TR: TravelDuo goes to Thailand solo.

Jul 19th, 2009, 07:13 PM
  #1  
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TR: TravelDuo goes to Thailand solo.

Hello Fodors Friends! This is Jeffrey and April....actually April went on the trip alone this time, but I am going to help her write the TR.

This is the 3rd trip to Thailand for her. This was a little bit of a diferent trip since she had to work part of the time she was there.

I will start off with the flights and hotel info. I am a really cheap guy, like worse than Bob cheap! So i managed to get this trip together for April for very little money out of pocket.
I booked her flight about 6 months out using my AA FF miles. I used flyertalk.com a lot during this period of time. The people on that board are always helpful with using your miles/points, most of the people there fly every week for work, so I really trust their opinion.

We used 75,000 AA miles for a partner award that went MCI-DFW(AA)-NRT(JAL)-BKK(JAL). The taxes were around $70 for the TR ticket. I also booked a flight for April and Tong to go to CM, that was about $70 each RT. I used some of our Marriott rewards for the first few nights in Bangkok, there was no $$ charge for those nights at all. While in CM April and Tong stayed at a place called Lanna Mantra. it was around $50 for the one night.
The last week or so in Bangkok, I got creative on the hotel stay. On the flyertalk site is a forum that you can trade/share your points and miles. I have around 35,000 UA miles that I am never going to use, so I posted a thread about trading those miles for a hotel stay. So for the 35,000 UA miles, April got a free week at the Holiday Inn Silom! The way it actually worked was, the guy made a reservation in Aprils name using his points, and I used my UA miles to UG him from coach to first on a flight to Hawaii! In the end we both really got what we wanted!

I will have April start the actual TR tomorrow, but will start with a few highlights.

The Thia people were amazing as always!

Tong does not have an off button, and was a great help as an interpreter in CM!

The hotel Lana Mantra was nice, except for the mold.

April now orders food, ped ped, but the first 2 trips everything was mai ped.

The Thai themed tattoo was a big hit! Most people thought it was paint and asked to touch it.

A large number of the people selling thing on Suk are Deaf, and once they saw April knew thier language they would leave their tables to come chat.

The Holiday Inn went thru a renovation recently and has really nice rooms.

Tong says that the Tiger Temple is now owned by a canadian company and doesnt like to go there as much now.

the little boy we sponsor thru Compassion International, is actually the same little boy we thought he was. My Father was wrong, it was not some old fat guy in a office taking our $30 a month!

Well, I will let April start off the actual trip report in the morning...thanks for reading so far!

Jeffrey
travelduo is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 07:28 PM
  #2  
 
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i am always anxious to hear what you guys are up to and with this introduction i wish to hear the rest from the traveller herself....nice start jeffrey
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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nice trade btw....
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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Awaiting April's report before this drops off of page one, and falls into the out-of-sight zone! lol
Carol

(I'm going on yet another solo trip to BKK in about 2 wks)
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 04:57 PM
  #5  
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Hello! This is new for me so here I go....7/5/09 I flew AA 6:54am and the plane was so empty everyone had their own row! Nice but such a short flight we couldn't truly appreciate the vacant space. I noticed that at MCI there are now outlets on certain chairs and you have to pay to use them. Interesting. AA crew asked us to fold our blankets for them before exiting the airplane. Whats next? Wash and return policy???? 8:30am we landed in Chicago. I got to my gate by 9:15am and board at 10:55am. I noticed 5 people on the plane that were American and we did NOT get offered the Japanese newspaper! GRIN. I tried to sleep after my first meal (per Jeffrey's instructions) and had a 3 y/o seatmate who would not sleep. I gave up and slept when she did. I slept 3hrs...as did she....I woke up 30mins before her and she was stretched out onto my legs and her foot had my tv remote hostage. She was so cute I let her be.

It appears we were preparing for landing I GUESSED since I could not hear the English announcements. It was daylight the ENTIRE flight. Very tough to get used to! We landed 230pm Tokyo time. At Narita it took an hour to get to my next gate. had to go through security again after taking the shuttle. After I exchanged some $$, I found a calling card and a phone and called jeffrey at 2am KC time. Yen was 92=$1.

Flight to BKK departed 7:05pm, full flight. I had a few hours layover at Narita and before I knew it, I was camped out on the floor next to an outlet charging my ipod and asleep on my backpack like about 30 other people around me.

We boarded at 6:40pm and were 10th in line on the runway. I was so drowsy that I fell asleep after that announcement and woke up 1hr into the flight!!!

We landed at 11:30pm BKK time. Tong sent me a driver who was waiting for me. Thanks Tong!!!! I got to the Marriott Riverside (home away from home), called Jeffrey at 3:30 and went to sleep.
travelduo is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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You're off to a good start, April... (smile)... waiting for more. Thanks for sharing your report.
Carol
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Jul 20th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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sounds like a great trip so far, guys! Can't wait to hear more!
filmwill is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 07:05 PM
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me too....good start....and of course the marriott is the place for people in the know about bkk...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Nice start! I'm curious how you compensated Tong for an overnight?

And why aren't you writing this under traveluno?? ;-)
lcuy is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 03:48 PM
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My first morning in BKK I was awake early and ready to go. I was tired but awake! I got ready and headed to Jack's!!! He had NO IDEA who I was (I have changed a lot since last time and frankly without my 6'3" darling with me I am hard to notice). Anyway, once I said Jeffrey Dunlap he was like "of course of course!!!" He was such a help to me the entire trip! He is such a good man! His family is precious! His wife is beautiful! I saw lots of pics and we caught up on things. I gave him Jeffrey's measurements and we picked out material etc...

After that I went next door for my routine pedicure.....sarcastically....I ONLY get them in BKK at Nails Up!!!!! They remembered me eventually....actually after I reminded them I was here 3yrs ago with the tall American who had his toenails painted flourescent green. Then they ALL knew who I was....once again though, the reminder came through my 6'3" darling husband. I don't mind at all!!!

I called the Compassion International people to let them know I had arrived safely. And I called Tong as well. We made arrangements to meet 9am Wed morn to go see Chang for glasses for Jeffrey.

I was going to swim but we had a huge rain.....so I reorganized my luggage in preparation for Chiang Mai....shopped around the Marriott area...and waited for the rain to stop. After it stopped I went looking for an internet cafe and my fresh pineapple!!!! I walked and walked (the beginning of my walking through BKK series...lol...I walked sooooo much). I found the internet cafe and checked in. It was great! 20 baht for an hour! Not bad! Then I set out for pineapple. I found the cart and the guy...but Tong says I was too nice. I stood there waiting for him to look at me and I could tell him what I wanted. I learned real quick that you just walk up and say what you want and he cuts it up. After the 8th Thai person cut in front of me and ordered (I DID look like I was just observing, in their defense) this older Thai man came up and asked me what I wanted and told the guy and 1min later I was walking with my pineapple...grin! 10baht and YUMMY!!! Then I proceeded to walk farther and farther. I really was hot and enjoying the humidity (I am weird) until I decided I better turn around.
I walked back and was gone I would say 1.5hrs just walking. I went back to Jacks to see if the fabric for the liner was in...he said..."I saw you walking...you walked too far!!!" I asked "was I in a bad area?" He said "No no no...you just walked too far in this heat!" I told you I was weird!

I went back to my room and cleaned up and went to S&P for dinner. Sat at the same table we met Bob and Karen at...awwww memories! I could not finish all my food and could not, could not get them to understand that I wanted to bring my leftovers with me!!!! By the time the 3rd server got the manager, he took my plate and came back with my leftovers!!!!

I went back to my room and crashed since I had not slept much up til that point. Tong tmrw!!!!
travelduo is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 04:02 PM
  #11  
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Lucy, I paid Tongs way to CM and back and paid for whatever we did or ate. . We travelled as friends and not as a tour.
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Jul 23rd, 2009, 06:36 PM
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i remember that meeting....we almost missed each other...

anxious to read more....
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 07:27 PM
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lcuy - love it - traveluno!!
Kathie is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 02:06 AM
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Super start. The Flyertalk trade was a good deal. You're right, Tong does not ever power down. I suspect she has no hibernate setting either. Timely report, no penalty.
Gpanda is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 06:51 AM
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Great report. You do just fine on your own.
Nywoman is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 06:34 PM
  #16  
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Well, I typed for 20 min, and then lost it all!!!!!!! I will try again soon!
travelduo is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 07:11 PM
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Oh, that's so frustrating! Stick with it, we want to hear more.
Kathie is offline  
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