Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Bangkok, Penang and Chiang Mai - Kathie's 2006 Trip Report

Bangkok, Penang and Chiang Mai - Kathie's 2006 Trip Report

Nov 27th, 2006, 02:07 PM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
crosscheck, you do a good job of reading between the lines. Here is my summary statement:

We enjoyed our trip to Chiang Mai. But has it become one of my favorite places? Im afraid not.

The issues for me are:
Transport is much more difficult in CM than in Bangkok. And the sprawl means you really need a car and driver to shop. And lack of a public transportation system means that the traffic can be really bad.
The particulates in the air are worse than Bangkok. This apparently has to do with burning trash.
In general, the restaurants are not as good as Bangkok.
Some things are less expensive than Bangkok (like many restaurants and some hotels) but the expense of transport makes it as expensive for me as Bangkok if not more so.
There is some good shopping, but the variety is generally greater in Bangkok. Some things are less expensive in CM, others are the same price as Bangkok.

As you can see, the comparison for me is with Bangkok. CM is too big a city to be billed as rural or the real Thailand as it is often called in the travel brochures. It can be a gateway to more rural parts of Northern Thailand, but no one should go to CM thinking they are visiting a small town or seeing Northern Thailand.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 02:09 PM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
Guenmai, I'd make a guestimate of maybe $200 for setting the stones into earrings. Of course, it depends on the amount of gold needed and teh difficulty of the settings.

Even if the golden sapphire earrings you loved are gone, Lily can make some more for you. I told her you were coming!
Kathie is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 04:56 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,947
Thanks a million,Kathie. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Nov 28th, 2006, 04:28 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 87
bookmark
Jufrpereira is offline  
Nov 29th, 2006, 11:16 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 137
Kathie - Terrific report - am savoring it! Glad to hear it went so well, other than CM, though I doubt that surprised you. Will be following in your footsteps (some anyway) pretty soon - Claire
claire_david2 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2006, 11:56 AM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
Claire, I was just thinking about you! I thought I would email you to let you know the report was posted.

I'm sure you and David are getting impatient for your trip. I know you'll have a wonderful time.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 01:08 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 278
Hi Kathie,

Outstanding trip report. Sounds like the transport person at YCV was very pushy, and unclear with the prices. I think the hotel and the transport company are separate entities, but if a hotel has them as their main source of transport than they need to be more hands-on.

Still reading your report makes me long to go back there. Don't think that will happen anytime soon as we just had a baby.

Anyway, cheers.

alibi13 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 05:55 AM
  #28  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
Congrats on your new baby, alibi!

Yes, the transport at YCV was a problem, and I mostly wrote about it to warn others. We managed to take care of ourselves.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 07:47 PM
  #29  
mjs
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,340
I just wanted to say that it was good to meet you and Cheryl at the ROS last week. Missed Gpanda as I did not see any furry creatures in the Lounge when I passed through on the 25th. Had the best ever massage at Face with the Rejuvenation session sports massage. In general, I find that those who do massage tend to do the same thing to everyone. My masseuse found a spot in my upper back where all the tension seems to go and really worked it out. I think I need to import her to California. The girls and I could have skipped the body scrub. Anne liked her coffee scrub. Thai dinner was good upstairs although at US prices.
Got hurt at S.J jewelers. Lil was not working friday.
I still think 10 carats as too much but I was outvoted. In any case we just got back and I need to get some sleep. We may see you in Thailand next year!
mjs is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 08:11 PM
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
Cheryl and I enjoyed meeting you, too. Glad you enjoyed Face spa and food. What did you buy at SJ??? Post a trip report!
Kathie is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 12:19 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 11
We stayed in the Cheong Fatze Mansion in Georgetown in June this year. We had the Peony room. All rooms were named after flowers and decorated by local artists. Sitting dowstairs in the open for evening cocktails was lovely.Was a great experience.
kimley is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 08:06 AM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
kimley, when we toured the mabsion, they showed us the guest rooms. It must have been quite an experience to stay there!
Kathie is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 12:22 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,473
Great report Kathie. I'm glad you like Penang and the E&O so much. It was one of the best parts of my trip to Malaysia. Is the E&O still freezing though? That was my only complaint about the hotel.

It was interesting to read your thoughts about CM. As you know, it wasn't my favorite place either but I've been thinking of giving it another chance. Perhaps next time. One question, how exactly does a Caesar salad perform?
laurieco is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 12:37 PM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
Laurie, I remembered that you said the E&O was freezing. We didn't eat in the fancy restaurant (1882?) but everywhere else we went, the temperature was fine. So they must have fixed it!

Laurie, Ceasar salads made table side with a flourish have always struck me as a theatrical performance, thus "Ceasar Salad performed our table."

I'm glad we went to CM, there were some specific reasons to go this time (Royal Flora, celedon, Akha textiles). But I was stuck by how much CM had grown, and by how litle it had changed for me.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 06:02 PM
  #35  
mjs
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,340
Hmmm... a trip report. Should probably do one first on Prague, Budapest, Croatia from this summer.
Got hit at S.J. for a 4.7 carat blue sapphire pendant with three small diamonds, 2.7 carat blue sapphire earrings, some small ruby earrings and a couple of white gold chains. Should count for a few Christmas, birth dates and aniverseries.
mjs is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 06:20 PM
  #36  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
It sounds like you did well at SJ!
Kathie is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 09:24 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
aloha kathie,

we checked out YCV the week before it opened (at james' request) and had a personal tour by the manager. she gave me her business card and told me she was well aware of the fodor asia website and the quality of travellers and our expectations. I can get her information
if you want to report directly to her about the travel desk. she wanted input expecially if there were any problems.


divediva is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2006, 07:42 AM
  #38  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,997
divediva, I'd love that info. I really feel they need to know about the ever-changing prices quoted both by their front desk and the taxi/tour desk. I expect some feedback would solve the problem quickly.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2006, 07:40 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 42
Kathie,
What a great report! I will be traveling with a few friends in December and have enjoyed all the info you have about food! This will be our first time in Bangkok, could you give me a few must dos? The best wats, and temples, museums, and your favoite of favoites for great Thai food. I would really appreciate it! Thanks, Thomas
Arthistory is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2006, 12:11 AM
  #40  
mjs
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,340
Well Kathie, I think that whether I did well at S. J. depends on your point of view. This visit to Bangkok is a very different experience from my last trip here as a backpacker in the 70's. If we do go back next year I may have to bring some of my own wines instead of those in the lounge. Drinking a 1990 Bollinger Grande Anne at the moment to celebrate UCLA beating USC today. As Yale also beat Harvard while we were in Bangkok I have been doing well lately if we are to exclude S.J.
mjs is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:31 AM.