Thailand for the holidays

Dec 18th, 2008, 07:18 PM
  #1  
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Thailand for the holidays

Sawasdee Kah, from my apartment at Adelphi Suites, Sukhumvit soi 8. DH is sleeping in. He has been here for a week, so is used to the time change. In spite of flying for nearly 20 hours yesterday, and staying up until about 3am, I'm awake at 7am. Unpacked and moved in, and ready for 3 weeks of terrific Bangkok weather!

When I drove to OHare (the day before flying out) I truly needed my 4 wheel drive vehicle, as I had to maneuver an ongoing snow shower, with ice already on the pavement. It took 6 hours to make the usual 3 hour trip from my home to OHare! The good news is, planes were flying on time on my departure day (Wednesday). Also good news, I found a park-sleep-fly hotel that has covered secure parking! No snow or ice on the car when I return home in January.

Business class was quite comfy on UA. Food wasn't too bad. I try not to eat too much while flying. It was nice to manage to sleep a bit.

Weather when we landed last night (Thursday) at 11:30pm was about 70 degrees. MUCH BETTER than the snow and ice of Chicago and west central Illinois. It's a bit hazy out today, at 10am. I'm anxious to get out and start exploring.

Brad and I went to see Maeng last night (at 1am) after I arrived. Pickled Liver was busy, as usual! Good to check in and see that Maeng is doing fine.

Brad says occupancy at Sofitel Grande Sukhumvit (which I can see clearly from my window) is at 10%! You would not know that from all the activity at BKK airport last night. According to a Thai friend who works in the travel industry, Phuket flights are fully booked (from BKK) from about December 20 to January 5. I would assume that hotels are also going to be nearly full as well. We are not heading to Phuket this year, opting instead to go to Pattaya for a couple of nights for Mew Years, on Marriott points (think free).

I'll be checking in on a regular basis, filling you in on my various shopping expeditions, as well as any restaurant recommendations.

Enjoy your day!

Carol

simpsonc510 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 07:21 PM
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(that should read NEW Years, not Mew Years)
simpsonc510 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Welcome to Thailand, Carol!

Glad you made it in one piece.

We're about to jump on the boat from Ko Racha to Phuket and catch our flight back up to Bangkok. Tonight, it's off to Face for dinner and some spa treatments (yay!) and then touring all day with Tong tomorrow.

Have fun on your first full day back in the Big Mango...and see you in a few short for brunch!
filmwill is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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glad you arrived safely....

we are in full control here....we have our shovels at the ready...don't feel bad that it is 70 there and 30 here....don't think one thing about it....we don't mind...we'll do the work...

have fun on the 21st at the mini-GTG...wish we could be there....
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Dec 18th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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I'm glad to hear you've arrived in Bangkok. I'm so envious! We have snow in Seattle - a rare event. It's been below freezing for a week. I want to be back in Bangkok!

Filmwill, enjoy your dinner and spa at Face!
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Dec 18th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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What impeccable timing you have, steering around political unrest and snowstorms alike.

I have flown UA business class from Chicago to Bangkok as well and wish that I were facing the prospect again instead of just bracing for a snowstorm.

Enjoy!
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Dec 19th, 2008, 01:20 AM
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Carol-I know you'll keep us updated with all the goings-on in BKK. We're expecting 6-12 inches of snow in Boston today.
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Dec 19th, 2008, 02:20 AM
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Carol - We are also expecting 6-12" in Connecticut today. As always, looking forward to your posts.
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Dec 19th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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marya... political unrest... that's an understatement. Blago (Ill Gov) has GOT to GO. I'm glad I don't have to listen to it on all the news broadcasts here in Bangkok.

Weatherwise, it's fabulous here in Bangkok. I'm sooooo glad I'm not in the States right now, having to deal with all the snow and ice. I'll try to keep all of you warm with my ramblings on about Bangkok!!!

I was up early this morning, and ran a few errands before catching up with DH and DS for a bit of looking around at the grocery store on the first floor at Central Chitlom Dept Store. If you've not been there, it's really an excellent super market. Much better than Villa Market!! We picked up a few items for the cupboards here in the apartment. Then it was time for me to take a nap while the "boys" played some pool for a few hours.

Dinner was pizza and chianti at Via Vai. It's really the best pizza we've found in Bangkok. And so handy... right across soi 8 from our apartment. We sat outside. It was absolutely delightful weather!! Friend (Dr) Jack came and sat with us and had a glass of wine and slice of my pizza. His stories of life in Bangkok are always interesting. A small elephant and mahout came by. We did not pay to feed it. A Monk came buy with his bowl. We each put in a few coins. (but beware, according to Maeng, they are not all REAL monks...) Not sure if this one was for real or not.

After dinner, we walked over to soi 11 to Maeng's. She had a live band tonight... a small group (singer is French, the rest are Thai) with a good heavy metal sound and some good original tracks of their own. It was a bit loud in the Pickled Liver, but the crowd was lively, and everyone was enjoying the music, it seemed.

We left around midnight. Time for sleep!!! A very LARGE elephant was on soi 11 tonight. DS says he has seen more elephants in Bangkok this year than in the past. This one was really HUGE. Again, we did not pay to feed it. But always interesting to run into an elephant on your walk home... trust me, it doesn't happen in Illinois!!! haha

Tomorrow... Chatuchak with Maeng! I need to rest up.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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Thanks for more on Bangkok. I do find I feel warmer when I read your posts from Bangkok.
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Dec 19th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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You probably know that air traffic has been terribly "snarled" (now an official term?) at O'Hare and that it is presently snowing in the northeast so do luxuriate and count your blessings that you scheduled travel so well.

If you hear more, please report back on why there may be more elephants in Bangkok.
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Dec 19th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Glad to hear things are going well. It just started snowing here in Cambridge. We've shipped Bob off for the weekend.
Gpanda is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Am loving your updates, but also very envious as we missed out this year
Smeagol is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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Sounds like you're off to a good start, Carol!

Speaking of weather...Would everyone please pray that the snow takes a break tomorrow (Saturday) morning. My DD#2 is supposed to fly out of Boston at 9:45 AM, and we'd really like her to get home with no major problems!!

DD #1 leaves NYC on Sunday Afternoon. I think the storm is predicted to have left by then, A few more prayers wouldn't hurt though...
lcuy is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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I'll do what I can lcuy, but I haven't been successful in diverting the snow from Seattle...
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Dec 19th, 2008, 07:58 PM
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we are off in the AM to nyc to have dinner with tenombre and his family at the famous Queens thai restaurant which he loves.....so it will be almost the same as being in bkk...

not looking forward to the drive tomorrow....
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Dec 19th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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Yup, almost the same, Bob, except for the snow!
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Dec 20th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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All this talk of snow and ice makes me shiver! I'll try to warm all of you up a bit with my report for today.

Maeng and I went to Chatuchak this morning. We left Adelphi around 10:15 and took Nana skytrain to Asok, where we got the subway to Kam Phet (sp) station, right inside Chatuchak. The market was not at all crowded when we first arrived. We stayed until nearly 3:00. I know you will find it hard to believe, but it was not at all hot and sticky today. It was really very comfortable!! I'm usually glad when we go to J J Mall to be in the air conditioning for our shopping for a while... but today AC was not necessary (although we did go inside J J for lunch and a few packages of goodies). I had promised myself I would not buy anymore Thai scarves, but I could not pass up a great bargain on some really nice colorful cotton ones, so I bought about two dozen.

Maeng and I had lunch at Black Canyon at J J. Very tasty!

After lunch we went to a travel agent to arrange a 1-day trip to Chiang Mai on Tuesday. DS Brad will be joining us this time. He has not been to CM for a couple of years, so is anxious to go back and see a couple of good friends who always ask about him. Anyway, we will fly on Bangkok Airways, leaving early in the morning from BKK (not Don Muang) and returning after a nice dinner in CM that same evening.

I had a short nap, which helped give me my second wind for a really nice dinner. We went (at last) to Brad's favorite place, the Long Table. It gets two thumbs UP from me. I can give my recommendation here, and I do hope that some of you will manage to squeeze this place into your busy BKK schedules sometime.

The location is Sukhumvit soi 16.. but soi 16 no longer runs off of Sukhumvit. When they widened Asok, they cut off that soi 16/Suk intersection... so you must walk down Asok a little bit, and then you will find soi 16. The Long Table is on the 25th floor of a newer apartment building (Column Tower is the name). The view is really lovely, and the air was so fresh and clean!! You can dine inside or outside.

We dined outside. It was fantastic weather for outside dining. It was in the bar area, rather than actually sitting AT the LONG table (which we will sit at next time we come back, as I think it is more comfortable for trying to sit and eat food). The tables and seating in the bar are more "lounge type" settings. But it was still very nice.

We had three Thai dishes, which we shared Thai style. We had a spicy mushroom salad, a green curry chicken (my fave), and a black peppercorn beef with potato and salad dish, plus two desserts... a chocolate "lava" type cake (soft chocolate inside) plus a cheese cake with fresh strawberries on top. IF we had not also had a bottle of Chilean red wine, the bill would have been just under $100. However, with the expensive bottle of wine, the total was just over 6000 baht. We decided we will return there before going home in January!!

It's 12:30 and I left "the boys" playing pool at The Players, just by Asok BTS station and walked along Sukhumvit by myself. Totally safe!! The boys were having a good time and I was ready to get in my jammies and get some sleep (and post here).


Tomorrow is the GTG at Millenium. Brad and I should be there by 11:30. Looking forward to sharing good food, good travel conversation, and good fodorite company!!

Have a great day... say warm!

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 11:52 PM
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Just a quick note to say that the GTG was very nice! The brunch at the Millinium is really awesome! The price is 1100 bt without wine or margharitas or 1300 bt WITH them. I think most of us opted for WITH.

There were 5 of us, so a mini-GTG of sorts. Bill (filmwill)and David shared their adventures in Mae Hong Son (sp) and Pai and the islands. It all sounded fantastic. I know they are sad to have to get on a plane for home this evening. I know I'll be anxious to read their full trip report, as the snippits I heard about sounded really great!

Michael's (michaelbkk)knowledge of the ins and outs of life in Bangkok is always interesting. We found out about his recent interest in diving! I'm not a swimmer so have no desire to get into any deep water, but he seems to be having a great time with it. I am always interested in all the exotic locations Michael gets to visit, even if they are mostly on business trips.

Brad and I put in a plug for dining at the Long Table, as well as telling how I (we) ended up visiting Thailand for the first time.

Asia board Fodorites are just some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. It's like one big happy family. This GTG was no exception. Even though some of us were meeting for the first time, there was a comfort level that you don't find just anywhere. I am thinking that maybe I'll make it to the GTG in LA in March, but I still can say a definite yes or no.

I've got some proofing work to do. DS is publishing a manuscript on this trip, and I have the job of making sure all the English conventions are followed. It's a technical book so very BORING to read. Ho-hummmmmm... gotta get busy as Brad would like to have all 380 pages proofed before going to the office tomorrow. He and DH are playing in a pool tournament! Why is it that I get stuck with WORK when they have time to PLAY???

(I'm not griping... things could be a lot worse... I could be back in Illinois scraping 3" of ice off my windshield)

Have a great day, where ever you are spending it.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 06:42 AM
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Carol, I'm loving reading about Bangkok! We have another day of being snowed in here in Seattle.
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