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Trip report-Thailand and Singapore, Part I

Trip report-Thailand and Singapore, Part I

Mar 18th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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We went to DoiTung Royal Villa and the Mae Fah Luang Botanical Gardens. The ceiling in the building covered with the constellations was wonderful! The gardens, orchids and bamboo walkway were exquisite. Then onward to Chiang Rae and to a night market (with good evening entertainment) and the Clock Tower-great light show in the evening. Designed by White Temple artist. Stayed at Baan Soontree-nice suite, pool, good breakfast.

North Day 7: Charlie was not available this day and we hired another guide who took us to three different hilltribe villages-lieu, Lahu and Karen (not long-necked). We played with, and brought some supplies and snacks, to children whose teacher had not appeared that day. At the Lisu village, lunch was prepared for us in the village. Visited the White Temple and back to the night market.

North Day 8: Charlie provided a driver for us who took us to Wat Phra Kaew, the Black House, and Chiang Saen. We climbed to the Temple ruins and had a nice lunch overlooking the Mekong River. Being in the area, we made a brief stop at the Golden Triangle overlook. We met Charlie for a great dinner along the waterfront in Chiang Rai.

Bangkok Day 14 of the trip: Flight to Bangkok went without issues. Ratt, our guide, met us at the airport and off we went! First stop, lunch at Jim Thompson House and visit there. Wat Pho, Wat Arun, canal boat ride with the driver's daughter and her school friends, dinner at the night market, and rest at Evergreen Place, where we would be for 3 nights. Good apartment, although we were promised 2 twin beds in the second bedroom and they only had one with a double, so we had to get a cot for the living area as no other suites were available.

Day 15: took 1/2 day tour proveded by hotel to Grand Palace. Guide was good, but jewelry factory tour was not appreciated. Beware. Lunch at pleasant riverside Indian restaurant. We were given inaccurate information the the barge museum was closed by the guide, making it so we went back with them and to the factory... Great massages followed and fabulous dinner in Chinatown after a nighttime ferry ride to see Bangkok lit up.

Day 16: Day trip to Ayutthaya with Ratt was great. Hot, but amazing ruins made it worth withstanding the heat. Used the audio guide some. Ratt took us to a great lunch and, later, to the floating market "mall"-not quite what we had hoped for. Tried to get to the Skybar upon our return to Bangkok and were denied entry because, although we we wearing skirts, we had open-toed sandals which were unacceptable... Had quick, cheap dinner and went to bed.
virginiafish is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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Singapore- 4 days. Prior to flying to Singapore, we had a quick, wonderful meetup and coffee with fellow Fodorite, Bob (rhkkmk )and his wife, who had helped us plan so much of this trip. It was a treat to spend a too-short visit with them!

Day 1: Great foot massage at the airport again. Our dear friend, who lives in Singapore, met us at the airport. After checking into the Marriott, she took us to a hawker center for a great, enormous amount of food (dumplings, skewers, veggie rolls, roti, fried noodles) and walked around downtown, business area and waterfront, marveling at the lights, helix bridge, casino, etc.. Very pretty, modern city-state abounds.

Day 2: small hawker area for breakfast near the Marriott for some local fare and Singapore's national breakfast-kaya toast- a thick concoction of fresh eggs, coconut milk and sugar, infused with the heady scent of pandan leaves, kaya is served slathered between crisp slices of toast that hide a generous chunk of salted butter. Balancing out the calories are one or two soft-boiled eggs, drizzled with dark soya sauce and white pepper, all washed down with a cup of strong coffee. Then, we went to the Singapore Botanical Gardens with an abundant orchid display.
virginiafish is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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we wish we had more time to talk with you...

enjoying the report
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Love this virginiafish! Your choices interest me a lot. I'm thinking about Thailand for next winter, and your style of traveling seems similar to mine - or, as rhkkmk said, "backwater"!

I'm thinking of Bangkok/northern Thailand/Angkor Wat for next year, and many of the places you went sound wonderful. Is there anything you would do differently if you went back?

Thanks for this!

progol is online now  
Mar 19th, 2013, 04:09 PM
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OMG! I am sitting here with the Lonely Planet India Guidebook. It is on our list for travel soon. I will read your trip report.
Your question is one on which we need to ponder. It may be good if we could talk.
virginiafish is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 04:17 PM
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That would be great. You can email me at [email protected] and we can talk sometime.
progol is online now  
Mar 28th, 2013, 04:59 PM
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The next 2 days in Singapore included a visit to the Singapore Chinatown, Raffles Hotel, Night Safari (surprisingly wonderful), Robertson Quay, Arab Street and the Masjid Sultan Mosque, Boat Quay, Light Show and Asian Civilization Museum. There was so much more we could have enjoyed had we more time. The Hawkers stands with glorious food were always wonderful.
virginiafish is offline  
May 28th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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WWanderer is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 03:30 AM
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Great report. Enjoying.
dgunbug is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Totally enjoyed reading about your trip to Thailand.
Planning a trip this Nov.2013 and will be visiting Bangkok,Ayutthaya,Sukhothai and Chiang Mai. I would like to know about the beaches.

Thank you again
kquong is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 06:05 PM
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Thanks all.
kquong-we didn't go to the beaches, although we were debating whether to go even as we were in Thailand. In the end, we decided we couldn't do it all and that we can more easily get to, and have gone to, gorgeous beaches/snorkeling/scuba diving on other trips or will come back some day. We did not regret our decision. Others on the forum will be happy to help, I am sure.
virginiafish is offline  

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