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Phuket Exposed: Jerrold Kippen
Thursday 15 March 2012, 04:11PM
 Partner in Duensing Kippen law firm   WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE? I lived on Samui for five years as a partner in a Thailand law firm. Before that I lived and worked for another law firm in Bangkok for three years. Before that I lived for two years on the island of Guam where I was the assistant lawyer (“law clerk”) to the U.S. Federal District Court Chief Judge there. Before that I was attending law school in San Francisco, California. WHY AND WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO PHUKET? Almost two years ago, to set up my own law firm’s Phuket office (our head office is in Bangkok). TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB. I am a licensed California attorney running a law firm in Thailand. Have you ever seen Batman? It’s like that. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING HERE? Plenty of villains, so I never get bored. WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? Hot yoga and kitesurfing. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? Driving my mother’s sports car on Interstate 90 at 2am. FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH? Carne asada burrito with guacamole, pizza, gai phat prik pao, Double Double Animal Style burger from In-N-Out, enchilada, Burtoni’s pesto sauce on spinach linguine with black olives and pepper jack cheese, spaghetti with my homemade sauce, tacos, and a lot of other food that is not British. WHO IS THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY? Voldermort because he was the one whose name shall not be mentioned. WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE? Preferably their place but if not available mine. FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY? Inside the airport because it is the one place on the island where you do not have to deal with the tuk tuks and taxis. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE NIGHT OUT? Khun [you fill in the name]’s birthday party where the chao pat is free and beer is half price…wait is that a serious question, isn’t that just about every Phuket expat’s favourite night out?
Phuket Exposed: Marie-Laure Fleury
Thursday 23 February 2012, 04:48PM
  General Manager of Boathouse     WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE? I was Resort Manager at Trisara for the past two years before the Boathouse was acquired by the same owner. I then moved down to Kata as General Manager to oversee the renovation works, reopening and ongoing operation. Before that I was at The Sukhothai in Bangkok as EAM for three years. HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND? We have been here for three years in June, and moved because there was a great opportunity for me at Trisara which I couldn’t refuse. It also seemed the perfect place to raise our two children – a bit of a paradise for them, pollution free, lovely quality of life, great schooling and great weather. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING HERE? The quality of life, the weather which is amazing for most of the year, and the number of friends and family members visiting which is even more than when we lived in Hong Kong. I could pretty much live my entire life surrounded by friends and family at home so for me this is perfect. We were a bit tired of living in huge cities, on top of skyscrapers and Phuket has been a wonderful change. WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? When was the last time that happened? With a full-time job and two kiddies, there is not a lot of time to relax. But when there is, a glass of wine with my hubby Bryce, listening to some cool music on the outdoor terrace of our house helps a lot, or if I have time to schedule this ahead of time perhaps a strong deep tissue massage.   WHAT HOBBIES OR SPORTS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN? I love hiking, which we were doing a lot of in Hong Kong but stopped when we moved to Thailand. Otherwise reading, jogging, listening to music, shopping, going to the movies, playing with the kids.   WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? Long walks in the forest, picking different things during different seasons, mushrooms, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, making jams when we were getting home, making a wooden house in a tree where we would spend all afternoon playing or making caramel in sea shells during a holiday in Brittany which tasted divine.   FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH? The food my hubby cooks as he really is a master chef. His slow-cooked lamb shanks, for example, are really yummy. I love so many things it’s difficult to know where to start. I love oysters, foie gras, black and white truffle of course, Italian cuisine and of course Thai and Chinese food too… the list goes on and on. I really enjoy my eating.   WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU INTO? A lot of French stuff such as JJ Goldman, Charles Aznavour, Edith Piaf and also James Blunt, Hunters and Collectors, opera singers, classical music, anything that touches me emotionally.   WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET? Remaining zen behind the wheel of their car as driving can be somewhat frustrating on the island. But the best way to go about it is to be cautious, smile, anticipate, and let it be.   WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU HERE? Driving back one night from Boathouse Wine and Grill to Cherngtalay, where we used to live, after 11pm and realising the petrol tank was empty. We took the coast road and didn’t know whether we would make it home as there are literally no petrol stations on the road all the way back that are open after 11pm – petrol stations everywhere seem to close at about 7pm – lesson learnt.   THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY? Being a mother of two now, my mum for having the strength to always work while raising her three children. For her patience, her constant dedicated time to us, for always nurturing our inner curiosity seed, for making us want to always go a bit further in everything we do. I hope I know how to teach my children those skills.   WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE? Any beach on a gorgeous day at sunset with a rug laid on the sand, a chilled bottle of champagne and two glasses, to admire the sunset. Bryce did it once when we had just been here a few months and it was unforgettable.   IF YOU COULD COME BACK AS ANY OTHER PERSON WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? I would have loved to be a very talented artist, may it be a soprano singer or an actress/movie star, or a great instrument player. I would love to be part of the Cirque du Soleil team, for example, which moves me so much every time I see one of their shows. So perhaps not one person in particular but in the arts industry would be something very tempting.   FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY? At home with Bryce and the kids, where I don’t spend enough of my time. With friends sharing a simple BBQ and a lovely glass of rose from the Luberon, our favourite region in France.  
Phuket Exposed: Michael Paul Stephens
Friday 3 February 2012, 04:08PM
 Author, corporate coach and wellness practitioner       WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE? I’ve been in Thailand for 18 years now, but before I moved to Phuket I lived in Pak Nam Pran, near Hua Hin in Prachuab Kiri Khan. I spent much of my time while I was there working on my first book, Provolution, as well as doing a little corporate consultancy and wellness work. HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND? I have been on Phuket since moving here to open Six Senses Destination Spa in October 2007. My wife was pregnant with our first child at the time, and I moved down a couple of months before her. Our son was then born as a true Phuketian in January 2008. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIFE HERE? The beaches, sun and great food are obvious, but I also appreciate the blend of Thai and expatriate culture, which means that there is a diversity of options. The fact that Phuket is now becoming quite a regional hub with convenient flights to and from other major cities and capitals around the region is also cool. It makes living and working here very convenient.   WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? Actually, what I do professionally is my relaxation, so I’m very lucky in that regard. I love writing, teaching, developing corporate programs and meditation. It’s quite a life. My non-guilty pleasure is watching movies, I suppose.   WHAT HOBBIES OR SPORTS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN? I have always followed football and been a fan of my home team Ipswich Town since I can remember. I write songs and play guitar as a hobby and love performing music live when I get the chance.   WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? It has to be the many years of Christmas Eve passing into Christmas Day and the tension and excitement that built up as a child. There was nothing like it. I was the youngest of six kids and we all had to wait until our parents were up at 6am before we all went down stairs together to see what Santa had brought. That excitement is absolutely synonymous with my childhood.   FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH? I must admit that I am very, very English in this regard and would never pass up a Sunday Roast. I recently went back to the UK for the first time in six years and the generosity of my siblings and friends meant I had three roast dinners in 10 days. Yes, I put on weight. Yes, it was wonderful.   WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU INTO? My favourite musician as a young man was, without a shadow of a doubt, Bob Dylan. These days I love Athlete, Coldplay, Keane and a whole lot of British indie.   WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET? Save lots of money! Phuket is seriously expensive for Thailand at least. And make sure you can drive without dying. The transportation infrastructure does not help mobility.   WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU HERE? Oh where do I start? The one my wife and I still giggle about is our anniversary dinner to an Indian restaurant on the island, which will remain nameless. The waiter was so eager to please and so intent on being professional that every time he would bring a beer to the table he would hold it up against his arm as if allowing us to approve the vintage of a fine wine. We nearly wet ourselves when he did exactly the same thing with a bottle of mineral water.   THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY? There are so many in the spiritual field like Thich Naht Hanh or the Dalai Lama simply for their incredible compassion and wisdom. But, while it may sound cheesy, I have to say my parents for achievement in the physical world. My wife and I have two children and my parents had six. I simply am in awe of how they did it, paid the bills, stayed sane and are still in love with each and every one of us. Incredible.   WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE? Well, obviously Soi Bangla is first choice, with McDonalds a very close second. My wife just loves my romantic side. A close third would be Dining on the Rocks at Evason in Rawai. The rooftop restaurant is just fantastic on a clear night.  
EXPOSED: Dorinda Rose Berry
Thursday 19 January 2012, 11:50AM
Dorinda Rose Berry Owner of Roseberry New Age Center and Life Guide   WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE? Setting up and managing spas in England. I began at The Sanctuary in Covent Garden, London, 25 years ago. I attended and studied healing, and all aspects of well-being. Before I came to Phuket it was all about spas in city environments. [Then] I visualised living on a warm sunny island and here I am. HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND AND WHY DID YOU MOVE HERE? I have lived here since 1994 .I originally came to set up the Banyan Tree Spa in Phuket. I was blessed with such an amazing project that just seemed to grow overnight. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING HERE? Nature, the beaches, the constant growth of vegetation, and the energy of the people of Thailand. I love the energy of Thai people and the great patience they have. Their ability to be so in the moment.   WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? Quiet time. Meditation, settling down with a cup of tea and looking out at the trees. Massage and loads of it. Crystals healing my body as I nap.   WHAT HOBBIES OR SPORTS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN? I love yoga and daily walks on the beach. I love the gym and cycling.   WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? Holidays with the family.   FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH? Tomatoes and all vegetables, especially roast vegetables.   WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU INTO? I love music for inspiration, that’s soft and relaxing, like Deva Premal and Dewa Che.   WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET? Know that it takes time to settle in. Go to local markets and supermarkets to find things you need and want. Ask people who have lived here where to source what you need. Watch the sunset every night!   WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU WHILE LIVING ON THE ISLAND? The thing that comes to mind is coming home on New Year’s Eve 11 years ago, 15 minutes to midnight, dashing in to grab my bag, had a few drinks, on my way to meet friends for the countdown. As I walked in, there was vomit everywhere on the floor and my cats were pacing around the biggest, hugest snake I have ever seen, coiled on the floor. I took the dustpan and scooped up the snake, which weighed so much, threw it into the rice field and ran to the car, off to meet my friends.   WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE? To the beach, to Lamsing or Promthep for the sunset...   FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY? A beach with trees full of shade. I feel so relaxed and connected to the universe when I can lie down and look at the trees with the sun peeping through.  
EXPOSED: Jackie Perry
Friday 13 January 2012, 01:30PM
  Jackie Perry Honorary dog judge     WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE? Much of the same, as I have been a housewife and mother of four children most of my life, but with heavy involvement in the world of dogs: breeding different breeds, showing them, and then travelling throughout the world judging shows. I write dog columns for different papers (including this one) and like to help those with a doggie problem. HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND AND WHY DID YOU MOVE HERE? Have been here now almost nine years, having lived in Asia most of my life: born in India, brought up in Singapore, got married there and subsequently moved around Malaysia, back to Singapore, then to Fiji and Cambodia with my husband. We decided when retirement time came to move to Phuket, which was a lovely quiet island. Time has changed that quite a lot but we still enjoy the weather and the easy living. TELL US ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE DOG COMMUNITY IN PHUKET. I really have done little here in Phuket although I did organise a dog show way back in 2003 which was quite a success; I have been asked many times to do another one. The Kennel Club of Thailand is interested to get the dog scene moving here and when I manage to be at home I will find the time to organise another one. I do judge shows fairly regularly in Bangkok and shall be doing my next one there in January. WHERE HAS YOUR DOG COMPETITION JUDGING TAKEN YOU AROUND THE WORLD? My dog judging has taken me to all the continents and most of the countries in the world over the past 35 years. It is a fascinating hobby which enables me to meet many new friends and catch up with old ones, as often there are around 10 to 20 judges doing one big show. I get to go to some fascinating places such as San Francisco and Wichita in the US, Canada, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia and New Zealand. My favourite trip was perhaps to judge at the world’s Premier Show, Crufts in England. To be invited to judge at this the most prestigious show on earth is every dog judge’s dream.   HOW MANY PETS DO YOU OWN? I now have only two toy dogs: a 10-year-old Pekingese and a four-year- old Japanese Chin. I lost my three dobermanns which I brought to Phuket with me, the male from a cobra bite and the two females from old age. I did have one litter of puppies here and three of them were sent overseas wih the remaining six being homed locally. I have bred dobermanns, shih tzu, dalmatians, basset hounds and pekingese and have made champions in all those breeds throughout the world. WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO DOG OWNERS? To give them a good place to sleep, to feed them the best you can, and to be vigilant every day to any changes in their health. We can all become complacent and not notice when they lose weight or are not eating too well. This is usually a sign they need a trip to the vet to check them out. Give them some excercise daily, play with them and the rest is just to love them to the best of your ability as they surely will love you with all their might. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? Moving to Singapore, where my life really began. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU INTO? Both classical and the shows. I love Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music in particular. WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET? Come and stay here for at least three months before you make your final decision, to be quite sure you are going to fit in with the pace of life. When on holiday everything looks great, but it all can change when you actually have your everyday living to contend with and may prove not what you expected. WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU WHILE LIVING ON THE ISLAND? I think it would have to be at the dog show which I organised when one lady arrived into the showring with her poodle dressed in a pink ballet tutu and with a tiara on its head! She thought obviously that it was like a human beauty show where lovely clothes were judged along with the dog! WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE? My goodness – I think at my age I can barely remember a first date! However, I would think perhaps to somewhere romantic and beautiful such as Mom Tri’s restaurant. FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY? Nikita’s bar and restaurant on Rawai Beach as it is our home away from home where we can sit with a lovely breeze blowing all year round and enjoy a couple of beers and a meal with good friends.
Exposed: Rick Gamble
Monday 9 January 2012, 09:32AM
  Rick Gamble Manager of Saltwater Dreaming surf shop, head surfboard waxer and surf instructor. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE? I was living on the north coast of New South Wales in Australia, and was a registered nurse working in accident emergency and studying psychology at university. I also had a business based around the construction industry. HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND AND WHY DID YOU MOVE HERE? I have been living here for 12 years now. I first came here to work and originally was teaching social psychology at Prince of Songkla University. I eventually started a family here and now consider Phuket as my home. TELL US ABOUT YOUR SURF SHOP AND SCHOOL. The Saltwater Dreaming Surf Shop started as a hobby in 2000, while I continued to work in the hotel industry. I have now been working full time at it for two years. The surf school gets really busy in the low season, we teach people from all over the world how to surf, we run kids’ days on the weekends and help to support the local surfers and community. In the surf shop we carry our own brand of surfboards, which are designed by me and John our shaper from New Zealand, the surfboards are tested by us and a few pro surfers as well as other accomplished surfers from Thailand and around the world. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING HERE? Most of my time these days is connected with the water and surfing. I like the warm waters and the sense of community among the local surfers and expats. I also like that it is a great place for my daughter to grow up away from the pressures we have in Australia. WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? I am probably one of the luckiest people in the world, I have been surfing all my life and so my job is what I do to relax. Just being in the water and around the ocean is definitely the best meditation for me. WHAT HOBBIES OR SPORTS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN? Apart from the obvious, my other pastime is making websites and educating people about the ocean, surfing and Phuket. Our main website saltwater-dreaming.comis centred around all of these. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? Walking along the streets of Sydney with the sea air and the smell of spring flowers. FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH? I have many favourite dishes in Thailand, especially when my wife cooks them. Probably my all time favourite Thai dish that I never get bored of is the Phuket Kuyteow ruea (boat noodle soup). It has tender stewed beef and other interesting ingredients. There is a small restaurant located at the local market grounds in Cherng Thalay, which makes the best soup on the island. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU INTO? Reggae, blues, grunge rock, Australian rock music, anything that gets the toes tapping. WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET? Not everything that glitters is gold, but there are definitely some real hidden gems here. Especially when it comes to places to go and discover, like secluded beaches, pockets of rainforest and coral reefs. Just get out there away from the glitz and you will be surprised how beautiful the island is. WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU WHILE LIVING ON THE ISLAND? In 2004 we had really bad flooding in Phuket and on my way home on a motorbike, I went through what I thought was knee deep water, but as I found out later it was much deeper and when I got half way through, the water was over my head. I had to get off and push my motorbike home. Wasn’t funny then, but it is now. THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY? Twelve times world champion surfer Kelly Slater, of course. He is a great athlete, competitor and ambassador for surfing. People are now saying he is probably one of the best sportsmen ever, and I would have to agree. WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE? I think my wife would have something to say about me going on a first date, ha ha ha. But if I could recommend to others I would say choose somewhere overlooking the sea. There are some great restaurants along the escarpment between Patong and Nakalay Bay which have fantastic views and great atmosphere. IF YOU COULD COME BACK AS ANY OTHER PERSON WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Difficult question to answer, we all wish we were someone else at sometime, or had a little more of this and a little more or less of that. Life isn’t easy, whoever you are, and it takes work and commitment to do want you want to do. I am living my life happily with a beautiful daughter and wife and really wouldn’t change anything. So my answer is me and do it all over again. FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY? Layan Beach. It is quiet, clean, never crowded and has beautiful sunsets. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE NIGHT OUT? Don’t really go out to speak of, but a few beers at Surin Beach with friends on a Saturday evening while watching the sunset is definitely something I enjoy.