Turn up the volume wherever you go with our pick of the best portable speakers.

Ion Audio’s Water Rocker waterproof speaker can be submerged to a depth of one meter, and comes with built-in FM radio and a 100ft wireless transmitter. It runs on a battery, so simply plug in your music player to its dock and let it float safe and dry while you make a splash, B4,590.

Elecom’s Bluetooth Water Splash Proof Speaker uses Bluetooth to play music and runs on a rechargeable battery that can be charged through USB, B3,490.

The JBL On Stage Micro III speaker is made for the iPod/iPhone, features a remote control and runs on its own battery or via USB connection, B4,990.

Don’t let its size fool you, the JBL On Tour Micro mini speakers are loud. They come in red or white, connect to your music player via cable and run on rechargeable battery or USB, B1,690.

The Jawbone Jambox is available in red or blue, featuring Bluetooth, built-in microphone and “Live Audio,” which enhances the depth and volume of your tracks. It runs on battery or via USB connection, B7,490.

Gavio’s Wrenz Speaker comes in a sleek palm-size bird-shaped design. Featuring a headphone socket, it runs on a rechargeable battery, and connects to your music player via cable. B1,990.

Where to buy in Bangkok

Elecom & Gavio. Order online at www.symbolsofstyle.com
JBL & Jawbone. 3/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-690-1000. BTS Siam.
Water Rocker. Order online at  www.gadgetandplay.com


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Bored with Nike and Adidas? Here are some big brands to help you shed the calories and disposable income.

A Calvin Klein polo with superior cooling properties to keep you looking dry in those Facebook pics. Add golf club or racket, strike a pose, B5,500.

Tendence’s G52 watch in black, waterproof to 200 meters, which is very reassuring when swimming laps in your condo's pool. B32,900.

This Hugo Boss golf bag comes with lots of compartments to hold your essentials: gloves, balls, condoms, sunscreen and, of course, your clubs B23,200.

There’s nothing like a colorful bag from Armani Exchange to make an impression in the locker room, B8,590.

Dolce & Gabbana’s new trainers are made from Nappa leather, washed suede and nylon with an embroidered logo. Now you have a good excuse to avoid running when it rains. Available in blue or red, B16,000.

Dolce & Gabanna’s gym collection training shorts available in red, green and yellow, B13,000.

Where to Shop in Bangkok

Armani Exchange & Calvin Klein. 1/F, 2/F Siam Discovery. Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, 02-658-1000. BTS Siam.
Dolce & Gabbana & Hugo Boss. M/F, 1/F Siam Paragon. Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, 02-690-1000. BTS Siam.
Tendence. 3/F, Central Chidlom, Ploenchit Rd., Bangkok, 02-662-3883. BTS Chidlom.


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Online start-ups, stylish pop-up stores and arty designers are shaking up Bangkok’s retail landscape.

Web Boutiques

Bag Space


Started by a group of graphic designers in 2011, Zummetry’s clothing is instantly recognizable for its dark tones accentuated by colorful graphics. Supposedly inspired by nature, humanity and animals, the brand does men’s and women’s wear with an emphasis on unconventional shapes and patterns. Expect gray printed shorts and leggings and t-shirts with vibrant motifs. Prices range from B690-2,900. Their latest collection, When the Night is Not Dark, blends bottoms in black, gray and dark purple with lighter-colored printed tops. During Sep, order at www.symbolsofstyle.com. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/zummetry

Bag Space Shop

Launched a year ago, Bag Space has quickly grown in popularity thanks to its simple yet refined leather bags. Think dapper but understated working man. Prices range from B1,450-B6,250. We recommend the newly arrived 13” messenger bag in brown, B5,450. Order online at www.bagspace.in.th or call 080-8100-800.

Burgundy Dipper

Burgundy Dipper’s web/store has been up and running for three years now, carrying all the big names like Ray Ban, Quay, Super and Marc Jacobs. Apart from the product list, which gets updated daily, the shop is also known for having considerably cheaper price tags than mall retailers. Sunglasses start from B580, while headphones from the likes of Marshall and UrbanEars are also available, starting from B1,490. We really like the new Karen Walker Harvest shades in Black (B8,500). Order online at www.facebook.com/BurgundyDipperShop or visit their store at MRT Phaholyothin, Exit 3. 084-100-9902. Open daily 1pm-10pm.

Made of Fabric

Launched on Facebook at the end of 2011, this new brand deals in tailor-made women’s clothing with an emphasis on candy-colored pieces. Think plaid dresses and high-waisted bottoms in pastels with delicate lacing providing the final touch. Tailor-made dress starts from B3,000 and ready-to-wear-dress from B1,800. They’ve also just started selling heels in cute, girly colors like pink and purple. Our pick is the peach white dress taken from their third collection, B2,200. Order online at www.facebook.com/madeoffabric or call 081-391-1553.

Back to BACC

Happening Shop

Green Thai Product

Green Thai Product is all about saving the Earth by promoting the reuse of materials—think shopping bags made from old rice bags, iPad cases constructed from food packaging, diaries filled with recycled paper and pencil cases made from tires. The best thing is the items don’t scream “made from used materials”—the wallets in black and brown even resemble leather alternatives, and while your new folder might be made from a plastic bag it doesn’t look like it thanks to elegant use of simple colors and practical design. Prices start from B10-1,000. Do your bit for the environment and save your money with the plain wallet, B140. 3/F, BACC, Rama 1 Rd., 086-141-7385. BTS National Stadium.

Happening Shop

Having started off as a lifestyle magazine, Happening just got even closer to its readers through their newly-opened store. The focus isn’t so much on selling magazines but rather collaboration pieces with musicians and artists, like t-shirts, notebooks, postcards and bags. Expect t-shirts bearing art executed by the likes of Stylish Nonsense, Greasy Café and The Brown Bunny, hard-to-find albums from acts like P.O.P, Goose and Armchair, as well as notebooks with arty designs. Prices start from B30-1,500. The t-shirts particularly stand out, starting from B200-370, while the adorable cat postcard also rates a mention, B35. 3/F, BACC, Rama 1 Rd., 02-214-6630-8.

Artist Colors

Fittingly your first taste of Artist Colors is its vibrant window display, which gives you a taste of their stunning product range, from aprons to postcards to t-shirts, many of which are created in collaboration with renowned artists like Thaiwijit Puangkasemsomboon. Think black and white t-shirts with watercolor designs portraying everything from elephants to temple-inspired patterns and even a portayal of hell. Postcards start from B10 and t-shirts from B290. Their bags and aprons may feature floral and animal designs, but forget those traditional styles you’ve come across at Lumpini Night Plaza—these blend Thai aesthetics with real artistic touches; take, for instance, the elephant shopping bag, B190. 3/F, BACC, Rama 1 Rd., 02-214-6630-8.

Skin on Skin

At first glance Skin on Skin might look like a typical Siam Square dress shop, but step inside and you’ll soon recognize its subtle charms. Specializing in pastel-toned women’s tops and dresses with touches of leopard print and other animal-influenced design, what really stands out is the quality of the materials used in each piece. Figuring prominently is plenty of light silk chiffon imported from France that thankfully doesn’t carry a hefty price tag. Prices start from B1,800-31,000. One must-try is the newly-arrived pastel shirt in blue, B1,800. 3/F, BACC, Rama 1 Rd., 02-214-6630-8.

Pop-Up Stores

Niche Nation


Known for its minimalist men’s clothing featuring unique prints, Painkiller looks to create an enduring union between fashion and function. So instead of overt fanciness, the beauty is found in the details, from sharp cuts and patchworks to silk screen prints combined with the use of muted colors like camel, beige and blue. Their latest collection, The Collector, strives for an “urban-finesse” aesthetic with a color palette inspired by old paintings. Shades of gray and blue dominate while pants also come in simple hues like white and beige. Our favorite is the purple sweater, B1,550. Visit the pop-up store at Chatujak Market, Kampangpetch Rd., MRT Kampangpetch.

Something Boudoir

Run by the same team behind Disaya, Something Boudoir takes the aesthetics of a candy store and adapts it to sweet women’s apparel, accessories and stationery all sold at affordable prices. Expect plenty of polka dots and tones like pink, light blue and purple. Candy-colored watches, mugs, notebooks and even cameras are also available, carrying adorable biscuit and ice-cream imagery. Clothing starts from B1,150 and accessories from B85. Check out the mini cat’s face bag, B1,050. Their pop-up store is currently in front of Siam Discovery, Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-1098. BTS Siam.

Spy U Fashion Space

Spy Cocktail and Wine Cooler’s first fashion retail space is a pop-up store that blends an exhibition with a restaurant and bar. It will host DIY fashion workshops and the sixth annual Siam Center Design Forward: Spy U Fashion Contest giving young talent the chance to launch a career as a fashion designer. There’s also an outdoor space on the second deck to wine and dine, with cocktail selections like mojito, magarita and maitai for B60 and cocktail tower for B450. Dishes like spaghetti green curry and springrolls are also available for B70 with menus to change spontaneously. Siam Discovery, Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-1098. BTS Siam.

Niche Nation

Niche Nation stocks eyewear from niche international brands like Dita, Karen Walker, Moscot, Mykita and more that you can’t find most places here. With their shop in Thonglor under renovation, visit their pop-up store at We Do Gallery through Sep 7. Prices start from B6,000 and our fave is the special edition Super Basic Florida, B9,900. Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-391-4866. BTS Thonglor.

Wonder Anatomie

Started by three siblings with a passion for prints, Wonder Anatomie focuses on women’s clothing and bags. Among the black and white suede tops featuring printed floral and butterfly designs, things like skulls also provide a slightly sinister touch. Tops start from B1,390 and bags from B4,790. We like the printed sleeveless suede top, B3,590, and the black printed jacket, B6,190. Their pop-up store is currently in front of Siam Discovery, Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-1098. BTS Siam.


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We put two of the latest subcompact cars to the test to see whether hybrids are worth the higher costs.

Chevrolet Sonic

Honda Jazz Hybrid

Engine of Desire
The 1.4-liter engine’s 100 HP with five-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearbox is punchy, even when overtaking at 80kph. 3-year warranty.
Green and Safe
The 1.3-liter engine with integrated motor assist puts out 88 HP. Still it’s not as wimpy as it sounds, and its 5-year warranty and automatic CVT gearbox make it the greener and more reasonable choice.
Interior Comforts
The quiet cockpit (despite the thin roof insulation) and swanky orange console are well designed for a car of this class. The glove compartment could do with more space, though.
Minimal Decor
Not much going on here, compared to the Sonic, not even a map light or arm rest. The automatic air-conditioner is a nice touch.
Old School
Does the digital speedometer count as a techie touch?
Geek Heaven
The eco driving mode allows the car to be 28% more fuel efficient than the previous Jazz, while the idling stop function turns off the engine and electric motor to help save fuel. Add a multi information display control on the steering wheel and the Electric Vehicle (EV) mode which allows you to just use the electric motor at 40-50kph when you’re driving at steady speeds, although this is a rare occurence in Bangkok.
Safety Wheels
With a bit of understeer and passenger side air bag only available in the LTZ model, it’s a pretty standard package
No Surprises
The spare tire is replaced with a tire repair spray that can only be used once but this dual airbag model is otherwise a very safe bet.
Cheap and Cheerful
B548,000-687,000 with 3-year warranty.
Green and Guilt-free
B768,000 with five-year warranty for the entire hybrid system.

Verdict: Although the Jazz Hybrid is pricier than the Sonic, the 1.3 liter engine with electric motor isn’t as slow as you might think. And while it’s a close call due to the Sonic’s impressive design and steady handling, a hybrid car coming in at under B800,000 is hard to find. Add to that the fact that it’s 28% more fuel efficient than the previous generation, and we definitely recommend the Jazz Hybrid.


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Skip the grungy backpacks and geeky laptop bags, gentlemen. But do keep it manly with these square, leather classics.

The Messenger

Bagspace’s take on one of the most popular types of man bag is sized at 15” and made from nubuck leather in oak brown finish. Available at 6,490.
Order online at www.bagspace.in.th, 080-810-0800.

The Backpack

Tumi’s Beacon Hill collection features minimal leather backpacks in brown or black with multi-pockets that can handle everything from stationery to an iPad. Our favorite is the Brimmer backpack in black, coming soon at Tumi shops nationwide (price TBA).
2/F Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, 02-690-1000. BTS Siam.

The Smart Casual

Made from 100% cowhide, this “Tokyo” bag from Container comes in four colors: brown, black, grey and beige (pictured). Available for B16,500.
4/F Zen Department Store, Ratchadamri Rd., Bangkok, 02-100-9999.

The Vintage

Minor Shop is rolling out a handmade leather bag with removable straps available in four colors: brown, black, dark brown and red brown. Do hurry, though, they are extremely limited. Medium size available at B690-740 and mini size at B580.
Order online at www.facebook.com/minorsshop, 086-550-5428.

The Tote

The Legacy collection by Coach is all about stripes and vibrant color-blocking, along with an emphasis on glove-tanned leather. We particularly like the Bleecker Leather Colorblock Utility Tote that comes with a single-shoulder strap, B29,900.
1/F CentralWorld, Ratchadamri Rd., Bangkok, 02-646-1881.


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Looking to touch up those plain walls? Here are our picks of the best wallpapers in Bangkok.

Leopard Print

You’ve seen it everywhere from accessories to clothing, now you can add a little playfulness to your room with some good old leopard print. Available for B390 per square meter.
Design Option, Ekkamai Soi 21, Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok, 02-711-4872.

Mural Mountain

This is one for scenery lovers with the wallpaper featuring a view of an actual mountain. Available for B1,800 per square meter.
Bodhi Tree, 3/F, Golden Pearl Building, Sukhumvit Soi 101/1, Bangkok, 02-747-9493. BTS Udomsuk.


A mix of elegance and modernity, the Zircon collection from Eijffinger is inspired by stones and minerals, using a shadow effect that makes the medallion design seem to rise above the background. In matte colors like brown, cream and grey, with a mica finish, prices start from B4,500-5,500 per five square meters.
Goodrich Gallery, 58 Sukhumvit 63, Bangkok, 02-381-7778.

Arabian Living

The Arabian Living collection, one of the latest from Bodhi Tree, blends earthy tones in warm colors like red and yellow with various Arabic geometric patterns. Our favorite (pictured) is available for B2,252 per square meter.
Bodhi Tree, 3/F, Golden Pearl Building, Sukhumvit Soi 101/1, Bangkok, 02-747-9493. BTS Udomsuk.

House on the Klong

Inspired by the house Jim Thompson built on Klong Saen Saep during the 1950s, the House on the Klong collection is all about minimalist designs that draw on handwoven silks and the traditional Thai way of life in the rice fields. Our favorite is the Jim’s Dream wallpaper, B2,600, which depicts the various stages of silk making in dark grey. The collection starts from B1,950-2,700 per square meter.
Jim Thompson, 9 Surawong Rd., Bangkok, 02-632-8100.


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Take a peek behind the hoardings with a run-down of the biggest and most interesting malls, hotels and condos that are coming soon to the city.

Central Embassy

(Shopping, Hotel) Central Embassy is the latest development project from the Central Group. Scheduled to open in December 2013, it will house high-end street fashion and lifestyle products. The building’s modern design will highlight curves and textures over a total of 37 floors, eight of them dedicated to retail, with the rest being part of a six-star hotel, the Park Hyatt, to be opened in 2014. Think CentralWorld with higher-end brands and more emphasis on deconstructionist architectural design. Right now, construction is over 15% complete with 70% of the building’s retail space already booked. Next to Central Chidlom, Ploenchit Rd., 02-650-3600. BTS Chidlom or Ploenchit. www.centralembassy.com

Lumpini Ville Srinakarintara-Bangna

(Housing) L.P.N. Development is rolling out their latest condominium project, Lumpini Ville Srinakarintara-Bangna. Standing on the Bangna Trad Rd., just minutes from Mega Bangna, the 26-story condominium occupies 3,200 square-meters and has approximately 565 rooms, with floors 7-26 dedicated to one and two-bedroom apartments, floors 2-5 to 210 parking spaces and the 6/F to a fitness room and swimming pool. The design is simple, highlighting earthy shades of green, brown and white. A garden, playground and convenience store also feature in this single-building condo. Scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. Bangna Km.5, Bangna Trad Rd., 02-397-4200#4. www.lpn.co.th

Flow House Bangkok

(Sports) Due to officially open this September, Flow House Bangkok promises a Californian surfing experience with perfect waves every day—right in the heart of Bangkok. The first Flow House in SE Asia, after openings in the UK and USA, the venue will cater to all types of board sport enthusiasts through a FlowRider Double machine, which offers a hybrid surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding experience. Riding lessons will be available for newcomers at B1,000 for the first hour and B500 for each hour thereafter. Located in Sukhumvit Soi 26, Flow House also features bars, restaurants, music, and retail stores, aiming to be a venue for sports lovers, families and beach lovers. Prices for riding are B550 per hour on weekdays before 6pm, B650 per hour on weekdays after 6pm, B650 per hour for Saturday and Sunday. Sukhumvit Soi 26, 02-108-5217. www.flowhousebangkok.com

Sena Fest

(Shopping) Developed by the Sena Development Company, this B500 million project is on Charoennakorn. It’s another community mall, with 100 shops spread over four stories featuring all the usual suspects: Villa Market, iStudio, Starbucks and a range of restaurants that will occupy at least 50% of the space. Scheduled to open by the end of this year. 540 Charoennakorn Rd., 02-863-6181-2. www.senafest.com

Magnolia Ratchadamri

(Housing, Hotel) Leading property development corporation Magnolia continues to leave its mark with a new luxury condominium scheduled for completion in 2015, Magnolia Ratchadamri Boulevard. With a project value of B6 billion, the building covers more than 9,600 square meters, with 316 units filling out floors 17-54, ranging from one bedroom apartments to penthouse suites. The design is all about accentuating textures and curves on the outside, with windows featuring prominently, while the interior sees clean modern décor on shades of grey. If that isn’t luxurious enough, the world-renowned Waldorf Astoria, of the Hilton Group, will also be a part of the venue. Prices start from B170,000 per square meter, but not to worry, you’ve got three years to save up. Next to Grand Hyatt Erawan, Ratchadamri Rd., 02-742-7888. www.magnolia.co.th

In Square

(Shopping) If you haven’t had your fill of shopping madness around Chatuchak Market, you’re in for a treat. Situated opposite the famous market, the 8-story mall In Square is set to house some 2,700 restaurants, IT outlets, and fashion and lifestyle shops. It will feature wooden touches with an emphasis on big bay windows allowing for lots of natural light. The overall budget for the project is B4 billion with construction of the exterior 98% complete and the interior finished up to the third floor. Covering a space of 70,000 square meters, it will also feature 1,000 parking spots. Scheduled to open this year. 511, Kamphaengpet 2 Rd., 02-615-8715. MRT Kamphaengpet. www.insquarejj.com

Huachang Heritage Hotel Bangkok

(Hotel) The Baiyoke Group’s latest venture, Huachang Heritage Hotel Bangkok is a new hotel standing on Huachang Bridge. In striving for a Thai-meets-colonial ambiance inspired by décor from the Rama V period, it features wooden louvres and patterned walls on the outside, with Western touches added through its furniture and interior design and an emphasis on high-end materials like marble. With a budget of B400 million, and covering 2,275 square meters, the hotel counts seven stories, 80 rooms and 66 parking spots. Facilities include an outdoor pool in the center of a garden, a dining room and a cocktail lounge. Scheduled to open by the end of 2012 or early 2013. 400 Soi Kasemsan 1, Phayathai Rd., 02-656-3000 ext72166. BTS Ratchathewi. www.huachangheritagehotel.com

Siam Square One

(Shopping) You’ve no doubt noticed that huge construction site opposite Siam Paragon. And some of you probably can’t wait until all the drilling and banging is over. Soon enough all will be transformed into another shopping mall known as Siam Square One. The 7-story mall will look to embody the concept of a shopping street combining fashion, dining, lifestyle and digital products. With a budget of B1.8 billion, the 13,525-square-meter venue will also comprise 270 parking spots and a rooftop garden. The interior will be contemporary, as with the exterior, which will highlight the building’s dimensions with a multitude of massive blocks. Scheduled to open by December 2013. Siam Square One, Rama 1 Rd., 02-255-9999.

W Hotel Bangkok

(Hotel) Situated in Sathorn, within walking distance of over 20 embassies is the soon-to-open W Hotel Bangkok. Surrounding the beautiful old Russian Embassy and occupying some 16,129 square meters, the 30-story hotel will showcase LED panels and a rounded glass facade. W Hotel Bangkok will feature 407 rooms, the W kitchen, the W living room, restaurant and bar, a Sweat fitness center, an outdoor pool and a spa. Scheduled to open by the end of 2012. 106 North Sathorn Rd., 02-108-1509. www.starwoodhotels.com


(Shopping) If you’ve ever dreamed of (or had nightmares about) a shopping mall that’s open 24/7, brace yourself, for that will soon be a reality in Bangkok. SOHO, scheduled to open in November this year on Dumrongrak Rd., will never close. With a budget of over B2 billion, the mall will boast floors dedicated to restaurants, a 24-hour supermarket, a 24-hour shopping street, fashion shops, gifts and accessories, and an IT zone. Think the type of products you get at Platinum Mall, mostly hailing from Hong Kong and Korea. SOHO, Dumrongsak Rd., 02-223-2299. www.sohothailand.com

Bangkok Futsal Arena

(Sports) With the seventh Fifa Futsal World Cup 2012 to be held in Bangkok from November 2-18, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is renovating two of its futsal stadiums, the Huamark Indoor Stadium and Nimibutr Gymnasium, as well as building a brand new sports stadium, the Bangkok Futsal Arena in Nong Chok district. Occupying 80,000 square meters and seating 12,000, the venue was designed by King Monkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, drawing its inspiration from the chok flower. The stadium features five levels of stands with the highlight being that it’s Thailand’s first energy-saving stadium, which uses solar energy and an absorption chiller system to power the air-con. Due to open by October this year. Bangkok Futsal Arena, Suwinthawong Rd.

Thanya Shopping Park

(Shopping) Run by Thaniya Group, the newly-opened Thanya Shopping Park aims to be a mall that brings urban shoppers closer to nature. Covering over 25,600 square-meters and with a budget exceeding B2.5 billion, the venue’s main highlight are its expansive green spaces. What’s more, the rooftop is home to a botanical garden with running tracks connecting each of the buildings together. Featuring over 700 shops, with over 1,000 parking spaces (very eco!), expect all the big names when it comes to food, clothing, furniture and décor. Srinakarin Rd., 02-721-4555. www.thanyashoppingpark.com


(Housing, Hotel) Soon to be the city’s highest landmark, the 314-meter-tall Mahanakhon Hotel & Residence is 77 stories high with 14,569 square meters split between its apartments, retail, outdoor plaza and luxury serviced residences by The Ritz-Carlton Residences. Apart from the popular Dean & Deluca cafe and market. The building has a direct link to BTS Chongnonsi. You can choose from two-to-five bedrooms. Other facilities include a 3-floor terrace bar, restaurants, private dining facilities, and a rooftop outdoor bar with a 360-degree view. Rooms are B250,000 per sq meter, scheduled to be completed by 2015. 92 Narathiwas Ratchanakharin Rd., 02-234-1414. www.maha-nakhon.com

Movenpick Hotel & Residences 

(Housing, Hotel)Hailing from Switzerland, the international hotel chain Movenpick has finally set it sights on a new opening in Bangkok. Scheduled to open sometime this year, the 26-story Movenpick Hotel & Residences will be situated on Phayathai Rd. and is a serviced condominium with units for sale. Expect the same lofty standards as those abroad, with a lobby bar, fitness center, swimming pool and rooms ranging from small to an exclusive two-floor unit. Prices start at B89,000 per square meter. 33 Phayathai Rd., 02-640-0811-3. www.movenpickresidencesphayathai.com

Tha Maharaj 

(Shopping)The Chao Phraya Express Boat Company is developing a 3,200-square-meter plot by the river (on Maharaj Road, where a car park and a branch of S&P currently stands) into a community mall. The goal is to relocate the amulet sellers on the surrounding streets to new air-con digs, complete with an exhibition space. The remaining 50 % of the area will host cafés and restaurants. The mall intends to focus on life on the river, with regular departures of tour boats and dinner cruises. The designs will be created by the Contour Company, who previously worked on J Avenue and Rainhill, 78/24-29 Maharaj Rd., 02-623-6001-3.

BTS & MRT Extensions 

(BTS/MRT)The MRT will see four more extensions in the next year or two, including the purple line to Nonthaburi passing Wang Burapha and Wong Wien Yai to Thonburi and Samut Prakarn; the pink line from Suwinthawong passing Chaengwattana and Ramintra to Nonthaburi and Minburi and the orange line from Bangkapi passing Huay Kwang, Din Daeng and Victory Monument to Thonburi. Not keen on taking the MRT? The BTS is also expecting more extensions, including routes from Wong Wien Yai to Pho Nimit and Wutthakat, ending at Bang Wa, and from National Stadium  to Yotse, with further extensions planned from Bearing to Srinakarin.

Designing Bangkok


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Feel the need to get airborne? These flight schools will have you ready for takeoff in no time.

A Private Pilot License (PPL) takes at least three months to achieve with requirements of ground school lessons and a minimum 40-hour flight time covering solo, cross country and dual flight. But with these aviation schools, you’ll be flying within an hour.

Bangkok Aviation Center

Where: 222 Hanger 4414, Viphavadee Rangsit Rd., Bangkok, 02-535-7743. www.bangkokflying.com
Course: A private one-hour course covering basic aerodynamics, aircraft maneuvers, flight inspection, flight planning, route and weather briefing, along with one-hour flight time.
Price: B16,900.

Thai Flying Club

Where: Bangphra Airport, Sriracha, 081-996-2957. www.thaiflyingclub.com
Course: Just a little over an hour away from Bangkok, Thai Flying Club offers basic half-hour aviation and navigation lesson with 30-minute flight time with an instructor.
Price: B3,000 for 30-minute lesson and 30-minute flight.

Royal Skyways

Where: 222 Viphavadee Rangsit Rd., Bangkok, 02-531-5872-3. www.royalskyways.co.th
Course: Flight introduction with one-hour lesson on basic aviation and one-hour private lesson flying with an instructor, with one guest allowed on board.
Price: B13,000 for one hour lesson and one hour flight.

Sriracha Flight School

Where: Saha Group Industrial Park, Sriracha Moo 1, Chonburi. 083-848-2447. www.sravia.co.th
Course: Ground training with flight simulator for basic aviation knowledge, then actual flight time in a plane (purchased separately).
Price: B35,000 for 94 hours of ground training, B4,800 per hour flying a Cessna 152 and B7,800 per hour flying a Cessna 172 with an instructor.

Where to Find Flight Stimulators in Bangkok

Not ready to man a real plane just yet? Not to worry, test your wings with these flight simulators.

Flight Experience

Where: 1 Convent Rd., Silom, Bangkok, 02-237-9895-6.
Course: Take a trip in a replica Boeing 737 simulator, ranging from a scenic 30-minute flight to a full 90-minute airline navigation and landing experience
Price: 30-minute flight starts at B4,350 (like them at www.facebook.com/flightexperiencebangkok and pay B2,650), while a 90-minute flight costs B9,350.

Thai General Aviation Technology (TGAT)

Where: 2-4/F Garden Home Shopping Plaza, 1/742 Phaholyothin Rd., Bangkok, 02-531-2626, 02-531-3636.
Course: A private pilot ground training course with 94 hours of lessons covering everything from basic knowledge to navigation and flying cross-country, plus 10 hours using a flight simulator.
Price: B32,000.


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- Ford Sync: smart technology that uses voice control to play music, make calls, read text messages and connects you to your mobile with just one push of a button on the steering wheel. It’s smarter than the voice control on its sister, the Ford Fiesta, as you don’t need to record your voice first for the commands to work plus it can do more.
- Active Park Assist: uses sensors to assist you with parallel parking; just push the button and it searches for available spaces. Then all you have to do is control the brakes and change gear, without having to steer.
- Active City Stop: uses sensors to see vehicles in front of you to automatically stop your car from running into the back of them. Active only when your speed is between 15-30km, it’s aimed at preventing accidents while sitting in heavy traffic.
Power start button and smart keyless entry.
- Automatic Grille Shutter: air ducks under the front grille automatically open and shut according to the speed of the car for better air intake and ventilation.
- Blind Spot Information System: uses motion sensors to alert you with a blinking light on the side mirror when there is a car in your blind spot.
- Diesel model replaced by a new four-cylinder benzene engine.

Top Gear

- Improved suspension system makes for a smooth and steady ride.
- Handling is quite precise even when tackling curves at high speed.
The Ford Sync system makes it easy to control music and access text messages without having to take your hands off the wheel.
- A pleasantly quiet cockpit and comfortable seats.
- The Active Grille Shutter is definitely a cool feature for a car of this price.
- Active Parking Assist is accurate and simple to use; a perfect function for those who hate parallel parking.
- Impressive 170 horsepower from the 2.0 Liter engine.

Stuck in Neutral

- No built-in navigation system.
- No blind-spot assist on the 5-door models.
- Acceleration is a bit slow on the 1.6 Liter model.
- Active parking only works for parallel parking and is only available in the Titanium+ and Sport+ models.
- Sync function doesn’t standby so you need to push the button for every command and it is not available in the Ambiente model.

Verdict : Packed with smart technology that doesn’t exist in other cars within the price range, offering steady handling, improved safety features plus lower fuel consumption thanks to the new benzene engine, the all-new Ford Focus is definitely at the top of its class when it comes to mid-range sedan/hatchbacks under B1.2 million. Our biggest concern though is the limited amount of service showrooms currently available in Thailand.

Available in sedan and hatchback models in 1.6 and 2.0 liter, starting from B759,000-1.079million.


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Industrial furniture never goes out of style, but rusty and aged pieces are making a comeback, and here are the best places to find them.

Seasons of Living

Nestled right in Ekkamai, Seasons of Living is separated into three buildings, doing modern décor, raw/industrial furniture and classic pieces, including brands like Baxter, Barouir & Togo and Diesel imported from Italy and Denmark, starting from B10,000-1,000,000. Right now there are deals of up to 50% off on lamps and 60% off on furniture running through July. One of our faves is the Foscarini table lamp, at B25,000 after discount.
Ekkamai Soi 20, Sukhumvit 63, 02-715-0845. Open daily 10am-7pm. www.seasonsofliving.com

Industique Furniture

Industique is all in when it comes to rustic meets industrial furniture. The shop’s raw brick exterior features a large glass façade at its entrance which opens up to a range of steel and wood pieces, most handmade. There are brass spyglass telescopes, all manner of trunks and vintage iron weight scales. Many of the rusty, wood and industrial items are imported from India, but it’s the rarer finds that stick out, like the lamps resembling a diver’s helmet. Prices start from B300-140,000. We particularly like the Tab Iro table, B24,000, and the old lock, B1,500.
Sukhumvit Soi 33, Sukhumvit Rd., 02-260-1933. Open Tue-Sun 11am-8pm. www.facebook.com/industique

SB Design Square

Urbanites might have to travel out to unfamiliar Bang Na, but you can do so safe in the knowledge that SB Design Square has you covered with affordable vintage knock-offs. The three-story venue spans contemporary styles to classic leather sofas and rusty industrial furnishings divided into separate showrooms from brands like French Provence, Cliché Home and Yves Maison. We particularly like the Eco Shop section on the second floor which showcases industrial pieces with touches of wood. Our favorites are the Katen chair, B5,250, and the Dilan dining table, B57,975.
Ample Tower 1-3/F, Bangna Trad Km. 4, 02-744-1111. Open daily 10am-10pm. www.sbdesignsquare.com

Casa Pagoda

With its faded brick walls, unpainted walls and pipes that run all over the ceiling, Casa Pagoda quite proudly deals in vintage and industrial décor. The first floor is dedicated to smaller decorative items like curios, nightstands and wooden chairs. The second floor is mostly occupied by larger objects like dining tables, chests of drawers in a distressed silver finish and leather couches. Prices range from B200-200,000, but hurry to catch their mid-year sale which offers savings of up to 60% till the end of July. Our top pick is the Commode chest of drawers, B27,000 after discount, and the wall lamp, B15,050.
Sukhumvit Soi 45, Sukhumvit Rd., 02-258-1917. Open daily 11am-8pm. www.casapagoda.com


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