Chazen Thailand Part 2!
Company visits continued with a visit to the TUF (Thai Union Frozen) products factory. We donned full-body suits, complete with hats and masks and made our way down through the assembly line. The facilities are spotless and we’re hopeful that the smell of fish will eventually wash off in the shower…
After our busy afternoon at the factory, massages were definitely in order. We headed over to Health Land, an enterprise which many remarked would make for an excellent Operations Strategy case study. Our group was skillfully ushered through the various stages of the experience – from a warm Thai welcome and shoe drop to the after-massage hot tea service – by the friendly staff. The traditional Thai massages were incredible (though very strong!) and at 500 baht for 2 hours, the price is just as impressive (barely more than a sandwich and soda at Uris Deli).
The next morning we were up bright and early for a company visit that even the most jet-lagged Chazen Thailanders would never want to miss- Chang Beer! After an introduction to beer-making and the company’s regional expansion plans and competitive positioning, it was off to tour the factory. The sweet smell of barley permeated the factory floor as we made our way through the cavernous spaces. Most exciting, perhaps, was the private “beer tasting” that was the capstone of our experience at Chang. After merrily drinking down generous pours of all their leading flavors, we felt ready to continue on our journey.
Still in a merry mood following our visit to Chang Beer, we eagerly climbed into the ruins of Ayuddha – Thai’s ancient capital city (a UNESCO World Heritage site). After snapping a few pictures with the stunning Buddha statues, it was on to a nearby site for elephant rides.
Oh the Apsara River Cruise…In our opinion, no visit to Bangkok would be complete without a river cruise dinner like this one. It was, in a word, AMAZING! We had a private chartered boat just for our group, serving delicious traditional Thai delicacies (like Tom Yum soup and green curry) and were treated to an excellent dance show by women we can only assume to be genuine Thai princesses. This was a truly special opportunity to relax with our classmates and take in the incredible views of Bangkok from the river.
The next morning, our guides took us to the Four Seasons Hotel. Wait, that’s not the Four Seasons? That’s a Thai hospital?! Wow. Indeed, we were treated to a meeting with senior management and private tours of the spectacular Bumrungrad Hospital, a leader in the business of medical tourism. Looking at this edifice, which seems very much like a five-star hotel, it’s hard to believe that procedures here actually cost less than half of those in the United States. Good night nurse!