Sunday, October 19, 2008


Am home after three nights in Chiangmai attending the Philips Astro Masters Grand Final Golf Tournament as a guest.
On the first day we played at the hilly Gassan Khutan Golf Course and the next at the very long Royal Chiang Mai Golf Course.
My game was crap (at least I'm consistent). Throughout the whole tournament I only got one miserable birdie....that's it. On the first day I was a big-time ayam whilst the second day, I managed to cover my losses below a thousand Baht.
Chiang Mai is surprisingly hot for this time of the year.
Met a few old friends - Anthony Yeap, who is now a big time marketing guy in Astro, and Somboon, the Tourism Authority of Thailand rep based in KL. Somboon helped me a lot when I produced Getaway, a travel series. Without his assistance, the production would have faced unsurmountable problems. He had some really interesting stories to tell me about the production but I'd rather not post it on the blog. Thanks Somboon for the assistance during the shoot.
Chiang Mai again proved itself as a not so interesting travel spot for me. The service quality has deteriorated. I only met one taxi driver who was polite. The other services reminded me of Malaysia's, some even matching Hongkong's.
We also had a very bad experience at a karaoke disco joint which overcharged us ridiculously. After much argument we only got a miserable few dollars reduction in the bill but not after a very loud argument and exchange with the management. Tourism Authority of Thailand should check out this joint. It is the V-Club or Violin Club. They may not be over charging locals but what they did to my group of friends (there were 14 of us) was unforgivable. It spoilt an already bland three day holiday outing for most of us.
So if you happen to be in Chiang Mai and friends tell you to go to V-Club, do go but do check your wallets, make sure what you ordered is really what you ordered and really scrutinise your bills before you leave.
Below are some shots of the three-day golfing event.

Blogger at the lobby before leaving for the first round of golf at Gassan Khutan

My first flight (L-R) Anwardi, Azizi, Maliki and Zaki (the only flight with names that rhyme perfectly)
Guest group champion Fred (in blue windbreaker) with Tengku Ari (center) and Razi of Green Packet.

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