As Chan Vyas notes, the chance to play some golf and catch a bit of sunshine in Thailand is always welcomed. Of course, being able to travel again in 2022 ramps the excitement up an additional notch, with Phuket providing all the right ingredients for a good time both on and off the course.
Chan and his UK tour group landed in Phuket earlier this year, enjoying what he describes as “one wonderful trip, excellent challenging courses and social life”. Indeed, as Thailand continues to welcome back tourists, Chan points to the all-round vacation experience on offer.
“The golf was wonderful, excellent courses and facilities, knowledgeable caddies, bar staff at all the courses were good and welcoming,” he said.
“Among the other highlights, the DoubleTree hotel was fantastic. On arrival we all wanted to have rooms close by, and they managed to shift some other bookings to accommodate our request.
“The nightlife on Bangla Road was within a few minutes’ walk, and the beach was a minute away. In general, all amenities were close by.”
With Golfasian’s Khun Win on hand to provide on-the-ground support as required, Chan highlighted the importance of ease of communication and local knowledge. Meanwhile, Golfasian was able to assist with all entry requirements, helping to streamline the process.
Touring Thailand: Chiang Mai a happy “home location”
Chan is no stranger to Thailand, having organized annual trips over the past 12 years, singling out Chiang Mai as his “home location” (visiting alternate years), with other destinations including Hua Hin, Pattaya and now Phuket.
His tour groups have in the past numbered up to 24, with 16 onboard for this year’s return to Thailand.
|Customer profile: Chan Vyas, RafikiGolf Society
Having initially started playing casual golf in the late ‘90s, then playing as a member of local societies from 2006, Chan formed his own London-based society in 2010, the RafikiGolf Society.
“Rafiki is the Swahili name for friend, spoken in the East African region where most of us are from,” he explained.
“We initially had 14 members, and today we have 53 members, staging eight tournaments a year, raising funds for charity, with our aim to play competitive but enjoyable golf mainly in South East England.
“A few of us add trips abroad to this agenda. It’s the social aspect that attracts me to golf. Of course, the exercise and banter all add to the all-round enjoyment.”
While Chan first came across Golfasian online a few years back, he initially reached out in 2021 ahead of the Phuket tour, and thereafter begun engaging with Managing Director Mark Siegel.
“Mark’s responses were instant, and he also used WhatsApp which made this easy,” Chan said, describing Mark and his team as being very supportive in accommodating travel requirements. “It’s a pleasure to work in partnership with an organization like Golfasian.”
As it stands, Chan is already planning his next visit for early next year, and he notes there’s some keen golfers currently looking ahead.
“Late August onwards I’ll start the ball rolling for our trip to Thailand next February,” he said. “Although a few of the group have already provided a deposit!”