Tag Archives: Thailand

Yacht Sourcing Expands Operations to Thailand

Yacht Sourcing has expanded its operations beyond Indonesia by appointing Nicolas Monges as the company’s General Manager in Thailand. Monges, who is also a partner in Yacht Sourcing Thailand, is a graduate of the prestigious Euromed Marseille Ecole de Management (now Kedge Business School), where he studied International Business Development and Marketing.

Xavier Fabre (left), Yacht Sourcing’s co-founder and Director of Sales, with Nicolas Monges, General Manager of Yacht Sourcing Thailand

Yacht Sourcing co-founder Xavier Fabre (left) with Nicolas Monges, General Manager of Yacht Sourcing Thailand

Having moved to Phuket in 2009, the Frenchman has worked in the yachting and property industries, primarily specialising in sales and marketing, with experience of events in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

“I’m very passionate about yachting and have worked across many parts of the industry, including marinas, boat shows, charters and yacht sales,” said Monges, who is on the Board of Advisors for the Ocean For All Foundation.

“Yacht Sourcing is diverse company that’s growing fast and operating in many sectors of the marine industry, including sales, charters and marinas, so it’s a perfect match and a great opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to growing the company here as I believe there are huge opportunities in Thailand.”

Boum Senous, Yacht Sourcing’s co-founder and Director of Operations, said the company’s move into Thailand was the start of what he hopes will be a gradual expansion across Southeast Asia.

“We’re delighted to welcome Nico to the team as he heads our new operation in Thailand. It’s an exciting time for Yacht Sourcing as we explore new opportunities in Southeast Asia to build on our growth in Indonesia,” said Senous, who founded the company in 2016 with Xavier Fabre, Director of Sales.

Kim Kardashian recently posted about the Kardashians' trip on Prana, Yacht Sourcing's flagship build and CA listing

Kim Kardashian recently posted about the Kardashians’ trip on Prana, Yacht Sourcing’s flagship build and CA listing

“We have a passionate team and a strong management with wide-ranging experience of the industry across many countries in Asia. We’ve grown quickly in Indonesia, which will remain our home, and now want to expand our offerings and expertise to neighbouring countries as we spread our network in the region.”

Yacht Sourcing has offices in Jakarta, Bali and Labuan Bajo, and is the Indonesia dealer for luxury motoryacht brands Ferretti Yachts, Pershing and Riva from Italy’s Ferretti Group, and renowned French catamaran builder Fountaine Pajot, an appointment announced in April.

As well as sales of new and pre-owned yachts, Yacht Sourcing manages new builds and refits in its own shipyard in Sulawesi, while its charter division Voyage by Yacht Sourcing comprises a diverse fleet in Indonesia and was named Best Asia-Based Charter Company (Phinisi) at the 2019 Christofle Yacht Style Awards.

In partnership with Cedric Le Rest, the company has also created Marina Sourcing, a marina consultancy currently developing the Escape Marina Resort in the island of Flores and working on the early stages of multiple other projects.

Yacht Sourcing appointed Fountaine Pajot dealer for Indonesia

Saloon on Bali 5.4 Open Space sailing catamaran

Asia Marine appointed Bali Catamarans dealer in Thailand

Asia Marine Phuket has been appointed the exclusive dealer for the French-designed Bali Catamarans in Thailand, where the company also represents Poland’s Galeon, USA’s Wellcraft and Turkey’s Numarine. One of Phuket’s longest-established charter agencies, Asia Marine will take delivery of a Bali 4.1 sailing catamaran in November.

The 5.4 is the flagship of the Bali Catamarans range.

Bali’s flagship 5.4 Open Space sailing catamaran is the 2019 Multihull of the Year (40-50ft).

Vincent Tabuteau, CEO and founder of Asia Marine, said: “We are excited to represent Bali Catamarans for buyers in Thailand and especially Phuket. Their yachts fill a niche for open space models in the mid-range market, and those boats are in high demand for chartering from Phuket and around Andaman Sea.”

Bali Catamarans are part of the Catana group of yachting companies. The Catana Group launched Bali Catamarans in 2014, aiming at mid-market yachting. The Catana Group now offers a range from 40-70ft, both sailing and motor yachts made in France, and has become one of the world’s leading builders in cruising multihulls.

Boris Compagnon, Sales Director of Bali Catamarans, said: “We have a good relationship with Asia Marine. They’re exactly what we were looking for, to represent us with a great reputation. We believe they’ll do a great job for us.”

The Bali 5.4 Open Space features fold-up aft doors and an enormous covered, open-plan living area

The Bali 5.4 Open Space features fold-up aft doors and an enormous covered, open-plan living area

Bali’s flagship catamaran is the 5.4 Open Space which recently won Multihull of the Year 2019 (40-50ft) by Multihulls World magazine, with the prize presented at the International Multihull Boat Show at La Grande Motte in southern France.

Characterised by open, ergonomic living spaces, the yacht has notable innovations such as the large tilt-and-turn door and a panoramic relaxation area on the roof. It also offers new access to the front cockpit through an interior door.

Paul Stamp, Senior Broker and Operations Manager at Asia Marine, said: “Between Vincent and I, we have over 30 years of experience with yachting in Asia. We’re able to help potential owners and current owners with their boats, and provide a return on their investment by placing their yacht in the charter market.”


Dolce Vita And Gulf Of Thailand

The FD series by Taiwan's Horizon is popular around the globe

Asia’s Leading Yacht Builders Part 2: Yacht Style Special

Taiwan has historically been Asia’s leading builder of superyachts, with Horizon and Ocean Alexander regularly appearing in the top 10 of the Global Order Book.

The FD85 and FD87 from the popular Fast Displacement series by Taiwan's Horizon Yachts

The FD85 and FD87 from the popular Fast Displacement series by Taiwan’s Horizon

The vast majority of yacht building is in the southwest city of Kaohsiung, where Horizon has over 800 staff working across its four shipyards and marina, and is still led by CEO John Lu, who co-founded the company in 1987.

Horizon is most popular in the US and Australia, followed by Europe, a diversity reflected by its regular presence at the big shows in Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Sanctuary Cove and Sydney, and Cannes and Monaco, while this year it also exhibited at Palma in late April.

The yard builds motor yachts and powercats, and last year’s launches included a custom-built CC115 designed by Cor D. Rover for South American owners. The model was based on the hull design of the RP110, but extended to fit a large beach club with a hi/lo swim platform configured to launch the owners’ seaplane or the tenders via a custom track system. A foredeck theatre area was also added.

However, Horizon’s production is now dominated by the FD (Fast Displacement) series introduced by the FD85 in 2016, with the first 87 based on the same hull appearing early last year. The company has sold nine FDs and is building FD70, 77, 87 and 102 models.

Horizon’s record-breaking single-shot vacuum infusion on a 140ft hull

Horizon’s record-breaking single-shot vacuum infusion on a 140ft hull

“The FD Series has had unprecedented success, attracting attention – and orders – from the global market,” Lu said. “The number of FD yachts delivered in 2018 alone proves we are on the right track.”

This year, Atech Composites – part of the Horizon Group – broke its own world record set in 2005, completing the infusion of a 140ft motor yacht hull and stiffeners in a single shot, using vacuum-infusion technology and its proprietary 3D resin flow.

Fellow Kaohsiung shipyards like Ocean Alexander and Johnson are more focused on the US market. Founded by Alex Chueh in 1977 and led by his son Johnny since 2000, Ocean Alexander specialises in motoryachts from 70-120ft, but recently entered new territory with the Divergence 45, its first outboard model. The yacht is built at the shipyard’s Merritt Island facility in Florida – where the 70e is also manufactured – and had its world premiere at Miami.

The smallest production boat ever designed by superyacht specialist Evan Marshall, the Divergence 45 has patented door-within-a-door foldout bulwarks that expand the beam from 13ft 9in to 19ft 1in.

Also from Taiwan, the Johnson 80 in Kaohsiung

Also from Taiwan, the Johnson 80 in Kaohsiung, one of Asia’s yacht building hubs

This year, Johnson – founded in 1987, like Horizon – launched an 80-footer that’s now the entry-level yacht for the Kaohsiung yard, which builds up to 115ft. The four-cabin Johnson 80 has a top speed of 27 knots, a 6.30m (20ft 8in) beam, external lines by Bill Dixon and an interior by Karen Lynn.

“The Johnson 80 is sure to impress yachting enthusiasts all over the world, and the flexibility of the design will appeal to owners in ways production builds just can’t match,” said Andy Huang, President of Johnson.


Thailand-based Bakri Cono is renowned for its pioneering work in the use of solar technology on yachts, although the feature isn’t included on the new Heliotrope 48 powercat delivered this year to a Hong Kong company.

Built in Thailand, the Heliotrope 48 is delivered to Hong Kong

Built in Thailand, the Heliotrope 48 is delivered to Hong Kong

Other recent deliveries include a Heliotrope 48 to Australia – the yacht exhibited at the Sydney show last August – and several 41ft sailing catamarans, plus an RS 38 fast interception boat for Myanmar.

Founded in 2004, Bakri Cono was originally situated in Ocean Marina, but since 2015 has operated out of its privately owned 20,800sqm facility in the PMG Marine Complex in Rayong, southeast of Pattaya.

About 80 staff including students from two vocational schools work at the site, which has a 3m-deep pool able to test yachts up to 80ft, direct sea access and its own launching pier.

Grand Banks, Malaysia’s best-known builder, is based in Pasir Gudang in the southern state of Johor, north of Singapore where Grand Banks Yachts Limited – which has owned Sydney-based Palm Beach Motor Yachts since 2014 – is listed on the Singapore Exchange. The Group continues to upgrade its facility, where it has increased useable covered space and implemented robotics to accelerate the design and prototyping of new boats.

The Grand Banks shipyard in Johor, Malaysia

One of Asia’s renowned yacht brands, Grand Banks builds in Johor, Malaysia

The company produces the Grand Banks 60, Eastbay 44 and the Palm Beach series of yachts including the GT50 that premiered last year and will be followed by the GT60 and GT70. The new Grand Banks GB52 will premiere at Cannes in September.

The company is enjoying a strong run, having posted a 10-year-high profit of S$9.5 million (about US$7 million) for the 2017-18 financial year, then secured 12 sales – including three GB60s – in the last quarter of 2018 for a net order book of S$42.8 million (about US$31.6 million).

The US is comfortably the largest market for Grand Banks, which is known for its classic, trawler-style boats, having been founded as American Marine in Hong Kong in 1956 before opening a factory in Singapore in 1973.

Gulf Craft is the dominant yacht builder in West Asia and has a wide range of yachts from 27-175ft, including the Majesty 140 launched in Dubai last year along with the Majesty 62 and a Touring 48. The GCC is the yard’s largest market, followed by Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.

Built in the UAE, a Gulf Craft Majesty 110 in Dubai Creek

Built in the UAE, a Gulf Craft Majesty 110 in Dubai Creek

The yard is completing its biggest-ever yacht, the Majesty 175, which will succeed the 155 as the yard’s biggest model. Designed by Cristiano Gatto and scheduled to launch in the third quarter of this year, it will be the world’s largest commercial yacht over 500GT made from advanced composite materials and certified in full compliance with the MCA LY3 Code, according to Gulf Craft.

Gulf Craft’s other brands include the Nomad Yachts, Oryx, Silvercraft and Utility Series brands, and with several commercial contracts as well, the company employs about 1,500 staff, headed by CEO Gregory Yeakle who took over from Erwin Bamps last year.

UAE is also home of the spectacular Foiler, ‘The Flying Yacht’ that premiered at the Dubai show last year and looks like a getaway boat for James Bond.

Enata, one of the Middle East’s leading composites manufacturers, builds the Foiler in its 7,000sqm yard, which employs about 200 people across its three divisions: Marine, Aerospace and Architecture. The company was founded by French entrepreneur Sylvain Vieujot and its work is diverse, from making foiling kitesurf boards for the Olympics to building the dome for the second-largest mosque in Mecca.

Foiler, ‘The Flying Yacht’ built by Enata in the UAE, cruises in Saint-Tropez

Foiler, ‘The Flying Yacht’ built by Enata in the UAE, cruises in Saint-Tropez

Alois Vieujot, Manager at Enata, said: “We are a family of sailors and kitesurfers, and have used foiling in kites and catamarans for
 a decade, so are aware of all the benefits of foiling. We produce professional drones, racing sailing boats and kitefoils, so the Foiler is really a blend of all those technologies, a very natural step for Enata.”

The Foiler is now available in various layouts, while new options include a hardtop, joystick controller, head-up display and a 740hp hydrostatic propulsion system that offers a 20 per cent increase in fuel efficiency at top hydrofoiling speeds compared to the first model.

Whether it’s Aquila’s wraparound swim platform, Bakri Cono’s solar power, Horizon’s infusion technology or Enata’s radical Foiler design, Asia’s yacht builders are proving their innovation is starting to match their build quality and productivity.

The full article appeared in Yacht Style Issue 46 along with profiles of yards in China, which are covered in a separate article on Luxuo (see below).

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Asia’s Leading Yacht Builders Part 1: Yacht Style Special



Burgess, Boat Lagoon Yachting Team Up for Superyachts in Thailand

Burgess and Boat Lagoon Yachting have formed an exclusive partnership to provide world-class superyacht services to customers in Thailand and opened a joint office in Phuket.

Vrit Yongsakul (left) of Boat Lagoon Yachting with Jean-Marc Poullet of Burgess

Vrit Yongsakul (left) of Boat Lagoon Yachting with Jean-Marc Poullet of Burgess

Founded in 1975, Burgess spans the globe with 13 offices worldwide and is a market leader in brokerage, charter, management and new build advisory services for yachts above 30m/100ft.

In 2015, it established its Asia operation and now has offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai and Phuket, while this January it was voted Best Asia-Based Brokerage Company (International) at the Christofle Yacht Style Awards for the second successive year.

Jean-Marc Poullet, Burgess Chairman in Asia, said: “We are delighted to partner with Vrit [Yongsakul] and his great team. In addition to being excellent yachting professionals, their remarkable focus on giving the best advice to their clients and on impeccable customer service perfectly matches our own operating philosophy.

“We believe in a ‘glocal’ approach to our business, combining global expertise with a local service in our client’s preferred language and culture. Boat Lagoon Yachting is the perfect partner to bring this approach to Thailand.”

The sundeck of Talisman Maiton, listed for charter under Burgess

The sundeck of Talisman Maiton, listed for charter under Burgess

Boat Lagoon Yachting, founded in 1995, is one of Asia’s leading dealerships and its current portfolio includes world-class brands such as Princess, Jeanneau, Sacs and Prestige.

The company has successfully expanded from its core Thai market into neighbouring countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Maldives to become a full-service yachting firm employing 70 staff across the region.

Vrit Yongsakul, Group Managing Director of Boat Lagoon Yachting and now Burgess Chief Representative for Thailand, added: “We very much look forward to bringing Burgess’s unparalleled global expertise to our clients and contacts in Thailand and to working with Burgess to develop the large yacht market here.

“We see great potential in the region and want every one of our customers to benefit from the best possible expertise and advice when embarking on their large yacht journey. A partnership with Burgess is the ideal approach to achieving this.”

Burgess Asia sells 49m Lohengrin Following Award-Winning Year

Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht

Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht Celebrates Asia Premiere in Singapore

The Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht at ONE 15 Marina, Sentosa Cove

The Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht at ONE 15 Marina, Sentosa Cove

Yacht Style was a proud partner of the three-day Asia premiere of Sunseeker’s 74 Sport Yacht, which showcased the latest addition to the Platinum Cruises Asia fleet.

VIP guests from across Southeast Asia were invited onboard Aquanaut at ONE ̊15 Marina in Singapore, enjoying fine canapes and beverages, and exquisite service courtesy of Platinum Cruises.

The Asia premiere of the Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht was held in Singapore

The Asia premiere of the Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht was held in Singapore

After a full review of the three decks, guests enjoyed a 20-minute sea trial on the yacht, which can reach 38 knots, and two sales were reported.

Further to this inaugural event, Aquanaut continued its journey to Ocean Marina Jomtien Pattaya in Thailand and to Saigon in Vietnam on the Mekong river where selected guests enjoyed a sumptuous reception.

Guests enjoy the interior of a yacht that only had its world premiere at Cannes last September

Guests enjoy the interior of a yacht that only had its world premiere at Cannes last September

The world premiere of the 74 Sport Yacht was held at the Cannes Yachting Festival last September and the model went on to win Best Motor Yacht in Asia (20-25m) at this year’s Christofle Yacht Style Awards in Phuket, with Sunseeker CEO Christian Marti among those collecting the trophy on stage.

Sunseeker Predicts New Hawk 38 Will Soar To 62 Knots

Astondoa Teams with Yachtside to Bring Spanish Yachts to Asia

After 35 years with Volvo, you joined Astondoa as Sales Director in 2016 when the yard was celebrating its 100th anniversary. How familiar were you with Astondoa?

I was very familiar with Astondoa. I had been doing business with the company for 25 years as it was one of the most important customers for Volvo Penta in the Spanish market.

Yachtside’s Philippe Chadel (left) with Astondoa’s Jaime Cortecero

What are Astondoa’s primary markets and what areas have you focused on?

The Americas has been the main market during the last five years. In the Americas, the United States is one of the strategic markets for the brand because we have an important presence in Florida, while Mexico is another key market in that region.

My strategy during these first couple of years has been focused
on consolidating the expansion of the shipyard in the European markets where it already has a presence through our dealers, such as in France, Monaco, Poland, Italy, the Adriatic area such as Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, as well as Germany, Benelux and Russia.

In Asia, Astondoa is present in Dubai, Lebanon and also in Singapore and Thailand, through Yachtside Asia.

Astondoa builds from 11-60m (37-197ft). Which of your yacht ranges do you think will appeal most to Asia buyers?

We think our Flybridge motor yachts from 44-80ft and the Century range of luxury yachts from 100-120ft are attractive for the Asian market.

Astondoa’s second 110 Century was launched in 2018 and continues the yacht’s international focus since its centenary

The second 110 Century was launched in 2018, continuing Astondoa’s international focus since its centenary

What are your thoughts on the superyacht market in Asia? Is there potential for your Steel range and if so, where?

Of course. There has been a rapid increase in living standards in Asia and a new, growing middle class that can increasingly enjoy leisure and therefore recreational cruising.

As ICOMIA states: ‘For the past 30 years, most Asian economies have been growing and in the past 10 years the GDP in most countries has increased at an average rate of 5-10 per cent per annum, far higher than those of Europe and the USA.’

Which markets in Asia do you believe offer the greatest potential for Astondoa?

Right now, Astondoa is kicking off our presence with Yachtside in Singapore and Thailand. We believe those markets and China are the countries with the biggest potential.

However, our strategy is to consolidate our new presence in the market in Thailand at this moment and the expansion to other markets will depend on the results we achieve there.

Michael Buurmeijer, Eric Fromento, Anthony Brisacq and Boom in Yachtside Asia's Bangkok office

Michael Buurmeijer, Eric Fromento, Anthony Brisacq and Boom in Yachtside Asia’s Bangkok office

Yachtside Asia opened its new Thailand headquarters in Bangkok in October 2018 and has since relocated its Phuket office to Boat Lagoon Marina. How important is it for Astondoa and Yachtside to have such a strong office presence in these two key markets in Thailand?

It is essential to have the presence of professionals in the key markets, both where potential clients work and also where they holiday and can use their yachts. From the beginning, Yachtside has directed a lot of their efforts to consolidating their presence with strong offices in both Bangkok and Phuket.

What led to Yachtside’s appointment as Astondoa’s dealer just over a year ago?

Yachtside is a part of the Be In Yachts group and Astondoa has already been working with them as a dealer for France and Monaco. We value the strong international focus of this company and also their experience in the management of yacht charters.

Astondoa is hoping to bring some of Spain's al fresco living to Asia

Astondoa is hoping to bring some of Spain’s al fresco living to Asia

Yacht owners in Asia are very familiar with the leading brands from Italy, France, UK, Germany and Holland. Is there a challenge in promoting Astondoa, a Spanish brand?

Astondoa has been engaged in a process of internationalisation and renovation since 2016, when it celebrated its centenary. It was the right time for the company to change and evolve.

The Century range represents this evolution, maintaining Astondoa’s distinctive features while daring to include more modern lines, state-of-the-art technology and functional elements.

This evolution is supported by the promotion of our social media strategy, a greater presence in international boat shows, and much more.

Astondoa is Spain’s leading luxury yacht builder, but why are there not more global brands from Spain, considering the country’s rich sailing history and amazing coastline and scenery?

The last crisis affected several shipyards in Spain that were forced to close. Also, the nautical market in Spain is made up mostly by boats of small length. About 90 per cent of the yachts are boats of up to 8m (26ft).

Why do you think Astondoa yachts will be successful in Asia and what features should owners in Asia look out for?

Heritage, quality, bespoke design – and more than 100 years of building luxury yachts.




The Aquila 44 remains the shipyard's best-selling model

Aquila Power Catamarans Going Global; 36, 48 for Singapore Yacht Show

The remarkable rise of Aquila power catamarans continues with February’s world premiere of the new 30 – the Chinese shipyard’s smallest model – before the popular 36 makes its Singapore Yacht Show debut in April alongside the 48.

The Aquila 44 is one of the shipyard's most popular models; Photo by Nicolaris Claris

The Aquila 44 is one of the shipyard’s most popular models; Photo: Nicolaris Claris

Sino Eagle Yachts has built Aquila powercats at a purpose-built facility in Hangzhou, southwest of Shanghai, since 2012 and proudly completed its 100th hull in 2017.

However, following rapid expansion in the last two years, the shipyard now expects to build over 90 units in just 12 months (fiscal year 2018-19) according to Hong Kong-based Yvan Eymieu, Aquila’s International Sales and Distribution Manager since 2017.

Along with increasing sales, Aquila has also notably expanded its reach outside of the US, its core market, in the last 18 months.

In Aquila’s first five years of production, about 95 per cent of units were sold to the US, where the brand is represented on the east coast by MarineMax – one of the world’s largest boat dealers – and on the west coast by Alexander Marine. The only units not sold to the US were to Singapore, Canada, France and Australia.

However, over the last two years, Aquila has increasingly focused on a worldwide distribution policy that included Eymieu’s appointment to oversee all markets outside of the US – even including Mexico, south of the border.

The new Aquila 30 is the shipyard's smallest model

The new Aquila 30 is the shipyard’s smallest model

The announcement of Simpson Marine as its dealer in Greater China and much of Southeast Asia in early 2018 was a statement of intent, while Yacht World was appointed for Korea at the end of the year.

While Multihull Central (Australia) has represented Aquila since 2014, new dealers around the world include Master Yachting (central Europe), Yacht Cancun (Mexico) and more recently Tez Marine (Turkey) and Estupenda (Spain).

Aquila also increased its presence at major shows outside of the USA, exhibiting in Brisbane, Sanctuary Cove and Sydney in Australia, Phuket and Singapore in Asia, and Cannes, Genoa, Barcelona and Zagreb in Europe.

The expansion policy looks to be working as Eymieu and his growing network of dealers help make Aquila an increasingly global brand.

“During the first five years, markets outside the US accounted for less than five per cent of Aquila sales. However, in the fiscal year 2017-18, this new international distribution network accounted for around 25 per cent of sales worldwide,” said Eymieu.

“This was even while the US market kept increasing. In 2017-18, we nearly doubled our annual production.”

Anna Nowotarska is Aquila's Sales Manager for Europe

Anna Nowotarska is Aquila’s Sales Manager for Europe

Further growth is expected following the recent appointment of multihull specialist Anna Nowotarska as Europe Sales Manager. Nowotarska has over a decade of experience in the yacht industry as a sales manager and broker, most notably with Polish catamaran builder Sunreef.

“With her extensive experience and relationships, Anna will make a wonderful addition to our team and take our sales in Europe to the next level,” said Eymieu, who’s also looking to expand the brand’s presence in South America this year.

Eymieu expects Aquila to return to most of the shows it took part in last year and also make appearances at the Eurasia Boat Show in Turkey, International Multihull Boat Show at La Grande Motte and the Palma International Boat Show in the coming months.

The current range comprises the 30, the fast-selling 36, the popular 44 – one featured at January’s Thailand Yacht Show and RendezVous – and the flagship 48.

The popular Aquila 44 was shown at the Thailand Yacht Show and RendezVous in January.

The popular Aquila 44 was shown at this year’s Thailand Yacht Show and RendezVous; Photo: Nicolaris Claris

The 36 set to display at Singapore in April has been sold into Phuket and is one of the latest hulls in a series that has already sold well over 60 units, although the 44 – unveiled at Miami in 2014 – remains Aquila’s best seller, with almost 90 units. Now, all eyes are on the yard’s smallest powercat and what’s coming next.

“We’ve already received several deposits for the 30 and we’ve also got a new 36 Excursions taxi/patrol boat in production, with several hulls ordered,” Eymieu said. “But there are more new models to come this year.”


Simpson Marine Represents Aquila Power Catamaran

The 55m Lili is embarking on an two-year charter tour around the world

Lili Heading to Asia at Start of Two-Year World Charter Tour

The 55m Lili is embarking on an two-year charter tour around the world

The 55m Lili is embarking on an two-year charter tour around the world

The 55m Lili built by Dutch shipyard Amels is coming to Asia as she embarks on a two-year worldwide charter tour. Imperial, the yacht’s charter agency, announced the news along with a provisional itinerary, which has since been updated.

After sailing to the Indian Ocean, Lili is scheduled to visit the Seychelles, Maldives and Thailand from February to April 2019.

The Amels 180 Limited Editions vessel is then scheduled to head to the Mediterranean for the summer season (June-September) before making the familiar journey across the Atlantic in time for the Caribbean’s peak charter season (December 2019-February 2020).

Lili’s aft deck

In March and April 2020, Lili will have the opportunity to discover Central and South America, including Ecuador, Costa Rica and the iconic Galapagos Islands, before heading north to Alaska for further exotic exploration from May to July.

From August 2020, the popular charter yacht is earmarked for the South Pacific and remote cruising destinations like French Polynesia and Fiji.

After that, a trip further south to New Zealand – host of the America’s Cup in March 2021 – and across to Australia has been proposed for the months of October and November.

Charter guests can enjoy a romantic movie night on Lili

Delivered in July 2017, with Imperial acting as the owner’s representative and build supervisor, Lili features an interior by Laura Sessa and exterior styling by Tim Heywood.

She accommodates 12 guests in six staterooms including an upper-deck master suite with a private aft deck, a VIP suite forward on the main deck with a private balcony, and two double cabins and two twin cabins on the lower deck. She can also have up to 13 crew on board.

Imperial will announce updates to the schedule on its website, along with highlights of the circumnavigation.


The yacht is light and airy, with doors opening to the side deck

Thailand Ranks Amongst Top 4 Most Profitable Tourism Destinations in the World

At the mention of top tourism destinations, it is natural for historically significant countries like France and the United Kingdom to take the cake. Similarly in Asia, one would expect the most expensive cities like Russia and Japan to top the rankings of most profitable tourism destinations. Knocking these acclamations down is the country known for its cheap and exotic appeal – Thailand.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization Data, Thailand ranks among the top 4 countries with the highest tourism spending alongside the United States, Spain and France, while outranking every other nation in Asia.

Great Tourism Boom in Thailand

Photo: Getty

The infographics data by HowMuch revealed the tourism receipts around the world in 2017, with Thailand accounting to a whopping US$57 billion, almost doubling Macao at US$36 billion, Japan at US$34 billion and Hong Kong at US$33 billion.

For a country known for inexpensive loots, this news may come across as a mind-boggling fact. However, it all comes down to quantity. Mastercard’s annual Global Destination Cities Index has recently ranked Bangkok, Thailand as the most visited city in 2017 for the third year in a row.

“In Thailand, you’ve got something for everybody,”

“From the private island with the private villa to amazing street food meals that only cost a couple bucks, it has a diversity and variety that exists in few other markets. It’s no surprise lots of people are going—and spending,” Rebecca Mazzaro, a specialist for bespoke outfitter ATJ said in a statement to Bloomberg.

While the fact that Thailand is recognised as a value hub might be its very attraction, the country is making efforts to shift the perception as the luxury scene expands around the world. With more luxury offerings set in stone to open by the rest of the year, Thailand aims for foreign arrivals to hit 40 million next year, which is nearly half of the countries population itself. One of the internationally renowned luxury hotels Capella will be opening next Spring by the Chao Phraya River.

“We’ve been noticing the upscaling of Bangkok for a few years,” Dino Michael, global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts told Bloomberg. “The consumer has become more sophisticated; the dining scene has become more sophisticated.” Despite that, Thailand has no means of tossing its original appeal, but instead find the balance of expanding its capital yet retaining all of Bangkok’s selling points.

Tourism has definitely lifted Thailand’s local economy. With the extensive luxury lineup, the city will seemingly gain more opportunity for tourists to spend in the coming years.

Exhibition: NUS Museum presents Manit’s ‘Thai Masters of Photography’

What is the history of Thai photography? Who are the masters and what are the criteria to ascertain who they are? The resounding lack of answers to these questions formed the impetus for renowned Thai photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom’s research project, ‘Rediscovering Forgotten Thai Masters of Photography’. Running from 15 March to July 2018 at the NX1 Gallery of the NUS Museum, the exhibition presents the works of seven Thai photographers through a display of 247 remastered prints.

The project, first exhibited at the Bangkok University Gallery in September 2015, was conceived in 2010 with the aims of filling in the gaps in academic research on Thai photography. Often regarded through the lenses of the West, the history of Thai photography that traces its genealogy back to the Siam kingdom circa 1845 has been largely ignored. Manit explains that as a result, his project is an attempt to wrestle with the problem of “breathing air through the white man’s nose”. By furnishing historical Thai photographic narratives with specifically Thai axioms of the art form, Manit shifts the prevailing Western dominance over such narratives to the local photographic community.

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, ‘Ananta’. Image courtesy Manit Sriwanichpoom.

Manit’s approach to selecting the masters goes beyond conventional frameworks of what characterises good photography. Almost as a response to the lack of historical records, the works are culled together to form a comprehensive education on the complexity that is Thai culture. An approximate set of both technical and substantial factors were examined by Manit in his search. As he states, amongst these were “outstanding content, the perspective, the camera angle, the photographic technique, the courageousness of the creativity in the social context of their lifetime; as well as each person’s understanding and use of the medium of photography in their self-expression, and the work’s anthropological and sociological relevance and value.” By setting the time frame from 1932 onwards as well, Manit delves explicitly into a modern past, marked by the Siamese revolution which witnessed Thailand’s movement into democracy and greater technological advancement, and which continues to linger in the nation’s consciousness today.

ML Toy Xoomsai, ‘#25’, date unknown. Image courtesy Manit Sriwanichpoom.

A cursory glance at the seven photographers chosen as the Thai masters reveals each photographer’s clear dedication to establishing his craft in his own personal corner of Thai culture. Here, they are displayed with stunning contrasts in subject matter. A prominent highlight in the selection is the unconventional Buddhist monk Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, who captured contemplative scenes composed alongside dharma-teaching poems that attempted to encapsulate the essence of Buddhist teachings. Juxtaposed against this is ML Toy Xoomsai, whose focus on nude photography posed a defiant stricture against the then-fascist state and its imposed social order while exploring the depths of Thai female beauty.

S.H. Lim, ‘Phusadee Anukkhamontri’, 1967. Image courtesy Manit Sriwanichpoom.

Even in the realm of portraiture, each master photographer stands within his own formidable and distinct creative processes. S. H. Lim, a photographer for many well-known Thai publications, captured the glory-days of Thai cinema and beauty contests post-1957 by directing a gaze of admiration towards the iconic women of the screen. Liang Ewe on the other hand, provides the modern audience with a treasure trove of invaluable social and cultural heritage: the plethora of individual portraits taken clue modern viewers into the diverse lives of the inhabitants of Phuket in the 60s, along with their various customs and practices. Pornsak Sakdaenprai brought portraiture to new heights as well. His fantastical shots of rural villagers in garb that harken towards the romanticised appeal of Luk Thung (Thai country music), reflects with amusing accuracy the transitions that rural Thailand took towards modernisation in the 60s.

Documenting scenes of common everyday life are ’Rong Wong-Savun and Saengjun Limlohakul. ’Rong’s modern, experimental style challenged the convention on compositional rules at the time, while making extraordinary the ordinary lives of the Thai peoples both in the cities and villages. Heading off in a divergent tangent, Saengjun’s photography was driven by a desire to record everything in Phuket. As such, he devoted his photography practice to immortalising his hometown of Phuket in the 60s, from the colourful lives of its citizens to the hectic events that constituted their days.

’Rong Wong-Savun, ‘Rama I Bridge’, 1958. Image courtesy Manit Sriwanichpoom.

A significant highlight of the exhibition is the engaging and unassuming nature of photography which is the sole medium introduced in the display. In fact, coupled with Manit’s emphasis on the democratic aspect of photography in his curatorial processes, the enduring relevance of the project is secured in Thai history. As he says, “Photography is very close to people. It is a medium that they feel comfortable and familiar with. They don’t feel like this is high art, but instead, feel that this is popular art that they feel close to, especially because they don’t need a lot of knowledge to understand it. I want people to look beyond the photograph and connect themselves to the contexts of the photographs.” By recommending these seven photographers as the masters of Thai photography to the public, Manit does not hope to set in stone who and what constitutes the authorities on the medium. Rather, he hopes to kickstart a national conversation on Thai photography, and compel his people to take ownership of their art and history.

Liang Ewe, 1962, glass negative. Image courtesy Manit Sriwanichpoom.

‘Rediscovering Forgotten Thai Masters of Photography’ is thus, both an act of empowerment and a historical investigation. By piecing together an assortment of varied perspectives in photography, Manit invites the audiences to grasp at the core of a deeper and richer understanding of present society through its collective past composed of diverse and fluid subjectivities. With a history that is constantly in flux and intimately shaping the future, the foundation for Manit’s ultimate goal of continuing official and scholarly work into Thai photographic history beyond the current exhibition is laid out with the hopes of more stimulating material to come.

More information at museum.nus.edu.sg.

Exhibition at MAIIAM Museum: ‘DIASPORA’

In line with the current social interest on the refugee and migratory movements that have characterised the humanitarian crises of the 21st century, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum presents ‘DIASPORA: Exit, Exile, Exodus of Southeast Asia’, running from 3 March to 1 October. Curated by Loredana Paracciani, the group exhibition draws its material from a literal diaspora of art practices and methodologies to shine a spotlight on the circumstances of mass human movement in Southeast Asia post-Vietnam War.  

Pao Houa Her, ‘Attention’, 2015, c-print photograph, 127 x 100 cm.

Exploring the complexities of identity and belonging in this composite and turbulent region, the exhibition’s methodological framework begins by focusing specifically on three defining and distinct passages of the diaspora phenomenon. Here, to “exit” is to leave the home country for personal reasons or economic improvement; to be “exiled” is to leave the homeland as an individual or a community for oftentimes political reasons; and to move in “exodus” is to be a group of stateless and dispossessed people fleeing crises. Together, these three specific flights to and from home redefine the vagaries of cultural, physical and geopolitical borders that conventionally determine issues of belonging and status.  

18 established and emerging artists have been invited to respond to the curatorial focus on mobility and displacement. These responses emerge oftentimes from the artists’ own experiences, as individuals who are both participating and observing in the patterns of human flows from within the diaspora itself. By blending subjective personal understandings with objective historical details, the produced works ultimately seek to disclose an immutable humanism that persists beneath such transitory passages.

Abdul Abdullah, ‘The lies we tell ourselves to help us sleep’, 2017, c-print photograph, 100 x 100cm.

Abdul Abdullah is one such artist who blurs the boundaries between the personal and the communal; the self and the other. In the self-portrait series, ‘Coming to Terms’, Abdullah explores intimate aspects of identity as an elucidation of the human condition that constitutes perceptions of cultural hybridity, ritual and ceremony. The distinctively dark undertones shed light on the insidious processes that characterise how distorted social perceptions can alter the realities of self-perception. In one of the photographs entitled ‘The lies we tell ourselves to help us sleep’, Abdullah himself dons a prop monkey mask from Tim Burton’s film ‘Planet of the Apes’ (2001) while cradling a life monkey against his bare chest. Tracing the oblique movement from self to otherness, the artist makes astute observations about how his Muslim identity is lost beneath the machinations of ideological representations.

Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, ‘The Ground, the Root and the Air: The Passing of the Bodhi Tree’, 2004 – 2007, single channel digital video, 14 min.

In contrast, Jun Nguyen-Hatsusihba’s ‘The Ground, the Root, and the Air: The Passing of the Bodhi Tree’ tells a more hopeful tale. The video installation was created in collaboration with 50 students from Luang Prabang School of Arts and Crafts, and unfolds in three chapters. ‘The Ground’ features a few young joggers who are determined to exercise in a semi-abandoned open-air stadium. Serving as an interlude, ‘The Root’ presents a collage of illusory images of lanterns reminiscent of the festival of lights in Luang Prabang. In the final chapter, ‘The Air’, 50 art students take a journey on long-tail boats, painting the Mekong riverscape and the sacred Bodhi tree, a symbol of Buddhism. Adopting a nonlinear, mystical narrative, Nguyen-Hatsushiba’s work does not simply chronicle the turbulence of uncertain cultural identity, but is a story of honest, youthful dreams towards a global society that can still arise despite their struggles to retain traditional values.

Serving as the physical manifestation of movement and diaspora is ‘Vessels (after the ‘Fleet’ project)’ by Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan. The work is a series of sculptures that comprise an assemblage of boats made from recycled cardboard, alongside the cargo boxes themselves that have been used to literally ship the boats to the exhibition. The iconography of the boat stands out as the key symbol of journey and displacement, and viewers are compelled to challenge their pre-existing notions of the boat, which can take a wide range of forms from ships to cargo boxes.

Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, ‘Vessels (after the ‘Fleet’ project)’, 2015 – 2017, cardboard and wood, 1 x vessel and crate approx. 260 x 243 x 65cm; 3 x vessels and crate approx. 150 x 89 x 32 cm each; 1 x vessel and crate approx. 120 x 89 x 36cm.

The exhibition’s artistic direction is also characterised by its desire to educate. Rather than mere documentation or passing commentary on the migratory circumstances that have defined and shaped Southeast Asia, ‘DIASPORA’ seeks to start real conversations with audiences about lived experiences of diaspora that are revealed in the artworks. Aligned with the Museum’s dedication to research, the exhibition will be furnished with topic-specific seminars and film screening programmes that complement the artistic material on display. To cultivate awareness of knowledge of diaspora, a catalogue featuring specially commissioned essays by historians and experts on related topics will be published and complemented by a panel discussion with the writers.

More information at maiiam.com.

Koh Rang Noi private island plays host to Phuket Rendezvous VVIPs

Just 6km away from the east coast of Royal Phuket Marina, awaits the beautiful island of Koh Rang Noi in Thailand for guests visiting Phuket Rendezvous 2018. Next January, from the 4th to the 7th,  VVIPs will get to experience the beautiful sights and clear waters of the smaller of two Koh Rang islands.

Koh Rang Noi private island plays host to Phuket Rendezvous VVIPs

VVIPs will be welcomed during the PHUKET RENDEZVOUS at Koh Rang Noi, a superb private island just 6km away by sea from Royal Phuket Marina. From Koh Rang Noi, a 10-acre island which  can be rented in its entirety, or by the villa, VVIPs will be able to access the superyachts on display via tender as part of Phuket Rendezvous 2018.

At the Reception: On arrival, walk down the beach sala and be greeted by the hotel staff. A welcome drink and cool moist towel will be provided for refreshment and help guests relax. For those who are into water sports and activities, head over to the rental house located just behind beach sala where jet ski, paddle boards, kayak and windsurf boards are available. What’s more, there are three separate villas on the island that can be rented as a whole or separately to inspire pure relaxation and retreat.

Guest Villa: Situated on the northern tip of the island with breath taking views of Phang Nga Bay, the guest villa has four large bedrooms, a private pool and hot tub and a lovely covered patio, where you can have dinner outdoor, whilst enjoy the sight and sound of the beach. Each room has its own bathroom with separate bathtubs and showers. Also, the villa has an expansive space that houses its own gourmet kitchen and dining area meant for hosting a large group or parties.

Upper Villa: The Upper Villa has 7 bedrooms, one of which comes with two separate bathrooms and a unique lounge area. All the rooms have a private patio for guests to enjoy nature at its best.

The 455 sqm ‘great room’ is truly exceptional with a beautiful gourmet kitchen and a dining area that can accommodate up to 20 guests. Towards the west, is the sunset patio to view the most beautiful sunsets ever.

Apart from the 33m long pool, there’s a hot tub for 20 and another smaller plunge pool and a wet deck for sunbathing. The 525 sqm patio is meant for entertaining and its houses a wet bar and a BBQ sala as well.

For further entertainment, hop over to the amphitheater (off the main patio) where it can sit about 300 people with views looking south, towards Phi Phi Island and overlooking Koh Rang Yai.

Just below the amphitheater is a Karaoke bar and entertainment centre. There is a 43-seat movie theatre with thousands of movies, all on a network system that can be played in any room on the island.

Other amenities include the wellness spa that has 6-foot massage stations, seven private massage rooms, steam room, sauna, fully equipped fitness centre and a small Muay Thai boxing area.

Lower Villa: The lower villa has 8 rooms with the same basic layout as the upper villa, except for a few differences. Situated just below the great gall is an impressive game room with pool, shuffle board, darts, air hockey table tennis, board games and a full wet bar for the guest enjoyment.

Uniquely Koh Rang Noi

The island is a tribute to Thai artisans, featuring the prominent Thai mural and Thai sandstone carvings. Some of the lights were fashioned from the original Thai shadow puppet show and guests can relish the artful decorations. Indeed the entire village took months to carve the art pieces, even the doors and headboards are astonishing.

For more information on Koh Rang Noi, visit here

The Best of akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok

An angled shot featuring a Luxury Studio in akyra Thonglor Bangkok, inspired by the glamorous sophistication of the decadent 1920s aesthetic

With the recent openings of akyra Beach Club Phuket and akyra Thonglor Bangkok, featuring 148 studios and one- to three-bedroom suites nestled in one of Bangkok’s most fashionable districts, the new akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok, an upscale boutique hotel will launch in December 2017.

Akaryn Hotel Group also manages a diverse collection of luxury hotels and resorts within Thailand and owns and manages small luxury resorts in Southeast Asia such as Aleenta Phuket-PhangNga, Aleenta HuaHin-Pranburi and akyra Manor Chiang Mai.

“Our two akyra properties offer distinct urban experiences, but each one is also defined by the strong sense of style and independence that sets the akyra brand apart from other hotels.” – Anchalika Kijkanakorn, Founder and Managing Director of Akaryn Hotel Group

The akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok consists of 50 rooms and the 30-60 sqm luxury accommodation, featuring the main living spaces partitioned with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to create a transition between the interiors and the balconies for enhanced city views. Extending materials like natural woods add accents to the modern-retro theme, displayed in the furnishings and the room’s artworks and complemented by a range of interior touches, will lend a unique identity to the urban property.

As akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok emphasises on lifestyle travel with an overarching theme of “All Time Experience”, the hotel facilities also include a stylish pool bar with sun loungers and cabanas to provide a soulful relaxation for in-house guests, as well as a sophisticated rooftop lounge with a bar to keep guests entertained with live music. The rooftop includes also a multi-purpose function room to host event, private dinners and VIP receptions.

On the ground floor, guests can experience a casual dining experience within the mellow, stylish surroundings. The kitchen serves up signature akyra gourmet breakfast, featuring a wide array of authentic Thai dishes such as salads, pastas and delectable desserts.

Once the upscale boutique hotel opens at the end of this year, hotel guests at akyra will enjoy far more than a pleasant stay and get to indulge in the best of overall Bangkok experience too. Located on Sukhumvit Soi 20, one of tourist’s busiest and lively zone, the boutique hotel is also surrounded by fine restaurants, chic lifestyle malls with spas and green recreation spaces as well as the offer of a vibrant nightlife spot for party goers.

For more information on Akaryn Hotel Group, please visit www.akaryngroup.com.

New truffles species discovered in Thailand

It was barely a week ago when it was revealed that scientists have made the groundbreaking discovery of what is possibly the world’s oldest wine in the depths of an abandoned cave in Italy. Now, researchers on the other side of the planet have dug up findings of their own that are set to change the face of the food world. According to research papers released by Thailand’s Chiang Mai University on September 7, 2017, two new types of truffle have been unearthed in the far northern area of the country

“We confirmed that they are truffles both from their DNA and their physical look,” says Jaturong Khamla, one of the researchers behind the new findings. One of the new species is a white-coloured truffle discovered in 2014, while the other, found a year later, has a brown exterior with a white interior. The species have been given the names “tuber thailanddicum” and “tuber lannaense” respectively.

In 2017, Khamla’s team also found another type of white truffle: “tuber magnatum”, the same species that is highly sought after in Italy.

The findings aren’t exactly a carbon copy of the beloved white truffles, however. “The white truffle (thailanddicum) is similar to the Italian white truffle but they have a mild smell and are smaller,” noted Khamla.

The discoveries were made at a national park surrounding Mount Suthep in northwestern Thailand. Unlike the rest of the country, Thailand’s mountainous north sees cooler and wetter weather — conditions in which truffles can thrive. Khamla and his team are specialists in fungi, having identified new mushroom species over the last 18 years. They have never seen anything like the truffles before, though. “These are first truffles found in a tropical climate,” announced an official press release. It is certainly a first for Southeast Asia.

Luxury condominiums in Thailand: Angsana Beachfront Residences by Bang Tao, Phuket

Resort-style living takes on a new dimension with Phuket’s latest luxury condominiums by the Banyan Tree Group. The Angsana Beachfront Residences are situated right on Bang Tao beach, within the world renown Laguna Phuket integrated resort on Phuket’s preferred west coast and comprises 30 exclusive units over five individual low-rise beachfront condominium buildings in a unique Thai contemporary style. All three-storey buildings contain only two apartments per floor, each equipped with a private pool at the fringes of a broad outdoor patio.

The development offers a selection of two to three-bedroom residences ranging from 2,303 square feet to 3,378 square feet with spacious ground floor garden units, as well as penthouse units with a private rooftop pool and entertaining area are also attractive options. One unique aspect of this project is the ability for owners to have their property managed by Angsana Laguna Phuket, through either an investment or lifestyle option. The investment initiative allows buyers to have their property operated full-time by the resort, whilst the lifestyle choice enables owners to reside in their property on a part or full-time basis and have their property exclusively rented out by the resort either short or long term.

With the ownership of a Beachfront Residence, residents will receive privileged access to the Sanctuary Club, a global network with more than 40 resorts and hotels and over 60 spas and 80 retail galleries; and membership to the championship Laguna Phuket Golf Club voted “Thailand’s Best” in the World Golf Awards. In addition to enjoying the range of facilities and infrastructure within Phuket’s largest resort, the area also boasts modern shopping centres and art galleries, international schools and world-class hospitals. Owners may enjoy all the lifestyle benefits and activities living by the Andaman Sea as well as the highlight of having a white sandy beach on their doorstep.


This article was first published in Palace 19.

Luxury properties in Thailand: 28 Chidlom Bangkok condominium in Central Lumpini

Situated in the prestigious Central Lumpini area on Chidlom Road, 28 Chidlom is a new project by noted Thailand developer SC Asset. A truly desirable location for those looking to live in the heart of Bangkok, the luxury condominium ensures easy access to a range of excellent lifestyle attractions, with Central Chidlom located just 180m away and the Chidlom BTS Station accessible with a three-minute walk. Also in the vicinity are the Central Embassy and CentralWorld Shopping Centres, as well as illustrious five-star hotels including The Intercontinental, The Grand Hyatt Erawan and the Okura Prestige.

Comprising two contemporary residential buildings—The Tower, a 47-storey block and The Villa, its 20-storey neighbour—the development features 427 freehold units that are up to 74 sqm (approx. 800 sq.ft.) in size, each offering sweeping views of the city’s skyline. Privacy is also ensured with a minimum number of units per floor.

Taking inspiration from a “Jewel Box Façade” concept, courtesy of architecture firms Design 103 International and Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF), the property boasts a structured form with glittering floor-to-ceiling windows spanning the high ceilings of every apartment. Lush green spaces fill most of the ground level, creating an urban oasis of tranquility, whilst various facilities such as a lobby and reading lounge; sauna and steam rooms; a heated spa pool and 20m rooftop pool; and a two-storey fitness centre, are available within the development.

28 Chidlom is scheduled for completion in May 2020.


Galar Halwa at Gaggan. Image courtesy of Gaggan

Restaurants in Thailand: Michelin Guide comes to Bangkok in 2017

Galar Halwa at Gaggan. Image courtesy of Gaggan

Galar Halwa at Gaggan. Image courtesy of Gaggan

After an announcement last week pledging to clean up Bangkok’s street food stalls, which disappointed locals and tourists, Thai tourism officials have announced plans to launch the first Michelin restaurant guide for Thailand‘s capital.

It all makes sense now.

When officials announced that street food stalls would be banned from the city’s main roads as part of a major clean-up, the news sparked widespread outcry given that roadside hawkers play a major part in the city’s grit, appeal, and authenticity.

But it seems that the announcement was to pave the way for a bigger development in the country’s tourism plan: to welcome the arrival of tastemakers from Michelin, arguably the most famous arbiter of good taste in the world.

Rumours of Michelin’s entry into Bangkok have been swirling since earlier this year, but the news was confirmed at an event hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand last week.

“Bangkok is one of the world’s culinary capitals, offering amazing cuisine, from fine dining from renowned international chefs to small family-owned eateries,” said Lionel Dantiacq, managing director of Michelin East Asia and Australia.

“The kingdom’s food also has a long, rich heritage which enhances the pleasure of tourists travelling.”

Meanwhile, tourism officials softened their stance on the ban following the widespread outcry, clarifying that street hawkers will continue to operate, but in designated zones away from main roads and walkways.

The Michelin Guide Bangkok will be released in both Thai and English editions at the end of the year and is projected to boost food spending by 10 percent per visitor. Michelin coverage is expected to expand to other Thai destinations in future editions.

Before Michelin susses out culinary stars outside of the Thai capital, here’s a look at some of the noteworthy restaurants that are likely to get nods in the inaugural Michelin guide for Bangkok. The restaurants below have previously been spotlighted by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards.


At Bo.Lan, chef Duangporn Songvisava, better known as ‘Bo,’ uses ingredients sourced from local farmers, artisans, and fishermen to create traditional Thai dishes like Northern-style spicy pork salad with native spices and greens, or hot and sour soup with herbal-fed chicken and young tamarind leaves. In 2013, chef Bo was named Asia’s Best Female Chef by organisers of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. By 2018, the restaurant hopes to become carbon neutral.


Red curry chicken at Nahm. Image courtesy of Metropolitan Hotel by Como Bangkok, Nahm

Red curry chicken at Nahm. Image courtesy of Metropolitan Hotel by Como Bangkok, Nahm

It’s a Thai restaurant in Bangkok helmed by an Australian chef. Despite his Aussie roots, chef David Thompson is considered an honorary Thai for creating a restaurant that elevates Thai cuisine to the standards of haute gastronomy. Thompson tracked down centuries-old cookbooks of Thai matriarchs to create a menu that features the robust flavors of Thailand: garlic, shrimp paste, chillies and lemongrass. The London outpost of Nahm became the first Thai restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin star after opening in 2001.


Basil Chocolate Butterfly at Gaggan. Image courtesy of Gaggan Facebook Page

Basil Chocolate Butterfly at Gaggan. Image courtesy of Gaggan Facebook Page

For three years in a row, chef Gaggan Anand’s Indian restaurant in Bangkok, Gaggan, has been able to boast the title of best restaurant in Asia, by organisers of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Described as a progressive Indian restaurant, Gaggan uses hyper-modern techniques to create dishes like spherified yoghurt explosion with red matcha and charcoal, Indian sushi and uni ice cream served in a miniature cone. Interested in booking a table? Best reserve within the next few years, as chef Anand has said he plans to close Gaggan by 2020 and relocate to Japan.

Luxury freehold condominium “Baan Mai Khao” in Phuket, Thailand

Set on the beautiful Andaman Sea, Baan Mai Khao is the first freehold beach condominium development in the Thalang district. Encompassing 5.4 acres, Baan Mai Khao features 206 units across six three-storey buildings and three five-storey buildings. The developer, Sansiri, has created the concept of “barefoot luxury”, creating the experience of a luxurious and high-end getaway surrounded by nature.

This spacious two-bedroom duplex offers owners the enjoyment of living in a tropical getaway with an expansive 1,420.84 square feet of space designed by Chanintr Living. The property features a light wood palette complemented with neutral-tone furnishings, as well as stunning floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to an outdoor terrace and swimming pool, allowing natural light to filter in.

In Baan Mai Khao, the gardens feature local trees unique to Mai Khao Beach, while the development’s architectural design is in a Sino-Portuguese style, a tribute to Phuket’s historical roots. A long pool stretches the length of the property, with some units having direct pool access from their terrace. Access to the sea and to 230 feet of beach is also only a few footsteps away, past a beachfront pool.

The entire development features three swimming pools, a fitness centre, 24-hour security and concierge service, as well as multiple outdoor recreational areas. Exploring the area of Mai Khao beach is also quite a unique experience. Other than the incredible beach itself, which is tranquil and mostly untouched, there’s a mixture of lakes, restaurants, 5-star hotels and shopping.


This article was first published in Palace 18.

Luxury real estate in Phuket Thailand: The Emerald City Life Condo Patong offers luxurious condominiums for grabs

Just 30 minutes from the newly-upgraded Phuket International Airport is Emerald Development Group’s latest project, The Emerald City Life Condo Patong, a new luxury condominium development located right in the heart of Patong. The resort-style property spans over two rai and comprises of two, eight-storey buildings with a total of 256 units.

A unique juxtaposition of contemporary character with a vintage interior concept, the property sees unit sizes range from 291 square feet for the smallest one-bedroom apartments, all the way up to 527 square feet for the largest two-bedroom. Inside you will find quality furnishings, with wood and tile flooring throughout.

Eco-friendly layered gardens between the floors and buildings add a sense of tranquillity and wellness amidst the bustle of Phuket. Residents can stay in shape with the funkily-designed, fitness centre. Large windows allow you to work out on the treadmills while overlooking a pool and lounge area. This also allows for copious amounts of natural sunlight to enter, creating a productive working space. After all, Emerald City is all about taking advantage of the sunny climate Phuket is known for.


As a resident, you are in an excellent location for the very best of what Phuket has to offer. Situated in the vicinity is the Jungceylon Shopping Mall. This huge complex features more than 200 stores and was designed to handle 45,000 visitors per day. There is something for everyone in this behemoth of a shopping centre. The clear waters of Patong Beach are also just a short walk away.

The Emerald City Life Condo Patong is set to be completed in December 2018 and returns from the management company guarantee a total of 35% over a period of five years. This is a great investment for anyone looking to purchase a property in the heart of Phuket.

Price: From THB 2.79 million (approximately USD 81,000). For more information, visit Emerald Development Group 

This article was first published under Palace Finder in Palace 18.

Purchasing villas in Koh Samui, Thailand: Property market on tropical island shows steady growth

koh samui palace magazine

V Asia Private Residences

With the number of flights to Koh Samui airport increasing from 36 to 50 a day, analysts are predicting an upsurge of interest in the property market – and more specifically the villa market – on this paradise island. Some would say Samui has more to offer than the Mediterranean and Caribbean in terms of value for money.

As Thailand’s second biggest island, Koh Samui is a d With a growing number of 4 and 5 star branded hotels setting up shop here, Koh Samui is reaping the rewards in terms of its real estate market. Foreigners are increasingly looking to buy here ahead of other property hotspots. This growth has also been affected by new zoning regulations and new government city status meaning more funds for the local government.

John Jepson of local estate agents Samui Property Locator told us; “There is a tendency for people living in the region who want to combine investment and have a place for their own leisure breaks. Most are also looking to the future as a retirement opportunity. Perhaps this is because Koh Samui offers a good mix of services, schools and a nice expat lifestyle.”Demand for

Demand for high-end residential developments is showing steady signs of growth from expats looking to cash in before the prices shoot up. One such development is V Asia Villas set on the Bo Phut hillside. Located close to some of the best beaches in Samui and all amenities, the development of 15 luxury villas is set to see its first villa completed by the middle of this year. Prices start at USD 540,000.

koh samui palace magazine

According to Knight Frank Thailand Research, as of the first quarter of 2014, there were approximately 420 villa units in Koh Samui. Popular because they are key tourist destinations, the north east of the island – namely Choeng Mon, Chaweng, Plai Laem, Bo Phut and Chaweng Noi – continue to thrive. Other areas gaining in popularity include Maenam in the mid-north and Lamai in south-east. These beaches tend to be more peaceful and tranquil, but are still close enough to facilities and amenities.
Samui – Oasis – a new development in Lamai from the same award-winning developers of the successful ‘The Ridge’ in Choeng Mon – looks set to benefit from local government plans to develop the nearby Hau Thanon area with a promenade, restaurant and entertainment area. A private estate of 19 luxury pool villas with views over the Lamai Beach, all on generous plots. Prices start at USD 450,000.

koh samui palace magazine


In the higher end of the luxury market, Anamaya Samui boasts stunning villas on the north-east coast of the island. Residents will have access to stunning views and an abundance of amenities. Villas range from 3,000 square feet all the way up to over 26,000 square feet and prices start from USD 940,000.

koh samui palace magazineSamujana
Kurt Berman, General Manager at Samujana told us why he feels so positive about the property market for Koh Samui; “A USD 17 million upgrade project will begin in mid-2016 to improve the efficiency of the airport on Samui… consultants were brought in from Singapore’s Changi Airport to identify improvements to passenger flow areas. The drainage and electricity infrastructure on the island has seen significant improvements in the recent years and the upgrade to the main ring road around the island should be completed in 2016. There are also plans being discussed to build a marina that accommodates super yachts looking to explore the Gulf of Thailand.” Samujana is a range of luxurious residences boasting up to eight bedrooms, private cinemas and breathtaking sea views. Its latest phase 2 villas, ranging from 5 to 6 bedrooms, have just been released. Prices start at USD 1.1 million.
It seems this island could be the paradise many have been searching for.

koh samui palace magazine

Samui-Oasis Diamond Villa

Text by Joanne Pasquale

This story was first published in Palace Magazine.