (B150) nourished by Vitamins C, E and coenzyme Q10. We won’t tell. Try Watsons, Siam Square Soi 1, 02-658-3969. 

Fitness for Gen M

The Fitness Center at Novotel Siam Square is specifically targeting Metrosexual guys who care about their health and bodies. Gen Ms will receive a 30 percent discount on three-month memberships (regularly B7,000) or annual off-peak memberships (B14,000). As far as we know there isn’t a sexual orientation test—apparently they’ll take your word for it. Novotel Siam Square, Siam Square Soi 6, 02-209-8888 ext. 2702/-5.

Healthy Mommy

This Mother’s Day give mom a gift that will last a full year: a membership at The Fitness Centre at Swissotel Le Concord. Facilities and classes include yoga, aerobics, swimming pool and sauna. Apply for a one-year membership (B13,000) and get two extra months plus a free one-night stay with breakfast for two. Through Aug 31. 204 Ratchadapisek Rd., 02-694-2214 ext. 1212/-4.

Made for asians

Feeling dehydrated? Gunky rich skin creams making you see spots? Estee Lauder has come up with a new moisturizer aimed specifically at the Asian woman, which provides the fuller hydration of a heavier cream, but without all the guck or shine that inevitably ensues after a few minutes in the tropical heat. Starting Aug 1, women will be vying for Estee’s Hydra Complete Multi-Level Moisture Gel for oily skin or Gel Crème for normal complexions (B2,200) to see what optimal hydration feels like. Try Estee Lauder Counter, G/F, The Emporium, Sukhumvit Rd., 02-269-1000.

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All your friends are busy and you’re absolutely sick of looking at the drab walls of your apartment. Fancy a drink?

Adhere

This Banglampoo live blues bar is good to drink alone at for the same reason Slim/Flix is, but on a much smaller scale. Though it may be a fraction of the size, this place can get somewhat crowded on the evenings. Regardless, the clientele and the staff are super friendly (maybe a little too friendly), so if you are in need of some buddies, head over here.
13 Samsen Rd., Phranakorn, 09-769-4613, ad_here_13@hotmail.com. Open daily 6pm-midnight.

Brown Sugar

Here’s another live music venue where it’s cool to fly solo for two reasons. First, they have a little “loner” spot where you can sit and sip and not feel like a total loser chilling at a table. Good place to try out those pick up lines you’ve been trying to memorize. Second, if you are really down and out, come on in and listen to their blues band wail. Let your soul weep. Open daily 5pm-1am.
231/20 Sarasin Rd., 02-250-1826.

Distill/Sirocco

Feeling a bit lonely? Sad? Inferior? Splash away those feelings of inadaquacy from the most commanding view of the city money can buy. Have a drink on the outdoor balcony and get that “lord of all you survey” kind of feeling. Open daily 6pm-1am.
63-64/F, The Dome, State Tower, 1055/111 Silom Rd., 02-624-9555.

Slim/Flix

Nothing makes you feel less lonely that jamming into a room with dozens and dozens of other people. This lively venue is packed on the weekends, and most weeknights, too. As long as you don’t mind university students, this place is a hoot. Open daily 7pm-2am.
Block B, Royal City Avenue, Rama 9 Rd., 02-203-0226/-8.

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James Brown once said, “It's a man world, but it wouldn't be nothin' without a woman.” In a male-dominated society like this, there are thankfully some spaces for the born-female to enjoy the privilege of being a lady—no matter if they behave like ladies-who-lunch or working-ladies.

Coyote

The popular Tex Mex eatery on Convent offers the fairer sex unlimited free sparking wine and/or La Casa margaritas every Wed night, 6-8pm. Not too shabby!
1/2 Convent Rd., Silom, 02-631-2325. BTS Sala Daeng. www.coyoteonconvent.com

Circle

Newly revamped American restaurant is now offering the ladies free martinis and sangria Thu evenings, 6-8pm.
20/27-29 Ruam Rudee Village, Soi Ruam Rudee, Ploen Chit, 02-650-8047. BTS Ploen Chit.

Glow

Glow was one of the first bars to honor one of Thailand’s few female DJs last year by letting DJ Nakadia grace the wheels of steel. Their extensive drink list can surely satisfy any taste, though the prices might be a little bit higher than typical bars in this area. Every Mon, ladies at Glow can enjoy one free drink while grooving to house tunes by DJ Chade.
96/4-5, Sukhumvit Soi 23, 02-261-3007, 02-261-4446. Open daily 6pm-1am.

Inch

The poshest bar in the area offers three cocktails for every born lady Thu nights, as long as you make it there before midnight.
55/49-60 Ratchadapisek Rd., 02-641-2963/-5. www.inchclub.com.

Jazz It

This newish bar in RCA really skews things in the ladies’ favor, as long as you come in early enough. Before 10pm all ladies get unlimited free well drinks, while groups of four or more girls get a free bottle of Red Label. Could be fun, as long as you don’t have any plans for the rest of the night.
21/39-40 Royal City Avenue, Block C (across from Route 66, behind Re-Feel), 06-106-5605. Open Tue-Sun, 8pm-2am. www.jazzitbangkok.com

Narcissus

Still there, going on but not sure about getting strong. No drink specials here but on their “chic” Wed nights, ladies at least get in for free to enjoy the cute little DJs Oatawa & Kolor One.
122, Shukumvit Soi 23, 02-258-2549, 02-258-4805. Open daily 9pm-2am.

Witch’s Tavern

Every Wed, the W.T. offers free beer and Bacardi rum drinks for ladies, 6-9pm. Stay on in this casual ex-pat bar to enjoy their house band, which plays Western pop and hip-hop favorites Mon-Sat, 10pm-1am.
306/1 Soi Thonglor, 02-391-9791, www.witch-tavern.com

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The prison diary of a slow loris by Wild Aid.

Capture: Bokor National Park, Cambodia


Dear Diary,
It’s dark and hot in here. And this sack is chafing against my skin, as my three companions and I are being spirited out of the jungle.

Last night, the two-legged creatures caught me. Mom had settled me onto a tree and instructed me to cling tightly to the branch and not make a sound. “Beware of pythons,” she once warned. “But more than anything else beware the pungent scent of the two-legged ones. The torture they put you through will make you wish you were swallowed whole by a snake.”

But they found me, shining a bright light that blinded me for a moment. Babbling to each other excitedly, they wrested me off the branch. Three other slow lorises were already tied to a bamboo pole, staring uncomprehendingly. I, too, soon had my legs bound against the pole, with the rope cutting into my flesh. We’re usually solitary creatures, but our forced intimacy had us chattering. “I heard they eat us,” whimpered one of my fellow captives.

Later, they wrenched out some of our teeth! One held me down while another forced my mouth open and tugged and twisted at some of my teeth with some kind of tool. The pain was unspeakable. Even though there was still blood oozing from our mouths, they stuffed us into a white plastic sack—and then we were on the move.

On the Road: Between Cambodia and Thailand


Dear Diary,
Flies are starting to buzz over the dead gibbon, its face finally in repose. For hours, she had been screeching in terror and panic as we all sat in our cages, bumping along the road. Her heart finally gave out, and it’s only an hour or two before the rot sets in. There are some dead birds in here as well. Their tiny hearts also stopped.

We’re in the back of a truck, though it’s covered so others won’t see us. I don’t know where we are, and I don’t know where we are going. The sun is beating down on the tarpaulin, and it’s stifling in our cages. I’m hot, hungry and thirsty—we haven’t been given any food or water since our capture. But the fear is overwhelming the thirst and hunger.

Besides the dead gibbon and birds, our other travel companion is a young Malayan sun bear cub. He’d been crying for his mother, who the men (that’s what they are called) shot and then butchered. She was still breathing when they chopped off her paws, he told us. Annoyed by his sobs, the men injected him with something that’s made him sleep. He’s been so still for the past hour—despite the rough road and the heat—that I fear he, too, might be dead.

To Market, To Market: Sunday Market near Chatuchak


Dear Diary,
Back into a white plastic sack. This time, though, I’m under the counter of a shop in a bustling market. If we so much as stir, the squat, mean-tempered woman looking after the shop delivers a sharp, swift kick. We are given water only once a day, and for food, they stuff hard pellets and leaves into our mouths. I can’t chew them properly because of the crude dental handiwork that I suffered earlier.

When we reached the town, the men handed me and the other slow lorises to a man who picked his gold teeth with one long fingernail. He crooned over us, saying we were in good enough condition to fetch at least 3,000 baht each, and he said something about a buyer looking to build his private menagerie of exotic pets. I don’t know what happened to the bear cub.

The noise is deafening in the market, and the ground is hard and uncomfortable. From the sounds, I gather the shop we’ve been consigned to mostly sells birds. I hear people lumber by and exclaim over the birds’ colorful plumage. Young brats demand birds as pets from their weary parents.

Occasionally, someone leans over the counter and quietly asks the woman if she has anything “special.” So far, she’s tried to hawk us, some African gray parrots and several Star tortoises. “We know where you can get pangolins, too,” she told one customer. Another time, she mentioned another trader in the market who had a zebra. “Dogs and cats aren’t enough as pets for some lunatics,” she said, chortling.

Working for a Living: Sammy’s Shack, Phuket


Dear Diary,
It’s dinnertime, and we’re the show. My companion and I have been sold to a restaurant owner who’s brought us down here by the sea. Night after night, I have to endure being manhandled by boozy tourists who like to pose for pictures with me. The men chuck me under their chins (most have more than one), and the women squeal over how “cuddly” I am. If only I had all my teeth.
The owner grumbles over us and our inability to perform any tricks. He would have preferred to have had an orangutan he could have kitted out in boxing gloves and shorts. But there’s been a crackdown lately on selling the great primates. Someone, somewhere, has finally realized that the wild is running out of orangutans, chimps, and gorillas. Maybe someday they’ll
realize that the forests are running out of slow lorises like me.

www.wildaid.org

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Hunka Bunka Comes To BKK

We’re en route to becoming the region’s fashion hub (or so TAT tells us), and that’s why we need more fashion design training programs. Though there are already a fair number of fashion institutions (BIFA, Chanapatana, Raffles, Taxila and many courses available in universities), yet another option is brewing. Originating in Japan, Bunka Fashion Academy [pronounced “boon-ka”] (16/F, United Center Bldg., 323 Silom Rd., 02-235-8240. Open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 8am-5pm. www.bunkafashion.com) might be new to Thais but this is where Kenzo and Yohji Yamamoto graduated—so expect those cutting edge styles. Both short (up to 30 hours) and full courses (two years) are available and are led by skilled professionals.

Live Creative, Do Creative

Creative Living magazine (B90) has just been launched, filling space in design/architecture/lifestyle shelves with their sleek contemporary pages. Compared to those big boys on the shelf, Creative Living is not as international as Wallpaper* but still younger than Baan Lae Suan. It has several pages about Steve Jobs of Apple and how creative thinking leads to success. Also, it has a huge travel section (that they claimed they did it themselves) and is collated thematically: The first issue was New York and the second was Paris. Let’s see what city they pick next…

Work Out in Style

Have you noticed the blue/purple neon lights on the ground floor of that very NYC-looking building at Asok junction? That’s the headquarters for a Singapore-based fitness operator’s newest branch in Bangkok. True Fitness (1/F, Exchange Tower, Asok, 02-02-663-4999) covers 6,000 sq.m of the “Batman building,” and is decked out in a funky, futuristic style with a wide range of classes every week. From yoga to aerobics to spinning and free weights, this fitness center will get you worked up in a sweat in no time at all, no matter how you like to do it. Equipped with 70 showers, 1,400 lockers as well as steam rooms, True also houses a café, a nursery for the kiddies and a retail store selling fitness apparel and accessories. Look out, California!

Old Leng, New Leng

A long-running vintage watch retailer has recently opened a new shop. The new Leng Watch (a.k.a. Leng Nalika; Petchaburi Rd., opp. First Hotel, 02-629-2997. Open daily 10am-7:45pm. www.lwg.co.th) offers a rich line-up of vintage watches for every collector, from rare Audemars Piquet or Patek Philippe to more popular Rolex models. You can also make trades here.

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