SilverHairsClub goes on 2nd retirement evaluation trip to Chiangmai, Thu 03 May – 09 May 2018

The 1st retirement evaluation trip to Chiangmai 22 – 29 Mar 2018. We have closed participation for this 1st trip with about 20 pax.

The 2nd evaluation trip is Thur 3 May to 9 May 2018. Interested, you can join the 2nd evaluation trip. Strictly for SilverHairsClub members only.

From your mobile, you can WhatsApp SHC to register your interest in joining an evaluation trip to Chiangmai.

The trip aims to enable members to evaluate Chiangment as a retirement community and to assess other retirement locations, aged care venues, activities and facilities. This is not a sight seeing trip.

A few points:
1. Thai tourist visa, applied at Spore Thai embassy is 3 mths, free. You need to show return air tickets.

2. Scoot flies direct Sin/Chiangmai/Sin. Cost, less than SGD 300-350. So, you may want to book early.

3. Chiangmai will be used as the main venue and springboard to places in North Thailand.

4. Accommodation, we will be staying at a few identified places, within a 1 hr radius from Chiangmai city. We will stay at a Mae Rim resort.

5. Facilities planning will include local fresh markets, hospitals, pharmacies, Internet, parks, bus stations, lakes, night markets, local transportation.

6. For those with special interest eg cycling, walks, gardening, chickens, Thai cooking, herbs, fishing, do some research on the Internet. Let me know, and we try to accommodate.

So, please plan ahead. Do join the SHC Chiangmai retirement community, if you are interested. Register now for the 2nd retirement evaluation trip.

Terence Seah

10 thoughts on “SilverHairsClub goes on 2nd retirement evaluation trip to Chiangmai, Thu 03 May – 09 May 2018

  1. This 2nd Chiangmai 3 -9 May evaluation trip is confirmed. This one week program is not intended as a sightseeing trip. Its objective is to allow members who have not been to Chiangmai and to experience what our recommended community will look like, feel like to spend part of our retirement time in this northern province of Thailand.

    We have identified the base to be the Mae Faek Villa resort, at the Mar Rim district, approx. 1 hour north of Chiangmai city. From the base, members can spend time and explore the whole of northern Thailand. Chiangmai has been reputed as one of the most beautiful places for retirees. Cost wise, it is significantly lower. It has an international airport, with good internationally rated hospitals, entertainment and facilitieis. But, this is for you to explore during the one week evaluation trip.

    Scoot flies direct Sin/CNX/Sin. You may want to book your tickets now. For the 2nd evalulation trip, we have already 8 confirmed participanats. Strictly for SHC members only.

    All members book and pay their own airtickets. The Mae Faek villa and transport from CM airport to the resort will be arranged by Hong Jeng. All other transportation and costs will be shared.

    To participate, please send a WhatsApp msg to +65 94894360.

    Terence Seah

  2. For members considering joining the 2nd CM evaluation trip, I advise you to reconsider, given the low feedback from the first trip which ended today. Please do not book your airtickets.

    The trip 3 – 9 May 2018 (6 nights) is still on, as I have committed to go.

    Terence Seah

  3. FORTY years ago during my very first overseas trip (beyond Malaysia), I shared a room with 8 persons. We shared one toilet with only 2 cubicles. Most of the time we simply peed or purged on the bushes behind our “hotel”. When you need to go, you must go. Washing and showering was subject to the availability of water – brownish water to be exact. For the food provided, we applauded the people who had the guts to call those things food. But if they could eat it, why not we? We were constantly reminded not to drink from the taps. That was the longest 10 days in my life.

    About 10 years ago, I returned to the same country with my family. Fully air-conditioned and carpeted, each room was equipped with a KING size bed and giant size television. Long bath tub with jacuzzi. 5 feet tall refrigerator laden with fruits and beer. Bar shelves with cookies, mineral water and beverage packs. Give a call and warm food is delivered to the room.

    40 years ago it was a “home-stay” event organized by an army comrade. We stayed in a remote village at only S$3 per person per day, inclusive of 2 meals. I returned as a tourist some 10 years ago to celebrate Xmas, and was poorer by S$300 per room per night. We did not bother to compare rates among third-party booking agents then. My point is to illustrate the difference one should expect when you visit a place with a different objective and on a different budget. While the encounters cited are two extremes, we acknowledge that there are varying “demand and supply” that the organiser ought to balance.

    Feedback is useful to prompt the organiser to improve future similar trips. However, note the Chinese saying, “One cent worth, one cent goods” and there is so much that the organiser could do. Be reasonable.

    Very sad to read such a conclusion, “In general, the environment, facilities and costs did not meet the expectations of most members. Therefore, on this feedback, I do not advise participation for the 2nd evaluation trip in May. However, the trip will go on, and I shall be going too”.

    Never easy to be an organiser. Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs and who is the next goose, if any?

    To the second group of members going in May. Brace yourselves, even though we know you are a bunch of seasoned accomodating travellers.

    Quote Terence 14 March :
    “This 2nd Chiangmai 3 -9 May evaluation trip is confirmed. This one week program is not intended as a sightseeing trip. Its objective is to allow members who have not been to Chiangmai and to experience what our recommended community will look like, feel like to spend part of our retirement time in this northern province of Thailand”.

    Whatever it is, it will never be like my nightmare 40 years ago. Neither will it be like the “dream tour” I had experienced 30 years later. Just be thankful that you have been there and returned home safely; and have learnt how other people live and whether you want to live like them. Jacuzzi? Another time another place.

    DC

  4. I am still in Bangkok, after a week in Chiangmai. I have some time, and i decide to review and think over the low feedback from a number of participating members. Altho the event is over, and while some members have asked me to leave it be, I think it is important to discuss them.

    The first issue was on the price of the rooms at the resort. I actually thought we had a well calculated deal with the resort. But on day one, after talking with a few members, I started to hear news that Terence and Hong Jeng had overcharged SHC members. The figure in question was about SGD 10 per night. I guess many members did not tell me directly because they did not want to disappoint me or question my decision on the choice of the community venue. Nevertheless, I am fully aware of the background chat.

    I am interested to go deeper into this issue, as this news has spread among members and that this issue still lingers and spread.

    1. We had discussed with the resort more than two months before the actual trip. Finally, when we were offered the price, I had asked for the rates to be renegotiated. We had also used Agoda for price reference. So, in our mind, we agreed with the resort price and announced the rates to participants.

    2. Sometime today, I exchanged communications with trip participants, and I was showned proof that yes, there is a SGD 10 lower price offered by another portal, called Expedia. In other words, members felt that they were overcharged by SGD 10 per night.

    We did not have the resources to check the lowest price offerred by travel portals. If we had known, we may have tried to negotiate better. In fact, we discussed with the resort, and they do not have full control over the final prices offered by all web portals. This is something similar to Uber or Grab giving promotion vouchers, resulting in lower prices than what standard taxi companies offer. I have to say we learn something.

    Looking further, I found out that if one buys an air ticket from Expedia, one needs to be a member to enjoy promotions on hotel bookings. This has resulted in a lower price offerred vs what we discussed with the resort directly.

    We are on an evaluation trip to see if Chiangmai can be a retirement location. I can say we are not able to go around searching for the lowest possible room rate in the market. While the price difference is acknowledged, to say we overcharged is painful to the organisers and the people who helped me piece this trip together.

    But this said, I am still determine to promote destination like Chiangmai as a place for short term retirement. And for the 1% of members considering doing so, I will continue providing evaluation trips and reviewing nursing care facilities.

    Tell me what you would do, if you were me.

    Terence Seah

  5. I disappeared on Friday morning and promised my friends that I would come back 3 days later. So here I am. Nothing much has changed, has it? A new social media has been created to challenge Facebook. It is called Fakebook. Relax. It is April Fool Day. Take it easy.

    On a serious note, it is quite disturbing to read more revelations about the CM trip.

    Out of curiosity, a quick check and comparison for a ONE NIGHT stay (6 Apr to 7 Apr) in a premier room in Maxims Hotel, Genting Highlands is as below.
    (Rates exclude prevailing taxes and are quoted in S$):

    Trip.com – 767
    Agoda – 860
    Expedia – 887
    Hotels.com – 887
    Zenhotels – 974
    A quote from the hotel itself is MYR 2770, or around S$930.

    To answer your question, Chief: “If I were you, I would be stretching myself comfortably on a soft bed at a beach resort in Chiang Mai or Pattaya, sipping cold beer, and listening to love songs on YouTube”.

    Cheers
    DC

  6. Hi DanielC,

    Please call me Terence. No boss or chief. I prefer it this way.

    And yes, I love to take your suggestion to spend time on the beach and listen to love songs.

    But, I also love to see all kinds of active activities in SHC. Maybe that’s why you see me initiate many types of activities, although I may know little about the subject or topic. Very often, I listen to members, and if something makes sense and workable, I am game to creating an event out of it. And of course, many will note that I finally do nothing. That’s why I can come to any event and sit down or chat with members.

    I hope more members will organise at least one activity during the life of his/her membership.

    A while ago, a member asked me why I bother to spend time organising Retirement evaluation trips to Chiangmai, even though I see only 1% of members considering this option. I give the same reply here.

    1. I guess out of personal interest. I had spend more than 20 years of my life in Thailand.

    2. Chiangmai is a beautiful place, and Northern Thailand has proven to be an ideal retirement place for many seniors.

    3. And even if the number of interested members is only 1%, I think the Club should offer members an opportunity to evaluate this short term retirement overseas, together as a community.

    One day, we shall spend time together on the beach.

    Terence Seah

  7. Yes Terence. You are a rare breed, if I may say so. I am sure many of us appreciate your commitment, in devoting time, energy and even money, to plan, prepare and produce activities for the benefit of all concerned.

    Good that once a while we have a kind soul (or a committee) who painstakingly deliver a “package” to the assembly. Few and far between, these are the people I salute. Not everyone can be a good organizer. My regular “Chinatown meeting” did not materialize because I was not prepared to create activities to entice members to join.

    The physical and mental torment of managing a big event can be excruciating when participants see money as the major contributing factor for their enjoyment or lack of it.

    This paragraph from you on March 31st, which I read yesterday, hurts a lot,

    “We are on an evaluation trip to see if Chiangmai can be a retirement location. I can say we are not able to go around searching for the lowest possible room rate in the market. While the price difference is acknowledged, to say we overcharged is painful to the organisers and the people who helped me piece this trip together”.

    I would have abandoned everything and seek solace at the beach if I were you, but you are made of sterner stuff.

    All the best in your May trip.

    DC

  8. Registration for the 2nd Chiangmai retirement evaluation trip is now closed.l

    The 3rd evaluation trip is scheduled for July 2018. Please contact me at +65 9489 4360 if you are interested to join the July group.

    Terence Seah

  9. Our 2nd evsluation to Chiangmai starts next week. We are starting at Chiangmai city, followed by overnight trips to Pai and Doi Inthanon.

    Pai will probably take us about two hours to reach Pai Town. The scenic sights, fresh air and space has make Pai globably an attractive place for many retirees. From Pai town, we will cover Pai surroundings, and we will stay here for two nights.

    Terence Seah

  10. April has been a boring month. Unexciting. Someone said, “come what may” and da-da…we have May. I like the month of May. The first day is always a public holiday. Has anyone wonder why people do not work on Labour Day? Ans: they work on Rest Day.

    Back to the Chiangmai trip. Soon it will be 8th May. If you happen to be in Chiang Mai this month, or better still this day, make an effort to visit the Imperial Mae Ping hotel, situated at 153 Sridonchai Road, Chang Kian District, Amphur Muang. And if you are there, look at room 1502.

    What is the significance? On 8th May 1995, Ms Teresa Tang left us for a better world, while staying in this room this hotel. It has been 23 years now. Her songs are as alluring as they were when she was alive.

    Share with you one of her favourite songs:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLWls1V2QQs

    Oooops…. I think it is Teresa Teng and not Tang. How can I forget her name, huh?

    DC

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