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-   -   RHK's & GPANDA'S in Thailand (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/rhks-and-gpandas-in-thailand-814431/)

Gpanda Nov 22nd, 2009 04:49 PM

The Sheraton is north of Ao Nang, about a 20 minute car ride. There are several restaurants around the Sheraton. The Terrace, just across the street is excellent. You definitely do not have to go into Ao Nang.

rhkkmk Nov 22nd, 2009 07:59 PM

we have been into ao nang only once and probably won't go again this trip...

i consider the sheraton remote, but there is plenty in the neighborhood for necessities and food

bi-focals with frames were $75. K had progressives done last year and they may have been $225????

don't know where in CM??? How about the newish mall?? or any optical place

Nywoman Nov 22nd, 2009 10:33 PM

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday. I leave Yangon tomorrow, with great sadness, for Bangkok

rhkkmk Nov 23rd, 2009 01:10 AM

We did end up going to Ao Nang for dinner… It is perhaps a 20+ minute drive… The town is a combo of a hippie haven, family spot and moderate accommodations… It’s exactly the type of thai town that leaves us cold… There are tons of bars and restaurants, shops, water sport places, ATM’s by the thousand, and more--- think a small Patong in Phuket… Basically it is one main street along the water with another street moving inland meeting to form an “L”…

We strong armed A&B into going to Blue Mango Restaurant where we had previously eaten… It’s thai/sweedish place… I had Swedish meatballs with mashed pots; K had pork tenderloin w/mashed pots; A had spaghetti carbonara; and B a pasta…. It was good..
I had a banana split for dessert and K had deep fried pineapple pieces and B had sweedish apple pie w/vanilla ice cream….A had nothing but his usual pout…

The drive over was interesting through this largely Muslim area… We passed a huge marketplace which just seemed to be getting to its peak about 5-6PM… A&B were surprised at how big ao nang is…

A very leisurely drive home… it was sprinkling… it was very dark---no street lights..

Crash




Sunday

Our day for boating… K arranged for a boat—high sided long tail type boat to take us out to some of the islands for the day. She arranged this on line with Elizabeth (an Australian)…. Cost 5500 B for the day including lunch, plus 200 B each to enter the national park… Elizabeth and her husband Son (Thai) own Andaman Camp and Cruise www.andamancampandcruise.com.... E-mail: [email protected]
They will pick you up at your hotel in a truck or at seaside (weather permitting).
Son came for us about 9AM to the Sheraton beachfront. We climbed over the side of the boat, some easily, some not so easily (me)—think derrick…

Son is extremely personable, entertaining and has good English… He is also a good cook as we were to find out at noon… We liked him immediately… Even A would have trouble finding something he did not like about him…

We set out in choppy seas towards Koh Hong, in the Bok Khorani National Park… The crossing was exciting with waves occasionally spraying over the side and soaking me primarily, but the others also… All around in this part of the Andaman Sea are limestone formations, many of them very dramatic and tall.. The ocean is a nice deep blue color and fades to almost turquoise as you get near to shore… After perhaps 45 minutes we arrived at Hong Island….There is a very nice sheltered sandy beach, several in fact… There is a ranger station, Tsunami memorial, toilets, picnic tables, and loads of sand to enjoy…. There is also a semi-enclosed bay which is good to snorkel or swim in… the water is very warm… We land on the beach and are one of perhaps 4 small boats there… It is lovely…. However within an hour there must be 30 boats there, but we had our quiet time at first… A snorkeled, the rest of us just enjoyed the water and beach… About 11, Son brought a huge tray of cut up fruit for us….Pineapple to die for!! We agreed on 12:15 for lunch.

We also were to visit a couple of other spots depending on the winds, which continued to pick up… Many of the boats us Hong for a lunch spot and took off after perhaps one hour, which was nice…

We sat in a grove at a picnic table, where Son served us rice, chicken with coconut milk, beef curry which was nicely spicy and an egg omelet, plus sticky rice with coconut soaked in palm sugar for dessert…. He had very cold drinks for us as well… Sitting next to us were a couple from Kent in the UK and we enjoyed talking with them a bit…

At the end of lunch two giant monitor lizards arrived… One had been on the beach earlier… It was fun watching them slink around… They have long tongues—maybe 12 inches that are in constant search of bugs, etc… They had no interest in human food .. We tried to feed A to them….

After lunch we left the island and traveled a short distance to a sort of lagoon…. This large area of water is entered through a narrow channel in the limestone. There were two small boats at one side fishing for octopus, but aside from them we were the only people there… It was very quiet… There was a single brown hawk circulating above, occasionally descending to the water to snap up a fish … We drove through a small mangrove located at one end of the lagoon…. After ½ hour we left declining Son’s offer to swim from the boat…

Next we arrived at an isolated bay carved from one of the limestone formations… In this small area a marine police group maintain a very rustic outpost…. One of their major functions is to protect bird nests from poachers… They are stationed there one month on duty, one month off… They have one battery powered tv and perhaps 15 huts built into the limestone caves… People also go there to “camp”… NOT ME!!!

Son introduced me to the chief who seemed like a very nice guy… He had the best stilt house…about 10 X 10, with a front porch…

After our visit we motored back to the Sheraton…. We got much less wet this time, but Son had to work very hard zig zagging to avoid the swells…

IT WAS A FUN DAY….

Tonight we plan to go across the street to the terrace restaurant again, as it seems to be the best alternative…

Our clothes are drying on our balcony… We will take a second load to the laundry lady tomorrow…80 B per kilo… A wants to go to the 40 B person just outside the gate, but we prefer this other lady… our white stuff comes back very white and nicely pressed…
We used her the last time we were here


REMEMBER NEXT WEDNESDAY IS OUR BANGKOK GTG AT KINAREE RESTAURANT, SUKHUMVIT, SOI 8 AT 7ish…

A&B just arrived for cocktails…

The dinner was good, as we have come to expect from The Terrace Restaurant.

We had a larb type salad with grilled eggplant and a shredded chicken salad…Both are spicy… While they are somewhat similar, when taken together they are very different and quite delicious… While eating them A decided to remind the owner of who he is: “remember me I was here 3 years ago with my son seth and his wife….” Her courteous reply was ‘oh yes, I’m so busy I did not recognize you’… She forgot to ask how seth and his wife are-- maybe she was planning on giving them a call….

The main courses were two orders of the shrimp with chili paste—huge butter flied shrimp with a delicious sauce and some veggies; a ½ coconut stuffed with rice and shrimp, and steamed rice—maybe one other dish??
All very delicious…


I should say something more about our hotel--- The Sheraton Krabi Beach Hotel…

All of us had been here once before. The hotel is about 6 years old, is set on a huge piece of sea front land, and consists of maybe 8 low rise (3 story) buildings, all with elevators and balconies. All rooms face the ocean but are set back quite far from the sea. There is one large open air reception building and many smaller out buildings housing activity areas and restaurants. There are 2 huge swimming pools, one an infinite pool on two sides, a large lit tennis court… a decent a/c gym facility---free wi-fi in certain areas (not rooms), a business ctr with 6 free large screen computers--- a kids club…. In short it is a full resort..

The rooms are a blend of traditional comfort, with lots of wood accents, a thai carving over the bed, one super wide chair, one desk chair…a table…a table and two chairs on the wide beach facing balcony… a flat screen tv—21” maybe… coffee/tea service and fridge in the room… modern bathroom with combo shower/tub---huge water pressure—it would blow you out of the tub if on full strength.. plenty of nice thick white towels.. turn down service nightly—no chocolates, only an orchid… beds are hard but comfortable—nice pillows… excellent lighting… nice built-in suitcase bench and a moderate sized closet and a safe… a very long desk where 3 people could sit if needed…
We are in the starwoods building, but I suspect that all the rooms are the same.

We look out onto a very wide lawn, with a small stream flowing through (it does not smell as reported on TA) which has some flowering shrubs planted in hedges and some brightly colored red and yellow lilies that look like tall tulips from a distance.. Past the lawn are the two landscaped swimming pools, each with a restaurant. Then next is an even wider lawn with only tall pine trees and sun lounges. This goes right up to the edge of the beach where there is another short hedge and then a wide and long sandy beach…. The surf seems to be very calm…. I think even if the hotel is full, you would not feel it on the grounds. All of the areas are connected either by nice elevated cement walkways or wide sidewalks. They are all very wide to accommodate the chauffeured golf carts which will transport you anywhere you wish to go--- of course I use them all the time..

This is a perfect place for us… The service is excellent, the staff very very friendly, the facilities top notch and for us the price is more than right… We are both here on starwoods cash and points: 2800 pts plus $45 per nite (www.spg.com)... There are quite a few people here with babies, but I have not seen any bratty kids yet….

Most of the guests seems to be Europeans 30-55, with very few Americans… btw, speedos are in---don’t tell A but most of the guys fit them better than does he---some are older than him too…

Would we stay here again?? In a heartbeat..


Monday

After yesterdays very busy day, it seemed in order to have another restful day… I headed out with laundry about 9 after having lazed around since 7:30… K went to the pool. I did internet on my way back…. While out I drove up to the amari vogue hotel, about 2-3 miles further along the coast and made a dinner res for tonight…On our last stay we had gone there for dinner to meet the Long family, also fodorites. The laundry lady was not there, but the door was open so I just put my stuff inside with my address. A woman from a neighboring shop will tell her.. I will stop in later…

After my return I spent over an hour on the computer in the business ctr. B joined me for part of the time. She told me they had moved down nearer to the ocean because it was quite warm by the pool…. After the internet I took a golf cart ride to the larger pool. I joined them on the lawn for a while and by noon needed something to eat… We moved to a table near the pool and had lunch: bacon cheeseburger for me with a mango smoothie and a nicoise salad for K…

They all returned to the lawn and I went into the pool for maybe 45 minutes, before returning to the room fully refreshed…

I need some gasoline so will now go look for that and then post this.

kmkrnn Nov 23rd, 2009 01:41 AM

I have to correct Bob's name of the boat driver ...it is Sun not son. We did have a fabulous day with him

rhkkmk Nov 23rd, 2009 01:42 AM

btw, she is sitting 10 feet from me

Cranachin Nov 23rd, 2009 10:16 AM

Thanks for the info on the glasses, Bob. Sounds like you all are having a great time.

sandy_b Nov 23rd, 2009 01:22 PM

This is a great read, sounds like y'all are having a terrific time . . . I'm enjoying your trip almost as much as y'all are!

Sandy (in Denton)

rhkkmk Nov 24th, 2009 12:11 AM

About a mile up the road there is a small gas station… The woman pumps me 950B of 91..

A little more internet and a good shower… A & B come to our room for drinks… I had made a dinner res at Amari Vogue Hotel for 7, but rethought it, cause we should see the sunset from there, so we decided to go over earlier before 6… It is a 3 mile drive along the coast…

The hotel is quite magnificent…built into a hillside, with more stairs than the empire state bldg.. There are lots of small waterfalls, small ponds with huge colorful fish, yet more stairs… Finally we reach the seaside where the Italian rest. is located. We are shown to a covered table at the edge of the beach--- perfect… There is a very light breeze to keep it comfortable..

The waitress informs us that the drinks are two for one—a nice bonus.. the girls have prosecco, I have a bad tom Collins (later a daiquiri for #2), A has ??.
The sun is fast falling… Local boys are playing football (soccer) on the beach—it’s a great scene with the sun, the shadows and 5 or 6 rock formations directly in front of us in the water… Heaven..

The general manager comes by to greet us…a charming young swiss man, who studied in providence, ri at Johnson and wales for some time.. he knows boston, so it was quite fun… We talked for quite a while…

We were given a few complimentary hors’ to enjoy with our drinks… The GM gave us a few suggestions for the meal, the best of which was a large shared gnocchi, which was light and delicious and very cheesy… We all had pasta dishes—mine was ravioli stuffed with mushrooms of the forest, which was outstanding… K had a lemon chicken fettuccini—not sure what the others had..
For dessert they all had ice cream (A picked from B’s)—you know the type…I had custard tarts, shaped like a boat, with fresh sliced mango on top and caped with a grilled mango, plus a dish of coconut ice cream---enough for 3…
Bill with tip was about 1900 B…

During dessert the chef introduced himself… He is a very energetic young German whose recent postings included a job on racha (sp) island (thai) and in Rangoon at the savoy hotel… He too was very interesting…

Bed followed



Tuesday


We slept a bit later until maybe 7:00.. got dressed after calling our daughter and went up to the business ctr to skype the… They were making an apple pie for maddie to take to school today.. Our other daughter was not on line or answering the phone..

We bought some rolls at 7/11 and returned to the room for a simple breakfast.. They all went then to the pool and I relaxed (vegded).. They called to come for lunch but I passed, but eventually went to the lobby bar and had a club sandwich and wrote this afterwards..

The PM plan is more pool, followed by dinner at the Terrace thai rest. across the road…

Tomorrow mid-day we head back to bkk, and attend the GTG in the evening….

rhkkmk Nov 24th, 2009 12:12 AM

please note the timliness of this report.... it does not have a 7+ day delay

Gpanda Nov 24th, 2009 04:58 PM

It's unberlievable. Bob talks to General Managers, Chiefs of Police and other authority figures like he was getting graded. Remember those pathetic students in college that would shamelessly suck up to the professors after class telling them how fascinating they were? I can safely say that I have talked more minutes to GM's on this Bob-infested trip than all the rest of our trips combined.

I happen to agree that the Sheraton Krabi is a superb hotel. Very nicely laid out, wonderful service and comfy rooms. It is nicely supplemented by the restaurants and stores just outside the property.

rhkkmk Nov 24th, 2009 06:09 PM

too bad sheraton was not able to carry over the same charm and service to ROS... every chain has to have a low end hotel i guess..

rhkkmk Nov 24th, 2009 06:09 PM

off to bkk later this noon and the GTG tonight

simpsonc510 Nov 25th, 2009 05:01 AM

Have fun! Wave at the doorman at Adelphi, and tell him Carol says hello!

hawaiiantraveler Nov 25th, 2009 04:34 PM

Well, what happened at the party?????

easytraveler Nov 25th, 2009 04:56 PM

Coming late to this thread and really don't know what to think...

Italian food in China and now Italian food in Krabi!

Panda: hope you're feeling better! That cough will stay and stay and stay (it's been around me for a month now - dang it!)

Bob: great report, sounds very relaxing and it's so beautiful out on the Thai seashore and among those islands. Seems like the area has recovered from the tsunami?

Regards to Mrs. Panda and Mrs. Bob! Please tell Mrs. Bob I've saved her dip package for this Thanksgiving weekend!

MichaelBKK Nov 25th, 2009 06:27 PM

Everyone else must still be sleeping off the sticky rice. I skipped dessert since I had to work today. There were 13 at dinner, all seated at one long table. I sat on the civilized end, with Kathie, Cheryl, Hanuman and NYwoman where we had a lot of discussion about Burma and "where to next". I have no idea what went on at the Bob end of the table, except that it was loud.

The food was good, flavorful though not too spicy. Kinnaree is definitely Thai food for tourists, but it's still good.

simpsonc510 Nov 26th, 2009 08:50 AM

Michael, maybe they all got food poisoning from the sticky rice... this is waaaaay to long to still be sleeping in, don't you think?

Hope everything went well for everyone. I did see a couple of brief notes about the GTG, but no "full report" just yet.

Michael, interesting that you say Kinnaree is definitely Thai food for tourists..... we always see Thais eating there! I'm not into the spices in any case. This just makes Maeng's cooking that much more authentic, I guess!!!

Carol

tengohambre Nov 26th, 2009 09:43 AM

You know, this really is an awfully long time for a report on the BKK GTG. You think perhaps the whole lot of them was simply thrown out of the country after the GTG bachanal?

simpsonc510 Nov 26th, 2009 11:23 AM

Perhaps they've all donned red shirts... tsk tsk tsk... and have gone and joined the protests!


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