Thursday, 23 December 2010

Nok finds her island paradise ... and perfect pizza!

Khun Nok poolside at her resort, Villa Nalinnada

It's much easier to call business owner Naddapen Toommanon by her nickname Nok. And in a way, she matches her name which means 'bird' in Thai as she's always on the fly, from here to there, doing things, arranging things, managing things, enjoying things. Never in one spot for too long.
This Bangkok-born businesswoman studied in the USA before returning to her busy life of work and sports (mainly golf and tennis) in Bangkok.  

"My first visit to Koh Samui was about 10 years ago for my holiday and an escape from busy Bangkok and hard working. I don't know why I just fell in love with the island immediately and had an idea to have a home here. Maybe it is because firstly, I love the sea. The sea around the island is clean and clear with the emerald green color."  

So she moved to Koh Samui, just like that. Rather than slipping into island time she kept herself buzzing at Bangkok speed. "It is difficult to find girl friends who love to play sports regularly here. I have less chance to play sport then and need to change to ballet dancing as a kind of exercise and meditation practice." Oh, she also set up a series of villas and resorts (see where she gets to indulge her other hobby of decoration.

"I love to go Jatujak market, China market (Sampeng) and Central Chidlom to find decorative items, table ware, bathroom accessories and etc for my little hotels. I do the decoration by myself in all parts of the hotels including the breakfast basket that we serve in the bed."

She sees Bangkok as a shopper's paradise. "One of the best shopping place in the world if you love the idea of "mix and match". I love to go shopping at Central Chidlom for any designer and fashionable items but when I feel that the expense is over my budget, I will move to Jatujak Market especially for tablewares to find something with the same concept of design to mix and match with the items I bought from Central Chidlom or Paragon." 

She also takes advantage of Bangkok's 24-hour foodie culture when she's back there. 
But despite being a city girl, Samui has captured her heart. "There are some chic places to enjoy the high tea time and fine-dining in Bo Phut Fisherman Village. For lazy Sunday, I love to wear nice bikinis and enjoy sunbathing on the beach in Cheongmon village. When it is the time for shopping, I can find my favorite designer's cloth in some shops in Chaweng and in Hua Thanon area. Koh Samui is my paradise to live."   
Nok's top 5 Thailand attractions:

1/ Twin Palm hotel, Phuket: "My favourite hotel. What makes me crazy and convince me to stay at Twin Palm every time when I visit Phuket is all about the bed and breakfast. The mattress is very, very soft and comfortable. Pillows and duvet are made from feather. The bedsheet and duvet cover is very smooth as a silk. I feel like I am sleeping on the cloud. As for breakfast, everything in the buffet line is very fresh, natural and delicious."

2/ Sampeng China Market, Bangkok: "I always have lots of fun when I go shopping here since there are lots of varieties of products to buy at the cheap price and lots of good food to eat from street food to very expensive one."

3/ Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, Bangkok: "For any birthday of our family members, we always go to Emerald Temple to pay respect to Emerald Buddha. Mural painting in the temple is amazing too."

4/ Doi Tung stores: "My favorite shop to buy decorative items. The products in the shop are well designed from the local material in the north and matches to foreigners taste especially for the western tourists."

5/ Juzz a Pizza, Koh Samui: "My favorite restaurant is Juzz a Pizza in Koh Samui. The restaurant serves Italian food but the taste of the food really matches to Thai tongue and cannot find this kind of taste anywhere else."   

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