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Phuket Life & Style: Cassie’s colorful cotton collection in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Life & Style: Cassie’s colorful cotton collection in Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Island Bliss sits next to the upscale wonders of Surin Plaza and features the designs of Cassie McMillan, an Australian who has settled on Phuket for the wonderful island lifestyle.

She is no stranger to Asia as she lived in Hong Kong as a child where her father worked in import/export. She set up her own clothing and interior design boutiques in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in the 1990s.

“My mother works in fashion and designs for the home and she has been an enduring influence. I took a design course in Melbourne at the Prahran TAFE and opened my own company, Toujours L’Amour, which featured my own hand-painted silk sleepwear and lingerie.”

After some time spent traveling in Europe collecting new ideas, she returned to Australia and worked in retail shops in charge of visual merchandizing, creating the looks that would appeal to customers.

In 1995, she went to visit her father who was then working in Phnom Penh and she immediately saw the possibilities of opening her own store offering beautiful clothing and home décor items primarily for the city’s considerable population of international women.

“I opened Bliss the following year to a hearty reception. I chose the name as I wanted a word that would describe the feeling of someone who bought from my store. I designed and manufactured in Cambodia using only natural fibers that would be lovely to wear.”

From a small operation in Phnom Penh’s French quarter, she moved Bliss to the trendy Street 240 in 1998 where she continues to offer the highest quality cotton with her original prints, primarily on women’s and children’s clothing.

In addition, there are handmade cotton quilts and even a signature spa upstairs where she formerly lived with her husband and children.

Cassie also imports products from Australia that are popular at her shops, including bedding, spa products and cotton underwear.

“I maintain a small staff so I can control quality. There is always a problem with being copied by others so my job is to keep the designs fresh.”

She travels to India each year where she works with a family in Rajasthan who use her original designs and makes the block prints that she uses on her high grade cotton.

Cassie likes to create new environments and products.

With a partner, she opened another boutique, Jasmine, in both Phnom Penh (also on Street 240) and in Siem Reap, near the elegant FCC compound, offering the highest quality Cambodian silk fashion for women.

In 2008, with her young children in school, she decided to relocate the family to Phuket.

“I spent three years at home and traveling to my shops in Cambodia. I decided to look around for a place in Phuket to open a shop where I could offer the products I create.

I found an ideal building near the Surin Plaza where I opened Island Bliss nine months ago. I offer a collection of my own creations of leisure and elegant clothing ideal for this tropical beach location.”

— Bruce Stanley

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Thailand

Air Asia apologises for its “Get off in Thailand” promotion

The Thaiger

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Air Asia apologises for its “Get off in Thailand” promotion | The Thaiger

AirAsia has now apologised following an advertising campaign using the phrase “Get off in Thailand” was posted around the city of Brisbane to promote the airline’s direct route to Bangkok.

Collective Shout, a campaign movement against the objectification of women says the marketing gaff promoted sex tourism in Thailand.

Melinda Liszewski, a campaigner at Collective Shout accused the airline of “promoting sex tourism.”

Air Asia has responded… “AirAsia takes community feedback extremely seriously and the airline sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused from recent concerns raised.”

“AirAsia can confirm the advertising campaign has ended and we instructed our media partners to have the advertising removed as soon as possible today from all locations.”

Brisbane City councillor Kara Cook branded the campaign an “absolute disgrace” and said “it should never have appeared on our city’s streets.”

The Australian regulator Ad Standards said while it had not received any complaints about the advertising on the bus, it had received one complaint about the same advertisement on a billboard.

The same ad is still on a billboard at Brisbane Airport, however the airport tweeted on Monday afternoon that it was being removed as a priority.

AirAsia began a new direct flight route between Brisbane and Bangkok in February this year.

An AirAsia spokesman said the campaign had since ended and the last advertisements were being removed around the city.

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Thai Life

STUDY: Daily marijuana use increases risk of psychotic disorder

The Thaiger

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STUDY: Daily marijuana use increases risk of psychotic disorder | The Thaiger

The legalisation of medical-use marijuana continues to sweep across the globe, recently in Thailand where the roll-out and enactment of practical uses of the new legislation are underway.

But this spread of a new legal credibility of the drug continues whilst possible health risks (or benefits) are not fully understood. Properly medically supervised or scientifically conducted studies continue to come out weekly with varied results about the benefits or dangers of long-term cannabis use.

According to new research published in ‘Lancet Psychiatry‘, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, people who use cannabis daily, as well as those who use high-potency weed, may be three times more likely to develop psychotic disorder than never-users.

The new evidence is consistent with previous experiments that suggest heavy use and high THC concentration cannabis – a 10% concentration of THC (the psychoactive substance within cannabis) or higher – can be harmful to mental health.

Dr. Marta Di Forti, lead author and a clinician scientist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London said the ‘Psychotic disorder’ was precisely what was studied.

“We are talking about people who meet diagnostic criteria and come to the attention of mental health services to receive treatment for psychosis. So they have to have symptoms of psychosis across the spectrum – hallucination, delusions – that have lasted at least for a week.”

Currently, medical cannabis is legal in most European countries, though recreational use is only legal in Netherlands, Czech Republic and Spain (in certain situations). Meanwhile many other countries continue to discuss legalisation.

Di Forti and her co-authors pf the paper looked at data from five countries in Europe… UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and France. Brazil was also included in the sample where cannabis is illegal.

They found 901 patients with a first-time episode of psychosis over a five-year period and compared them to 1,237 matched non-patients.

Daily use of cannabis was more common among patients with psychosis compared to the controls, they found. About 30% of patients reported using cannabis daily compared to just 7% of non-patient controls. And use of high potency cannabis was also more common among patients than controls – 37% compared to 19%.

The study results do not provide enough information for her to say “use only this amount, only this often” to remain safe.

At this stage, the paper estimates one in five new cases of psychosis may be linked to daily cannabis use, and one in 10 cases linked to use of high potency cannabis.

You can read the full report in Lancet Psychiatry.

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Air Pollution

Chiang Mai ‘s tourism holds up despite smoke and smog

The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai ‘s tourism holds up despite smoke and smog | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai’s current poor air quality and smoke haze is raising concerns on the potential impact on tourism as Thailand’s Songkran water festival approaches.

Smog has been a yearly occurrence in Northern Thailand, but this year the situation appears to be the worst with Chiang Mai topping the air pollution ranking and the media tracking daily results.

But La-iad Bungsrithong, president of the Thai Hotels Association (Northern Chapter), says there appears to be a short-term decline in the market.

However, she attributes the current performance to March being part of the traditional low season rather than the pollution, adding that there has been no booking cancellation from leisure or MICE guests.

The Songkran festival typically sees leisure demand for Chiang Mai from South-east Asia, Europe, China and Thailand. According to La-iad, room occupancy in April last year was 65 per cent, reaching 85 per cent during the Songkran period (April 12-14).

She expects similar figures for Songkran this year but also greater competition arising from new hotels around Chiang Mai and Airbnb.

Similarly, a spokesperson of Standard tour, Somchai Sandnee, said the company’s business has not been affected by the air pollution. Chinese tourists are less perturbed by smog issues than political turmoil and recent events such as the boat accident in Phuket last year, Somchai pointed out.

Chotechuang Soorangura, associate managing director of NS Travel & Tours, also says he doesn’t see the smog having an impact on sales.

“The smog is considered an annual situation and our company always (issues) an advice to customers. In the case where customers really want to visit Chiang Mai, we will suggest they limit their stays in the city in favour of other provinces instead such as Sukhothai,” Chotechuang explained.

SOURCE: ttgasia.com

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