Going to Thailand? We took Cathy
Airlines via Hong Kong. Great service going; wretched service coming back and
someone stole my neck pillow.
The Thai are very polite; before you go, be sure to master a few key phases.
Please (Karuna Kap) and thank you (Khap Kun Kap), of course, but one phrase sa wa dii kap also serves as hello, good
morning, good to see you again.
If you must visit highly urban Central
Thailand ("Bangkok is a great big freeway, put a hundred down and buy a car
[or a motorbike]" and far too many of its 12 Million residents have) we
recommend the Affordable Asia tour. We stayed in 5* hotels where available and
visited all the tourist hotspots accompanied by a knowledgeable and caring
guide. Alas, most destinations were visited during the heat of the day.
We recommend visits
to Temple of Reclining Buddha, Summer Palace, Elephant Camp, and Wat Phra Si
Sanphet. Low spots on AA tour were Coral Island and Gem factory.
Bangkok has 5* hotels, skyscrapers, giant
multi-story shopping malls, a subway; it also has shanty towns. Still, in
some respects, it's just like home.
Our hotel was the Centara Grand At Central Plaza Ladprao, adjacent to the
Central Shopping Mall and a short walk from the subway. Each of our three
mornings in this hotel featured a huge buffet style breakfast. We made sure that it
always included a build-your-own-noodle soup along with tropical fruit, Danish
pastries, and many cups of the excellent Thai coffee.
Best way to get around Bangkok is the subway. It's
tough on pedestrians
In Bangkok, musts are visits to the Temple of the Golden
Buddha (the latter is worth an estimated $14Million) and The Reclining Buddha
We toured a monastery where Buddhist monks learned medicine and dispensed blessings.
We always came back exhausted from our
midday excursions; on our second day in Bangkok, we took a brief nap, lay down at
two, but didn't get up again
before seven. Then we went across from the hotel to the adjacent multi-story
shopping mall, where we had build-it-yourself soup at a stall in the Tops
The next day, we boarded a long-tailed speed boat, and made our way to the Damnern Saduak