Memories of Thailand

1
Dates for Anantara’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament 2016
2
Anantara’s Elephant Parade now in Bangkok
3
Fight night raises 5,146,000THB for Sponsorship Smile Thailand
4
Christmas and New Year at Soneva Kiri
5
Celebrating Loy Kathrong at SALA
6
Devil it up at VIE Bangkok’s Hallowe’en masquerade
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Celebrating Thai Vegetarian Festival at SALA
8
Anantara’s Elephant Parade coming to Bangkok
9
Walking with giants at Anantara Golden Triangle
10
Celebrating Mother’s Day at Dusit

Dates for Anantara’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament 2016

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THIS YEAR’S  King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament will be held by the banks of Bangkok’s Chaophraya River from March 10-13.

The four-day event, sponsored by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, will feature 10 teams encompassing over 40 players, including Thai celebrities, professional horse polo players, New Zealand All Blacks rugby players and Thailand’s famous transgender cabaret team Miss Tiffany.

A total of 18 elephants will be given a break from their work in tourist-trekking camps in Pattaya or bought from unemployment in Surin to take part in the festival, during which they are given much needed food, essential vitamin supplements, full veterinary checks and care for the duration of the event.

Now in its 14th year, the tournament has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia.

It has raised almost US$1 million and donated to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population, including continued support for research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children living with autism; donating a gantry to help lame elephants stand and a purpose -built elephant ambulance to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC), and donating an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) to the Government Elephant Hospital in Krabi.

Other projects include funding farmer/elephant conflict mitigation projects in three Thai and one Tanzanian National Park; planting 4,000 trees to form an elephant proof fence in Thailand; fully funding the protection of 18,000 hectares of standing forest in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains; funding the roll out of children’s educational programs with the Thai Ministry to teach them the importance of conservation and protection of wild elephants in Thailand and funding the world’s first Target Training Positive Reinforcement Workshops teaching mahouts and trainers throughout Southeast Asia elephant friendly training methods.

Anantara%20Elephant%20Polo%202016_Opening%20Elephant%20ParadeDomestic elephants are micro-chipped by the Thai government to show that they have not been caught from the wild.

The worst trekking camps can be tough for an elephant. In order to make money, mahouts are forced to work their elephants 10 – 12 hours a day.

Conversely, at home in Surin, unemployment means elephants are often left isolated from other elephants with a short chain on two legs 24 hours a day with no exercise or enrichment.

In both circumstances, the poverty of existence means their owners cannot afford to feed them anything close to their daily physical needs, emotional needs are forgotten, and shade and sufficient water are often overlooked.

The King’s Cup schedule is designed to give these trekking elephants rest and relaxation on a scale they are never afforded in their ‘normal’ lives and ensure elephant rest time with interaction and enrichment that neither set of elephants gets in their daily lives.

The festival will have something for everyone including an opening parade, Children’s Educational Day, Ladies Day known as the ‘Bangkok Ascot’ and a wide range of fun elephant-related activities for the whole family.

Anantara has long been associated with elephant conservation efforts with the formation of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which has performed over 40 rescues of elephants off the streets of Thailand, as well as bringing the hugely successful Elephant Parade to Bangkok, where 88 elephant statues were decorated by local and international celebrities and artists to honour Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 88th birthday, and will be auctioned off in a gala dinner in February 2016.

For more information on the 14th annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com.

 

Anantara’s Elephant Parade now in Bangkok

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ANANTARA HOTELS, RESORTS & SPAS along with Elephant Parade, have launched the world’s largest open air art exhibition – Elephant Parade Bangkok 2015 – in the heart of the Thai capital.

The exhibition, featuring 88 brightly decorated elephant statues, has been staged to honour the 88th birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch.

The first Elephant Parade was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 2007 and has since exhibited in many cities around the world including London, Singapore, Amsterdam, Milan and Hong Kong.

Bangkok Elephant Parade 2015 is a first for Thailand and will be the only one for the capital.

The event was originally created after founder Marc Spits and his son Mike visited the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang northern Thailand, which treats sick and injured elephants.

There they saw Mosha, a baby elephant who lost her leg after stepping on a landmine when she was only seven months old. She is fitted with a new prosthetic leg every year and must then learn to walk all over again.

Mosha always features in each Elephant Parade exposition and will have an especially Thai-themed painted prosthetic leg for the Bangkok Parade.

All 88 elephants showcased in Elephant Parade Bangkok are available for the public to bid for and own in an online auction and in February 2016, a final selection of elephants will be auctioned off by Christies at a gala dinner to be held at Anantara Siam Bangkok.

Elephant%20Parade%20Bangkok%20-%20Royal%20ElephantProceeds from both auctions will be donated to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which in turn will select strategic partners to drive forward key projects including building the first elephant clinic in Chiang Mai’s Mae Teang Valley, expanding their Positive Reinforcement Target Training Project to even more elephants, and helping protect the wild elephants in Thailand’s National Parks.

“The more awareness that is raised on the plight of domestic and wild elephants in Thailand, the better the chances we have for their survival,” William E. Heinecke, Chairman and CEO of Minor International, the parent company of Anantara, Hotels Resorts & Spas, commented.

“I can’t think of a better way to raise awareness and money than bringing the largest open air art exhibition in support of Asian Elephants to Bangkok.”

Famous supporters of Elephant Parade Bangkok include: Hangover 2 star Nirut Sirichanya; Fast and Furious 7 star Tony Jaa; Designer Paul Smith; World Number One DJ, Hardwell; Miss Thailand World, Sirinya Bishop; Artists Elizabeth Romhild, Elsie Evans; Sculptor Gavin Fifield and a wide range of Thai celebrities and artists.

“In my life, I have spent a lot of quality time with elephants. I grew up in a mahout family and started my movie career with an elephant as a co-star,” said Fast and Furious 7 star and Elephant Parade Ambassador Tony Jaa.

“I want to thank all the people and organizations who take the time and resources to ensure the safety of these intelligent creatures in Thailand and around the world.”

“I am so excited and honoured to be chosen to be one of the artists for the Elephant Parade. What a wonderful way to get people talking and taking action in elephant conservation,” said actor and Elephant Parade Bangkok ambassador, Sirinya Bishop.

“The elephant is our country’s national animal and symbol, but somehow this once-revered and noble creature is now forced to beg for food on the busy and dangerous streets of the capital. I truly hope that this magnificent colourful pachyderm parade will raise the awareness and inspire us all to take more concrete steps to ensure their survival and well-being.”

To help raise more awareness and funds for elephant welfare and conservation projects, Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spas is giving Elephant Parade visitors the chance to win a seven-day trip to Anantara’s resorts in the Maldives and other exceptional prizes through an Instagram competition.

The grand prize winner will enjoy the authentic luxuries of Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort and Anantara Veli Maldives Resort. Other prizes include a four-day stay at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Thailand and a 75cm Elephant Parade statue of the winner’s choice from a selected range of designs.

For more information on Elephant Parade Bangkok 2015, plus the online auction and Instagram competition, visit www.elephantparadebangkok.com

The 1.5-metre elephants are on show from Dec. 1-18, 2015 at the world-class luxury shopping centre, Siam Paragon. The herd will then move to Asiatique on the banks of the Chao Phraya River from Dec. 20, 2015 to Jan. 18, 2016, and finally, to Lumpini Park, in the heart of the city, from Jan. 18-29, 2016.

 

 

 

 

Fight night raises 5,146,000THB for Sponsorship Smile Thailand

 

SALA Fight Night

FIGHT NIGHT!  is an annual event organized by the volunteers of Operation Smile Thailand to raise funds to provide free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children in Thailand.

The fifth edition of Operation Smile’s super popular Fight Night White-Collar Boxing Fundraiser once again saw around 400 guests enjoy a night of wining, dining and boxing in a Vegas-style party held at the Dusit Thani Bangkok’s Napalai Ballroom.

In addition to sponsoring the gift vouchers as one the prizes, SALA Hospitality Group also sent a fighter – Regional Executive Chef Tony Wrigley, who won his fight in bout 3 against Oliver Fennell, Bangkok Post

More than 350 people attended Operation Smile Thailand Fight raised a total of 5,146,000 THB through sponsorship and private donors.

 

 

 

Christmas and New Year at Soneva Kiri

Sovena Kiri Palms

“THE FESTIVE SEASON AT SONEVA is where every day holds the promise of new activities to inspire our guests and rare moments of perfect contentment … sunset cruises, wine tastings, gourmet pleasures, astronomy lessons, cocktail parties and traditional Christmas dinners, said Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva, talking about celebrating Christmas and New Year at Soneva Kiri.

“The highlight at both resorts ( Soneva Kiri in Thailand and Soneva Fushi in The Maldives) is the New Year’s Eve gourmet journey that takes guests on a journey via numerous culinary and entertainment stations through the islands, which we plan almost one year in advance.”

Everything starts on Christmas Eve at The Beach at 6.30 p.m. for pre-dinner drinks and yuletide classics and carol-singing by children from Klong Jao School, Koh Hood.

The Christmas Eve dinner, served from 7.30 to 10 p.m., at Benz for an intimate Thai family style meal or a European-style Christmas Eve set dinner at The View.

On Christmas Day, there will be will be a Christmas Brunch that includes traditional Christmas dishes or a variety of Thai gourmet classics at the Barefoot Festive Feast ,

Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, there’s a wide range of activities to keep everyone in your group active and busy. Kite making, for example. It’s a treasured tradition in Thailand, and guests are invited to construct and fly kites made of organic bamboo under the expert tutelage of Khun Weera, the visiting ‘Bamboo Guru’.

There’s also snorkelling at Koh Rang National Marine Park or kayaking along the scenic Yai Ki River.

At night, stargaze with the award-wining astronomer Prof. Massimo Tarenghi from Soneva Kiri’s state of the art observatory, and learn all about the stars and planets in the unpolluted skies above Koh Kood. There’s also Six Senses Spa as well as yoga and exercises to keep you in shape between feasting. Put on your Party hat as Soneva Kiri will offer a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration, with an evening of food, wine, adventure and entertainment that will span the breadth and depth of the resort.

Guests will be taken on a five-stop culinary journey through the elements and the continents, at every twist and turn enjoying another unexpected sensory treat.

The evening will climax in a spectacular event at the beach with a guest DJ and laser show accompanying guests into the early hours of 2016.

 

 

Celebrating Loy Kathrong at SALA

Loy Kathrong

SALA RESORTS & SPAS will be celebrating Loy Kathrong at its resorts throughout Thailand. The festival is one of the most popular in Thailand and is celebrated on the full moon of the 12th lunar month. This year it will be marked on Nov. 25.

The celebration is an expression of gratitude to the goddess of water, where individuals release candle-lit offerings into rivers or the sea, or send rice-paper balloons aloft into the night sky with their wishes.

At SALA Samui, Loy Kathrong festivities will include a traditional Thai buffet, featuring cuisines from Thailand’s four regions. Cost – 1,450 THB per person. For more information, call 66 (0) 7724-5888.

The festival will also be marked with a night of Thai cuisine and culture and romance, which is also associated with Loy Kathrong, at SALA Phuket Thai Village Market. Cost – 1,600 THB per person and 3,800 THB per couple. For more information, call 66 (0) 7633- 8888.

Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most popular Loy Kathrong destinations and at SALA Lanna, there will be riverside dining options that include international buffet options. Cost – 1,900 THB per person. For more information, call 66 (0) 5324-2588.

At SALA Ayutthaya, Loy Kathrong festivities start with a four-course Thai traditional set dinner that features a view of Wat Phutthaisawan and a Thai masked (Khon) dance show. Then, make your wish and release your kathrong onto the Chao Phraya River. The dinner is available from 6 to 10 p.m. Cost – 1,500 THB per person and includes a kathrong for each table. For more information, call 66 (0) 3524-2588.

SALA Rattanakosia will be marking the festival with a six-course set dinner and cultural entertainment at 7,500 THB per couple. SALA Rattanakosin eatery and bar will be offering a mini BBQ buffet at 2,500 THB per person at The Roof. Prices include a sunset cocktail party at the Roof from 6.30 to 7.30 p.m. For more information, call 66 (0) 2622-1388.

 

Devil it up at VIE Bangkok’s Hallowe’en masquerade

DEVIL IT UP - PART II FREE FLOW HALLOWEEN PARTY VIE BAR AT VIE HOTEL BANGKOK 1

GUESTS WHO ARRIVE with their own mask have a chance to win a special prize for the most outstanding mask at a special Hallowe’en masquerade at the VIE Bar at VIE Hotel Bangkok on Saturday, Oct. 31.

Devil It Up starts at 7 pm., with music from VIE’s own DJ.

It’s all-can-eat-and-drink night, featuring free flow bubbly and other stylish beverages. Halloween promises other kinds of spirits too, with the bar’s ghoulishly apparelled staff serving your drinks along with an assortment of Japanese snacks.

The free-flow beverages, and a complimentary masquerade mask – if you haven’t brought one – are all available for THB 1000 THB.

For reservations and more information, please call Tel. 02-3093939, email info@viehotelbangkok.com, or click on www.facebook.com/viehotelbangkok

 

Celebrating Thai Vegetarian Festival at SALA

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SEVERAL SALA HOSPITALITY GROUP resorts will be highlighting a vegetarian option to their menus during this year’s Vegetarian Festival, which runs from Oct. 13-21.

The Thai Vegetarian Festival begins on the 15th day of the waning of the 10th month of the Thai lunar calendar.

Many Thais observe the Vegetarian Festival, even if they do not practice Vegetarianism throughout the year. The festival is popular throughout Thailand, but most especially in areas with large populations of Chinese immigrants, such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

During this festival, Thai people practice jay, taken from Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, it means eight precepts observance.

These include the avoidance of eating any animal meat is one of the eight precepts. To hold the precepts (or teu sil gin jay) you must keep their body clean, keep your eating utensils clean, and make sure you do not share utensils with people not observing the festival.

They must also wear white clothing whenever possible, inflict no harm on animals, and be mindful of their thoughts and actions. Devotees also abstain from sex and alcohol during the festival. 

SALA Phuket will be providing special vegetarian lunch dishes during the festival period that will feature vegetarian fare, such as crispy quinoa dumplings in mild green coconut curry with Thai basil and pea eggplant. For more information, call +66 (0) 7633 8888

sala lanna Chiang Mai will be offering a vegetarian dining option at its italia restaurant, with dishes like yellow tofu with three-mushroom in soya sesame glaze, at its riverside setting. For more information, call +66 (0) 5324 2588.

sala rattanakosin is offering Bangkok devotees a vegetarian special menu throughout the festival, ensuring practising diners do not have to compromise on taste. For more information, call +66 (0) 2622 1388.

 

 

Anantara’s Elephant Parade coming to Bangkok

Elephant Parade S. Bishop

ANANTARA HOTELS RESORTS & SPAS is partnering with Elephant Parade and top local and international celebrities and artists to bring the world’s largest open air art exhibition, Elephant Parade, to Bangkok.

The exhibition will see a herd of almost 100, 1.5 metre brightly coloured elephants, which have been specially decorated and hand painted and will be exhibited as a herd in key locations throughout Bangkok, starting Dec. 1, 2015 and ending on Jan. 29, 2016.

The first major Elephant Parade was held in Rotterdam in the Netherlands in 2007 and has since been exhibited in cities across the world including London, Singapore, Amsterdam, Milan and Hong Kong.

Elephant Parade Bangkok will be a first for Thailand and the only one for the city.

The event was originally created after founder Marc Spits and his son Mike visited the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital in Lampang, Thailand, which treats sick and injured elephants. There they saw Mosha, a baby elephant who lost her leg after stepping on a landmine when only seven months old and was the first elephant to receive a prosthetic limb. She is fitted with a new leg every year, and each time must learn to walk all over again.

Mosha features in each Elephant Parade exhibition and will have a specially Thai-themed painted prosthetic leg for the Bangkok Parade.

Artists from all walks of life have been busy designing their elephants, each an original piece of art to help paint a brighter future for Thailand’s national animal.

Famous supporters of Elephant Parade Bangkok include: Hangover 2 star Nirut Sirichanya; Furious 7 star Tony Jaa; Designer Paul Smith; World Number One DJ, Hardwell; Miss Thailand World, Sirinya Bishop; Artists Elizabeth Romhild, Elsie Evans and Nancy Chandler, Sculptor Gavin Fifield and a wide range of Thai celebrities and artists.

Anantara Elephant Parade 2“In my life I have spent a lot of quality time with elephants. I grew up in a mahout family and started my movie career with an elephant as a co-star,” said Furious 7 star and Elephant Parade Ambassador Tony Jaa.

“I want to thank all the people and organizations who take the time and resources to ensure the safety of these intelligent creatures in Thailand and around the world.”

In February 2016 a selection of elephants from the parade will be auctioned off at a charity gala dinner at Anantara Siam Bangkok, with the proceeds going to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which, in turn, will select and fund a range of sustainable programs that benefit the elephants of Thailand, including Wildlife Alliance, Freeland, WildAid, Think Elephants and Thai Elephant Therapy Project.

The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) was set up in 2006 to improve the plight of Thailand’s elephants, and has since been diversified to include welfare projects that incorporate broader philanthropic and cultural objectives with unprecedented success.

“As a company, we are always looking for like-minded partners who share our true passion in saving the Asian elephant and Elephant Parade has long been known for its elephant conservation efforts in Thailand, which is why we feel this partnership is the ideal fit,” said William E. Heinecke, Chairman and CEO of Minor International, the parent company of Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spas.

“The more awareness that is raised on the plight of domestic and wild elephants in Thailand the better the chances we have for their survival. I can’t think of a better way to raise awareness than bringing the largest open air art exhibition in support of Asian Elephants to Bangkok in 2015.”

“Elephant Parade is very proud and excited to team up with such a great company as Anantara and The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. We share the same commitment and values in helping save the Asian elephant, ultimately from extinction.

“We’ve travelled all over the world with Elephant Parade and now it feels like we are coming home, with our upcoming event in Bangkok. I am sure this exposition will be our most exciting and colourful one to date,” Mike Spits, Elephant Parade founder.

For more information on Elephant Parade, visit http://www.elephantparadebangkok.com

 

 

 

Walking with giants at Anantara Golden Triangle

Anantara_Golden_Triangle_-_Walking_with_Giants_experience -2

A NEW TWO-HOUR Walking with Giants experience has been introduced at Anantara Golden Triangle, offering a more personal and enriching encounter.

Walking with Giants was devised as an optimum way of getting to know the elephants better and develop a deeper emotional connection. It’s more than a simple walk.

It enables guests to experience the natural joy of the elephants’ daily free roaming time, and also to gain enlightening insights from scientifically qualified experts about how these intelligent creatures think and behave.

Guests who sign up for Walking with Giants join the elephants on their daily stroll, accompanied by their mahout caregivers and either the Camp’s resident vet or biologist.

After walking from the Elephant Camp out to the grasslands or forest, depending on the season, the antics of either river bath time or playtime in the mud illustrates just how cheeky these graceful animals can be.

Guests can help to prepare snacks for the elephants, as well as activities for their behavioural enrichment.

Meandering back to the camp, the scientific expert explains about elephant biology and behaviour, and also reveals fascinating facts and insights about the past, present and hopeful future for all of Thailand’s elephants.

“One of the most inspiring and heartwarming aspects of the camp is when we can give the elephants freedom to roam in their native jungle habitat, and creating this new activity provides guests with a prime opportunity to experience the pure joy of simply being with elephants as they socialize and behave completely naturally,” said John Roberts, Anantara’s Director of Elephants and Conservation Efforts.

“It is also a fantastic experience for enthusiasts who are interested in learning about these majestic mammals from a scientific perspective.”

Under the guidance and expertise of John Roberts, guests can rest assured that all activities are ethical at the award winning Elephant Camp of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort.

Anantara_Golden_Triangle_three_country_viewSet up in 2003 as a traditional mahout village, the Elephant Camp works alongside Anantara’s Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.

To date more than 40 elephants have been rescued from Thailand’s city streets, of which 20 now live in the jungle environment of Anantara’s Elephant Camp, along with their entire mahout family, who receive English lessons, education for their children, and 100% of the profits from the sale of garments from a traditional silk worm business.

The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation also co-operates with the Thai government and other organizations in bigger picture projects. It has helped to fund research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children living with autism.

It equipped the first elephant hospital in Krabi, southern Thailand, with an ATV, and has also donated to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang, including, a purpose-built elephant ambulance and a gantry to help lame elephants stand.

The foundation also built the world’s only facility to scientifically research elephant intelligence and behavior, and runs the world’s only program to teach scientific Positive Reinforcement training methods to traditional mahouts.

Along with its parent company, Minor International, the foundation is working with international partners and the Cambodian Government to fund the protection of an 18,000 hectare elephant corridor of standing forest in the Cardamom Mountains and funding wild elephant preservation projects in Kui Buri, Thap Lan & Khao Yai National Parks in Thailand.

Walking with Giants, along with the Mahout Experience and Elephant Learning Experience, is offered as part of the resort’s luxurious all-inclusive Discovery Package, while a range of additional elephant activities (Elephant Yoga, Sunset Elephant Trek, Dining by Design at the Baby Elephant Camp and Elephant Picnic) are available at an extra charge.

For more information about Walking with Giants and the other ethical elephant experiences available at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, visit www.anantara.com

 

 

Celebrating Mother’s Day at Dusit

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AUGUST 12TH HOLDS a special significance in Thailand. Since 1976, this is the day Thais celebrate Mother’s Day, as it is the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the ‘mother’ of the nation.

Traditionally, the day begins with the family giving alms to monks at the temple. Children kneel before their mothers to express their love and gratitude and present her with Jasmine flowers, the Thai symbol of maternal love.

Celebrate your beloved Mum for the entire month of August.  Treat her to a staycation she deserves and enjoy a load of perks, including free room upgrade, ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ dinner and spa treatments.

Privileges: Potted Jasmine plant or hand garland as a symbol of Thai Mother’s Day love; daily breakfast for two; guaranteed room upgrade (accorded upon check in); and ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ buffet dinner and spa treatments for Mum.

 

 

 

 

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