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‘2,215’ – this year’s ‘must see’ documentary

Tim Newton

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‘2,215’ – this year’s ‘must see’ documentary | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

From the outset, I can’t recommend this wonderful documentary more highly. It was inspiring, highly entertaining and a beautifully crafted, intimate insight into, as he describes himself, a normal Thai person doing something extraordinary.

Artiwara ‘Toon’ Kongmalai, a huge popular rockstar in Thailand, decided to raise money for struggling public hospitals in the Land of Smiles. He didn’t do it the easy way. He set out to run from the southern town of Betong to the northern tip in Chiang Rai, a journey of 2,215 kilometres (hence the title). The schedule would require Toon and his entourage to run 50 kilometres a day, 20% more than a full marathon every single day (with a few scheduled and unscheduled lay days).

He covered the distance, on schedule, in 55 days. The physical effort for ‘Toon’ was immense, for the support team, it was a nightmare trying to control the crowds, collect the money and mange the enthusiasm as they trekked north.

For a singer that ‘enjoyed running’ this was a mammoth physical and psychological undertaking and would test his own belief, stamina and resolve.

Rather than simply follow a daily timeline, the movie takes us on an intimate journey through the human side of this very public run-a-thon. We get up-close-and-personal with the people eager to meet Toon and pass on their contribution to the effort, the medical staff who are fighting the realities of Toon’s health, his proud parents who just want their son to be happy and the entourage who have to, somehow, control the huge public interest, the media, the crowds along the route and a very strong-willed and determined runner.

At one stage one of the many crowd and media controllers is asked, in a scale of 1-3, how stubborn was Toon? He said ‘do you have a scale up to 20?’

38 year old Toon, obviously used to the public adoration though his many years jumping around the stage as the lead singer in the rock band ‘Bodyslam’, made enormous efforts, throughout the journey, to meet and greet the hundreds and thousands of people who wanted to be a part of the epic run, and history.

In the end the aim to raise 700 million baht was exceeded when the total had reached 1.1 billion baht as Toon finally crossed the finish line at the northern tip of the Kingdom. So what do you do after 55 days of pounding the Thai roads, in humidity and rain, hundreds of pain-killing injections and even more therapeutic massages? Toon simply and quietly raised his finger in a reserved gesture – it was maybe the only energy he had left following the epic marathon.

'2,215' - this year's 'must see' documentary | News by The Thaiger

Although Toon took time to meet with the Thai PM whilst passing through Bangkok, he clearly has no time for Thai politics. His aim, to raise money for a struggling public health system, could be regarded as a salvo across the bows of the Thai health ministry as a single runner did more to raise public awareness about the plight of smaller public hospitals, than anyone else ever had. Mission accomplished, message understood.

As a film, like most Thai films, it is high quality cinematography from end to end, a rocking soundtrack and compelling, although we already knew there was a happy ending with a record amount raised.

Please go an see ‘2,215’. It’s open in most cinemas now, with full English subtitles. It only cost 70 baht when I went to see it at the Jungceylon cinemas as much of the ticket cost has been subsidised by the duty-free group King Power.



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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,200 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and now produces digital media for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Instagram and Facebook.

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People

Leo returns to ‘The Beach’

The Thaiger

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Leo returns to ‘The Beach’ | The Thaiger

… well, a beach in Phuket anyway.

PHOTO: BACKGRID

It’s 19 years since Leo DiCaprio starred in ‘The Beach’. The film made both Leornado and Maya Bay famous. Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi is now closed but Leo has made a return to Phuket island where he shot many of the scenes for the film (including at the On On Hotel in Phuket Town).

Leo returns to 'The Beach' | News by The Thaiger

Now the Mirror Online reports that Leornardo has returned to Thailand with his 21 year old model girlfriend Camila Morrone for a break at the luxury resort Amanpuri in Phuket.

Leo returns to 'The Beach' | News by The Thaiger

Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2000 film shot in Thailand ‘The Beach’

The Mirror suggests that the 44 year old is a little out of shape compared to his bronzed boy bod in ‘The Beach’.

“But despite a heavy workout regime of volleyball and kissing, it looks like even Leo can’t hold back the sands of time.”

Leo and his current gf Camila (whose stepfather is Al Pacino) first sparked romance rumours in December 2017, according to the Mirror report, when they were seen shopping together in Los Angeles, where the Morrones lives.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Mirror Online

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Hua Hin

Hua Hin expat postpones attempt to cross the Gulf. On a paddle board!

The Thaiger

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Hua Hin expat postpones attempt to cross the Gulf. On a paddle board! | The Thaiger

A Russian living in Hua Hin is attempting to cross the Gulf of Thailand. And he’s not going on the daily ferry. His mode of transport is just a paddle board.

Vladimir Kruchinin was scheduled to depart on Monday from the shores of Pattaya, according to his Facebook page.

“Exciting times at 4am for the start of our Pattaya to Hua Hin crossing… but it was not to be with technical difficulties with the support boat… back for another attempt soon!”

37 year old Vladimir will navigate the 110 kilometres across the Gulf of Thailand from Pattaya to Hua Hin using just his stand up paddle board. Bad weather on Monday forced him to postpone his initial departure date. He says he first started paddle boarding in 2016 and became hooked after renting a board from a resort at Sam Roi Yot beach.

“At that moment, I fell in love with stand up paddle boarding and within a week I had my own first board”, Vladimir told Thaivisa.

He told Thaivisa how he has lived in Hua Hin with his wife and son since 2012.

“Since that time, the sport plays a major role in my life. Thanks to SUP, I have improved my physique, have discovered many interesting places and have found new friends”.

“Usually in the daytime, I travel around 20 to 40 kms. When you are surrounded by such beautiful scenery in Thailand, a long way doesn’t seem so far. The first time I paddled over 70 km in one day, I realised that much greater lengths were possible.

“I had a dream of crossing the Gulf of Thailand from Pattaya to Hua Hin. At first, I was scared at the thought, but now I am determined to do it. The path will take me across about 110 km. I’m yet to achieve such distances in a day but I believe I am capable”.

You can follow Vladimir’s progress HERE.

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

Hua Hin expat postpones attempt to cross the Gulf. On a paddle board! | News by The Thaiger

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People

VIDEO: British pianist performs at Thai Elephant Sanctuary

The Thaiger

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VIDEO: British pianist performs at Thai Elephant Sanctuary | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tree Hugger

Paul Barton is a British classical pianist who seems to have made some new friends. At the Elephants World Retirement Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province in Thailand, Barton has gotten himself a rather ‘big’ fanclub.

A frequent visitor to the sanctuary, the musician enjoys taking his piano out in front of a herd of elephants and serenades these mighty pachyderms. In the video below watch as Mr. Barton’s music sweeps you away and the surreal image of his audience, trying to quietly eat at the same time, appreciating the finger work.

Having studied at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Barton hopes that these gentle creatures can find some solace in his renditions.

There has been much criticism on social media regarding the treatment of elephants in the tourist trade, with Thailand often being a topic of conversation. Many elephants who come to the sanctuary come from overworked backgrounds which sometimes leaves them disabled.

In this second video (below) watch as Barton plays for a very special elephant, Ampan, who is 80 years old and considered 10 years over the average elephant lifespan. Blind in one eye and barely being able to see with the other, its mesmerising to see a creature of such size have a appreciation for french classical composers.

SOURCE: EuroNews

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