Thailand has been a perennial favourite for events and shows no signs of flagging despite an increasingly crowded and competitive market particularly in the ASEAN region.
There are lots of reasons behind this continued success but if there is one theme that acts as a constant it is that in Thailand anything is possible.
Neighbouring ASEAN countries that include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, along with China, Japan and Korea are both competitors and key markets for the Thai MICE sector.
Buyers from those key markets joined the recent ‘TIME 2019’ event being held for its fourth year with the theme ‘Togetherness’.
A partnership between TCEB, TICA and SITE Thailand Chapter, the event held over five days in Bangkok and Phuket was structured around three pillars – Knowledge Exchange, Business Exchange and Experience Exchange.
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya says the event was a way to “join hands with our partners” to discover new opportunities and expand regional collaboration.
1 The constant buzz of Bangkok wearing you down – time to take it down a notch with some art therapy at About Work’s Rhuk Room. This hidden oasis was once a swimming pool, but now hosts group classes including yoga or art sessions where you are led step by step to produce your own masterpiece.
2 Want to get make the transport as much of a star as the destination you’re headed? Go in a presidential-style convoy. And if you really want to lay on the VIP feel, hire your own police escort. It may not make the traffic any better but you feel like a star, and it’s much cheaper than you might think.
3 Talking traffic, want to get away from it? Then head to the skies at Thailand’s highest bar and restaurant in the King Power Mahanakhon building. Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar is situated on the 76th and 77th floor of the pixelated building offering world-class mixology and unique dishes. There is also a bar on the roof along with a see-through floor on the viewing deck which would make for a stunning breakfast sit-down event for those without vertigo.
4 Want to be outside but keep it 5-star? Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse has unveiled its ‘The Garden at Surawongse’. Check for rain clouds and then enjoy a beautiful dinner in a classic colonial setting in the newest garden in the city.
5 If you want to mix it up and experience a little bit of everything head to Sook Siam at the upmarket retail centre ICONSIAM. This indoor food precinct is set up like floating market, with a huge number of Thai food experiences on offer. And to make it even more of an occasion get there or back on a rice barge, which operates from the River City Pier.
1 Phuket is one of the world’s most beautiful destinations and they want to keep it that way. The local communities at Bann Bo Dan and Bann Nai Rai have lived by fishing for generations. Now you can organise a group CSR activity to help them plant mangroves to stop coastal erosion. The local fishermans’ boats to the planting areas makes it special.
2 There are amazing hotels and resorts in Phuket, but Slate stands out from the crowd. Inspired by the island’s tin-mining heritage, The Slate is a design led 5-star boutique hotel with a very industrial edge. All the mod cons, a Michelin-Plate restaurant and a beach three steps from the gate. It’s a love or hate deal, cutlery is in the shape of tools, but if you love, it will be in spades or spanners.
Want something more Italian Vogue, then step into Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach. Dress to impress if you want match the glam of the outdoor terrace with unmatched views over the ocean. Perfect for pre-dinner sunset cocktails before a sit-down meal at Vero Italian Restaurant. The GM’s an Aussie so setting up a nightclub on the terrace outside is no wukkas.
One brand to look out for is Rosewood, which delivers a very contemporary feel across its spacious grounds which border a 600m beachfront at Emerald Bay. Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach also has direct beach access and a strong focus on sustainability and reducing single use plastics.
3 Want to team build but make it an adventure? Head aboard HYPE Catamaran for a cruise to nearby Coral Island, known locally as Koh Hae. You can spend the day snorkeling, on a sun lounger or competing in some great team-building activities on the white sand beach.
4 Indulge in some old-school glamour at Blue Elephant Restaurant. Chef Nooror Somany Steppe’s traditional Phuket cuisine has garnered a Michelin Plate which when combined with the old governor’s house makes for a memorable destination.
5 Walk off your meal with a stroll around nearby Phuket old town, which has an eclectic mix of shops and cafes tucked away in colourful Sino-Portuguese townhouses.