Skål International Asian Area January News

Skål International Asian Area 

Sanjay Datta Skål International Asian Area

New Year Greetings from Skål Asia Area Board

“Dear Asia Area Skålleagues, on Behalf of the AA Board, I wish you all a very Happy New Year. May 2020 be the Best for All of Us and our Families and Friends.”


Sanjay Datta, President SIAA

Skål International Delhi

Skål International Delhi had its monthly lunch meet at Pullman - The Honk, New Delhi on 13th November.

Vice President Ranjit Vig extended a warm welcome to the 70 odd members and guests.

The new members were presented with Membership certificate. The members were also apprised that the Delhi Club continues to be the largest Club in the World and every effort to maintain the leadership.

Skål International Delhi monthly lunch

Skål International Delhi monthly lunch

Skål International Delhi new members

Skål International Mumbai

Skål International Mumbai South had an excellent AGM cum Christmas dinner event at Tote Talli on the grounds of the Royal Indian Turf Club in Mumbai, on 17th December 2019.

New members were introduced to our membership, the Skål Hymn was played and as usual, our senior most member Jason Samuel delivered the Skål toast.

Story - In Memoriam: The Boxing Day Tsunami

A personal refection by long time Thailand resident Andrew J Wood who recently visited the area in Thailand that was badly devastated by the tragic events on the 26th December 2004:

KHAO LAK, THAILAND: Sitting at my resort in Phang Nga province in Southern Thailand a few weeks ago, I was quietly having my breakfast and my thoughts turn to the tragic events 15 years earlier. I was staying at a resort that was badly hit by the devastating 2004 tsunami. 

15 years later the resorts have been rebuilt - the area is renowned for its beautiful white sandy beaches and is once again filled with tourists, mainly from Europe escaping the winter weather of the northern hemisphere. 

The sea here is very shallow which enabled a massive wave to build unhindered from its origins in Sumatra and wiped out everything including 400 guests and a lot of the hotel staff on duty - they all perished on that fateful boxing day morning. 

It was Thailand’s first great tsunami, there were no systems in place. Today tsunami warning towers with huge sirens allowing hotels and resorts 1 hour to evacuate by bus to higher ground. 

I feel sadness but also thankful that life has returned and the tourists. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who suffered loss, and to all those unsung heroes, many of them tourists, tour guides and hotel staff, caught up in the chaos on that fateful day - my thanks.

Andrew J Wood Skål International Bangkok

    Andrew J Wood

    70th Anniversary of Skål International Rome


    Skål International Goa activities during Christmas

    Among the Asia Skål Fraternity, Skål Goa flagged off a plethora of activities epitomising Skål International Philosophy during the festive Christmas, New Year Season.

    Skål International Goa – Flavour of the Season

    A Skål International Goa Club CSR activity along with Stars - helping people, reaping smiles. The Club hosted lunch for 60 inmates and caretakers - occasion - Goa liberation Day – Festive gesture.

    Location: St John Of God Aged home, Old GOA.

    Ms. Prachi Khandeparkar’s – workshop on POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) of Women at the Workplace - Pride Sun Village, Arpora, Goa.

    Director Young Skål Sk. Carl Costa of Skål International Charles Bonifacio and Shekhar Divadkar with Young Skål Members distributed Christmas goodies to inmates of Peace Haven, Caranzalem, Goa.

    The Young Skål Members sang the Carols and organized some fun games for the children. This CSR activity was followed by a lunch hosted by Young Skål Director Sk. Carl Costa at Fortune Miramar elevating the Xmas Spirit.

    Andrew J Wood Skål International Bangkok

      Ms. Prachi Khandeparkar’s – workshop on POSH.

      Young Skål Members with inmates of Peace Haven, Caranzalem, Goa.

      Skål International Taipei

      Skål International Taipei January Meeting and induction of National President Skål Chinese Taipei

      President Handover Ceremony at The Hotel Royal-Nikko Taipei

      “Thanks to Frank Liu for his great contribution and leadership throughout 2018-2019 and welcome new President Johnny Tsai, also President of the renowned travel company Perfect Travel Service, to lead Skål International Chinese Taipei.”

      Skål International Taipei members during January meeting

      Skål International Taipei members during January meeting

      Skål International Taipei new President Johnny Tsai

        Skål International Taipei new President Johnny Tsai.

        Skål International Delhi's perfect Christmas moments

        Skål International Delhi hosted its annual themed Christmas lunch at The Imperial New Delhi on 18th December attended by nearly 160 members.

        Sk. Vijay Wanchoo, Vice President, The Imperial welcomed the guests warmly. The Imperial team set up an exotic Christmas Tree. It was the characteristic yuletide feel.  

        This Skål International Delhi meet had a few first: CAFF India, an NGO supporting children on health and education brought in their young kids from 5-12 years enthralled the members with their melodious carols. Skål International Delhi's President Sk. Greesh Bindra presented the children with school bags, stationery kits and Xmas gift hampers. The lucky draw and the Quiz were the highlights.

        Skål International Delhi members during Christmas lunch 2019

        Skål International Delhi members during Christmas lunch 2019.

        Skål International Taipei new President Johnny Tsai

          Skål International Delhi meet NGO CAFF India.

            For the first time, the annual event featured Xmas Carols sung by the Delhi Chorale of Men

            Skål International Asia's President Sk. Sanjay Datta addressed the members and presented Skål International Asia Flag to Chief Guest V.K. Duggal.

            Editors Choice: Gourmet Ethnic-Food

            Traditional Goan Seafood Pick

            King Fish Recheado Masala Fried
            Recheado Masala is a Fiery and Tangy Goan Masala condiment. Used for stuffing or marination. Eaten with Steamed rice or home bread 'Uno' or 'Polle'.

            King Fish Recheado Masala Fried

            Cocktail Summer Cooler

            Goan Sunrise
            You can prepare this cocktail mixing cashew fenny, orange juice, dash of grenadine and dash of soda.                                            Cheers!

            Goan Sunrise Cocktail

            Skål International India meets His Excellency Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand

            Valmiki Hari Kishan, member of Skål International Hyderabad and Chairman of Media, Entertainment, Hospitality, Tourism & MICE of FTCCI (Federation of Telangana Chamber of Commerce & Industries) meets the Thailand Prime Minister, His Excellency Jurin Laksanawisit.

            Valmiki Hari Kishan was injured with a fracture of collar bone but with the spirit of Tourism made him to come out of bed rest and appraised the Thailand Prime Minister, His Excellency Jurin Laksanawisit.

            Valmiki Hari Kishan, Chairman of Media, Entertainment, Hospitality, Tourism &MICE of FTCCI (Federation of Telangana Chamber of Commerce & Industries) was the only Tourism Personality invited to interact with His Excellency Jurin Laksanawisit Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand. 

            President of FTCCI and few members interacted for about 45 minutes exchanging views and had deliberations on different Industries followed by B2B interaction.

            Skålleague Valmiki Hari Kishan appraised His Excellency Jurin Laksanawisit Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand about the fast-growing Tourism numbers between Telangana and Thailand and he also appreciated the visa waiver for Indians.

            Valmiki Hari Kishan also invited his Excellency to grace the upcoming 49th Skål Asia Congress scheduled from 25-29June 2020 in Phuket for which he responded positively and gave instructions to Tourism Ministry to join Skål International Asia Congress.

            Skålleague Valmiki Hari Kishan appraised His Excellency Jurin Laksanawisit Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand

            Skålleague Valmiki Hari Kishan with His Excellency Jurin Laksanawisit Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand.

            Skål International Mumbai South Christmas dinner

            Skål International Mumbai South had an excellent AGM cum Christmas dinner event at Tote Talli on the grounds of the Royal Indian Turf Club in Mumbai, on 17th December 2019. 

            Being a new club, the AGM did not take time. There were quite a few new members, mainly stalwarts from the Travel and Hospitality industry who attended, and several senior icons were present.

            New members were introduced to our membership, the Skål International Hymn was played and as usual, our most senior member Jason Samuel delivered the Skål toast. All the committee members helped in introducing new members around. 

            As we strongly support women empowerment, we invited Ms. Aruna Borkar, winner of 4 Gold Medals for India in Asian Classic Power lifting Championship, held in Kazakhstan in December 2019 in Masters 1 Category and felicitated her, as well as introduced her to several members.

            There was much appreciation by all to the committee of Skål International Club of Mumbai South for arranging such a successful event and voiced that they couldn't wait to attend the next gala event in the New Year 2020.

            The Great Southern Thailand Adventure 2019 – A Road Less Travelled

            Road trip Bangkok to Phuket 

            Photos and story by Andrew J Wood.

            BANGKOK: I needed to attend a meeting in Phuket and had time to visit and explore. We decided to drive, a chance to really explore that flying for 75 minutes doesn’t allow.

            It's a journey we’ve done in the past twice before in my 29 years of living in Thailand. Our journey will take us south travelling 864 km from our home in Bangkok to Phuket – Thailand's famous island playground. The Pearl of the Andaman Sea. 

            For centuries, the main source of income for the island was tin mining. Now, tourism and rubber have made Phuket the wealthiest province of the country. 

            On this trip we plan to stay at a number of resorts a few that are very closely linked to the island’s tin mining past.

            Leaving Bangkok very early we follow the coast road south-west along the Gulf of Thailand towards Hua Hin and then all the way south to Surat Thani. From there we cross the isthmus east to west before turning south again towards Phuket and the Andaman Sea.  

            With stops the journey time will take approx 11.5 hours driving. We plan to do the journey in one day, God willing. The car has been fully prepped and recently serviced.

            With our early start we arrive in Hua Hin at 6.30am having avoided all the pre-rush hour traffic out of Bangkok. A journey of just under two hours. Normally with traffic it would be three hours. Our early start had paid dividends. We see dawn break as we arrive turning a black sky into rainbow colours that never stops being special.

            We continue on Route 4, the Phet Kasem Road, Thailand's longest (1,274km). Our journey will take us through 12 of Thailand's 76 provinces – Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, Phang-Nga, Krabi and Phuket. 

            From Hua Hin we head further south along the Asian Highway, hugging the western edge of the Gulf. The kilometres slip-by. We travel on good roads, mostly dual carriageways. The traffic is reasonable and we make good progress. Passing through Pranburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan, we continue leisurely south.

            We reach Chumphon - our halfway point. Located on the Isthmus of Kra, the narrow stip of land connecting the Malay Peninsula with mainland Thailand. With a 222 km coastline and 44 islands, the Chumphon Archipelago is known for it's coral reefs and a long coastline dotted with peaceful beaches.

            At Chumphon we join the A41. It is the main road for the lower southern provinces. We head south-west. 

            Route 41 is a four-lane highway, two lanes in each direction. It is also part of the Asian Highway AH2. 

            The journey goes surprisingly quickly. Flying from Bangkok to Phuket would only take 75 minutes however you would miss all the amazing scenery. There's no better way to get a feel for the diversity of this wonderful country and take a sneak peek at daily life as we drive past. 

            We are on the last leg of the journey. As we pass through Krabi province with its hilly terrain and limestone outcrops. Located in the Strait of Malacca, between Phuket on the west and the mainland on the east. The islands are administratively part of Krabi province. 

            We pass through Phang-Nga province festooned with dramatic limestone outcrops. We will explore this area on the return leg spending a few days at Khao Lak.

            We quickly reach the Sarasin bridge that links the mainland to Phuket island. We pass through an almost deserted police check point. Our journey thus far had taken a little under 11 hours.

            We were keen to get to our hotel in time for a swim and a relaxing dinner. It wasn’t far our hotel is close to the airport at the wonderful Nai Yang beach, one of Phuket’s famed sandy beaches.

            Nai Yang beachNai Yang beach
            Angsana Laguna Phuket Resort

            We head south to Nai Yang beach and The Slate Phuket, for a much-needed rest. 

            The 'tin-mine' vibe of the 5-star Slate Phuket is quirky and unique. I fell in love with the design the moment I stepped into the hotel. It is simply exquisite. The Slate Phuket has been a constant fixture on Phuket’s resort hotel inventory for many years and was previously branded the Indigo Pearl.

            Sadly, it was time to leave The Slate and for me to put on my meeting hat start as we headed south to Angsana Laguna Phuket Resort, for my Skål Asia mid-term board meeting. The Angsana was to be our home for the next 3 days.

            The Story Continues in the February Issue...

            Nai Yang beach

            Skål International Asia Area 

            January Skål International Magazine Content.

            Mohankumar P.K 

            Director, PR & Communications 

            Skål International Asia Area