Kathie checks in from Bangkok

Nov 4th, 2008, 04:52 PM
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Kathie checks in from Bangkok

Hello, friends. Today is our last day in Bangkok, tomorrow we fly home. Alas! We never seem to have enough time in Bangkok.

The highlight of our time in Bangkok was our gtg with Hanuman and his family. We had a great time! And it was fun to swap travel stories. We saw their video of their trip to Burma which was

We've been relaxing and vacationing here - spa, good food, good friends. We always visit at least one wat we haven't visited before. We also have spent some time looking at condos as we dream of retiring to Bangkok.

This morning everyone is glued to the TV as the votes are counted in the US. It's always interesting traveling at election time, as people in other countries are so well-informed about our politics. Everyone we've spoken with talks with us about the election.

It has been nice to see the dollar rising for a change - the most recent exchange rate we received was 35 baht to the dollar.

For those of you headed to the Royal Orchid Sheraton Towers, the remodel of the Towers Lounge is complete. The lounge is now on the 27th floor and occupies the center of the "W" so the views are varied. It's much larger than the old lounge - about twice the size.

There have been thunderstorms every day we've been here. Mostly, they haven't interfered with our activities. But yesterday we had several hours of monsoon-type rains which caused us to delay our afternoon plans.

We tried a couple of new restaurants, but nothing to change our list of favorites.

We've had a great time in our favorite city and look forward to our return next year.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 4th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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thanks for the update....have a pleasant trip home....we anticipate a great report once you are re-established at home...

rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 4th, 2008, 09:47 PM
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Safe travels, Kathie, and welcome home -- quite possibly to dancing in the streets after this momentous election. I look forward to reading your report.

marya_ is offline  
Nov 4th, 2008, 10:25 PM
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How's the food in the new ROS lounge?
mjs is offline  
Nov 4th, 2008, 11:34 PM
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It was great to finally meet with you and Cheryl! It was a shame that Brad could not join us that night.

Have a safe flight back home!
Hanuman is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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You just got there. How can you leave so quickly? Please let us know when Cheryl posts the new pictures. Your past pictures have been an encouragement to many of our trips.
Gpanda is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Have a safe trip home and I almost e-mailed you last night, at 8:00PM Pacific Time, as I was glued to the TV and screaming, when it clicked in my brain that you were in BK. I popped the cork on that bottle of champagne and am paying the price for it this morning! Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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Kathie-- Glad you've had a great time. I do miss asia and this forum but have spent the last several months (including using vacation time) volunteering for the election. And, Guen, believe me I was screaming plenty (and crying) in Grant Park last night. Now that the election is over I will be back on the forum even if I am not sure when I will have the time or money to return to my beloved asia.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 09:28 PM
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Hello, everyone from Narita! We were so busy yesterday in Bangkok, no time to post. A few tidbits for all of you.

Right after I posted this thread, I sat down in the ROS Towers Lounge and a woman approached me and asked if I was Kathie! Another one of those Fodors small world moments. She was on her way to S&J.

mjs, The food in the lounge is better (and more plentiful) than ever. They've also instituted an afternoon tea with little sandwiches and cakes... more food than I need!

People in Bangkok were also delighted with the election results - what a wonderful time to be traveling!

By the way, there is a new river hotel opening in Bangkok. The Chatrium is part of the development built by the Emporium people - the three towers, one a condo, one long term residence (6 mos or more) and one a hotel. The hotel opens in December, and they are advertising grand opening rates good in Dec and Jan. We looked at the condos and were not impressed, but we did not see the inside of the hotel.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 09:29 PM
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Oh, a special treat today - we had a clear view of Fuji on our way into Narita!
Kathie is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Kathie, are you by chance in the Narita RCC now? We are, on our way to our first trip to Bangkok (we're sitting by the window near the Korean Air plane). Your many posts have been a great help to us in planning, and we're really looking forward to our visit. Safe travels home!
ms_go is online now  
Nov 6th, 2008, 12:36 AM
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I think the Chatrium is down next to Shrewsbury School? I'm surprised it's still not open, since it looked finished last year during the Ploenchit fair. Of course, I was told that the project has been very problematic, and that it only has a hotel in it to get planning approval.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 04:13 AM
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Looking forward to pictures and full report. Am in Dali as of tonight, will post when my fingers thaw out.
Nywoman is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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It's about time that Emporium's new complexes are opening. The project is WAY behind schedule. Last year, there was talk of changing the name of Emporium Suites to Chatrium Suites as that's the name of the person who owns it all. I really hope they don't change the name. I'm perfectly fine with Emporium Suites. Plus, taxi drivers and other folks know it by that name.
It's too bad that the condos are disappointing. They cost a fortune.

The best condo units that I've seen, and Lord knows I've seen many, were the ones right at Ekkamai BTS. The building was then very much still under construction when I went, I think, last December. The units that I was shown were quite spacious. The only problem is that there are SO many units.
I prefer low-rise buildings like the one right at Asoke BTS which you can see from the skytrain platform if looking south. That would be ideal...condo with a wrap around terrace in a building no more than about 5 stories, I think they are. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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We're home at last - and absolutely fried.

ms go - we were indeed in the RCC when I posted - so we passed in the night.

Michael, yes, Chatrium has the Shrewsbury School on the grounds. We were there on Tuesday, I think, and they were still working on the hotel. I wondered whether their projection of December opening would be met. I know what you mean, though, from a distance, it looked like those towers should all have been completed last year at this time.

By the way, hotel occupancy is way down in Bangkok, and in Thailand in general, I hear. The Oriental was 50% full, and the Pen about the same. We were told that several large meetings that were have to taken place in Bangkok have been cancelled: Korean, Japanese and Chinese groups. So Bangkok is hurting a bit for business.

Guen, we will continue to look at condos next trip, so if you run across any you really like, do let us know.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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Welcome back, Kathie and Cheryl!

So glad you had such a wonderful trip. Seems like just a few days ago that you left.

Can't wait to see the updates on the website...

Get some well-needed rest.
filmwill is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 12:28 PM
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Welcome home Kathie and Cheryl. Can't wait to read and see your report.

How is it coming home to a President from Hawaii?

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Gloria- I too was sreaming election night but I suspect not for the reasons you were!
BillT is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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Kathie I just wanted to tell you how much I have love reading your reports over the years. You are definitely an asset to Fodors and a class act.

Thank you
Tina from the Bronx
Pizza_Tina is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 05:46 PM
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HT, we love having a new president from Hawaii!

What a nice compliment, Tina, thank you.

We are working on our extensive Kathmandu report and hope to post in the next couple of days. I'll probably take tomorrow off from writing for a little birthday celebration, and I hope that my fellow Nov 7 Fodorites, Carol and Bill T will have good celebrations as well.
Kathie is offline  

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