Hot Travel Rumor

Working for a travel magazine, we often hear juicy gossip about what hotels are on the auction block, who is an incompetent buffoon at the tourism board, etc.  Well here’s a hot tip for you I heard recently.

Thailand relies heavily on tourism for income, this we all know.  And lately, it hasn’t been going well with the perfect storm of political instability, influenza pandemic scares, and the global economic downturn.  And it didn’t help at all when the PAD staged their airport block party, shutting down Suvarnabhumi airport last year.  All told, Thailand has lost some US$2.5 billion of revenue along with around 200,000 jobs.

Thailand’s national air carrier, THAI Airways has subsequently taken a battering, losing over 21.3 billion Baht (US$900 million), including 14.8 billion Baht (US$411 million) in the fourth quarter alone.  What to do about it?

Why, have a huge promotion!   Rumor has it THAI will be introducing a broad “buy one ticket-get one free” promotion by the beginning of June.  While you would probably be required to pay ancillary costs like fuel surcharges and airport tax, it would still be a killer bargain.  Word is that this will apply to all classes of travel domestic and international, and the offer will supposedly be valid even if you trade air miles for a ticket.

Where would you go?  The wife and I were already thinking about taking a ski trip to Hokkaido, Japan sometime later this year.  But now we are thinking big, perhaps a jaunt to Italy for a drive up the Amalfi coast?  My wife has already been to Lake Como, where she and her gal gang had a picnic at George Clooney’s villa.  Well, not at the villa, but somewhere outside it. Yes, I married a stalker.

Closer to home, if you are looking for shopping and nightlife, Hong Kong is the shizznit.  One of the coolest places in the always-fun Lan Kwai Fong area is Club Sugar.  I went with two other friends a couple years ago, and we were amazed that every girl in there was at least cute and quite a few were flat out stunning.  Forgive me for judging them on their looks, but my Chinese language skills were not up to par, so I just said “wo ai ni” a lot, which I’m told means “Nice to meet you.”

Check out this interesting blog entry (complete with photos), where this dude from amerikajin.net shows up early on a Friday when Club Sugar is dead, then it picks up dramatically after midnight.  I’ve been in a few similar situations, where you are hanging out at a club and it is half empty, then a few drinks later you turn around and it’s packed.  When it works out that way, I am usually pretty happy that I have a table, though the shimmying through the crowd to use the bathroom (after the Yellow River dam breaks) is a slight downer.

For a private speakeasy type club, this Salon de Ning at the Peninsula is quite swank.  This from the accidentalepicurean.com…

Tucked away in the basement, yes the basement, they have recreated the salon of 1930’s Shanghai socialite Madame Ning. Just tell the hostess at the top of the stairs you would like to go to Salon De Ning and she will personally usher you down to an unmarked door whereupon you are greeted a mysterious and flirtatious set of eyes (digital)… presumably embodying the late Madame Ning’s. The door opens and you are escorted into a lush and transporting interior. There are 4 themed rooms – Africa, Spain, Swiss Ski and Madame’s Changing Room (you must book ahead for a room). We sat in the ski room….very much a Swiss ski chalet with a comfy leather sofa, layers of cozy carpets and fluffy pillows. Every last detail is considered – even the flickering flames of a (mock) fireplace have been included to make the experience complete.

It look perfect for high-rollers like myself, part of the “work hard, play hard” party monsters of yore.  (Though the drink prices sound a bit steep.)

That’s all for now.  Speaking of rumors, my next entry will be about one of the biggest rumormongers in all of Thailand.  It’s like Page Six…if it were run by Sith lords.


4 Responses to “Hot Travel Rumor”

  1. 1 Maddy
    June 18, 2009 at 12:05 am

    That sounds like an amazing steal! Too bad I won’t be heading back to Asia this summer.

  2. 2 Charti
    June 22, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Club Sugar is super sweet!!!

  3. June 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I know this is rather late, but ‘wo ai ni’ means I love you and not ‘nice to meet you’. On the other hand, ‘hen gao xing jian dao ni’ is literal translated ‘happy see you’. (:

    • 4 jackprinya
      July 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      So I take it ” Geuy wo ei tian tian ai bao pay” does not mean “Where are you from?” Or perhaps, “Please slap me and walk away?”

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