Business summit

Michael Alan Hamlin

Posted on March 2, 2008

Sitting with a group of razor-sharp minds in Phuket

I just returned from a week of traveling to and meeting in Phuket, the legendary and hugely popular beach resort town on the southwest coast of Thailand. Getting to Phuket from Manila isn’t very easy (and not that hard), taking about eight hours of travel and airport chaos including a layover in the cavernous Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. I was there for a conference organized by a client.

While getting there was somewhat tiring, sitting in a room populated by the razor-sharp young minds invited to the conference was intimating and exhausting. I managed to contribute some marginally meaningful perspective in breakouts, but in the plenary sessions I wound up barely recognizing some of the things that I wound up uttering (Nevertheless, interacting with the confident, enthusiastic prodigies present was a hugely refreshing experience.). Incidentally, I was the only grandfather in the meeting. So I stood out in a number of distinctive ways.

The summit took place at Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club (I took the photo above from the lobby, looking out over the infinity reflecting pool that divides the two sides of the resort.), which is a phenomenal place to conduct any meeting. Like other big resort hotels, it is designed as the destination, not just a place to stay. I couldn’t help thinking, though, that as far as beach resorts go, I’ll take the Philippines any day of the week. Sorry, Phuket.

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