Two years ago, former journalist and MTV VJ Sittipon “Oz” Chanarat, 28, quit his job to pursue his passion for fishing. His fishing website was then spotted by a producer seeking contestants for new National Geographic show King Fishers. Here, he tells us about the therapeutic benefits of the sport and his future plans.

When did you first start fishing?
I was probably only three or four when my uncle took me fishing. I did it off and on during high school but could never really afford to do it properly. It was only when I started working that I was able to really take it seriously.

What is the appeal?
There’s a quote I heard by a guy called John Buchanan that sums it up really well. He said, “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” The biggest thing is you never know what’s going to happen. Every time you go out it’s like buying a lottery ticket.

How did you get spotted for King Fishers?
Well, when I decided to pursue this full-time I really worked hard at marketing myself—as well as learning how to fish properly. My website makes use of all the skills I learned in my media jobs. If you search for fishing in Thailand, my website comes up on the first page of Google. The production team found me through that and, because I speak good English, I was the right fit for the Thai contestant.

What’s the show about?
Basically three fishermen have to go and fish in each other’s countries then score each other based on the fishing and on the cultural experience.

Where do you like to go fishing and what do you like to catch?
I probably prefer to go fishing in reservoirs as that’s where you find giant snakehead. They are very vicious and very intense—they fight dirty which makes catching them very challenging.

You fished in different countries for the show; how was it?
Fishing in Darwin, Australia, was just great. There are so many regulations in place there that are strictly enforced, which makes fishing that much more interesting. Here, if someone finds a good spot, it gets hit hard and fished out quickly. The idea of catching a fish then releasing it back to grow further is totally alien to Thais. There are no regulations.

What’s your strangest fishing experience?
Well, a couple of years ago my stepfather died in a violent accident. Afterwards, it was a very tough time and I decided I needed to go fishing, as therapy. My mum got the monks in to do a ceremony at our home while I was out fishing and, as they were chanting their prayers, I caught this huge giant catfish. To make things even stranger I caught it surrounded by a group of Japanese fishermen. My stepdad was Japanese and the fish weighed almost the same as he did.

What’s next for you?
I’m in talks about the possibility of having my own show, but it’s still quite early days. But my experience on the show has made me realize that I want to go and fish around the world. I want to go everywhere.
You can see Oz on King Fishers on National Geographic Channel Aug 7, 9pm.


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History: Located in Suffolk, England, Aspall has been run by the Chevallier family for eight generations. Over these almost 300 years, the family has focused on making cider the traditional way. Taking attributes from a variety of apples, Perronelle’s Blush is made from 100% fresh pressed English apples with a splash of blackberry liquer. Importer Smiling Mad Dog says that fruitiness is proving popular with the Thai palate. If you’ve grown tired of the craft beers flooding Bangkok, you may want to try out the growing range of interesting ciders coming to town.

Appearance: Clear in color, it has a light amber tone with very little in the way of bubbles. As you’d expect from a cider, there’s no head to speak of.

Smell: Not as strong as some mainstream ciders, the dominant aroma is of overripe apples but there is definitely an undertone of berries.
Mouthfeel: Mildly effervescent at first, it quickly fades to leave a fruity but clean taste on the palate.

Taste: An overwhelming hit of apple is really all we get initially. However, the lingering flavor is of slightly sour berries, clearly a result of the acidic blackberry liquer.

Overall: The refreshing fruity flavors of good cider certainly make a lot of sense in hot Bangkok, but it is something of an acquired taste. It has the potential to be a little sickening if you drink a lot but it should be a big hit for fans of fruit beers. Nick Measures

Lowdown: B400, 50cl, 4%

Get it at: Beerosophy, Beerology, HOBs, Niche Cafe’ Bangkok, Nikko Cafe and Moon Glass.


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Gridlocked traffic, a packed BTS and sweaty buses mean our daily commute gets more hellish by the day. We spoke to leading experts to hear their solutions to this commuter log jam.


Amorn Kijchawengkul

Deputy Governor of Bangkok Metropolitan Administrator (BMA)

“While we’re waiting for the whole rapid train system around town to be completed, the BMA is focusing on sub-transportation options to support the main train systems. The current plan that we’re studying is monorail lines around Bangkok. The first of these monorail projects to be completed will be the Grey Line which will run from Watcharapol in the north to Rama IX Bridge in the south. There are also a further three monorail systems being planned: Phayathai – Rama4 (loop), Thonglor – Ratchamangala Stadium and Dindeang—Pissanulok Road. It’s all currently at the research and review stage.”

Pros: The proposed monorail routes do seem to offer an ideal solution to one of the city’s biggest problems: the lack of connections between different transport networks. The cost of installing a monorail is comparable to light rail options and due to its elevated nature it is potentially a faster and less intrusive option. The Grey Line goes from Rama IX Bridge to Watcharapol, via Thonglor, which should help ease traffic in this perpetually busy part of town.
Cons: Despite the potential speed of construction building these lines will have a negative impact on traffic in the short-term, especially considering the time it has taken for other similar projects to be completed—remember how long it took to open the On Nut to Bearing line. We also question the wisdom of investing such resources into a transport option that has been shown to fail in other cities. Sydney is perhaps the most high-profile example with their (admittedly limited) monorail system being forced to close down this June after 25 years due to a lack of users and high maintenance costs.


Orawit Hemachutha

Deputy Director of Bangkok Traffic and Transportation Department

“We will look to restore transport routes on four main Bangkok klongs (canals). We’ve already extended the route at Klong Sansaeb and are now selecting the type of boats to be used along Klong Paseecharoen between BTS Bang Wa and Petchakasem Soi 69. We are also studying the possibility of installing commuter routes along Klong Bangkoknoi and Klong Daokanong.”

Pros: Making use of the existing klongs would seem to make perfect sense as it requires little or no set-up costs, short of building the piers and buying the ferries. The current ferry services are also cheap and fast compared to other options. Being super-positive, it could also be a way to breathe new life into communities along the klongs, which are often some of the poorest in the city. Perhaps most importantly, it could be the impetus needed for a concerted effort to clean up the klongs.
Cons: While the idea of traveling to work along the canal is pretty idyllic, the current reality on the existing routes can be a slightly hair-raising experience. The threat of being trampled on by fellow commuters, splashed with toxic canal water or accidentially going for a swim are all very real dangers making it a less-than-appealing solution for many.


Surapong Laoha-Unya

Chief Operating Officer of the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS)

“The BTS is actually running at about 70% of its maximum capacity at present. During rush hour, it can get crowded as there are 50,000 passengers per hour per line but the system can only serve 20,000 passengers. To meet that kind of demand we would have to install trains with six carriages that come every two minutes, which isn’t really economically viable. Even so, we have ordered five new trains, each with four passenger carriages, and plan to install these onto the Silom Line at the end of this year. We’re also planning to buy seven more trains in 2019 to serve the growing number of passengers on the BTS system as a whole.”

Pros: More carriages clearly mean the BTS can increase its ability to carry more passengers. And more trains should mean they run more frequently during the busiest periods.   
Cons: The BTS is continuing to expand outwards, contributing to urban sprawl, while big gaps remain in the network in the center of town. BTS stations are already ill-equipped to handle increased passengers, with no obvious room for expansion. Just think of what an even more crowded Siam Station at rush hour would be like. It makes us shudder.


Chula Sukmanop

Director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP)

“Our priority right now is to complete the construction of the Bangkok Mass Transit (BMT) Master Plan as quickly as possible (10 lines are due for completion by 2019). While we wait we are doing everything possible to maintain the speed of cars on Bangkok roads to at least 16km per hour at rush hour. To help, we are planning to re-route all the bus lines in Bangkok to better serve the BMT system—they are a total mess right now. As part of this plan, we are ordering 3,000 new buses, which will be delivered in the next two years. We see bus lanes as more effective than bicycle lanes as they can transport more people at one time while a bike can take only 1-2.”

Pros: The current bus system carries one million people a day making it by far the most popular form of transport for commuters in Bangkok, outside of private cars. Improving the routes so they offer better connectivity and introducing new buses that are actually comfortable and safe could attract more people to take the bus. That’s a good thing, too, as they are one of the most economic, efficient and environmentally-friendly public transport solutions.
Cons: One of the biggest issues with the way the buses currently operate is that they still have to share congested roads with the millions of private cars and motorcycles, so they don’t present a quicker or more practical solution. The implementation of bus lanes has been proved to be effective around the world as it means buses can travel at faster than average speeds than other vehicles. Trouble is other road users need to respect the rules and not use those lanes as well, an issue that has afflicted the much-criticised BRT system. Still there are plans to spend an additional B1billion on traffic cameras, which may help keep drivers in line.


Dr. Sorawit Narupiti

Head of Civil Engineering Department, Chulalongkorn University

“Building new tunnels and bridges can definitely help solve the traffic crisis. After all, dealing with the problem at one spot can help reduce bottlenecks elsewhere. It affects the whole system. New roads that are built to act as short-cuts can also reduce pollution and save a lot of energy, too, as people aren’t stuck burning gas on the road. The problem is many such projects are stopped due to opposition from local communities.”

Pros: Reducing the number of bottlenecks across the river is obviously a good thing. Also increasing the number of access points to the Thonburi side of the river makes it a more appealing place to live and do business, and can help spur development.
Cons: Most of the experts we talked to already admitted that there was not enough land to build roads. Bridges need a lot of space and would force many residents to relocate to accommodate the construction, destroying communities, reducing the already scarce green space in the city and increasing pollution levels in those areas. It also doesn’t discourage people from getting in their cars, so doesn’t really fix the over riding problem of too many vehicles on the roads.


Amorn Kijchawengkul

Deputy Governor of Bangkok Metropolitan Administrator (BMA)

“Last Mile is the concept that we are currently developing to help get people to their final destination after being dropped off from the main transport network such as the BTS or bus. This is the idea behind the Pun Pun rental bicycle stations. We have already implemented nine stations and are hoping that a total of 50 such stations will be available in the inner city area this year. That means a total of 500 bicycles available for commuters to use.”

Pros: Bicycles are clearly the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly solution to get from A to B. Making more bikes available is definitely a good thing as it not only persuades more people to get back in the saddle but also hopefully means other road users get more bicycle savvy.
Cons: A good idea in practice, the reality of the Pun Pun system is less attractive. For starters, most of the current stations are in central downtown, locations that are already pretty easy to get to by existing public transport. While bikes are a great way to get from the main transport hubs deeper into the sois, the lack of sub stations in these sois mean you might end up paying for a bicycle to sit doing nothing outside your final destination. Also, while cheap, the B320 initial fee for membership might just put off many people from giving the service a try.


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History: Part of the Deschutes family of beers, who have been brewing out of Bend, Oregon (the heartland of craft beers), since 1988. From brewing a few hundred barrels in their pub overlooking the Deschutes River, they are now one of the largest craft brewers in America and have won multiple awards for their range of beers. First manufactured in 2012, Chainbreaker is actually named after an off-road bike race in Oregon. The beer itself is unusual in that it is a hybrid; brewed with both wheat and pilsner malt, plus orange and coriander, the end result is a distinctive blend of traditional Belgian-style wheat beer and Indian Pale Ale.

Appearance: It pours a very pale, straw-like yellow and has a strong frothy head that hangs on the side of the glass. Cloudy in appearance, it reminded some of our testers of a traditional homemade lemonade, though for others it conjured up reminders of bladder infections.

Smell: Your first sniff sees you assailed by lots of citrusy notes, but there’s also a milder undercurrent of warm spices like cinnamon and clove blended with a mild wheat-y aroma.

Mouthfeel: Initially very effervescent but it’s quickly replaced by an almost soapy feel that fades to leave a slightly dry aftertaste.

Taste: It pretty much tastes like it smells, so lots of strong citrus notes upfront, which gradually fade to leave a mild yeasty aftertaste.

Overall: Generally very drinkable and, unlike some wheat beers, the spicy undercurrent isn’t too overpowering. Light and refreshing, this is definitely a beer that we could sink a few of while soaking up the sunshine with a barbie. Nick Measures

Lowdown: B220, 12 Fl Oz. 5.6%.

Get it at: Roadhouse Barbecue (Rama 4 Rd., 02-236-8010).

BEER Q&A: Gary Fish, founder and CEO of Deschutes Brewery

What makes Deschutes beers special?
Our beers are special primarily because of our approach to brewing; we take a little more time, use primarily whole hops, leave a little more yeast in the bottle and bottle condition most of our beers. In short, we go to more trouble than most. 

Bangkok is the first to savor Deschutes outside the US; why here?
I have been friends with Bill Marinelli and Warunee Ponkpong at The Oyster Bar for a long time and, as we begin to explore exporting the Pacific Rim, this opportunity made sense. That combined with the Beervana guys assuring us that the beer will be well cared for, and their enthusiasm for the product, made this seem like a pretty good place to start.

Which beer from your range would you recommend to Bangkokians?
For Bangkokians, I’d recommend they start with the beer most outside their comfort zone, maybe the Black Butte Porter. As a dark beer, it is very refreshing. The others are lighter in color but are each different. We did a tasting at The Oyster Bar and asked their attendees which beer they liked best and the first four responded with each of the four different beers. So, try them all. Don’t let preconceptions drive your decision.

What beer would you have for your last meal?
If I could have only one beer for my last meal, it might be a Black Butte Porter, but you never know what mood I might be in that day. The beauty of the craft beer revolution is the variety, so I think that decision would be very difficult for me. Carl Dixon


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Beach combing and jungle adventures on Koh Chang.

It might be Thailand’s second biggest island but its out-of-the-way location down by the Cambodian border means Koh Chang still offers the chance to get off the beaten track a little. Accessible only by ferry from nearby Trat, its soaring jungle-clad peaks and sweeping beaches make it an ideal destination for an island escape.

Beach Combing

White Sands Beach

By far the busiest beach on the island, and the closest to the ferry, White Sands is home to the highest concentration of resorts and guesthouses. As a result, it can get very crowded, even though the sand is not exactly the whitest we’ve seen. Still, the long curving beach and shallow waters mean it remains popular, especially with foreign tourists, and is a particularly good destination for families. It’s also a nice spot to head to after dark, when the beach gets filled with the tables and chairs of the various restaurants. While they all offer similar menus of inter favorites, Thai classics and BBQ seafood, we particularly like the dishes at Mac Resort & Hotel (, recognizable by the cute heart-shaped lamps out front, and the slightly more formal Kacha Resort ( After watching the sun go down and indulging in some fresh seafood, you can head along to 15 Palms (White Sand Beach, 039-551-095, This popular nightspot offers a choice between puffing on a shisha on the supersized bean bags out on the sand or sampling their great selection of imported beers and ciders on the plush leather sofas inside. Or you can just numb the senses with the delicious offerings at the attached ice cream bar.

Klong Prao Beach

Those who want a slightly quieter beach experience may be better off heading further south to Klong Prao, which while home to a few high-end resorts, also boasts some long stretches of completely undeveloped coast. The beach is testament to this; it’s wonderfully quiet, home to a multitude of rock pools teeming with marine life. While long walks are the obvious pleasure here, you can also get more adventurous and hire a kayak (try the Centara) and strike out for the small collection of islands that dot the bay. Dining-wise there are a limited range of eateries, with most based in the bigger resorts. However, we strongly recommend making the trek down to the quiet Tiger Huts restaurant (38/24 Moo 4 Klong Prao, Klong Prao Beach, 089-833-1503, 084-109-9660). The sunset view from the wooden terrace is gorgeous and we think their fish cooked with garlic and pepper is the best we’ve taste in Thailand.

Lonely Beach

A mecca for the multitude of backpackers doing the Asian tour, Lonely Beach is the party central of the island. Despite the hype, the relatively small beach is not that impressive with a large rocky stretch at one end. Still there are a couple of good places to eat and a growing number of high-end boutique-style resorts (see Essentials) to be found on the quieter stretches of sand. If you drop by to ogle the backpackers then the most popular spot for people to gather to eat, drink and listen to the obligatory reggae tunes is Nature Rocks, the beachfront restaurant of Nature Beach Resort (98 Moo 4, Lonely Beach / Bai Lan Bay), which offers a broad mix of Thai and inter dishes.

Away from the Beach

Bang Bao Fishing Village

If you want to get away from the sand for a while and sample some seafood, and are happy to tackle the roads, head to the southern tip of the island for Koh Chang’s main fishing port. (It’s also where you’ll catch the various snorkel and scuba dive tours and the speedboats to nearby islands like Koh Wai, Koh Mak and Koh Kood.) The narrow, slightly creaky pier is home to restaurants and cafes (Chow Lay Seafood 40/1 Moo 1, Bangbao, 039-558-118 is perhaps our pick for seafood), some cute guesthouses and, amid all the tacky souvenir stalls, some charming little stores like Peace Moon ( where you can watch them hand-making their selection of jewellery and leather crafts. Wander past the dive boats to the end of the pier and, if you’re feeling brave, head up the metal steps to the top of the lighthouse for some impressive views.

Journey to the Other Side

Due to its geography, pretty much all of the beaches on Koh Chang are situated on the west coast of the island, which is much more developed. If you want to get away from the crowds, a trip to the west coast promises solitude and some spectacular views over to the Thai and Cambodian mainlands. There’s also the chance to visit a couple of lesser-known waterfalls like Than Mayom (near the Government Office) and Klong Nung, the mangrove forest walkway at Salak Khok, and the charming temple and quaint fishing village at Salak Phet. If you get hungry during your explorations, visit the seafood places down at Salak Phet. Still, we’d suggest stopping off at a really eclectic restaurant about half-way down the island called Paradise Behind the Sea (22/22 Ang Kong Kang, 081-900-2388. Open daily 8:30am-9:30pm). Perched on the edge of a cliff, it offers great views, decent Thai and Vietnamese food and a really quirky space filled with authentic Thai antiques and mismatched furniture. The toilets are particularly worthy of a visit and the coffee is way above average. 

Swing in the trees

Koh Chang is covered in thick tropical rainforest and what better way to truly experience the greenery than by clambering through the tree tops. Tree Top Adventure Park (115 Moo 1, Koh Chang Tai, 084-310-7600. Open daily 9am-5pm) offers the chance to tackle almost three kms of rope bridges, tarzan swings, and giant zip lines, all while hanging 20m above the ground in the jungle canopy. The center, which also operates in Pattaya and Krabi, has been running since 2007 and uses equipment that’s passed international safety standards, so you can just worry about the vertigo while leaping, surfing and even cycling from tree-to-tree. Prices start from B1,100) including hotel transfers and refreshments.


Getting There


Bangkok Airways offer three flights daily to the small airport of Trat, around a 20-minute drive from the main ferry port at Ao Thammachat, sometimes called Ao Sapparot.

The other option, is to drive yourself, or get the bus from Bangkok which takes around 5-6 hours. Buses leave from Mo Chit and Ekkamai terminals and cost B248.

Combined car and passenger ferries to the island run from 6:30am-7pm and the crossing takes around 30 minutes. It costs B80 per person and B120 for a car. Note that while they are regular, you can experience long waits to get your car on during holidays.

Getting Around The island

Be prepared for some of the most vertiginous and hair-raising roads we’ve seen. Songthaew (covered pickups) do ply these routes (fares from B30) and can be flagged down just about anywhere. Motorbikes and scooters are incredibly easy to hire but due to the treacherous driving conditions we’d really recommend sticking to the pickups.

Where to Stay High-End: Centara Koh Chang

Renovated last year, this member of the Thai hotel chain offers a choice of modern rooms and quaint tropical cottages, all set in a beautifully landscaped garden. It also boasts an excellent location at one end of Klong Prao Beach, two pools, a kids club, a beach bar, which screens films nightly, a beachside restaurant and a branch of the respected SPA Cenvaree ( From B2,380. 26/3  Moo 4,  Klong Prao beach, 039-557-122.

Boutique: Warapura Resort
Sat on a quiet stretch of Lonely Beach, this small resort has just 20 rooms but packs plenty of character into its five different room types which range from Cozy Villas (from B1,500) to Seaside Villas (from B2,250). There’s also a large Central pool, a spa and a seaside restaurant. 4/3 Moo 1, Kohchang Tai, 039-558-123.

Budget: KP Hut
While Lonely Beach offers plenty of budget options, we prefer KP Huts on Klong Prao Beach. Accessed down a bumpy dirt track, it offers very basic huts in the garden with or without bathroom (B400/B700) or, if you’re lucky, try and grab one of the quirky, brightly painted huts on stilts that hang precariously over the beach (B700, no bathroom). There’s also a restaurant on-site. Moo 4, Klong Phrao Beach, 084-077-5995


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Shangri-La Horizon Cruise

Cruise starts 7.30-9.30pm
89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangrak Bangkok 10500
+66 2 236 7777

Enjoy a magical perspective on Bangkok with a romantic and unique twilight cruise down Bangkok's River of Kings, the Chao Phraya, on one of the Shangri La's traditional private cruises. Sip a pre-dinner cocktail as you glide past the glittering skyscrapers, shimmering temples and traditional shophouses and watch the sun set and the lights come on across this unique skyline. Then it’s time to enjoy a spectacular international buffet especially created by the five star hotel's team of expert chefs while enjoying the view of this always-bustling city along the riverbank. Finally, head up to the upper-deck to enjoy the breeze and cap a special evening of exclusivity, fine dining and culture.
Exclusively for Visa cardholders: Make your dinner a night to remember. Enjoy this twilight cruise down the Chao Phraya river at a special rate of only THB 1,499++.
*Terms and conditions apply

Biscotti & Shintaro at the Four Seasons Hotel

155 Rajadamri Road, Bangkok 10330
+66 2 126 8866
One surprising aspect about Bangkok’s dining scene is the predominance of so many good Italian restaurants and Biscotti is one of the very best. An exclusive and resolutely traditional Italian restaurant, located at the Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of Bangkok, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a taste of the old country along with fine wine and a warm welcoming service. Watch as the chefs in the open kitchen create flavorsome, authentic dishes with this unique set menu that takes you on an exciting culinary journey. If you are a lover of inventive Japanese-fusion cuisine then you might prefer to head next door to Shintaro. They clearly put the quality and freshness of its fish above all else; sourcing only the best fish from Japan, America and Australia, and you can truly taste the difference with their intriguing set menu options. The chic but cozy and intimate setting is a big draw for the city’s glam crowd who come to pose on weekend nights adding a true to touch of glamour to your dinner date.
Exclusively for Visa cardholders: Have it your way, indulge in the most scrumptious Italian dinner or the freshest of Japanese cuisine at THB 1,499++ plus a glass of sparkling wine.
*Terms and conditions apply

JoJo, Italian Lifestyle Restaurant at the St. Regis Hotel.

159 Rajadamri Road, Bangkok 10330
+66 2 207 7777
Another of the city’s leading lights when it comes to Italian dining, Visa cardholders can enjoy a very special experience for less at Jojos. Come for the lunch and get to see the subtle design flourishes of this striking high ceilinged space illuminated by the natural light streaming through the floor to ceiling windows that overlook a welcome patch of greenery. Then you can revel in the talented head chef Carlo Valenziano's special lunch menu which consists of wonderfully rustic Italian dishes such as pan-fried scallops and Boston lobster tagliolini, using bold and simple flavors to great effect.
Exclusively for Visa cardholders: Enjoy the traditional Italian flavours of Jojo in a beautiful setting for only THB 749++ at lunch. This rate includes a complimentary dessert.
*Terms and conditions apply

La Tavola & Wine Bar at the Renaissance Hotel.

518/8 Ploenchit Road, Bangkok 10330
+66 2 125 5000
Another spectacular Italian restaurant to be enjoyed within a top class hotel, Visa cardholders have the added benefit of being able to enjoy special set menus at La Tavola at both dinner and lunch. While the striking, contemporary décor, ambient lighting and considered presentation of the food is really something to behold, the food also lives up to the setting with a real emphasis on fresh, responsibly sourced ingredients. Add in superlative service and a stellar collection of wines from around the world; and you have the perfect venue for either an important business lunch or a romantic dinner for two.
Exclusively for Visa cardholders: An artful lunch or dinner, in both decor and flavours, at a special rate of THB 749++ for lunch and THB 1,499++ for dinner.
*Terms and conditions apply

Benjarong Royal Thai Cuisine at the Dusit Thani hotel

946 Rama IV Road, Bangkok
+66 226 9999
For those who want to truly taste the very best of Thai dining then a trip to Benjarong is a must. Fortunately, visa cardholders can now discover why this classic restaurant has been the best kept secret of Bangkokian families for decades. The traditional food has a specific emphasis on authentic Thai dishes that were particularly popular among the Royal Courts of old. The courtly service and setting, including the beautiful bone china, help reinforce the regal atmosphere. Benjarong is particularly well known for its set menus, which offer a great introduction to rare and authentic specialities which are becoming increasingly difficult to find elsewhere, such as the perfectly prepared pla kapongjian nam makham, which uses only the best tamarind and the very freshest catch.
Exclusively for Visa cardholders : Experience the refinement and bold flavours of traditional Thai cuisine at THB 749++ for lunch and THB 1,499++ for dinner.
*Terms and conditions apply


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History: Punk IPA is just one of a range of ales from Scottish craft brewer BrewDog who claim to make irreverent beer with a soul. The eco brewery, formed back in 2007, is perhaps best known for brewing the world’s strongest lager (Tactical Nuclear Penguin at 32%), but Punk IPA is their bestselling ale in the UK and Thai importers Smiling Mad Dog say it’s also proving very popular here. Punk is based on a classic Indian Pale Ale, meaning it’s brewed using pale malts, which in turn produce a paler beer, but Punk is given a modern twist thanks to the addition of fruity hops to ensure a real burst of flavor.

Appearance: As it’s a pale ale, it has a light, slightly burnt orange tone with plenty of bubbles when you first pour. It settles down to leave a decent frothy, slightly creamy white head.

Smell: It has a somewhat zesty, fruity aroma–a little like washing up liquid, though in a good way–but there’s also a nice hoppy undercurrent.

Mouthfeel: Initially very crisp but this quickly fades to leave a slightly soapy feel.

Taste: The bitter first impression is elevated by a hit of fruity, almost floral notes, which are slow to fade. When they finally do, you are left with a very pleasing sweet aftertaste that’s reminiscent of pineapple.

Overall: Very light and easy to drink, the lack of bitterness, pretty mild flavors and (relatively) low alcohol content mean you can quite easily enjoy a few Punk IPAs in a single sitting.

Lowdown: B240, 33cl, 5.6%.

Get it at: Beerosophy, BeerologyBKK, BREW Beers & Ciders, Niche Cafe' Bangkok, and Badmotel.


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Fresh beers to try, and where to enjoy them, as picked by the city’s top import experts.

Danish Delights

Jakob Mørkenborg Rasmussen of Hopsessions, who import beers from cutting-edge Copenhagen-based brewer Mikkeller and the ultimate handcrafted beer, Bøgedal, as well as medieval drink of choice, Mead.

What’s your favorite beer currently available in Bangkok?
It’s hard to choose as there are more and more good beers arriving. If I had to pick one, then it would be BrewDog - Hardcore IPA. You can never go wrong with that! It’s a powerful beer, stuffed with hops. I love the freshness and bitterness. It also works great with spicy food.
Describe the taste in three words?
Citrus, caramel, hops.
What beer from your range would you recommend to Bangkokians?
If I had to pick just one, it would be Hvedegoop. It’s the hallmark of Craft Brewing, a collaboration between Three Floyds Brewing, USA, and Mikkeller, Denmark. It’s a powerful hoppy wheat wine at 10.4% ABV—same as a barley wine but based on red wheat. It’s so well balanced it’s crazy! The American release of this beer sold out in a few hours. Luckily, Mikkeller had a few cases left in Copenhagen, so we bought the last drops. This beer will never come again, so try it while it lasts.
What beer would you have for your last meal?
One that really stands out is Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, which is a 10.9% stout brewed with Kopi Luwak. Unfortunately, it’s expensive, rarely brewed, and normally sold out before they even brew it.

Stateside Serenade

As one of the co-founders of pioneering craft beer importers Beervana, Aaron Grieser brings in American craft beers from the likes of Rogue and Andersen Valley US and has recently started importing a range of ales from Singapore’s oldest micobrewery, Brewerkz.

What’s your favorite beer currently available in Bangkok?
I’m loving Anderson Valley’s Imperial IPA, Heelch O’ Hops.
What makes it special?
Heelch (meaning “a lot” in the local dialect where it’s brewed in the mountains of northern California) is a hop-head’s delight. It’s 8.7% alcohol and has as much bitterness as your tongue can perceive, yet it’s also perplexingly balanced and easy to drink and packed with all kinds of citrus and tropical fruit notes. Delicate and dangerous.
Describe the taste in three words?
In. Your. Face.
What beer from your range would you recommend to Bangkokians?
I’m really excited to see the reception that Brewerkz Golden Ale has gotten in Bangkok. We just launched it a few weeks ago at Smith and the Roadhouse and it’s just killing it! It’s an excellently crafted ale with solid fundamentals and it’s lighter bodied so it’s good for the tropics. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s the freshest craft beer in distribution in Thailand; we get it only a week after brewing and it’s available in draft.
What beer would you have for your last meal?
The Aurora Australis from crazy Norwegian brewery Nøgne O. Its brewed in Australia, aged in red wine barrels and then matured at sea on the way to Norway.

Local Brews

Supavich “Kong” Vongvivat and Kan Navikapol are two Thais who set up Smiling Mad Dog Co., Ltd., running a series of beer-dedicated bars like Beerology and Beerosophy in Bangkok. After finding out what their customers really like, they have now started bringing in beers themselves, such as Scottish craft beer BrewDog, famous Belgian beers St.Bernardus and Chapeau, as well as Aspall Cyder (Premium English cider), available later this month.

What’s your favorite beer currently available in Bangkok?
It all depends on the time and the amount we’re drinking. After a hard day’s work, a pint of Aspall Cyder is very refreshing. But on the weekends, it would have to be BrewDog PunkIP. It’s indescribable; you have to smell the aroma, taste the first sip, and experience the finish. This beer is unlike any other beer in the market!
Describe the taste/flavor in three words?
Like it, love it, live it.
What beer from your range would you recommend to Bangkokians?
Everyone has their own personal preference depending on their character and taste buds so we’re going on beers to fit characters!  St.Bernardus is good for fresh young executives looking for a smart-confident look. BrewDog is well suited to arty hipsters wanting a punky look, while executives might plump for the classic Englishness of Aspall Cyder.
What beer would you have for your last meal?
I would definitely go for the BrewDog PunkIPA just because it is one of the “100 Beers to try before you die” but more importantly, I want to still have the taste of hops on the tip of my tongue once I reach heaven (or somewhere else?).


Find out where to enjoy these beers and more with our round up of the Best Beer Bars in Bangkok and discover how you can also have them delivered to your door with our guide to Bangkok's Best Beer Delivery Services.


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Movie Review: The Man With the Iron Fists

Editor's Rating: 
Average: 1 (1 vote)

The biggest problem with this film is that, unless you’re a 14-year-old boy, it’s hard to ignore the woeful acting and clunky storyline and just enjoy the sexy ladies and gratuitous violence. The end result is a film that disappoints on so many levels.

Opening Date: 
Tue, 2013-01-22
Nick Measures