PHUKET EXPOSED: Sue Ultmann
Tuesday 3 January 2012, 02:48PM
Executive Assistant Manager and Director of Marketing and Communications for Baan Rim Pa Restaurant Group
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND AND WHY DID YOU MOVE HERE? My husband Tom and I came to Phuket in 1998 for three months after living and working in other parts of Asia, we loved it and decided to base ourselves here and basically forgot to leave. We both did other contracts both overseas and in Thailand, but kept Phuket as our base. Almost eight years ago we bought our house in Rawai and made Phuket home.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE? Tom was a hotel GM, which took him to different places in Asia including Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines. I was fortunate enough be able to freelance for several international travel publications around Asia and helped launch the now famous Bangkok magazine The Big Chilli, mainly on the advertising and marketing side. So where he went I went and I still jumped on planes and travelled for work. Just over 10 years ago I joined Baan Rim Pa to handle the sales, marketing and P.R. and have been there ever since.
WHAT IS BEST THING ABOUT LIVING HERE? I would have to say the weather plays a big part. I hate the cold. Let’s be honest, people come from all over the world for a couple of weeks holiday and some of us are fortunate enough to make our home. Phuket is now an international hub and you can jump on a plane and get to many places quickly and cheaply. It really is a pretty good place to live.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? When I get home from work there is nothing nicer than sitting in our pool with a glass of wine and chatting with Tom about the day’s events. Must admit, we do like to chill out in front of “his” big screen TV. We also enjoy eating in local restaurants and I cook quite a lot.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? Christmas Day with the family, singing and dancing with my Dad, who is now 85 and lives in Phuket, though his dancing days are over. I loved spending school holidays with my Nana Vera who was one of the sweetest people I ever met.
FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH? Anything that’s bad for me. I would love to be able to eat rich chocolate cake, expensive chocolates and creamy sauces. But, I am pretty careful with my diet and rarely eat those things. Probably my favourite cuisine is Italian, but I enjoy food in general. We are pretty lucky in Thailand we have a huge variety of great restaurants, not to mention Thai food.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET? Never put your money in someone else’s name. Don’t buy a bar or a restaurant unless you know what you are doing. Be respectful to people in authority as you are only a guest in this country. These are common sense and things you would do at home. It’s no different here.
WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU WHILE LIVING ON THE ISLAND? I’ll never forget my 50th birthday when I went to play golf early in the morning and Tom had flown my son in as a surprise. John was waiting at the golf course and when I saw him I screamed loudly and jumped into his arms wrapping my legs around his waist. The caddies who new me well, all came running to see what had happened. At first they were shocked to see me in the position I was with this young guy!
Another amusing instance was when I did not have time to go to my usual hairdresser so decided to race into one at Jungceylon. Quick colour I thought! Five hours later and six attempts at different colours including bright yellow which then became a rather bright pink and orange mixture, I came out looking semi-normal.
THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY? I admire a lot of people for different reasons, some famous some not. I admire my husband for putting up with me for 24 years. I admire people who make a difference in the world and who do it from their heart, not for recognition. There are many of them.
FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY? That’s easy... my home. Because it’s my oasis.