Thank You Bangkok !!!

Sep 28th, 2007, 10:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
the elephants are in kanchanaburi- we were the only guests of this camp. Floating market is in Ratchaburi about 2 hours from BKK. Tong made all the arrangements. I suggest you try to reach her soon. Just tell her your preferences & she will work on getting a schedule together for you. Whatever you decide, I am sure you will have a wonderful time with her.

thanks for the quick assist bob ! Am working on the last installment of my report. Should be ready by today. Now 3:48 TKY time, had too much green tea latte (again!) at lunch. Better get some shut eye- CS has a soccer game at 9 AM.

Good night !!!
bmttokyo is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 38
Awesome! I just e-mailed Tong, I can't wait to hear from her, I'm crossing my fingers that she's available!
Penelopestar is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 09:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Looks like my Ponderosa photos came in with my Day Out with Tong 2 as well.

Sept 4- Tong came out to pick us up at 6:30. This time we were ready as she gave us warm hugs & cheers. I was looking for WISH, her 8(?) seater SUV which we used the first time we were picked up but could not find it anywhere in the driveway. Instead, I found this spanky, white "airplane" van, with a very cheerful looking driver standing by it. Turns out WISH needed some "auto mechanic" intervention so Tong graciously gave us an upgrade to take us out that day. It was a real nice van, captain chairs for Tong & myself, reclining leather seats, nice big DVD screen for the kids to enjoy, real good, safe driver named Mr. Preecha. It really looked like the biz class of an airplane- only thing missing were the FA's Good thing,as Tong was a lot more relaxed that day as she could talk away without having to worry about driving. THANK YOU TONG !!!

We set out for over an hour (?)- we were having lots of fun talking & talking & just enjoying the view that I really didn't notice the time. We then got to the left turn where Tong went to buy out the entire supply of a lady fruit vendor's supply of bananas & mangosteen. I knew we had a date with the BIG BAD BOY (B3) Albino Monkey & his cohorts but boy, that was a LOT of bananas & mangosteen. i was hoping some of it was for us ! Tong paid for all the fruit as the lady bid us goodbye again probably thankful fot another visit from Tong then we carried on for a little bit more till we got to the Happy Room of Mr. Reed, our Fisherman host. With all the bananas & mangosteen plus us loaded unto his long boat, we set out to a river leading to a large expanse of water where we found a lot of houses on stilts in the distance. First stop was to feed the monkeys. Both Tong & Reed called out to them & they soon were scampering toward the shore expectantly waiting for their treats. We threw a lot of bananas to a whole lot of monkeys & enjoyed watching them eating & fighting over their meal. We tried not to hit them in the head but they did not seem to mind cause one second delay to nurse a hit head would mean a lost banana to them. It wasn't long after that when we saw B3 Albino coming toward the boat like it was the most natural thing it should be doing & settled very close to where I was. I soon learned why he chose me as his seatmate. There was a BIG bag of bananas behind me that he helped himself from. He was such a fast eater- peeling & slapping all those bananas to his mouth while leaving the peel by the bag. The kids thought it was quite a trip to watch him devour all those bananas all along throwing more bananas towards the other monkeys. Enough of the monkeys for now. We set out to sea again & Tong pointed to the house that belonged to Reed as we went by it. Seems like these houses are owned by the Fishermen to allow them to keep an eye on their fish farms, oyster condos & for the occasional time out when they need it. We rode for quite a long time just speeding through the water then stopped by to harvest some oysters. They were quite small but real good. The freshest I have ever had. I was Reed's only customer. Not long after, we reached a muddy area & I started to really pay attention when Reed zipped through the mud. I was really surprised by this but the kids really were having fun. We finally went back to the place where there was water again & met a few of the other fishermen who showed us their catch of the day- one had a lot of shellfish with what looked like a lot of debris, another caught a salt water catfish ( I always thought catfish were freshwater fish, I guess not!) , still another caught a pair of naked looking pink fish / they actually looked like worms on steroids but they were fish ( pix available in the link).

Tong said that Reed had lost a son a while back so it seemed like he took a very special liking to CS & asked if he wanted to swim in the ocean. I asked if it was safe since the water looked really murky. They said it was so because it was clay rich in minerals underneath & not sand. Reed got in first , CS hesitated for a few moments then jumped right after Reed. Reed started smearing clay unto CS's face. It looked pretty nasty then I remembered it looked like the clay I "wore" when I had a mudpack treatment at some spa a while back. CS thought it was funny since he saw Reed wear the mask as well. It didn't take much prodding but soon after that both girls were in the water in their pants & all enjoying the mud facials as well. I've realized that my kids are all water babies- they will swim anywhere if you let them. While in the Phil, where ever there was a pool, you could be sure they would be swimming most of the day. I take that back, these days OD, now 15 yo, has been changing habits, for the first time since I could remember , there were times at Lebua that she would just take her magazines & read while the other 2 swam away. Thankfully they knew not to jump in the water at the Floating Market. They swam for what seemed a while then Reed asked them to swim towards one of the houses so they could get back to the boat. YD hang on to the rope tied to the river while Reed led the pack. With all 4 of them back to the boat, we headed toward's Reed's house. This time, his sister in law was there laying out a feast for all of us.

I had mentioned that CS had recently developed an allergy towards shrimps so if they could please give him an option other than seafood. They had prepared fried chicken for him or was it pork? I don't remember having any since whatever it was it went fast. I was really thankful they would accommodate that request. I think we had the same menu that KimJapan was served - there were big prawns, fried catfish, spicy tamarind based soup, clams, fresh oysters- lots for all to enjoy. I love seafood, so I was determined to enjoy the crab. When I cracked it open, there was serious crab fat/ roe inside. We had lived in SF, CA before moving to Japan & it was illegal to catch females, therefore this was the first female crab I had met in a LONG time. Boy, it was GOOD with rice !!! That was pretty much all that I ate. We had asked Tong to join us at the table & we all had a wonderful meal. She was still working on the spicy soup & everything else when I lay down close to her to "rest" my eyes. It had been quite a morning.

We had initially planned to head out to see the Wats as part of our day together but since the kids wanted to swim again after resting a bit, we decided to forego the original plan & just enjoy being there. Headed back after our siestas & returned to BKK while most of us were napping. We must have gotten back to the hotel by 3 PM. Said our fond farewells to Tong with plans on returning to BKK & exploring the Wats with her on our way back from a scheduled conference in Chang Mai March 08. After showering & starting a load of laundry , called CR Manager to personally thank her for our wonderful stay. We got on a train to see what shopping finds & gastronomic delights MBK & its food courts had for us that evening. We picked up some shirts for YD & food stuff as gifts for our friends here in TOKYO. I was looking for dressy Thai silk blouses but did not find too many choices. Ended up getting a real nice table runner made of silk. We had a variety of food choices at the food court- i had duck over rice - again, kids had different kinds of noodles - both wet & dry, DH had 2 different other things- I forget what they were. Most of us had Thai tea to drink. It was good !!! We went down to TOPS & bought some more snacks & I got fruit as always (lanzones & mangosteen) for the plane ride. Back to the hotel by 9 PM. Upon getting back to the room, I found a table full of treats for our family- chocolates for the kids, a bday cake & gorgeous bouquet for myself. I had mentioned when we made our reservation that this was an early bday treat for myself since I did not think we could anything so special for my real bday here in TKY. What a special treat that was !!! Kids went right to their favorite spot in the room- the long couch in the living area. DH & I went on a mission to finish the other 3 loads but only managed to do 2 more. That washer/dryer was heaven sent !!! Decided to get some shut eye by midnight as Mr. Preecha & his airplane van was there for us at 4AM to catch our 6:50 flight back to TKY. Had requested for Take Away brekkie boxes & had 5 of them ready for us at the Front Desk as we were checking out. Very reluctantly left the Lebua - what a great experience that was- the upgrade, the visit from the Manager, the bday treats......... Will certainly recommend this hotel to many. Unfortunately, their rates in March are double that of Aug & Sept so we won't be able to stretch our budget for our March CM& BKK trip. Will probably try the sister property of Carol's fave Somerset Suwan Park View, the Saunplu prorperty OR redeem points from HI BKK. We'll see. Anyone of you have any input on these 2 properties?

No trouble with checking in, boarding, etc. It was a very full flight as we left at 6:50. Originally had an empty seat between YD & me but was later occupied by a charming young lady who spent many years in Japan as a JET teacher. Opened up my big bag of fruit when I really didn't fancy the brekkie they served. Got knowing smiles from a Flight Attendant as I shared the fruit with my seatmate. Boy, that fruit was good- maybe it was even better since i knew that it would be a while before the next one. Got to Narita after 3PM to humid, muggy TKY. This was the end of a wonderful wonderful 5 weeks away from one of the hottest summers in TKY according to many of our friends. Am really thankful for the blessings we all enjoyed this summer.

Thanks for taking the trip with me. Many thank again, BKK and to all of you Fodorites. Arigatou Gozaimashita !!! BOW !

bmttokyo is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Just got more photos of our time with Tong at the Tiger Temple. Here you'll see our exclusive time with BamBam, the Asian Black Bear. clearly Tong's favorite animal at the TT. As we were approaching the cage, Bambam saw Tong & got quite excited- am not sure if it was her or the BIG bag of food she was bringing but clearly saw a LOT of connection there. Apparently, Tong has been a very frequent (almost daily depending on her TT scheduling) visitor of Bambam since the bear was an infant. The cage was locked but Tong got access to the key & were inside its cage & had a good time with Bambam. I made sure DH or I was keeping a close eye on the bear as the kids were playing & feeding her. Stood by the door ready to open it just in case we needed to. We enjoyed the great big beast but did not put our guard down. You never know........
Here is the link for photos....
bmttokyo is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,937
great pics....tong looks her usual self....
rhkkmk is offline  
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