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TALES OF THAILAND...A LIVE (ALMOST) TRIP REPORT FROM THE LAND OF SMILES

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TALES OF THAILAND...A LIVE (ALMOST) TRIP REPORT FROM THE LAND OF SMILES

Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 05:42 PM
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TALES OF THAILAND...A LIVE (ALMOST) TRIP REPORT FROM THE LAND OF SMILES

SUNDAY 31ST MAY.


“THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING”…We had boarded flight JQ29 from Melbourne to Bangkok about 25 minutes ago and the plane was yet to move from the boarding gate. “WE ARE SORRY FOR THE DELAY BUT WE ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH THE INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM AND IF WE CANT RECTIFY IT SHORTLY WE WILL BE LEAVING WITHOUT IT”….

Surely he cant be serious? To conserve funds, we had chosen to fly with a budget long haul carrier. No in-flight food and drink service, no blanket and pillow and now the possibility of a nine and a half hour flight with 2 very active kids without the distraction of an in-flight movie system. In hindsight, I should have been horrified but the reality was that I was less than 10 hours away from being back in Thailand and nothing could take that away from me.

In the end, the Gods were kind and the problem was rectified in time. The flight was reasonably painless apart from the noisy lads 5 rows back and the even noisier 1 year old 3 rows in front, it really should be compulsory to sedate young children ,and we arrived in Bangkok on time at around 9.30pm local time.

We breezed through customs and immigration and I steeled myself for the barrage of limousine and taxi touts that generally get the better of me. I was extremely proud of myself for arriving at the public taxi rank unscathed for the first time. I will note in future though that door 3 is the best exit to access the taxi’s from. We choose door 2 and had to evade an additional wave of pretty girls waving taxi signs who can sense your uncertainty in a heartbeat and before you know it you are agreeing to pay a fixed 800 baht fee for a transfer to your hotel that should cost no more than 400 on the meter.

For those of you that have not used the public taxi rank at Bangkok airport before, the system is that you so to the booth at the start of the taxi queue and tell the English speaking attendant where in the city you are going to. They will then hand you written directions to your hotel in Thai to give to your taxi driver. This service incurs a small surcharge of 50 baht which is paid to the taxi driver on top of the fare.

As it was late on a Sunday night, we decided, in consultation with our taxi driver, that it would not be necessary to take the toll road into Bangkok as the traffic would not be the nightmare that it generally was. It proved to be the right decision as we arrived at the Royal View Resort which is in the heart of Bangkok, a few hundred meters from the Victory Monument, within 30 minutes for the metered fare of 190 baht plus the 50 baht surcharge. The toll way adds about 100 baht to your fare and at any other time is advisable as the route that we took could take well over an hour during a busier time of day.

I chose the Royal View because it was a very well priced option at 1200 baht including an extra bed. As we were being collected by Tong, our guide, at 7am the next morning, we really just needed a bed and a shower and location was not all that important as the plan was to drop our bags and go to sleep.

I was very tired from the long flight but the lure of some Bangkok street food was too great to avoid so after checking in and being shown to our small but perfectly clean and adequate room, I set of in search of some nourishment. Kerry and the kids opted to stay put, but the boys put in an order for banana pancakes and off I went.

The area around the hotel was reasonably quiet with a small park across the lane and the soi that it is situated on is not a major thoroughfare. It was only a short walk of 100 meters or so before I found a small group of vendors set up in front of a 7/11. As none of these carts were offering the desired roti with steaming hot banana filling, topped with lashings of condensed milk and chocolate sauce, I kept walking. The large street around the corner contained much more activity even at this late hour with a few local restaurants and bars, and the large “King Power Duty Free” shopping complex dominating the streetscape. This complex was closed for the night and I continued on to find the Victory Monument Sky Train station. The scene underneath the raised platform of this station is where I found the pulsing heartbeat of Bangkok, the local market. There were very few “farang” wandering around this area but I felt at home with the multitude of street carts and stalls selling various exotic delicacies and clothing to a clientele of Bangkokians.
Unfortunately, the much desired banana pancake proved to be elusive, but I found some fantastic looking bbq chicken at 5 baht a stick that I knew the kids would enjoy so I bought all that this vendor had left on her cart.

Most of the stallholders were starting to pack up and many of them were settling in for the social part of the evening, large bottle of Singha or Chang beer in hand. I decided to join them and dropped in to the nearby 7/11 and grabbed a ’long-neck’ of Chang for 38 baht, cheaper than buying water at the convenience stores at home.

I returned to the room and the kids and myself devoured the bag full of chicken, and the Chang barely touched the sides. My 7 year old, Caleb was already in his pyjama’s but he still offered to accompany me for a second trip to buy another round.

I finally settled in for some sleep just after midnight with a warm belly and a slight feeling of euphoria fuelled by the Chang and the two trips into the Bangkok night.




MONDAY 1ST JUNE.

Breakfast at the Royal View is included in the room rate but service only begins at 7, so all that was available when I got down there at 6.45 was coffee and juice. This was all I really wanted as I knew that the trip to the floating market would include a lot of wonderful Thai food, so I settled down with a steaming hot cup and waited for Tong. About 5 minutes later I saw a beautiful lady of approx 30, with a smile so wide that it instantly made my spirits soar, approach me.

“MISTER SHANE ?”..She enquired of me. Why did I feel like giving her a hug? I have heard so many great things about Tong, but nothing could have prepared me for the instant connection that I felt with this energetic, warm hearted women. I had high expectations of this day and this generally leads to various degrees of disappointment, but in that instant, I knew that this day would be special.

We spent the next hour, oblivious to the Bangkok traffic, taking in the amazing scenes and listening to Tong talk about religion and politics and history and salt farms and fish sauce factories. It didn’t really matter what she was talking about, it was the fact that it was coming from her that made it so interesting.

Our first stop was the Train Track Market. This place is really much more fascinating than I ever imagined, especially with Tong explaining about all the array of fruits, vegetables, spices and various kinds of protein, many still moving ,that were for sale on either side, and in some cases, actually on an active passenger rail line. Apparently, due to the very cheap rent in this section of the market, many of the vendors choose to pack and unpack their produce up to 8 times a day to let the train go past. Tong times the visit to perfection so as we get to the end of the market, we hear a train coming and watch the frantic activity as a market rapidly turns back into a train track to allow a very large steam train to pass. This is an absolutely astounding sight and as the train moves away at high speed the vendors instantly begin to reconstruct their stalls and continue on with the days trade.

The pace of the train is now matched by Tong as she grabs both the boys by the hand and whisks them away and we are left in her wake. She is determined to get us to our next destination before the bus loads of tourists descend, so to maximize our enjoyment. Tong has purchased some little pancakes filled with coconut and spring onion for us and popcorn for the kids and we devour these as we drive to the Floating Market which is only about 10 minutes away.

Many people visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market but I feel that very few would get the full experience that you get when you travel with Tong. She has already called many of the food vendors to arrange where to meet and collect her pre-orders of the freshest and best produce. She chooses a more authentic boat which is paddled manually rather than the noisy diesel powered long tail boats that many of the other tourists take. We feast on Noodle soup and BBQ chicken and coconut pancakes whilst sipping ice coffee in a plastic bag. Kerry and the boys make a few souvenir purchases with Tong assisting with the negotiations. I sit back, totally absorbed by the sights and the smells.

We leave the market area and float past many local residences, some reasonably luxurious, to take in the local lifestyle around this now highly tourist orientated market. We pull up at another food vendor, next to a boat filled with early teen Thai school girls. The exchanges between the girls and Joel and Caleb, translated both ways by Tong ,are priceless. We will have to watch the boys more closely on the next few trips.

After the market, we briefly stop in at a large handi-craft factory where many skilled wood carvers are at work producing masterpieces. This is a nice little stopover and there is certainly no pressure to buy anything but I will one day return and fill a shipping container with some of the magnificent hand crafted furniture.

The next stop will be the Tiger Temple and we settle in for an hour plus drive with Tong putting on a movie for the boys. As we approach, Tong stops the movie to give us some history of the Temple as well as lay down some safety guidelines for the boys. She answers all of our questions and openly discusses some of my concerns about the “conservation vs. commercialism” approach of the temple. She shares with me her personal opinion, that out of respect to her I will not commit to print, but she encourages me to draw my own conclusions.

The first thing that strikes me about the Tiger Temple is the huge numbers of these magnificent animals that they have on display. Some are chained, some walk with monks, all look to be of perfect health and I cannot see any outward evidence of mistreatment. The staff and a small army of foreign volunteers all seem to have the best interest of the animals and the visitors at heart.

We choose to treat the kids with an additional experience and pay an extra 2000 baht on top of the 500 per person entry fee that will allow them 45 minute feeding and play time with 4 eight week old cubs. This is undoubtedly the highlight of our visit as they share this time with only one other couple, the main keeper and a few of the volunteers that all seem to be in awe of these youngsters as much as our boys are. They get to play with all of the cubs and they each bottle feed one of them. The only restriction is that they are not allowed to pick them up.

There are a multitude of up-close photo opportunities and Tong is always getting us to the best position and to the front of the line. She uses her friendship with many of the staff there to our advantage. She has brought along bags of popcorn for the staff and milk tablets that we hand feed to some of the juvenile tigers.

There are many other animals that roam free in the Temple, like deer and water buffalo and wild boar. They are currently making many improvements to the centre and you can certainly see where some of your money is going.

Is it commercial? Certainly. Is it good for the Tigers? Probably not, but with the wild tiger in Thailand on the verge of being hunted to extinction, I feel that it does have the capacity to do good. Whether it uses it’s position for the good of the species or not will remain to be seen, but I certainly wouldn’t discourage or encourage people to visit. Make up your own mind. Would I return? Probably not, but the kids really enjoyed it and they leaned more about the tigers plight than they would have if they had not gone.


It was going to be difficult to top this experience, but our next stop won first prize for the highlight of the day. We had been on many Elephant rides in our previous visits to Thailand but this promised to be a little different, and it certainly lived up to its promise. The price seemed a little steep at first at 500baht for each of us, but I would pay at least four times this price to have this opportunity again.

We arrived at the Elephant camp and changed into our swim wear as the majority of our time with these beasts would be spent in the river. Tong rounded up the Mahout’s and they took us to meet our elephants. I cannot remember their names in Thai but they translated to “Full Moon” and “Beautiful Women”.

The Mahout’s presented us with 2 large bags of bananas that we got to hand feed to these immense creatures. I had fed elephants before but on this occasion we were encouraged to get so close and personal with our animals that I could feel their tongues caressing my palm as thet took the fruit from my hand.

As I was feeding Full Moon, I noticed Beautiful Women’s trunk reach over my shoulder and lift the other bunch of banana’s, plastic bag and all, from the step behind me. Apparently, one banana at a time is not the way an elephant prefers to eat. We wrestled with her to try and retrive the bag, but to no avail. The Mahout did not share our concern, and we found out why when Beautiful Women spat out the bag without a trace of the several dozen bananas that it once contained.

We then moved to a platform and thought that we would wait there whilst our two girls had basket’s placed on their backs for us to ride in. What happened next surprised me a little as these very large animals were walked up to the platform straight away. It would seem that we were about to ride down to the river bareback. I could see the horror in Kerry’s face. I was not all that worried about myself but I was a little uneasy about the kids being able to hold on. I would have been even more concerned if I had been able to see how steep the descent down to the water actually was.

In the ten minutes or so that it took to get down to the river, I held on to our elephant with my thighs whilst I held on to Joel with both hands, not daring to turn around to find out how Kerry and Caleb were doing. It was a great relief to make it down to the river and I finally had a chance to gaze around and see how surreal the surroudings were. We were sitting on elephants, who were two thirds submerged in the waters of one of the most breathtakingly beautiful stretches of the River Kwai that one could possibly imagine.

Next the Mahout took out two large brushes and handed one to each of myself and Joel. He then proceeded to empty the contents of a bottle onto the back of Full Moon as he sang out “SHAMPOO….SHAMPOO…” So we all scrubbed away at our elephants whilst the Mahout inspected our efforts. Full Moon assisted the process by constantly spraying her back, and us, with many gallons of water freshly siphoned from the river.

After we got our girls clean, from head to tail, the Mahouts showed us how to climb up onto an elephant by using their trunks as a elevating platform. This of course presented an amazing photo opportunity and luckily Tong was busily snapping away with my camera from the bank. The next trick was to try and sit on the Elephants neck, holding it’s ears, whilst they swayed and rolled their heads trying to dislodge us. A Packyderm rodeo of soughts. This was the highlight for the kids who tried in vain, on a multitude of occasions, to stay on their beast, but on every one of these attempts they ended up being flung into the water. We were all convinced that both Full Moon and Beautiful Women enjoyed this game as much as what we did.

After at least an hour in the river, we climbed back onto our animals and rode back to the Elephant camp, much more confident this time, and bid a sad farewell to our extremely large friends. While we got changed, Caleb showed his joy by thanking me to bringing him to “paradise” and asked me why we didn’t live in Thailand.

Tong had anticipated our desire to end out day with a good feed and had ordered ahead to one of her favorite local restaraunts that was close to the Elephant camp. We all shared a feast of Fried Rice, Tom Kha Gai and Crumbed Shrimp washed down with an iced cold Chang. A wonderful way to end a memorable day.

We parted ways with Tong in Kachanaburi at the V N Guesthouse, our humble abode for the next two nights. It was an emotional farewell to our new friend, but we have no doubt that we will spend some time with her again.

After dropping off our bags, we decided that we should end the day with a Foot Massage and after a recommendation from the staff at the guesthouse, we walked to “Friend Massage” and spent the next hour in bliss for the outrageous charge of 150 baht each. The girls think it is very funny that a 7 and 10 year old are getting a foot massage, but it has the effect of putting them to sleep whilst we lay back and enjoy ours.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 07:00 PM
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Wonderful start! I've been looking forward to your report of your birthday trip to Thailand. I always enjoy reading the reports of other Thailand addicts. You'd better watch out - it sounds like you have at least one budding addict in Caleb!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 07:16 PM
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great start....i told you that she is fantastic....
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 08:04 PM
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Lovely Shanek - you are obviously enjoying the trip. I'm off too in a couple of weeks - can't wait and you are giving me a little taste to keep me going - thanks.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 10:40 PM
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congrats, shane. glad you finally got to meet tong--and that you now understand what all the fuss is about. also appreciate the even hand you handled your report on the tiger temple with. haven't been there myself yet, but feel like i need to at some point on the next trip, just so I can decide for myself...without any preconceived political agenda.

wonderful report so far...you whisked me right back to the back seat of tong's sedan, flying through the salt marshes outside of Bangkok and tasting all the lovely roadside goodies she would stop to pick up for us along the way.

I miss that wonderful woman like mad--and it sounds like you can relate to why now that you've experienced a tour with her.

Can't wait to hear more about your trip!
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 12:47 AM
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Hi shane.
Glad you had Tong for the day trip,now you understand why everybody speaks so highly of her,what a bundle of energy with a big smile.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 01:34 AM
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TUESDAY 2ND JUNE.

I awoke from a solid sleep at around 5.30 am to the sound of Thai music blaring through my room. Our Guesthouse was on the banks of the River Kwai and the only unfortunate thing about it’s otherwise idyllic location was that on the opposite bank of the river was a park that hosted the daily Thai version of “Boot Camp”, a daily fitness regime that was accompanied by a sound system that once belonged to ACDC.

I found myself inspired by the music and decided to start my day with a run to the famous bridge, about 3 km away. I always find it a great way to immerse myself in the local morning rituals of the area. You learn a lot by observing how the residents start their day and it is something that very few tourists see. School children eating breakfast on plastic tables on the side of the street , local restaurant owners buying fresh produce from the cart vendors and fisherman selling their overnight catch, is really a sight to behold.

After breakfast at our Guesthouse we decide to take the kids for a haircut and then go for a walk into town. We had originally planned to get to Erawan Falls today, but I had exhausted the kids and Kerry yesterday so we decided to see how the morning went before planning any activities for the afternoon.

We walked over the bridge and made a few small purchases from the stalls nearby. Things seemed to be very quiet and the vendors seemed very desperate for our business. For a very tourist orientated place, prices seemed to be incredibly low. Starting prices on copy polo shirts were 150 baht and Oakley sunglasses and caps started at 100. Maybe we were getting special “morning price”. I believe that the first sale of the day generally brings them luck. Lucky for us also.

I was still stuffed from the special VN Guesthouse breakfast, 3 eggs, bacon, toast, coffee and juice for 90 baht, so we bypassed all of the food vendors but couldn’t resist a freshly squeezed lemon “shake” for 25 baht.

Next to the stall that we sat at to drink our juice was a booth promoting the Open Range Zoo and it was sad to see that they had a Tiger Cub, no older than the ones that the kids had played with yesterday, chained up on public display right next to the noisy roadside strip. This was far more exploitive than anything we saw at the Temple. These are the kind of practices that we should be making noise about. If we feel the need to champion a cause, stamping out the displaying of animals on a public street would be far more worthy. I would certainly strongly suggest that you refuse to have your photo taken with animals held in these conditions. I may be accused of double standards but I believe the cicumstances are completely different.

The weather was starting to look pretty gloomy so we decided to “lash-out” and get another massage. We found a place that looked like it had enough staff to accomodate the four of us and it proved to be an excellent choice. Kerry and I got a really deep and strong Thai massage whilst the kids each got a gental stretching session. At 150 baht an hour it is a cheap way to keep them amused while we enjoy some down time.

The heavens opened up half way through our hour of bliss and the sound of heavy rain added to the therapy. As we had no umbrella’s with us, we were hoping it would stop soon but we had nothing to worry about as one of the girls offered to drive us the 2km’s back to the guesthouse. Great service for a $5 an hour spa.

The rain eventually stopped but it still looked threatening so we decided to continue with the lazy theme of the day and have a long long lunch at VN. The restaurant there has a fantastic covered balcony with million dollar views of the river and the seating closest to the edge comprised of low tables and very comfortable cushions on the floor. A Pad Thai, Pork with Chilli and Basil, Rice, French Fries and a Cheeseburger, washed down with 3 large bottles of Chang and soft drinks for the kids came to just over 500 baht. The beer alone would cost more than that at a grimy café at home.
We played cards and read and had a really great couple of hours chatting amongst ourselves and with the staff.

At one stage of the afternoon I spotted a huge lizard, possibly 6 feet long, swimming in the river. I was a little unnerved to see it climb onto the little front balcony of our room on the raft connected to the guesthouse that we were staying in. It is most likely a totally timid and harmless creature but it’s pre-historic looks made it look like a threat and it was sitting were I was dangling my feet that morning while reading.

That night we made our way to the Night Market and we were again astounded at how cheap everything was there. We saw no more than a handful of tourists and thousands of locals and as most items were clearly marked at a fixed price the whole experience was really pleasant. One stall had hundreds of items from copy watches to YSL designer moble phone cases all priced at 100 baht.

The food there ranged from Fried Frogs to Sushi with very few dishes priced over 30 baht. The kids loved walking around sipping soft drink out of plastic bags and we really had a great time. I could have stayed there and “people-watched” all night but we were still getting used to the shift in time zone so by 9pm we were ready for bed.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 01:40 AM
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Thank's guys for all your kind words. I am currently sitting at the Cabbages and Condoms restaraunt watching the rain bucket down whilst working on the next installment. I will try and post them as quickly as I can.

Just had a fabulous meal here for a very reasonable price. I know the Bangkok version gets mixed reviews but the quality of the food here is great. My duck in red curry for 150 baht was as good as it gets. I did ask that they make it spicy, so that may be the key.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 01:44 AM
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Bob, I forgot to mention that Tong was carrying the Fodors GTG bag that you gave her. She went through each of the names on the side of the bag and gave me a little insight into each person she knew....very interesting.

She also mentioned that your email to her insisted that she guided us personally. Once again, I really appreciate your efforts.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 02:02 AM
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Thanks for the wonderfully detailed report. I'm transported back to Thailand by your prose. I miss Bangkok. It's always great to hear about another Tong convert. She truly is a gifted guide that enhances a visit. The report is very timely and no penalty applies. There may be a small sanction for publicly thanking Bob.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 03:58 AM
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WEDNESDAY 3RD JUNE .

One of the few negatives about staying on a raft is that when a large speedboat boat decides to go past at 3am, you awake to your bedroom rolling up and down like you are caught in a Tokyo earthquake. It was a good thing that I was reasonably restrained with my Chang consumption as I would hate to wake this way with the after effects of the demon drink. I managed to get back to sleep just in time for the fitness session to commence with it’s Thai-pop muzak at the volume levels just slightly less than a Metalica concert.

I make the decision not to go for a run this morning in protest to the exploitation of my eardrums by the Thai fitness industry. I use the time instead to work on my journal.

Today is moving day and after a great breakfast of Pineapple pancakes the size of an SUV’s hubcap and steaming hot coffee, we board the mini-bus that the guesthouse has chartered for us at approx 9.30am. The trip to Pattaya is quicker than expected at around 4 1/4 hours but it takes an additional 30 minutes for the driver to find the Birds and Bees Resort, even though I had provided him with directions in Thai that I had got the resort to email me.

The Birds and Bees is run by the charitable organization that owns the famous “Cabbage’s and Condoms” eatery in Bangkok and it’s restaurant on this property also goes by the C and C name. I don’t think I am overstating at all to say that all four of us were completely blown away by this place, even allowing for the contrast with the modest places we had stayed for the past 3 nights. It is set an an absolute tropical garden oasis with amazing sea views from the infinity pool. It also has a separate pool for kids in a “rainforest” themed area.

We had splurged a little and gone for a 2 bedroom deluxe room at the discounted rate of 4200 baht per night inclusive of breakfast and the size and the quality of the room greatly exceeded our expectations. The size of bathroom/toilet area was bigger than our whole room in Bangkok, you could almost have a party in the shower if you were so inclined. It is all done in natural stone and polished timbers, everything works, flushes and open’s just as it should. If I had to be picky, then I could say that the 51cm Sony tube TV may be a little small for the expanse of the room, but both the picture and selection of satellite channels is more than adequate for our needs.

After about an hour of walking around and getting lost in the resorts garden, we decide to go for a short stroll to explore the perimeter. This impromptu sortie extends to a 100 baht taxi ride into “Walking Street” to see what all the fuss is about, followed by a bit of shopping and dinner.

Pattaya Beach area is what it is, a virtual melting pot of sexual adventure, a “Disneyland” for middle aged single men. It is certainly more “in your face” than we expected for daylight hours, but if you stay on beach road and avoid a few of the soi’s, it is not too confronting. We actually really enjoyed a few rounds of beers with some excellent cheap Thai food at the “Pattaya Beer Garden” which is on the end of a pier near the entrance to walking street. They charged only 50 baht for a small, very cold, bottle of Chang, between 80-120 for a range of curries and stir-fries and we spent a few hours there watching the sun go down over Pattaya Bay with the restaurant staff keeping the kids amused.

The clientelle at the Beer Garden were mostly single men with or without a respectably clad escort, but there was an element of discreteness to theie demeanour that allowed us to feel comfortable in the surroundings.

After our wonderful dinner, we walked down beach road and made a few more purchases at the street market stalls. We were about to get in a taxi when I got the familiar whiff of the combination of cooked banana, egg and roti bread which had an hypnotic effect on me akin to a snake charmers flute. As fortune had it, we were meters away from a banana pancake vendor and we ordered 3 to go with condensed milk and sugar for our ride home. Whilst these cooked, I watched 2 of the local working girls order a bag of assorted fried bugs from the adjacent cart. I have made a pact with the boys that we will try some of these local delacacies on this trip but for tonight we stayed with our old favorite.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 04:06 AM
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Really enjoying your report.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 07:01 AM
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first of all, how do you know that those were 'working "girls"'?

love the report...

i'm glad you were able to get tong for the extra day...
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Shane
Great to see your report as I log onto fodors this morning. It sounds like you are your family are having a wonderful time in Thailand! Do keep up with your interesting prose. I'm enjoying all of it.
Carol
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Great report! I'm enjoying reading about your activities with your children. We also went to the train market and floating market with Tong. Our kids (9 and 11) also loved getting foot massages in Thailand and Cambodia last year. It was their favorite thing to do in the evenings.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Glad to see you like Cabbages and Condoms....just think you're treading inn my footsteps - that'd send a shudder down some backs.

How much longer are you in Pattaya now?

BTW - My reply to your Tiger Temple visit is on the way! ...in the interest of peace and harmony, I'll put the main body on your Lonely planet thread.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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several very good restaurants in pattaya....the new mall behind the marriott and up the road just a bit has some very good eateries....the italian place that looks just like a pizza joint on the right as you enter is excellent and reasonable...

just in back of the marriott and across the street is casa pascal ...its pricey but delicious

brunos is fantastic on the way to jontiem beach and just across the street from it is a family restaurant called pan pan which is also excellent....
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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shane...did you meet bam bam......she is tong's 2nd child...
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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Shane,

A belated welcome back to Thailand and wishing you a very Happy Birthday.
Hanuman is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2009, 08:50 PM
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Shanek - if you want ot know some out of the way eateries let me know - or PM me on TT.

Brunos is really only average - overpriced and under-tastey - how much ratatouille can you eat?...and not a Thai food place!
khunwilko is online now  

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