Deep in the heart of Klong Toey slum, a group of senior citizens are being put through their paces.…“Neung, sawng, saam, sii,, haa, hock, jet ….” Up front, a bubbly student nurse clutches a microphone and calls out instructions… “just a little bit higher, come on”. Across the room, wrinkled faces giggle and smile as they lift their legs in a series of simple exercises. “That’s it, you’ve got it, good work!”

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Renowned for its complexity of flavours and tastes, Thai cuisine is also often noted for the time it takes to prepare and the sheer stamina required to create a single dish. Indeed, in his famous book, Thai Food, Michelin star chef and author, David Thompson notes, “Thai cooking is at odds with the modern world, where speed and simplicity are paramount. Thai is not an instant cuisine, prepared with the flick of a knife and finished with the toss of a pan. It needs the cook’s attention, it expects time and effort to be spent and it requires honed skills, but it rewards with sensational tastes”.

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