Restaurant recommendation: BKK

Jun 27th, 2004, 06:27 PM
  #21  
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Anna,
I had purchased croc in the past and was ready to try ostrich this time. I'm hoping I don't see my same ostrich purse for a lot less... YIKES!!! I agree that prices at WTC are good. I've gotten many things there and always enjoy their offerings.

Congratulations on that new baby! Once he/she gets a little older, you will be ready to travel back to BKK with the little one... maybe?

Carol
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Jun 28th, 2004, 03:40 AM
  #22  
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Garbage overflowing? run-down buildings...? I know that Bangkok is crowded, frenetic, a big city with terrible traffic. We're planning our first trip to Thailand and had planned to spend about a week in Bangkok, based on the many raves we've heard. But this makes it sound terrible. Should we re-think our trip? We're planning on staying on the river (Marriott Riverside)and want to focus on the wats, Jim Thompson house, teak house & other sites rather than so much shopping, although we will want to do some shopping, and of course good Thai and other Asian restaurants. Does Chiang Mai have the same garbage problem. Guess I'm look for reassurance that we're not making a terrible mistake.
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Jun 28th, 2004, 04:25 AM
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CFW-BKK is wonderful. It is a big city with noise, litter and air pollution. A week is not too much time. I note that RhkKmk (Bob) goes there almost every year. His comments on garbage should be viewed in that light. When you go there, you're likely to be as captivated by the city and its people as are most of us.
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Jun 28th, 2004, 04:44 AM
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Carol- in reference to the fake Dior bags- they has these flower thingys on them (not a patternbut something attached). Also they had large number 1 or 2 on them and they were in pastel colors. Also the Balley bags had padlocks as part of their design.
The wife gets her originals when we are in Europe- except she does not get LV stuff- outragoious prices for non-leather- just a rip off IMHO.
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Jun 28th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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when i have said garbage, i do not mean rotting foods etc...i mean just trash and left over parts and pieces of wood and plaster...its not so much in bkk as it is in the outlying areas...bkk is relatively clean in the areas that you will go into and the shopping plazas and quality hotels are beautiful...bkk is just a very busy place with its share of problems just like nyc....have you been to little italy/harlem/chinatown , etc in nyc or other major cities...there is trash on the streets very often...

don't let this disuade you from going...bkk is not singapore where you can literally eat off of the streets or bathroom floors...
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Jun 28th, 2004, 06:13 PM
  #26  
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Well, I love NYC, so hopefully we'll love BKK too.
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Jun 28th, 2004, 07:02 PM
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cfw---you will love bkk...its much better and way cheaper than nyc...

carol ---where do you live??

can you bring those skins into the usa if in fact you live here??
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Jun 30th, 2004, 01:52 AM
  #28  
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Sawadee kah everyone,
Our internet was down for almost 48 hours... ARGHH! But I'm back on once again, and will continue my dining report and other observations.

We ate a greasy American style breakfast at the German Beer House on Sukhumvit soi 11, directly across from our apartment hotel this morning. Memories of home? NOT... It had a little different taste, but definitely filling. We will try the breakfast buffet they serve here at Grand President tomorrow morning.

Tonight we are attending the dinner and show at the Oriental Hotel. My son and hubby have been there before and absolutely rave about it. It is across the river from the main hotel property. The Oriental Spa is also across the river, I believe.

Friday night we will do a dinnerboat that sails from Shangri-La Hotel. We took a riceboat dinner cruise from the Oriental a couple of years ago and really liked it, but if I got the message correctly, that boat SANK! No more riceboat cruises. Oriental has a larger boat, but it only sails during the high season so it is not available right now. Oriental recommended Shangri-La boat, so it should be OK.

We tried a popular Vietnamese restaurant last night named LeDalat on soi 23. We did not like it... but I should qualify that statement. We all agreed that it might have been better had we had one of our BKK friends dine with us to help up make good choices from the varied menu. The food had a lot of lemongrass (which I react to...I have food allergies) and strange aromatic fragrances that we didn't really care for. I am sure that this place serves really true and excellent Vietnamese food, but maybe it just isn't our cup of tea.

I must recommend lunch along the river at the Oriental. They have a bowl of creamy pumpkin soup to die for. It is served in the pumpkin (which is really a squash in USA terms). I always enjoy good creamy pumpkin soup and a chunk of bread... a favorite Aussie meal of mine. Anyway, dining along the river is always interesting because so many boats and barges and river taxis go by all the time. It's also good people watching.

Bob, about skins... I live in the midwest, flying in and out of Chicago all the time. I have brought back other skins and have not had any trouble at all. I think as long as it is "farmed" animal, and not an endangered species, it is OK. You can buy ostrich in the USA anyway. You might not find some of the more exotic skins though, like stingray, in the US. I have not tried to bring that one in. I have purchased farmed croc in Australia and have brought it in, no problem. Also kangaroo.

Looking forward to a quick visit to Chiang Mai, which we have now just booked. We fly up there on Saturday early afternoon and return to BKK on Monday night. I'm sure we will enjoy our usual restaurants while there. We like Nuan Nuang (I'm sure I've not spelled this right). It is a wonderful fish/seafood restaurant just across and down the river from the Westin (which I know has changed to another hotel name now). We enjoy reading the signs at this place. One by the fish tank says "it is swimming for cooking." Another one we always chuckle about is "refund for complain food."

We also like the La Gondola for Italian food and a nice bottle of chianti.

The breakfast buffet at Westin is absolutely superb. They have a really great selection of foods from all over. No need to eat a lunch when you can "pig out" on this buffet!

I spent a little bit of time along the river today, as I traveled down to the Oriental and Shangri-La to make our reservations for tonight's dinner show and Friday's dinner cruise. IMHO the shops and street vendors near our apartment on soi 11 are a little bit better. There just seemed to be more polution and crowded sidewalks on the main drag that runs in front of Oriental and Shangri-La. I didn't price things so I don't know if goods cost the same. You can ALWAYS haggle for a better price from a street vendor anyway! Never pay what they are asking at first!

Shopping has been very good! We are filling a container in Chiang Mai for shipping to the USA. I will contribute my share quite nicely!!! I know that some of the things I've seen in BKK are made in Chiang Mai and will cost me less money there. I just hope I can find everything I want to buy!!!

I've done a number of travel articles for my home newspaper and just might do another one on BKK when I get home. I've learned more new information about Thailand and the Thai people that I'd like to share. It is such a wonderful country!

Take care everyone. I'll post again soon.

Carol
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Jun 30th, 2004, 04:32 AM
  #29  
 
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Carol- you should see the Calypso Cabaret at thye Asia Hotel- its a great show!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Jun 30th, 2004, 05:14 AM
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carol---hope you can fit biscotti in the four seasons, bkk in....if you need a driver in chiang mai, i have used mr. manop, he (his car) occupies parking space #11 at the airport...

in the same niighborhood, soi 23, and almost next door to le delat is one of the best thai restaurants in bkk called baan khanitha...and right next door to it is the best craft shop in bkk, rasi sayan...
bob
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Jun 30th, 2004, 09:39 AM
  #31  
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Sawadee kah everyone,
I appreciate the advice from everyone! There are too many great places to see in BKK and too little time to get them all in.

We have just returned from a lovely dinner and Thai dancing show at the Oriental Hotel. The set menu included chicken, shrimp, fish, pork, fruit, veggies, and of course we had a bottle of red wine. It was a very pleasant evening. The dinner/theater was only about half full, but this, after all, is not the peak season.

After dinner we went to Vertigo. It is the open air restaurant/bar at the top of the Banyan Tree Hotel. The view is absolutely breathtaking from the 61st floor. They call it Vertigo for a good reason! There is a railing around the edge, but open air all around and stars overhead. I wouldn't want to be that high and manage to have one too many. Ooops... could be your very last mistake! LOL But a very nice place. I guess the restaurant up there is very expensive and not exceptional quality, according to a friend. The best thing to do is to go up for just a nightcap so you can sit and feel the breeze and check out the view.

Tomorrow night we will try to get back to our favorite nightclub, Tawandang. It is a very fun Thai place. It used to be virtually all Thai and no falongs, but word has gotten out about just how much fun it is, so there are a few people who come in to enjoy it who don't live in BKK. There is a live band that plays Thai jazz fusion using old traditional Thai instruments along with modern ones. The food is really good, especially the pork. I'm looking forward to tomorrow night's dinner!

Off to bed. Ho hum... we're yawning!

Carol
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Jun 30th, 2004, 09:42 AM
  #32  
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Bob,
Forgot to mention that we have a driver, Jit, in Chiang Mai. He has driven us since the very first trip to the city a few years back. He is very good and he speaks fairly good English. The best part is, he knows the way to the factories and the shipping company!
Carol
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Jul 1st, 2004, 02:38 AM
  #33  
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Sawadee kah,
Today we ate lunch at the Food Loft at Central Chitlom store. It was really a marvelous lunch! The atmosphere is sort of like a mall food court with lots of different kinds of goodies to eat being offered.

When you enter the Food Loft you are given a card, sort of like the old IBM punch cards, but with a bar code on it. As you go around the loft selecting items to eat, your card is scanned and the amount you owe is entered into your bar code. When you are done eating, you turn in your bar code card at the cash register, they scan it, and you pay up. There is also a box for tips as you exit.

We had a variety of items, and all of them were really excellent. We had fresh fruit, lemon chicken, tom yum gung, tuna salad, and a sandwich like a BLT with cheese on a foccacia bread.

We got a table by the window. Nice view, overlooking the skytrain and a bit of the BKK skyline. You can reserve your table by putting a little sign on it that holds it for you as you go around and select what you want to eat. I'll definitely go back to the Food Loft again!

Tonight we had thought we'd try to go to Tawandang, which is our favorite food/bar/live music place. But the traffic is really horrendous today. We are opting instead to play it by ear and see what transpires after we play a few games of "killer" at the Brunswick. Wish me luck! We can easily walk to the Brunswick and not have to set foot in a vehicle!

Carol
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Jul 1st, 2004, 08:23 AM
  #34  
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We ended up at Tawandang. Enjoyed it, as always. The pork is fantastic! We had two plates of it, as well as two plates of asparagus (just a little bit spicy) and one fish. It was a very nice dinner. The entertainment was also exceptional, as well. The band is one of the top ones in BKK and the singers and dancers are all very talented.

All in all, it was a great evening. And it started off right... I did NOT lost money playing "killer" tonight!

Carol
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Jul 2nd, 2004, 07:26 AM
  #35  
 
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skapadz..... I live in phayathai district... I originaly read your post and had no clue where the street was then I checked the old map and it's basicely phayathai st. but changes name too too Phahon Yothan after victory monument. a good choice for you would be siam city hotel it's a really nice 4 star place and has great deals. it is localay owned. so your not paying taxes and othre mark ups for your forign franchises. it's on soi ayautaya. then again you can stay anywere since the street your talking about is on the BTS rout untill mo chit station.


SIMPSON i have faith in ya. lots of underdogs have been winning in sports this week..
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Jul 2nd, 2004, 04:32 PM
  #36  
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Sawadee kah everyone,

orgy7: I am most certainly the under dog when playing "killer" at the Brunswick! But it is still a lot of fun anyway. And it doesn't cost me all THAT much! LOL

We went on the Horizon dinner cruise last night. This boat is affiliated with the Shangri-La Hotel. It was a very pleasant experience. The actual cruise was about 2 hours. We left the dock at a little past 7:30 pm and were back at 9:30 pm.

The scenery along the river at night is lovely. Lights, lights, and more lights. Wats, temples, interesting building, beautiful bridges... I don't know the name of the one with the "sail" on top but it is really lovely at night. The water was smooth and it didn't rain, so we were happy.

The boat has two levels. We opted to eat upstairs, outside. Downstairs is an enclosed dining area with AC. I'm glad we sat upstairs as the scenery is viewed much better from there. There wasn't much of a breeze, but it was still pleasant, though warm. People from downstairs were coming upstairs to have a look after their dinner.

The dinner was buffet style. There was a nice selection of international foods to eat. We started with the salad/appetizer table which had a selection of salads, veggies, and seafood dishes. Next was the hot entree table. There was more seafood, but also beef and lamb, fish, vegetables, potatoes, and sauces. I was careful to select things that didn't look too spicy. I was very pleased with everything I ate, and we all got pleasantly full. I finished with watermelon for dessert, but there was also ice cream and other sweets on the dessert table. The four of us had two bottles of Bardolino Masi Italian red wine, which upped the price of the dinner quite a bit. Four people probably could have done this cruise for about 6500 baht roughly.

We all had a very nice time, and would definitely consider doing this cruise again sometime.

Shopping yesterday was successful once again. I have filled four very large duffel bags with things to take to Chiang Mai today for the shipping container! I just hope that I am also happy with shopping in Chiang Mai. I will be looking for more purses plus a selection of nice silk scarves.

One other thing I did yesterday was to register a domain name on the internet. I won't tell you what it is here, as the powers that be would not like that! Anyway, it will be quite a little while until the site is "open" for shopping! When I do open, I'll be selling treasures from my travels the world over.

I hope everyone has a great day. I'll post again from Chiang Mai!

Carol
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Jul 2nd, 2004, 06:33 PM
  #37  
 
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carol,,,make sure you put me on your list for shopping on line:: [email protected]

bob
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Jul 2nd, 2004, 09:42 PM
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simpson since your a pro shopper. I'll pass this tip.. today my GF told me that the cheepest place in town too buy clothes wholesale/retail is in Bobe market from the map I see that it should be located right accross the street form hualampong train staion, not far from MBK. I have never even heard of it but it is a 24hr market in bobe district she tell me that from 3AM too 6am you'll get the cheepest rates in town, but who knows if the farang will get the cheepest rates though...

she has been working in the wholesale/retail garment busness for some years and knows the sceen well.
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Jul 5th, 2004, 07:28 PM
  #39  
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Sawadee kah everyone,

I did not find a very good internet connection in Chiang Mai, so I spent my time shopping and not on fodors.com. But I'm back and will continue with my report.

Chiang Mai was very very hot, but the shopping was fantastic! I have many wonderful items for my new web site. They are being shipped by container and will arrive in US around end of Aug to early Sept. Then, I'll have to put them on the site and get it functioning. I have good help back home for this project.

I am a pretty good shopper(maybe not a PRO), always looking out for interesting and different things that I like. I think I've been successful on this trip. I'm excited, anyway!

Bobe (sp) was a name given to me for getting my own cloth labels for sewing into my purses and scarves. But I don't think I'll have the time to get that project done on this trip. That will be for my next time to Thailand, and I'll get started with it at the outset. This time, I didn't get the domain name idea until almost the end of the trip. I'm always coming up with these crazy spur of the moment ideas.

We stayed at the Sheraton (was Westin)along the Ping River in Chiang Mai. We splurged and got a suite on the 23rd floor. We had a huge suite with large living room, large bedroom, and super bathroom! The bedroom alone was bigger than our whole apartment at Grand President here in BKK.

The bathroom had double sinks, stool and bidet (no toilet hose), a spacious shower stall with glass door, and a nice comfy jaccuzzi tub! Hubby put bubble bath in the tub and turned on the jets... and I think he got buried somewhere in the bubbles!!! LOL

The breakfast buffet at Sheraton is just as lovely as it was when the hotel was a Westin. In fact, I didn't really see any changes, other than the name on the building. Service was still excellent. Our suite showed a little bit of wear on the carpets, but we were thrilled with the space and the view out the two full walls of windows.

We shopped at Hangdong markets everyday as there were specific things we were looking for (each of us). The market was very very hot and sticky most of the time. We were relieved by AC in our driver's car! Hangdong market prices are really excellent. You will find items much cheaper than in BKK, if you are looking for specific things.

We had seafood dinner at Nang Nual the first night. This restaurant is just a short hop from the Sheraton, and you dine outside along the river. The weather was threatening, but the rain didn't come until we were leaving our table! Lucky us!

Our second night was dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant in Chiang Mai. La Gondola. It is also located along the Ping, but a bit farther from Sheraton. We ate outside once again, and the night weather was very nice. There were fireworks for a few minutes. We have NO IDEA why. They were being shot off right over our heads. I'm glad none of the cinders fell on us!!!

We flew Thai Air royal executive class (first-class on a 2 class airplane). The price isn't much more than for an economy ticket here in Thailand so we always splurge. We made our reservations about 3 days before traveling. There is no penalty for buying tickets right before the trip.

We are back in BKK now and I'm packing my suitcases today to see how much more shopping I can do on my last day here! Back to the US tomorrow.

I'm not sure what our dinner plans are for tonight, but possibly we will go to The Bed since it is just a short walk down Soi 11 from our apartment.

More later...

Carol
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Jul 6th, 2004, 02:37 AM
  #40  
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Carol, We're planning our first trip to Thailand in February and have found your posts very helpful. What types of things should we shop for in Bangkok, and what things should we wait to buy in Chiang Mai? Also, any advice on buying jewelry?
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