For those of you who know me well, I am a sucker for beaches and old friends.
When I get an opportunity to combine both, which now increasingly tends to happen in and around the Asia Pacific ICT Awards, I jump at it. Somkiat at Wealth Managment is a friend that Fawzia, Jehan and I made post the APICTA Awards in Thailand in February 2006. Over the years as we have shared visits, dreams and opportunities our friendship has grown to a point where no visit to the Far east is complete without a stopover at Wealth Management’s Bangkok office and a taste of local food and desserts in Somkiat’s company.
Two years ago as we wrapped up the awards in Pattaya, Somkiat offered to drive me down to his beach front holiday villa in the sleepy town of Rayong to grab a bit of some exotic freshly caught sea food at Mae Phim beach. Just after Princess beach, Somkiat’s villa was part of a beach front community that shared it beach with miles of pristine waterfront at Mae phim. There are hardly any foreigners here since the spot is more of a local secret, despite being only two hours away from Bangkok airport.
This year as I headed to Hong Kong via a stop over in Bangkok, it was only natural to let Somkiat know about my plans. We quickly put together a partners meeting in Bangkok followed by a plan to spend two days on Maephim beach.
It was a long drive from Bangkok to the beach house with intermittent breaks to sample local cuisine. When we finally crashed for the night, the bedside view of the moon, through the floor to ceiling full length window, made it completely worthwhile.
The next morning itineary was full. The day started with an attempt to shoot the sunrise (we missed it by a few minutes), shoot the beach (we failed miserably in capturing the beauty through our lenses) and biking down from the villa to Princess beach (a 30 minute cycle ride) to grab breakfast.
Despite initial reservations on my state of fitness expressed by my 54 year old, 6 hours of professional badminton a week, friend we made it to the beach and the street food cart in one piece.
We lazed around the beach waiting for our freshly prepared breakfast to be cooked and then headed back to the villa for a round of leisurely breakfast, followed by an even more liesurely nap.
Thank Somkiat for a two great days and absolutely generous hospitality. Where would I be without old friends and sunrises on exotic beachs.
Enjoy the remaining part of the shoot out at Mae phim beach.