Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Spa @ de la Paix

With time to kill that afternoon, pakdokter made a booking at the IndoChine Spa of the Hotel de la Paix. It was a luxurious spa with a chic design offering the usual spa packages. Pakdokter settled for a 2-hour aromatherapy - a whole body oil massage for a very tired body after 3 days of golf in Bangkok and Hua Hin.

ginger tea served before the treatment

the swimming pool overlooking the spa

one of the massage couch was located in this dried-out indoor pool(below)
being in a posh outfit, the prices for the treatments here were
naturally more than the usual massage outlets in town

Springfields Golf Course (2)

After finally securing caddies for everyone, our group proceeded to play our second golf game at Springfields. Pakdokter was slotted to play with Datuk Tajri and YA Yusof Ahmad - the two most senior golfers in the STAROBA contingent.  All three of us are in our 60's - and pakdokter was given the honour to play from the white tees in the company of these senior gentlemen. Pakdokter had a funny feeling that this decision was also compounded by the fact that pakdokter played a 'horrible' game at the Vintage Golf Course on the first day!

hotel at Springfields


the dry spell caused the lakes to be quite empty

In the end pakdokter played a fairly commendable game, playing to a nearly par golf to the revised handicap of 21 from an earlier 19. The second day's game also gave pakdokter a ball-sweep prize for one of the Nines. Datuk Tajri who played well initially faltered towards the end. YA Yusof Ahmad palyed a commendable steady game to match pakdokter.

The Club Restaurant fixed a 'halal' lunch spread for us after the game. As the Leisure Golf van was not available as it had been used to take the ladies for their shopping tour, pakdokter took a taxi back to the hotel which cost 500 bahts.

Datuk Tajri caught in action (above)
and YA Yusof Ahmad ( below)

Springfields Golf Course (1)

Pakdokter was picked up from Hotel de la Paix early Sunday morning by the van arranged by Leisure Golf. Breakfast at Hotel de la Paix was served from 630 am onwards - so pakdokter had ample time for the luxurious breakfast served before the pick-up at 7am.

Springfileds Golf Course was a mere 20 minutes away from pakdokter's hotel. Upon arrival at the golf course, the rest of the STAROBA contingent was still having their breakfast at the resort's restaurant.
Mohd Yaakob, Syed Hazrain, Kamal, Thomas Chun
Tg Farith, Azhar Ariff

the Springfields Golf Course Clubhouse

the golf course was unusually busy that Sunday morning,
there were not enough caddies for the golfers
pakdokter later learnt from pakdokter's caddy that
normally there were about 50 golfers on Sundays
but this weekend there were about 100 visitors
thus causing the caddy shortage

pakdokter with the girls from Leisure Golf

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hotel de la Paix, Hua Hin

Pakdokter had booked to stay at the Hotel de la Paix on the beach at the Chaam town, located about 20 minutes away from the Springfields Golf Course. Pakdokter's family had left Bangkok on a chartered limousine at noon and had checked in at the hotel much earlier in the afternoon. After the group had got their rooms at the Springfields, pakdokter was sent by a van to pakdokter's hotel.

Pakdokter must admit that the tour company, Leisure Golf Thailand, was very accomodating in arranging to send pakdokter to the hotel and to organise a pick-up for pakdokter early next morning to the golf course.

Hotel de la Paix was formerly called the Alilla. It is a 6-star boutique hotel with similar quality hotel in its chain also found in Bali, Siem Reap etc. Pakdokter's partner and daughter wanted to be by the sea and furthermore this trip co-incided with pakdokter's partner's birthday and our 34th wedding anniversary.

 one of the 3 pools at the hotel
and the pictures below were taken at 6 am the next morning

the calm sea early in the morning

 the restaurants seen from the beach

The Vintage Golf Club, Bangkok

13 of us with Steven, the Leisure Golf KL Office Executive who accompanied the group from KL were taken to the Vintage Golf Course by bus from the airport which took only about 30 minutes. The remaining 3 golfers who came in by MH that morning arrived one hour later and arrived at the club just as we were about to tee off.

Datuk Tajri, Kamal Noor, Wan Husin, Salehuddin Hisham
Hamid Shafie, Sheikh Yahya, Azhar Ariff, Fakhrunnasri
Zaher Zainul, Shaber Razali, pakdokter, Thomas Chun
Syed Hazrain Jamalullail, Yusof Ahmad

Yusof Ahmad and the rest of the group took the buggy
pakdokter, Syed Hazrain and Steven chose to walk

The Vintage Golf Course is a fairly old golf course in Bangkok
It is flat and relatively short so much so that on one par-4 hole,
Syed Hazrain hit beyond the green from the tee!
However the strong winds added the challenge to the course

pakZaher and his Vintage caddy

pakZaher at the tee

 pakKamal Noor above and Thomas Chun below

We finished our game at around 5 pm and after a wash and change we all were back on the bus en-route to Hua Hin. The tour organiser had arranged a 'packed lunch' of a halal fried rice during the lunch and a similar packed meal was organised for us on the bus during the 3 hour bus ride to Hua Hin. We arrived at the luxurious 5-start Springfield Village Golf Resort and Spa at around 8 pm and a buffet dinner was prepared by the hotel.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meeting Up the SGC Contingent at BKK Airport

Saturday, 30th June 2012

The tour company handling the Staroba Golf Tour of Thailand this time was the Leisure Golf Company - a Bangkok-based company which has just opened its Malaysian office in Ara Damansara to market its services to Malaysians. It has done quite a good job - had arranged their personnel to welcome the contingent upon disembarkation from the aircraft and whisked the group through the 'diplomatic' channel without having to queue with the long lines of tourists at the immigration counters. This helped speed up our clearence to enable us to quickly go to the golf course for the first day game.

Meanwhile, pakdokter, who had come a few days earlier, was picked up at the Aloft Hotel by the tour company van. From there we went to pick up Syed Hazrain and Zaher Zainul at their respective hotels. The 3 of us joined the 11 who arrived on the TG flight and went straight to the Vintage Golf Club. The van that fetched the 3 of us from the city waited at the airport for the arrival of 3 more golfers who came in on the MH flight one hour later.

Ms Kaem from Leisure Golf
who received the contingent at the BKK airport

Pakdokter was quite impressed by the service of the Leisure Golf Group of Thailand. 

Dinner @ Bukhara's on Sukhumvit Soi 7

Friday 29th June 2012

As reported earlier, it took almost 4 hours fro pakdokter to reach back at the hotel from the Pinehurst Golf Course. The after-work traffic of Bangkok was a nightmare. Pakdokter joined the family at the tailor where Raena was doing the final 'fitting' of all her shirts and jackets and the tailor recommended his cousins Moghul restaurant called 'Bukhara' for dinner.

we tried out their Uzbek biryani, butter chicken
and mutton massala....delicious!

Golf @ Pinehurst

Friday, 29th June 2012

Pakdokter and Syed Hazrain had brought along our RSGC introduction card which enabled us to play at the Pinehurst for free by virtue of the reciprocal arrangement between the two clubs. It took about 45 minutes by road to reach the golf course from downtown Bangkok.

The Pinehurst was under flood waters for about 4 months last year and that probably explains the poor condition of the fairways. In fact one of the three Nines at the course was closed for repairs.

Pinehurst is characterised by the many lakes throughout the course. Every hole has a lake on one or both sides of the fairway that come into play. Coupled with strong winds that day - it made quite a dificult condition for golf. Syed Hazrain lost two tubes of golf balls to the lakes. Pakdokter was lucky to have lost juts 2 golf balls in the end.

Anyway, we both enjoyed the outing. We spent an hour at the club's spa for a foot reflexology treatment - and pakdokter must admit that it was one of the best foot massages that pakdokter have ever had - and for just 250 bahts per hour (RM25)! That was a steal!

Unfortunately going back to the city was a nightmare. It took 4 hours fro pakdokter to reach the hotel in downtown Bangkok.

 one option was to tee off from this elevated tee platform

the clubhouse

pakdokter's sweet caddy on the left came from Cambodia

Friday, July 6, 2012

Scenes from Sukhumvit Streets

The Sukhumvit Road is the main artery of this district and the BTS ( Bangkok Train Service) runs along the middle of the street on an elevated track. Many major hotels are located along this street - the Grande Sheraton Sukhumvit, the Westin, and along Soi 11 our hotel, the Aloft and the Grand President Hotel. Both sides of the Sukhumvit Street are filled up with stalls which open from late afternoon with vendors selling everything from graments, electronics to even Viagra and Cialis pills!

This part of the Sukhumvit district also happens to be like the 'Little India' and "Little Arabia" of Bangkok. Many Indian and Middle-Eastern restaurants are found here that the majority of tourists here seemed to be from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

The Sukhumvit Soi 11 is the hub of the entertainment outlets of the district. Many restaurants,pubs, clubs, massage outlets and spas line both sides of the street. Vans like pictured below compete with the bars for clients.