Club Sanook Newsletter - August/September 2008

December 2008

Thai Politics

As soon as we finished a long story about the closure of Bangkok's two airports, the end of the episode came peacefully. Douglas has something to say about the situation in his blog.  Despite what you see on TV and some of the print media, Thailand is NOT in a state of chaos. There is no civil war. There are no tanks in the street. You wan walk to 7-Eleven at two in the morning without worrying about being shot.

The shut-down of our two airports has caused us to reflect on how world events have affected our company and our customers over the last decade. We have been through several wars, SARS, bird flu, coups, tsunamis, cyclones, bombings in Bali and elsewhere and, of course, the unpleasantness resulting from one foreign nation's plot to destroy two of our founding directors for  political gain. Throughout the last ten years our customers have proven that they think for themselves rather than letting the news media think for them. Every one of our guests who resisted hysteria and traveled to our part of the world anyway returned home unscathed and happy they made the trip.

Bush Bucks for You

We are grateful to George W.  for not destroying our planet in a global thermo-nuclear war. Some of us expected he would. Although people close to his administration have done very well financially over the past eight years (especially if you were in the oil business), the end result is the near complete destruction of the world economy. Republicans believe in a hands-off policy when it comes to businesses and in hindsight greedy people did bad things that the public will end up paying for. As Gomer Pyle used to say, "surprise, surprise, surprise."

To make it a little easier for our friends to spend time in our part of the world we are working with hotels to rethink their prices in view of economic trends. We have lowered the cost of our Pattaya Plush package. You can now enjoy a few days at Rabbit Resort for 15% off. All of our packages using CC Bloom's in Phuket are all discounted and we can not publish them so you need to contact us for details.

We also plan special prices for combinations of packages. For example, Members can now take 15% off the cost of our Bangkok Basics package when you buy any other package at the same time. 

We also have a special Bush Bucks offer for Club Sanook Members who plan ahead. In 2009 we will give you $25 off any any package that costs $500 or more. If you reserve two or more packages costing $1000 we will give you $75 off the total. If you book three packages or more costing $1500 or more we will give you $150 off the whole thing.

You must reserve before Barack Obama is sworn in as President on January 20th. Valid for packages only (not to hotel-only bookings or airfares). You may commence travel at any time between 01 March and 15 December 2009.  You must be a Club Sanook Member, of course, and specifically request this "Bush Bucks" offer when you reserve.

Disease du Jour: Anchors Away

Most of us did things in our youth that we have always regretted later in life. If one of your big mistakes was a visit to a tattoo parlor there is hope for you. Laser technology can virtually erase unwanted tattoos in minutes.  Black ink usually takes only one treatment. Colors normally take two or three visits. The cost involved is far lower in Thailand than in most other countries. Similar laser technology can erase blotchy skin, acne scars and spider veins. If you plan to visit Thailand and want want more information about where to do this and how much it costs please contact us. We need to know when you plan to visit and a few details about the problem(s) you want to solve. If you like, you can even send photos. We keep all of this information confidential, of course.

If you plan to visit Bangkok and actually want to get a tattoo we can probably help you with that, too.

New on Purple Dragon's Website

Purple Dragon's website is slowly getting a well-deserved face lift. In addition to ongoing design and content changes, several new programs are either already on our website or are about to be:

Jet. Two years ago our Beijing manager, Jet, decided to join his partner for an extended absence in London. They have both returned to Beijing and we are very, very happy that he has agreed to oversee our China operations. He replaces Jack, our former manager, who was accepted by a university in Canada.

Ibis Hotel. If you are looking for a sparkling new Bangkok hotel with a very low price, the Ibis on soi Ngam Duplis is the place to choose.  Rooms have a cheery contemporary decor. Silom/Surawong is ten minutes away by taxi, and a ten minute walk to Babylon.

Tropical Garden Lounge: You really can afford a holiday on Koh Samui. Not every hotel has a five star price.  Tropical Garden Lounge is not a bar, but a great place to lounge around in the tropical sun. It has a great location on Samui's north shore. Cute little bungalows encircle an attractive pool.  It is gay-owned and managed and, since the owner is Swiss, you can expect it to be spotless. We have added Tropical Garden Lounge to our standard two-night Samui package, and used it to create a seven-night Samui Leisurely package at a bargain price.

Siri Sathorn. We recently added Siri Sathorn to our collection of Bangkok hotels. It was originally purpose built for serviced apartments but has recently been operating as a hotel. Their spacious rooms are all suites, with a separate bedroom and a small kitchen. You can walk to Silom in about 15 minutes. The hotel provides a shuttle bus to the Saladaeng Skytrain station which is just minutes away from all the nightlife. Siri Sathorn is owned by the Sukothai Hotel, so you can expect great service, great decor, a swimming pool and a spa.

The Ping Buri Hotel has joined Purple Dragon as its "standard" hotel in Chiang Mai. This two-and-a-half star boutique hotel (with a one star price) will be the backbone of our new Leisurely Chiang Mai program, for people who do not want to rush through a visit to Elephant City.

Been There, Done That

With increasing regularity people come into our office and announce that they have "already visited Bangkok three times and there is  noting left to see." Believe it or not there is more to the Big Mango than the Grand Palace, the Weekend Market and Babylon. Sure, there are places like Jim Thompson's House, Vimarnmek Mansion and Wat Po that are well-trampled by tourists. However, there is plenty more if you scratch below the surface. In future editions of Bulletin from Bangkok we will give you a few suggestions and publish the compiled list on our website.

Suphanburi. Spend a day in the rice belt and visit Suphanburi, a tidy rural hub with an ancient market and some interesting local sights. Along the way you can stop for a terrific snack of grilled shrimp at a local shrimp farm. Later, travel on a road that divides heaven and hell. Heaven is represented by a what seems like sea of Buddhas--perhaps thousands of them. On the Hell side you can see depictions of the gruesome things that can happen in the afterlife if you are a sinner.

Fortune Tellers. Astrology and palm reading are part of daily life in Thailand. Many big politicians seek the help of astrologers before doing anything major. Fortune tellers of all kings set up shop across the entrance from the Grand Palace every day and always seem to do a brisk business. Wat Po, home of the famous Reclining Buddha, is considered by many to have the best seers. Ask any guard and they will direct you to an area where three astrologers/palm readers are in residence. Most people describe their reading as "uncanny" or "astonishing." It's also good fun. The best of the seers has a small desk in another area of the temple. If you are traveling with us and plan to visit Wat Po we will draw a map to his exact location for your guide.

Brunch at the Four Seasons. Let's do brunch! If you plan to be in Bangkok on a Sunday one of the best things we can think of is brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel. The variety and quality of the food is staggering. If you love fresh oysters, lobster and shrimp you can eat as much as you like. There are always a roast turkey and roast beef, but do not pass up the grilled-to-order fillet mignon and lamb chops. In the Madison Room you will find a selection of salads and, cold meats and freshly baked bread and pastries. There is plenty of dim sum, pasta and sushi to choose from. However the all-you-can-eat foi gras station is always popular. And make a stop at the floating caviar bar, where the server stands in a pool up to his waist. If you have room, the dessert table is about six meters long. Brunch includes all the Absolute martinis you can stand. Reservations are required--ideally several weeks in advance. If you are traveling with us to Bangkok and want us to make your reservations please let us know. Go early and pace yourself. The Cosmos are so yummy that it is easy to drink ten or twelve of them.

Snakes! The Red Cross serpentarium is the oldest in Asia. they have practically every kind of venomous snake commonly found in Southeast Asia. Snakes are "milked" every day and their venom is used to create anti-venom medicine. You can watch the snakes donating their juices twice a day. The serpentarium also puts on a very entertaining show where live snakes are displayed and you actually get to handle some of them.

To learn more about any of these places please send us an email or stop by our office.

Purple Dragon on Plaxo 

Purple Dragon recently began to show its face on FaceBook and Plaxo. Search for "Douglas Thompson" or "Apiwat Curtin." Plaxo also hosts our Gay Asian Travel group. If you use either of these social networking websites, please connect with us there. Join one of our travel groups on Plaxo and we will give you 100 Purple Bonus Points. Just send us a message after you link to us.

We also invite you to subscribe to our RSS feeds. Just click on the orange colored icon you see on most of our pages.

Seeing Double?

If you received two or more emails regarding this issue of Bulletin from Bangkok, that means we have duplicate records in our Membership list. Please let Miss Fu know so that we do not clutter your In box with redundant email.

Would you like to read the previous issue?

Not yet a Club Sanook Member? JOIN NOW. It's free and you will receive this newsletter regularly in the future.

Purple Dragon pioneered gay Asian travel 

Copyright 2008 Purple Dragon Ltd. All rights reserved.


visitor statistics