The first stop on my International Miata Road Trip in Southeast Asia was a meeting with the Thailand Miata Club owners in Bangkok.
I had just arrived the night before and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to meet a few people over lunch. Tanet, my Thai Miata Club contact was kind enough to fetch me from my hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 11, which was just a few blocks from our meeting point. It was really neat to see a bright red Miata among all the tuk-tuk’s and mopeds on the busy streets of Bangkok CBD.
After fighting thru traffic on our way to the meeting point, we had a pleasant chat with Tanet about our cars, the Miata community in general and the Road Trip the Miata Club of Thailand was departing on the next day. He invited me to come along… and I was trying to think hard how to make it happen without interfering with the wedding I was attending that weekend… and then we arrived to a whole crowd of Miata’s far more than I had ever expected to see on a weekday during work hours!
To say I was surprised to see so many cars show up to meet with me would be an understatement. I was thrilled and humbled for sure. But before I let it go to my head I quickly jumped out of the car and started taking a gazillion photos of all the colorful MX-5’s. Naturally I gravitated towards the NC’s of which there were many. I was really happy to see the Aston-Martin body kit car in attendance. After seeing pictures of one online I wanted to see it in person, and there it was! There was also the very first ND Miata in the Thai club still wearing the red temporary tags they provide in Thailand. It’s my understanding it was a JDM import with a 1.5L and not the standard 2.0L car dedicated for the Thai market. Nice to see one in flesh! Also nice to see so many modified NA’s and NB’s… it was a sensory overload!
We were whisked away to our lunch venue where the guys refused to take money for my share of the bill, a theme I had found out would repeat itself throughout my Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia visits. A tradition to treat a visitor which I hope I’ll have an opportunity to repay once some of these wonderful owners I’ve met will come to visit NYC. And then we were back to the cars to stage a photo shoot with the new ND Roadster.
And so as we were leaving the venue I decided to commit to the Road Trip the following day… the plan was to drive to the Laos border with the group, a trip that would take about 5 hours making a bunch of stops along the way. Have dinner at the destination, and then hop on an overnight bus back to Bangkok…