Date: Nov 23, 2014
After the conference, Capacity Asia, 9 of us continue our little Golf conference at Khao Yai.
Khao Yai is about 2 hours drive from Bangkok, and it is a national park in Thailand.
Usually people came here for the water falls and enjoy the cooling weather.
We came here for the Golf.
To make the trip itinerary simple, I asked my tour guide buddy to arrange every thing for us.
This is Mr. Thomas Kum. He is our tour guide. He was a Singaporean. He and his wife moved to Bangkok and run a small tour agency in Thailand. His specialty is to arrange golf tours. And he speak Thai!
We rented two vans. Each 11 seaters van can comfortable hold 5-7 golfers (not include driver and tour guide), including the golf bags and small luggage.
The interior of the van is very fancy and well equipped.
Renting van is useful. Especially in Khao Yai, as I really don’t see there is any taxi on the street.
If you recall my Bangkok Vacation last year in June, I went to Bangkok to avoid the Haze with Jay and Kay together with 2 other families. And he can do such tour too.
This is his name card. I have been asking him to arrange Golf trips in Thailand many times.
1. Day 1 - Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.
After 2 and and half hour drive, we made it to Rancho Charnvee. We are going to play here.
This is a nice golf course. The owner likes horse very much. So, every where you go within this golf course, you can see this horsey thingy thing.
The course is very well maintained. The green is VERY CHALLENGING. I think I average 3-4 putts here at this golf course.
The putting green is been described as “Potato Chip” by one of the golfer.
At the club house, you can see the owner’s boat there. The old boat is there for long long time.
The owner was flying his small planes land and take off a couple of time. There is a airway strip inside the golf course.
It is is very challenging course. Every one loves it. The key is to put the ball near to the pin, then, you are save. If not, you have to go thru that potato chip style up and downhill green to reach the pin. To me is very challenging. You can have really good drive and iron shots, but you might end up 3-4 putts on the green.
A simple meal before we start the game.
This is the local Thailand wine. We going to this vineyard the next day.
2. Day 1 - Banmai Chay Nam Museum & Restraint
This is an amazing place. It is at the Pak Chong town.
It looks like this at night from outside. But as soon as you stepped inside it, my jaw drop and my mouth are wide open.
This place has kept the widest collections of old and memorable stuffs.
Everything looks nice and vintage.
It bring back a lot a lot of childhood memories.
The collections of toys.
This place is very very big. So you can imagine things that the owner collects here.
You can sit inside here.
Or sit outside.
Sit beside the river.
Warning! A lot of mosquitos. Bring the insect repellant if you have.
Really many many places for you to enjoy the views of the vintage stuffs.
You can tell the owner is a very good collector.
Have you seen these type of iron before.
OK. Let’s check out some of the food.
All the food is Isan style (North Thai). This one is very tasty and crispy with sort of Thai coconut curry dip.
I love this dish. You wrap all these ingredients using the green leaf on the left (not so much in picture). The ginger, onions, dry shrimps, peanuts, chilli padi, lime and dry coconut with the super powerful tasty dip. Very very nice.
The Thai also can do those onsen eggs. This sad is nice.
The snake head fish.
I like the chicken.
The Kor Moo Yang is really nice! BBQ Pork Neck.
We ordered two pots of this Woon Sen Kung. King Prawn 冬粉.
After the meal, let’s walk a little and take a close look at all the vintage collection.
3. Day 1 - Massage Place
This massage joint is just opposite Greenery Resort. It is one of the finest massage near by.
It close around 9pm. But thru special arrangement, the owner arranged a 9 person massage for us. You can see these auntie masseurs ridding motobikes here to do the massage.
All of us do Thai massage in a big hall.
It was a very good massage.
If you love massage, you will know many massage in Bangkok, they always have their masseurs came from North Thailand, Isan or Khao Yai this part of area. So, their skill is there, their strength is there.
4. Day 1-3 - Greenery Reorts
This is where we stay.
The place is OK la.
From my room, early morning, you can see this.
Nice cozy little bed.
Standard hotel room.
Good morning Khao Yai.
Not bad la, got water slides too.
They called it Aqua Zone. Did you see the Jeep car up there?
4. Day 2 - Toscana Valley Golf Resort
This is the place we going to play on day 2. It is a private club. Thru some connections, Thomas managed to book this for us to play.
One of the golfer commented, this is the nicest golf course he had every played in Thailand. (He is very good golfer and played in many golf course in Thailand).
They try to build the Toscana township there.
I like the type of trees they planted here.
OK. Every one is happy. Let’s tee off.
The weather is cooling. Very nice.
Let’s tee off. We are playing YELLOW tee. Every hole, you will see water. And some water you need 200 yards to clear it.
You got to tee off good so to play well here.
The green is a bit slow but once it dries up, it become nice.
See, water again. This one is 150 years to clear.
If no water, you hit into the valley.
Hill and water combination. Under cooling weather. Very nice.
Toscana Town ship. Nice.
Look what I found from my caddie. It is every hole descriptions.
5. Day 2 - Pork Leg Place - Yakha Khao Yai
This is where we having lunch.
Called Yakha Khaoyai.
It is famous for Pork Knuckles. A.k.a Tu-Kar
Dish shown on Magazine.
Wow, they also display the Local Wine here.
The restaurant name.
This veggies are very nice and fresh. And spicy too.
This is the bitter gourd leaves.
The famous Pork Leg.
6. Day 2 - Primo Piazza
This is another interesting place.
The buildings of course, they imitate the Italian town. Taking photos here is nice.
You can eat, drink wine, take coffee, eat ice cream, buy souvenir here.
Look at this picture, the sky is super nice blue color, the buildings are in very nice yellowish color. It matches the sky.
Of course there are sheep here.
Lot’s of them too. A nice place to visit for only taking photos.
And drink coffee and eat ice cream.
7. Day 2 - GranMonte Vineyard
There are only 4 Vineyards in Thailand. There are about 2 at Khao Yai.
Thomas knew the owner of GranMonte very well, so, he brought us here.
The vineyard is just beside the mountains. The weather is quite cool here.
These are the grapes. (Flowers about to become Grapes)
That is how big the grapes farm.
This young lady, “Nikki" (I think younger than 30 years old) is the currently wine maker in this vineyard.
She is featured on paper.
She is the lady of the Vineyard. She is the owner’s daughter. Went to Australia to study and work in the Vineyard for 6 years then come back to Thailand to help his father to run the Vineyard.
With her father permission, we are allow to check out the Winery. It’s a short walk to there.
Along the way, we see the Restaurant that we going to eat later.
Hmmm… What is Wine Dogs Compound?
Wow… This tree… is...
The Devil Tree. Looks harmless from outside.
That is the Winery.
Wow.. Got guest house too.
Let’s open the door and show us the Winery.
Oh… It looks like this.
This is where the grapes being pressed.
The fermentation takes place here.
Nikki is explained to every one how the wine is made.
Let’s open another big door.
All date are marked on the barrels.
The bottles are tilted so that it can soak the cork.
The night view of the restaurant.
This is the wines produced by this Vineyard.
They run a small shop here selling lots of stuffs.
OK. I am going to use this for the Christmas Turkeys.
Wine Tasting time...
I love this Rose. Very refreshing and very nice.
All the wines they have.
Made in Thailand.
The price of the Wine.
Oh ya. All wine, be it made in overseas import here or made in Thailand are subjected to very high LUXURY TAX. That is why the wine is expensive because of that.
A lot of wine won award here and there. This is the one I like. Sakuna.
I bought a lot of things. These are part of the stuffs I bought home. (not in pictures are Christmas present, hahahaha)
8. Day 2 - Vin Cotto Restaurant Inside The Vineyard
Today, we are going to open good wines and pair with the food here.
Every one is waiting for the food.
By the way, they sell Grapes fruit juice here too. Hahahahaha… For Muslim friend & non wine drinker, he can ask the waitress to pour the Grapes juice into the wine glass and pretend to drink too. The color of the fruit juice looks exactly like the wine color. Hahahaha
We let the food expert and wine expert do the ordering.
This is the most tasty braise pork we have. Very very nice. Very very yummy. Very very nice!
The Ribs braised in Red Wine is also very nice. This come second.
And this is the grapes produced in this vineyard. Very very very berry nice! The skin is not too thick and the inner fruits is very sweet!
9. Other photos
At night chill out at the cafe table downstairs at the hotel. People here are friendly. Buy two beers, and they supply the glass and ice for the liquor.
The sun rise on the third day.
The nice Bak Mi at the Airport. I think from Lemon Tree.
Oh ya, I have also asked Thomas to arrange pick ups for 3 flights (12 persons) to play at The Vintage Club before the conference. He arranged two vans to pick all of us from Airports that comes from different timing. Those who arrives early went for 1.5 hour massage before starting the game. Then, we have dinner at the Airport there. Very nice food, and then, he sent us back to individual Hotel.
I had a great game there. Why? This is Hole #2, 103 yard. See that pin there beside the water? I hit the ball and the ball went into the hole.
My first Hole In One.
Picked up the ball already.
I made a nice video using “Replay” (The one that is featured on the recent Apple iPhone 6 launch).
I feel good … really good that day.
That concludes our Golf + Conference trip in Bangkok.
Today, received the certificates. It will be on the way back this week.
That day is a good day. Got 3 pars and a hole in one. :)
Summary of Comments:
1. Just like in Taiwan, I have a tour agency friend here. Good to have him so that he can help me to arrange everything.
2. I got to thanks Thomas to accommodate to all the last minutes changes that I have requested.
3. On the very last day, we confirm 1-2 more players playing. And it is so hard to organise trips if there are people cannot decide or change their mind.
4. The most important thing is we have a English speaking (Singaporean) tour guide who can speak Thai and help us to order food and so on. This is very important and that is why it makes the trip fun.
5. Some of the golf course he has arranged have good relationship that he can do a lot of last minute changes. However many courses does not allow such changes. So, selecting of golf courses is very important too.
6. After this trip, our golf kakis are so happy that they played in some of the nicest course in Thailand.
7. I am happy because I scored a hole in one.