I'm back in Bangkok!

Feb 12th, 2005, 06:12 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
lol.. actully this is one of the rare times where I did actualy laugh out load.. (refering to carol sending E-mails wishing people happy V day..

simpson
actually you got me nervous im bad with days and I thought I forget V day..

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If Im not mistaken snake head is a fish.. I see it all the time snake head fish soup.. but maybe Im wrong again. I wish it were real snake.
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kuranosuk
oops forgot too show you where saxiphone was.. basicly it was 10 yards from where we were sitting.
orgy7 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2005, 04:21 PM
  #42  
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Good morning from Bangkok, once again. It is sunny and sticky at 7:40 in the morning... just the way we like it. LOL

Yesterday was really quite funfilled for me. I was on a couple of missions. My first one, to get my husband an Oriental bathrobe (since he left his last one in a hotel somewhere in the USA) took me down to the river to the Oriental Hotel shops. I was tempted to do a longtail boat ride but didn't. The river is such a vibrant part of Bangkok. Bob, I was also very tempted to check out your favorite riverside hotel, but I didn't...YET.

My other mission was to find a particular Jim Thompson silk purse, like one I bought about a year ago. A friend back home asked me to bring her one like it. I've seen the style but not a good color yet. I went to Jim T shops at the Oriental, Isetan store at Central World Plaza, Central Chitlom dept store so far.

I have not been to China town, but I have heard people speak about it. Right now I'm perfectly happy with Pratunam Center, SuanLum night bazaar, MBK, Siam, and Central Chitlom. Plus, I always look at the stuff the street vendors have to offer cheap. (No, that doesn't mean I'm cheap...LOL) Another mission I am on is to find some little trinkets for about $1 or less, each, that my sorority can sell for $5 or more, to make a little money. We give scholarships to future teachers! It's a great cause. I'm the chair person of the ways and means committee so I'm on a hunt for little things to take back to make a little money !

Last night was great fun. The boys took me out on the town once again. You will not believe where we had dinner. It was a 5 star meal, in every way. The presentation of the food was like the best restaurant in NYC. The foie gras was the best I have ever tasted in my lifetime. Good tender steak in BKK is hard to find, but one of the boys said his was the best he's had here. Veal was excellent, as was the fish the others had for main courses. This was an Italian place so I had my usual bruchetta (melted in your mouth), Caprese salad... YUMMMM.. and then a pizza Margherita. For dessert there was fried ice cream with strawberry sauce. Oh... myyyyy... I can still savor it all. We had two bottles of a Chilean cab sauvignon. The bill was about 8750bht for 4 people. Now I know you will want to know where this five star place is. Right? Are you sitting down??? We ate at the Italian restaurant at the Bamrungrad Hospital!!!!! It was absolutely excellent. If you've not been in Bamrungrad, you should have a look (and register.. no, you don't need to have anything "done" to register). You never know when you might need a hospital visit during a BKK stay. This hospital is like the BEST in SE Asia. The hospital is like a 5 star hotel, in and of itself. Check it out. It is on soi 3, I believe.

OK, so after dinner, what next? We stopped off on soi 3 at the famous (or should I say INfamous) Bamboo Bar. Quite a lively place, with loud music, pool tables, and lots of people. Fun atmosphere for the younger set. I guess the US State Dept says not to visit soi 3... but we didn't have any problems. Thank goodness we were a group of 4.

Next stop, a really nice classy bar called the Huntsman. It is located in the basement of the Landmark Building on Sukhumvit near soi 11. This bar is also a restaurant, with good food, so says one of "my boys". The band was Philippino and awesome! If you closed your eyes, you'd swear Whitney Houston was singing to you. Three girl singers, each took their turn singing different tunes with the great backup band playing. Nice bar, nice atmosphere, not sleazy at all. Very classy. You can add this place to your list of really nice bars in BKK.

Off to Hillary Bar on soi 4. This place has pool tables, live band (loud) and a fun partying atmosphere. For the young, young-at-heart, who like to have a good time, dancing and singing along. Not classy... but a lot of fun. The girls who try to get me to play killer were all there last night. NO, I didn't join their game.

When we left Hillary Bar, there was an elephant and mahut outside the door. How many places can you go where you see a live elephant on the street?

Before I forget, there is a new hotel going up along the river. Actually, it is an old (unfinished) hotel... it was supposed to be a Sofitel. It is across from the Oriental and River City area. It is being refurbished and will open as a Millennium Hilton within the next year, I'd guess. I think it will have a revolving rooftop restaurant... from the looks of the building. That's a guress.

Today my boys are playing in a pool tournament down the street, so I'll be on my own shopping! Still hunting for the right Jim T purse.. this time at the Emporium store and maybe the JW Marriott store. I want to go to the biggest JT store and also the outlet near On Nut skytrain station, but not on my own. They are a little bit away from the safety of my skytrain route, as a woman out on her own in BKK.

Looks like we will try to get to Phuket for a couple of days next week. I'd guess Tues-Thurs. A friend who is a pilot for Bangkok Airways says that passenger numbers for Koh Samui are up 30% from last year. Phuket on the other hand is down to about 10% where it should be at this time of the year. Phuket really needs the tourists to return. We will probably go there and have a look!

Time to get ready for breakfast and then shopping. I'll post again soon.

Carol

simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2005, 06:38 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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sounds like fun carol....that was a pretty expensive dinner for bkk....i make it $52 each....but of course the wine was probably 1/2 the bill...

we did a tour of the hospital 2 years ago and were very impressed...did not know about the restaurant...

as to the JT outlet....take a cab...the neighborhood is fine, even if you want to make the 10-15 minute walk from on nut....it is very safe in comparison to where you hang out in nana...it is 3 or 4 floors....another idea for you is to call the jim thompson main office and ask if they have any of those purses...they probably would help you?????...i think some offices are in that outlet building as well...the 3rd floor is the main general mdse. area...the rest is fabric...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 12th, 2005, 07:02 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hey Carol-my mouth was watering at your descriptions of the food at Bamrungrad Hospital. Sounds wonderful. Keep up the great posts!
Lyndie is offline  
Feb 12th, 2005, 09:48 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Carol, be sure to let us know where and what you find for your sorority sale. I haven't been to BKK yet and want to bring back similar things when I go later this year.
I'm enjoying your posts!
institcher is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 12:14 AM
  #46  
 
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I am staying at the Landmark Hotelin a couple of weeks and I note the skytrain stop is Nana and right near the hotel- is this area around the landmark safe or is it sleazy?. We plan to have a meal at Cabbages & Condoms - can you walk from the Landmark to there and if so is it safe?
troontraveller is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 02:42 AM
  #47  
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I have no problems walking around the Nana area, and am doing so everyday, both day and nighttime. The Landmark is in a good location, not sleazy, because it is right on Sukhumvit Road. It is when you walk down the soi (smaller street/alley) that you see the red light districts and such.

I have never eaten at Cabbages and Condoms so I do not know about walking there. BKK is, for the most part, a safe city. It is amazing, knowing that some 13 million people, give or take a few, live here together. This is the land of smiles and the people are usually very friendly and helpful.

I have had no luck finding sorority items yet, but will keep you posted. I did a lot of looking today, but didn't find what I want. I don't know that I even KNOW what I want, but I'll know it when I see it... that sort of thing LOL!

Bob (rmk)... I took the boat down to the Marriott today to have a look. Nice resort. I can see why you would enjoy staying there. And yes, the pool area is really nice. I'd say it is better than the Oriental's pool, and a close run with Penninsula's, but Marriott's is the biggest one for sure.

I don't think I'll try staying at the Marriott though, because I really don't like waiting for the shuttle boat and then making the 20 min ride downriver. The chilled towel and bottle of water when we got under way were very nice touches though, I must say!

I liked the little shopping area right across the front drive from Marriott. Restaurants, Thai crafts, etc., how nice. Makes it easy to keep snacks on hand without having to carry them so far.

I noted a lot of children at Marriott. It is more family oriented than some of the places I've stayed. If some of you are traveling with your children, keep that in mind. Friends of ours with two girls, 7 and 9, were here last month and stayed at Marriott and enjoyed it. The girls love to get into the pool everyday.

We all have our own opinions, and that's fine. We are entitled to them!
In my humble opinion, I get a much better chance to meet the "real" Thai people when I get off the beaten path and out of the tourist areas. I've stayed at Penninsula, Oriental, Intercontinental, plus Grand President and now Omni Tower serviced apartments. They all have their plusses. When I first started coming to BKK I stayed at a small apt place called Patumwan House. I couldn't begin to tell you where it is, other than walking distance to MBK, and it's down a long narrow soi. It is by far the most basic I've stayed in, no pool, very small one-person restaurant, but the friendliness of the Thai people really makes me want to go back to a place like that once again sometime soon. Friends from Australia are staying at Patumwan House right now. I almost envy them!

(OK, off my soap bos)

Last night I took a box of Swiss chocolates to the cook at the Brunswick. Ming is the sweetest tiny little person, and such a great cook, and I just wanted to give her chocolate to say thanks. Today she had made a plate of mango and sticky rice just for me, that was out of this world. I tried to give her a tip, as she would not let me pay for the dish. She would not take the tip either!

Bob, I did venture out to a number of Jim Thompson stores today. One of the girls at the "main" store called the Outlet store and found out that they did NOT have what I was wanting, so I will not venture out there. No need to. They no longer make the bag that my friend at home was wanting. That's too bad, as it is a really gorgeous silk bag. I get such lovely compliments all the time when I carry it.

Tonight will be a nice quiet evening. I think I'll just have a bowl of that wonderful chili at the Brunswick about 8pm after resting up a bit. No late night for me... unless the "boys" think of something irresistable!

I hope all of you have an enjoyable trip to BKK in your future. This is truly a world class city!

Until tomorrow....

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 03:34 AM
  #48  
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Troontraveller, Cabbages & Condoms is a large pretty restaurant, but we thought the food was below mediocre and the service was the least warm & friendly of any other restaurant in Thailand. There are lots of other restaurants in Bangkok that are much better -- Harmonique was our favorite. Lots of other recommendations on this board from other posters, including Carol. Where are you staying - river or downtown?
CFW is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 06:06 AM
  #49  
 
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yes you can walk there from your hotel...cabbages that is....it is a ways in that hot temp....the area is ok...just keep to your business...the nana area, both sides of sukhumvit are a bit on the sleezy side, but we have never felt unsafe in any way at any time of day....late at nite, i don't think a pretty young woman should perhpas walk there alone, nor would you in any major city....too many drunk crazy foreigners looking for easy prey....and that's not at a church...

some of the sois are heavily travelled which makes them much more safe...this is one of the areas of low life in bangkok...in the midst of all of this are fine hotels and restaurants...

if your main fine dining thai experience is going to be cabbages and condoms, may i suggest that you re-think it....as stated above the food is at best mediocre....harmonique is far better as is lemongrass and others...i prefer crepes and co, next door to cabbages for a meal, but it is not thai---more international...

harmonique is off of new road, near the river on soi 34 or 36---directly next to the main post office on new road....take a taxi or skytrain to taskim and then walk back along new road to the soi...its on the left when coming in that direction and there is a large colorful arch over the soi---very distinctive....the restaurant is then on your right down about 200 feet...no reservations necessary...very reasonable and delicious food...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 07:04 AM
  #50  
 
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MMM.... Im salivating over the chili..

somehow the landmark security keeps meny of the freelance girls away from loitering.. the hotel seems nice and safe I am a member of the fitness firt center there. ..

==========
I think a good gift too buy is the book that the king wrote. it recently has been put into a comic verssion.. the quality of the art and paper are very good,. the litle story about dog is kind of ciute. and he (the king) shares some insite on his life. 149 baht.

orgy7 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 08:32 AM
  #51  
 
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king Bhumibol Adulyadej's book (comic) is called "the story of Tongdeeng..

I'm not sure why Im posting this.. but it seems like a nice gift too bring back the kids..

at first I was thinking simpson could sell this online but I think she would need a royal seal of aproval or something like that.
orgy7 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 09:01 AM
  #52  
 
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I thought the food at Cabbages and Condoms was good. I agree that there is much better, but the food was certainly worth a short diversion. Also, thge service at C and C was better than that at Harmonique and we've easten at Harmonique 3 times. The food is better there.
Gpanda is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 11:44 AM
  #53  
 
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toon- we were at the Landmark with our daughters last month... I wouldn't call it sleazy in the least...just busy and crowded.

We did quite a bit of walking around the hotel and on the side sois and had no concerns at all. From the hotel to Nana is about 50 yards...you pass a couple of banks and a fence with some t- shirt vendors.

In addition, there are plenty of cabs available at the hotel...you'll pay $1 for about 10 minutes of cab time if you go on the meter.
lcuy is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 05:14 PM
  #54  
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Good morning once again, fodorites.

To institcher:
I should have mentioned to you that I have purchased a number of items for my sorority over the past several years. I try to get new things each time. The first thing I brought back was a collection of tote bags and small purses with the bright elephant print that you will see when you come here. There are some really lovely bags and you can negotiate the price down to just a few dollars if you try.

I have also bought cell phone bags. You will see some of the cutest little beaded bags to wear around your neck for your cell phone. Also, I've seen some this trip that clip around the handle of your purse. I plan to get some of those.

If you go to NaRaYa at Central World Plaza, first floor.. by Zen, you will see some great little cosmetic bags very nicely packaged,and cheap. They also have some great carry on sized printed cotton bags, like Laura Ashley, for only a few dollars.

I have also purchased paper fans (the hand held size) made out of home made paper with flowers printed in the paper. They are very lovely, in the shape of a flower. Easy to carry in ones purse. And very inexpensive.

Today I am doing some serious shopping for sorority items. I'm starting off at MBK as I have not yet really looked there yet. I've been here for a week and I haven't really "shopped" MBK... that's amazing!! I will also return to Pratunam Center before the items I saw the other day are gone.

Wish me luck!

It IS REALLY Valentines Day today, so a happy day to all of you.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 06:41 PM
  #55  
 
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the jim thompson outlet on soi 93 sukhumvit rd is also a good place for the soriorty items you seek...lots of little silk items: glasses cases, cig holders, lipstick holders, note pads, small picture frames, jewerly holders for travelling, hankies, t shirts, small scarfs, etc...all under $10 and many far less...

sorry to disagree but the nana area is about as sleezy as it gets....not right on sukhumvit, but try walkiing down soi 4 and the sois off of that and some of the other near-by sois....i love it for the local color and lots of foreign color, but it does not get like that in many other places in this city...i think it is just as bad as patpong at 10PM and later...
if you only walked from landmark to nana station, and not throughout the nana section of town, you probably did not see anything unusual, but it is there and in your face less than 20 feet off of sukhumvit...

gpanda is correct....the service is not great at harmonique...don't go there if you are in a hurry to get some where.....cabbages did have better service but we thought the food was tasteless or better siad was lacking in taste....i think it has been sanitized for the western palate...we have not had anything at harmonique that we did not think was absolutely delicious except one crab dish that they pushed on us on our first visit....it was ok...i think we might have been leary of the crabs too....the morning glory with garlic is to die for....yum yum...
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Feb 14th, 2005, 02:16 AM
  #56  
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We had a carb curry at Harmonique that was delicious - LOADED with fresh crab that was better than anything we've had around the Chesapeake bay, which is crab central. In addition to tasteless food at Cabbages & Condoms, we had fish that was not fresh & had to send back. We had ordered the same dish (whole fish with various dipping sauces) at several other places in BKK & it was fresh & delicious. We thought the service was slap-dash also. Clientele included quite a number of middle-aged farang men with their Thai daughters and several large tables with what appeared to be tour groups.
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Feb 14th, 2005, 08:02 AM
  #57  
 
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I bought several copies of the King's book about his dog ("the story of Tongdeeng") that orgy7 suggests as gifts for my dog loving, thailand loving friends. They all loved it. Only problem with the books is that they are heavy in multiple copies even though they are in paperback. They can also be hard to find as they seem to sell out as soon as they arrive.
glorialf is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 11:40 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Carol- you mentioned that friends of your stayed at the Marriott with 7 and 9 year old girls. Could you ask them if they had any difficulty reserving a room with 2 children? I'm thinking of staying at the Marriott in June with my 2 children (ages 6 & 8)but the online reserv. services say they can't accomodate 4 in a room. Also did your friends have any concerns about crossing the river with the children? Mine don't swim and I'm concerned b/c the boats don't have life jackets. Any info you can give would be greatly appreciated.
tnnc is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 06:01 PM
  #59  
 
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one year ago two families asked me to check out "family rooms" in bkk for the 4 of them...some with small children...i asked at the marriott, sheraton and other places....all said NO ONLY adjoining room!!! this included the senior manager at the marriott....one child yes but not two...it is not a thai concept i guess...no double doubles either...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 06:54 PM
  #60  
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Good morning everyone.

I did not realize that Valentines Day was such a biggie in Thailand. I spent a good portion of the day at MBK and I swear every man was carrying flowers! Getting a dinner reservation last night for a nice meal was nearly impossible. Our group split up a little bit. Two of "my boys" and I, plus their dates, went to a nice Italian place on soi 2. Soi 4 is such an unbelieveably busy street, but one block over there were NO CARS. This restaurant is very good, but nobody knows it is there. Some new condos are being built on this soi, so hopefully business will get better, if they can just wait for construction to be finished.

There was a set menu last night (for V Day) as was the case in most of the nicer restaurants. We had a very nice bruschetta, plus a carpaccio with almonds (I was thinking it was ham, but it could have been horse) but it was delicious! Then we had a linguini with asparagus in a wine sauce, also delicious; the main course was a veal that was sliced paper thin... and delicious. The dessert was similar to a tiramisu, and was only OK, I'm afraid. The wine left a lot to be desired. We had only one bottle (for 5 of us) and it was a chianti in "basket" bottle... you know the type. I will have to ask my son for the name of this place as I did not pick up a business card. He will tell me, and I shall post it later.

Today we plan a shopping expedition to Pratunam. I am hoping that I find lots of goodies.

The Jim Thompson outlet is probably a very good place to get those cosmetic bags and jewelry cases, etc. BUT, I've already gotten that sort of thing a couple of years ago, and I am always on the lookout for new and different things. Especially for my sorority.

Gotta run for now. I'll post more later.

Carol
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