I'm back in Bangkok!

Feb 14th, 2005, 08:47 PM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 87
Carol - Am enjoying your postings w/so much detail. Will be interested in hearing about the results of your shopping.
institcher is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 06:17 PM
  #62  
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Sawadee kah from BKK, dear friends.

It is another sunny and hot, but lovely, breezy day in BKK. We have decided NOT to go to the beach for a few days, but to stay right here in BKK. I'm so glad. I see my vacation coming to an end very soon, and there are still so many things to do and see right here. Phuket will have to wait for the next trip here.

Yesterday was the day for shopping at Pratunam. We went first to the Prat Center, air conditioned, and good prices. It is like a weekend market or Suan Lum night bazaar, except that it is inside. There are many stalls that have not yet opened for business, as I think this is a fairly new place. I know it took Suan Lum quite a while to catch on, and the same will happen with Pratunam Center. The next time I am here, I am sure it will be busier, with more offerings for sale.

We also saw a basement market in that area, where there were many more little stalls. We barely scratched the surface in this place, as we found it by chance, having passed by on our way from Pratunam Center to Pantip. I would like more time in this basement market in the future, if possible.

There are also hundreds and hundreds of street stalls in the Pratunam area with many more items for sale. This is also an area worth visiting again.

A note about knock off jeans... I am very tall so I do not usually try to buy clothing in BKK as it is not nearly long enough for me. I am sure there were many bargains on clothing items in Pratunam (the garment district of BKK) but I did not really spend any time looking.

As far as shopping goes, I did find some really cute beaded bags and things at Pratunam and got them for great prices (better than at MBK). This is technically NOT a shopping trip for me, but I thought that if I found something new and unique, I would buy it. And I DID!!

I also found some very cute butterfly pins for my sorority. They were 20 baht each... such a bargain! I think they will do very well at my next sorority meeting.

If some of you have not been to Pantip, you must put this place on your to do list. It is a shopping mall just for computers, software, and electronics. What an amazing place! One of "the boys" got some very good deals on an MP3 and a digital camera.

Dinner last night was a wonderful bowl of Ming's chili at the Brunswick. I was too tired after Pratunam and Pantip to do much more walking. It was chili and a beer and an early evening for me. Today I am rested and ready to go again! We shall see if any of "the boys" want to go down to the river for a longtail ride and a stop at River City. We have a friend with an antique shop there, and I've not seen it before.

I thought I would tell you a bit about this apartment building where I am staying, on Sukhumvit soi 4. Omni Tower is a very nice building of about 35 floors. My small apartment (son says 80 sq meters)is on the 20th floor. There are two outdoor elevators that I love to ride up and down as the view of BKK is very nice from here. There are also inside elevators, but no view! LOL You must go through a security door to get to the elevators, so the hotel is quite secure and safe.

The lobby is very big, with lots of sitting area, a restaurant, internet cafe, laundry, travel desk, tailor, mini mart for snacks, hair dresser, etc. This lobby is where I sit in the "hot spot" to do my posting every morning. There is always a flurry of activity here. It is great for people watching. The people staying here are really varied and of all ages. We have a movie or tv crew here... I don't see anyone who I recognize... and there is a contingency of lovely models from India doing some sort of photo shoot as well. It is no wonder this place is so popular and often booked up.

I am going to get a personal tour of the Banyan Tree Hotel (as I posted on another thread here a bit ago) and will let everyone know what I think of it. A very dear friend here at Omni is having his 40th (BIG) birthday party at Banyan and so he has made some good contacts there. He is spending a great deal of money, renting an entire floor!!! I wish I could be here for his party, but alas, I shall be back home in the USA. In any case, I should get a very good personalized tour of the place in the next day or two.

I shall post again tonight or tomorrow. Have a great day, where ever you might be...

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 06:49 PM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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carol...tell us some more about your market experience and the prices...also can you be specific about where that basement mini mall is?? thanks
bob
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 03:18 AM
  #64  
 
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simpson.. of what you've posted you have not even scratched 10$ of Pratunam..

word from my sourse in the garment district is that the English guy that financed Pantip cneter took a hit and had too sell out..

TIP if ya really want too find the good deals. go too the whole sale/retal shops at bayoke 2. the stalls outside buy from them and obviously mark up a bit too pay cost of product. lease of stall and too bribe the police.. No I mean give gifs too the good men in brown...

RTHKNK Im not sure Pratunam is suttable for a gentlmen like yourself.. it's a hot. smelly, supper bussy catacomb. of mini malls... it remends me of the midle East.. lol I've been mentioning this place for years,.but now people are interestd
orgy7 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 04:56 AM
  #65  
 
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what kind of things to they sell there?
glorialf is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 05:39 AM
  #66  
 
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WOW, i realy messed up that last post.. it was pratunam center that had problems... Pentip is bussy as hell as always..

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10%
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orgy7 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 07:23 PM
  #67  
 
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carol---i can't go to bed without an installemnt on your trip...where are you???? i'm sleeepy..

bob
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 07:36 PM
  #68  
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Good morning once again from BKK.

Bob, I don't have my map with me, here in the lobby at Omni. It is upstairs in the room. The street for the basement market is the same street that Pantip faces (if you know where that is). The basement market is on the opposite side of the street from Pantip, and down about a block, going towards the street where Nari Phand and Central World Plaza are located. I wish I knew my street names... you would think after 7 times here... LOL

I hate to give away my "secrets" about purchases!! I like to buy the beaded bags that are now so popular. I can get them in various sizes and for anywhere from about $2.25 to $6 for some styles, others as much as $17. If you look at the costumes the Thai girls wear in Thai dance, you know why they are so great at beadwork here. I try to find beadwork that is unusual and I don't buy just "anything" just to say I've bought something.

Yesterday was our river day, I guess you'd say. Son and I went on a canal boat tour. I love to do this. Seeing life along the canals is always so fascinating to me. I took many photos that I can't wait to share with my sorority sisters back home. (I'm doing a travelogue in May, since I've been on four continents in the past year... it's a "Where in the world is..." sort of travelogue) The canal boat tour was arranged at Saphan Taksin skytrain station. Just as you are ready to go down the stairs at the river end of the station, you will see a tourist stand. We stopped here and arranged for a canal boat and guide. The 1 to 1 1/2 hour tour cost us 500b each. We tipped the guide and driver 100b each when we were at the end.

We had the canal boat driver drop us off at River City Shopping Center instead of back at Saphan Taksin since we wanted to visit our friend's antique shops on the 4th floor at River City. Our friend ended up inviting us to dinner... on a dinner boat cruise!! (I cannot tell you the price as he paid for it) The boat was with Wanfah Restaurant & Cruise and was booked at the ground floor outside, river side, at the River City shopping center. It was very very nice. The boat was not one of the large modern streamlined ones that you see. It was more on the line of a rice boat style. There were maybe 50 people on board. There were two menu options. One was very Thai (I stayed away from this one as it had some things I cannot eat due to my food allergies). The other option, which was very tasty, was a seafood dinner. I had a tuna salad, a creamy mushroom soup, some rice and fish, and a basket of prawns, oysters, and crab, plus French fries. Very tasty.

There was a Thai dance show for about 25-30 minutes of the 2 hour boat ride. We heard Thai music played on traditional Thai instruments throughout the sailing. The breeze was very nice last night, making for a very pleasant dining experience!

The name of the Italian place on soi 2 from a few nights ago we THINK is something like Pandalisco. It is a nice quiet place with good Italian food... not GREAT Italian food like we had at Bamrungrad Hospital... but it was nice for Valentines Day, and we did not need a reservation!


I got a haircut and shampoo yesterday at Central Chitlom dept store (600 baht) and I'm still trying to decide if I am happy with it. I think I am. It wasn't so much a "CUT" as it was a thinning out of my thick locks. I think I lost 5 lbs of hair... enough to make a good wig or at the least, a hairpiece! "Odd" is now going to color my hair on Sunday afternoon and then he will dry it in its naturally curly state. (I usually opt for straight) I can't wait to see what the natural curl does, now that I've lost so much of the weight of my hair.

There are not plans for today, but the Grand Palace is a strong possibility, as is a trip to Nari Phand and Central World Plaza. I may also return to Prat area as it is just down the street from Central World Plaza.

Everyone have a great day, where ever you are...
Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 08:15 PM
  #69  
 
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thank you carol---now i can go to bed...always a nice bed time story....your saga...
bob
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 12:05 PM
  #70  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,861
Thanks Carol for the answers to my questions. I've only had time to read as far as the Feb 12th posting. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 06:23 PM
  #71  
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Good morning everyone.

Bob, we are dining at Biscotti tonight. I was anxious to let you know that we have a reservation there for 7pm and we are looking forward to your favorite place. I shall report my findings afterwards.

I made it to Nari Phand yesterday and was very happy with my shopping results there. My sorority sisters will be very pleased, I think. There is a store on the street level, just before you enter Nari Phand, that sells cosmetics bags (Khun Daeng is the name). I found the cutest little cloth toothpick holders for 25 baht each. They fold open with toothpicks on one side and mirror on the other, and a snap clasp. Really cute! Who could resist! And sooooo many choices of fabric. No two are the same.

Son and I visited a couple of new places as we were "in the neighborhood" yesterday. A friend has an apt in a condo bldg just behind four seasons, overlooking the horse track. Very nice location. While there, we walked through Four Seasons... a very nice hotel lobby. I like that this hotel isn't one of the big hi-rises, but feels a bit more like an oasis in a big bustling city. We look forward to dinner, as noted above, at Biscotti tonight at Four Seasons.

We also walked through the new shopping center at Erewan Hyatt. Very upscale. I note that the shopping isn't called Grand Hyatt Erewan, just Erewan, but it is connected to Grand Hyatt Erewon. Son had a cigar and I enjoyed a glass of wine at Devon cigar shop in the Hyatt. Nice place! We've been here before. It's nice to see familiar faces, and people remember you from times past. A nice touch.

My tailor friend helped me yesterday with a little project... that of getting labels made for my "stuff" as the items do not have labels inside. I shall stitch in MINE! I will see how expensive they are when I am shown my samples on Saturday. I shall then pick what I like and have maybe one thousand made. Son will bring them home for me as I have to leave Monday morning early and they will not be ready for me that quickly. When I buy things I can ask them to put my labels inside!!

Yesterday's lunch was at Jim Thompson house. I had a nice tom kah gai soup with rice, and son had sea bass. We tried a new dessert, a strawberry chocolate mousse. WOW!! The choc mousse was in the shape of a piece of pie (but very small) with cut strawberries piled high on the top. The pie was "wrapped" in a "basket of chocolate"... drizzled chocolate, basket woven, then let to set, and then formed around the piece of mousse, and left to harden. I don't know if you can picture what I am describing, but it was awesome!

Today we tour the Banyan Tree with the events planner. If no one is staying in the Presidential Suite, we shall have a tour of it. I am particularly excited to tour this facility as it was rated so highly in the travel magazine "Best of..." on another thread. Being a travel writer sometimes has its perks!

Last night's dinner was one LAST bowl of Ming's chili. Tonight is Biscotti, Saturday night will probably be Mateo at Intercontinental or maybe the Huntsman at Landmark, and then on Sunday night a big group goes to The Bed Supper Club for my last night in town.

I hope you are having a great day, where ever you might be heading.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 07:33 PM
  #72  
 
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carol...my wife always has the crab apetiser...if you read this in time, give it a try...i'm sure you will find good wine there as well...
their desserts are very good...

your dessert description was perfect...have you ever been to the JT main store cafe...its quite good...put it on your future list...they have marvelous desserts there as well...

enjoy your weekend....you will be back soon i am sure...work on that web site...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 18th, 2005, 08:03 PM
  #73  
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It is nearly noon in BKK. I am unusually late in posting today. I was working for several hours on son's book and lost track of the time.

Bob, we enjoyed the meal at Biscotti. Son says the fish he had was the best he has had in BKK. I had the pizza margherita and a rocket salad. The food presentation was very nice, especially the dessert... warm choc cake. Yum... Sorry I did not read your note in time to try the crab. I shall do that next time. I shall also try the restaurant at the big JT store. The one at the JT house is really very nice, and great food for lunch. Thanks for the suggestions.

OK, the Banyan Tree report. I was surprised at the low ceilings everywhere, but I guess it adds to the intimacy of the place. The only high ceiling I saw was in the 39th flr Presidential Suite, which is two floors, almost all glass, and a winding staircase going up to the bedroom level. Nice facility! Lots of sitting area, nice bath with jaccuzzi tub.

The lobby at Banyan is intimate, not large like so many "super" hotels here. There is a waterfall/pool at the end of the bar area, which has fish and birds and turtles. It adds to the calmness of the place. This hotel does not seem to be the place to take children IMHO.

Security is tight at Banyan. Cars must open their trunks upon entering the front door area. Security uses some sort of hand held scanners that they "walk" around the cars as well. I think this may be the place where diplomats and celebs stay???

Standard rooms are quite nice. All are suites. All are WiFi equipt as well as fax machine. There is a sep living room, sep bedroom w/king bed. The bath is nice, with both tub and shower. TV in bathroom is remote control (but NOT recessed into the wall over the tub like at the Penn) The decor is Thai style, I would say. I don't know that I would have rated the room at 100 points, but it is very nice.

We did not see a spa suite, but it has an extra room, which could accommodate kids in a 2-bedroom config. The extra room is the "spa treatment room"... and has two spa type tables.

Prices are $300 for standard suite, up to $1500 for the Presidential suite. The location steers me away from this hotel, even though the facilities are superior. I prefer being near a skytrain station or on the river!

A side note... the Four Seasons will be getting 42" plasma TVs for every room soon, so says a friend who lives here in BKK.

We visited another favorite cigar shop yesterday afternoon, between seeing Banyan and going to Biscotti. Classic Cigars at Gaysorn (basement level) is a great place to meet interesting people. We have met politicians, business owners, Thai and other nationalities. Yesterday we met a young couple who have a seafood export business. They invited us to dine with them at the Jockey Club (members only) but we declined since we were committed to dining at Biscotti. Thai people are very friendly; they always share business cards, which we did, and will probably stay in touch. Another person at the cigar shop, a lady from Scotland, likes to play pool but doesn't know where to go in BKK. Son will show her some tips at Brunswick sometime. Another good contact here in BKK!

There is nothing on the agenda today other than approving my labels. A friend said that BKK is the only place where you can have ONE THING to do in a day, and NOT GET IT DONE!! LOL How true. But we still love it here.

I shall check in later. Everyone enjoy your day as much as I shall enjoy mine here in BKK!

Carol

simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2005, 08:17 PM
  #74  
 
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carol---glad you like biscotti...i have had the choc dessert...you won't sleep tonight or you will have wild dreams....it was outrageous!!!! as our former senate leader once said....

karen wants to know where you are getting the labels and about how much they are costing???

i'm curious---no its noisy...what kind of a book is your son writing??


all my best for a fun ride home....

bob
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 18th, 2005, 08:40 PM
  #75  
 
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Thanks for the review of the Banyan. I think I'll pass. It wold take something really exceptional to pry me away from the river.
Kathie is online now  
Feb 18th, 2005, 10:12 PM
  #76  
 
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there is a Subway station near the banyan tree...

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RHKNK .... the label shops are located in Pratuman area and other wholesale areaos (BOBE) .. if ya walk by a place that has a million labels (stickers) plasterd on a window..bingo.
orgy7 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2005, 04:41 AM
  #77  
 
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Carol- Am loving reading your very detailed reports. Thanks.

Just wondering if you (or anyone else) knows when the store Golden Triangle (used to be in River City) is reopening. I thought I had read it would be in early 2005.
glorialf is offline  
Feb 19th, 2005, 05:38 AM
  #78  
 
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i think it was kathie that has reported on that....it is going to be in the new mall being constructed where the intercontinental (??) used to be along plenochit--up near to siam center....you can see this being built from the sky train station...so it should open later this year....i think nancy chandler site also has something about it...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 19th, 2005, 05:42 AM
  #79  
 
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according to the new treasurers and pleasurers book i just received it is going to be in room 417, in siam paragon on rama I---to open late 2005..they have a temp office at tel. 411-4061
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 19th, 2005, 03:59 PM
  #80  
 
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Thanks for the info on Golden Triangle, if it's going to be open by next January I better start saving more money. I LOVE that store.
glorialf is offline  

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