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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thailand has a clean bill when it comes to Medical at Bumrungrad

Hospitals around the world are drawing new patients with top-notch doctors, high-tech equipment and low costs. These 10 are leaders in their field.
It’s not a stretch to call Jamie Johnson an accidental tourist in Thailand. While touring with a Christian singing group, Johnson, a diabetic from the United States, developed an infection in her ankle that shut down her kidneys. She was evacuated by airplane from Malaysia to Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok – a facility she had never heard of in a country she had never been to and in a city she had associated with a sex shows in beer bars. “My husband back home was thinking, ‘She’s going to be in a straw hut’,” she says.

Johnson, though, was lucky enough to land in Asia’s first internationally accredited hospital and one of the most modern and efficient medical facilities in the world. Last year the hospital treated 400,000 foreign patients – the highest of any hospital in the world – from more than 150 countries, for everything from heart disease to hip replacements to breast implants. The attraction: world-class medicine at developing-world prices. And patients get velvet-glove treatment redolent of a five-star hotel. “We deliver the one thing that people want in health care but don’t expect to get – service,” says Ruben Toral, the hospitals marketing director.

As medical costs skyrocket – Americans spent 16 percent of GDP on health care last year, according to the OECD, and Europeans aren’t far behind – the idea of going abroad to get healthy is becoming more and more attractive. More than 150,000 North Americans and Europeans currently seek medical treatment overseas each year, estimates Josef Woodman, author of the forthcoming “Patients without Borders.” For invasive surgeries, preferred destinations include India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Large hospitals, such as Bumrungrad and the Apollo chain in India, actively court American, European and Middle Eastern patients.

Slick web sites tout their partnerships with nearby luxury hotels for post-op recovery. Bumrungrad arranges limousines to pick up patients at the airport, and sheiks and princes congregate in the Platinum Lounge of Apollo’s Delhi hospital. Abacas International, a leading travel facilitator, reports that medical tourism to Asia could generate up to $4.4 billion by 2012.

Businesses are taking notice. At least 40 corporations have signed on to the overseas plan that United Group Programs, a health insurer in Boca Raton, Florida, began offering over six months ago. Sending an employee abroad can save 80 percent of the costs of a procedure; a $50,000 angioplasty in the United States costs less than $6000 in Mohali, India according to GlobalChoice Healthcare, a firm that arranges foreign medical procedures.
Bumrungrad officials insist that foreigners come not just for the cheap bills and luxury accommodations. The hospital’s doctors, they say, have been trained at the best Western medical schools and use the most advanced medical equipment. And the service is eye-opening for patients accustomed to public clinics. Walk-in patients see a specialist in 17 minutes on average. Since 75 percent of hospital revenues are paid by patients directly, health and insurance companies have no say in treatment. Low labour costs allow Thai hospitals to employ more staff.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Visa Las Thailand" Grand Sale 2010

Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Udon Thani and Hat Yai

June 15 – August 15, 2010
Visa and the Tourism Authority of Thailand Join Hands to Host the 2010 Amazing Thailand Grand Sale to entice international and local shoppers to cities around Thailand

The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale, Thailand's annual shopping extravaganza offers world-class shopping, a diverse selection of quality products and services, special discounts of 10 - 80 per cent and promotional offers being extended by leading department stores, shopping complexes, King Power Duty Free shops, airlines, hotels, spas, golf courses, online travel agencies, hospitals, jewellery shops and participating retail outlets along designated ‘Shopping Streets’ in Bangkok and at special events held in the popular tourist destinations of Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Udon Thani and Hat Yai.

The ‘Shopping Streets’ provide a convenient opportunity to spot great buys in an exotic range of unique crafts and cottage industry products, including exquisitely hand-crafted decorative items for home and living and fashion accessories, available in the traditional as well as contemporary design.

Outside view 1 of the Siam Paragon Shopping Ce...
In addition to discount offers of up to 80 per cent from participating establishments, check out the special promotions offered by retail and service outlets displaying the ‘Thailand Grand Sale’ decal. These include free gifts, vouchers and lucky draw prizes.

To take advantage of special discounts, promotional offers and other privileges between 15 June through to 15 August, simply look out for the "Amazing Thailand Grand Sale" decal on display at participating outlets.

Visa is working with merchants throughout Thailand to enhance the shopping experience at this year’s sale, and Visa cardholders will enjoy attractive promotions, special prizes and a host of other special benefits.

Win What You Buy Promotion
To kick-start the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2010, Visa will launch the “Win What You Buy” promotion to encourage shoppers and tourists to visit Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong district. For every transaction made on a Visa card, cardholders will stand a one of 150 chance to win back the value of their shopping bill of up to 10,000 baht. This promotion will run from 16 June to 30 June 2010. Participating merchants include Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Paragon, Gaysorn, Erawan Bangkok, Amarin, and Central Chidlom.

Other Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2010 promotions
Some examples of attractive promotions under this year’s campaign include:
Visa cardholders can enjoy five to 80 percent discounts and other privileges from participating merchants in Bangkok and key cities throughout Thailand.

Visa cardholders can redeem a special gift at the Visa booth located at King Power Duty Free at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok (departure only) and at Chiang Mai and Phuket Airports when they spend a minimum of baht 5,000 on single receipt on any internationally-issued Visa card at participating partners.

For every baht 500 spent on any Visa card, cardholders will receive two lucky draw coupons for a chance to the win grand prize of 1,000,000 baht.

For a complete list of participating merchants, promotions and terms and conditions please visit

JULY 29 - AUGUST 1, 2010
At the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC)

In addition, the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center will also be hosting its annual Amazing Thailand Grand Sale Fair during July 29 - August 1, 2010. Over 600 participating exhibitors representing large retail brands as well as individual retail outlets will be offering special deals and tremendous bargains on a vast variety of very attractively-priced consumer products and services as part of a special promotion.

A selection of designer brands will be offering deep discounts of up to 80 per cent.
Other special promotional offers include a Golden Minute Lucky Draw in which tourism products and package tours will be offered on sale at a very special price of 199, 599 and 999 Baht.

Suwan Golf and Country Club

Suwan Golf and Country Club is the only, exclusive world-class public country club in the Bangkok metropolitan area.

Reporter: Spindle

It provides golfers with the distinctive, nurturing service one expects from a private country club; professional, bilingual caddies; verdant fairways; impeccable greens; and an immaculate clubhouse featuring fine dining, capacious locker room facilities, a massage facility and 20 resort rooms to add overnight comfort.

Suwan Golf and Country Club is and 18-hole championship golf course stretching 7,125 yards from the championship tees, adorned by Seashore Paspalum grass, which carpets the rolling, secluded layout. The fast putting surfaces are composed of Sea Isle 2000 paspalum, used extensively in Hawaii, mainland US and Australia.

Club House

In our clubhouse you will find luxurious and comfortable lockers equipped with a large Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. If you have a group of 10 to 30 people, we can provide you with a private group locker where you will enjoy private conversation. Also, the golfers will take pleasure in the panoramic view of the course from the restaurant and enjoy a wonderful selection of food, including, Thai, Japanese and international cuisine.

Thai Airways Challenge "Take your best shot!"

This year, 2010, is a milestone for Thailand’s national carrier, the 50th Anniversary of Thai Airways International. On May 1, 1960 THAI’s inaugural flight departed from Bangkok to Hong Kong, the beginning of a remarkable smooth as silk journey.

A picture tells a thousand words, and in celebration of the double Anniversary of THAI and Royal Orchid Plus, THAI Airways invite all submission of your best photograph taken at any THAI destination.

Photos can be of any subject; people, places, landscapes and will be judged on content, composition and the keen eye of the photographer in capturing the moment.

There will be two methods of judging, one by a panel of expert photographers and the other by popular vote open to all.

The panel of experts will award 3 prizes:
1st Prize 100,000 miles
2nd Prize 85,000 miles
3rd Prize 65,000 miles

Popular vote will award 1 prize:
1st Prize 50,000 miles

entry conditions 
1. You must be a ROP member - it's free to join gains you privileges on TG flights  - to join follow this link  please show our name or our ROP number (NE06890) as your introducer.

2. One photograph per member can be submitted at from June 15 - July 31, 2010 and must include your name, Royal Orchid Plus membership number, location, image title and a short description of your photograph.For popular voting all photos can be viewed online during the same time period, and with real time voting results for each image. Winners will be informed no later than August 15, 2010 and winning entries will be published in the September – November 2010 issues of Royal Orchid Plus News and eNews.

Have a look through your photo archives, or start shooting today, and you could win up to 100,000 miles, and Award travel to your favourite or new destination.

Visit for complete details and to submit and vote for photographs.
We show a copy of the conditions below for quick reference (we do not guarantee their accuracy) if you want confirmation check their website.
One photograph per member can be submitted online. The decision of

3 winning photographs made by a panel of experts is final and miles will be awarded accordingly. The popular vote winner is determined by voting online during the promotion period. All winning photographs become the property of THAI and can be used for communication and publicity purposes. Submitted photos will not be returned to members. Promotion participation may be prohibited by local laws. Please visit for more details.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Business people now enjoy Best Apps for Iphone

The IPhone has undoubtedly become the indisputable platform for the futronics of hand help communication.

For those lucky enough to have been part of this hi-tech culture you gambled well, your ahead of the pack. For others it's just "too much" struggle with transition to another generation or steadfast about "the way it was".

When you step out of the frame "time out" and be objective (view the latest Iphones video) you can't deny the wizardry and proactive insight. Don't give it up, don't turn your back, it's time to get on board.

The new Iphone 4 is going to change the culture all over again! For those stepping up the plate and consuming - "good luck". There is merit in being up with the times but there are some obvious risks about being a Pioneer!

I prefer to be in the second wave, after the inevitable bugs are ironed out. By bugs I don't suggest any faults with the Iphone rather the collaboration of existing 3rd party software. We use a fantastic scanner app and already on 3GS version 4.00 there are bugs so logic suggests there will be others.

Good news
Our network of business friends have pooled intel on what are "Best apps" based on practical use, and with the help the latest P.A. recruits (Thai Students) we've tabled the data for friends and clients to share.

The table of "Best apps" includes Business, Travel, Networking and more.
The table brief and factual based on practical use. The link click here
Thanks sponsors for sourcing clients, covering the cost to collate and publish the data.

1. Central Insurance Brokers -

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Generation of Spenders

My generation was parented by the Menders so I became a Minder, today I see the young generation as "Spenders".. there are so many that have or at least expect every single consumer item known to mankind?

So do we... "MYOB" (mind your own business) or do we throw a life line.  Give them a hand to break the cycle of spending money like there’s no tomorrow.  Buying them “The Barefoot Investor: 5 Steps to Financial Freedom” by Scott Pape.. a book written by someone from their Generation!.


You will receive a body
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

You will learn lessons
You are enrolled in a full-time school called “life on planet earth”. Every person and incident is your teacher. Each day you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lesson, or think them irrelevant or stupid.

There are no mistakes-only lessons
Growth is a process of trial and error-in other words, a process of experimentation. The “failed experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.  A lesson is repeated until learned.

It is presented in various forms until you learn it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson. If you are here, there are still lessons to be learned.

If you don’t learn the easy lessons, they get harder Discomfort is one way the universe gets your attention.

You’ll know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions and behaviors change.
Only action can transforms knowledge into wisdom.

“There” is better than “Here”
When your “there” has become a “here”, you’ll see another “there” that now looks better than “here”.

There is no right or wrong-but there are responsibilities and consequences. The Universe doesn’t judge us, but it gives us continual opportunities to balance and learn.

What you make of your life is up to you
You have the tools and resources.
What you do with them is up to you. The choices are yours.
Your answers lie inside you. Living skillfully, gracefully, and with purpose, involves developing the ability to listen and trust.

You’ll tend to forget all this.

You can remember any time you wish!!

1. For a PDF version of this article - click here
2. Our articles on Philosophy

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Songkran Festival - Perfect for Aussie culture

Warm weather,
Your outdoors,
You in shorts and a hat,
You balance a beer in one hand and a water pistol in the other.....
You laugh all day..

well that 's an Australian Summer..

"so where the bloody hell are ya!!"

report by Spindle

Well W.A. got on Board!

Auswathai's Songkran Slayers team from West Australia did it.

"We were clearly out numbered, but we had a mission, we came we saw, we soaked" said the commander and last standing officer of the W.A. Sandgroppers...

This bandit bunch surprised so many with the display of devilish skills and relentless stamina. They not only conquered Phuket, they went on to Bangkok and embraced almost all she had to offer, inspite of the Political volcano that entombs Thailand’s Tourism Industry.

The Songkran festival begins from the far North (Chiang Mai - 8th) and drips it’s way down to Phuket (13th), then across to Bangkok (15th), then into the South East (Pattaya 18th).

Songkran Report by "Craig (G Man)" his 1st Songkran ...

Monday morning we were receiving reports of small outbreaks of water fights and by the afternoon there is just no place to hide on the streets.
We stand back to back as we carry out a sortie down Bangla Road thinking safety in numbers regardless we are totally overwhelmed by the length and breadth of the fighting taking place but amazingly without any sense of aggression, only in the spirit of total enjoyment. Although we held our own there was just too many fights to fight, the water just came from everywhere.

A tactical retreat in to a side bar with a full frontal attack on a opposing bar left us with a short lived taste of victory as a surprise counter attach caught us totally off guard. The youth in our team took up an offensive position behind the grassy knoll at the hotel which proved to provide an endless supply of surprised squealing targets thru out the night. Video and photo gallery, see link below.

Tuesday and the streets are out of control, we hit the road in the back of a ute with two large drums filled with ice water (thanks to the hotel), the colder the better the reaction when hit.

Carnage abounds during the day on a road tour throughout Patong. Every man, women and child is out and armed with a spray of water hidden behind a friendly smile. By the evening all calm is restored to the place as the festival moves on around the country. After hearing stories of past Songkran my expectations were high and I must report expectations well and truly surpassed in this instance.
It’s a Magical event for many of the 66 million Thais, not to mention the millions of tourists that migrate for this “must do” event.

Photos of the Songkran Event
click here

Best Links
Forum Article -
Includes Photo Gallery, Videos, Travel Log and links to Songkran Knowledge base

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bangkok - Popular places series 1

For many, Bangkok, Thailand is the ultimate travel destination.

A heady blend of modernity and tradition, Bangkok has something to offer everyone. Modern Bangkok is a large, bustling city of some 6 million people. The capital of Thailand, it is the administrative centre and the heart of the country. It is a city where skyscrapers and modern buildings jostle for space against the Bangkok skyline. It is also very much a city of entertainment and fun. Above all, Bangkok is a city of extremes.

Despite its modern trappings, Bangkok is firmly embedded in tradition. All aspects of Thai culture are revered here, rituals are carried out on a daily basis. Like elsewhere in the country, Monks accept their daily alms and people of all ages pray and make merit at one of countless temples. In Bangkok you can at one moment be in the 21st century, the next walking through antiquity.

Lets take a peak at some Popular places .....

MUANG BORAN (Ancient city)

Want to start out with a crash course in Thai culture? Make Muang Boran your first stop. This open air museum spans over 350 acres and is laid out to resemble the country of Thailand itself. Whether you opt to join a group or embark on a self-guided tour, the expansive grounds are a living history experience in which you'll find reproductions of temples, houses, castles, and early cities as well as crafts people and performers doing demonstrations of folk art, performing dances and songs, and introducing visitors to a typical day in the lives of their Thai ancestors

WAT PHRA KAEW (The grand palace).

This is one of the most photographed spots in the city…and with good reason. The palace was built over the course of 3 years at the end of the 18th century by King Rama I and is the official residence of the current monarchy. This is also where you will see the temple of Wat Pra Kaeo housing the 15th century Emerald Buddha whose robes are rotated three times a year by no less than the Thailand's king himself. The king, in fact, is the only person who is allowed to touch the statue. When you visit this—and other places of worship throughout Bangkok—be sensitive and respectful of those who have come to pray. That means no photography, no laughing, no loud talking, and no interrupting services that are in progress. Both the palace and the temple are open year round to the public from 8:30 to 4:30, closing for lunch between the hours of 12 and 1.


When we think of traditional statues of Buddha, the image that generally comes to mind is one in which he has assumed the lotus position. At Wat Pho, however, you can one in an uncharacteristic pose: lying down. The Reclining Buddha is covered in gold leaf and faces his viewers, propped up on one elbow with the back of his head resting on his hand and a blissful expression on his countenance. He measures a little over150 feet long. And don't forget to check out his soles, which are meticulously inlaid with mother of pearl representing the indisputable signs of a true spiritual leader. Wat Pho is the largest and oldest temples in the city of Bangkok. It also has the distinction of being the country's first university as well as the most popular place in the world to learn the art and techniques of Thai massage. For all the walking around you're going to be doing on this trip, you may want to consider an hour of relaxing indulgence at the hands of an expert.


Life on the rivers of Thailand has changed very little with the passage of centuries. Entire communities conduct trade by boat, subsist on fish and snakes caught in the coffee-colored canals, and participate in tourism by offering their boats for hire at the docks near the River City shopping complex and at the pier by the Grand Palace. The Klongs, as they are called, are a glimpse at life in the slow lane of Bangkok. Multiple generations live on the sampans and use the waters for their bathing, swimming, laundry and, yes, sewage. In contrast to the extreme poverty, however, is the proliferation of bright color found in the flowers that the boat people use to decorate their habitats and their boats.


In March of 1967, an American architect and CIA operative named Jim Thompson disappeared without a trace in the Cameroon region of Malaysia. His teak house, however, very much puts forth the suggestion that he has only stepped out for lunch and will be returning at any moment. Thompson's claim to fame was his passion to reinvigorate the Thai silk industry and encourage merchants to beat a path to Bangkok's door for hand-woven goods. The house itself is noteworthy in that it is actually a combination of six smaller dwellings that were transported from outside Bangkok and reassembled along one of its canals. Thompson's reputation as an art connoisseur is reflected in an impressive collection of Asian art and sculpture throughout his former home and landscaped gardens. Tours are available from 9 until 4:30 every day.

The Skybar at the top of the State Tower is a eloquent yet dazzling open bar, from the 65th floor the view upon the city is breathtaking and just a few metres away is Siroccos a ritzy fine dining restaurant and jazz venue on the city's highest outdoor balcony.

Don’t listen to the hecklers about the extortion of costs associated with this “wonder f the world” I assure you the cost is fair and reasonable and quickly becomes intangible when you receive magical feeling when dining with sweeping million dollar views.Be warned a minimum dress code is expected!
It must be said that the overwhelming hospitality and constant forgiveness creates a element of adrenaline in people and the excitement is hard to suspend. Read more about the Sky bar including photos - click here

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Benjasiri Park in Bangkok .. a little Treasure

So much to offer ......

Built on 11.6 acres next door to the Emporium shopping complex, it commemorates the 60th birthday of Queen Sirikit on August 12, 1992.Often referred to as the "Queen's Park" since it was built to celebrate her 60th birthday. Construction began in 1990 on land which originally housed the Bangkok Meteorological Department until its relocation to Bang Na. Built around an ornamental lake, it contains 12 pieces of contemporary sculpture by Thai artists and is often used for open air events.

Link below to photo slide show (must see)

Skal Members Bangkok prepare for Workpace G Spots

Pan Pacific was yet again the venue for another serious successful networking platform in the busy centre of Bangkok. This time we had the pleasure of invitation to be guest to SKAL.

Skal is the largest and oldest Association of Hospitality, Travel and Tourism professionals in the world with over 21,000 members, in 500 clubs in 90 countries worldwide.

Members include all sectors of the travel industry from travel specialists; accommodation providers; travel publications ; members of the press; associations; airlines and cruise operators. With such coverage and such contacts I am sure you will find membership beneficial to your business should you choose to use them.

Networking, doing business among friends..

Auswathai Director Phill Smith
Skal Bangkok Division President Robert (Bob) Lee
and Tom Sorensen, Partner in Executive Recruitment company Grant Thornton. Bangkok.

Bob is speaks very highly of his beloved "Skal" family, not just the business but of the fellowship having been at the helm for his 2nd year as President Skal International Bangkok for the period 2010/11. This is my 2nd tenure as President

Bob's loyalty and connection with SKAL is unquestioned having served on various Skal Boards as a Director for the past 12 years, including Skal International Asian Area Board for the last 6 years. Formalities aside and with Bob's magnetic charm it was a seamless process to meet and exchange discussion with other members.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The ultimate fishing Experience

Bungsamran is quite possibly the most unique fishery on the planet.

This amazing fishing venue, currently holding 10 IGFA world records, is tucked away down a very inconspicuous and sleepy soi (side street), away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok life.

When you first role up to the entrance of this fishing paradise you could be forgiven for wondering whether you have found the right place since it so unassuming.   Link to Photos and Video below.

But as you walk through the covered walkway entrance, collect your bait, and wonder out onto the decked walkways that follow the perimeter of the lake, you are presented with a Shangri-La type vision.

Although hard to describe Bung Sam Lan as "pretty" it has a rustic quaintness that will grow on you as the day passes. Hire everything including accommodation on the lake, fish all day and night
Located 30 minutes from Bangok (map link below)

•Tackle available for rent at a reasonable price.
•Fishing guides to help you 24 hours. (Extra charge)
•24 hour taxi service
•Advance booking is available
•Money back if no fish caught

The first thing that many anglers notice as they look across the lake, is the heaving, boiling surface. Everywhere you look fish are topping, and upon closer inspection, these are not just ordinary fish....some seem as big as Dolphins! Some are! This immediately sets your heart racing, and its hard to contain your excitement as you make your way around the lake to your bungalow. Walking briskly now around to your fishing spot, a bungalow on stilts, your eyes will be scanning for other anglers to see if they are getting any action. First you see one, seems to be doing battle with a big fish, and then as you pan round the waters edge you see another and another all playing big fish. By now most anglers are asking themselves "Is this place for real?" The atmosphere is then added to by an almighty crash as a 300LB Arapaima erupts from the waters surface and slapping it's tail hard against the water to mark it's territory. By the time you reach your bungalow, you will be shaking with anticipation!
Bungsamran is established on March 16, 1983 with an area of 98,000m2 and an average depth of 4 to 10m. It is filled with more than 50 kinds of both carnivorous and herbivorous game fishes, including Giant Catfish from Mekong River, Giant Carp ,Giant Catfish and Striped Catfish from Chao Phraya River, Catfish from Koonyuwom River, Giant Snake head from Srinakarin Dam, Arapima from the Amazon River, Jullien's Golden-Price Carp from Mehklong River and etc. There are thousands and thousands of large fishes ready to challenge your skill as well as for you to set a new record.

Video and photo Gallery - see our Forum article - click here

Direct link to youtube video - click here

For the best combination of tour options forcontact us for a free consultation at Exec Tours Bangkok, offices in Bangkok and West Australia .. see more

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