What’s up in April
Chiang Mai Songkran Festival: 13th-15th
Songkran festivities are always celebrated with a bang in Chiang Mai and is infamous for extending the usual three-day water festival to a full week. The grand celebrations start with the bathing of Phra Phutta Sihing image and a procession around the city. Then, it progresses to more funfilled activities. Where: Chiang Mai
The 3rd Samui Fine Dining Festival: 1st-30th
Indulge in the culinary pleasures of the “3rd Samui Fine Dining Festival,” a dining extravaganza presented by a selection of top Samui restaurants until end of this month. This is for the increasing number of individuals who consider fine dining as an essential element of their lifestyle and a significant topic when choosing a holiday destination. For those who are keen to expand their culinary horizons, the festival offers a wonderful opportunity to do so every day, as each participating restaurant presents a superb individual Fine Dining menu complemented by wines. Thai hospitality is all around and service always comes with a smile so don’t miss out on this amazing chance to experience Samui at its finest. Participating restaurants are: Banyan Tree, Beach Republic, Chef’s Table, Dining on the Rocks, Le Jaroen, Nikki Beach, Ochos, Rockpool, Sala Samui, Sui Kin Pan Asian Restaurant, The Barge Fine Dining, The Edge, The Five Islands Restaurant, The Terrace, Tree Tops and Zazen Restaurant. Organised by the Cool Genie Group, the Samui Fine Dining festival is a corporate activity between hotels, resorts, private restaurants, suppliers and local media. There is additional cooperation from Absolute World, TAT, PATA, Bangkok Airways, G Four Fine Wines and Lombard Champagne.
Where: Koh Samui
Chakri Day: 6th
Chakri Day commemorates the contributions of the Chakri Dynasty kings who have been ruling Thailand since 1782. On this day, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the dynasty, accompanied by other Royal Family members, leads a religious ceremony at the Royal Chapel to pay respects to his predecessors at the Royal Pantheon and then proceeds for laying wreath ceremony at the King Rama I statue at the Memorial Bridge.
Phra Padaeng Songkran Festival: 13th-15th
Where: Bangkok and Nationwide
Phuket Bike Week: 14th-21st
Experience a more traditional Thai New Year featuring magnificent parades, long-standing ancient rituals, and the occasional water fight in Samut Prakan, just an hour’s drive from Bangkok. Samut Prakan is one of the few remaining places that celebrates Songkran in the Thai-Mon style. The big festival is usually held on the Sunday following Maha Songkran Day on April 13. See how the local Mons, who are among Thailand’s earliest settlers, still practice ancient traditions to this day.
Where: Samut Prakan Province
Soon (Every water is an island): 1st-5th
The 19th edition of the biggest motorcycle event in Asia will be held in Patong beach, with thousands of ear-deafening bikes gathering from all over Thailand for various activities and spectators to admire.
Where: Patong Beach, Phuket
The Passage In My Mind: 1st-7th
Filipino artist Poklong Anading’s installation art exhibition called “Soon (taking the Thai word for zero, soon)” is on view from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tiesdays through Saturdays.
Where: Bangkok University Gallery, Bangkok University’s Kluay Nam Thai campus, Rama IV Road
The Sea, Unless Expectations: 1st-8th
Experience a more artistic and visual approach to Global Warming, through the eyes of Sirapat Deesawadee.
Where: Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok (BTS National Stadium)
BB Forever: 1st-10th
Marco Rossati, a prominent and internationally recognized Italian artist and art instructor, present art pieces that reflect the secret mystery and the powerful phenomenon of nature, each embedded with symbolically profound meanings.
Where: 99/45 Belle Ville, Boromrachachonanee Road
Colors of Life: 1st-15th
An art exhibition celebrating the life of legendary French actress Brigitte Bardot featuring an exclusive collection of close to 30 photos that trace her career. On view from 6 to 11 p.m.
Where: L’Appart Restaurant, 32nd floor, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, 189 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS: Nana)
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort marked its recent anniversary by holding a special art exhibition to raise funds for charity. Himalai Kongvetch, an artist born and raised on Koh Samui and his protégés: Tanet Sujarithpongtai and Tawatchi Jampa join together for this exhibition that showcases some of their finest artworks inspired by Samui culture and nature.
The Wonders of China: 1st-May 20th
Where: Lobby, InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, Koh Samui
A collection of more that 80 photos of the natural wonders of China — including the magnificent Forbidden City, the Potala Palace in Tibet, and the Himalaya Mountains – is on display at the outdoor arena of Central World. Admission is free.
Musk – Love: 1st-30th
Where: Central World, 999/9 Rama 1 Rd (BTS: Chidlom)
Imagining Flood: 2nd-28th
Eleven artists, both established and emerging, explore the meaning of scent and love and their effect toward each other in this exhibition. The artists express how ‘scent’ affects their expression of things sensual, love, and lust.
Where: 139/5 Wireless Rd (BTS: Ploenchit)
The Twilight Zone: 3rd-30th
Miti Ruangkritya captures the foreboding and surreal nature of the 2011 floods in Bangkok and presented it in a dreamlike, otherworldly way.
Where: Kathmandu Photo Gallery, 87 (near Indian Temple), Pan, off Silom Rd.
Possession: 14th-May 5th
Renowned Thai artist Chuang Moolpinit brings you his biggest exhibition in a decade; an invitation to enter a state of surrealism portraying the concepts of nature, life cycles, and philosophy.
Where: Queen’s Gallery, 101, Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd
Nineteen artists join together to present this art show, which gives a sense of immersion into visual culture, engaging with the pervasive influence of Internet culture and contemporary visual reproduction.
German Film Series: Every 2nd Tuesday of the Month
Where: Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok
ThaiCraft Fair: 2nd
Goethe Institute Thailand presents some of the best German movies in this film series, scheduled every second Tuesday of the month from 6 p.m. onwards. Film showings in English subtitles.
Where: Bangkok Art & Cultural Center, Rachathevi Road (BTS: National Stadium)
2013 Save The World Expo: 20th-22nd
The annual automotive spectacle aims to bring ergonomically advanced and innovative designs to the public eye, featuring state-of-the-art technology and glamorous presentations of automobiles.
Where: Challenger Hall 1-3 Impact Arena Muang Thong Than, Nonthaburi
Bangkok International Houseware Fair 2013 (BIG+BIH 2013): 22nd-23rd
“Earth, Fire, Land, Water” are all components in this major exhibition that will address audiences with a safe, sustainable way of living to resolve global warming and rapid climate changes.
Where: Challenger Hall 2-3, Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi
Thailand Online Expo ‘Enjoy the Future’: 25th-28th
BIG+BIH 2013 is in close liaison with the Department of Export Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Royal Thai Government for bolstering housewares and gift items from around the globe. More than 700 exhibitors in 1,850 booths are exhibiting artificial flowers/plants, Christmas decorative items, household products, toys and games and stationery.
Where: BITEC Bangna (BTS: Banga)
Bollywood Cinema Returns to Bangkok
This event brings together an array of online innovations for every business and lifestyle needs and desires. Embracing over 300 booths of cutting-edge services and technologies, further enhancing the interest level will be a packed program of seminars addressed by renowned experts covering over 10 hot online topics.
Where: Queen Sirikit Center National Convention Center, Rachada Road (MRT: QSNCC)
Major Cinema teams up with MVP Entertainment to bring the latest Bollywood movies to Bangkok, in a resurrection of Indian films in the city after more than two decades! For the large Indian community in the city, this is a treat indeed as they would get to see the latest Indian movies on the big screen almost on the same day as their release in India. For non-Indians, this would be a great opportunity to to be introduced to the exciting, new stars of the Indian cinema because they know little beyond Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. Even Bollywood superstar Sharukh Khan has many rivals today! What’s more important is that the films have Thai sub-titles. There are almost three new Indian films being released every month, at the Major Ekamai Sukhumvit and Central Rama III, with some of the ‘big’ movies also playing at Siam Paragon.
Watch out for some arresting films in April: “Chasme Baddoor,” “Nautanki Saala,” and “I love New York.” The first is a re-make of a delightful romantic entertainer of the 1980s,with handsome Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar, Tamil superstar Siddharth Narayan, and new actress Taapsee Pannu playing the leads. The second has popular new actor-singer Ayushman Khuranna in some “hot” scenes with debuting actress Pooja Salvi and German model Evelyn Sharma; while the third sees the return of Sunny Deol after a break, in an exotic love-story shot at the Big Apple with sexy siren Kangana Raut.
Check – www.majorcineplex.com/indianmovie.
Phantom of The Opera: May 7th-June 2nd
Longest-running Broadway musical comes to BangkokOne of the biggest cultural events in the city this year, is the staging of the famed Broadway musical “Phantom of the Opera” from May 7 to June 2 at the Muangthai Rachadalai Theatre. “Phantom…” is the longest running Broadway show in history, having completed 25 years and 10,400 shows, this year. BEC Tero teams up with Scenario, the top Thai musical-theatre company, to bring this spectacular stage-production to the city.Based on the story ‘Le Fantome De L’Opera” by French writer Gaston Leroux, ‘Phantom’ was first made into a silent film in 1925. It it hit the world headlines, when it was produced as a stage-musical in 1986, with outstanding music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman playing the lead-roles. The Times called it ‘God’s Gift to Musical Theatre.’ It was this version that was made into a film in 2004, by well-known director Joel Schumacher, with a great cast: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Minnie Driver. The movie went on to win three Oscar nominations.
Meanwhile, ‘Phantom’ has become a huge favorite with theatre companies around the world. To date, it has been staged in as many as 145 cities and 27 countries, in 15 languages, from countries as varied as Mexico, Tokyo, Russia, and New Zealand. ‘Phantom’ has won at least 50 major theatre wards, including the top Tony and Lawrence Olivier Awards, the Outer Circle and Drama Desk awards, its album-sales have exceeded a record 40 million, while its box-office revenues have been higher than any other film or stage- play in history, including ‘Titanic,’ ‘ET,’ and ‘Star Wars.’
The present production is on a world-tour of several countries, including Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, in Asia. There are at least 230 costumes and 22 scene-changes in this extravaganza, including one memorable scene with 230 flickering candles and 250kg of dry ice – to denote a dark, foggy night.
The main leads will be played by Brad Little and Clair Lyon, who have performed ‘Phantom’ in many parts of the world, and are excited at visiting new countries and audiences, on this trip.