Club Sanook Newsletter - February 2007



June 2007


Photo Contest Winners!

Our panel of judges have selected the winners in this year's photo contest. We received almost 350 entries from our friends around the world. All of the photos are fantastic. If you have not seen all of the entries yet you still can if you go here. All were good and some were truly outstanding. To see the winners, and runners-up, go here. Yves Masure, one of the contestants, turned one of his own photos into his version of a "purple dragon."

Events for Your Calendar

Bangkok Pride 2007. This year's Pride in the Park will be 10th November and Parade will be on the 11th. We are told that different locations are being sought for both events, although it is also possible that nothing will change. We promise to keep you posted. If you plan to be in Bangkok for this year's festivities, please remember that hotels in the Pink Zone are usually fully booked, so please plan well ahead.

"Wagner Meets Buddhism" The Bangkok Opera presents Die Walkure July 24 and July 26 at the Thailand Cultural Center. Bangkok Opera's Ring Cycle was inaugurated in 2006 with an acclaimed production of Das Rheingold. The first Wagner opera ever produced in the ASEAN region and the first production of the Ring to be conceived from an purely Asian perspective, this interpretation of the Ring is conceived by the Bangkok Opera's dynamic artistic director Somtow Sucharitkul. With a cast of seasoned Wagnerians from a dozen countries, and an orchestra gathered from three continents, Bangkok Opera's five year plan to produce the full cycle by 2010 is daring for a young company in a country not normally well known for opera.

Thailand Goes Liquid-Free

New regulations in the Kingdom now banish liquids, gels, pastes, and aerosols from flights two and from the country. Many of the world's airlines have already implemented similar regulations. Medicines and baby food (assuming you have a baby with you, of course) are exempt. You can carry small toiletry items, like perfume and lipstick, as long as it is 100 grams or less and you are willing to seal it in a plastic bag until you leave the airport at your destination. You can still buy all the booze and perfume you want at Bangkok's duty free shops. They will gladly seal your purchase in a tamper-resistant bag, which means you will not be able to consume any of it on your flight.

Don't Like to Travel Alone?

As you probably know, we do not offer any group tours. However, we operate group programs for other tour companies. If you prefer to visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket with a smal group, we have have a great opportunity for you! Join Cruising With Pride's second annual Thailand tour 29 November through 11 December. The group will be limited to ten or twelve guests. Last year's group members were a lot of fun to be with. Contact us for details.

Quiz Winners

Answer just three easy questions correctly and you could win your choice of a $150 Purple Dragon gift card, or 500 Purple Bonus Points if you are the winner of our monthly contest. All correct entries will be entered into a lucky draw. The first contest runs through 15 August. To take your chance at winning, go to our Contest Page, where you can also see the answers to the last quiz and find out who won.

Vietnam Seems the Place to Be

The economy of Vietnam is booming, and so is tourism. United Airlines has announced that it will open yet another route to Vietnam from the US, this time to Saigon from Los Angeles via Hong Kong. Japan Airlines has recently increased fligts to Vietnam and UNI Air, AirAsia and Bangkok Airways have recently added Saigon to their route maps. A bigger, better international terminal building is under construction at Tan Son Nhat Airport. Douglas, our Managing Director, recently made his 100th trip to Vietnam, so it must be pretty special. If you have not yet made your first, this would be a good time to do so. Vietnam is happy, friendly and still a bargain.

New on Purple Dragon's Website

Angkor Leisurely. For years most of our guests zipped into Siem Reap, rushed through Angkor Wat for a couple of days, then left in a hurry. Slow down! Siem Reap is a lovely town with great weather, shopping, restaurants and even a bit of nightlife. So why not combine a visit to Angkor Wat with a few days of relaxation around the pool at at Cambodia's premier gay hotel? We have teamed up with Golden Banana (see below) to offer Angkor Leisurely. The price is great and the features are perfect for someone who wants to slow down.

Beyong Luang Prabang is also new. Spend two days (or more if you like) enjoying the wonders Luang Prabang, then sail up the Mighty Mekong to Kamu Lodge, a lovely eco-resort two hours away. This is as close to living in a pristine rain forest as anyone gets without sacrificing the modern comforts of a great hotel. You can read more about the lodge below, and see our April postcard.

A Little Lipo Anyone? We have been working for several months on the new "medical tourism" section of our website. We still have plenty to do. However, some of the information is already complete. If you are planning a trip to Thailand and considering LASEK, dental work or cosmetic procedures, you can pay some or all of your trip with what you save by taking advantage of Thailand's low prices for top quality health care.

Myanmar. We have added to our already-popular Myamar programs. We now offer a "grand tour," and several new options in all the places we have offered in the past. Coming soon: Myanmar Adventure, for our guests who do not mind walking uphill sometimes.

Where to Stay

We constantly fine-tune our programs and we listen closely to what our customers have to say about the hotels we use. Here are three hotels we have added to our packages. We know you will love them:
Bangkok   [email protected] is not an email address, but Bangkok's fashionable new hotel located adjacent to Siam Center, part of the largest shopping complex in Asia. The decor is stunning and you will love the breathtaking view from the pool. The hotel is only minutes from Skytrain, which will whisk you to every corner of the city, not to mention the chic shops and restaurants nearby.
Ho Chi Minh City
We have two new great hotels in Saigon! Elios Hotel joins us as a new Standard hotel, and May Hotel is our new Deluxe hotel. Both are brand new, very centrally located, beautifully decorated and quite friendly.
Siem Reap. Golden Banana started life as a gay guesthouse but was eventually "discovered" by mainstream travelers who enjoy its charming ambiance and friendly staff. You have your choice between their original cottage rooms, or one of the splendid new villas that are clustered around the pool.
India in Style  

India's Oberoi Hotels are among the most spectacular and luxurious in the world. If you have always wanted to stay with Oberoi in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur or Rananthamabore but have gasped at the prices, you are in luck. During low season we have a special promotional package that allows you to enjoy Oberoi for around half the normal price. As in life, there are all kinds of rules, of course. Contact us for details if you are interested.

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 redundant email.

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