Open Side Menu Go to the Top
Ask us about Thailand! Ask us about Thailand!

11-29-2006 , 11:16 PM
Sorry guys. I got sucked back into work, playing on the boyfriend's new Wii, and getting [censored] on by a foot of snow. It's currently around minus twenty fahrenheit here at home, and is a far cry from the luscious weather of going into high season west coast Thailand. Boo. The good news is that I'm going to Hawaii in a month. Yay!

Anyhow, I'm going to skip adding photos because my computer suffered an accident in Thailand and I have yet to get it working, so my photos are going to hang in limbo for a while, or atleast until the New Year. If the thread is still going strong, I will post pics of the more relevant moments then.

In any case, I will preface this post by saying that it will not contain any sexy stories (sorry, Iron81) or how I hooked up with a hot Thai chick. Apart from the bargirl's interest in my facial piercing, and some girl named Nee in Soi Eric who made a joke about her name while touching my knee, no chicks hit on me. I'm sure if I flashed a few thousand baht bills around they might have, but just as well; my boyfriend was still home in Canada . I still had fun playing Connect Four with them and staring in strangely lusty awe at some of the katoeys.

Most of my tales are from Bangkok and Phuket. I had plans to visit the few places I have yet to visit in Thailand (Ko Lanta, Khao Sok Park and Khao Lak being a few of them) but I just fell into Thai time and hung around my family lots.

Anyhow, into the trip report!

Got back from a month long trip about a week ago, with my parents who are condo hunting in the Phuket area. (Bit of background info, my family has lived all over the world, including Thailand for a year about 15 years ago. I have returned on my own and a few times in other situations since then and love it terribly) I'll probably post some of my better pics, but for now a run down of what I can remember (mostly shopping and general reviews of some hotels and restaurants)...

- I love BKK. Still. Rode the subway for the first time, was suitably impressed. Seems under used; reminds me of when the Skytrain first opened a few years ago. (on that topic; they should really consider additional cars now that ridership is up)

Siam Paragon is [censored] amazing, if too ostentatiously priced. It's like Singapore, in a mall, in Bangkok. The Ocean World is totally worth the time (and price 450B? Yikes). I loved the seahorses and rays the most, followed by the jellyfish exhibit. I got the biggest kick out of the "Arctic" exhibit, where they supercooled a tiny fridge to minus 10'C and you could 'experience' it. The joke was on me when I flew home a few days later to -15 and a [censored]load of snow

CentralWorld had a model convention of sorts; I was embarassingly dwarfed by 6 foot tall 16 year old Russians, and I promptly ran out of the mall. Lots of fashionable young Thai ladies here, and at the other shopping areas I am about to talk about.

I ate lunch at Sonies at Playground! on Soi Thonglo (about Soi 20) They have a great Japanese (also Italian and Thai) set lunch. Peppered sashimi salad with wasabi cream dressing, crunchy crab rolls, miso soup, shrimp croquette, cha yen (Thai iced tea for all you falang out there) and some sort of custardy pudding like coffee flavoured (yet purple colored??) Thai dessert for under 250B. It was a steal. That store also employs some attractive girls, for you guys out there.

I had never been to JJ Market before, and honestly; I think I would only ever go again if I lived there. I LOVE Thai fashion and was expecting to find a treasure trove of it, but did much better near the Lido cinema at Siam, MBK and at the Suan Lum night market (ps: if your girl wants to go shopping, they have these super awesome beer gardens with mini 'kegs' that look like the roadside Thai gas pumps. You just listen to the bad bands/karaoke and keep on drinking, then ride the ferris wheel till you puke)

I also had dinner at Bed Supperclub while I was there. It was too busy on Fri/Sat for my to attend their surprise dinner, but I went with my brother for their Sunday set. It's a bit pricey (by Bangkok standards, of course, at 1250B) but the atmosphere is pretty awesome, you get entry into their club after for free (normally 400-500B) they have a rockin' cocktail list, and the food is amazing. They change their menu every 2 months. It's down Suk. Soi 11, off the Nana Skytrain stop.

I stayed at a few Bangkok hotels, but the most unique was the Reflections Art Hotel. It was mostly occupied by stylish Thai designers and artists, and it's not surprising. It's near the Ari Skytrain stop and is a bright pink hotel with 30 individually decorated rooms, each by a different designer. Rates range from 2700-3600B, depending on room size and season. I think it's a bit overpriced, but I was thrilled to stay at the place. I was in room 410 very suitable for a girl staying by herself. It's also got a very good restaurant (I hear) and it was packed, but I didn't go. Totally cool place to take a sweetie.

Meant to go see a guy from the band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but by the time I found my way to Astra on RCA, the line up was crazy and the bar was closing in an hour and a half anyhow. Poo.

The new airport is really cool. It's the one of the only airports (Besides Changi) I have been in that you can go 'outside' once beyond security, which was fascinating to me. It's like an escape from prison, in some ways. The structure is a bit stark and a bit too big and shopping mall like (seriously, how many booze stores do you NEED?) but it's not too bad. Too bad the arrivals area is so insane past immigration etc. And maybe it's just me, but the taxi ride seemed less insane than usual into the city. They also have shuttles and public transit running, so don't be afraid to look around if you are trying to save a bit of money.

-Phuket; I don't love as much, but then again, I never really have. My family stayed at two of the three condos my parents were sizing up. The first, the Aspasia (up on a hill overlooking Kata) and then later at the Plantation on Kamala. The Aspasia had some cool architecture, and a German Michelin starred chef who would do custom dinners, you just had to ask before hand. It's a bit out of the way, but their happy hour is pretty good, but not really worth the trip up. We stayed in this room (well, apartment, really):

I preferred the Plantation and Kamala in general. Much quieter! It was a really neatly laid out property, with apartments set into the hills. Outdoor showers, huge patios, a gorgeous pool and an inclinator, like at the Luxor in Vegas! My brother and I were pushing for my parents to buy there... Both places were owned by expats. The Aspasia by a Californian yachtsman, and the other by a Hong Kong/Seattle couple who worked at MTV Asia. What a life, huh?

There is a good restaurant for breakfast on Kamala, at a place called the Rockfish. 99B for one of nine set menu bfasts ranging from almond pancakes to eggs benedict to khao pad.

You haven't lived until you have watched the girls shake their clams on Soi Katoey off Bangla with your parents and some honeymooning friends. Seriously, it wasn't awkward at all, strangely, until another friend who had been travelling solo (mutual to the honeymooners, he had never met my family before), said to my dad "I don't know if I should be telling you this, but I'm really attracted to that girl (pic forthcoming) up there. But she's a dude. What is going on?" My dad told him "I'm not Freud" and ordered another round of Tigers. (ps: I heard Beer Lao is starting to pop up around Phuket for those who want to know. I recommend trying to find Phuket Beer in Phuket, or in grocery stores in Bangkok. It's pretty tasty)

- There was a huge Gay festival and an international volleyball competition going on while I was in Phuket, both were really awesome (if even worse for traffic near Patong) They had just had a surfing competition a few weeks previous to our arrival, apparently it didn't go so well.

- If you ever get sick, I highly recommend the Bangkok Phuket hospital. In and out for an eye infection in 20 minutes, prescriptions in a neat little bag, all for 1200B. On a similar note, my parents saw a fatal Jeep accident en route to the airport on their last day. The news story a few days later confirmed two of four visiting Japanese tourists died when their Jeep flipped in a ditch. None had seatbelts. While I am aware Phuket is hard to get around without wheels, please be careful, whether you drive a Jeep or Honda Dream. We rented a Honda Jazz and it was awesome, as small as it was.

- Did my Open Water cert with Dive Asia while in Phuket. I'd totally recommend them; ask for Bee as an instructor. She's an inspiration and a firecracker (unfortunately has a Nordic boyfriend doing programming work in Phuket, though, for all you lonely divers) and made the classes fun. It was one of the most rewarding skills of my life. I only hope I can keep it up in my landlocked province in Canada, though. Saw turtles, rays, morays, lionfish, barracuda etc etc etc. For some great snorkelling, try the far South (i think) end of Kata, down past Club Med. It's in the roped of area, they are trying to restore the reef from longtail damage I think. Lots of triggers, octopi (heh heh), anenomes, etc etc.

- Also did a day trip on a speedboat to Phi Phi with my family, honeymooning friends and other acquaintance. Everyone else walked around, never having been, saying "Wow, what an amazing deserted island" and I had tears in my eyes thinking of all the little tin huts and the occupants that had stood there a few years previous on my last visit. The palm trees are all snapped, the garbage scow remains, clearing up debris. But they are on the upswing, and things seem to be picking up. Well, the 7-11 is open, anyways. I'm hoping they hang in there and push for the right way, not the easy way.

-For those of you interested in learing Thai, before I went, I 'borrowed' audio files from my local library, via the web. I used the Pimsleur series, and it was over 600h of instruction, split into two files you 'checked out' for a month at a time. It was great, and allowed me greater ease with many things. I also used the Lonely Planet phrasebook. Although I do remember a lot of Thai from my childhood, that was still many years ago, and both of these things made great tools.

Anyhow, that's about all of what I remember. I did stay at a few places I did not mention, including the Marriot Spa in Bangkok, the Katathani and Diamond Cottage on Kata in Phuket, PM me if you want details. I guess the long lazy days of tanning, drinking sapparot ban and eating mango have faded into snow, hot chocolate and the promise of a good ski season. It's not bad, just different. Maybe one day I'll retire to my hammock on Koh Adang and spearfish all day long while my hair grows long and wild, but until then, I guess I have blizzards and a 'real job' to contend with. Have good trips, guys.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
11-29-2006 , 11:24 PM
Oh [censored]! I also forgot to mention I flew all the way on Northwest, on a new A330. Gone are the days of boredom on the plane with their new personal video system. I had 20 movies to choose from, in addition to personalized music jukeboxes, tv shows and... video games! Now, it's not the Playstation on board, but you can still play some card games and in flight trivia against the rest of the plane. 18 hours in the air was gone in virtually three hours, it seemed. If I have the choice again, for anything over ten hours, I'm booking on an A330.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
11-30-2006 , 09:00 AM
I found good waves on Nai Thon beach on Phuket. Only place I found them in the 8 islands I went to in the Andaman.

Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-01-2006 , 02:18 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-04-2006 , 05:41 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-04-2006 , 06:13 AM
Had an interesting night on the town with degen and his #1. That girl is [censored] amazing. Anytime degen starts flirting with other girls at the club his girl friend will just wander off and give him some privacy for a few mins hahaha. Amazing.

Im like 90% sure I will be heading over for the party. Hopefully pictures to follow.

Thailand is amazing.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-13-2006 , 12:40 AM
Hey fellas,

I just arrived in Bangkok a few weeks ago, and almost died when I saw how much it costs to use my ATM card here ($10 per transaction on a maximum $500 or so withdrawl from friggin' Tesco Lotus ATM). Will one of you other poker refugees PLEASE tell me how to cut down on that cost (i.e., what do you use to get money) - it'll kill me. It's quite possible that this has already been answered in the thread, but this thing has gotten enormous - I read the first ten pages or so a while back, but can't go through it all now.

Thanks a ton in advance,

Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-13-2006 , 12:53 AM
I'll be at Samui from thursday anyone wanna hook up and go out and party feel free to pm me.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-13-2006 , 01:02 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-13-2006 , 01:09 AM

We had an earthquake up here in Chiang Mai last night.. 5.1 magnitude..
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-13-2006 , 01:13 AM
You see guys? Isn't that much better than where you can get an internet connection?

If you want to post the video, it should be ok as long as its not "hard core pornography" (i.e., you banging her). But if this (NSFW Link) flies you can get away with a lot. If its close you can edit it. And yes, I can imagine what happens next, but the whole point of this thread is that I shouldn't have to.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-13-2006 , 05:34 PM money market, free unlimited withdrawals.

I just took a flight from the new airport. Wtf is up w/ the bathrooms? I walk into the bathroom after checking my luggage, before going through the part to go to immigration, and there are only FOUR urinals. Normally, you would expect to see somewhere from twenty to thirty urinals. The bathroom by our terminal had TWO urnials. WTF is going on? This is the first time Ive ever had to wait in line behind four people to wash my hands.

overall, id say don meung was much better. you had some cool views on the express way, and it was faster to get there. this new airport is in the middle of [censored] nowhere and i didnt even see the great view of the rivers when we took off.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-13-2006 , 05:36 PM

when living in Thailand how difficult is it to maintain your residence in Las Vegas. Is it difficult to lets say pay your rent? or the electric bill?
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-14-2006 , 03:09 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-14-2006 , 05:29 AM
Degen: How about a trip report on getting a 2 month visa.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-15-2006 , 01:52 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-15-2006 , 02:19 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-15-2006 , 03:15 AM
Pattaya is such a [censored] hole
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-15-2006 , 03:28 AM
degen.....i have been reading this thread for months now and have really enjoyed it....question for you...i have always assumed you were like early 20's but i saw your blog picture and it appeared like you were a little old are you? also any problems playing from bangkok since the new laws? how about party poker? do you think there wil be any problems in the future? obviously you are not a fortune teller on that last one...just a guess
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-15-2006 , 03:39 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-15-2006 , 07:45 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-17-2006 , 02:34 AM
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-17-2006 , 04:31 AM
Nice. I can't believe the amount of "sexual discrimination" type [censored] you can get away with over there.

What kind of work will you be doing from your office?
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-17-2006 , 05:05 AM

Degen, u sound like Ed Powers.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote
12-17-2006 , 10:31 AM
Nooooo. I would never post this on the internet.
Ask us about Thailand! Quote