On the 16th of September 2016, the winning bloggers and photo-bloggers met in Bangkok, Thailand after flying in from their respective countries to unite in a friendly get-together and celebrations with the Tourism Authority Thailand and TATNewsroom teams who were the organizers of the competition.
The winners were from Singapore (Ken Koh), India (Jyotsna Ramani), Russia (Svetlana Makarevich), Philippines (Jojo M. Vito) and me from Malaysia. We were given tickets from Thai Airways to fly into Bangkok and each of us were quite anxious to meet each other, not knowing what to expect except for a really good time.
We all gathered at the Eat Sight Story Deck restaurant along the Chao Phraya River overlooking the beautiful Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) which is one of the iconic monuments of Bangkok.
We received a very warm welcome from the organizers with officials from the Tourism Authority Thailand and TATNewsroom team to greet us and introduce us to each other. The memorable dinner started with a short congratulatory speech by Khun Titiporn Manenate, one of the directors at Tourism Authority Thailand who also presented us with tokens for the trip.
Enjoying a short welcome speech by Khun Titiporn Manenate from the Tourism Authority of Thailand during the welcome dinner at Eat Sight Story Deck restaurant in Bangkok
Token presentation after the speech by Khun Titiporn Manenate to the prize winners and an introduction of the winners to the organizers
We received very useful T-shirts nicely printed by Khun Sirima Eamtako and interesting reading materials about the places we will be visiting along with great maps of the places and a trusty itinerary which must have taken them a long time not just to compile but also to recce the places and co-coordinating all the transfers, hotels, locations and activities!
It was fascinating meeting everyone for the first time and soon we all warmed up to each other over dinner and drinks.
At the welcome dinner not only was it a warm reception amidst one of the most beautiful sights in Bangkok but the company was such a wonderful gathering of people who made us truly felt welcomed not to mention the delicious scrumptious food that was fast appearing on our tables. Starting off with a good selection of wine to warm our stomachs followed by starters and appetizers, it was a great evening of drinks, food and new friendships.
It was a good experience getting to know the organizers as well as other bloggers and this was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and understand more about the industry. We were also looking forward to a great time as prior to the gathering, we were sent teasers of the upcoming activities which looked like it was going to be a very interesting experience.
Our fellow winner and blogger from the Philippines, Jojo M. Vito getting a great shot of the river view during the dinner. He turned out to be a great friend and very funny person, it would be nice to do more blogging trips with him and the others again after this.
A trait of all bloggers! Pictures and more picture taking before eating …. so who says that we are just into selfies and groupfies? My popular motto and am sure with those so into social media is “Wait! Do not touch anything yet, I need to take pictures!” syndrome.
The entire organizing of the project by Tourism Authority Thailand and Sirima Eamtako from The Amiris was meticulous to ensure that we all had everything that is required to make the trip a wonderful and memorable experience for us. attention to details and meticulous planning equaled a great experience overall.
We enjoyed the entire evening in good conversation with good company. Winners got better acquainted with our hosts from the TATNewsroom and TAT teams along with Khun Sirima and her team who ensured all our requirements were attended too throughout the whole trip. So this is what it feels like to be a winner, and it is a wonderful feeling plus our hosts were so very accommodating which made this whole experience fun and such an adventure.
We have lots of amazing stories in Thailand to tell of all our adventures and in the few days together on our trip, we even had a culture exchange night with Russian photo-blogger Svetlana Makarevich! The tag “Amazing Thailand” is not just limited to tourism but also a country where great friendships are forged and memories that last a lifetime are made!
I would like to say a very special THANK YOU to our hosts, the organizers of this event Tourism Authority of Thailand and TATNewsroom teams:
**All photos by TATNewsroom Team