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-   -   Guenmai's Trip Report-August 2007 (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/guenmai-s-trip-report-august-2007-a-731408/)

Guenmai Aug 23rd, 2007 04:52 PM

Guenmai's Trip Report-August 2007
 
So, I'm off to Singapore and Bangkok in a few hours. If I find anything interesting while there, I'll try to post. This is the short, August, Bangkok vacation...9 nights total...The 3-week vacation will come later in the year. So, I don't know how much I'll get done. Take care. Happy Travels!

kuranosuke Aug 23rd, 2007 05:25 PM

have a fun and safe trip. try the laksa in katong when you're in the neighborhood.

hawaiiantraveler Aug 23rd, 2007 05:29 PM

Look for kimjapan in bkk! I already know you'll have fun. See you soon!

Aloha!

Kathie Aug 23rd, 2007 05:59 PM

Have a great trip! While in Bangkok, are you going to look at La Raffine?

KimJapan Aug 23rd, 2007 06:05 PM

Enjoy!

rhkkmk Aug 23rd, 2007 07:58 PM

check out the new emporiums on the river for us all if you have time....

don't spend over $10,000. at cotton house....

look for the lost relatives of "the boys"

Craig Aug 24th, 2007 01:24 AM

Have fun, Guen. Look forward to your report.

simpsonc510 Aug 25th, 2007 09:12 AM

guenmai
I have only a minute to post and wish you happy travels. Can't wait to hear what you are accomplishing in Sing/Bkk.
Carol

Gpanda Aug 25th, 2007 09:42 AM

G-how many hotels in total? You're the Queen of multiple lodging. Have a great time.

Guenmai Aug 25th, 2007 04:36 PM

Thanks, folks. I'm in the Singapore Airport now waiting for my flight to Bangkok. I flew from L.A.-Tapei-Singapore at 1:05AM on Friday morning. It was very long. The plane landed in Singapore yesterday at 11:13 AM and I was putting the key card into my hotel room door at the Fullerton at 11:47AM. I love the efficiency of Singapore. So, I had a LOT to do yesterday. I dropped off my lugggage at the hotel and then took off for shopping and vivsiting friends who are shopkeepers. I went non-stop until 7:30PM and unfortunatley one of my shopkkeeper friends had already closed before I could get to her. I missed her last year,too.
Today is the Singapore marathon so many strrets are closed so the taxi driver had to take a detour. Remember the marathon is always the last Sunday in August. It ends around 10AM. The traffic was gridlock in some areas, but the taxi driver knew other ways to get there. By, the way, he was a great driver and I asked if he did personal driving and he said he did. He only charges S$30.00 and hour. He said he'll drive anywhere around Singapore and to some non-touristy places. He said the war museum out at Changi is nice and few tourist go there. So, he gave me his mobile and home number. I'd call him in a heartbeat. He can also pick folks up at the airport....which really isn't necessary as it's easy to get a cab. But, if you wanted him to pick you up, drop off your luggage at the hotel and then take off for the sites, then that would be an option. Well, I've got to go. It's 8:37AM. Happy Travels!

rhkkmk Aug 25th, 2007 04:55 PM

guen---post his numbers and name for us...many of us might use him....$S 30 is quite expensive however....$ 20 per hour US...

are you on eva air??

the staff are awaiting your arrival at the apartments....

Guenmai Aug 25th, 2007 05:54 PM

I'm on Sinagpore Air. I'm at the gate now. You get 15 minutes free computer use before the screen goes blank except for at the computers at the gate. Anyhow, I can e-mail his name and cell phone/home number to you. I've got to go. It's boarding time. Oh, by the way, the Fullerton was great and I'd definitely stay there again and it's in my favorite area of Singapore anyway so it was perfect. Happy Travels!

Guenmai Aug 25th, 2007 05:54 PM

P.S. Excuse the typos. Happy Travels!

Kathie Aug 25th, 2007 06:07 PM

Guen, I await a full review of the Fullerton!

laurieco Aug 25th, 2007 07:48 PM

Guen, I'm also looking forward to a report on the Fullerton in case I go back to Singapore (and you know I will!) Have a great time in Bangkok. looking forward to hearing about it.

filmwill Aug 25th, 2007 11:23 PM

Guen, hope you have a great trip! Enjoy your time in BKK...however short it is, I'm sure it'll be amazing!

Guenmai Aug 26th, 2007 12:29 AM

I'm in Bangkok now at the internet cafe. I was on my way to the market and had to drop by and say hello to the internet cafe guy who runs the place. When he saw me he smiled and said,"Long time, no see". I had to laugh as I was just here in Dec/Jan for 3 weeks.
As for the Fullerton, it was just great. The room was very spacious. I would say probably 40 meters big. I had a standard room. I didn't have a view, however I had a terrace. The terrace had a 15-foot or so white, wall surrounding it. So, you can look at the situation in two ways....either as a room with no view or a terrace with complete privacy.
The service was quite good in that they don't bother you. If you need something they are there, but if you don't then they leave you the heck alone. I ordered breakfast to be delivered this morning at 6:30AM and the room service person arrived at 6:28AM. She was very efficient. At the bottom of the bill that I had to sign it said,"no tipping" which I like. I hate having to look for money to give tips. I don't always have small bills leftover.
The pool at the Fullerton is on the second floor I think it was. It's an outdoor infinity pool. Not huge, but a decent rectangular shaped pool. It's kind of a small area where the pool is. But everything else was great and the hotel is beautiful. So, next summer during my 9-night vacation, I might take one night off of Bangkok since I'm also in Bangkok Dec/Jan for 3 weeks and then add it to Singapore so I'll have 7 nights in Bangkok and 2 in Singapore. I've stayed in Singapore as long as a week and a half in hte past as I've been going there nearly annually for almost a decade.
Oh, Bob, as for the rate of the driver in Singapore...it's Singapore where workers demand fair wages. So, I don't find it that expensive. Plus this guy speaks very clear English which is a big plus. Yesterday I kind of had taxi hell. One guy I had to tell 4 times that I needed to go to Arab Street and then I had to spell it for him twice. Now, everyone knows where Arab Street is. I was only going from Katong to Arab Street. And the taxi driver who drove me to Katong asked me if I knew where it was. I told him I did and guided him there. So, although Singlish is the language there, there can still be plenty of language mix-ups and communication problems. I've got to go. I have to go to the market and do my grocery shopping and then I'm going to put in my earplugs and go to sleep early tonight. I hope I can stay awake until night since it's only 3:25PM now. Take care. Happy Travels!

rhkkmk Aug 26th, 2007 06:09 AM

how did you book the fullerton and what was the approx. cost??

Guenmai Aug 27th, 2007 09:03 PM

Bob...I called AmExp Platinum and it was about S$279, I think.I just filed the receipt last night.I'll take a look at it again.
So,yesterday I thought I'd get up early, go out and do the errands and come home for lunch and then go out again later. Well, that didn't happen since I slept for 12 hours and didn't go out until around 1 PM. I was exhausted.I had worked the same day that I left to fly to Singapore via Taipei and was exhausted when I got on the plane at 1AM. Plus, I don't sleep on planes. So,by the time I got to BK,2 days later, it was time for me to sleep.
So, yesterday I took the fabric to Cotton House. The owner said that she won't be there the month of December and up until Jan 05th since she's taking a religious journey to Mecca.
But she will leave Da in charge. Also she sends greetings to Gloria...if you're out there reading.She has also opened a new Cotton House next door to Tongue Thai restaurant for those who might feel a bit intimidated to enter the Oriental Shopping Arcade for fear that it's an expensive place. Smiles. So, the new one is right on the street.
As for the new Emporium Suites...well...as things work in Bangkok or barely work in Bangkok, it won't be opening this month either...but either in Nov/Dec/or Feb...many months late. I just talked with the new person who has taken over the position of the person I usually deal with as she's working elsewhere now.I really miss her, but he's great,too...thank goodness. I asked the reception to page him so that I could introduce myself and he came out and we talked/laughed for a good half hour.
The new Emporium will have a different name. It will be called Chatrium Riverside after the Thai owner whose name is Chatrium. Then the Emporium that I stay at will be renamed to Chatrium Suites...this won't be until after the riverside one is finished.

As for the baht, I got 34.00 for the dollar two days ago.

I went by the shop where I bought my Buddha/Monk statues in Dec 2005 and they have some new ones in from Burma.They showed them to me and will take photos and send them to me over the internet so that I can show them to a possibly interested friend. When I asked about the price, the owner of the shop said that he knew the dollar was down so he would price accordingly. He remembered that when I bought mine the dollar was between 39 and 40...not the 34 it is now. So, he gave me both a dollar price and a baht price in case my friend wants to purchase them. He had one from another collection that looked like mine but wearing a black robe which I'd never seen before. Interesting.He said the other 5 with black robes would be coming in from Burma to complete the set. He also had one set of the orange-robed ones a bit similiar to mine. But mine stand out in a league of their own. I'm totally satisfied with my purchase.

So today I thought I'd go to the JT Outlet on Sukumvit, soi 93 since I need to pick up a polo shirt for a friend. But, the Emporium guy I was chatting with said the traffic is a mess since they are extending the skytrain. I remember reading in Bangkok Post back in Dec/Jan while here that the work was in progress. It's supposed to be completed in a year....I'll believe it when I see it. Supposedly 5 stations are being added. So,I don't want to spend 25-30 minutes or more going through that traffic. I'll just pick up my friend's polo shirt at the regular JT store.

Kathie...Raimonland.com has a new building that's under construction as of 2007 and is to be completed in 2011.It's called the River Residence and is the new talk of the town. Raimonland is the company that did some of the condo buildings that I looked at about 2 years ago.They have freehold condos. I might try to call them and go out and see the plan and get info. They are already on sale. If I do, I'll send you info as I'm not interestred in a river location. And Le Raffine's office is in Emporium Tower which I think is the office building attached to me. So,one has to make an appointment to see the place. I hope I get all of these things done.I'm first trying to just finish the things I have to pick up for family/friends. Once that's out of the way, then I can focus on other things. Well, I'd better get a move on it's almost 12 noon. Happy Travels!

glorialf Aug 28th, 2007 01:38 AM

Hi Guen-- glad you're having such a good trip. Say hi to Reed and Da. Tell them I'll be there in mid February with a friend and I will need a LOT of clothes made so get ready.


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