The highly popular King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, now in its 12th year, will be held Aug. 28-Sept 1 in Hua Hin. Since its inception, the event has raised over US$600,000 to help Thailand’s elephants. This year’s event promises to have more nail-biting action both on and off the field. The event has gone from a small two-day event in 2001 to one of Thailand’s major and internationally best-loved events. Last year’s tournament featured 12 teams encompassing over 40 players, including German royals, Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein, his wife Princess Anna, the New Zealand All-Blacks rugby team and Thailand’s famous transgender cabaret team Miss Tiffany’s. Fundraising from last year’s event has, to date, been donated to a number of projects in Thailand. The first is to continue to support research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children in Thailand living with autism. Last year saw the research to date published and a continuation of the free clinics for Thai children is planned. In February the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), based at Anantara Golden Triangle Resort and Spa, will host a landmark ‘positive reinforcement training’ workshop with traditional elephant trainers from throughout South East Asia, guided by world renowned trainer Dr Gerardo Martinez and featuring guest speakers from Thai Universities. This will be the first time positive reinforcement training for elephants will be introduced and discussed on a large scale in the range states. GTAEF’s work with Thailand’s wild herd has continued with Human Elephant Conflict mitigation and partial sponsorship of the Wild Elephant Counting Week in Kui Buri Royal Project area.
For more information on King’s Cup Elephant Polo, please visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com
National Events and FestivalsPhi Ta Khon Festival: 10th-12th
Rumor has it that the name “Phi Ta Khon” originated from the belief of Dansai villagers that even ghosts came out of the forests to follow Buddha when he arrived. Dansai is a province in Northeastern Thailand. Today the annual “Ghost Festival” is mostly known for the colorful ghost masks, sexual amulets, and the joyful rain dance performed by the Dansai villagers. The masks and amulets are in fact reflective of how the Dansai folks worship the spirits, whom they regard as protectors of the village. The rockets and rain dance meanwhile are ways they do to ask for sufficient rains and abundant harvest. The event takes place on the first day of “Boon Pra Wate,” the beginning of a three-day Buddhist merit-making nationwide. This mix of animist and Buddhist beliefs makes this cultural event unique.
Where: Dansai, Loie Province // Contact: TAT Loei Office
Now in its 10th year, the “Phuket Race Week” introduces four days of competitive yacht racing and five nights of beachside parties at the 5-star Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket – broadcast internationally to 140 million households. Race classes include cruising/bareboat/charter, and serious racers, as well as more leisurely sailors are all welcome to participate.
Where: Phuket // Contact: 084-060-4070
Pattaya Marathon is one of the biggest annual sports events in Pattaya. Last year approximately 10,000 runners and walkers joined the event and this year, “The King´s Cup” marathon expects at least as many vigorous athletes from Thailand and abroad. Racers can run from 10.5km to 42.2km, a choice between a full, half and a quarter marathon, and even wheelchair races are offered. The city embraces the athletic spirit by organizing especially energetic celebrations for both the competitors and spectators during the weekend.
Where: Pattaya // Contact: 038-253-129
“Asanha Bucha,” which commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon after his enlightenment, is one of the most important Buddhist festivals. It comes to life with plenty of lights and parades especially in the Northeastern region, but is generally observed all around Thailand. The event precedes the “Khao Phansa,” the monks´ three-month retreat, which begins the next day. During this time many ordinations are conducted.
Residents of Surin celebrate the start of Buddhist lent by a massive candle parade, accompanied by elaborately decorated elephants, which they ride into various temples in the Northeastern province. The symbolic meaning of these candles is to encourage the monks to continue reading the religious scriptures late into the night. During the forthcoming three months´ lent, the monks dedicate themselves to teachings of Buddha and meditation and do not venture out of the temple grounds.
Where: Surin Province // Contact: TAT Surin Office
Local artists create large candle sculptures depicting scenes from the Buddha´s life and Buddhist tales, and join the locals for a march through the city in an illuminated parade. A candle procession is held before presenting the candles as merit-making offerings to the monks in the temples. The religious festival is also accompanied by candle-molding contests, folk music and drama shows, as well as demonstrations of local delicacies.
Where: Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima) // Contact: TAT Nakhon Ratchasima Office
Arts & CultureA Man’s Soul: 1st-14th
Surasak Ittirit presents his first solo exhibition after 10 years of experience as a fashion photographer. Faithful to his medium but independent in style, he shows male portraits, photos in black and white, which according to him are inspired by the minimalism, and the “stillness deep inside” he finds in the Western fashion culture.
Where: Badmotel, Next to J-Avenue, Thonglor Soi between Soi 15 and 17, Bangkok // Contact: 02-712-7288
For this exhibition, artist Maitree Siriboon mesmerized his childhood in Isan and an emblem, a totem animal appeared: in the middle of lush countryside, a buffalo, an ancient beast of burden for the early farmers and an exotic icon for the tourists of today. Internationally noted artist shows his photos and mosaics in Thavibu Gallery throughout July.
Where: Thavibu Gallery, Room 308, 3/F, Silom Galleria, 919/1 Silom Rd., Bangkok // Contact: 02-266-5454
The Embassy of Brazil celebrates the prestigious international relations between Thailand and Brazil by offering a special free concert. Star performers are Bangkok-based pianist Paulo Zereu and Thai violinist Paye Srinarong, who play jazz, bossa nova and classical tunes for the fans of Latin American music. Show starts at 7 p.m.
Where: Thailand Cultural Center, Ratchadaphisek Rd., Bangkok // Contact: 02-262-3456
Broadway Babe performs their new show, “Vintage Night: N.Y.C” – a one hour-long revue is “about a girl with big dreams and a woman who has other plans.” Popping up only for two nights in AriyasomVilla Boutique Hotel, Broadway Babe promises an evening of music, dance, and drama for the lovers of nostalgia. Tickets: Bt500.
Where: AriyasomVilla Boutique Hotel Bangkok // Contact: 02-254-8880
Few know that the record of the longest complete run of top 10 singles in the UK goes to no one else but Ronan Keating, who entered fame as a boy band pin-up in the 90s. After that his solo career hits, such as “When You Say Nothing at All” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes” have continued to charm more fans around the world, and today the Irish singer and songwriter has sold over 25 million solo-albums worldwide. His live tour “Fires” is named after his recent album, the ninth in order, and treats Bangkok with an exclusive show, one-night only. Tickets: Bt2,500-Bt4,500.
Where: Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani // Contact: 02-504-5050
Fourteen talented young men from Yale University, known as the Whiffenpoops, are again set to thrill Thai music lovers with their unique singing style this month. The group is one of the world’s oldest and most famous American a capella legends. The group’s repertoire draws on a long heritage of original arrangements from many styles and eras, and their traditional barbershop and choral foundation are supplemented with jazz standards, pop songs and comedy routines. The group returns to Bangkok for an exclusive two-night show at the Sapphire Bar, The Sukosol Bangkok (Bt1,500 net with cocktail and pre-show buffet dinner, July 19) and Opium Den, The Siam (Bt1,200++ with one-hour free cocktail and canapés, July 20).
Call 02-247-0123 (The Sukosol) or 02-206-6999 (The Siam).
German photographer Ralf Tooten captures over one-hundred portraits of construction workers in Southwestern Thailand and displays them in their sovereign context: on streets, under a bridge, beside a railway and on the rooftop of a river ferry. Large photos on vinyl and paper dot the surroundings of Tao Hong Tai: D Kunst gallery, and reveal an unseen side of the working class culture in Thailand.
Where: Tao Hong Tai: D Kunst Gallery in Ratchaburi // Contact: 02-287-0942/4
On the 60th birthday anniversary of Montien Boonma (1953-2000), Jim Thompson Art Center celebrates the distinguished influence of the contemporary artist to his generation and the future generations to come with this exhibition. Display includes newly discovered documents such as sketchbooks, photos, and video footage, giving viewers of this exhibition a deeper insight into the acclaimed artist’s persona and his graphic, semi-abstract style.
Where: Jim Thompson House Art Center, Jim Thompson House, Kasem San, Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok // Contact: 02-612-6741
Chiang Mai-based artist Thasnai Sethaseree studies the politics of fear in his exhibition, “Trans-structurity.” The Chicago educated artist considers different perspectives of fear and suppression, in terms of risks represented – as well as misrepresented by institutions, and expresses these concerns in forms of sculptures, installations, images and light-box pieces. Where: 338 Oida Gallery, 4/F, Pongamorn Building, 1028/5 Rama 4 Rd., Bangkok // Contact: 090-198-8749
Trade Fairs & ShowsDiscount Overload: 3rd-7th
Tons of goods from many leading brands will be available all under one roof – and sold up to 80 percent off. The public event will allow customers to buy products at “super shock prizes” and holders of M cards enjoy additional privileges. Every payment of Bt8,000 will have a chance to win an extra Bt5,000 voucher and two Ipad2s are given to lucky winners every day.
Where: Impact Exhibition & Convention Center, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-310-1846
This furniture fair showcases the latest styles in Thai interior design, ready for domestic buyers and exporters. The largest event of its kind in Thailand particularly connects the wide market of domestic furniture enterprises and overseas buyers. Interior designers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, as well as the general public are all invited to enjoy the new design and make some superb deals.
Where: BITEC International Trade & Exhibition Center, Bangna-Trad Rd (BTS: Bangna) // Contact: 02-318-3505
Industry leaders and market regulators from China, Malaysia, and Taiwan display their latest developments in building materials, ceramics, electronics and machines. For four days, toys, lighting products, household items, beverages, farm produce, and more will fill some 380 booths in 4000sqm-space. Attendees will have a chance to interact with the market leaders, learn from their marketing strategies and negotiate with potential business associates.
Where: Impact Exhibition & Convention Center, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-694-6000
Authorized car dealers and hundreds of used car sellers around Thailand gather to show their best quality vehicles in the 5th Bangkok Imported Car & Used Car Show. Even some luxury and sports cars are on display and ready for sale. Last year the same event collected over 10,000 used cars, including brands of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, F1, DSG and Absolute Auto, and there were also plenty of finance packages available.
Where: Impact Exhibition & Convention Center, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-971-6467
TRAFS 2013, Thailand´s premier show of food, hospitality and retail, TRAFS offers a platform for manufacturers, distributors and suppliers to showcase their expertise for around 28,000 target buyers from 50 countries. Equipment for hotels, restaurants, catering and retail are some of the products on show. In addition to shopping, many entertaining activities are designed for the public, such as cooking workshops and competitions. Fair guests may also combine their visit with the Thailand Franchise & Business Opportunities 2013 (TFBO 2013) fair next door. \
Where: BITEC International Trade & Exhibition Center, Bangna-Trad Rd (BTS: Bangna) // Contact: 02-861-401
With more than 220 importers and exporters, the TPG fair has over 10,000 products of for example jewelry, clothing, eyewear and accessories available for domestic and international traders. This B2B (Business to Business) event gives the traders an opportunity to show their potential and expand their businesses in the gifts and premium industry. Seminars are held and awards granted during the event.
Where: BITEC International Trade & Exhibition Center, Bangna-Trad Rd (BTS: Bangna) // Contact: 02-749-3939
The largest franchise & business opportunities show in ASEAN, with approximately 250 booths, Thailand Franchise & Business Opportunities 2013 (TFBO 2013) reaches over 28,000 visitors from over 50 countries in four days. It is not a coincidence that the location is in Bangkok, as so far the highest number of international franchises have chosen Thailand as their base, thanks to its purchasing power and strong potential. For domestic and international franchisers this fair means a valuable opportunity to meet potential investors in ASEAN, which is preparing to become a “single market” in 2015, with free trade and a soaring number of 600 million consumers.
Where: BITEC International Trade & Exhibition Center, Bangna-Trad Rd (BTS: Bangna) // Contact: 02-861-4013
‘THBS 2013’ is one of the fastest growing shows of beauty industry, and it puts the spotlight on the wide range of quality beauty & health care products and services in Thailand. The show brings together manufacturers, buyers, traders and merchandisers, as well as beauty professionals from around the world and promises to provide a “perfect arena to complete business deals, hold trade negotiations and expand business bases.”
Where: Bangkok Convention Center, Centara Grand Centralworld, Ratchaprasong (BTS: Chidlom) // Contact: 02-100-1234
For nine consecutive days, Thailand´s Best Shopping Fair 2013 exhibits the latest products and services related to fashion, health, beauty, weddings, home furnishings, food, gardening, toys, electronics, and more. Industry leaders, decision makers, agents and experts are here to share and exchange their knowledge on the their respective subjects with the attendees.
Where: Impact Exhibition & Convention Center, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-731-1331
OthersHyatt Open Golf Tournament: 20th-21st
Following the success of the past three years of the “Hyatt Open Golf Tournament,” Hyatt Regency Hua Hin and Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok in association with Banyan Golf Club, this year invite amateur golf enthusiasts to participate in the 4th annual Hyatt Open 2013, to be held at the Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin. This event will allow amateur golfers the challenge of playing at the golf tournament and at the same time, enjoying the charm of Hua Hin as a destination, experience the ultimate relaxation and authentic hospitality at Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, and enjoy the chance to win many exciting prizes. The Hyatt Open 2013 Champion will be awarded with the Hyatt Open Trophy in a traditional silver Claret Jug design. A “Hyatt Open Package,” which starts from Bt20,800 net for one player and Bt28,800 net for two players on a twin-sharing basis, has been designed for all interested participants. The package includes a host of benefits (terms and conditions apply). Participants also have a chance to win the fantasy tournament prizes and raffle prizes consisting of accommodation at many Hyatt Hotels and round-trip airline tickets from Garuda Indonesia, British Airways, Qatar Airways and Jet Airways. The fantasy tournament is associated with the final rounds of The Open Championship at Muirfield, which takes place on the same weekend. Where: Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, Hua Hin // Contact: 02-254-6200 or 032-521-234, or e-mail email@example.com
Dusit Thani College in collaboration with Gambero Rosso, the prestigious Italian culinary institute offers “Best of Italian Culinary Courses” for its students, as well as the general public beginning this month. Adelaide Michelini, an Italian chef who has worked for top restaurants and as an honorary chef for the U.S Embassy, the Swiss Embassy, and the Japanese Embassy in Italy, designed the course. The course aims to teach the quintessential methods of Italian cuisine through cooking demonstrations and individual practice. Participants will take a journey through seven different programs of two-day courses, to practice, perfect, and experience the heart of BEST Italian culinary essentials. Prices start at Bt18,00 to Bt22,000 per course.
Where: Dusit Thani College, 1 Soi Kaenthong next to Seacon Square// Contact: 02 361-7805