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Boy Falls Off Elephant...Man Buys Japanese Toilet: BKK/Cambodia/Golden Triangle/Tokyo w/Teens

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Feb 28th, 2007, 11:27 PM
  #1
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Boy Falls Off Elephant...Man Buys Japanese Toilet: BKK/Cambodia/Golden Triangle/Tokyo w/Teens

We are two adults and two boys, 13 and 16. Husband and I had each been to Asia premaritally and for work, but this was our first time as a family.

Now we�re hooked and thinking about Laos/Vietnam or India(as soon as we accumulate another 440,000 miles.)

Extremely grateful to our Fodorite advisors who patiently helped me plan right before the crazy holiday period. Ended up with just what we wanted - a balance between a relaxing vacation and a great cultural experience for the family (and, as a bonus souvenir, a brand new toilet).

MILEAGE COUP:
Our SE Asian travels began with a major life accomplishment - Just two months before our trip managed to book four AA Business awards for our inflexible winter holiday vacation dates.

ITINERARY:
3 nights Peninsula BKK
3 nights Victoria Angkor Siem Reap
4 nights Anantara Golden Triangle
2 nights Tokyo Prince Park Hotel Tower

TRAVEL:
Easy, airports remarkably efficient (except LAX, an embarrassment). Though we moved around often, never felt rushed or stressed. Booked internal flights online, visited Bangkok Air website compulsively after we were able to add two extra days.

JAL BUSINESS:
Three international legs. Flat beds, far superior to American (Tokyo-LAX), which cried out for updating and more lumbar support. Younger son said JAL was one of his trip highlights, not because of the flat seats or personal entertainment system...It was the limitless supply of instant noodles, Ramen de Sky.

WEATHER:
- Comfortably warm in Bangkok
(70-85 F), breezy(!)in the mornings
- Perfection in Siem Riep (80sF), tropical, but not too hot
- Balmy in the daytime at the Anantara (high 70s); very chilly two nights out of four (high 40sF), the other two nights were comfortable in the 60s.
- Sunny and cold in Tokyo (40-45F)

BUGS:
- One or two bites in Siem Reap; none in the Golden Triangle. (The Anantara GM was shocked that our travel doctor said we needed antimalarials there.)
- We all took Malarone every night with dinner - zero side effects.

SOUVARNABHUNI:
Passed through so many times that we learned to spell it, pronounce it and find all the Boots pharmacies. At first we thought the architecture was quite something, but it looks like a mall in our photos. Luggage always arrived instantly; no problem with cracked runway delays, customs, immigration, bathrooms, restaurants, or finding and hiring �limo�. We did have to take shuttle buses to domestic flights, though.

THE PLAN FOR NO WHINING ABOUT SIGHTSEEING:
1 � Return to hotel every day by 2 pm to nap, read, swim, walk, watch British soccer.
2- Stay in hotels with pools plus other teen-friendly offerings - tennis & squash at Anantara, bowling at Tokyo Prince Park. The Victoria Angkor�s webpage said they had ping pong and billiards. In fact there was just a game area in the bar with chess and backgammon, but that was fine with the boys.
3- Teach kids (and ourselves) something about Buddhism in advance. Unfortunately we didn�t do this, so the boys still think Nirvana is the state you achieve after a day in the video arcades of Shibuya.

Next: Bangkok
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Mar 1st, 2007, 01:58 AM
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Bonjour Crosscheck,

<<<<Teach kids (and ourselves) something about Buddhism in advance. Unfortunately we didn’t do this, so the boys still think Nirvana is the state you achieve after a day in the video arcades of Shibuya.<<<<<<

It isn't ?
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Mar 1st, 2007, 06:30 AM
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Not sure what I'm enjoying more, the information, or the style in which it's written. It looks like you covered an amazing amount of ground in a short period of time and took away some significantly personal impressions.
Looking forward to much more
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Mar 1st, 2007, 06:36 AM
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great start....look forward to more details....
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Mar 1st, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Loving your report, crosscheck!
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Mar 1st, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Thanks for sharing your trip report; I'm really enjoying it.
But tsk tsk for introducing your children to business class at such a young age....there is no going back to coach for them now! I recall a trip report from another Fodorite with 4 kids: mom and dad sat at the front of the plane and kids in the back.
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Mar 1st, 2007, 09:48 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for the kind words.
I am working on something for my real life but will post the next installment by the end of the day.

cruisinred,
I know what you mean about "never going back." Had a job where we only flew first class, and it was no fun going back, even to business.

I did see the report (ccc's?) about the parents in front and the kids in back. A wise idea. But our younger son had developed an aversion to long trips after a horrendous flight back from Sydney with 3 extra hrs. on the ground. Both kids had always been flexible and enthusiastic travelers, and it was worrisome that one was now complaining about going to faraway destinations.

So when AA offered me four peak-period tickets to a place where we actually wanted to go, it seemed like a miracle and I thought I'd grab them.

On a certain level it paid off - Kids are now spoiled, but in their memories the flights were a cool part of the vacation. And they get that this was a luxury trip. They are still looking forward to being backpackers on bumpy buses and staying in huts on the beach.
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Mar 1st, 2007, 11:48 AM
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Great start!! Can't wait for the rest!
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Mar 1st, 2007, 12:45 PM
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I'm enjoying your trip report and your style of writing too.
Looking forward to the next instalment.
A job where you fly First..... How great. My company won't even pay the difference/co pay if I upgrade to business using my own miles.
Sue
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Mar 1st, 2007, 02:53 PM
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BANGKOK:
Will tell you about our visit to Bangkok, I promise. But first, before you all get upset with us for not falling in love with everyone's favorite Asian city, I must provide some background.

A NASTY INFECTION:
One of us usually requires medical attention on our trips. Some ailments/injuries have been exotic (a monkey attack in the Yucatán); others have been mundane (bronchitis in Rarotonga).

This time we were well prepared. Had previously visited many disease-ridden places, but never before had consulted a travel doctor. As a result, we were traveling with remedies for SARS, Avian Influenza, malaria, traveler’s diarrhea, deep wounds, plus an assortment of long and short-acting sleep aids. Now if (rather, when) one of us got sick, we could skip the clinic and treat ourselves.

Early in the morning on the way to LAX, I realized in horror that it was my turn to create anxiety and possibly ruin a vacation because of illness: Skin inside my right ear was bright red and the adjacent gland was noticeably swollen. Concerned about flying (on eight flights) with an ear infection, I called our Family Practitioners’ answering service and asked the operator to wake up the physician on call.

CIPRO:
Luckily, the doctor said, it sounded as if I had an outer ear infection, which is not the kind that causes excruciating pain at high altitudes. Listed the various antibiotics we had procured for potential gastrointestinal ailments. The doctor said Cipro would work for my condition.

It didn’t. Eleven hours later when we had to change planes in Tokyo, I was certain my infection had morphed into an advanced stage of flesh-eating bacteria.

It was then that it occurred to me that I had not asked how much Cipro to take. I might have taken the proper amount to cure explosive diarrhea, but not enough to unswell my now-enormous gland.

A CALL TO A MEDICAL HOTLINE:
The people in the JAL Business Lounge rushed off to find a doctor. Meanwhile, because it was the middle of the night in LA, we decided to make use of the CSA Worldwide Emergency Medical Hotline, a 24/7 service provided by the travel insurance we had purchased on www.insuremytrip.com

The Hotline Operator put me right through to a nurse. Explained the situation, and the conversation with the Hotline Nurse went something like this:

Hotline: I’m sorry, I cannot prescribe medicine.
Me: My doctor has already prescribed the medicine. I just need to know the correct dose.
Hotline: Isn’t there a dosage on the bottle?
Me: There is, but this was prescribed for diarrhea and I have an ear infection.
Hotline: Do you have vomiting?
Me: If I were vomiting, I would know what dose to take. Can’t you just find out the dosage for ear infections?
Hotline: No, I cannot.
Me: But I am about to get on a six-hour flight. Is there a doctor there I can speak to?
Hotline: I highly suggest that do not take any medicine without a prescription.
Me: I do have a prescription. It is just for the wrong illness. I won’t hold you responsible if I o.d. In fact, you can prevent me from overdosing by telling me the correct dose.
Hotline: I cannot prescribe medicine.

This went on and on. But as we were speaking (thanks, Tokyo, for primo wireless internet), we googled “Cipro” and found out that I should just double the dose.

As we boarded the next flight, I thought about how I could have posted my Cipro query on Fodors. Surely KimJapan would have known the answer and responded instantly. Or maybe Kathie would have been awake.

Next: Why We Didn't Love Bangkok
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Mar 1st, 2007, 03:46 PM
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Its okay...If everyone loved Bangkok, it would get so darn crowded that no one could enjoy it!


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Mar 1st, 2007, 04:11 PM
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More......we need more! This post is fantastic....I knew from the title I would enjoy it.

Thinking you are about to board a plane with a flesh eating virus is no laughing matter, but obviously all came out well, as you are able to write about it with such humor and some great tips about handling emergency illness while traveling. Please keep this going....
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Mar 1st, 2007, 07:04 PM
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lcuy,
Bkk is so darn crowded - that was part of our problem!
suehuml,
The job with the first class travel had lousy pay, they just cared about appearances.
Kathie, Bob, Lindsey, jenskar, Florence,
Thanks so much...I originally wrote something much drier, but after Gpanda's reprimand for tardiness, I thought I would add some of the wackier moments.
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Mar 1st, 2007, 08:08 PM
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i also hope that you have now noted all the posts about bumbergard (sp)hospital in bkk....they would have you up and going in no time...

btw, please don't wait to accumulate that many miles, just pay and go...
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Mar 1st, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Bangkok crowded??? OMG, when did that happen?? It was so serene and relaxing last time I was there!

;-)
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Mar 1st, 2007, 08:17 PM
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i hardly saw a person on the street
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Mar 1st, 2007, 10:11 PM
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Enjoying your report...
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Mar 3rd, 2007, 06:23 AM
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More please, before this thread falls off of page one!
Carol
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Mar 3rd, 2007, 07:27 AM
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Big surprise, Bob did not see a person on the street. Neither did Godzilla.

Pandas do not reprimand. We are unwilling to EVER cast the first stone. Sometimes, we do make strong suggestions. Keep the report rolling.
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Mar 3rd, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Thanks, everyone.

I have sent the next installment to Jed for spellchecking. Should be ready to post by this afternoon.
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