Thailand Trip Report-the Real Story

Nov 24th, 2009, 03:46 PM
  #21  
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BillT-at the end, I will provide a definitive comparison between the Marriott and the Royal Orchid Sheraton. They are both four star and similarly priced.

Tengo-remember, I have no appetite. We could have eaten bagels for all I care.

The next day, Bob and Karen went to Bumrungard Hospital for a dental appointment. The rest of us set out for a walk around BKK.

We took a taxi to Wat Sakhet, the Golden Mount. This is not a spectacular Wat, but is interesting and has a good overlook of BKK. We walked up the spiral path to the top, took off our shoes and entered. Beth and Maureen bought a few items at the gift shop and we looked at BKK surrounding the temple.

Walked back down and went onto a street filled with woodworkers. Bought a few Thai numbers for our house and a nine for Bob's hovel.

Got our bearings using a Nancy Chandler Map and went to the "Monk Bowl Village". When you walk in, you're "greeted immediately by a guide who takes you around through the maze odf alleys to show you how the bowls are constructed by hand from metal and the finishing process. We were then led to a master bowl maker. This was the same guy we had gone to several years ago. We bought three small bowls with a little bargaining. Our guide led us out of the village.
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Nov 24th, 2009, 03:50 PM
  #22  
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We then walked down to a street filled with shops selling temple goods. This is always amusing. They have Buddhas of every size and material and many other religious items, including monk's apparrel and slings for their bowls. Wandered down this way popping into shops at random.

It was lunch time and we walked over to Chote Chitr. We did this by memory from our last visit to BKK. We had eggplant salad which was superb and some Mee grob and banana flower salad. Took a taxi back to the Marriott.
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Nov 25th, 2009, 04:04 AM
  #23  
 
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My hairdresser back home is from Manila. She gave me a Buddha a couple of years ago... one with a fat belly, which I rub now and then (for good business). She says that the best Buddhas are ones that you are GIVEN by friends, so I bought one for her for good luck... Chinese style, with his hands up in the air, holding an alms bowl over his head. She has it sitting at her station at the salon. Her other customers ask her about it! Hope it brings her lots of good luck, and lots of travelling. She lives vicariously thru me.

Have a good time at the GTG. I am sure you are there now, as it is after 7am here, so must be after 7pm there!
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Nov 25th, 2009, 05:42 AM
  #24  
 
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GPanda- I'm impressed that you walked up all those steps at Wat Sakhet- some 300 I recall reading. I'd like to do that when I'm in BKK in January but 300 steps may be a "bridge too far" given the heat and humidity of BKK.
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Nov 25th, 2009, 05:12 PM
  #25  
 
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I think you're confusing the Golden Mount with some other temple. It's nowhere near 300 steps up. It's closer to 100, and much of that is at a quite leisurely pace, with several paces between each step. There's just one flight of regular stairs at the very end. Really, the Golden Mount is one of the easiest climbs I can think of.
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Nov 27th, 2009, 01:47 AM
  #26  
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Michael is exactly correct, it's not a taxing walk up to the Golden Mount at all. There's an ongoing broadcast in Thai to keep your spirits up.

Back to the Marriott, a cigar by the pool. Picked up laundry. For dinner, we went to Harmonique. Even with a depressed appetite, this was a real treat. It was cool and Bob agreed to sit in a non-airconditioned room. Much more decorative. The Crab with yellow curry was as good as ever. Walked back to the Oriental, bought a few cigars, Montecristo #2 and took the O boat to Taksin and the M boat back to the hotel.

Thursday morning, went to the pool one last time and packed for Krabi. Van to the airport. We had coordinated our flight with Maureen's to Siem Reap, so all 5 of us went together.

There was a snafu when we tried to check in at Air Asia. Beth tried to fly on Maureen's passport and vice versa. When the ticketing agent saw Beth and M's passport it was a no go. Immediate panic. Beth flew over to where Maureen was checking in at a different aisle. Fortunately, Maureen had discovered the mix-up and they met up easily. Disaster aveeted. This could only have happened when we were checking in at the Marriott. The crack staff must have confused passports and given Beth's to Maureen and vice versa. Bob had no explanation for this screw up. Apparently, his shameless sucking up to the GM had no effect on their incompetent service. If we had not coordinated flights and had gone to the airport at different times, it would have been calamitous. Panda's planning prevents Marriott machinations.
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Nov 27th, 2009, 03:09 AM
  #27  
 
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Okay, I think we need to straighten some things out here:

1) The smoking. Hello, can it have a detrimental effect on your already declining health? At this point, if I were you, even if Castro himself handed me a humidor of his country's finest hand-rolled, there'd be no way I'd be smoking, given a severely depressed appetite, weight loss and a cough that sounds like Mt. Etna's about to erupt. You are not being charged for this medical consult.

2) The "mixed-up" passport of Mrs. Gpanda was not an error on the part of the Marriott. The Marriott obviously feels very deep sympathy for what Mrs. Gpanda experiences daily, living life as Mrs. Gpanda. Therefore they tried to give her a new identity quickly and one that would take her away from being Mrs. Gpanda. It's not their fault it didn't work!

BC
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Nov 27th, 2009, 03:18 AM
  #28  
 
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BC,

In the Panda's defence he did say that he does not inhale. The smoke just go in his mouth and come out around his tail.
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Nov 27th, 2009, 04:03 AM
  #29  
 
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Hanuman, this is a very common misconception, and one Gpanda tries to encourage, and exploit with everyone. Smoke has long been coming out of Gpanda's...uh, body part near his tail. It has nothing to do, however, with consumption of tobacco products. And as to the "no inhaling" part of his statements, a former President tried to tell us that and by and large we did not believe him, either.

BC
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Nov 27th, 2009, 04:23 AM
  #30  
 
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The exPresident did have many uses for his cigars.
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Nov 27th, 2009, 09:30 AM
  #31  
 
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bookchick, you are almost correct about the passports. the marriott believed that robert and andrew were married to each other, based on their behavior, but then in the best of Thai traditions still screwed up the handing out of the passports.
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Nov 27th, 2009, 09:38 AM
  #32  
 
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You know, this whole thread has turned in a direction I'm willing to bet that Gpanda hadn't even anticipated.

BC
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Nov 27th, 2009, 10:40 AM
  #33  
 
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And when do we get your report on the GTG, Mr panda? You are several days behind in your reporting!

C
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Nov 27th, 2009, 10:56 PM
  #34  
 
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BC--A+
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Nov 28th, 2009, 01:59 AM
  #35  
 
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I actually consulted a pulmonologist about a coughing episode several years ago.he said it was unrelated to cigar smoking. He also said that non-former cigarette smokers who don't inhale have no added risk of lung cancer by smoking cigars. On this trip, there is no correalation between cigar smoking and the frequency or depth of my cough.

The flight to Krabi on Air Asia was top notch. It was as good as Thai Air and much cheaper. I would not hesitate to use them again. We did pay a small extra for front seating and extra weight allowance. A small pittance.

At the new Krabi Airport, we were met by someone from AP car rental with our car. We drove off with Bob at the helm. I was surprised that we dis not have exact directions (Bob's fault), but we were guided by the signs for the Amari Vogue which is just down the road from the Sheraton.

Easy check in at the Sheraton Krabi and into our rooms one building from the lobby. Amazingly enough, Beth and I had the same room number as we did at the Marriott, 342. I assigned no significance to this coincidence.

I'll say theat the Sheraton Krabi is a great beach hotel. The rooms are pleasant and the beach and pool arrangement is spectacular. There's a large private beach and two pools. I'm always up early enough to get prime lounger chairs for all four of us. There's a wide swath of lawn between the pool and the beach that is shaded by many trees. this is a great place to sit. You are cooled by the ocean breezes and have easy access to both pool and beach.
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Nov 28th, 2009, 02:18 AM
  #36  
 
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this last post id from gpanda
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Nov 28th, 2009, 03:43 AM
  #37  
 
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Okay, so now we have Gpanda posting as Karen, proving rizzuto's theory is correct!

Gpanda, where the heck was this pulmonologist, in the back alley behind Schoenhof's Books? BTW, the room number thing is NOT a coincidence, and I'd be a little worried if I were you, but that's just me, enjoy the beach, okay?

Bob, thanks for the A+.

BC
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Nov 28th, 2009, 03:54 AM
  #38  
 
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Bob, Karen, Andy, Beth and Maureen are leaving BKK today so to commemorate their visit and departure I just ate another 4lb Boston lobster.

Bon voyage guys!
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Nov 28th, 2009, 08:08 AM
  #39  
 
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but had the lobster been out of the atlantic for more than 15 minutes??? that makes all the difference....
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Nov 28th, 2009, 08:28 AM
  #40  
 
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Let me guess: you, K, M & B have had upgraded seating for the flight out, and the airline will advise you on which luggage carousel A will be unloaded after the flight lands!

BC
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