Q&A with Rasmee Wayrana
It’s been nine months since Rasmee Wayrana released her first album Isan Soul. The singer and songwriter, recently honored with three Kom Chad Luek awards, specializes in molam and experimental music, and is now writing the lyrics for her second album together with guitarist Satukan “Kong” Tiya Tira. Her unique voice has managed to grab the attention of both Thai and international audiences including that of foreign bands like Poni Hoax (France), Limousine (France) and Bamako Express (Israel-Thailand), who have all invited her to collaborate and perform with them abroad. You have refused to sign the contract with music companies. Why do you prefer to be an independent artist? Rasmee: I don’t like the idea that I am not allowed to sing for others. I signed a five-year contract once when I was 14 and was contemplating about signing another one after an audition, but I think it’s fate that I am not meant to be with any music company. What makes you confident that you can survive independently in the music industry? Rasmee: I don’t think of this in a commercial way. It’s the musical experiment of a girl who has been singing since she was young. I don’t think of doing this for a living. This is why I want to do my own songs—for me and those around me to enjoy. Kong: Selling isn’t the first priority when we are making music. We are not doing it to please people. How do you get people to connect to molam? Rasmee: It’s all about the feeling. Your voice is a specia
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Ladprao-residing fans of Kloset Café won’t have to drive across town to Siam Paragon as the fashion café has opened a new branch at CentralFestival EastVille.
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Best rooftop bars in Bangkok
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Occupying a huge space in 72 Courtyard, it’s one of the first spots you’ll notice as you approach the dining compound. Offering 20 beers from all over the world on tap, you can’t really say no to the place. Here, you can find everything from lager (such as Menabrea from Italy) to stout (Modern Times Black House, for example) to ale (like Hitachino Nest Red Rice from Japan). You can also go for something simple like Hoegaarden or go hard with Schneider Weissem, the brew with with the highest ABV at 8.2 percent. Portions are available in various sizes: half pint, pint or two- to four-liter beer towers. Most of the food is Thai but there is a bit of Western fare mixed in. Popular plates include Mini Wings (B180), grilled mix sausage with mashed potato and pickles (B290) and hickory slow-smoked ribs seasoned with fish sauce and coconut sugar syrup (B340). If the weather isn’t cooperating, hole up inside and enjoy interiors inspired by a beer hall. From long wooden tables to graffiti on the walls, this place is a comfortable and relaxing contrast to the busy Thonglor nightlife outside. But the highlight at Beer Belly is the enjoyment of friendly rivalry over a variety of games. You have pool and ping pong tables (with the availability of beer pong, of course), a dart board, as well as Jenga and chess to keep you busy all night long.
Bar scene newbie Top Knot sits on the eighth and ninth floor of Hotel Once on Charoen Krung. It may not be the loftiest rooftop bar but it’s high enough to give you spectacular panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok by night. Top Knot focuses on Western dishes and shareable plates such as spicy spaghetti with pink vodka, pork chilli cheese fries and shrimp barbecue. Their smoothies and cocktails are also worth making a fuss over. Try the Flamingo Smoothie (melon, strawberry, yogurt), Maleficent (blackberry, blueberry, honey, yogurt) or the Secret Love cocktail (white rum, raspberry, blue grenadine, lime, syrup). Not a fan of sugary drinks? A decent selection of wines and bottled beers are also available.
The latests Time Out interviews
Q&A with Kumamon
Kumamon is not the first city mascot we’ve met, but the black cuddly bear happens to be the funniest. The character was created in 2010 to represent a campaign that was aimed at drawing tourists to the Kyushu region following the opening of a high-speed train line. This black bear with cherry-red cheeks later became one of Japan’s most famous characters, subsequently attracting more tourists, particularly from overseas, to travel in Kumamoto prefecture. Following the devastating earthquake in Kumamoto a few months ago, Kumamon, actually a civil servantreporting directly to the governor, is now working hard to re-assure tourists that it’s now safe to return to Kumamoto and its neighboring cities. Time Out Bangkok had a chance to sit down for a quick chat with the playful bear. What do you eat to keep you so energized?Kumamoto is famous for fresh agricultural products: melon, strawberries, and so many other fruits. These are what I enjoy eating. What is Kumamoto cuisine famous for?Horse meat! Kumamoto horse meat is the best. What awesome things can we do in Kumamoto?Rent a car and drive around the prefecture to get different perspectives of Kumamoto. Fruit picking, for example, a fun activity. You shouldn’t miss the Yamaga Toro Matsuri dance and firework festival in August. It’s when thousands of dancers in yukata costumes perform traditional dances underneath amazing fireworks! There are so many onsen sites in Kumamoto. Which ones would you recommend visiting if w
Woody Milintachinda on the old Woody, the new Woody and what he's learned during the past few years
I’m really nervous because you’re Woody!Please don’t say that. Because once you say that, I feel so old. Once you reach thirty-something and people say they get excited around you, it’s both good and bad. It’s good because I feel like I mean something to them, which is great, and I love them for that. But it also feels like I’ve been here for a long time. I feel like an institution, which is really okay, but sometimes they compare me to wines of the eighties. (laughs) I feel honored, but at the same time, I can’t get over the fact that I feel a bit, you know, old. But you always look the sameBecause I have great doctors and great people taking care of my face. Don’t get me wrong now. I don’t like to do anything with my face, but I’m forced to by my three assistants. But isn’t it essential in this business? You looks do matter.It is. When I look in the mirror, I can tell whether I’m okay-looking or not-okay-looking. But I have so many things to do each day. I think my face is the last thing that I think of. I tried to do [medical treatment] every six months. To me, laser treatment is the best thing that’s ever happened. I never thought that I would be able to handle the pain, but once I realize that the pain is good, I started to smile. During an old interview you mentioned that you didn’t like looking at yourself in the mirror. Why?I gave that interview a few years back. At that time, I wasn’t okay with my skin. I wasn’t okay with who I was. I looked in the mirror and
Expats We Love
We sit and talk with expats we love about Thailand they love.
Q&A with Jamie Bissionnette
Why Spanish?My partner, Ken, and I are American- born and we started cooking classic French food. And we both were traveling independently to different parts of the world, when we were in Spain, working with Spanish chef we fell in love with the culture, we fell in love with that style of food and that style of eating. So it’s just natural progression for us to start cooking Spanish food. What the main differences between Spanish and other kind of food?Spanish food is packed with flavors. And they do small portion, the whole model is eat a little bit often. So American is about getting appetizer and a big entrée, but in Spain, it’s about a little of this, a little of that, so you get to try more variety. And what’s awesome about Spanish food is indicative of the culture that it’s around. Spanish chef coming to America isn’t going to look for just Spanish ingredients, they;re going to cook with all fresh ingredients around them. So it makes it lean itself really well to adding any kinds of flavors together, which is why we’re really excited tobe in Bangkok. I’ve heard a story that before becoming a chef, you were a vegetarian?I was a vegetarian, and vegan, for a long time. And that’s probably why I was a chef because in the early 1990s in the States, being a vegetarian was difficult. My mother would not cook for me. School lunches are not vegetarian. I loved food, so it was only natural that I started cooking at home and me watched Jacques Pépin and cooking show on PBS. I
Where to stay in Bangkok
One of the franchise of the well-known W Hotel, W Bangkok integrated Thai Culture with Western style beautifully throughout the hotel and its facilities. A Boxing ring is used to separate the VIP zone at Woobar. The elevator is decorated colorfully inspired by the light of Tuk Tuk. Hanuman, from Thai myth, welcomes all the guest in front of SWEAT fitness. Not to mention their exquisite service, W retains their concept of Whatever/Whenever to keep all customer pleased.
Sala Arun is hiding in a corner of the old community of Ta Tien. This small boutique hotel offers the stunning view right across the beautiful Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. You can also make the most of the view by enjoying their custom cocktails from the sun rise to the sunset.
The restaurant has everything from familiar menus such as Nam Prik Long Rua serving together with vegetables, Thai omlette and bitter melon soup with minced pork. The others are quite rare to see in normal Thai restaurant. The best bet would be Pla Haeng Tangmo, diced watermelon with crispy little fish is perfect for summer while Kanom Pa Pai, the rare Thai dessert making of green beans is so yummy that 5 pieces are barely enough. Here also serves monthly special menu as Khao Chae in April. We’re still waiting for the new menu in May but we are so ready for this mysterious dish.
Silom Art Hostel
Silom Art Hostel changes your mind about all hostels being “risky, too public and dissatisfying.” Giving off the vibe of a boutique hotel, this colorful, unique four-story building was decorated by an experienced architect who plays a big role in designing many of the city’s upscale hotels. Here, the desire and imagination inspired by Bangkok is reflected in every little detail. The mezzanine features a cozy TV room and a small sized business center, as well as a comfy-looking hammock. Different types of rooms are available: shared rooms and bathrooms, ensuite rooms with twin beds or king-sized beds. The fourth floor houses the women’s dormitory, which requires a keycard to enter. Ladies don’t have to worry about security anymore.