Wheels up..... it's off to BKK again!

Old Apr 26th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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Shopping today was mostly successful. I managed to fulfill some promises to friends back home.

An interesting note on exchange rates: at MBK alone, where there are multiple walk-ups, the rates were all the way from 30.67 to 30.53. Along Sukhumvit Rd the rate I noted was 30.41. I did not check VASU today, but they would have had a better rate than the 30.67 rate. It pays to look around.

Dinner was at Via Vai tonight (finally...I've been here for a week and had not eaten there yet). It was excellent, as always. One beef though... they did not have a caprese salad. They were out of buffalo mozzarella. The pizzas we ordered we delicious though. The bruschetta was also very good. The chianti... Banfi... very tasty.

I have to say that quiz night tonight was a real dud. I always enjoy the experience, but the quiz master tonight was really quite pathetic. She needs to do something different with her time. She failed to hold her audience. The sound system was fine, but she could not be heard or understood. She was mispronouncing a number of names! Anyway, a bit of a letdown. I'm sorry we made sure that newbie and our other group members were 'subjected' to quiz night... actually, they bailed before the last couple of rounds. Can't blame them.

Early to bed tonight! What a pleasant situation to be in.
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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so is the new p/l a dud too?

any word from maeng?
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: exchange rates- I'm glad that I held on to my extra Baht from my last trip to BKK 2 years ago. I have 60,000 Baht to use whenever we get the chance to get back to the land of smiles!
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Bob, the new PL is doing OK. It gets busy in the evening. I think Nick is doing fine. He says there are things that he notices, like people not going out more than 1-2 times a week instead of more often, and they limit their beer or whatever to just a couple. The economy is having an impact on business.

No word on Maeng. Nothing. We've asked a number of people who know here well. Side Pocket appears to be completely closed. I really hoped she would be successful but.....

BillT, smart move. I do the same with baht, and also with euros and swiss francs, since we travel there so often. I am usually happy that I did it!

43C yesterday... I suppose today will be just as hot. I think a movie at the gold class theaters will be a good idea. That, and shopping/looking at Paragon. We'll see what the group wants to do, once they are up and moving around. Not everyone is up at 7am like me!
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 11:46 PM
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What did I miss, has Maeng disappeared?
Sigh... I love early mornings in hot countries ( especially in a place like Bangkok)
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 01:13 AM
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Hey Carol, I popped into Terminal 21 today for a few groceries and noticed they had a huge shoe sale going on, so I was surprised I didn't bump into you there!

If you're looking for something 'new' to see/do you might check out Asiatique, a new riverside mall/entertainment center. It's been soft opened for a while, but the grand opening is today (Friday). There are lots of restaurants, and the place will apparently be the new home base for both the Calypso ladyboy show and the Joe Louis puppet theater. It's downriver towards the former Mariott. There's a free shuttle boat from the Sathorn bridge pier. Note that it doesn't open until 4 or 5 pm. I plan to have a look on Saturday or Sunday.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 06:00 PM
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Hi Micheal, sorry I didn't make it to Terminal 21 yet on this trip. My newbie friend has absolutely fallen in love with shopping at MBK and Platinum. We noted Paladium, which used to be Pratunam Center mall. Looking like something was going on there last night. Lots of lights, lots of traffic.

The Asiatique sounds interesting, but I have a feeling it will not get on the schedule this trip. Newbie's last day here is today, and we will try to accomplish what she would like to do before heading back home tomorrow morning.

We had a nice time at the Paragon yesterday, checking out watches and cars (did not make any purchases...haha) and then off to see a movie in the gold class (or whatever you call it) theater. The movie was "Safe" and it was not bad. We had wine and popcorn for snacks. We had hoped to go bowling after the movie, but there was no space until 10pm and it was only 6 when the movie was done.

So instead, we headed up to Red Sky for dinner. I just can't wrap my mind around their menu for some reason, but I had two appetizers, which were fine, instead of a main course. I had a Caesar salad and a porcini ravioli. Both tasted very good. I don't quite know what to call the menu here... it's not Italian, it is not Thai for sure, maybe you'd call it gourmet "Western/European" ?? The view is nice (but not as nice as Sky Bar) and the price is much more reasonable, IMO, at Red Sky. A glass of red wine at Sky Bar (just a glass, not a bottle) can cost you $25 and up.

Smeagol, it would appear that Maeng has dropped out of the Sukhumvit scene. Her bar, Side Pocket, did not make it. I really hoped she would succeed in her business venture, but alas, this did not happen. I have not spoken to her, nor have my friends who know her. Some say she has had medical problems, but I don't know if anyone has seen her face-to-face to get the scoop first hand. It's too bad.

I'm ready for today, whatever it brings. I doubt we do more shopping as newbie's bags are full full full!!! Hoping to go on the skytrain, end to end, and end to end, so she can get a glimpse of more than the Sukhumvit/Siam area of the city! BKK has so much more to offer. She'll be back, in any case. The people here have won her over.

I have had 3 tuk tuk rides thus far... (just had to insert that)... haha
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 03:44 AM
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Actually still following along, Carol. Too bad you won't get to Asiatique - it would be nice for someone to give us a report before we spend our one night in Bangkok next November...

3 tuk-tuk rides? You are a wild woman
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 07:01 AM
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Carol..what is in Paladium?
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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greetings from denver... our balcony looks out over the snow caped mountains... way cooler than bkk.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 05:55 PM
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I have not been to Paladium. It is in the old Pratunam Center mall building on the corner. It is now a "Japanese" mall...?? I do not know what that means. Maybe Japanese-made products?

Newbie is on a plane headed home to the USA right now. Another newbie friend from home arrived yesterday morning at 2am (on a business trip) and came out with us last night. Two more folks arrived from Europe yesterday afternoon (business clients/friends of ours) and we will now be busy with work-related entertaining, starting this morning. That probably doesn't allow for Asiatique or Paladium.... drat! Although, DS says that the wife does like a bargain, so we'll see! She and I are going shopping today while the guys talk business. I figured Paragon and Emporium and Central World. I've known this wife for many years, and she is very British and loves her H & M and Marks & Spencer. Doubt that Coco Banana would be of interest... I'll report back later!

Newbie and her Thai roommate/teacher/friend went for a klong tour yesterday, her last day in the city. She really enjoyed that a lot. I'm glad she made it down to the river, as we have not had the time to get there prior to yesterday! It's been too busy right here in Sukhumvit and Siam area!

Me... I hopped on the skytrain and went down to On Nut. No, I didn't go to the Jim Thompson outlet this time. I just popped into the Tesco/Lotus mall that is attached to the skytrain station for a look around. I have bought some interesting (cheap) jewelry in a shop here, but it is no longer here. The food court was busy. I thought (hoped) I might run into Maeng, as she lives very close to this mall, but did not run into her.

Across the street is a 'night market' sort of venue, and they were busy gearing up for some entertainment there last night. They were making a sound stage and doing sound checks. Looks like the locals would be having a good time last night.

I made a stop at Terminal 21. Yep, they were having a shoes and bags sale, big time. I didn't purchase anything, but it was fun looking. And I found a Haagen-Dazs at Terminal 21. It is on the Japan floor, in the corner where the 'tube' escalator goes up to 4th or 5th floor. I sat for coffee and a sundae. I'm not sure if this HD has always been here, or if it is a new one. It was tasty in any case, and my feet were ready for a break by this time.

So, for newbie's last night in BKK, we headed down to soi 38 to Face for dinner. It was excellent, as always; although one Thai girl said it was too sweet for her (not spicy enough). I think it is westernized Thai... She stopped along the street for some 'real' food after we left the restaurant and were walking down soi 38 to the BTS...lol.

Then we headed to Sheraton Four Points (very nice!!) on soi 15 for the one-man band (yes, again... he's really good) and he was singing and entertaining a big group of teachers from various international schools. I believe this group had all worked and met in BKK at some point. We met a gal (a bagpiper) from Scotland. Another gal, from Nova Scotia (another bagpiper) who was teaching in BKK but is now located in Doha. I think they must be a group that meets up and parties together once a year or something like that. They were having a good time. A lively crowd. I danced with a guy who was there by himself, not part of the big group, but certainly partying with them. Picture on facebook later????? DS snapped one, so we'll see.

Smeagol, I know you saw newbie's picture on facebook. Yep, she is a shopper. I showed her where to find the best bargains and she just kept buying and buying. I hope the extra bag/weight didn't cost her toooooo much money this morning when she checked in for her flights home! She's travelled a lot, so she knows to expect to pay for her shopping!! haha

Bob, send some of that cool mountain air in this direction! What takes you and K to Denver? Lovely city.

Off to entertain clients today..... more later......
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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I just did a google search for palladium, and did not turn up much, other than it is yet another retail/wholesale market place in the Pratunam area. Asiatique, on the other hand, brings up a nine minute youtube video production. Makes it look quite impressive....

Wish we'd have time!
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 01:08 AM
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I think the place you're calling Palladium is the new "Japanese" place I mentioned. It's not called Palladium but has a Japanese name (some district in Tokyo, I think). The goods inside are all Thai, like Platinum, etc. There are some nice shops there, and it's a bit roomier than Platinum, I think.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Michael, Palladium is the name in huge lettering on the side of the building. I probably won't get there tomorrow, but we'll see. My British friend understands that I'm on somewhat of a mission tomorrow, so that means going to shopping venues that she might not be considering visiting... (but she'll like it).

We had a really nice dinner tonight at Long Table. The Thai food here is very flavorful. Portions are large. We selected 4 different dishes, to share Thai style, and we could not eat all of it. We had beef massaman, duck red curry, river prawns, and a spring chicken dish, with white rice, and we also had a bottle of red wine.

I'm going to get into bed earlier tonight that I have been doing (yippee). Tomorrow will be an earlier start than I've been getting as well. It's off to the office for a while, and then shopping with my British friend.

Right now I'm really tired. I think I'll be ready to get on a plane on Tuesday and SLEEP all the way home (biz class).
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Shibuya 19

Video of Shibuya 19
(location is kind of across the street from Pantip Mall)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKJCYXBHj8Y

It's a smaller version of Platinum Mall and not as crowded so it's roomier when you walk around as the aisles are wider. Foodcourt is on the top floor.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Carol, I am exhausted just reading this and looking at your many photos on FB. Enjoy the remainder of your stay and get some rest on those bc flights home.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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for us just a weekend away..
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 05:44 PM
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Isis, thanks for that video. I must try to find this place next time I'm in BKK. Today is my last day in the city for this trip. And yes, Craig, I plan to sleep most of the way home! lol

I'm going to the office for a visit (maybe half hour, 45 minutes) and then I'm picking up British friend for shopping. I will have to play it by ear, as far as where we might go. Would love to hit some of my faves, but... I'm sure it will not be the same as shopping MBK/Platinum/JJ with newbie!! But I will still enjoy it. My suitcases are not at all full, so I can buy whatever I want!

Newbie bought the cutest 3-pc luggage set (carry-on, tote, purse), which I'd love to find (and stuff into my biggest bag) to take home. So cute for those weekend trips I often take w/DH/DS on business.

Newbie should be getting back home to Cardinal Country (STL) sometime in the next few hours. Hope she isn't too exhausted to go back to work tomorrow!! (I used to have to do that all the time, before I retired from my teaching position)

Time's a wastin'...gotta get movin'.... More later.

Carol
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 11:26 PM
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Shibuya 19, that's it.

And Palladium has finally tumbled. That's the place CATTY-CORNER from Platinum - a minor semantic difference but it had me completely confused. Definitely not worth looking at right now. Was in there a few weeks ago and there was nothing but a few mobile shops and souvenir stalls. Hardly anything occupied. That project was abandoned in 1997 and stood idle for many years. It may come alive now that the residential towers are open, and there were quite a few 'coming soon' signs around to suggest that. I think one of the towers is a hotel, but not a name brand (was supposed to be a Hilton, but they had to find another place when the project failed).
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 04:22 AM
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Well....what a pleasant surprise. My very British shopping friend was delighted to go to Platinum Fashion Mall and MBK and that sort of places today. She smiled with delight as she picked out jewelry at Coco Banana!! Such fun.

And we FOUND Shibuya!!! I loved it!!! I will most certainly go back there again (and again). There are clothing items that would actually fit a farang. I bought a couple of unique tops there. I also had my eye on a skirt or two, but did not buy them yet. There were also shoes and bags, the usual assortment. Prices were very good, I thought. And Michael, you (or whomever) were right... much more manageable than Platinum, but because it is smaller, there is also not quite the selection. I would not give up going to Platinum. I've just got another place to add to my itinerary when I'm in that area of the city.

Dinner tonight will be at the Swissotel Nai Lert Park on Wireless Road, where our British friends are staying. I will need to be getting a move on pretty soon, to get there on time, as the traffic right now is horrendous out there. I think I'll pop on the skytrain and then walk from Phloenchit station!

Did I ever mention that it is really bloody hot here!!!???

Newbie made it home with all of her treasures. I'm so glad she had such a great time here. She'll be back. The Thai people have won her over.

Don't know how much sleep I'll get tonight. My taxi is scheduled for 3:45am. I have not yet packed, but since I've not bought much on this trip, that won't take very long.

If I don't check in later tonight, I'll say farewell, and I'll probably check in here while I'm at Narita.
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