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We are here today speaking with Steven W. Palmer, a noted regional author and “bon vivant”. His literary output includes The Angkor Series (Angkor Away, Angkor Tears and Angkor Cloth, Angkor Gold). ‘Turning the Tables – A Love Story for the Chemical Generation,’ ‘The Electric Irn-Bru Acid Test (The Glas Vegas Chronicles Book 1)’ In My Sights; A Political Thriller (The Danny Cleland Adventures Book 1),’ ‘QUADTYCH: Four Very Different Stories’, and ‘Me! I Disconnect From You.’ He is a Scottish expat living in Cambodia.

by Leonard H. Le Blanc III

What got you interested in writing?

An amazing English teacher at school called Miss Woods. She set us an exercise to write a short story and I basically plagiarised ‘Shane’ (unintentionally). While she told me off for copying the idea, she saw something in my style and encouraged me to write more. 

What has changed in SE Asia the most?

I have lived in Cambodia since 2013 and even in those eight years, you can see the modernisation of Phnom Penh as more and more soulless skyscrapers are added to the skyline. Siem Reap has very few monstrosities and is a very green city (dust from current roadworks apart). As for Thailand, I returned there in 2012 after eight years and felt that Bangkok had lost even more than it had since my first visit in 1994.

What has changed here the least?

It has to be the people. Though (in the cities at least) I sometimes feel that people have lost some of their openness and friendliness, for the most part, in both Cambodia and Thailand, it is the people who make the place. 

What are you working on now?

I have just finished my fifth novel, ‘The Riel Thing,’ which, unusually for an expat authored novel has its main character as both Asian and female. It launches officially at the Angkor Writers and Readers Festival – 2021, taking place in Siem Reap between the 10th and 12th December 2021.

I’m having a break from writing until the New Year, and will then jump back into ‘Bangkok Drowning,’ a dystopian novel that is set in mid-21st century Bangkok. I already have 25,000 words for it, so it is not starting from scratch. 

What do you do for fun?

I have a weekly radio show playing reggae, dub, ska, etc., and also DJ in Siem Reap. As well as music, I read (of course), and am a Netflix junkie (have around fifteen shows am currently watching).

What are your favorite foods?

From Thailand, my favourite is Khao Soi Gai. From Cambodia my favourite is Fish Amok or Saraman Curry and the rest of world is proper fish and chips or lasagna. 

Where are your favourite places to go?

Since I moved to Siem Reap, I plan to buy a one year pass and exploring the Angkor Park properly rather than as a tourist. In Thailand, I love Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. I also love Langkawi and hope to get there again in early 2022.

What writers inspired or inspire you?

Growing up, my favourite authors were Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. Then I sort of grew into Hemingway, Hunter S. Thomson, Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey. Iain Banks has to be in my top three writers of all time so has to be mentioned too.

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to move to SE Asia?

Do not jump the gun and just move. Spend some time here and get a feel for the region and the different cities to see what is the best fit. Look at how you will fund yourself if you plan to live here long term. Also look at visas as Thailand is becoming more difficult while Cambodia is fairly easy. If you have health issues of any type, look at healthcare provision in the areas you like. You ain’t in Kansas anymore, Toto. 

What do you see is the future for yourself?

Ha, ha, ideally? Selling lots of books and seeing at least one made into a film. In reality, continuing my daytime gig of writing for corporations to make a living and churning out fiction in the hope that dreams come true one day. 

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One of the most popular Ambassadorial couples to have served their country in Thailand over recent years were Andelfo and Astrid Garcia from Colombia. They were here for more than six years but touched the heart of many with their warm embrace, exciting and convivial company. Expat Life caught up with them back in the Americas now and managed to persuade Astrid to share their recent travels with us.

After having the privilege of living almost six wonderful years in Thailand, as Colombian ambassadors to the wonderful kingdom, we both retired and began a tour for several countries, and on that journey, we returned to visit Colombia in January 2020. 

We had an invitation to attend the Barranquilla Carnival along with some friends to continue travelling throughout the Caribbean region and then return to Bogota, to attend a wedding on  March 11, and back to California, but on March 13 Colombia when many countries closed their international borders because of Covid 19, something unheard was going to change everybody’s life. 

We then spent five months in Bogota, confined, reading, writing, Netflix, experimenting with our cooking abilities, and ‘Zooming’ with friends. We had time to work on many interesting projects that had been buried in our computers for years. The truth is, that it was a productive special time. Finally in August, Colombia opened local roads and we decided we had to reinvent our plans and since Colombia is enjoying the fruits of the peace process and the agreements of 2016, we decided that since we were in Colombia, we needed to organise ‘Covid code’ trips to explore Colombia by road. We did not use hotels, we used Airbnb to search and rent houses for a month in each region and from there we will go to the nearby towns using masks and with all the precautions recommended by the authorities. We will only attend open air restaurants for lunch, most restaurants anyway are working just by reservation, breakfast and dinner would be at home. We are lucky that everything had worked perfectly and we continued devouring roads, collecting experiences, and visiting pre-empty towns. 

As a traveller always chasing places recognised for their cultural or natural value by UNESCO, as World Heritage Sites (WHS), this was a great opportunity to visit or revisit some of Colombia’s nine recognised UNESCO WHS. They were Cartagena, Santa Cruz de Mompox, The Coffee Cultural Landscape, San Agustin Archaeological Park, Tierradentro, Chiribiquete National Park, Los Katios National Park, Malpelo Fauna, and Flora Sanctuary, and the Tatacoa Desert (in the approval process). We will see how many we could visit before it is safe to return to the USA.

Going back to our story, before Covid, we went to Barranquilla, a city located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. The Barranquilla Carnival was wonderful, well organised, it lasted for several days with music, dance, costumes, lights colours, and flavours. It was also a good pretext to get together with lovely long term friends. After this wonderful carnival, we rented a car and headed South following the course of the main river in Colombia, the Magdalena River that crosses the country from South to North. Our main purpose in this road trip was to visit Santa Cruz de Mompox (WHS). This is a beautiful city of historical value, founded in 1537 on the banks of the river, a treasure that preserves intact the best Spanish colonial architecture, with its churches, its cobbled streets, and it’s Caribbean flavour closely associated with the river.

Mompox was for many years the prime centre of gold and silversmithing being world recognised for its ancestral handmade Filigree Jewellery. Mompox still has many small family owned shops. I bought stunning filigree jewellery for my three daughters in law, my granddaughter, my sister in law, my sister, and for me.

We continued our road trip heading to Cartagena, the Heroic, (UNESCO WHS), named like that because the city resisted many attacks from Spain when trying to retake control of their colony and also many attacks from pirates. Cartagena amused us with its wall surrounding the old city, its plazas, houses, museums, churches, restaurants, fashion and jewellery designer stores, nightlife and it’s warm people. After two wonderful weeks in Cartagena, we returned to  Barranquilla to take our flight to Bogota to attend our friend’s wedding. 

That weekend the news struck us all Covid-19 was hitting Colombia and Colombia closed international flights. Like everybody else in the world, we had to confine ourselves. After our 5 months confined in the capital city, Bogotá, in August, the government opened roads and we decided there will be many months more waiting for a vaccine and we should get out of the city.  

So, we set off on our first ‘Covid code’ trip, it was to the Coffee Growing Region(WHS), to the provinces of Quindio and Risaralda. The region is a magical valley leaning on the central mountain range, one of the three mountain ranges of the Andean region of Colombia. This region is not only well known for the enchanting scenery of coffee farms but also for bird watching. Colombia occupies the first place in the world in a diversity of birds with almost 2,000 registered species, the coffee region has 35% of Colombian bird species. While in the region, we learned much about birds and we enjoy them every day, you could see them and hear their songs all day long from any place where you are.

Being an art lover and collector, and after hearing and watching birds every day, I sat with the native biologist and photographer Alejandro Grajales and selected from his hundreds of photos in his PC some photos to print a small collection of indigenous birds from their four subregions, and now they are exhibited at the house where our friends graciously lent us and we enjoyed for a month. 

I will enumerate just a few things from the most picturesque towns we visited. In Salento, The Cocora Valley is stunning with hundreds of Wax Palms, some of the tallest palms in the world. The area has its own bird sanctuary. There we had the unique opportunity to see a condor flying just on top of us, it was very impressive. Another town is Pijao, which is surrounded by the most magical view of mountains, that we enjoy sitting at the Conrad Coffee place at the very top of the mountain. In Montenegro, you have The Paradise of Guadua and Bambu which is more impressive than the ones I have seen in other regions of the world. In Calarcá, the well kept Botanical Garden.   Cartago is famous for exporting hand embroidery fashionable cloth, I bought lovely embroidered blouses for Christmas gifts. 

After one month of travelling throughout small semi-empty towns, again we returned to Bogota more in love with Colombia’s nature and its people and once again departed this time to visit the province of Santander, located in the Northeast of Colombia, to settle in Barichara, another WHS.


Barichara is a city of cobbled streets and colonial architecture, in the heart of the town stands the Cathedral made of sandstone with an altar adorned in gold. There are plenty of churches built in the 19th century. Each street has its own enchantment. You need to walk them all. All the streets are hill up or hill down, you will end with strong calves. At the top of the hill, it is the enchanting Bio-park, with many regional plants and a majestic view of mountains and the valley.

Again back to Bogota and then heading to visit the Southwest of Colombia, to San Agustín Archeological National Park (UNESCO WHS). The Park preserves hundreds of pre-Columbian statues, tombs, and utensils from hundred of years before the arrival of the Spaniards conquistadors of America. The area is nestled in the Andes mountain range. San Agustín calls us for a reflection of the greatness of its original inhabitants and the enormous development and sophistication of their ancestral culture. 

During that trip we discovered Villa Nueva, it was not in our plans, not even on the map. It is an undisclosed perfect small town paradise. Each house has a lovely front with plants and trees that provide shade. It has a cultural life of its own, the only school frames the plaza, revealing its importance. A well recognised national sculptor, Emiro Garzon made this town his paradise and has an incredible art internship programme for kids and soldiers from the army. All this happens without police or a mayor. The community has its own rules. Their inhabitants believe in their culture and in respecting each other.  

We continue to the Tatacoa Desert (pending WHS) known for its ochre, grey and red sand dunes, and for being a perfect spot for star observers. It offers you every night an open sky spectacle of stars and constellations. We were lucky as a well known astronomer was there and gave us that very night a presentation and shared with us his powerful telescopes. 

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Year after year Regents celebrates high academic results far above the world average in the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) and International GCSE (IGCSE). This enables our students to gain places at the worlds top international universities.

Top performing students win Pearson Exam Board Awards for the best IGCSE marks in Thailand

Sofiya received the award for the highest mark in Thailand in IGCSE English Literature. Sofiya first came to Regents in Year 6 , she said “I found IGCSE difficult at first, but I persevered and listened to the advice of my teachers, which helped me to make the necessary improvements”. This result is made even more significant as Sofiya is a non native English speaker.

Chaewon received the highest mark in Thailand for IGCSE Mathematics. Chaewon started at Regents aged 13 and was an EAL student to begin with. “Mathematics is my favourite subject and I like challenging questions – when I get my marks back it inspires me and I feel motivated to do more”.

Lucas achieved an incredible set of results, he won the award for the highest mark in Thailand for IGCSE Mathematics, highest mark in Thailand for IGCSE Business and highest mark in Thailand for IGCSE Spanish. Lucas arrived at Regents in Year 7 with no English and was an EAL student, within two years he had progressed to Set 1 in English.

Outstanding IGCSE results for 2019/2020

The continued success in IGCSE results is a testament to Regents’ high academic standards, excellent teaching and the hard work and dedication of students. Students continue to excel and outperform UK national averages.

Sarah Osborne-James, School Principal at Regents, said: “I am very proud of our students and the incredible successes they have achieved in their IGCSE results. Our students have shown remarkable resilience and once again accomplished standout scores”.

Regents students’ results have exceeded the UK average for IGCSE (International GCSE) with 88% students achieving A*- C grades, we have seen a 100% pass rate and some of the highest individual and overall results ever achieved at Regents:

  • 94% of students gained at least 1 A/A*
  • 62% of students gained A*- B grades
  • 60% of students gained the top A* grade

The percentage of our students achieving A*/A (7-9 grades) was 43% compared to UK average of 27%.

IBDP results score well above the global average for 2019/2020

Regents students achieved a pass rate of 98% with an average score of 34 points.

In addition to this impressive overall performance, many of our students had notable personal successes – one of our students scored 42 points, three students scored 41 points and two students scored 40 points out of a possible 45, a feat only a small percentage of IBDP students worldwide ever obtain.

“Once again, we are above the world average, a remarkable result for a non-selective school. Our students have been accepted to top universities around the world including; University College London, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Mahidol University, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Queensland to study wide ranging disciplines from the Arts to Medicine and Engineering. In fact, over 25% of our cohort will be attending a top 50 university!”

Sarah Osborne-James School Principal 

We are now open for school visits by appointment. Our Admissions team are more than happy to help you learn more about Regents and to guide you through the Admissions process for your child.

You can contact [email protected] or follow this link to book a Virtual Discovery Meeting today for a personalised virtual experience with our Admissions team.

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Expat Life had the opportunity to interview the Mexican Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Mr. Jaime Nualart and find out more about his life as a diplomat and his post to Thailand.

How long have you been the Ambassador to Thailand?

I arrived to Thailand on October 26th 2019. This means I have been in Thailand for a little more than 9 months.

Did you arrive to Thailand directly from home, or were you posted somewhere else before?

My wife and I came from Turkey where I was Ambassador of Mexico. I feel very lucky, because as Ambassador, I have been honoured to serve in two important countries for Mexico, both with a millenary history.

 

Where were you born and brought up?

I was born in Mexico, in the state of Michoacan. Which is located in Western Mexico and has a stretch of coastline on the Pacific Ocean to the Southwest. It is one of the 32 states which comprise the Federal Entities of Mexico. The state is divided into 113 municipalities and its capital city is Morelia. My family moved to Mexico City when I was a young boy. So I grew up and studied in Mexico City.

At which age did you decide you wanted to become a diplomat? 

I chose Social Sciences in my senior high school year, which was a requirement in the Mexican education system to be able to later study International Relations.

However, my interest in diplomacy started when I was a young elementary school student. I had keenly studied world history. I was not only passionate about the great civilisations but also about the 20th century history, particularly, the I and II World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. My parents were very keen on their children being well informed of what was happening both in Mexico and across the world. With this background it was natural that I went to university to study International Relations and later on, that I applied and became a member of the Mexican Foreign Service. 

 

Are there any other diplomats in your family?

I have a brother and an uncle who were also part of the Foreign Service for some years. 

How do you see Thailand today, have there been any obstacles in your way since you arrived?

For me it was surprising to see a modern and vibrant city like Bangkok which accurately reflects the dynamism and modernity of Thailand. I have observed a country that works well and grows day after day. In this short period I have been witness of the great and successful work that the Thai government and society have done to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a fine example to the world and I congratulate Thailand for this.

Far from finding obstacles, I have found coincidences with Mexico. Thailand has been a welcoming country, where I have found happy, hardworking people, always willing to help, warm and welcoming to foreigners.

Do you see any similarities between your country and Thailand?

Despite our geographical distance, I see many similarities between Mexico and Thailand. Both of our peoples inherit traditions and knowledge from millenary cultures. In both societies, religion is of great significance and relevant. Family bonds are important to both societies. Mexicans and Thais are both proud of their history and they love their food and culinary customs. Both countries share a modern emerging economy and have similar visions about the main challenges in today’s world.

Do you have children? What age and where do they go to school?

We only have one daughter. She lives and studies in Madrid, currently finishing her last year in Graphic Design. Diplomatic family life is not always easy, because our children grow up in a constantly changing environment and therefore sometimes families have to be split up.

How do you look upon your work here? How does an average day look like?

Diplomatic life requires us to learn and readjust. Every day sees us facing new challenges and the opportunity to create new opportunities between two countries. Work is rarely between 9am and 6pm so it is not a routine job, but an agenda that constantly changes and never stops. Every day there are meetings and different challenges and sometimes the day finishes very late. You never stop working because diplomacy entails a job of permanent representation.

As with every ambassador, I assume you have some goals you really would like to fulfil before you leave Thailand?

In August 2020, Mexico and Thailand celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations. Throughout our years of friendship, the two countries have enjoyed an excellent relationship free of any conflict. Nevertheless, diplomacy is the job that never ends, since there is always something new to keep bringing countries closer together. As an ambassador, sometimes you have the opportunity to plant new seeds and at other times you are lucky enough to harvest from your predecessors, in a continuity that looks for contributing to a good relationship enduringness.

Have you been able to travel around Thailand? 

Unfortunately, I have not travelled the country as much as I would have liked to, due to the problems that we have encountered this year. However, I have had the opportunity to visit places such as Hua Hin, Ayuthaya and the Northeast region and I enjoyed them immensely. In Bangkok I enjoy visiting temples, museums, food and flower markets, as well as some of its amazing contemporary buildings.

Do you have a favourite destination in Thailand?

I have very much enjoyed the atmosphere in the Northeast region, particularly in Chiang Rai. Another of my favourites is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya.

If you have a day off, what do you prefer to do? Do you have any hobbies?

I like playing tennis and walking the streets discovering new places. Reading, watching soccer and motorcar racing are my favourite hobbies.

How many of your countryfolk are living in Thailand? When and why did Thailand become a desirable destination for your people?

We have registered just over three hundred Mexicans who live in Thailand, most of them in Bangkok, but also in Nonthaburi, Chonburi, Chiang Mai and other key cities. There is an increasing demand for Mexican traditional food, so we have some chefs working in Mexican restaurants who arrived a few years ago. Most of the Mexicans who live in Thailand are senior staffers at international companies. Some others are in the hospitality and services industry at management level. Most of the Mexican people who live in Thailand have a family life, some of them married with Thai people and raising Thai Mexican children.

Does your country and Thailand have an exchange programme for students today? 

I have recently learned that there is an increasing interest of Thai young people in Mexico, Latin America and the Spanish language in general. So we have welcomed Thai college and degree students who wish to study one semester in Mexican institutions with the Mexican Government Scholarship Programme for International Students”, which is renewed every year. Besides, there are exchanges between Thai and Mexican universities, such as the Colima University cooperation with Chulalongkorn and Mahidol Universities.

If you could choose your next destination, where would you like to go?

As a diplomat, I think that all countries have their importance and their particular interest, otherwise there would not be reason to have embassies or diplomatic relations. I have lived and worked in eight different countries and I have fond and wonderful memories of all of them.

 

Any memory from Thailand that youd like to tell us, an awkward situation or a funny incident?

In this relatively short period I have been a witness of the great job done by the people and government of Thailand facing the pandemic situation. Such outstanding performance is one that will remain in history and and Thais should be very proud of it.

Do you regularly meet up with your community?

Yes, one of my main responsibilities as ambassador is to establish a permanent dialogue with the Mexican community. Unfortunately, personal contact with the Mexican community was interrupted by Covid-19. So during this period, the embassy asked them to comply with the lockdown and we implemented a new line of direct contact via personal emails and telephone one calls to know about their situation. I also try to greet with Mexicans who visit the embassy for any consular matters.

What is the most important task you want to fulfil before you end your post in Thailand?

I have designated instructions from my government: to strengthen our political dialogue in global issues. To increase the volume of trade and investment between the two countries and to accelerate the knowledge and understanding of Mexico. In this regard, my main goals are to contribute to our collaboration and coincidences in multilateral fora, to explore new market niches for both Thai and Mexican producers and exporters and to enhance commercial dialogue between the respective stakeholders. Also to intensify the presence of the different cultural and artistic manifestations of Mexico for the Thai peoples enjoyment.

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I feel empty.

when the day comes, there is no light.

there is a gaping wound in my chest

being slowly carved into a second face.

the demonic hand grips me with its talons

and pushes everything inside me all at once.

overwhelming, it makes me feel.

yet at once a smile appears

on my face in which people see –

nothing but me, and only a version of me. 

but when darkness ascends, there is a spark.

it speaks to me, it is my friend –

a safe haven, all troubles put aside,

it invites me into this beautiful den

in which no explanation, no proof need be:

just me and what Ii need to be.

me and my heart, we don’t have to beat.

this hollowness that stands before me –

its fulfillment expands into wonderful things.

come another day, my troubles are past.

remembering back, the hallucinations don’t last.

a brief moment of weakness, it was.

a glimpse of what happens when emotions take over;

not by fear, but by hope itself –

the possibilities and all it entails.

but what if that hope doesn’t last,

and yet again we fall into this pit of heavenly hell?

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Heavenly Hell

I feel empty.

when the day comes, there is no light.

there is a gaping wound in my chest

being slowly carved into a second face.

the demonic hand grips me with its talons

and pushes everything inside me all at once.

overwhelming, it makes me feel.

yet at once a smile appears

on my face in which people see –

nothing but me, and only a version of me. 

but when darkness ascends, there is a spark.

it speaks to me, it is my friend –

a safe haven, all troubles put aside,

it invites me into this beautiful den

in which no explanation, no proof need be:

just me and what Ii need to be.

me and my heart, we don’t have to beat.

this hollowness that stands before me –

its fulfillment expands into wonderful things.

come another day, my troubles are past.

remembering back, the hallucinations don’t last.

a brief moment of weakness, it was.

a glimpse of what happens when emotions take over;

not by fear, but by hope itself –

the possibilities and all it entails.

but what if that hope doesn’t last,

and yet again we fall into this pit of heavenly hell?

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DCO Books, 2001, 3rd edition, 216 pages. www.dco.co.th

Anyone who comes to Thailand that does not first and firmly owns a very well developed sense of humour (of any type) will not be in for a very good time here, especially all the fun seekers in the numerous entertainment districts of Thailand. Fortunately for us, we have Collin Piprell do all the hard rock mining on the very wide vein of humour that resides in Thailand for us. So all we have to do is laugh uproariously, shake our heads in wry amusement and chuckle until our sides hurt. Collin Piprell has done all humanity a true public service in exposing all the complete absurdities, wildly improbable situations and ludicrous venues the Western protagonists all bring with them to the City of Angels, when they collide with the locals in the many watering holes that densely occupy most of Bangkok, always with hilarious results. Collin Piprell must have a Ph.D. in social anthropology. It has nailed it perfectly again. 5 stars!

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by Ichiro Kakizaki.

White Lotus Press, 2012, 228 pages. www.seateservices.online

For well over a millennium in Thailand goods and people simply moved at the speed of a cart, human foot power or boat. Railroads changed everything here. Finally there was a transportation system that united the whole country with rails of steel. 

Rails of the Kingdom is a book aimed at a general readership. It presents a broad history of Thailand’s state railways system from the late 19th century down to the present. It covers how the railroad system came into being and the rail policy changes over the decades. It is also filled with 100 photographs, with many informative charts, tables and maps as references. It also reports on the development of inter regional rail networks.

Additionally, the author overviews urban railways in Bangkok that includes the elevated light rail system, subway or underground, and the airport rail link. Also included are a comparison with road transport and highway development. There are brief descriptions of other rail systems in neighbouring countries. For hardcore Thai railroad fans.

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     “Safe & Clean Hospital” During this new normal, Phyathai 1 Hospital has enhanced its preventive measures and upgraded standard guidelines to maintain a sterilized & infection controlled environment through proper air ventilation & water purification system,

Air Disinfection   

Producing clean air with the use of the HEPA FILTER air purification system that eliminates bacteria through UVC light every 30 minutes.  Facilitate acceptable indoor air quality through ventilation and filtration system

Water Purification   International standardization of water purification through reverse osmosis (RO) system.

Isolation Room       Aseptic controlled environment with the use of UVC light projector.

   “Safe Surgery” At Phyathai 1 Hospital, we are committed in keeping you safe and worry-free during your surgery and treatment care. We prioritize your safety through enhanced preventive measures and maintain a sterilized controlled environment instituted in all medical facilities & procedures so you can feel comfortable while receiving the medical attention you need.

Once the coronavirus crisis will come to an end, we all have to expect and prepare ourselves for the “New Normal” that will soon reshape society. This focuses on increasing our awareness of taking good care of our personal health and hygiene and adapting to the behavioral changes in physical or “Social Distancing”.

Once the coronavirus crisis will come to an end, we all have to expect and prepare ourselves for the “New Normal” that will soon reshape society. This focuses on increasing our awareness on taking good care of our personal health and hygiene and adapting to the behavioral changes on physical or “Social Distancing”.

 As a healthcare provider, Phyathai 1 Hospital has come up with options in extending essential healthcare services and reassures a safe and clean hospital concept at home. These services include:

Clinic Connect Services

  • Consulting with our specialist  via VIDEO CALL 
  • Drug delivery
  • Medical Services (Homecare Delivery) which include:
  1. Blood collecting services
  2. Vaccination
  3. Physical Therapy
  4.  Wound dressing, assist in changing intravenous lines/catheters/medical equipment for bedridden patients

Phyathai 1 Hospital also provides special care services for established patients with the following conditions;

  • Chronic diseases such as:
    Cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE disease, hepatitis and cancer
  • Patient who need to receive continuous medication treatment
  • Patients with a scheduled follow up appointment
  • Pediatric patients who require an ongoing treatment or vaccination

At Phyathai1 Hospital, your care and safety is our priority.

For further information and appointment, please contact Phyathai call center at 1772 

or (+66)2 201 4646 (8 A.M.–5 P.M.)

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We are talking again with Bill Felber, one of the world’s leading sports commentators on international golf on some personalities and changes.

What Thai male golfers are the most successful?

The most successful Thai male golfer on the U.S. PGA Tour is Kiradech Aphibarnrat. A Bangkok native, Aphibarnrat enjoyed his best season in 2019, winning USD$1.63 million. His best performances included a tie for fourth place at the WGC HSBC and a tie for third at the WGC Mexico.

Jazz Janewattananond is a 24-year-old Thai pro who has made eight starts on this year’s PGA schedule. His best finish was a tie for 14th at the WGC HSBC. In 2019 he tied for 14th at the PGA Championship. On the Asian Tour, he is a six-time champion, his victories including the 2019 Thai Masters.

Thongchai Jaidee is a multiple event winner on the European and Asian Tours. He is the only Thai player who has competed multiple times in all four Major Championships, having made 16 cuts in 32 starts in those events. His highest finish in a major was a tie for 13th at the 2009 British Open.    

 

What got you interested in golf?

When I was about 10 or 11 we went down to visit my sister and her family in Florida. My brother in law was an engineer and he played golf a lot. He was good at it. He would take his kids (my nephews) out, and so one day I tagged along. It seemed like a lot of fun. I had no background in it; nobody in my family had ever played. But when I got home my dad bought me a set of clubs and I started playing at a course near my house.

 

 Can you summarize the technological changes in sports equipment?

Technological changes? They are too vast to itemize. My first set had cherry headed two woods, and five or six irons that were literally pieces of iron with grooves cut into them. I gave up golf when I went to Kansas State University (KSU), and never really played much for about 15 years until I became an editor. By then my clubs were totally outdated. I had to buy a full new set: lighter metal woods and cavity-backed irons. The ball was different, too. The old ones I started with, if you hit them wrong the club would cut right into them, leaving visible gashes. We called them ‘smiles.’ Once a ball got a smile, it was basically finished because it would not fly straight. Over time, balls changed several times. Today I could not make a ball ‘smile’ if I tried hacking at it.

Other sports like baseball and football are seeing many rules changes. What rules changes are there proposed for golf, if any?

Golf passed a whole series of rules changes three-four years ago. One of them involved changing the way you dropped a ball in a lost ball penalty area or free drop situation. When I started, you dropped a ball over your shoulder to prevent you from seeing where it landed. Then you held out your arm at shoulder height and dropped it. Now you drop it at knee level. The idea is to reduce the amount the ball is likely to roll. Another rule change that I like allows a player to keep the flag stick in. Until a few years ago, if a putt hit the flag stick that was considered a penalty. There were others involving how long you have to look for a lost ball and a few others. Golf adapts very, very slowly to change. I do not anticipate any more in the near future.

How has the pandemic affected golf?

I believe golf is positioned to be less affected by the pandemic than virtually any other sport. First, it is a non contact game. There is really no reason for competitors to be within 2 meters of one another. Players and their caddies need to be, but frequent testing should control for that. Playing out in the wide open spaces is the most ideal setting for a game these days. The biggest problem is obviously the lack of fans, but every sport is going through that. Golf is no different. But it seems to me these days the best possible game is where there is no need for you to touch either your opponent or his equipment. That’s golf. It is not football, soccer, baseball, basketball, and hockey.

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