Her sister, Apasara, was the first Thai to be crowned Miss Universe back in 1965. Another sister, Pavena, is a prominent social activist and politician. But Danaya Hongsakul is no slouch either: she was the first person to bring Cuban cigars to Thailand.

Image

In 1990, Danaya took a trip to Cuba with a bunch of friends. While there, she hob-knobbed with Fidel Castro and visited his brother Raoul’s cigar fields and she quickly became fascinated with cigars and the cigar business. She noted that the key to Cuba’s cigar-making success was the “3 S’s” – sun, soil and skill. 

Returning home, she decided to study the cigar business. The next year, she entered into negotiations with Cuba Tobacco (Habanos), the organization that exports Cuban cigars. The next year, she became the exclusive agent and distributor of Cuban cigars in Thailand, and the first Thai company to import cigars from Cuba. (Up until that time, Habanos’ exclusive agent in Asia was based in Tokyo.) Previously, cigar smokers in Thailand had tended to smoke Dutch and Davidoff cigars from the Dominican Republic. 

As time went on, the company decided to import other cigars as well so it now has cigars from Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Jamaica, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic and Belgium.

Image

The majority of Siam Havana’s cigars are handmade as compared to machine-made cigars from North America and other parts of Europe. The difference is obviously the care and attention that goes into making a handmade cigar. Machines can churn out 120 cigars a minute, whereas humans on the other hand make only twelve pieces an hour. 

Siam Havana has the widest selection of cigars in Thailand. But as many Thais and other Asian customers find Cuban cigars too strong, the shop offers milder blends of tobacco, particularly cigars from the Dominican Republic.

Siam Havana’s clientele is a mix of Thais and expats. And one-third of the latter group, are guests at either the Dusit Thani or the Nailert Park (Raffles) where Siam Havana has its two Bangkok outlets. The company also has an outlet in Pattaya. Men tend to like cigars more then women, but the ladies do like the slender Filipino cigars that now come in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and coffee flavors.  

Siam Havana is a wholesaler as well as it supplies many hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars, golf courses, sports clubs and retailers such as supermarkets and department stores.

So, if you are dining out at say Sirocco and you want a fine cigar after dinner, the staff will bring you a humidor (a box made for storing and keeping a cigar in good condition) supplied by Siam Havana. And if you are partying in the Ritz, you’ll see a Siam Havana humidor there as well.

When lighting a cigar never let the flame actually touch the cigar – rotate it slightly over the flame tip so that you can light the entire foot of the cigar. Wooden long matches, cedar spills, and butane lighters are recommended ways of lighting up. But never light a cigar from a candle flame, as the wax particles will ruin the taste and burning quality of your cigar. 

Image

Once you have lit your cigar, remember it should be smoked slowly. Do not drag on the cigar, or puff it too frequently as this will lead to overheating and spoil the flavor. The cigar is not a cigarette; you shouldn’t butt it out. Place it gently on the ashtray and let it die with dignity. 

The proper temperature for storing a cigar should be 18-20 degrees Celsius, and they should be stored in an air-conditioned room, or wine cellar, where the humidity level should be seventy percent, so that the cigars do not become too dry. As long as a cigar is kept in the proper conditions, it can be preserved for dozens of years and nowadays many vintage cigars are sold for top dollar at high profile auctions. 

If you are a cigar neophyte, you should start with something mild and then move up step by step. Remember, a strong cigar should be smoked after a meal. Its like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, you can get drunk easily, and remember, you may also become dizzy if you smoke on an empty stomach.

Image

Danaya tells her customers, “cigars need care and attention like a new-born baby”. So if you are in the market for a well-kept cigar, check out the fine selection available at Siam Havana Cigars’ outlets.

Contact Info:

Tel-Fax: (662) 233-5259

https://www.facebook.com/baronascigars

 

 

Find me on...

facebooktwitterinstagram