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SE Asia--Part 2

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I previously stopped as we were leaving Saigon to go to Bangkok.

We made arrangements with Tan to show us Bangkok. As I have already told you, she is outstanding and suggest you contact her at izthai@gmail.com. Ask her about her web site also. That site is what made me select her to show us around.

She had told me that she could not show us around on our first day in the city as she was with another client. She did, however, send a schedule of three palces we should visit on our own as a guide was not really needed. She even gave us transportation and eating information. Day one went off without a hitch.

She met us on day two and we spent the next 3 1/2 days with her. Of course we saw Bangkok and went out of the city on two days. One day we went to the railway market at Samut Songkhram, see NY Times 1-6-08, then to the floating market, Damnoen Saduak.

Another day we went to the Summer Palace, Bang Pa-In and the ancient city of Ayuthaya. The ruins here brought to mind the Roman Forumn. It is a wonderful place to see.

On this day we met a group of school children on a school trip. Their teacher told them if they could meet people from other countries and get their autograph they would receive extra credit on for the day. My wife and I were like rock stars signing our name and country on their papers and books. What fun.

We stayed at the Peninsula hotel on the river which is a true 5 star hotel. Upon arrival we were told that a non smoking room was not available, they were sorry, but they would have to upgrade us to a balcony room. They asked if this was acceptable. There are only two balcony rooms on each floor. Needless to say, this was fine with us.

We ate at a few very good restaurants. First night in Bangkok we did the Loy Nava dinner cruise. It was nice and we got a chance to see the lights of the city as we cruised on the water. Food and service were good and they had several dancers performing thoughout the cruise. The meal cost 2200 Baht.

We also ate at several places within walking distance of the hotel. Yuk Yur, on the river, was very good. Dinner was $44. Yuk Yur, for a fee, will even pick you up and drop you off at your hotel with their own boat.

Another evening we visited Harmonique, No 22 Charoenkrung 34. This was a little hard to find. The food and service was good and dinner cost $22.

We also ate at Silom Village Seafood Restaurant on Silom Road. Dinner was good, cost was $22.

In each of these places the waitstaff did not speak very good English, however, there were other staff menbers who spoke English and helped us order. Also each od these place were open air to some degree which was fine as the weather was wonderful.

I will return later to complete my trip report.

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