Back "Home" in Bangkok again

Old Oct 23rd, 2012, 05:50 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Back "Home" in Bangkok again

I left Chicago on Monday, about 2:30pm (roughly 2 hours late) and had a shorter than usual layover at Narita, (not enough time to shower) before jetting off to Bangkok, arriving Wednesday at 11:10pm. ORD-NRT was a bumpy flight but NRT-BKK was smooth as silk.

We did not have a gate at BKK, but had a parking spot on the tarmac and then rode a bus up to the terminal, arriving close to immigration. This is fine with me. Often the arrival GATE is waaaaay out from immigration, and one has to walk a long distance to go thru passport control. I was the first one in line to get passport checked, being one of the first ones off the plane! I had a seat in the upper deck from NRT to BKK (but I rode in the back of the bus from ORD to NRT... no upgrade..). I survived by reading ALL of a new James Patterson novel (Guilty Wives) to pass the time. The flight attendant could not believe I read the whole thing! I gave her the book when I deplaned at NRT. She said she reads all of James Patterson's books. It was a good/fast read with interesting twists and turns. My first by James Patterson. I will read more of his work!

It took about 15 minutes to wait for my luggage, and then off to the taxi stand. Again, no line! I was being whisked into the city by about 11:40, getting to Adelphi just past midnight. Wide awake (I slept from NRT to BKK), I dropped my bags and headed down Sukhumvit to visit friends at Sports Academy. A couple of cold beers, and then a few of us went to Pickled Liver for food around 2am. It wasn't Maeng's garlic shrimp, but it was still tasty, and I was hungry. I think my head hit the pillow at about 4:15am.

I am in a "deluxe" one bedroom apartment (smaller than my usual "executive" apartment) at Adelphi, but when I checked in last night I was told I could be moved today (this afternoon) to an apartment with a balcony! That'll be a first for me. I had asked about it, but was pretty much told that it would not happen. Anyway, I am NOT unpacked, waiting to unpack when I get settled into my BALCONY apartment later on today! My clothes will have to stay packed just a wee bit longer! If I look wrinkled, you'll understand why...haha.

I'm up at 6:15 this morning. Jet lag.... gotta love it. Time to shower and get breakfast. I have a craving for fresh fruit!

Not sure what all this trip (#29 to Bangkok) has in store for me. DS is coming over also, but arriving 48 hours after me. I have two days 'on my own'... (I'll survive!!). I know that we will have dinners with various friends, and will possibly go south to Ban Bueng for a visit to the 'weekend house' of some very dear friends. I know that we have a fodors GTG on Nov 1, the day before I jet back home. I know that at some point I will observe a practice run of the royal barge procession down the river. I think there just might be an evening at Tawandang at some point (LOVE that place). I know that a dear friend is coming from Samui for a few days, and another dear friend will come down from Chiang Mai for a visit. Sounds like there will be enough going on to keep me on the go!!! (but I'll leave time for shopping)

I always enjoy being back in Thailand, and back in my favorite city, Bangkok!!

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2012, 06:20 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,844
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Carol, did you have to bring those gray Midwestern skies with you? It's the first morning in well over a week that it hasn't been clear and sunny. Oh well, enjoy your stay this time - and you forgot to put Asiatique on your list of to-dos.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2012, 07:37 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ah, yes! Asiatique! I must see what the hype is all about.

I left a sunny day in Chicago, but pouring rain in Narita. I guess it was the Japanese weather, not midwestern weather that I have brought along with me.

Care to help out with quiz night on Thursday Nov 1? My last night in Bangkok. Beer Vault (Four Points) first and then Pickled Liver. And then I'll have to finish packing and catch a flight early on 2nd.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 01:25 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13,697
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glad you arrived safely. Have a ball!

By the way, have you stayed at the Pan Pacific Serviced Apartments in Thonglor at Sukhumvit, soi 55? As of the other day, I have put it on my list. I'm keeping all of my options open when it comes to accommodations.

I have wanted to explore Thonglor area more. My Thai friend and I used to hang out there, some years ago, and before it built up like it supposedly has now.

By the way, my Thai friend will be moving to Issan in the months to come. Her very long-term boyfriend is building them a house from the ground up. I e-mailed her a couple of days ago to see how the house is coming along as he's also building a room for me. She said it's coming along nicely and she'll e-mail over photos of the progress. I requested an ocean view from my bedroom. They cracked up as of course there's no ocean. So, she called and told him my request and he said that he'll put up a poster of the ocean in my room. LOL!

They have been together for over 15 years, since back in their BKK university days. He's from Issan and works in his long-time family business which she will probably end up working for.
One of his siblings is an interior designer. So, this new life will be interesting. He'll keep his BKK house and also have the Issan one,too. Years ago, he said that he and I should go into business together. His family is very design geared.

Oh, as for BKK, the Column Serviced Apartment building e-mailed me the other day with an offer of 85,000 Baht for a month in a large 1-bedroom apartment. And they e-mailed again and said that I wouldn't need to pre-pay, but that I could just pay upon arrival. I hate to prepay anything.

Things get complicated when stays become 30 days or more. Then one has to deal with different rates, pre-paying the entire amount upfront to get the monthly rate, prepaying a deposit of a month's rent plus the actual month's rent, etc...etc...etc....Scream! It's been a real headache.

I've been dealing with a lot of buildings and the policies have been all over the place. One needs a fine-tooth comb to try to figure some of them out. And that also goes for the non-serviced apartments. I've become cross eyed reading it all.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 01:34 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,844
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, Carol, tomorrow is your day to see the procession practice. I was down on the river today and the notices were up that there would be a practice tomorrow (Thursday). Note that the express boats stop running at 11:00 am and don't start up again until after 5:00 pm.

I've been meaning to get back to Asiatique myself, since the last time I was there a lot of places still weren't open yet. Now that the rains seem to have stopped, I'll have to get around to it.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 02:31 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
guen---we stayed at pan pacific last year for one night.. its ok, but nothing special..location is great and crepes and co is on ground floor... easy to airport from there.
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 02:37 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13,697
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks. I'll keep it on the list.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 03:39 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Guenmai, I have not stayed at Pan Pacific. That location would be quite a ways out from soi 8-15, where I spend the bulk of my time. The BTS shuts down at midnight and I am often out later than that.

Michael, here comes the rain!! Maybe....?? I've been watching it from my balcony. I rushed to get back to Adelphi from Central Chid Lom area (today was my salon day with OD) thinking the rain was coming right away. Still waiting after an hour... I can see a sprinkle or two of rain on the windows now. Sky was very dark, but seems a bit lighter now, so maybe rain will not be quite so much of a down pour. BTW, I think our group will go down to the river to watch a practice on the 29th instead of tomorrow.

My move to an apartment with balcony was quick and easy, and it happened at 10:30 this morning. I'm on a higher floor, and I look in the direction of soi 15 and Asok BTS station. The balcony is really a good size, and it has a wrought iron table and 3 chairs for dining outside, should the rain go away!!!

This apartment is not as large as our usual executive one bedroom (and for a little bit less money than exec, of course) but I rather like the room arrangement. The bedroom/bathroom area is very private from the livingroom and kitchen (w/washing machine). I posted a few photos on FB if interested. I think I'll enjoy my stay here! My DH would like it except storage and closet space is much more limited than in an exec apt.

I bought my 25-ride BTS ticket today. It is an adult rabbit card. The cost was 575, which included the rides, the new card fee and VAT. I'm looking at my receipt(s) to see if I can figure out what the individual costs were, but difficult to figure out. This type of card is more expensive than the past stored value card, which I believe was 35 baht for the card, which I would leave for the maid when leaving BKK. This one is at least 100 baht extra. But it will be good if I can continue to use it for two years!! BTW the English text with the card rules is covered up by a "NEW ISSUE" sticker!

We'll see if the rain gets done quickly. If not, I'm in for the evening at 5:45. I can eat my dinner at Monsoon (appropriate name...haha) in the lobby if need be. They do have great tasting dishes so would be a good choice. If the rain stops and I can walk down to Sports Academy, I will eat Thai food with 'the girls' and then call it an early night.

Sleep will be very welcome tonight. I sleep well during a storm!! Lucky me!!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 06:14 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,357
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rain! Carol did you bring the rain with you again?

Where is the recommeded place I get some baht at BKK when we arrive to pay for our driver? Where is this VASU(sp) place you and Ken always talk about?

Looking forward to seeing you soon!! Will Brad be there too?

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 06:26 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,357
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aloha Guenmai!!! Nice to see you again!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 10:15 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13,697
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, HT. I send greetings to Mrs. HT.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 10:21 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Vasu is on Sukhumvit, at the corner of soi 7/1. (the new Pickled Liver is at the very end of soi 7/1) Exchange rate is just over 30.0 right now, not great. Vasu will have the best rate though.

HT there are exchanges at the airport for getting enough to get you into the city, and then you can make your way to Vasu. Or else try a Super Rich location. Also very good rates. Maybe even better than Vasu??

You arrive on 30th? Is that right? 31st is Halloween, and lots of parties all around Sukhumvit, and people in costumes. Should be good people watching!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 06:33 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bangkok is sunny and beautiful this morning. Coffee on my balcony at 6:30 delightful!!!

Shopping day with dear friend, Khun Nok (teacher). She is on vacation during October and is not travelling during this time off from school, so we can have a good day!!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2012, 07:27 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,289
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glad you're safely back in Bangkok. Wish I was there! It's cold and rainy in Seattle.
Kathie is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2012, 03:36 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It was nice running into Pook at Central Chitlom store this afternoon. Khun Nok and I went there to see the display of flowers. WOW WOW WOW is all I can say. The celebration decorations are mind-blowing. They will only be on display until the 28th, I think, so those of you coming into the city after that will have missed out on something amazing!

Shopping was at Platinum Fashion Mall (more jewelry from Coco Banana) and a look around Central store. Not many packages today. That's OK. I don't need to TRY to fill my suitcases! lol

Lunch was a selection of Thai food dishes from the food court on the 6th floor. All delicious.

Tonight is quiz night on soi 15, so I am heading there for a get together with Nok, Ya, and other friends. I don't know that we will try to form a team and compete... probably NOT.

DS arrives from home tonight and I will try to stay awake for his arrival.... but my eyes REALLY want to close...

Coffee... I need coffee!!!

It has been a gorgeous sunny day in Bangkok. I cannot complain about the weather.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2012, 03:38 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Forgot to mention today's exchange rate at VASU... 30.68. One of the street walk-ups was posting 30.26, so VASU, as usual, had a better rate.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2012, 04:17 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,897
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Carol - sounds like you are really slumming it this time, riding in the back of the plane, etc. Enjoy your stay!
Craig is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2012, 02:08 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I survived, Craig. Would have preferred that my upgrade ORD to NRT had cleared... alas, it did not.

Today I found BLING for my new smart phone. MBK is certainly the place to find it. I bought some bling for folks back home as well. Amazing what you can find here in Bangkok!!!

Tonight I may have drinks at the top of the Sofitel with another fodorite who is here in the city. We'll see if it happens.

Lunch was Korean chicken and BBQ chicken at Paragon food court. Yum!

Big party at Pickled Liver tonight! Should be a good time.

Maeng has her cooking school on soi 11, at the Suk 11 Hostel. I have heard that she is trying to get away from the past, so I think I will wait until she is ready to get in touch with me. If you want a really good Thai cooking lesson, I'm sure Maeng gives a very traditional class. I have not taken it, but I do not hesitate in suggesting that others here, who have not met Maeng in the past or have not seen her more than once or twice, she would enjoy giving you a cooking lesson. I just wanted to give this update because some had asked about Maeng.

Another sunny day in Bangkok, but we may get rain sometime tonight.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2012, 07:06 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
good to hear about maeng
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2012, 09:31 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bob, I hope this works out for her. Saw two more of her good friends tonight at the party at Pickled Liver. They have not heard from her either.

Tomorrow we are off to Ban Bueng, to the weekend house. The rest of the gang is staying for a few days, but I'm heading back to Bangkok tomorrow night. Things to do on Sunday!
simpsonc510 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -