Back from the Land of Smiles!

Nov 1st, 2007, 08:26 PM
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Back from the Land of Smiles!

Hi everyone!! I just made it back from Thailand today and everything was fantastic. I got home today at 12:30p EST (Wife will be there a week longer). Against my own advice I took a nap at 2:30 after unpacking. Hit the snooze alarm one time and later woke up at 9:30pm disoriented!!! So here I am

I would like to write a full report of the trip but I am short on time and energy!
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Nov 1st, 2007, 08:50 PM
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Mango7's Condensed Trip Report, Pt1:

As some of you know, the wife didn't double check her visa expiration date (It had expired 10 days before the flight)and was slightly surprised the night before leaving that the expiry date had somehow come so soon, leaving us both fairly distressed (I didn't yell at her either, which is more unbelievable, ha ha).

Early the next day we threw the bags
into the car and drove to the wife's embassy. Fortunately (and unbelievably) she had a friend there who was able to expedite the renewal and we were able to make the flight!!! We were laughing in disbelief the whole way to the airport, it was great.


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Nov 1st, 2007, 09:04 PM
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Great ending to the passport story!
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Nov 1st, 2007, 09:32 PM
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Pt1 Continued:

We "arrove" in BKK at 11:30p and went straight to the hotel. We stayed just off Silom Road at the Swiss Lodge hotel. It seemed like a pretty dumpy area on the way, but we soon realized this was a great location and the hotel was fairly nice, clean, and reasonable. We usually unpack and hit the bed on the first night in Bangkok, but we ventured out onto Silom Road in the wee hours of the morning to grab some street eats, and it was WELL worth it! Som tum and Kow Mun Gai, as well as some other yummy Thai goodies. We ended up doing a little shopping as well, and then retired back "home". Soon, afterwards (5:30 am!!!), the wife gets up and decides she wants breakfast. We again walk to Silom road and eat off the streets. It was really fantastic. It was still dark, but many vendors were out. I was shocked to see that many Thai people (mostly professional) were heading into the California Wow Gym at this unGodly hour. Boy has Thailand changed.
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Nov 1st, 2007, 09:54 PM
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Pt1 continued...

Being in the Silom area, we ate at the vendors quite often. The food there is authentic as it gets. When in BKK we typically go to the MBK eatery on the 5th floor since it is good too, but we have grown bored of doing this since it is not a place you can relax being that it is loud and congested. We did visit once and I got the standard Kow Mun Gai and Som Tum. I noticed that my wife had also gotten the Som Tum but with the addition of Pu Dum (Raw black crab). I looked at her and said "You're eating raw pu??" She said it looked so good and just once won't hurt. I am staunchly against eating any raw meats (and shark fins and she knows this, but proceeded to wolf it down anyway. I have a hard time swallowing the idea of anyone eating a scavenging animal in raw form. The next day she starts producing poop on a more watery consistency each time she goes until it is all water! (I begin to get watery myself). Her brother and sister suggest she go to the hospital, but she insists that she's fine and perhaps this is just the initial effects of the Thai bacterial flora. Midnight comes and she is getting worse, so I think to myself its best if we just go ahead to the hospital, so we walked to BMH right down the street. They immediately threw her on an IV drip and checked her out. We had managed to get there in the right time. The attending MD just smiled when she admitted to eating raw Pu Dum. The next day was a wash out since she had to recuperate (Me too!). I was jovially pissed off at her once again. She swore she would never eat Pu Dum again, but at the time it just looked so good and she couldn't control herself.
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Nov 1st, 2007, 10:17 PM
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Yowza! I'm with you, no raw shellfish or meat for me. Ok, not never, but certainly not in Thailand.

Enjoying your report. Would love to hear more about specific street vendors and locations if possible.

Thanks!
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Nov 1st, 2007, 10:21 PM
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I forgot to mention that I usually feel depressed and generally like crap when I return from Thailand, but I feel remarkably good right now. The weather was beautiful when I arrived home today, and everyone was nice, including the immigration officer who usually abuses me when going through customs.
On this trip I stopped drinking so much coffee and coke like I usually do and I felt great for the large part of the trip. Usually, I mentally feel like toast on my prior Thai trips, on a constant basis! I am so happy I found what I was doing wrong On the flight home I usually gorge myself with Japanese goodies (MSG) and drink coffee, tea and coke. Make sure you don't do any of these things!

So anyway, these first few days in BKK was nothing but shopping and eating in the MBK/Paragon area, since these are our favorite things to do Bangkok is such a feast for the senses! I did see a young elephant walking around the Patpong area to my surprise, one night. I never thought I'd see that since they usually don't allow them anymore... It was a really contrasting moment.

I will continue tomorrow!

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Nov 1st, 2007, 10:34 PM
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Hi Kristina! We ate on Convent Road (Soi convent) where it meets Silom road. There are a string of vendors along Silom Road on the side opposite to Patpong in this area. There are also some excellent hole-in-the-wall restaurants here too that have Thai/Chinese signs out front. The key is to find the ones that are packed with Thais during mealtimes. You may have to sit in very close proximity to Thai people, but it only adds to the whole experience of doing it like the Thais do! Just make sure you keep lots of napkins in your purse and wipe off your utencil before using them (this is what we do!).
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 05:31 AM
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Mango,
I'm glad your wife was able to get over her stomach problem. Not a good way to spend a vacation!

What sorts of things do you like to buy from the street vendors? I'm always looking for beaded bags and scarves and such.

How does Silom compare to Sukhumvit? I have been staying in the Suk area and like the close proximity to Paragon and Siam and MBK and other favorite shopping places.
Carol
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 08:21 AM
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Keep it coming. Silom is one area we've not yet explored. Your report will help in choosing restaurants. I note the report is prompt, penalty avoided!
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:11 AM
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I love your report till now!!
My family (husband, two teens and I) are spendind 10 days in BKK in December. This will be their first time there!!! We are very anxious!!!
How was the weather? Too hot?
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:57 AM
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lery- adhere to my BKK 10 Commandments and they will be fine!
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 10:48 AM
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lery
Just a quick tip since you are taking a couple of teens to BKK. Make sure you go see a movie in one of the GOLD CLASS theaters. They are fantastic!!!! The seats (about 30 in the whole theater) are all Lazyboy type recliners. Some have built in massage. You get pillow, blanket, footies, and you have a little table for your popcorn and drink. It's fantastic!! Doesn't even matter if the movie is any good... haha

BTW there is a new theater of this type at Siam Paragon shopping mall at the SIAM skytrain station. I've not been in it, but a friend just came back from BKK a couple of weeks ago and said that this new theater complex is even better than the one I've been to a number of times at Siam Discovery. Check it out!

Enjoy your trip! Wish I was returning to BKK in December, but it looks more like end of January or early February will be my next trip there.

Carol

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Nov 2nd, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Carol- we will be in BKK Jan 22 thru 27. ( In Pattaya Jan 18 thru 21).
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 12:08 PM
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Carol- We usually like to buy anything that catches our eyes, from clothing to necklaces and crazy cute Hello Kitty stuff, etc..

As far as comparing Suk to Silom, you've got me there. The wife is not too fond of Sukhumvit and I don't like being around too many other farangs when I'm in Thailand. We like the Silom/Siam area because of the great food and shopping for trendy clothes and accessories.

Gpanda- Just remember the best Thai food stalls/shops are not restaurants. Just go to the busiest places that you can find!!

Lery- It was very cool, relatively speaking, when we were there. It is always hot in Bangkok, but December is not too bad, so don't worry too much.
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Part2 Trip Report:

I am currently in the throws of some nasty jetlag. I made the mistake of staying up on the computer 'till 5 am this morning! I shouldn't have taken that nap earlier on..

After those few days in BKK, we went to Khon Kaen to see the wife's family. We spent time at the rice fields which were really beautiful since there has been much rain over the past month or so. Lots of frogs, fish and Pu Dum (Black freshwater crabs that can put a hurtin' on you should you eat them raw ). I also had the memorable experience of riding a moped along a dirt road deep in rice-field country...just me, the moped, and a Shih-tzu in the front basket! Rice fields as far as the eye can see, along with sugar cane, palm trees, and bamboo. I was going nearly full throttle at some points on this dirt road. The little dog would look up at me as if to say "are you trying to get us killed?" It was hilarious. Definitely something that not everyone gets a chance at doing.

After a couple nights in Khon Kaen we went back to BKK for a few more nights, this time staying at the Sofitel Centara Grand in Lad Phrao (North BKK). This hotel is very nice and has a great outdoor Thai restaurant called "Suan Bua". The breakfast spread is quite decent too! We ate at a few outdoor restaurants in the area near the Ram Intra expressway that were pretty nice. I can't recall the names since they were all in Thai(Sorry)!
We ended up spending all of our time at MBK/Siam discovery/Paragon as usual. I am sorry if it seems that my report is getting fuzzy. I'm really starting to crash from the jet lag. Next Part to include our colorful trip to Pattaya!

Kurt



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Nov 9th, 2007, 06:36 AM
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Decided to discontinue due to lack of audience interest!

Kurt
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Nov 9th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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Don't stop - there is plenty of interest in trip reports!
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Nov 9th, 2007, 06:56 AM
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Yes, please continue. We are headed to Thailand for the first time this March and are really interested in reading all trip reports!!
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Nov 9th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Reading with intest

Tell everyone more about about Khon Kaen and what you did, part of our plan to get people venturing further into Thailand (!)
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