Friends in Thai places: when you road trip with the Das Treffen crew
The latest issue of Curves magazine is out – and this time the spotlight shines on the incredible roads of Thailand
The story of the latest issue of the hit magazine, Curves, begins in Bangkok. It starts with a man driving in his Porsche to see a friend. They sit and chat and, at some point, the Porsche driver tosses the key to his 911 to his friend’s son. “Fetch some drinks,” he says with a grin. He had seen how the young man had been eyeing up the Porsche. The lad can hardly believe his luck and drives off.
His name is Sihabutr Xoomsai. His friends call him Tenn, and he went on to organise southeast Asia’s first Porsche meeting in 2016. It’s called: “Das Treffen” (The Gathering). A German name that is short and sweet, and says it all. It contains a certain sympathy for the unembellished nature of the German language, as well as recognising the German-ness of the Porsche brand – and of course, the name says exactly what it’s all about.
As the size and success of Das Treffen continued to grow, Curves creator Stefan Bogner couldn’t resist the temptation to see it for himself. He booked a flight to Bangkok – and was utterly stunned.
“Das Treffen is a force of nature, both global and regional at the same time, a melting pot of the most diverse car stories and biographies, a moving reminder of the binding, equalising, democratic effect of the Porsche brand. And a festival of friendship. It is exactly the same as the idea behind Curves," explains Bogner.
When he left Bangkok, he had found friends: Tenn, the Renndrive gang, the Porsche community of southeast Asia. And he knew that he would be back next year. After the 2018 Treffen, plans were put in place for a Curves-style extension – a road trip in northern Thailand, out of Bangkok and into the mountains.
“Tenn told us that the roads up there are amazing, and I was keen to find out for myself," Bogner recalls. "A few stunned days later, it was clear that one of the next issues of Curves would definitely take place in Thailand. Not merely a small, controlled and tentative trip in a strange world, but a bold dive head-first into this wild, confusing parallel universe of southeast Asia. Total immersion, with no going back.
"During production of the magazine, we moved our lives to Thailand for several weeks and drove 4,700 miles – a good 3,000 of them on roads that were unbelievably intense and emotional, full of surprises and our favourite thing in the world – curves,” says Bogner, who borrowed a Porsche Taycan Turbo S from Porsche Asia Pacific, in order to explore Bangkok.
On the stages through the northern highlands as well as the coastal stint in the south, Bogner and his team were able to rely on the company of his friends from Renndrive. “They took good care of us in the way that only real friends do, and showed us their version of road-tripping. Traveling in Thailand; on a magical journey so uniquely alien, yet, because of them, strangely familiar.”
“Curves 12: Thailand” is available for purchase here.
Note: “Curves 12: Thailand” was produced before the outbreak of Covid-19. Curves magazine and Porsche are aware of their social responsibilities and are advising against recreating such a trip until it is safe and travel is permitted.
Photos: Stefan Bogner / Text: Ben Winter
Taycan Turbo S: Combined power consumption 26.9 kWh/100km; combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km