Many Visits to SEA ~~ First Report

Oct 3rd, 2011, 03:36 PM
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Many Visits to SEA ~~ First Report

Don't know how this will go, but since I really enjoy hearing about others' adventures, I will give it a try. However, I doubt that I can add anything that hasn't been covered before.

The flight from IAH to NAR was a little disappointing. We have been CO flyers for 25+ yrs, but it seems that they have let everything in the way of pleasing travelers go since they know they won't exist in another few months. Of course, it could be that we flew bus class before ~~ couldn't have asked for better service ~~ and were spoiled. But now it is time to pay the piper and build up more miles for United. The flight from NAR to BKK on UA was good, however. And did we learn something at BKK airport!!!!!! A very nice TEA agent stopped us in the long immigration line to check our passports, and sent us to a much shorter (only about 6 people) at the far right counter. Seems this is for those "70 and older" ~~ that's us ~~ and other 'special' travelers. We did laugh, however, because the first 'special' circumstance is '70 and older' and the next one was 'pregnant.' Just made me laugh because of the irony! Oh, well!

We are staying at the Adelphi Suites. We were welcomed graciously, even at 2:00, and made to feel right at home. We have been here before, though. But the Thais are always welcoming and gracious.

On Sunday we decided to explore the new Airport Express Routes (trains/red line). To do this one must take the MRT to Petchaburi station, exit to the street ~~ blazing heat, too ~~ and walk about 1/2 mile in a deserted area to reach the Makasan Station. This is a gorgeous station in the middle of nowhere that only connects only to the airport. There were very few people there, and it was poorly marked with directions. The main sign we saw was "Toilets Out of Order." Hm-m-m!

We came back into BKK on the City Blue Line (new, it seems) and longer, but much easier! This line goes from the airport to the Phraya Thai station, which connects directly to the Sukhumvit line. Just take the Suk train to 'Bending' ~~ there is no more On Nut as the last station ~~ and you are on your way. You will need to change to the National line in the usual way if you want to go a different direction than Sukhumvit.

After a long nap ~~ hello, jetlag ~~ we went looking for Maeng's new pool pub, Side Pocket. We never could find it, so gave up and came back to the Adelphi Suites for a late meal. BTW, the restaurant here, Monsoon, had very good 4-cheese pizza ~~ we were too tired to walk across the street to Via Vai ~~ but made a good discovery right at the AS.

DH had heard of a BKK business making teak boat parts, so we had the AS personnel find a taxi driver who drove us to the Lad Phrayo area, and found this obscure location. The driver drove straight there, waited for DH to get what he needed (belaying pins) and brought us back. We could have never found it on our own.

Today is another travel day. We are headed to Chiang Mai for a couple of weeks, and then to Singapore for a week, before coming back to Bangkok. I am excited about these places, having never been to Singapore.

My 'best laid plans' are to keep this report going, but as we all know 'best laid plans most often go awry.' But, I'll be trying to keep up!

Happy Adventures to you all.

Sandra (McBeanie)
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 03:42 PM
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Hello, Sandra, Thanks for starting a report. As many times as I've been to Bangkok, there are always new things to discover.

As you know, CM isn't my favorite place, but I do always enjoy SIngapore.

Keep us posted!
Kathie is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 04:30 PM
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have fun.... we have used that immigration line a few times, having been moved there by an immigration officer... it is diplomatic too...
rhkkmk is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 05:16 PM
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Welcome back Sandra!
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 05:30 PM
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Sandra,

You are off to a good start. Please keep it coming. I was especially interested in the information about the trains to and from the airport. Thanks for that!! I just may try it for my (not yet booked) impromptu trip to Georgetown Penang, if it comes to fruition.

Enjoy CM. I always do. I'll see you two at AS in a couple of weeks!

Carol
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Oct 5th, 2011, 06:55 AM
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I am so glad that we decided to fly to CM rather than take the train. My do not think my body parts could take another 13-hour ride.

We had researched hotels in CM ad nauseum but pictures did not show the true Sirilanna. Because of minor health concerns I had requested a 1st-floor room ~~ months ago ~~ but they put us on the 3rd, then the 2nd. This was out of the question since they didn't have an elevator and the stairs were VERY steep. We ended up with a "make do" on the 1st floor, but it was not satisfactory. Enough complaining about this hotel in the Old City. TA raved about it, BTW.

Sometimes the most wonderful things come out of bad decisions and this was one of them. We are now at the Chedi, and it is one of the best hotels we have ever been in. It is quiet, very serene, and being on the Club Floor, we are being spoiled rotten and loving every minute of it. I am content just to stay here and forget seeing any more of CM!

Sorry this really isn't much of an exciting trip report. DH and I are both very private and quiet persons, so it is hard for me to know what to share with others. I am sure there will be enough, however.

DH plans to take the Flight of the Gibbons! I had seriously considered it, too, and would really enjoy the zip-lining, but then I saw the "bridges" included , and said "No, no, no!" This is one thing he will have to do alone. And I am sure I can find something to do ~~ spas and sleeping, here I come!

Time for bed ~~ neither of us can get out of this jetlag symdrome. Nobody ever told me it would be harder with age!!!!!

Looking forward to tomorrow and the days to come, and to whatever may come with them.

Happy Adventures to all!

Sandra
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Oct 5th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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glad you flew... i can never understand WHY people take the train or a bus...except to save $$..

and good that you moved too... have fun at chedi..

see you on the 21st.. we are anxious to start our trip..
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Oct 5th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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Hi Sandra! Glad you made the hotel switch. No one needs to be unhappy as there are just soooo many choices that could be better.

I recommend Doi Inthanon, if you have the time. It is probably an hour/hour and a half ride outside of CM. The gardens there are fabulous. And the waterfall and highest point in Thailand are very close by. I think you would enjoy all of it. No bridges, and the waterfall is very easy to walk to. I'm leery, as Maeng and I had to 'skip across' on a path of tree stumps one time in Krabi (I freaked out.. haha.. but managed it anyway), so I always expect the unexpected when going off the main track in Thailand!!

Also looking forward to meeting up in BKK at AS in a couple of weeks.

Carol
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Oct 6th, 2011, 01:48 AM
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Forget it! I have tried to write a quick catch up and have hit some key that deleted it both times.

You will just have to wait until later to hear the trials and tribulations of the Sirilanna Hotel Chiang Mai.

Happy Adventures, wherever you are!

Sandra
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Oct 6th, 2011, 02:29 AM
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Sandra,

Most of the highways and railways going North from Bangkok to Chiang Mai are now closed due to flood. Lucky you flew!
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Oct 6th, 2011, 03:06 PM
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Thanks for the info, Hanuman. It isn't too bad where we are, but the hotel property fronting the Ping River is sandbagged. The river, itself, is running pretty swiftly.

Hope you and family will be able to GTG in Bangkok, but a holiday out of BKK sounds good for you, too. What is the holiday on the 24th?

More of a report when it isn't 4:30 am an DH is trying to sleep.

Sandra
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Oct 6th, 2011, 06:05 PM
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Sandra the 24th October is King Chulalongkorn(Rama V) day.
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Oct 6th, 2011, 06:39 PM
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I'm following along here too, Sandra. You're doing great. The advice everybody gives to budding authors is 'write about what you know' - I'd add to that, 'write about how you feel'; it makes for juicier trip reporting.

I think you're doing very well on both accounts.

So don't be nervous or worried about going over old ground - you can't possibly be boring - because your perceptions are yours. You are unique.

And, having met you - I can assure all other readers that you are, indeed, unique. lol lol lol. So relax and write lots more.
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Oct 6th, 2011, 07:49 PM
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now i'm scared---"unique"??
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Oct 6th, 2011, 09:27 PM
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Dogster: You said it all. Besides, I am finding that my perceptions of the same trips and things have changed. The 1st time we were in BKK many years ago, I was overwhelmed! Now, however, I understand the culture much better, and still find things charming.

We came to Chiang Mai hoping to discover an ex-pats group that we can identify with and maybe spend several months a year here ~~ alternating time between Thailand and the US. Even this has changed now, however. We still love Thailand to visit, but don't want to live here.

We love the Chedi Hotel! How wonderful that this beautiful hotel and surroundings came into our lives because of dissatisfaction with the 'other' hotel we had booked.

Without trying to run down the 'other' hotel, let me say that I booked it several months earlier after researching through several travel websites, and this is what where we chose. Bad choice!!!!!! Websites do NOT show the "real" pictures, but, of course, make the hotels look their best. Found this out the hard way. There was no room ready when we arrived as scheduled ~~ they even picked us up so they knew when we were expected. I told them earlier that due to minor health problems we would need a lower-floor room, so they upgraded us to a 2nd floor room ~~ no elevator and very steep steps. No way could I climb any level! Anyway, ended up with an unprepared 1st-floor ~~ musty smelling, the A/C did not cool, no extra tp (ran out) and no tissues. Even this disaster worked out okay, however; and, we immediately checked out!
It surprised that the older woman in charge was very un-Thai in her reaction ~~ she spoke nary a word once we checked out.

Oh, but the Chedi!!!!! We can't say enough nice things about this ultra-luxx hotel. If you have stayed here, you know what I mean; and if you haven't, at least give it a look (though it can be expensive). Bob, I have taken some pictures of the pool just for you ~~ hope they turn out. It is a gorgeous pool and huge ~~ maybe Olympic length.

We have scheduled a couple of tours with Sgt. Kai, Tong's friend here that she recommended. He is busy until next Monday so we are our own until then. Tuk-tuks are the way to go in CM, so when in "Chiang Mai, do as the others do."

Hope this goes through, as I have tried to post 4/5 times without it showing up. Have I offended someone at Fodor's? If so, seems that I would be in a very special Fodor's Club! Ha-ha!

Until the next lackluster episode ~~ or unique, as Dogster says ~~ Happy Adventures to you All!

Sandra
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Oct 6th, 2011, 11:58 PM
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What a spectacular sight ~~ RAIN!

This is really something from this Texan who hasn't seen rain since last October ~~ yes, 2010.

Loving it!

Sandra
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Oct 7th, 2011, 03:35 AM
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You are, indeed, unique, and your perspective on travel in and around Thailand and S E Asia is appreciated here.

I don't mind the rain in Thailand, although we did have what I'd call a monsoonal downpour once in BKK and Maeng and I looked like drowned rats, even with umbrellas.

I'll have to look at the Chedi, although my last several trips to CM have been of the one-day, shop 'til you drop, variety, with no overnight stay involved. CM would be too quiet for me, and I'm not a nightlife person at all.

Bottle the rain and send it home to Texas, if you can. lol

Carol
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Oct 7th, 2011, 04:26 AM
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Hello, All!

This has been such a good day! It was so quiet and wonderful to hear the temple bells at 4:00, and then again this evening at 6:00.

I know I keep saying this, but the Chedi is exactly what DH and I needed. We did, however, walk down the street this afternoon to the 7-11 and the pharmacy to pick up some things.

I can't remember which of my posts made it through and which were deleted, so I may repeat myself along the way. But, when packing to catch the plane to CM I put all my hair spray, etc in the wrong suitcase, and the TSA agent threw it all away. What a sight I must be now to be going 'au naturale.'

Sitting on the balcony here, reading during the hr-long rain was so relaxing. I needed this!!!!!!! Sometimes, back at home, my life gets very hectic and busy, so it is a well needed rest that DH and I are getting at the Chedi. The Ping River is rushing pretty rapidly and the sandbags are all along the banks, but so far there have been no problems here. It is so sad, however, to read of the problems closer to Bangkok.

After our little sojourn down the street from here we enjoyed even more quiet time in the bar area, and then in the Club Lounge drinking our evening coffee and visiting with the hostess there. Her name is Tonya, and she is such a beauty, and so sweet! DH and I are so lucky to meet and visit with such wonderful people on our trips.

Our trip must seem too "unique" for those of you who enjoy the busy life, but it has been exactly what we needed ~~ a definite change from our lives in the US. But, I will admit we are looking forward to meeting others from the US in Bangkok in a couple of weeks, and visiting, eating and drinking with them. How nice it is to have friends from all parts of the world.

Until tomorrow then, Happy Adventures to All!

Sandra
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Oct 7th, 2011, 06:15 AM
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sounds like fun... taking it slow is so rewarding instead of rushing around all the time..
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Oct 7th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Bob: Have you been here? I have taken pics of the pool just for you. You would love it if you like the one at Marriott S/R.

A beautiful morning in northern Thailand. The sun is coming up over the mountains, and as we sang in "Sound of Music" ~~ this is among "a few of my favorite things." Can you spell "unique"? Thanks, Dogster ~~ this is a perfect description of me. But then, really, aren't we all unique in our own ways?

I know now why I never write trip reports. I don't do a lot of stuff ~~ rather, I just enjoy being a part of the world, and appreciate all its differences. Too much philosophizing (?) today? Sorry!

A visit to the Chiang Mai zoo is on today's agenda. This will be a special favorite for me, as anything involving nature ~~ animals, flora, water, etc ~~ is special.

We were talking with the Club Hostess yesterday who told us she wanted to visit the US one day. We tried to explain to her that seeing one city in the US was like visiting one place in Thailand and thinking you have seen the entire country. There is so much difference between NYC, Houston, LA, and the rural country of Gulf Coast America (where we live).

So, good day, my Fodorite friends. Happy Adventures and beautiful days wherever you are!

Sandra
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