Restaurant recommendation: BKK

Jul 6th, 2004, 04:13 AM
  #41  
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CFW
Glad you are finding my postings helpful for your February trip. I plan to be back in BKK and Chiang Mai around that time myself! I hope you enjoy this country/city as much as I do.

Today has been very sticky hot in BKK as I've been doing my last minute shopping. My face has been red and sweaty looking all day! I treated myself to a hairdo, manicure and pedicure as well. Tomorrow, it's off to ORD very early in the morning! UGH

I am not a big jewelry buyer myself. My hubby gives me nice things for my b'day and valentines day and Christmas, so I'd rather just wait! LOL
But, you will find the 24k gold to be a very good price in BKK. I just got a very nice 4.1g weight necklace today at a shop at MBK for 2500 baht, at a 40.7 exchange rate. Not a bad price for a nice 24k necklace of about 18" length. It's not a choker length, just a little longer than nape of your neck. It is not just a plain chain, but has little gold balls every couple of inches. I haggled over the price a little bit, but I'm not too good at being persistant. I am happy with the price I paid. It is a gift, and I hope the recipient will be happy. MBK has literally dozens, if not hundreds, of jewelry shops. Many are on the second floor. There are also a lot of other jewelry shops around the city. My son seems to trust shops at MBK so I follow his lead and go there.

You will find clothing very cheap in BKK. I wish I had had time to make it to the garment district on this trip, but that will have to wait. You will find the expensive designers in the big department stores, and you will pay department store prices for them. If you want just comfortable "stuff" to wear, check out the market stalls in BKK. I just bought a cotton/rayon skirt/shirt set in a nice print for 350b for the set. That's less than $10 for a very wearable outfit!

You will also find fake purses and watches all over the place. Be aware that, should you be in the market for these things, there are good copies and there are not so good copies. Just a word to the wise.

Chaing Mai is a good place to shop for silver, if you are looking for that. I have purchased, in the past, silver bowls and a lovely little silver purse (like an evening bag) plus pounded silver neck ring and bracelet. I bought it at Hangdong Market outside of Chiang Mai and was very happy with the price. This was on my first trip to Thailand a few years ago, so I don't remember the price I paid...sorry.

Drivers in Chiang Mai know very well the road to both Hangdong Markets and also to Bosong Markets. February should be much nicer weather than we've experienced the past few days. Chaing Mai can get comfortably cool in the evenings at that time of year. We plan to stay for a week next time we go there.

I bought a number of silk purses that I got for better prices in Chiang Mai than I have seen them in BKK. Also, I bought wooden horses (absolutely gorgeous!!!!!) at a factory store that has the copyright for their designs.

Silk scarves are a good bargain in the markets in Chiang Mai, as are ties. Although the price on ties doesn't vary that much... I got some for 90b each in Chiang Mai and in BKK you will see the same thing for 190b, but you can negotiate a better price than that!

Chiang Mai isn't a bustling city with skyscrapers and the like, although it is the second largest city in Thailand with about 1.3 million people (not sure of that number). It is a pleasant vacation spot because it feels like a country town. There are lots of trees everywhere. The restaurants are good, but don't quite have the class of the ones in BKK. If you have been reading this thread, then you know where we have been eating.

The main thing about Chiang Mai is that it is the manufacturing city. That is why the markets can sell at wholesale prices, and especially if you buy in quantity! Many of the things you see in Chiang Mai are shipped to BKK to sell at higher prices.

I will try to post one more report after dinner tonight to let you know what we selected for my last night in BKK (my family gets to stay a little bit longer than I...I have a speaking engagement and need to travel once again right after I get home...

More later.

Carol
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Jul 6th, 2004, 07:17 AM
  #42  
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Sawadee kah,

This is probably my last post on this thread as I leave for Chicago in about 9 hours. We just returned from dinner at The Bed Supperclub. I want to tell you about this unique place located just down the street from the Grand President on Sukhumvit Soi 11.

The building is all white inside and out and it resembles an elongated spaceship! You walk up a ramp to enter. There are two sliding doors. There is a restaurant and also a separate bar. The bar was having a special private party tonight so we did not go in there. (many fancy cars were being parked at the door)

Anyway, at the top of the ramp you must show your passport or ID to the security guys. Then they let you enter. I would say that reservations are pretty much a must at The Bed, although they were not completely full tonight at 7:45 when we arrived for dinner.

The interior is all white. If you can picture the bridge on Star Trek, you have an idea of how "sterile" the place is. There is a downstairs main floor and upstairs balconies on both sides of this tubelike structure. The walls and floors and stairs are all white, as are the sheets on the beds.

Instead of dining at tables, you are seated on a long "bed" that lines the walls on both the downstairs floor and both upstairs balconies. The tables are like breakfast in bed tables. We had one small table for the four of us, but you don't really use the table other than to set your glass of wine on. The food is served sort of in your lap on plates.

The menu changes regularly. On week nights there is a 3 course menu. You select an appetizer, a main entre, and a dessert. There is a set cost for the meal (about 1000b per person). On Friday and Saturday nights they have a surprise menu. It is interesting that they ask you if there is anything you can NOT eat when it is surprise menu night. I found that interesting!

We had interesting food to eat tonight. The selections included a cos salad with walnuts, gorgonzola, guava, and a balsamic dressing; ahi tuna sushimi served on a bed of lettuce with wasabi sherbet; and there was at least one other appetizer that none of us tried.

The main entres we had were fried chicken breast with roasted veggies, and polenta; porcini mushroom risotto with almonds; snow fish on risotto; rock lobster tempura w/avacado crab salsa and mango. There were a couple of other entres that no one in our group tried.

The desserts we selected were a warm apple compote with macadamia nut crumb crust and vanilla rum ice cream; kiwi sorbet on paper kaiffer lime leaves w/mango; and chocolate tarte w/maple bourbon ice cream and walnut praline. Trust me... it was all very delicious.

I like that the portions are not huge like they are in some restaurants. You walk away pleasantly full after a 3 course meal at The Bed. A big guy with a big appetite might want more food than is served here.

We also had a bottle of Chilean red wine (Sunrise). The bill was 5420 baht plus tip.

There was a questionnaire on the "table" that asked about the diners' experience in the restaurant. Service, food, wait staff, etc. I thought the wording of one question was a little... suggestive... "How could we have been better in Bed?"

The restaurant caters to a younger crowd, but I'd say if you are in BKK and want something really delicious and unique, you should try The Bed.

Forgot to mention, there is a very large movie screen at one end of the restaurant. They were showing art film about bread. Huh? Yes.. bread. Rolls. Breaking them open, then reversing the film so the rolls would go back together again. I'm not sure of the point of this kind of art video... oh well...

It was a lovely way to end another visit to BKK. I hope you have found my reporting to be of interest. Please ask questions if you have any! I'll be home in about 36 hours.

Carol
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Jul 6th, 2004, 10:04 AM
  #43  
 
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carol---i have loved your posts and hope to hear from you later...

we must try the bed the next time...i have been aware of it but never there

bob
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Jul 6th, 2004, 11:17 AM
  #44  
 
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carol; great postings. between you and bob (great too, bob), us novices to bkk and can really enhance our visit, especially if you have time constraints. couple of questions, i stayed at the grand president, but did not notice the bed. is it towards the ambassador, or the other way? i usually went past the ambassador to get to nana station. also, you mentioned good, and not so good fake purses and watches. where do you get the good ones?
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Jul 6th, 2004, 06:46 PM
  #45  
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Carol, Thanks for the info about shopping. Where is the "garment district"? Are there places to try clothes on at the market stalls? As for food, you mentioned delicious sounding salads. In some of his posts Bob & others have mentioned avoiding salads & raw vegetables. I love salads (my husband calls me a rabbit!)& was looking forward to exotic Asian fruit. Are these things ok to eat in high-end restaurants & at hotels like the Shangri-la & Oriental?
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Jul 7th, 2004, 03:48 PM
  #46  
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Hello all

My greeting is no longer Sawadee Kah, as I've just arrived back home in the good ole US of A. Nice to be back. My flights took about 18 hours, and then I had to drive several hours from O'Hare to get to my actual home in small town mid-America.

CFW: As far as salads, I've not had any trouble eating salads in restaurants in Thailand at all. They were not all 5 star places either. The exotic fruit also isn't a problem if you are in a good clean nice restaurant. Now, I wouldn't stop at a street vendor selling fresh fruit and veggies as they probably would have been washed with one of the hoses that seem to line the streets. But if you are eating in a nice sit down restaurant, go for the fruit and salad!
Your higher end hotels provide you with a bowl of fresh fruit everyday. It's really tasty... and some are very strange looking! I have some pretty crazy food allergies so I don't go around trying just anything!

I don't know the exact location of the garment district. I've not been there, but will make sure I include it in my next visit to BKK (probably next February).

I haven't seen trying on places at the markets. You just have to trust your judgement as to whether something will fit. Thai people are typically smaller than Americans, so sometimes even what they call XL isn't really all that big. Just be cautious. The good news is, you will not have spent much money on the item/items you buy!

To kuranosuke:
The Bed is the other way down soi 11 from the Grand President. Same side of the street as the GP, but going away from the sky train. You can't miss the design of the building as it is absolutely unique in every way. Like I said, it looks like a white spaceship.

Re: good/poor fake bags and watches: MBK has stalls all over the place that sell fakes. I would buy there as opposed to a street vendor. But, it's not easy to tell you where to shop to get good quality over poor quality. You just have to look closely at the item and decide if it is worth the price they are quoting. (remember to negotiate that price DOWN) You will see for yourself about MBK and how it is very different from any malls around the US. Loads of fun to shop there!

My eyes can hardly stay open so I'll close this post for now. If you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll try to answer to the best of my ability and my own experience.

Carol
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Jul 7th, 2004, 04:08 PM
  #47  
 
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Thanks to both Bob and Carol ( not the Movie) We are leaving in two weeks for our first trip. I scribbled as I read.

You said at the Bed they checked ID or Passports what is the drinking age or age limit to enter.
Thanks
Karen
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Jul 7th, 2004, 04:18 PM
  #48  
 
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thanks for the info. i will be going back to bkk in april for 10 days, so i will ck out the bed, and the other restaurants that have been rec. on this site. i might stay at the ambassador next time. it didn't seem to different from the gp, but they did have a nice lounge and had live music, and they played tunes that i recognized.
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Jul 7th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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one of the reasons why they ask for ID at THE BED SUPERCLUB is becouse it turns into a tachno club at about 9 Oclock or so. I've been too the club and it's ok.. just a bunch of wana bee hip rich kids barely moving a muscle.. there is not much of a dance floor to speak off your basicly dancing and getting pinned again tall tables, seats and people. the place is cool looking though.
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Jul 7th, 2004, 06:23 PM
  #50  
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Trying to stay up a little longer tonight... YAWN... but I wanted to comment on orgy7's post about The Bed Supperclub.

Yes, the bar part is for the younger wanna be's. The restaurant is in a separate room from the bar. You do not hear the loud music in the restaurant at all. The dining experience is very pleasant and unique. I'd pass on the bar... (I don't care to be anybody but myself at this stage of my successful life)

I believe the drinking age is 21? But since I don't get carded, and don't travel around BKK with anyone younger than 30's, I couldn't prove that statement. Maybe someone else knows? ID's are checked, not so much for the restaurant, but for the bar definitely, since it's a younger hip crowd that goes there. You'll see their expensive cars on the street waiting for the valet, and you see them, with their designer clothes and bags, standing on the ramp in a long line waiting to get into the bar. The supperclub wants NO trouble from the authorities about underage drinking! I don't blame them for checking ID's and passports. It's smart on their part.

(even at our ages, we showed passports when entering the restaurant)
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Jul 7th, 2004, 06:42 PM
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welcome home carol...its always nice to be home...keep me in mind when your site comes up

bob

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Jul 8th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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Carol--
I've loved reading your posts -- only part way through. I've been going to Thailand since 1985 and it's my favorite place in the world. Am coming with a friend (her first time) in December to celebrate being friends for 50 years (we met when we were 8) and your restaurant ideas are just what I've been looking for. We'll be in Bangkok at the Oriental and in Chiang Mai. I'd love to know how to contact your driver there. I've spent much of my last several trips to Thailand in remote areas so need a refresher course on these two cities.

I live in Chicago -- am I correct in thinking you live near there?

Also put me on your shopping mailing list -- [email protected]

Gloria
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Jul 8th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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I wonder if the Vientien restaurant in Bangkok is the same one that is in Singapore...in the Chjimes complex across from Raffles? I ate at Vientien in Singapore right after it had opened.Happy Travels!
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Jul 8th, 2004, 02:34 PM
  #54  
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monghut:
Yes, I'm from "near" Chicago... 3 hours from O'Hare by car, to be exact. Close enough that we prefer to drive to ORD rather than try to get out of the two more local airports w/communter service to ORD.
Re: Chiang Mai, where will you stay? Our driver, Jit, always waits outside the Sheraton. My son knows him well enough that he calls to let him know when we will be in town and will need him to be our drive for a few days. I can find out from my son when he gets home how you can reach Jit. I don't have his number.

Sounds like I'll have some shoppers for Thai products when I get my site up and running! That's great! I'm going to try to write down the requests I'm getting here.

Thanks everyone.
Carol
guenmai:
I've not been to Singapore so I don't know if the restaurants are the same "chain"... but I'm rather doubting it would be so. But I could be wrong.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2004, 05:33 PM
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Carol,
enjoyed your report! We will be going to BKK and Chiang Mai in October. Hope the weather will be a littile bit better. Did you see hotel Regent (4 seasons) outside of Chiang Mai?
Also, do you know about restaurant Grand Lanna in Chiang Mai?

Thank you,
Sophia
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Jul 9th, 2004, 03:56 AM
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simpson I dug your posts.. I personaly could never afford too go to most of the places you mentioned yet you talked about your experiences (dinners) without sounding pretentious.. which is kind of rare here. lol..

I agree with ya 100% there a scores of great hotels/apartments but only 3 are ever suggested no matter the sercomstance...

hey.. so did you ever beet in killer Isaans greatest ladies.

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Jul 9th, 2004, 04:45 AM
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Carol-
I'm planning on staying either at Tamarind Village or Rachamankha. I've never stayed at either but would love to hear comments from people. I've stayed at the Rincone, Regent, Royal Princess and Imperial Mae Ping in the past and am looking for something different. And something in the middle of the city where we can walk to the night market etc. I've always thought the Sheraton was more out of the way. Am I wrong?

Gloria
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Jul 9th, 2004, 07:01 AM
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Sophia-
I stayed at the Regent in Chiang Mai several years ago and it is gorgeous. However, it is very far away from the center of the city and although they had shuttle services I found it a problem -- but then I really wasn't interested in being in a resort. It's also one of the most romantic places I've ever been and I was with the MOTHER (took her for her 75th birthday) so that was a bit of a waste.

Gloria
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Jul 10th, 2004, 02:55 PM
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Gloria,
thank you for feedback! This is what I am looking, romantic - and I am going with my husband! We will have guides to tour area, however, I was told by my agent in BKK that hotel does has shuttle ot Chang Mai so we can do for night bazaar. I do not want to miss this resort, it is so exotic and exciting! We will be there only 2 nights, actually, 1/2 day total .
Sophia
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Jul 15th, 2004, 03:08 AM
  #60  
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Sorry about being away from this thread for a week. I had a speaking engagement and NO COMPUTER for 5 days.

orgy7: No, I never did beat the ladies at killer (pool) but it was very fun to play anyway. When I would make a shot, the girls would shout and clap for me. Made me feel better... about missing MOST of my shots. LOL

monghut: I have never caught sight of the Regent though I'd love to have a look sometime. We really like the Sheraton and no, it's not too far out of the way. It isn't walking distance to the night market and it isn't in the city center.

Carol
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