Tag Archives: Thailand

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.

www.astondoa.com

www.yachtsidegroup.com

 

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.”

www.aquilaboats.com

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.

www.imperial-yachts.com/yachts/lili

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.

PRICE ON APPLICATION

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.

TYPE: 2 BEDROOM APARTMENT
PRICE: FROM USD 650,000

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.

Bo.Lan

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.

Nahm

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.

Gaggan

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.

PRICE: FROM THB 9.79 MILLION* (APPROX. USD 276,000)

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

Samujana

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. 

Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show: Another successful boating season in Thailand

Fresh off a splendid summer of European boat shows in places like Cannes, Southampton, Monaco, and Genoa, the yachting industry now turns its eyes to its South East Asian season of yachting events. Held from the November 24 to 27 this year, the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show made its fifth return at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Thailand’s leading marina resort complex on Jomtien Beach, renowned as one of the best yacht clubs and marinas in Asia.

Organised by the Ocean Property Group, the show aimed to attract more than 6,000 visitors, as well as more than 85 national and international exhibitors (on-land and in-water), building on the success of the previous year’s event. Visitors at the four-day show had the opportunity to engage with high-end brands displaying a range of gadgets, technical boat equipment, luxury and lifestyle consumer products, hospitality, and real estate.

Exhibitors for the 2016 show included yacht dealerships Simpson Marine and Boat Lagoon Yachting, and the following luxury boat brands were represented: Azimut Yachts, Beneteau, Cranchi, CNB Yachts, Jeanneau, Lagoon, Monte Carlo Yachts, Prestige, Princess Yachts, Viking Yachts, and Wider. Superyacht manufacturers Admiral and Sanlorenzo were also on site, with an extensive selection of brokerage yachts made available for viewing.

The event also featured water sport activities such as daily yacht cruises, kayaking and paddleboat trials, jetpack flying board demonstrations, games, as well as social and networking events like a food and drinks festival, and the Boat and Yacht Thailand Conference. With exciting highlights promised for guests and visitors of all ages, the event was one for the family that was not to be missed.

This story was first published in Yacht Style.

Review: Monument Thong Lo Condominium, Bangkok

Located in the heart of Sukhumvit 55 in Bangkok, The Monument Thong Lo is Sansiri’s latest high-rise luxury development. The 45-storey residence will be an architectural masterpiece designed by architecture firm Quintrix. They are known internationally for their Al Sharq Tower and Al Hamra Firdous Tower.

A new design team was tasked with creating the interior for the project. ITH interior make their mark on the project from the moment residents walk in the door. Marble will fill the space, giving a feeling of grandeur and pillars will be fitted with handpicked premium leather. The leather theme continues over to the furniture where it is combined with petrified wood.

A hallmark of the interior design and a unique space within the building is the mail room. Walking in to get your mail, one might completely forget about the bills waiting behind the stylish wood and premium leather cabinets. The brass handles hark back to yesteryears in this all inviting room.

When it comes time to head up to your apartment, private lifts whisk you skyward to your floor. Three different types of apartments are available, with no more than four units located on each storey. This has allowed for each unit to have at least one corner of the building and a 180-degree view of the city. A two bedroom with three bathrooms makes up the smaller units at 1,337 sq. ft., while the larger unit is a three bedroom, four-bathroom unit with 2,715 sq. ft. There are also penthouses available – more on that below.

bathroom_final

All apartments will come equipped with Gessi products as bathroom furnishings. Sticking with the stylish overall feel of the residences, Rettangolo faucets will feature prominently throughout. It doesn’t stop there, marble is laid from the bathrooms through to the living room, creating a cool environment and adding to the high quality of materials used.

When you think of penthouse living, The Monument’s penthouse is exactly what one thinks of. It is big! Ranging up to 7,126 sq. ft. and featuring almost 16 and a half feet ceilings in the living rooms. One is so large in fact, that it has its own private swimming pool. There are not many sky high palaces in Bangkok with their own private outdoor pool to splash around in. For those on the lower levels, don’t feel left out as there’s a 92-foot swimming pool sculpted out of aluminum. A swimmers dream on the second floor.

foyer_open_final1

Sansiri has done a great job to ensure there’s plenty of green outdoor space for an urban project. Working with landscape designer, Tectonix, two gardens have been created. One will measure 3,444 sq. ft. at the front and the second will measure 6,458 sq. ft. at the rear. This layout really gives a homely feel. Uniquely, five ancient trees will be kept on the project. They’ve been in Thong Lo for generations and add to the character of the gardens.

The Monument wouldn’t be complete without an array of facilities for its residents. There’s a nearly 10,764 sq. ft. recreational garden with a children’s playground, fitness center, large swimming pool and multipurpose area. Residents also have access to a 24-hour butler service, numerous parking spaces, security and 1-year with Quintessentially Lifestyle concierge service.

With everything at its doorstep, including Thong Lo BTS Station and a number of luxury shops and restaurants, residents of The Monument get to enjoy the very best of Bangkok.

BUYER INFORMATION

Property:
The Monument Thong Lo

Location:
Bangkok, Thailand

Developer:
Sansiri PCL

Highlights:
Exclusive Location
24-hour Butler Service
92-foot Swimming Pool
Fitness Centre
Private Parking
Large Gardens
1-Year Quintessentially

Membership Price:
On Application

Contact:
www.sansiri.com

Invest in These: 6 Floating Villas

Flying over the Maldives in a prop plane, islands appear like green pebbles in a blue-green sea. From above, constellations of resorts are also visible, their villas often snaking out from the edge of the land, hugging the sides of boardwalks and perched atop wooden stilts.

Not all villas are tethered to docks, however. At some new resorts, the bungalows have been designed to float on the Indian Ocean. One such project is named The Ocean Flower and includes 185 floating villas arranged in the form of a Maldivian flower. Designed by Dutch architecture firm Waterstudio, the two level villas have three bedrooms, private plunge pools and are priced from around $2.5 million.

The Ocean Flower

The Ocean Flower

“What we tried to do with our office is to take the difference between a normal house and house boat and make them the same,” says Waterstudio founder Koen Olthius. He began designing floating homes in the Netherlands, but now exports the concept to worldwide locations.

The Ocean Flower forms part of The 5 Lagoons, a master-planned resort in North Male atoll, a 20-minute boat ride from the capital of Male that is a joint venture between Dutch Docklands International and the Maldives Government. Waterstudio is also designing the Amillarah, another phase of The 5 Lagoons that will feature10 floating private islands arranged in an archipelago configuration. Each will have a private beach, pool, greenery and a jetty to moor yachts.

In the Maldives, where natural islands are small, scarce and vulnerable to tides and rising water levels, resort developers are progressively turning to floating architecture. “The concept suits [the Maldives] perfectly,” says Dymitr Malcew, a Singapore-based architect. He designed a luxurious floating home concept for a French developer in 2012 and has since received inquires from resort developers and private investors around the world, including the Maldives.

Malcew Floating Homes, Maldives

Malcew Floating Homes, Maldives

Malcew’s house concept features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a terrace and full-height windows that provide optimal daylight and views. The home is built on a floating platform that can be easily moved and electricity is supplied via solar panels, or a network if it is docked at a marina. It also has a water purification system. “I was inspired by the automotive and luxury yacht markets rather than a typical architectural approach,” Malcew explains.

The floating house concept is not confined to the Maldives, however. In Thailand, resorts like The Float House River Kwai Resort in Kanchanaburi features floating villas made of teak wood and bamboo, each having a private balcony and pier. Thai design firm Agaligo Studio has also introduced a modern take on the floating vernacular with the X-Float, a series of floating resort villas on the River Kwai that are made from lightweight steel framing clad with fiber cement siding and plywood. The units are all oriented to maximize river views while also shielding the intense tropical sun.

Hong Kong-based consultancy BMT Asia Pacific has also created floating home concepts it likens to a ‘stationary yacht,’ designed to create novel experiences for holidaymakers. The Sea-Suite debuted in 2014 with three models – Floating Lodge, Houseboat, and Beach Cabin, each of which use an egg-shaped mold as the basis for transportable, easily adaptable and nautically minded lodging designs. The newer SeaScape edition features expansive 40-foot decks on a triangular floor plan. Each villa is customizable and can be expanded with the option to add on a variety of units, including a sun deck or covered pool, making the floating resort up to 1,800 sq. ft. in size. The design also features an underwater bedroom housed in a 13-foot diameter acrylic column that creates an aquarium effect with 360-degree views of marine life.

The Floating Seahorse

The Floating Seahorse

A new project in the Middle East unveiled in December also proposes an underwater bedroom. Kleindienst Group’s new development is called The Floating Seahorse and features a collection of floating villas off the coast of Dubai. The structures are designed like unpowered boats and have three levels: a submerged master bedroom and bathroom designed to offer views of the surrounding marine life, a main level with a kitchen, dining area and deck, and an upper level that has an informal bed, kitchenette and glass-bottomed Jacuzzi. Developers sold around 60 units when the first models went on sale. The remaining seahorses are priced from $2.8 million.

“We are seeing a trend worldwide, where High Net Worth Individuals are looking not only for a penthouse, but that private island feeling,” says Koen Olthius. In his home country of the Netherlands, 50 percent of the population lives below sea level, and the Dutch have spent centuries constructing dikes, pumps, and drainage systems to keep the encroaching North Sea at bay. Floating houses have provided an alternate solution – as far back as the 17th century, barges were repurposed as homes.

The Floating Seahorse, Interior

The Floating Seahorse, Interior

In recent years, floating structures have again grown in popularity, particularly in the face of extreme weather. The obvious advantage is that they move vertically with fluctuations in water levels caused by tides, heavy rainfall or other flooding. They are also easily relocated.

But beyond the pragmatic reasons, floating homes are also appealing to prospective residents because they afford an intimate proximity to water, and a feeling of openness, with light and views that are more akin to a boat than a house. A ‘normal’ house requires a large margin with the water level to prevent flooding. With a floating home, openings in the façade can safely be placed just 35 cm above the water level.

In the United States, floating homes are most common on the West Coast, particularly in Seattle where Lake Washington, Lake Union, and The Locks offer sheltered water edge conditions ideal for floating structures. Standing inside the floating home is an incredible feeling, says Eric Cobb, a Seattle-based architect who works on floating homes. “When you are on the first floor, you are maybe a foot off the water level and it feels like you are on a boat. It’s an amazing experience to have a sliding glass door off your bedroom and the water right there.”

SeaScape Luxury FLoating Villas Concept

SeaScape Luxury FLoating Villas Concept

In recent years floating homes in Seattle have become increasingly regulated due to their impact on the shoreline. “They are big, they create massive shaded areas and it impacts eco systems,” says Cobb. Municipal regulations now prevent the development of new floating home slips, although the resale market is thriving.

Koen Olthius at Waterstudio believes such municipal regulations reflect an “old-fashioned way of thinking” and stands in the way of allowing floating homes to proliferate into the mainstream market and create what he believes is a more sustainable housing model. “The experience we have in Holland makes us experts in how large and small foundations can be,” he says.

Many architects argue that since floating systems are adaptable and can be moved at short notice without leaving scars on the environment, this makes them a more sustainable and durable way to build. BMT’s SeaScape model, for example, is designed for offshore locations around small islands where a minimal footprint is key. The overall power load is also mitigated by the option of installing solar panels on the roof, as well as by natural ventilation. “While we haven’t specifically focused on green features in the design, a number of them are intrinsic to a waterside location — improved natural ventilation from sea breezes and temperature moderation through the hull from seawater,” says Sichard Colwill, Managing Director of BMT Asia Pacific.

Amillarah Private Islands, Dubai

Amillarah Private Islands, Dubai

The concept also provides a solution for humanitarian causes, particularly in low-lying, flood-prone regions. Luxury developers have funded much of the recent innovations to floating homes, but Olthius says a new wave of demand is coming from land-strapped and flood-prone cities from the Ukraine to China.

In the UK, design firms have proposed similar typologies as a means to deal with flood-stricken areas of the nation and as a solution to London’s housing shortage. Baca Architects recently developed a buoyant home for an NLA competition to address the capital’s housing crisis. The project aims to install prefabricated floating housing on disused space along the 50 miles of rivers and canals in Greater London, as well as the 150 hectares of additional “bluefield” space in its docklands, marinas and basins.  For Koen Olthius, the transition to water homes is simply a matter of plugging them into the existing grid. The demand for floating homes is clear, he says, now it’s a matter of negotiating with municipalities and insurance companies and educating them on the long life span of water homes, and their low maintenance costs.

The Float House River Kwai Resort, Thailand

The Float House River Kwai Resort, Thailand

If sea levels begin to rise as predicted, municipalities may have no choice but to embrace the floating home model. For the moment, some countries are more open to the idea than others. Waterstudio has spent the past two years working on a project in Florida, but have encountered considerable resistance from the local community. “If I have an empty space of land, you understand that I can build there, but if I have a piece of water, everyone complains,” Olthius says. “In the US people have a stronger feeling of rights and of privacy compared to other parts of Europe or Asia. These homes can benefit the whole community.”

However, even if there isn’t a dramatic rise in sea levels, Olthius says he is committed to building on water. “We are concerned with urbanization, with the price of land, the need for land,” he says. “Water gives us three things: space; safety and flexibility, and a very short response time to changes we cannot foresee.”

Story Credits

This article was first published in Palace Magazine.

SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS Review: Anamaya Samui, Koh Samui

The beautiful tropical Thai island of Koh Samui lies 35 kilometers northeast of Surat Thani in the Gulf of Thailand. Nestled on its north east coast with striking panoramic views over the sea and surrounding countryside is Anamaya. A futuristic glimpse into high-end luxury coastal living.8-bed-b

Koh Samui’s property market grew exponentially over the past several years. The airport has expanded, allowing for more direct flights from overseas destinations and the amount of tourists from Asia has increased. Thus, what was typically a haven for European travelers looking for an upmarket holiday destination in Thailand, has now transpired over to travellers from Asia looking for their next luxury hideaway.

A 10-minute drive from Koh Samui International Airport sees you at Cheong Mon Beach just below the Anamaya development. As you wind your way up the hillside you find yourself at the site of the latest development by the team behind the award winning Samui development. Thought up by lead designer Misha Povstaniuk of architects A-MDM, he sought out to create a contemporary tropical living style. The villas show a glimpse of how to push the boundaries of design, style and functionality in this segment of the market, as they rest on twin peaks overlooking the clear blue seas below.5-bed-b

There are five different types of villas on offer, in up to 11 different layouts. Villa A at 26,759 sq. ft. is the grandest. With 7 + 2 bedrooms, these beautiful villas feature two infinity pools, enabling guests to view the sunrise and sunset from the water. There’s a gym with ocean views, digital cinema and recreation rooms. At 1,162 sq. ft., the master bedroom is larger than most city apartments and while all suites have ocean views, the master bedroom has views both east and west.

Villa B at 16,877 sq. ft. sits along the hilltop crest of the Anamaya Estate. With 6 +1 bedrooms and a contemporary flowing design, reminiscent to something Sir Norman Foster would be proud of, Villa B creates a private oasis with panoramic views of the beautiful sea below. Residents have the choice of having two infinity pools or one pool and an ornamental water feature with a sunken breakfast bar. Villa C ranges in size from 6,748 sq. ft. to 11,668 sq. ft. Boasts five large bedrooms.8-bed-c

Villa D ranges in size from 4,101 sq. ft. to 8,406 sq. ft. The four-bedroom villas are available in three different styles. Villa D1 is the largest, including a sizeable staff quarters. However, both D1 and D2 feature a digital cinema, gym, and recreation room. D3 is laid out over floor floor except for a private self-contained suite on the lower level.

Villa E ranges in size from 3,013 sq. ft. to 6,243 sq. ft. The three-bedroom villas feature an abundance of space. Available in two layouts, the property comes equipped with a recreation room, digital cinema and private terrace with a plunge pool a few footsteps away from the master bedroom.

Owners and guests will also have access to a number of facilities including the Anamaya Club. This will include all the amenities one would usually find at a 5-star hotel, including a world-class restaurant and bar, sports courts and gymnasium, rooftop pool with 270-degree sea views, health and beauty spas and a children’s day-care center to name a few.Dining-Room

Anamaya also offers property management services by In-Villa Luxuries, enabling owners to have their villa well maintained and if they choose, rented out. Set to be the next must have residential address in Koh Samui, Anamaya Samui looks to create a design style not yet seen in such a quality product on the island.

Buyer Information
Property Anamaya Samui

Location Koh Samui, Thailand

Architects A-MDM

Highlights Panoramic sea views, open-plan living, Up to 26,759 sq. ft., private infinity swimming pools, Private clubhouse with sports facilities, restaurant and bar, children’s day-care
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This article was first published in Palace

9 Asian Sailing Hotspots 2016

Sailing is not something new on the Asian sporting events calendar, and nor is recreational boating. The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club traces its history back to 1826, and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club was founded in 1849. Today, sailing and yacht racing are well-developed sports in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Indonesia, the Philippines, China, South Korea and Taiwan can fairly be called ‘emerging’ when it comes to sailing.

In the 19th century, sailing was the exclusive preserve of the colonial expatriate communities of the big trading cities – principally Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. Today’s sporting landscape is a great deal more cosmopolitan, with nationals as well as ‘foreigners’ filling the membership lists of the clubs, and government initiatives helping to drive the grass-roots development of sailing as a sport, starting with youth programs and going on right up to Olympic participation.

NEP13_0732At the bigger end of the scale – the ocean-capable racing boats – Asia boasts a plethora of regattas that together constitute an informal ‘circuit’ stretching from the west coast of Thailand all the way across to the Philippines, and attracting international competitors from all over the world – hardly surprising when ‘dressed for sailing’ in this part of the world usually means shorts and t-shirts rather than heavy duty foul weather clothing!

Most recently, Asia has played host to a number of the world’s most highly visible professional sailing events. The Volvo Ocean Race has visited Singapore and China, and will stop over in Hong Kong during its next iteration. Malaysia and South Korea have hosted World Match Racing Tour events, and the Clipper Around the World Race has been to Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Indonesia. And don’t forget the Olympic Regatta at Qingdao in 2008.

Among the Asian nations, China has made the biggest impact on the Olympic scene, with two gold medals in consecutive Games. Hong Kong boasts just one, and the rest of the roll call have none although Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are regular qualifiers. Predictably enough, different countries and places display different strengths when it comes to sailing.

HONG KONGCCR15_2206

Historically speaking, Hong Kong has long been the epicenter of sailing and yacht racing in Asia. The China Sea Race, Asia’s ‘blue water classic’ from Hong Kong to the Philippines, has been a fixture on the calendar for over 50 years, and the number of races organized by Hong Kong’s principal yacht clubs in the course of a year is counted in the thousands. ‘Class’ boats such as Flying Fifteens, Etchells and Dragons make up big numbers for racing in Victoria Harbour, along with many top-end racing yachts and a huge number of cruisers and cruiser-racers. Boats from all the yacht clubs are welcome at each other’s regattas, and the sailing season is practically year-round. Many racing boats head south and west each year to participate in major regattas and races in Thailand and Malaysia.

Hong Kong’s biggest operational problem is lack of moorings – all the existing marinas are fully occupied and have been for many years, and there are no viable plans for new marinas under consideration.

The principal sailing clubs are the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Hebe Haven Yacht Club, Aberdeen Boat Club, Tai Po Boat Club, Lantau Boat Club, Discovery Bay Boat Club and the HK Hobie Fleet. Sail training and learn-to-sail courses are offered by almost all the clubs, and also at Government-run sailing centers. The governing body for sailing is the Hong Kong Sailing Federation, the Member National Authority where the big ticket items such as the Olympics are concerned, and the national body for training sailing athletes is the Hong Kong Sports Institute which currently designates sailing as an ‘elite’ sport, meaning that national funding is available for the development of Olympic and World Championship campaigns.CCR14_1343

Club-organized regattas and racing series include the China Coast Regatta, Spring and Autumn Regattas and the Top Dog Trophy series of pursuit races, and the Hong Kong to Hainan Race, all run by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHYC). Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s principal event is the Typhoon Series run on alternate weekends throughout each summer, the Port Shelter Regatta and a number of Saturday-afternoon series’ all through the year. It also includes in its annual program a 24hr Charity Dinghy Race, and offers sail training courses throughout the year. The Aberdeen Boat Club (ABC) organizes racing on the south side of Hong Kong, including the Waglan Series, and both the ABC and RHKYC have substantial dinghy and sail training operations from their alternate clubhouses at Middle Island (Tong Po Chau). All the Clubs’ courses range from Beginner to Racing Clinics levels.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Government operates five public watersports centres, offering a multitude of certification courses in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, dinghy racing and more.

Hong Kong is a fabulous place for sailing: it has an extensive and beautiful coastline, with sheltered waters as well as areas of feistier breeze. It’s hot in the summer, but never cold enough in the winter to stop the enthusiasts from getting out on the water. In fact, the only time that sailing gets shut down is when a T3 (or higher) typhoon signal keeps everyone ashore for reasons of safety and insurance.

In 2018 Hong Kong will welcome the Volvo Ocean Race to Victoria Harbour. With government backing, a visit from one of most important events in the sailing world will undoubtedly provide encouragement across the board for all sailors in Hong Kong, big and large alike.

Clubs, Marinas and Sailing Associations

• Hong Kong Sailing Federation www.sailing.org.hk

• Government Watersports Centres www.lcsd.gov.hk/watersport

• Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club www.rhkyc.org.hk

• Hebe Haven Yacht Club www.hhyc.org.hk

• Aberdeen Boat Club www.abclubhk.com

• Aberdeen Marina Club www.aberdeenmarinaclub.com

• Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club Marina www.cwbgolf.org

• Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club www.gcycc.com.hk

• Club Marina Cove www.clubmarinacove.com

• Discovery Bay Marina www.dbmarinaclub.com

THAILANDPKC14_2110

The area around Phuket and Phang Nga Bay on the west coast of Thailand is one of the premier cruising areas of Asia, and is making concerted efforts to attract international superyacht traffic from Europe and beyond, with the intention of becoming both the hub of the charter industry in, and the gateway to, Asia.

Thais have long been enthusiastic sailors, mostly because the King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumiphol Adulyadej, was once a sailor. As a young man he built his own dinghies, sailed across the Gulf of Thailand, and won a sailing gold medal in the South East Asia Peninsula Games in 1967. His daughter came second.

On the west coast of Thailand, from Phuket to Langkawi (Malaysia), and a sprinkling of islands provides delightful cruising grounds, and Phang Nga Bay is world-famous for its spectacular karst islands and ‘hong’ formations. Think James Bond Island, in The Man with the Golden Gun. Further afield, Phuket constitutes a convenient jumping-off point for cruisers wishing to visit the Mergiu Archipelago (Burma), the Andaman Island and Nicobar Islands (India), the Similan Islands (Thailand) or the west coast of Sumatra (Indonesia) for some of the best and most secluded surfing on the planet.

On the other side of the Kra Peninsular, high spots in the Gulf of Thailand are Koh Samui and Koh Phangan and their surrounding marine sanctuary, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club and Ocean Marina Yacht Club at Pattaya and Jomtien Beach, respectively, and the tropical idylls of Koh Chang and Koh Kut down towards the border with Cambodia.PKC14_1094

Thailand presents five major international regattas each year:

• Phuket King’s Cup, held in December in celebration of His Majesty’s birthday

• Phuket Raceweek, a ‘green season’ regatta in July each year and intended to take advantage of the summer southwest monsoon winds

• Bay Regatta – “a party on the move” – in Phang Nga Bay

• Top of the Gulf Regatta at Na Jomtien, which includes the Thailand Optimist National Championships and the Coronation Cup (another Royal occasion)

• Koh Samui Regatta – complete with coconut trophies, Brazilian dancing girls, plenty of breeze, and the splashiest closing dinner of them all.

The majority of the big boats in Thailand are owned and raced by expatriates, but at the smaller end of the scale there is a hotbed of talent in the Optimist and dinghy classes just waiting to shine. Noppakorn Poonpat (THA) won the Optimist World Championships at 20, and there are plenty of successors waiting to step into her shoes. The Thai Optimist Nationals is one of the hardest-fought of the regional championships, with (this year) 140 entries.TOG14_0068

The national authority, the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT), is largely the preserve of retired Admirals from the Royal Thai Navy (and the RTN turns out every year to take the salute at the Phuket King’s Cup Sail-Past). Phuket, Koh Samui, Ocean Marina and the naval base at Sattahip are the principal centers for teaching young sailors.

Little-known fact: the Platu 25, designed by Bruce Farr in the early 1990s, was created for the waters and weather conditions of the Gulf of Thailand. A syndicate of local sailors commissioned the ‘pla-tu’ which means ‘mackerel’ in Thai.

Clubs, Marinas and Sailing Associations

• Yacht Racing Association of Thailand www.yrat.or.th

• Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Chonburi, Pattaya www.varuna.org

• Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Chonburi, Pattaya www.oceanmarina.asia

• Yacht Haven Phuket www.yacht-haven-phuket.com

• Boat Lagoon Phuket www.phuketboatlagoon.com

• Phuket Cruising Yacht Club www.phuketcruisingyachtclub.org

SINGAPOREX4013_0254

Singapore is home to the oldest yacht club in Asia – the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club (RSYC), formerly the Royal Singapore Yacht Club, and founded in 1826. Situated at the southern end of Malaysia, Singapore is said to preside over the busiest commercial waterway in the world, and this has become a matter of import in recent years.

RSYC has its own facilities and marina, and so does Raffles Marina and the Singapore Armed Forces Yacht Club (SAFYC). The last sailing center in Singapore is the Changi Sailing Club, seemingly always under some sort of threat of redevelopment, but still alive and kicking today.

In 1923 RSYC became the guardian of the Lipton Challenge Cup, awarded to the Club by Sir Thomas Lipton. In recent years this was awarded to the aggregate winner of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta and the Singapore Straits Regatta. The latter event has fallen by the wayside as the Marine & Ports Authority of Singapore has imposed ever-more draconian restrictions on the operations of pleasure vessels, and particularly sailing yachts. Sadly, the Lipton Cup is now housed in the Singapore Sports Museum.Photo-By-Donovan-Ho-22

The top event in Singapore is now a mixed fleet regatta, the Western Circuit, organized by the Singapore Management University – a very active collection of students and alumni – and hosted by Raffles Marina. The Neptune Regatta is a small fleet that sails and races from Nongsa Point Marina in Batam to Pulau Sikeling in the Riau Archipelago. Technically this all takes place within Indonesia, but in reality it is a ‘Singapore’ event.

If big boats and club racing has waned in recent years, the activities of the government-supported Singapore Sailing Association goes from strength to strength. Sailing is a sport now on the school curriculum, and every year thousands of young people are introduced to the sport, sailing Optimist and Topper dinghies and maybe moving on to the 420 and Olympic 470 and Laser classes. Singapore has been a multiple medal winner at many sailing youth championships, and hosted the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010. Eight Singaporeans have qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Unfortunately, the young sailors don’t seem to graduate to bigger boats. Governmental initiatives are geared towards producing junior champions and hopefully Olympic medals, and the grown-up version of racing sailing is not on the agenda.

Singapore, which hosted an event in the Extreme Sailing Series for five years, also entertained the Clipper Around the World Race and the Volvo Ocean Race. There are world-class facilities in the shape of ONE˚15 Marina at Sentosa Cove (home to Asia’s number one boat show, the Singapore Yacht Show) and Marina at Keppel Bay. Singapore has the facilities, but not the space in which to sail. A country that once fielded teams for the Admiral’s Cup, can do so no longer.

Clubs, Marinas and Sailing Associations

• Singapore Sailing Federation www.sailing.org.sg

• Changi Sailing Club www.csc.org.sg

• Raffles Marina www.rafflesmarina.com.sg

• Republic of Singapore Yacht Club www.rsyc.org.sg

• ONE˚15 Marina Club www.one15marina.com

• Marina at Keppel Bay www.marinakeppelbay.com

MALAYSIARMR15_0941

Malaysia boasts long coastlines on the west and the east of the country, peppered with historic towns and beautiful beaches, and sprinkled with jewel-like islands that make it a playground for the cruising sailor.

The west coast of Malaysia is 400nm from north to south, and includes the fabulous archipelago of Langkawi, historic Penang (“The Pearl of the Orient”), picturesque Pangkor and the beautiful old city of Malacca – which, along with Penang, is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Throw in a plethora of beautiful beaches, the blessing of equable tropical weather, and just ‘go sailing’. Pulau Tioman is the star of Malaysia’s east coast, and then the Anambas Islands if you are prepared to sail 130nm or so offshore.

Across the South China Sea there is the north coast of Borneo – the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak are Malaysia, too. This is known as ‘The Land Below the Wind’ on account of the lack of typhoons this far south, and here the attraction for sailors is not so much sandy beaches but history (Kuching), mountaineering (Mt Kinabalu) and the culture of the littoral Dayak tribes.

The national authority for sailing is the Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA), based in Kuala Lumpur, and operating a major dinghy training centre in Langkawi, which is popular with international visitors for training camps. The MSA also organizes the Liga Layar, a national match racing series.

Langkawi is very much the de facto center of sailing in Malaysia. It has three major marinas (Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Rebak Marina Resort and Telaga Harbour) and is close to the border with Thailand, making the island’s Duty Free status very attractive to passers-by heading north, and also to boats voyaging south from Phuket in order to stock up on everything from gin to fuel. The Youth World Sailing Championships were held in Langkawi in early 2016, based out of the MSA facility.RMR15_3338

The principal private clubs in Malaysia are the Royal Selangor Yacht Club at Port Klang, which organizes the annual Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta, and the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, home of the Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR). Both events attract entries of around 30 big boats. The ‘Raja Muda’ is a peripatetic affair featuring both coastal passage and in-port racing, travelling from Port Klang to Langkawi. It is a difficult and exhausting event over the space of a week – the sailing can be tough, but you need additional stamina for the social side of the event! The RLIR is an in-port event conducted amongst the fairy tale islands of Langkawi, but it is a one-off yearly event – the only other time in a year that racing takes place is when the Raja Muda fleet arrives. There are yacht clubs at Kinabalu (Sabah) and Piasau (Sarawak), as well as Tawau and Sandakan on the east coast of Borneo, but these are places to visit rather than establishments that organise regattas and racing.

In common with other SE Asian countries, the governmental initiative in Malaysia is geared towards youth development, dinghy sailing, and the eternal search for an Olympic medal. The Optimist class is strong all round the country, and sends young competitors to international events, but in common with other Asian countries, that’s as far as it goes – most governments, with the possible exception of Thailand – have not yet woken up to the huge economic potential offered by the promotion of sailing, boating, marine tourism and the full development of a leisure marine industry. Sailing in Malaysia does however benefit from the active participation of the Royal Malaysian Navy which owns and runs two 47’ racing boats, and the cooperation of the Royal Malaysian Police who provides exceptional backup services and materiel for major international big boat events.

The big boats and the clubs and events that they visit are pretty much self-sufficient. Training programmes to IYT certification are offered by Sail Training Malaysia (Pulau Indah Marina, Port Klang), and Asian Yachting Ventures at Port Dickson signs off on Asian Coastal and Yachtmaster courses.

Clubs, Marinas and Sailing Associations

• Malaysian Sailing Association sailmalaysia.org

• Royal Selangor Yacht Club www.rsyc.com.my

• Sebana Cove Resort & Marina, Johor Bahru www.sebanacoveresort.com

• Royal Langkawi Yacht Club www.langkawiyachtclub.com

• Telaga Harbour Park & Marina, Langkawi www.telagaharbour.com

• Rebak Marina Resort, Langkawi www.rebakmarina.com

• Sutera Harbour Marina, Sabah www.suteraharbour.com

CHINASAN12_0028

When China decides to get involved in something, they don’t do it by halves. In the case of sailing, that has meant an America’s Cup entry, a Volvo Ocean Race team, and any number of lavish-looking marinas constructed on the principle of “build it and they will come,” but more likely to be a marketing ‘hook’ for a surrounding property development. The encouragement of sailing often appears to be a ‘top down’ rather than a ‘bottom-up’ endeavour.

The most visible regatta in China is the China Cup International Regatta. This four-day event has a number of one-design divisions that includes a fleet of 30 Beneteau 40.7 yachts that can be chartered, as well as IRC racing divisions, but the top level Grand Prix boats are still missing. There are a number of other regattas, some on lakes and some on rivers, as well as a growing interest in match racing that is engaging sailors at the grass roots level. The China Club Challenge Cup is probably the most ‘genuine’ of the China regattas.

China still lacks a coherent, federal-scale, policy concerning leisure and pleasure boats. Until the day comes that you can confidently write “Private Yacht” on the registration application, and until you can sail out of Xiamen and back into Fujian knowing that the regulations are the same in both places, any development of a marine leisure culture will remain stalled, despite the excellent sporting example of two gold medals in successive Olympics.

The most visible yacht clubs in China do not necessarily have much to do with sailing.

Clubs and Sailing Associations

• China Yachting Association sailboarding.sport.org.cn

• Shanghai Boat and Yacht Club www.shanghaibyc.org

• Iron Rock Sailing Club, Xiamen www.ironrocksailing.com

INDONESIANEP13_0729

Indonesia is practically the definition of ‘archipelago’, and is making itself felt in the luxury charter market as an exotic destination. Komodo dragons and the Spice Islands beckon. For divers there is the Coral Triangle and the Raja Ampat, the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on the planet, and the Wallace Line, separating the ecology of the old world from Australasia,cuts through the middle of the country.

Indonesia hosts the Sail Indonesia Rally each year, with boats coming up from Australia, passing through the archipelago east to west by a different route every time, and then moving on towards Malaysia.

The Neptune Regatta departs Nongsa Point (directly opposite Singapore) and does a sort of ‘racing adventure cruise’ to the Equator and back every year – on the chart it’s an Indonesian event, but it is all Singapore-organized. There’s very little local recreational sailing going on, with the exception of the famous Sandeq Race for the local fishing boats along the west coast of Sulawesi. The Indonesia Sailing Federation regularly manages to get a qualifier into the Olympics.

Clubs and Sailing Associations

• Indonesian Sailing Federation

• Jakarta Offshore Sailing Club

• Nongsa Point Marina, Batam www.nongsapointmarina.com

• Sail Indonesia www.sailindonesia.net

THE PHILIPPINESPCC12_0936

In the 1990s there was a flourishing sailing scene based around the Manila Yacht Club (MYC), Flying 15s, Dragons, and a fair collection of big boats. In 1994 the Philippine Easter Regatta attracted a 60-strong fleet that raced from Manila to Corregidor, and then on to Subic Bay. The MYC used to be the finish line for the China Sea Race, and many a salty tale was expanded over the bar on Roxas Boulevard. Glory days indeed.

Then the MYC stopped organizing races, the few remaining sailing members decamped to Subic Bay, and everything fizzled out by degrees. The biggest active club in the Philippines is now the Puerto Galera Yacht Club, which very deliberately does not take itself too seriously.

The Commodores’ Cup at Subic attracts 6-8 boats only, even when the China Sea fleet has just arrived – and departed. The Boracay Cup (preceded by the Subic-Boracay Race) should be the jewel in the glittering tropical crown, but rarely attracts more than a handful of entries

Clubs and Sailing Associations

• Philippines Sailing Association www.philsailing.com

• Puerto Galera Yacht Club www.pgyc.org

• Subic Sailing subicsailing.org

TAIWAN

It is only recently that people in Taiwan have been allowed to set foot on a beach. Fishermen went fishing, but the coastline was off-limits to all non-military personnel. There has been an entirely successful sailing and motor yacht building industry in the Kaohsiung area for three decades, producing boats that were strictly for export. Only.

With the easing of coastal regulations, a couple of small regattas have sprung up, organized by the Taiwan Sailing Association. The Penghu Regatta takes place in the delightful Penghu Islands in the Taiwan Strait, a place with plenty of wind that has long been popular with windsurfers from all over the world. The inaugural Taiwan Boat Show was a sell-out, and the second one (in March) followed suit. Brokers report good business. Watch this space.

Clubs and Sailing Associations

• Taiwan Sailing Association www.taiwansail.org

• Chinese Taipei Sailing Association www.sail-clubs.com

SOUTH KOREAPEN14_0420

The west coast provides challenging conditions for sailing – coastal mudflats for hundreds of miles when the 10m tide goes out. The east coast consists mostly of small squid-fishing villages. The south coast, from Mokpo to Busan via Jeju Island, is beautiful but with the exception of the Olympic Marina (1988) at Busan, ‘undeveloped’ in sailing terms.

Provincial authorities kick started the Korea International Boat Show in 2008, and inaugurated the WMRT Korea Match Cup in the same year. The Wangsan Marina near Incheon, was built for the 2014 Asian Games regatta, and was intended to become a public marina with amenities and services catering to domestic as well as international boaters.

A small number of races venture offshore: there’s one to Ulleung-do and Dok-do to the east of Korea, and one from Mokpo to Jeju if the weather permits. There’s an Admiral’s Cup regatta in Busan, and the Women’s International Match Racing Association has also been there.

‘Boating culture’ has been slow to develop in Korea, in spite of government initiatives to stimulate interest. Leisure time is a relatively new commodity in this hard-working country and, rather like China, Korea might do well to start at the bottom and work upwards, rather than the other way round.

Sailing Association

• Korea Sailing Federation www.ksaf.org