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Travelduo back to Thailand solo. trip report part 2!

Travelduo back to Thailand solo. trip report part 2!

Old Jul 31st, 2009, 08:16 PM
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Travelduo back to Thailand solo. trip report part 2!

Well i thought that I would start a new topic since my first report fell off the front page!

I have to admit I did type an entire thread and when I was previewing it...I hit some button and it all went away! Yes I am truly a novice at this! Needless to say it has taken this long to RETYPE the whole thing. Here I go.

This is the day Tong picked me up to take me to see Chang and get Jeffrey's glasses. Her and Pear arrived at like 11am to take me to Changs. She got stuck at a roadblock for a parade. We went to the shop...IT WAS GREAT TO SEE PEAR AND TONG AND CHANG! We were looking at glasses and found a pair. Tong emailed them to Jeffrey and called him at 2am his time to see if he liked them!!! LOL...he was of course a good sport!

We ordered them and then left Pear with Chang and went shopping....LOFTY BAMBOO.....I love that store! We found some fun things there. The things I wanted Tong had already bought!!! LOL. Then I got to see Tongs' office Zestival...adorable! Then we got some fresh fruit and she dropped me off at MBK.

Next morn she picks me up for CM so she had a lot to do before then.

I went to MBK and did a little shopping. I was taken back by how accomodating they have become to western culture. I did not want Dunkin Donuts, Burger King or Pizza but it was all readily available!!! I spent an hour trying to find someone to "unlock" my phone. Finding someone to unlock it was not the probem. My phone was the problem. They can only unlock 3G phones. I gave up! I wanted to get a good night sleep so I left MBK and headed for hotel.

I took sky train BTS back to Marriott and went to see Jack who was still trying to help me with my phone. The BTS was how I remembered it. And very easy to ride! He suggested I just buy a phone w/prepaid card in CM. Thanks Jack! That's exactly what I did the next day!

I went to get a massage across from the Marriott and I completely forgot how bad it hurts!!! The first 30mins I was miserable...then after that I fell asleep 3 different times only to be awakened to the sound of "madam...are you ok?" I would assure her I was alive and the final attempt was when I was deep in a dream and I opened my eyes and could not figure out why there was a Thai woman standing there with my clothes (I changed into their pj's). I was in such a deep sleep it took about 10mins for me to change clothes, drink some tea and BARELY walk back to my room. I stopped at ...I am really about to say this....McDonalds...because I had not eaten all day except watermelon and pineapple with Tong. I made it to my room where I ate. It was gross like it is at home...grin....and I called jeffrey and Parker and went to bed!!!
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 08:57 PM
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Thursday 5:30am....I get a call from Tong.... (5:30am was when she was supposed to pick me up) and she said she was still at her house. I was like..ummmm ok.....then she said in her adorable Thai accent "April I am kidding!!!" We laughed and laughed about that !!! So I checked out of the Marriott and we headed for the airport. Chang dropped us off and we headed for....you guessed it...Starbucks...they officially invaded Bangkok! Tong has a friend that works there (of course...where does Tong NOT have a friend???) and we had coffee. Jelly coffee....words cannot descibe this oddidity. It is coffee flavored jelly in your cup of coffee...nope, can't find the words to describe it. Will not drink it again I can assure you of that! Then she wanted bfast but I was worried about our flight so I shared a Lara bar with her. It's a bfast bar that is raw ingredients. She had cherry pie. Cherrys, nuts and dates. That was a new experience for her and she enjoyed the culture change.

We boarded our plane and headed for CM. It was a fast 1hr flight. It was very interesting to travel with someone who is Thai. I was completely ignored! They even told Tong I needed to give them my passport! I was like...I'm not invisible! It was very interesting!!! Funny thing was Tong is so accustomed to taking care of the people she is with that she never even noticed what was happening. I finally said...this is very different with you. She asked...good or bad??? I said...easier but different. GRIN.

We arrived in CM and it was like 9am. It was HUMID and beautiful!!! Sargeant Kai's brother picked us up because Sargeant Kai's wife was in the hospital. He took us to our hotel where we unloaded our luggage and left almost immediately. We stayed at Lanna Mantra. It was very nice and quaint. The landscape was gorgeous! The room was gorgeous! There was mold on the walls in the bathroom so if that kinda thing bothers you, well there you have it. There was a pond right outside our balcony. So pretty! So peaceful! We got back in the van and headed to Tiger Kingdom!

Tiger Kingdom is ummm not a "kingdom" by any means. It is small but nice. Apparently they have been there about a year I think I overheard. The tigers are incredible!! I got to hang out with the babies (3mos old) for what felt like an hour. They had just eaten so they were very sleepy. My camera battery was dying so I paid 200 baht for them to take pics for me and load on a CD I could bring home. They did this with the big tigers as well for another 200baht. When I was with the big tigers (15mos old) they kept trying to get me to lay down with a tiger that was I SWEAR in the lunge position ready to go after a tiger on the other side of the fence. They kept saying, "it's ok lay down". I said "I am NOT laying down by that tiger!" So i was barely squatting and Tong turned around and saw me and said "GET UP GET UP" and said something in Thai to the worker. Then told him to find me another tiger. She was not happy! They need some more experience with bringing people in there and what they are instructing them to do! We fed the camel and (yes there is a camel at Tiger Kingom) and sat down for lunch. Lunch was a buffet and it was very good. We sat where you could watch the big tigers as you ate. Then we headed to Maesa Elephant Camp.

Maesa Elephant Camp was pretty cool! You could ride the elephants, watch them paint, play soccer and dance while playing the harmonica! We also fed them. It was beautiful but be ready to walk. Remember it's mountanous terrain. We went through there rather quickly as we still had to go shopping for my Compassion International family and meet Sargeant Kai back at our hotel by 5pm. Of course we still said yes to a quick walk through of the Longnecks camp.

The Longnecks were fascinating. Seeing them in real life is nothing like on National Geographic!!! Standing there in front of them I felt like it was an optical illusion! I kept trying to see how "long" their necks really were. Sargeant Kai's brother finally told me that they don't stretch their necks....the rings shove their collarbones down. You could actually see it when walking behind them!!! They start at age of 5 and have one year to opt out. After that it is a lifelong commitment. I was in awe of their houses and how they lived. Then I got to thinking....we had to pay to walk through there.....were they there first or is it for tourism? Later we confirmed with Sargeant Kai that it was all indeed built for tourism. Sigh.....oh well. It was still interesting to see how they lived.

We left and went to CarrFour....Thailands version of WalMart. We bought many things for my Compassion family and FINALLY a phone! I paid 790baht for a Nokia phone that came with a sim card...bonus! Thank goodness Tong was there because it would have taken me forever. Within minutes I was texting Jeffrey....ahhhhhhh!!!

We hurried to the hotel and Sargeant Kai showed up literally 10mins later. We headed to dinner. On our way we stopped at this hotel and picked up 2 people. Tong and I were like...well he IS doing us a favor so if he gives 2 others a ride in the way so be it. After all he is a tour guide there in CM.

So these people got in the car and this guy David started talking to Tong like she was supposed to know who he was. Come to find out, she had a driver rescue him and his buddy last minute this past March and take them on a tour. Then she referred him to Sargeant Kai. I think all through Fodors but I could be wrong. Maybe it was through Trip Advisor. Anyway, he said his screen name and she knew exactly who he was!!!! He was a surprise for her from Sargeant Kai. We all had dinner together at this amazing place! I would share the name but it's all in Thai. I have a picture of it if anyone wants specifics. Anyway, we had the best meal!!! We had so many traditional CM dishes and it was unbelievable! I tried everything all the way down to pickled sausage!!! I had a terrific eve!!! We headed back to our hotel and off to a good night sleep....next day I meet the little boy we have been sponsoring for 3years.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 09:30 PM
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Great report. Painful having to retype everything, something that I am sure has happened to just about all of us.

When I visited Thailand the first time with my Thai friend, things were more challenging than if I had been alone. I would ask a question and even if the person was fluent in English, they would turn to my friend and give the response in Thai! When I hired an English speaking guide for the day, about half the conversation was in Thai.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 11:21 PM
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You can save yourself some problems by typing into word or whatever you normally use, then pasting it into fodors. Just make sure you preview before posting though, as sometimes it will have weird grammatical marks added in.

enjoying your report!
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 04:03 AM
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Great report. Tong is a wonder. I always limit the length of my posts, so if I lose something, it's not that tragic.
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Enjoying your report! Keep it coming.

I took a Thai friend to CM (and continue to do so, everytime I am in BKK). It was her first flight EVER. What a fun experience! I'm sure Tong is much more "worldly" than my friend Maeng, who really had never been out of Bangkok much.

Tong is indeed a terrific person. I'm sure she appreciated your taking her to CM for a visit.
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Old Aug 11th, 2009, 09:10 PM
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Thanks, for taking the time to share with us. I'm leaving next month for Chaing Mai and would love to see the photo of the great restaurant.

BTW, I took my niece to Thailand last year and we Had Tong for a day. My niece talks more about her than Thailand itself!
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Old Sep 10th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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Looking forward to more of your report!
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