HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

“Huang jui, hor jia” seminar presented to 100 restaurateurs

Romanian wine tasting at Kurt’s Swiss Restaurant

Miss Floral Queen named at Festival of Flowers

AirAsia to fly Bangkok - Singapore route

Getting started in Flamenco

“Huang jui, hor jia” seminar presented to 100 restaurateurs

The message: Follow the Chinese belief and be successful

Phitsanu Thepthong

More than 100 restaurant and food shop operators from the Northern provinces, as well as members of the Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai restaurant clubs attended a seminar on the Chinese beliefs in managing and operating restaurants for success.

MC of the seminar introduces the activities to the participants.

Organized at Pornping Tower Hotel, Chiang Mai it was presented by Ajarn Katha Shinabunchorn, the expert in the science of Feng Shui, or “Huang jui” in Thai.

He spoke on restaurant and food services management, adding that 70 percent of those who followed the “Huang jui” rules would meet with success.

Ajarn Katha Shinabunchorn, “huang jui” expert, claimed that 70 percent of those who follow the “huang jui” rules would enjoy success in their restaurant.

This seminar was held four times during the past year, but this was the first time in Chiang Mai, previously held in Bangkok and Pattaya.

He said 5,000 restaurants, mostly in Bangkok, have paid attention to this logic of Chinese beliefs. He claimed that this knowledge is based on nature and science, and the balances and logic based on facts; however, he did remark that the success of a business operation comes from good quality.

He said that some failing restaurants had turned their fortunes around by applying “Huang jui”, but the knowledge of how to effectively manage the restaurant and food services proved that the success really comes from good quality and services.

Romanian wine tasting at Kurt’s Swiss Restaurant

Transylvania produces more than vampires!

Marion Vogt

A wine tasting of a different kind was held at Kurt’s Restaurant to introduce the not very well known Romanian wines to the North. Romania with its continental climate is an ideal place to produce wines and the main difference between wines from Romania and wines from elsewhere is the price - a result of lower labor costs than in other European countries.

Happy faces after a very informative and palate pleasing wine tasting.

Wine drinkers in western countries have just begun to experience Romanian wines, and export is growing very fast, especially to Asia, where the consumption of wine is increasing.

Hannes Landolt, from a wine dynasty himself, introduced the Romanian wines from his Landolt cellars. He started with a Sauvignon Blanc Symphonie 2001, a wine from Transylvania to warm up the senses and which goes well with any white meat, fish or seafood.

Hannes Landolt (left) - a true wine connoisseur.

The second was a highlight for any white wine connoisseurs, taste-wise and price-wise. A refreshing dry Muscat, 2001, a wine which would not be out of place as an aperitif, or with any Asian meal, or even at night while watching TV.

Hannes Landolt spoke on their red wines, which are favorites at every party in Thailand. The red wine tastings also started with a Symphonie, a Merlot 2000, still young, dry with a ruby red color but would be the perfect wine for any party or for a meal with friends. He then offered a Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, which he called a ‘Lady Wine’, since every lady trying this wanted a second glass, and I guess he is right. It may sound funny, but the fruity taste reminded me of sunshine and strawberries and was just pleasant.

We were also informed that Romania does not only make light wines. The Pinot Noir from Prahova Valley (2000) around 60 km from Bucharest tasted exquisite. A full, complex aroma with rich flavors of berries right through to the persistent finish. I found this one very strong, very ripe and great to go with any kind of cheese.

What is of interest to those who dine alone, or only drink small quantities, is the fact that Kurt’s restaurant even serves the Merlot 2000 in small bottles.

Hopefully these inexpensive wines can be purchased shortly at many places throughout the north. More information can be obtained from Kurt’s Restaurant or from Landolt Wine in Bangkok, Fax: 02 332 2563.

Miss Floral Queen named at Festival of Flowers

Is an apple a flower?

Phitsanu Thepthong

Patraphan Vilas, nicknamed Apple, a 23-year-old bachelor degree student in the Faculty of Business Administration, Naresuan University from Phayao province’s campus, was the winner of the Floral Queen title for 2004.

Ornadda Tantipat, (left), the wife of Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat, presented the Miss Floral Queen award to Patraphan Vilas.

The first runner-up was Pitchsinee Pintarin, 20, a bachelor degree student of Faculty of Agriculture from Chiang Mai University, while Phraewphan Kamkham, 18, a secondary high school student at Mae Horphra Witthayakhom from Mae Taeng district won the second-runner up. Thanjira Phrapaharn, a bachelor degree student from Rajabhat Institute from Phitsanulok province won the Miss Photogenic title.

(From left) Phraewphan Kamkham, second runner-up; Patraphan Vilas, Miss Floral Queen; Thanjira Phrapaharn, Miss Photogenic and the first runner-up Pitchsinee Pintarin.

The winner of the best float was from San Sai district, which won the Prime Minister’s trophy and 35,000 baht, while the first-runner up was Yupparat Withayalai School which received 25,000 baht and the Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak’s trophy.

AirAsia to fly Bangkok - Singapore route

AirAsia have obtained rights to operate flights from Bangkok to Singapore beginning February 16, 2004. There will be one daily point-to-point flight from Bangkok International Airport to Changi International Airport, Singapore. The low fares for the Bangkok-Singapore route will start from B. 1,300 one way.

Seats for the Bangkok-Singapore flights were available for booking from February 7 onwards. Bookings can be made via AirAsia’s website www.airasia .com (available in five languages including Thai and Tamil), or by calling the airline’s nationwide Call Center at 02 515 9999. The Call Center is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Payments can be made by credit card for all on-line and telephone bookings. Alternatively, cash payments for Call Center bookings can be made at any of the 600 Krung Thai Bank branches and AIS Customer Service Counters in Thailand or at designated Singpost branches and “Self-service Automated Machines (SAM)” in Singapore. Payments must be made within 48 hours of the bookings.

The new Bangkok-Singapore route marks AirAsia Thai’s international debut adding to the national services from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Hadyai, Khon Khaen and Phuket.

Since January 13 this year, AirAsia has sold over 40,000 seats in Thailand, of which 50 percent were sold through www.airasia.com

“The response in Thailand has been phenomenal. We are happy to create this excitement in the market with our low fares making it affordable for more people to fly. Our load factor for February is 80 percent and the popularity of our internet booking is growing. Our new flight from Bangkok to Singapore is hoped to further stimulate traffic growth for this popular route and it reflects our commitment to provide an even better choice to millions of Thai people,” said Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of AirAsia, Thailand.

Getting started in Flamenco

Ole! Muchas gracias, Senorita!

Would you like to look passionate, stylish and dance with the flair of a Spanish dance artist? Maybe this dream is not far away.

Learn Flamenco in March.

The Chiang Mai Ballet Academy will open the “Teller Flamenco” Spanish style dancing course for anybody interested in this living art.

Flamenco is a musical phenomenon that has retained its popularity, and survived different periods and trends, and transcends borders and nationalities. The main characteristic of Flamenco is the relationship with the audience, which participates in an emotional and heartfelt manner, and goes deep into one’s soul.

The new course will run March 15-17, between 2-4 p.m. and after graduating from the academy all students will be given a certificate, issued by the Teller Institute, Spain.

For more information, please contact 053 260 0370, or 053 330 6357 daily. The places available are limited.