Trip Report Part 1 - Bangkok

Aug 21st, 2008, 06:45 PM
  #21  
 
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Perhaps at MacDonalds.
Gpanda is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 10:33 PM
  #22  
 
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Glad you enjoyed the Kata Beach Resort. After the tsunami, spent the weekend there with 30 women for a conference & the place was convenient for most of our needs. There was enough shopping around the area to tide me over till I got back to BKK.
Best thing was, the Marketing Manager who I never met took care of transporting a 50# box of toys, school supplies that I had brought in as I was not able to make the 4 hr RT to the school where they suggested needed it the most. He sent me photos of the teachers who received the box a couple of weeks later.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 08:27 AM
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Jen:

I am so glad you enjoyed the Coconut Palm. It is one of our favorite restaurants in BKK, thanks to Tong. Now we insist on her taking us there every time we are in BKK -- which is about once a year. I'm already looking forward to eating there in January.

We are also making our first trip to CM -- and on the train. However, we are taking the night sleeper from BKK and a day train back from CM so that we can see the countryside.

Your information on CM is great, and I am sure that we will duplicate a lot of it. We have booked a guide that Tong recommended, and I have spent hours trying to decide where to have him take us. One question -- after our having been to many of the temples in the BKK area, would you recommend doing the same in CM? I have an American cousin who was raised in Thailand, and she says we MUST go to the Doi Suthep. Glad they have an elevator, though, as my poor knees wouldn't make the 300 or so steps!

Being an educator makes traveling time so convenient -- particularly if you are retired like me. Now we can just pick up and go whenever the mood strikes.

Thanks for your information.

Sandra/mcbeanie
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 08:35 AM
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you need to go to doi sutup...it is really very lovely....i would rank it #2 or 3 after wat arun and the grand palace...

coconut palm is fabulous!!!
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 08:43 AM
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I am reading that Coconut Palm is a fabulous restaurant -- can you please tell me the location or how to get there?

(We'll be staying at Pullman King Power hotel)
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 09:22 AM
  #26  
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Mcbeanie - I don't think you need to do a whole lot with temples in Chiang Mai after Bangkok - maybe one of two. There is one that has some Indian influence that is interesting because it is different (I can't recall the name, but I think it is just outside the old city). As for Doi Suthep - we debated long and hard about going and decided that we didn't really have time, but if you do I would recommend going there since I have heard great things about it. We also debated going to Doi Inthanon, but again ran out of time and decided we'd take a relaxing day instead. Guess we'll just have to go back!

Sayko - the only direction I recall about the Coconut Palm is that it is across from Wat Pho. I didn't look at my Nancy Chandler's map to see if it is on there. Maybe someone else here can answer that question?
jcasale is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 09:50 AM
  #27  
 
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tong describes it as being next to wat pho...the address is:

i thought i had their card but i do not, sorry...

i will ask tong what street it is on
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 11:07 AM
  #28  
 
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Thanks for the great report. This is totally distracting me from getting my work done this afternoon! I think we followed you to Australia (and used your report in our planning), and now we're following you to Bangkok!
ms_go is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 01:16 PM
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I have written down Maharat Road - but best to check with Tong
BB
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 03:38 PM
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We are going to Thailand mid January and I an enthralled by your report. Last year when we went to Africa there was a lady who posted her experiences from her trip to Kenya in 2007. I dont remember her name, but her writing style is very similar to yours. By any chance did you post a report on Africa last year? I love your insights. Thanks in advance. Jan
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 06:52 PM
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Bob,
I've lost its card but I will go there today.
I will get one for you.
But if you wanted to know how to get there. it's very easy to tell people that it's opposite side of the Tang Trong Chit Panitchayakarn. It's a college.
From Chang Pier, go to the main street and walk to the right side, until you see 7-11 and you will see the Thai Bank, Coconut palm is between them.
I will try to get its official address for you within today.

Love,
tong

this is what tong responded to me...
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for checking with Tong.
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Aug 23rd, 2008, 12:20 PM
  #33  
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Glad Tong was able to provide directions. I looked at my Nancy Chandler map and it isn't listed on there.

ms go - glad you are finding our travels helpful! Australia and New Zealand were fabulous as was Thailand. I think those two trips are tied for me as the second best trips I have ever taken. Africa is still number one, but we have not been to Kenya, Jan. That is still on the "bucket list" (which keeps getting longer - at this rate I can't ever die !).

Sorry I haven't gotten to Phuket yet - work interfered! I'll try to get a little of it posted right now:

Day 12:
Again we slept in (such a luxury for us on vacation!) and had a fabulous breakfast outside by the pool. The breakfast buffet and the Kata Beach Resort was the best of the whole trip. Freshly made omelets, banana pancakes, really tasty fruit and some great Asian choices.

Afgter breakfast we headed to the pool to relax. Based on reports on Trip Advisor, I had put our towels and book out by the pool to save a chair before we went to breakfast, but we really didn't need to do that. With it being low season, there were plenty of chairs throughout most of the day. The busiest time was around noon, but we were usually out there by 10 or we were off for the day so didn't get back to the pool until it was getting ready to close. We walked the beach first and then went for a swim in the sea. The waves were nice and big and we had great fun jumping into them and "body surfing". It was also cool watching the actual surfers. I looked for kayaks to rent since I had read that they had them along Kata Beach, but never did find any. Maybe because it was low season and the waves were a bit stronger than in the high season.

Finally it was time for lunch and we walked to the south end of the beach and had lunch at a wonderful open air restaurant attached to a Reggae bar! Who would expect that in Thailand - dreadlocks and all! We had a fabulous lunch and then headed to one of the beach massage places for a wonderful Thai massage with the waves crashing behind us - sheer luxury. It was turning into an all around perfect day.

Until tragedy struck! DH had his camera in the pocket of his swim trunks for walking the beach and forgot it was there. We tended to take his camera when we only needed one since it is smaller and newer. Hence there were pictures on it that were not duplicated on my camera. His was the camera Tong used to take lots of great tiger pictures for us. He decided to take a dip in the pool so along went the camera! YIKES! After mush angst and anxiety - we decided we should try to see if the card was still good (the camera was obviously "toast"). We took it to a digital camera place across the street and initially he said it was ruined, but then another worker came in and he asked her if she thought they could do something. After some back and forth discussion (in Thai) they said to leave the card with them and come back in three hours. We were so depressed it was hard to even begin to resurrect the enjoyment of the rest of the day. We walked around for a while and then went to dinner (I have the name of the place at work - it was very good. I'll post it Monday). After dinner DH (aw heck - we're friends, I'll call him Bill ;-)!) went back to the camera place while I was paying the bill. He came back in about 2 minutes and said that they had told him they were downloadeing the pictures and to come back in 15 minutes. We crossed our fingers and went to a little cart that made fresh pancakes (crepes) with chocolate and other yummy things in them. Then back to the camera store and low and behold they handed us a little album with 10 sample pictures (including the one of the four of us, Bob) and a CD with all of the other ones. They popped it in the computer to show us that all 680 pictures were there! I love computer geeks! We went back to the hotel and celebrated with a drink by the pool. Then it was off to bed to get ready for our trip to James Bond Rock the next day. We were down a camera, but at least we had mine and it had plenty of memory still.

Day 13:

It had been suggested that we wait until getting to Phuket to book any excursions we wanted to do and it is good that we did. I had decided beforehand that I wanted to do the June Bahtra cruise to James Bond Rock. When we arrived we discovered that it was way more expensive (about $100 for the two of us) than the other trips and the only difference was being on a cool looking boat. So instead we took the trip with a company called Phan Nga Eco Tour and it was great. We didn't get to take kayaks along the cliffs with the stalactites, but Bill doesn't really do well with kayaks anyway, so that wasn't an issue. We had an excellent guide and a great day with this company and recommend them highly.

The Andaman Sea with all of its unusual rock and island formations is some of the most beautiful scenery we have ever encountered. Unfortunately it was a hazy day, so photography was difficult (the polarizing lens helped a bit) but in a way that added to the drama and mystery of the area. We started with a swim on a lovely little island. Then we traveled through the area looking at all of the various formations. We had lunch at a floating village populated by Muslim fisherman. The lunch was quite yummy and then we had a few minutes to wander through the town. We kind of got ambushed by a couple of young people with several monkeys wanting to have us hold them for a picture, I knew we would give them some money, but we didn't realize they would demand a particular amount and didn't negotiate beforehand. Mistake. We paid way too much for pictures that are not all that good. Oh well. A $3 mistake at best so I wasn't going to worry about it.

After lunch we headed to James Bond Island and James Bond Rock. As I said earlier, this was the reason Bill wanted to come to this area (although there are lots more reasons to do so). It looked just like I imagined it would and we had a great time wandering aorund and taking pictures. Then we headed back to the dock (which we couldn't get to because of the low tide so we had to take a shuttle launch) and back to our hotel. We relaxed in the pool and then went to dinner right near the hotel. We never ventured very far and just went to several of the small restaurants lining the streets. We debated splurging on e night and going to Mom Tri's which was right by our hotel, but decided against it. We were having wonderful tasting dinners in the places we stumbled onto so didn't feel a strong need. Maybe next time!

Day 14:
The next day we had booked a trip out to Phi Phi Island. When we woke up it looked like it could rain at any time and we debated trying to cancel of change the trip. In the end we decided to go and it was a very nice day. The company we went with was the Phuket Sea Island Company and they were just as good as the outfit the day before. We left from the Royal Phuket Marina (which is a pretty impressive complex) and headed out first to Phi Phi Lay to the cove where The Beach was filmed. This was cool to see since I was in the middle of reading that book when we went. Haven't seen the movie, but maybe I'll need to do so now. The we went to a cove to go snorkeling. We both love to snorkel, but unfortunately it isn't as easy as it used to be. This getting older sucks ! But we snorkeled a bit. We even got to feed banana pieces to some Sargent Major fish. That was an amazing experience. Who knew that fish liked bananas! The swarmed us and we could feel them biting the banana as we held it. After that we went to monkey Bay and fed the monkeys - not bananas as you would think, but peanuts. My questions is - what do the elephants eat ;-)!

We then went by the cave where they get swallows' nests for bird's nest soup and then on to Phi Phi Don for lunch (where Bill adopted the cutest little kitten who curled up in his arms and went to sleep). After lunch we went to Khai Island and swam and hung out on the beach. The rain mostly held off (we had a little bit of it off and on) and it turned out to be a fun day.

Again dinner and then to bed.

Day 15:
Another gorgeous sunny day. Too bad we couldn't have had this kind of weather the other two days. But given that it was rainy season and we had virtually no rain, we really can't complain. We decided to have a driver take us up to the top of the mountain near Kata Beach to see the "Big Buddha of Phuket" that is being constructed. It was a really neat thing to see. They had signs posted around it telling about the philosophy of Buddhism and the Buddha itself is amazing. Also, you get some great views. Well worth a quick trip. The afternoon was spent sitting by the pool and relaxing. I also took my glasses to a local optometrist to get the lens popped back in and she didn't even charge me. Such nice people! Tomorrow will be our trip to Cambodia, so this was our past night Thailand (except for some time on the way back).

I'll finish later!
jcasale is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 03:05 PM
  #34  
 
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loving all the detail....thanks for sharing....i thought maybe i broke the camera...
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 03:24 PM
  #35  
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Not a chance - it's a great picture of the four of us.

I thought I'd add one bit of detail going back to Chiang Rai. I found the name of the white temple and the town in which it is located. The Temple is Wat Rong Kuhn and the village is (go figure) Ban Rong Kuhn. The artist who is creating it is Chalermchai Kositpipat. I strongly recommend going to the temple and/or checking out his art and bio online. We brought back prints of one of his paintings for my brother and a friend and also brought them a book about the temple. Now I am wishing we had bought one for ourselves also. Oh well. We'll just have to go back ! Especially since the temple isn't quite done yet - I'd love to see it when it is totally completed.
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Aug 25th, 2008, 11:31 AM
  #36  
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Ok, I am back at work and found my notes with all of the names of the restaurants in Kata Beach where we had dinner. The first night we ate right across the street at a restaurant I didn't write down - probably because it was not very exciting. It is directly across the street from the Kata Breach Resort and it was OK, but that's about it. And I thought it was overpriced for what it was.

The other restaurants were a better value and the food was god. First day we had lunch at Ska Bar (a reggae place at the south end of the beach complete with a bar tender with dreadlocks). Then we ate diner at a restaurant cleverly named the Outdoor Restaurant. Had very good meals at both places. The second day I didn't write down the name - sorry - but it was down the small street by the Outdoor Restaurant. The third night we ate at Lobster and Prawn and then the last night at the Tomato. All quite good.

I also forgot to mention that the last night in Phuket we went to Simon Cabaret. It was a fun show and I was amazed at how lovely many of the "women" were. Supposadly they are all ment, but they were quite lovely and sexy. Unfortunately we had been told we couldn't take pictures and didn't find out until it was too late that we could have taken our camera and taken pictures with them (or of them) outside of the theater (for a fee if you had your picture taken with them). Oh well - we have the pictures in our minds. But I can't share them with anyone else (unless you can do a Vulcan mind-meld)
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Aug 25th, 2008, 01:14 PM
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will bill be trying out for a role??

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Aug 25th, 2008, 01:35 PM
  #38  
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Oh - wouldn't that be attractive! Maybe in another life !
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Aug 25th, 2008, 07:21 PM
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or a past life??
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Aug 25th, 2008, 07:58 PM
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I think you two were, perhaps, twins in another life! So maybe you were both dancers in Simon Cabaret! I'd pay big bucks to see that !
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