Thursday, 13 September 2018


NFMC  TRI-NATION  TOUR ,  DAY # 9&10 :: 02 &03 SEP 2018

     Day#8, the day of transit from Pattaya to Bangkok, with an en-route visit to the SriRacha Tiger Zoo, turned out to be the most challenging one. Our bus experienced a tyre burst, which was expeditiously changed at the next garage. By the time we reached the Zoo, the Bus had a clutch problem. Since there was an uncertainty of the replacement bus, Cdr Vadhera after the Zoo visit decided to move on the same bus to Bangkok, albeit cautiously for the Royal River cruise. The bus came to a halt on the outskirts, but the timely transfer of men and material to 6 luxury vans saved the day for us and we not only made it to the ‘Royal Chao Phyras Princesses’ but also had a chance meeting with a group of NDC Officers on short leave after their foreign visit. We set the dance floor on fire until the last song, before retiring to our suites in Hotel Montein.
        The penultimate day of the tour was reserved for a visit to the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha in the forenoon and Shopping trip in the afternoon, that the ladies were eagerly looking forward to. Cdr Vadhera couldn’t join us due to an upset stomach. After Breakfast, we boarded the bus for the last excursion of our interesting tour. The Grand Palace undoubtedly is the most famous landmark of the city built in 1782 and remained the residence of the Thai King for 150 yrs. It’s presently the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. The Grand Palace continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture having intricate details. We veterans salute the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people. Today this Palace is the spiritual Heart of Thailand. 
        After spending about 2 hrs we moved on to Wat Pho: the temple of  Reclining Buddha. Its one of the oldest and largest Wats of temples in the country and lies to the South of The Grand Palace. We roamed around the entire Wat, got ourselves snapped in group photographs and R/V’ed back to the Bus to drive to our local Indian Restaurant for Lunch. After Lunch, we had about 4 hrs of shopping time for which we were dropped at Watergate Mall. There were a number of Malls around including the Palladium Mall. Most ladies were never tired of shopping even after 4 hrs, while some men, the shopping haters, spent time sitting on a bench while their ladies shopped unrestricted. At 1930 we proceeded to our Indian Restaurant for dinner before returning back to our suites in Montein for the last night in Thailand before returning to our Motherland.
       Next day morning we met for breakfast at 7 am, all seemed excited, having revelled together in this tri-nation tour for 10 days. We all moved together to the Airport having checked out of the Hotel at 0900 hrs. Prayers were chanted enroute, after which Cdr Vadhera thanked and congratulated everyone for the exceptional success of this maiden foreign tour. He mentioned that this being our benchmark, we shall plan for a European tour during the same time next year. His speech was followed by individual experiences and thanksgiving by Dr Mihir Bal, Ms Amitha, Drs Priti, Binti & Mrs Sarita Mehta.
    At the Airport after the baggage check-ins, the Mumbai group, Delhi group and Bangalore/ Hyd groups shook hands and hugged each other before proceeding to their respective departure terminals. Cdr Vadhera mentioned that the NFMC Picnic Abroad shall continue as usual with members wishing each other on Birthdays and Anniv, referring to the Database that has been promulgated. It was quite emotional to bid each other Good Bye having been close together, luxuriated together and freaked out together yet maintaining the respect for one’s seniors. After the individual groups reached their destinations, they Whats-apped in the NFMC Picnic group of their safe arrival.
        Indeed we are certain that the Whats app shall remain abuzz the next day, with members asking Cdr Vadhera in a jovial mood, “Sir, What time is the Bus departing today?”  
      This successful tri-nation tour was the Brain-child of Cdr V Vadhera, Secy NFMC.  A maiden herculean effort to get a group of Naval Veterans together on a foreign tour. It’s indicative of superior organizational and Leadership skills. The coming together of Senior Leading Pillars Capt SS Sethi (SOPA),  RAdm SVS Chary,  Cmde SS Tarate & Surg Capt SC Patra was so very encouraging for rest of us that success was guaranteed during the planning stage itself. We had 5 Doctors in our group who ensured well being of all. The success of this tour could well be attributed to the ethos and values ingrained in us by the Indian Navy.  Shano Varuno ! Jai Hind. !

About the Author of Tri-nation Tour series: 

Commander Rajinder Dutta (Retd) has been a Naval Pilot and a Qualified Flying Instructor with about 3000 hrs of flying on various fixed wing Aircraft of Indian Navy, viz HT-2, HPT-32, Kirans,Islander, Superconnie, Fokker F-27 and IL-38. He is a Master of Ceremonies and OIC  Tambola at US Club.

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