January 2024 - Celebration Issue

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Thailand One, the ultimate destination for indulging in the finest aspects of luxury living. As a brand new addition to the digital magazine scene, we are thrilled to bring you an array of captivating content, curated exclusively for those seeking opulence, unparalleled experiences, and a taste of the high life. At Thailand One, we believe that luxury encompasses more than just material possessions; it's a way of life that combines sophistication, refined taste, and a passion for extraordinary moments. Our team of dedicated editors, writers, and industry experts have scoured the globe to present you with the most exquisite features, ensuring that your journey into luxury is nothing short of extraordinary.

THAILAND ONE THAILAND ONE E-MAGAZINE travel • fashion & beauty • sport • home decor • celebrity interviews • food & drink • health • entertainment JANUARY 26, 2024 ISSUE 01/ CELEBRATION SPECIAL


JANUARY 26, 2024



W elcome to the inaugural issue of Thailand One, the ultimate destination for indulging in the finest aspects of luxury living. As a brand new addition to the digital magazine scene, we are thrilled to bring you an array of captivating content, curated exclusively for those seeking opulence, unparalleled experiences, and a taste of the high life. At Thailand One, we believe that luxury encompasses more than just material possessions; it's a way of life that combines sophistication, refined taste, and a passion for extraordinary moments. Our team of dedicated editors, writers, and industry experts have scoured the globe to present you with the most exquisite features, ensuring that your journey into luxury is nothing short of extraordinary. Aviation enthusiasts and frequent travellers will find themselves immersed in a world of aviation wonders. Whether it's an exclusive glimpse into the ultra-luxurious first-class experiences of prominent airlines or an exploration of private jets and their lavish interiors, we invite

you to soar with us into the heavens. Thailand is renowned for its pristine beaches, stunning landscapes, and enchanting culture. Our magazine extends beyond borders to bring you luxury travel experiences not only within the captivating realms of Thailand but also to far-flung destinations that will ignite your wanderlust. Immerse yourself in captivating tales of idyllic retreats, opulent resorts, and exclusive getaways sprinkled across the globe. For avid golf aficionados, our publication serves as your ultimate guide to navigating Thailand's prestigious golf courses. Discover the perfect swing amidst breathtaking panoramas, perfect fairways, and championship-worthy challenges. Through captivating insights, interviews with professionals, and reviews of world-class golf resorts, we bring you the finest golfing experiences fit for connoisseurs of the sport. As the social calendar of Thailand springs to life, we are dedicated to keeping you informed of the most glamorous and exclusive events befitting your refined tastes. Unveiling the most elite gatherings,

red carpet affairs, and society soirees, we ensure you stay at the forefront of Thailand's thriving luxurious events scene. Thailand One is proud to be owned by AX Media Thailand, a prominent name in media production with a rich legacy of delivering exceptional content to audiences worldwide. Published bi-monthly, our magazine will serve as your passport to a world of luxury, gracing your digital devices every two months with inspiring articles, captivating visuals, and immersive features. We invite you to join us on this extraordinary journey, where Thailand One unlocks the door to unparalleled luxury, extraordinary travel experiences, and an elevated lifestyle that surpasses expectations. Welcome aboard the most exclusive voyage of luxury living – Thailand One.

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JANUARY 26, 2024


RAMA III Showroom & Service Open From 8.30 - 19.00

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JANUARY 26, 2024


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JANUARY 26, 2024

FEBRUARY - MARCH 2024 The information is subject to change by respective organizers without prior notice.


Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Chonburi Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Thailand Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Chonburi Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok

27 Jan – 04 Feb 31 Jan – 01 Feb 01 Feb - 05 Feb 02 Feb – 04 Feb 01 Feb – 02 Feb 02 Feb – 04 Feb 03 Feb – 04 Feb 10 Feb 16 Feb 10 Feb – 11 Feb 17 Feb – 25 Feb 21 Feb – 31 Mar 01 Mar – 02 Mar 01 Mar – 03 Mar

Bangkok Design Festival Cybersec Asia Amazing Muay Thai World Festival Mystic Festival Thailand Unkonscious Beach Festival Japan Expo Thailand Coldplay Music Of Spheres

Nakhon Ratchasima

Ed Sheeran Chinese New Year Home Expo Matilda The Musical

Eric Nam House On A Hill Asia Tour

Pelupo Subculture



06 Mar 14 Mar 30 Mar

Rod Stewart Live In Concert, One Last Time Tom Jones Ages And Stages Tour Disney On Ice Presents 100 Years Of Wonder



21 Mar - 31 Mar

Welcome to an exclusive interview with Tim Boda, the Managing Director of Topgolf Thailand, and Stephanie Oukeo, the Director of Instruction. As leading figures in the golf industry, Tim and Stephanie have played instrumental roles in establishing Topgolf as the premier destination for golf and entertainment in Thailand.

Amsterdam and Bruges, two charming cities, offering an ideal combination of art, history, and culture.

Bruno Mars






BEAUTY & FASHION Larosche-Posay, the leading skin- care brand, has developed products specifically tailored for sensitive skin, promoting overall skin health.

Attractions for celebration lovers to visit in Bangkok extend beyond department stores and renowned restaurants. Don’t miss the vibrant nightlife that illuminates the city, making Bangkok a dazzling metropolis at night.

Lifestyle and stress related illness will surpass communicable diseases. Modern brain science has a lot to say about what helps protect us given the risk factors of today.





ENTERTAINMENT After delivering intense heat from the beginning to the end of the year with a variety of movies and series, it’s worth keeping an eye on what Netflix has in store for us this year.

CELEBRITY INTERVIEW His passion for learning seems never ending and Thailand One caught up with Pavin to discuss his remarkable journey so far in our exclusive interview.

Observing popular designs in 2024, one can notice key elements such as the use of lines expressing emotion, colors conveying feelings, harmoni- ously combined with furniture and technology.




JANUARY 26, 2024

W elcome to an exclusive interview with Tim Boda, the Managing Director of Topgolf Thailand, and Stephanie Oukeo, the Director of Instruction. As leading figures in the golf industry, Tim and Stephanie have played instrumental roles in establishing Topgolf as the premier destination for golf and entertainment in Thailand. With their combined expertise and passion for the sport, they have successfully transformed the way people experience golf, combining cutting-edge technology, exceptional instruction, and a vibrant social atmosphere. In this interview, we delve into their journey, insights, and future plans for Topgolf in Thailand and beyond.

You opened Topgolf Megacity, the first Topgolf venue in Asia, one and a half years ago and it really has become talk of the town ever since. For those that might not be familiar with the concept, can you explain? In a few lines, we are a sports and entertainment complex that features an inclusive, high-tech golf game that everyone can enjoy. Pair this with an outstanding food and beverage menu, a caring and fun team of hosts that we call “playmakers”, all-weather playable hitting bays and all-day tunes that set the right mood. Topgolf has that energetic and positive hum that you can feel from the moment you walk through the door and that makes it just very hard not to have a good time. You could have built a traditional driving range or golf facility, why Topgolf? We are on a mission to make the beautiful game of golf a lot more accessible. With our gamified version of the sport and a culture that is fun, welcoming and unintimidating

we do exactly that. No membership is required, we have clubs for you and our dress code is “be you – feel good”. Breaking down the traditional country club barriers allows us to aim at 500,000 visitors in 2024 and 75% of these visitors will be holding a club in their hand for the very first time. This is something that benefits the entire golfing industry and many that have been introduced to golf by us then end up booking their local driving range and end up on the golf course. 500,000 visitors and 75% non- golfers is indeed impressive. So what’s in it for the experienced golfer, why do they come to Topgolf? All our bays are Toptracer supported and give players instant flight data (carry distance, ball curves and more). Golfers use Topgolf as a traditional driving range but also come with fellow golfers to compete on our virtual courses such as Pebble Beach or St Andrews whilst still having the experience to play the real distance into the range. During the

rainy season our all-weather venue hosts tournaments that could not take place on a traditional course. But what makes Topgolf also very special for experienced golfers is that now they have a place to come and enjoy with their non-golfing friends and it so often happens, that their non-golfing friends are the ones that get completely hooked and can’t stop swinging. Especially when they win at our popular Angry Bird games. Across media channels we constantly see activities being launched at Topgolf, it really seems like this venue never sleeps. What is hot and happening these days? Indeed a lot is happening all the time at Topgolf and we balance our activities and offers to have something that appeals to everyone across our wide range of player demographics. Some offers are always on, such as our Family Offer, where kids up to 12 years of age eat for free. The Valentine’s month of February sees the popular Pink Ball campaign return. We randomly mix dozens of pink balls into the ball dispensers daily and players that catch one can win countless luxury holidays and international flights. No skills required to partake in the Pink Ball promotion, just come out with friends, have fun and with a bit of luck find yourself wining a beach holiday. For the more skilled (or lucky) player we just upgraded our hole-in-one challenge with a range of new prizes. As you know we have 9 large outfield targets and if you hit the center cup of these targets it counts as a hole in one. Prizes range from complete Callaway golf sets to cash rewards totaling way beyond 250,000 Baht.

Exclusive Interview With Topgolf Thailand MD, Tim Boda and Director of Instruction, Stephanie Oukeo

10 THAILAND ONE Interview by Colin White Photographs by AX Media TH


JANUARY 26, 2024

You mentioned to me that 600+ people can play the game simultaneously and that they can actually compete against each other. Our in-house technology and well trained playmakers make large tournaments and competition very easy to execute. We also have the capability to do teambuilding for corporate companies by playing specifically tailored games. Such games might have different objectives such as breaking down silos, increase communication, strategic thinking and more. Besides being able to cater for large volume of players, the fact that no golfing skills are required is what makes Topgolf this very interesting event solution. This is all fascinating and many people are asking where and when we will see the next Topgolf being built? We are very excited about our second Topgolf venue opening in Jakarta in Q4 2024, we are actively identifying locations across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and will hopefully soon announce venue number two in Thailand too. Stephanie, I see you have a large academy space and professional coaches. How does coaching at Topgolf differ from teaching on a regular driving range? We believe that golf must be fun for everyone! Topgolf Academy is a modern center that teaches everyone to play golf; from kids as young as 18 months, Topgolf Academy caters to everyone in a fun, non-intimidating setting. Think nice music, friendly coaches and a welcoming fun area. Every of our 102 bays are fully Toptracer supported and we also offer swing analysis and indoor launch monitor. Golf can be intimidating for beginners so how do you make it more appealing to the masses? Our mission is to make sure that we keep it fun and easy for everyone. Topgolf is the only venue that services complimentary tips from our academy coaches at the tee- line when players come to enjoy

Ladies golf in Thailand has gone global with a host of Thai stars on the LPGA, why do you think Thailand is producing so many great female players? There are many factors to why Thailand is also known as the golf country; the weather, the big options on golf courses and facilities and the accessible price of playing and learning golf in Thailand. One of the reasons I would say why we have more and more Thai stars on the LPGA more than ever is due to the resources/knowledge that we

What is the best part of your job at Topgolf? I don’t think I will have enough space on this interview to list out all the great things on what the best part of being the Director of Instruction/ Head coach at Topgolf Thailand and Topgolf Academy. Being part of the synergy of what Topgolf is about which is creating moments that matters, inspiring and making a difference in not only our guests, students and playmakers’ lives is what I love the most.

the gameplay. Our services are not just for the golf student. Many of our students are accompanied by a parent, spouse or friends and they are equality important to us, whether they watch the lesson from our comfortable lounges or enjoy watching sports at our sports bar or; now those accommodating the student finally have a place they enjoy for themselves as well. Do you have regular classes for those new to golf? Yes, since more than 75% of our

guests at Topgolf are beginners, our most popular academy classes that we offer for beginners are the “Youngster Passports group sessions for kids (5-12 yrs old) which happens every Sundays 10:00-11:00am (550.-/ pax) and the “Get Into Golf” group sessions for adults which happens every Saturdays 10:00-11:00am (650.-/pax). Those classes are mainly for beginners to not only learn the foundation of golf (posture, swing, putting, rules, etiquette and more…) but also to get to meet new people and have a new group of friends to have fun.

are bringing into Thailand and the momentum of role models. Its like once one role model shows how its possible to climb the ladder, others have the drive to pick-up that momentum. And for us at Topgolf Thailand and Topgolf Academy is to make sure that we create a unforgettable experience to beginners and to grow the game of golf and the golf industry to someday create more rockstars. Watch out, coz more stars are coming and some of these future stars will have been introduced to the game by Topgolf !!

Being part of the synergy of what Topgolf is about, creating memorable moments and inspiring our guests, students and playmakers is what I love the most. - Stephanie Oukeo ”




JANUARY 26, 2024 T he Dubai Desert Classic has been a mainstay of the European Tour and now the DP World Tour since the inaugural event in 1989 at the majestic Dubai Creek. It is one of the most prestigious events in the world, attracting players from all over the world. Being the first Rolex event of the season, it commands a $9 million prize fund with the winner taking home just over $1.5 million.

Hero Dubai Desert Classic 2024:

Rory McIlroy Wins 4th Title

Story by Colin White Photographs by Alexi Van Damme

T he location in recent years has been the stunning Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club. Designed by renowned architect, Karl Litten, the course has been sculpted through the dunes with breath taking views of the iconic sky line. A series of dog legs both left

local favourite Tommy Fleetwood and the Hojaard twins, Rasmus and Nicolai. A surprise early leader during round two was Englishman Andy Sullivan who at one point had a 3

Sadly for the Englishman, what can only be described as a complete collapse followed with rounds of 78 and 80 over the weekend resulting in a tie for 66th place. In stark contrast to Sullivan’s opening two rounds, Northern Ireland’s McIlroy struggled with rounds of 71 and 70, just

and right during the course of the round put a premium on the tee shots and being able to find the narrow fairways. This year the greens were pretty much solid so hitting fairways was the only way the players would be able to control their approach shots to stay on the greens. A host of

making the cut with a couple of late birdies in round 2. A stunning round of 63 catapulted McIlroy up the leaderboard in round 3 and he found himself in second place and secured a spot in the final group for Sunday alongside Young who by this

T he final day never really got going for most of the players with windy conditions and pin positions that were barely legal saw many struggle. A swift front 9 of 32 for McIlroy moved him into a 3 shot lead over Young at the turn who struggled with two bogies and 7 pars for 37. Perhaps the turning point for him was a missed two foot putt for birdie on the 3rd hole which seemed to rattle the 26 year old American. As a 3 time winner at the

Dubai Desert Classic it was hard to see past another victory for the Northern Irishman with his commanding lead going into the back 9. A mediocre back 9 of +1 was enough for Rory to secure his fourth Dubai Desert Classic title. Poland’s Meronk birdied 18 to finish in second place alone, while Cam Young signed for 74 and finished 3rd on his first appearance in Dubai. A well deserved victory for

McIlroy, considering at one point he was looking like missing the cut. Dubai is a place close to McIlroy’s heart as he spends many weeks of the year in this golfing paradise, so it is no surprise he is a regular contender in the Desert Classic. Let’s see what 2024 will hold as talks of mergers between the Saudi backed LIV Tour with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour are still ongoing, perhaps we might even see McIlroy as a LIV player later this year.

superstars from both the DP World Tour and PGA TOur were at the event this year with players such as Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Tyrrell Haton, Cameron Young, Joaquin Niemann,

shot lead as he completed back to back 67’s to lie at -10. A fast finishing Cameron Young finished birdie, birdie, eagle for 64 and to open up a 3 shot lead over the Englishman.

time had a two shot advantage. The only other real contender at this point was Pland’s Adrian Meronk who was in third place, one shot behind Rory and 3 ahead of a chasing pack.




JANUARY 26, 2024

The Exotic Wildlife Thriving on

Thailand’s Golf Courses Story by Colin White

Image by Giulia Bossi/Laguna Golf Phuket

I n addition to reptiles, golfers Thailand’s golf courses attract many native and migratory birds due to the abundance of trees, wetlands and open spaces. From colorful kingfishers to majestic egrets, birdwatching plays an enchanting part of playing golf in this tropical paradise. While it is important for may encounter a wide array of bird species during their rounds. everyone to respect and appreciate the wildlife they may encounter, it is equally vital to ensure the safety of both humans and the animals. Golf course management teams across the country prioritize conservation efforts by implementing measures to protect the natural habitats of these creatures while ensuring the well being of players and staff. So the next time you are out on a golf course in Thailand, take time to appreciate the amazing wildlife that shares the fairways with you. Embarking on a golfing journey of encountering snakes, monitor lizards, tropical birds and even elephants can transform your golfing experience into a remarkable adventure, immersed in the beauty of nature.

T hailand’s world renowned golf courses are not only a paradise for golf enthusiasts but also serve as a haven for captivating wildlife. Amidst the lush fairways and greens players may encounter a diverse range of creatures that inhabit these unique ecosystems. From slithering snakes to mighty monitor lizards, golfers can find themselves playing alongside some fascinating wildlife.

O ne of the most prominent With over 200 species of snake in Thailand, if you are a regular golfer then you will certainly encounter one of these elegant yet formidable creatures while navigating the fairways….or the rough! Venomous snakes like cobras and vipers can occasionally be spotted but in general they are non aggressive and tend to avoid human contact. Nevertheless, it would be advised to be extremely cautious if you do encounter a snake and alert the golf course authorities as soon as possible. The reptile that steals the reptilian residents in Thailand is of course the snake. show on Thailand’s golf courses has to be the prehistoric monitor

lizard. Known for their massive size these modern day dinosaurs can be found basking in the sun near to water hazards or within the dense vegetation nearby. They can grow to over 2 meters in length and will more than likely run away if you get too close but it would be a good idea to keep a safe distance from these majestic creatures. The presence of these reptiles is testament to the rich biodiversity that thrives in the golf course environments across Thailand. These magnificent creatures play a key role in maintaining a healthy ecological balance and coexist in harmony with the golfing communities.

Image by Micah Woods/ASIAN Turfgrass Center




Image by Wangjuntr Golf Park

JANUARY 26, 2024

M adame Maria Maire and her husband, Jules Auguste, from the jewellery and watch- making business George Fox & Co, acquired the hotel in 1920 and owned it for the next 22 years. Notable guests during this era included Carl Faberge, who visited throughout the coronation of King Vajiravudh in 1911 and hosted an exhibition of Faberge eggs and his jewellery; Vaslav Nijinsky, who presented the first major performance of Western ballet in Thailand; and authors Somerset Maugham and Noël Coward, both of whom would return many times and both of whom have suites named after them. During Maugham’s stay in 1923 he came down with malaria, contracted when travelling overland from Mandalay in Burma. Madame Marie, concerned about having a sick, well-known author in her hotel, sent him to hospital or so he thought ‘turned him out’. Maugham never forgot the incident and reminisced in 1960 when he returned for his 85th birthday: ‘I was almost evicted from The Oriental because the manager did not want me to ruin her business by dying in one of her rooms’. Recovering from malaria he returned to the hotel, Into The 1950s And Jim Thompson And Germain Krull Enter The Oriental: During the Second World War, the hotel was leased to the

F or over 145 years, travellers have followed the River of Kings to stay at the legendary Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. A haven of calm on the banks of the river, this iconic hotel has always been a truly remarkable place that understands and knows Bangkok as well as it does its guests. Not only was it the first luxury hotel to open in Thailand, but it was the first to open on the majestic river, the first to have a jazz bar and the first to offer guests a hotel spa. Journey Through The Illustrious Legacy Of The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Story and Photographs by Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

and descriptions of these feverish days spent on the hotel’s veranda were to appear later in ‘The Gentleman in The Parlour’. It was here that he penned his ‘Siamese Fairy Tale’, a whimsical tale of a king, queen, nine princesses, nine parrots, one nightingale and some cats. He was to return many more times and is

I n the middle of the nineteenth century, when Thailand was still known as Siam, a rest house for foreign seafarers was established on a large open space belonging to the Privy Purse on the banks of what is today known as the Chao Phraya River. It was to become one of the world’s greatest hotels: The

The Oriental Hotel in 1887

that he wouldn’t recognise anything. ‘Whatever else had changed, I prayed that The Oriental would be the same’, he wrote. It was to his relief that it hadn’t changed, and he went on to say: ‘The smiling welcome of the receptionist, Ankana, every bit as elegant as she had been 11 years before’. Khun Ankana was one of the first Thai women to enter the hotel business and she went on to work at the hotel for over 60 years. A room off The Authors’ Lounge has been dedicated to her, for her loyalty to the many guests she looked after. an atmosphere of elegance’, Germaine writes, ‘I thought the least our guests could do would be to wear a tie. If anyone arrived without, we gave him one. We made hundreds of ties with the cheapest satin and the children of the Chinese boys painted birds on them. These ties went around the world as they were collected by visitors and local guests. I bought the most hideous colours I could find. But still, no one objected to wearing a garish orange tie while his partner might be beautifully presented in pink Thai silk.’ This is the first reference to the hotel having a dress code and to this day this tradition is honoured.

the Authors’ Wing. These statues are mentioned in English writer Somerset Maugham’s book ‘A Gentleman in The Parlour’. In 1892 Louis Thomas Leonowens, son of Anna Leonowens (of Anna and The King of Siam), was to become the hotel’s proprietor. Whilst he did not manage the hotel himself, he treated it like a second home,

quoted saying he enjoyed joining ‘the unofficial club which met every day (except Sundays) in the old bar’ where ‘a good deal of gossip passed’. Noël Coward, a frequent guest at The Oriental in the 1930s, wrote: ‘It is a lovely place and I am fonder of it than ever.’ A lounge area dedicated to this great playwright can be found off The Authors’ Lounge. Alec Waugh was another notable visitor. In his 1969 autobiography he wrote how upon returning to Bangkok, many years after his first visit, he was concerned Japanese Army, which used it as an officers’ club. The end of the war saw The Oriental enter the modern era under the enthusiastic ownership of a group of six local residents, who each paid USD 250 to buy the hotel. These included Germaine Krull, a former war correspondent; His Royal Highness Prince Bhanubandhu Yugala; a prominent Thai lawyer, Pote Sarasin, who would later become Prime Minister; General Chai Prateepasen; and two Americans, John Webster and Jim Thompson, the ‘Thai Silk King’. Together they revitalised and revived the hotel’s former glory and an advert on 12

Chulalongkorn paid a private visit to The Oriental to assess the hotel’s ability to host royal guests. Crown Prince Nicholas of Russia stayed in the hotel in April 1891 and went on to became Tsar in 1894. It was the beginning of a long-lasting relationship between the legendary hotel and Thailand’s Royal Palace. The hotel would go on to host other visiting dignitaries, politicians, authors and celebrities, all of whom found some special affinity with The Oriental. 1891 was also a special year as electric lighting was installed. The Times correspondent reported: ‘Businessmen and the seafaring community, The Oriental hotel has added to its attractions with electric light which was flashed into every room in the building and

an elegant abode where he could give lavish and elegant parties for his friends. Carl Edwards, an American from New York, was the next to acquire the hotel, under the management of Madame M. O. Bujault. Together they added a dignified twist to the hotel by way of engaging a Viennese orchestra for musical dinners and, being a bon vivant herself, summoned a new chef straight from France. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok believesthat Madame Bujault would be delighted to learn that all these years later guests of The Oriental can still enjoy live orchestral music nightly and that the hotel is now home to a two- Michelin-starred French restaurant, Le Normandie.

Oriental. In 1865 the hotel’s original structure was destroyed in a fire and was replaced by the current structure in 1876. It was two Danish sea captains, H. Jarck and C. Salje, who opened The Oriental as the first luxury hotel in the Kingdom of Siam. By 1881 this modest building had come under the enterprising ownership of H.N. Anderson – the only Dane outside the Thai Royal Family to have been decorated with the Order of the White Elephant by the King of Siam. Anderson appointed Italian architect firm Messrs Cardu and Rossi to design The Oriental hotel, which is today one of Bangkok’s proudest and most iconic landmarks. They officially opened their doors on 14 May 1887. Royalty, Authors and Electricity: A year after its opening, The Oriental welcomed a soon-to-be-famous young merchant marine officer, Joseph Conrad, the first of many world-renowned novelists to stay in the hotel. Today a suite has been named after Conrad and one of the hotel’s much-loved restaurants is even named after his famed book ‘Lord Jim’s’. In 1890 His Majesty King

June 1947 declared the ‘Oriental Hotel Open Again - Cuisine Franoise, Bamboo Bar, European Manager’. The Bamboo Bar swiftly evolved into the city’s first jazz bar, where people gathered to have sanuk (fun) until 4am. ‘To give it

shed its soft rays steadily throughout the night.’ Two classical statues carrying lamps can still be found today outside

Le Normandie

Germaine Krull and Jim Thompson in front of their Oriental Hotel




JANUARY 26, 2024

The Bamboo Bar

‘Tales of the Pacific’, first visited Thailand (and the hotel) in 1951. The author returned to Bangkok and The Oriental in 1978 and again in 1994, when he wrote: ‘Often in years past, the legendary Oriental served as my home away from

An estate was acquired across the river and 1983 saw the celebrated Sala Rim Naam restaurant open its doors, followed by The Oriental Thai Cooking School, the first cooking school in Bangkok, in 1986, and the Fitness Centre. 1990 saw The China House open its doors, whilst The Oriental Spa, the first spa within a hotel property in Bangkok, opened in 1993 in an exquisite teak mansion. Today it is the only spa in Thailand to have been awarded 5 stars by

Forbes Travel Guide. In 1992 the first Mandarin Oriental Shop opened - today there are four other Mandarin Oriental Shops across the city catering to Bangkok’s discerning gourmands. Seeking to encourage people to join the hospitality industry and concerned about a lack of trained hoteliers in the city, The Oriental launched in 1991 Thailand’s first apprenticeship program (OHAP),which is still run by the hotel today.

In 1950 Eleanor Roosevelt arrived at the hotel, as did more authors, including Ian Fleming and Graham Greene. 1956 saw Marlon Brando visit the hotel to see his friend M. R. Kukrit Pramoj, Thailand’s famed writer-teacher-actor-banker- statesman, with whom he had co- starred in ‘The Ugly American’. In the film Kukrit portrayed the Prime Minister – little did he appreciate that in 1975 he would actually become Prime Minister of Thailand. James A Michener, the American author of over 40 books including the Pulitzer Prize-winning In 1967 the hotel was purchased by the Italthai group by chairmen Mr Giogrio Berlingieri and Dr Chaijudh Jarnasuta. When Dr Chaijudh called his friend Mr Berlingieri to tell him, ‘There’s a hotel for sale’, the response was, ‘Forget it’, until he retorted, ‘It’s The Oriental hotel’. The response then was: ‘Why didn’t you say so? Of course, we’ll buy it’. All it took was two telexed messages and a meeting that lasted 35 minutes for an agreement to be reached. Their aim was to once again make The Oriental one of the best hotels in the world. In 1972, The Oriental entered into a partnership with Mandarin International Hotels Limited, owner of The Mandarin hotel (in Hong Kong). The two hotels became the flagship properties of what is now Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. When land adjacent to the hotel became available for purchase, The Fantastic Years With Mandarin Oriental: the owners seized the chance to plan something dramatic for The Oriental. In 1976, three years after work started, the 350-room River Wing was constructed for a total The Bamboo Bar and its live jazz and outstanding cock- tails are still loved by all, and 2019 saw it as the only bar in Thailand to make the Asia’s Best Bars list ”

and it was awarded two Michelin stars in the guide’s inaugural year that it still holds to this day. One of the many problems encountered while constructing this tower was the failure of the arrival of the lift. Even the fact that one of the owners was Prime Minister was no help. A plane had to be chartered to bring the lifts from Switzerland. Once installed they were the Thai Electric Company’s first lifts ever installed to go as high as 10 floors.

home. Invariably, it excelled in its fine service and warm hospitality. May it gladden your stay, too’. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok has also named an area off The Authors’ Lounge after this celebrated author. In 1958 the 10-story Tower Wing (now known as the Garden Wing) was built, considered Krull’s greatest achievement, alongside Le Normandie, which opened on the top floor. The restaurant has since held a reputation for its fine French cuisine

Image by Italthai Group

of 300 million Thai baht. It was opened on 12 April 1977 by HM Queen Sirikit exactly 100 years after The Oriental first opened its doors. The hotel now offered 406 guest rooms, with 850 staff looking after guests’ needs. One guest described the hotel as ‘A city. The new Oriental Hotel is a city within a city, a landmark stops on the Chao Phraya highway’, whilst another said, ‘A hotel it not, just a home away from home; it’s an adventure in luxurious living’. Graham Greene, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Wilbur Smith, Barbara Cartland and John le Carré - who penned ‘The Honourable Schoolboy’ in one of the hotel’s sumptuous suites - are just a few of the famous authors who have found inspiration whilst

I n 2008 The Oriental hotel formally changed its name to Mandarin Ori- ental, Bangkok. In 2016 the Authors’ Wing and Garden Wing completed an extensive renovation, and 2019 saw the completion of the largest restoration in the hotel’s history with a USD 90-million loving transformation of the River Wing rooms and suites, restaurants and swimming pool – further enhancing the hotel’s standing as one of the finest in the world. Internationally renowned designer Jeffrey Wilkes oversaw the

overall design of the new River Wing. Wilkes, who has worked previously with the hotel, took his inspiration from not only the hotel’s illustrious history and rich Thai culture but also from the river. Bespoke fabrics by local artisans, skilfully crafted furniture, rich Thai-produced Jim Thompson silks and unique design details reflect the spirit of Bangkok and the hotel’s iconic history. Today 1,300 staff provide a 4:1 staff-to-guest service ratio, the highest in the city. With an average of 14 years of service, each colleague’s

dedication to delivering a unique service experience to every guest is unparalleled as they continue to look after guests and be part of this iconic hotel’s history. A book detailing the vivid history of this legendary hotel, ‘The Oriental Bangkok’, is available for purchase at The Oriental Boutique and in the hotel’s guest rooms and suites for guests to enjoy. Those wishing to learn more about the hotel’s illustrious history can also visit ‘The Oriental Journey’, a permanent exhibition on the first floor of the hotel’s Garden Wing.

the ASEAN region and so it launched the prestigious S.E.A. Write Awards in 1979, presided over by HM Queen Sirikit. This annual event has been hosted in The Oriental every year since – always honoured by a member of the Thai Royal family.

staying at The Oriental. Each of these writers also has suites named after them in the hotel, honouring them as both guests and celebrated authors. To further respect all the literary greats who have stayed at the hotel, the hotel wanted to bestow recognition on the best writers in




A msterdam and Bruges, two charming cities, offering an ideal combination of art, history, and culture. Both cities lure visitors with picturesque canals, stunning architecture, and an abundance of museums and galleries. Here is a glimpse at what you will find in these cultural cities.

JANUARY 26, 2024

Story by Colin White Photographs by Alexi Van Damme

A msterdam is a city that is as rich in history as it is in culture. The Dutch capital offers a feast for the eyes with its remarkable architecture. Most structures date back to the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age. Among the city’s most noteworthy buildings is Het Grashuis, a house with a spectacular facade and stately garden,

located in the Canal Ring district. The fantastic Van Gogh Museum should be at the top of every culture buff’s list of places to visit. Created in honour of the admirable painter, the Van Gogh Museum boasts the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the world, consisting of over 200 works, along with a few by his contemporaries.

B oth Amsterdam and Bruges offer so much that it's hard to choose which city to spend time discovering. Each city offers stunning art and architecture; for that reason, they are genuinely cultural gems. So when you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life, consider a cultural trip through the history of Amsterdam and Bruges. Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum is also a legendary cultural site. It's home to an incredible collection of Dutch art representing centuries of culture, including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals. One must not forget the bustling night life in Amsterdam, with its world famous red light district featuring on most itineraries. Two cities that are a must for anyone traveling to Europe - Alexi Van Damme ” “

European Delight: A Tale Of Two Cities

B ruges is a city that really captures the imagination. Visitors from all over the world flock to this charming city to see architecture that dates back to the Middle Ages. The city's main attraction is the stunning Markt, the central square enclosed by impressive buildings and host to regular weekly

markets throughout the year. In Bruges, it's worth taking a walk along the picturesque canals, which are central to the city's aesthetic. The narrow streets and alleyways offer glimpses of medieval architecture glimpses unique to the city. The Gothic-style Church of Our Lady, boasting a

stunning Madonna and Child statue made by Michelangelo, is another highlight. Another significant site is the Groening museum, displaying a fantastic collection of Flemish Primitive art. The exhibition includes work by Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, and celebrated landscape painter Jan Brueghel the Younger.




O ne of the where visitors could view and purchase the latest and most sought-after boats from leading manufacturers. From sleek, modern designs to classic, timeless styles, there was a yacht for every taste. Visitors in search of luxury living could check out the Super Yachts Hub, where the most opulent and extravagant boats were on display. These yachts were truly a sight to behold, with features such as cinemas, spas, and even highlights of the show was the Super Yachts section, helipads. Prices were varied but some well in excess of 50 million THB. Some of the most exclusive brands were on show such as Princess Yachts, Sunseeker, Benetti, Regal Boats and Azimut to name a few. All were offering very enticing canapes and Champagne to those considering purchasing a boat. The weather each day was truly

JANUARY 26, 2024

Thailand International Boatshow 2024 Royal Phuket Marina

magnificent, around 30 degrees with clear blue skies and a light breeze. For those who appreciate the elegance of classic yachts, the show had a section devoted to vintage boats. These yachts had been lovingly restored and maintained

to their original beauty, and they were a testament to the enduring appeal of classic design. The Eco- Friendly Booth showcased the latest innovations in sustainable boating, highlighting the industry's efforts to reduce its environmental impact.

T he Tourism Authority of culture and beautiful landscapes, inspiring them to explore the many charms that Thailand has to offer. Visitors could also indulge their tastes with various food stalls serving up delicious Thai food as well as international fare. For those in search of a more refined culinary experience, Champagne and oysters were available at multiple areas throughout the marina. Thailand Booth gave visitors a taste of the country's rich

In addition to boats, the show also featured other exhibitors showcasing related industries such as marine suppliers, yacht charters, luxury properties, travel, jet and helicopter operators, fine jewelry, and art galleries. Visitors could also test out watercraft such as jet skis and pocket submarines to get a feel for the latest technology in marine sports. There were also sea trials available for those who wanted to experience the thrill of being on the water.

Live music added to the relaxed atmosphere of the show, drawing in visitors who appreciated the chance to relax and enjoy the entertainment. The Thailand International Boat Show was a truly memorable event that showcased not only luxury boats, but also the other various industries related to marine living and travel. We all left the show feeling inspired and ready to set sail!

T he Thailand International Boat Show took place from January 11th to 14th, 2024, at the Royal Phuket Marina and it was an event to remember. The show featured over 50 luxury boats on display and drew in exhibitors from various industries related to marine and luxury living. Visitors were treated to an array of sights, sounds, and tastes as they wandered through the different booths.

24 THAILAND ONE Story by Colin White Photographs by AX Media TH


JANUARY 26, 2024




JANUARY 26, 2024

W hen it comes to luxurious air travel, Emirates takes the lead with its unforgettable First Class experience aboard the magnificent Airbus A380. From the moment you step on board until you reach your destination, Emirates ensures an unparalleled level of opulence, personalized service, and sheer indulgence. Prepare to be pampered as we take you on a journey you'll never forget. The Ultimate First Class Experience with Emirates A380: A Journey of Unparalleled Luxury

Gourmet Dining Extravaganza: Prepare your taste buds for an exceptional culinary adventure onboard the Emirates A380. From sumptuous à la carte menus to an extensive range of premium beverages, the airline's award-winning chefs are masters of their craft. The carefully curated menu offers a fusion

Personalized Service: Emirates takes pride in its iconic service, which is at the core of its First Class experience. From the moment you step on board until your journey's end, a dedicated team of cabin crew members anticipates your every need. They exude professionalism, warmth, and attentiveness, ensuring

the ultimate in-flight entertainment experience with the latest technology at your fingertips. The generously sized, high-resolution screens offer a vast selection of movies, TV shows, music, games, and more. Immerse yourself in the world of entertainment while sinking into the comfort of your luxurious suite.

of international flavors, using only the finest ingredients. Whether you crave Arabic delicacies or prefer an exquisite Western meal, Emirates leaves no stone unturned in satisfying every culinary desire. One of the firm favourites is the caviar, simply delicious. For those who prefer a more intimate dining experience, you can dine with your travel companion dining options allow you to enjoy mouthwatering dishes whenever you please, ensuring that your gastronomic journey is tailored to your preferences. Unparalleled Entertainment: Emirates believes that no journey is complete without an exceptional in-flight entertainment system. In First Class, you'll enjoy in the privacy of your own suite. The flexible

your comfort is unmatched. Whether it's a personalized welcome, assistance with your journey, or a special request, the cabin crew go above and beyond to provide a truly bespoke experience. E mirates sets a new standard for luxury air travel with its First Class experience on board the A380. From the lavish private suites to the exceptional amenities and impeccable service, every aspect of this journey oozes opulence and elegance. Flying First Class with Emirates is truly a once- in-a-lifetime experience, promising moments of sheer indulgence and a taste of the high life. Prepare to embark on an extraordinary adventure, where every moment becomes a memory worth cherishing.

Story by Colin White - Photographs by Alexi Van Damme

A s you step into the First Class cabin of the Emirates A380, you'll find yourself in a haven of sophistication and elegance. Exceptional attention to detail is evident in the stylish furnishings, soft lighting, and an ambiance designed to cocoon you in comfort. The spacious and impeccably designed private suites offer privacy like no other, providing a sanctuary where you can relax, work, or simply unwind while soaring through the skies. Emirates redefines luxury with its extraordinary amenities that elevate the First Class experience to unprecedented heights. Each suite features fully closing doors, ensuring complete privacy. Pamper yourself with the invigorating onboard Shower Spa, complete with luxury toiletries and plush towels, providing an unparalleled rejuvenating experience at 40,000 feet. The lavish lie-flat seats in First Class are akin to a private sanctuary, offering unparalleled comfort and ample space. Adorned with the finest linens and plush bedding, you can rest assured that a good night's sleep awaits you during your journey.




JANUARY 26, 2024

Embrace The Charm Of A Leisurely Sunday In The Old Town Chiangmai W here history, spirituality, and natural beauty converge seamlessly. Unlocking hidden gems and uncovering the whispers of the past. Let the unique blend of history and spirituality captivate your senses, and revel in the natural beauty that graces every corner. This is not just a wander; it's a journey through time and culture, an experience to savor like a true local.

Story by Jenjira Nakok



Image by Thanapat Nonwarothai/ Pixabay

Image by Punspace/ Facebook





Image by Natthapon Ngamnithiporn

Image by Kaew Gallery/ Tripadvisor

Image by Thinapob Proongsak

Image by Richie Chan

and vibrant atmosphere. It’s packed with food stalls, clothing, crafts and souvenirs. The market is about 1.1 km long starting from the Gate to Wat Phra Singh. This is not just a wander; it’s a journey through time and culture, an experience to savor like a true local. - Jenjira Nakok ” “

4. Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan The temple looks stunning when I walk in. They have different buildings and structures to explore the compound of Wat Phra Singh. The most iconic one would be the Golden Stupa. Lanna architecture is known for its intricate designs, wooden structures, and ornate details that reflect the region's unique artistic traditions. It’ll give you a remarkable experience visiting this place and a serene environment.

5. Tha Phae Gate You cannot miss this landmark. Tha Phae Gate is located at the eastern side of the city wall as the main gate and also gives identity to the public space in the front where people host the events or outdoor activities throughout the year. 6. Tha Phae Walking Street Since you’re already in Old-town Chiang Mai on Sunday, you shouldn’t miss this night market. It is one of many iconic street food markets in Thailand, mainly due to its historical

1. Punspace Wiang Kaew The whole area is very peaceful with welcome shades to be found under the big, old trees. This courtyard is a co-working area where you can be by yourself or socialise with people. You can definitely find a variety of drinks and food as well as several events taking place. It’s a great spot to spend your day out reading your books, working online, relaxing on your vacation, almost giving you some sort of spiritual energy.

2. Wat Chedi Luang I was stunned by this huge stupa when I first saw it. It’s located at the center of the temple and surrounded by Buddhist buildings and shrines. The fact that the temple was constructed in the 14th century adds an extra layer of historical depth to your visit. The place allows you to wander around the temple complex and appreciate the historical atmosphere. There is a coffee place called ‘Araksa Cafe’ and some nice spots where you can sit and relax under the trees.

3. Kaew Gallery That one late morning, I got to walk a new direction and accidentally found this gallery. If you appreciate oil paintings (mostly), craftsmanship or are looking for some gifts, this is the place for you. This is a local art gallery owned by a Thai artist (Kaew). Her works very-well represent traditional Chiang Mai art and culture of Thailand. I ended up getting a pair of earrings and an oil painting of a Tuk-tuk at the Warorot Market and those always remind me of the good time I had in Chiang Mai.




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