The Alfa Romeo Owners’ Clubs of Singapore and Malaysia kick started their annual calendar of activities with a holiday drive to the sun soaked island of Phuket. Situated in the beautiful blue waters of the Andaman Sea, it is Thailand’s largest island and connected to the mainland by a bridge.

The two Clubs’ journey started with a stopover in the border town of Danok, Thailand to regroup and a have a good night’s rest before proceeding on to rendezvous with several Alfa Romeo owners who would be joining for Pattaya. By this time the Singapore cars had covered about 800km, which put the group just over the halfway point in the journey to the beautiful shores of Phuket.

The route to Phuket brought the convoy of cars into Krabi for a lunch stop, passing through mountainous landscapes. Further following the instructions of the GPS routing, a coastal route was found, offering not only a shorter distance as oppose to the highway route but also pleasant change to the scenery albeit roads that were not expected. It was an experience for the drivers and cars, gingerly traveling along a pot hole ridden road before venturing onto a dirt road. All cars made it safely along.

The Singapore/Malaysia convoy soon reached a local rest stop along the highway, which served as the rendezvous point with the Pattaya group. We would now carry on and travel as a “tri-nation” convoy towards Phuket.

In Phuket, the AROC Tour de Phuket group was hosted by Novotel Resort Phuket, situated on a hillside at the end of Patong Beach, the most developed beaches of Phuket with a multitude of leisure activities for everyone day and night. In 2004, this was one of the beaches that succumbed to the devastation of a tsunami which brought the island and the world to a standstill. A reminder of this can be seen by several beach side monuments erected as well tsunami evacuation direction signs along the buildings. Novotel Phuket was one of the few establishments that was not destroyed.

With a free and easy programme, the group ventured Phuket with different activities, some taking an ATV tour of the southern coast while others took a kayaking tour of James Bond Island and its surrounding caves. As a group a morning drive on the last day, was organized to Promthep Cape, located at the Southern most tip of Phuket. A coastal drive consisting of a series winding roads and hills, past beautiful idyllic Karon, Kata and Nai Harn Bay beaches.

The stay in Phuket was capped off with a gala dinner, which included a lucky draw of prizes featuring Alfa Romeo apparel, collectibles and books. With the support of Citimex International, a regional distributor of writing instruments and timepieces, a Delta Cuore Sportivo Award was created to mark a new tradition in honouring the participant who embodied the ‘sporting heart’ and was exemplary of the kinship fostered and encouraged on such holiday drives. Delta has a long association with Alfa Romeo, with its range of Alfa Romeo series pens with special commemorative editions such as the 1750 Gran Sport and Giulietta 50th Anniversary pens. Gary Wong, from AROC Singapore, was the first recipient of a Delta Veneto pen for this Award, which will be highlight for all holiday drives organized by AROC Singapore.

AROC Tour de Phuket was made possible with the support of EuroAutomobile Pte Ltd (Alfa Romeo Singapore distributor), Novotel Resort Phuket (Official Hotel), Citimex International (S) Pte Ltd (Official Patner) and not forgetting, the participants who made it a memorable event.

by Colin Ong

Photos: Colin Ong & Rahima / © 2009 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed