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Thailand - November 2015

2015

Our wedding anniversary approached - I now, once again, had medical insurance, but SWMBO was still worried. After much discussion (bearing in mind that our anniversary is in November) we decided that the answer, once more, lay in Thailand where the medical facilities and weather are both fairly good!

Hua Hin and Bangkok fitted the bill once more - we would celebrate our anniversary with friends in Hua Hin and then spend some time in Bangkok for Loy Krathong and Thanksgiving (roast turkey in Bangkok - who could fail to look forward to that).

We booked flights by EVA Air and the Landmark in Bangkok through Trailfinders, choosing to go to the Hyatt Hua Hin under our own steam and use up some Hyatt points, upgrading from basic to Club rooms. Trailfinders did a great job finding us good Premium Economy flights - out on 10th November and back on 27th.

We had a very good flight by EVA to Bangkok, landing, more or less, on time. We had booked transfers from Taxi - Hua Hin at a bargain price of THB4000 return and the driver was waiting to whisk us off to the Hyatt Regency. We arrived after a good journey and were given the same Club room as we stayed in in May. Our Thai SIM was still working in the travel phone, we made contact with our friends - things looked good! And believe it or not, they stayed that way.

Hua Hin - Angie's Bistro, Soi 80
Hyatt Regency - McFarland House Restaurant

Hua Hin - Angie's Bistro, Soi 80

Hyatt Regency - McFarland House Restaurant


Our time in Hua Hin was reserved, once again, to chill out. We overslept on the first night, not waking up until after 10 a.m. Glad we had used the "Do not disturb" sign. We spent the remainder of our first day just relaxing in the grounds, making arrangements with friends for drinks, meals and general social activities. We really must thank Chris and Yo, Bill and Jang and Kian for their sparkling company on many day and evening meals and drinks The various meals and events would be too varied and lengthy to list so we will just provide an outline of the most enjoyable times.

First mention must go to a restaurant recommended by Chris, "Hin Fai Lek" for our anniversay meal . A splendid evening with Chris & Yo and Bill & Jang.

Surprisingly
second mention must go to GoBang at the food court on Soi 88 - an excellent steak meal with Kian - what a find and so reasonably priced. Next must come the buffet at the Shiva Indian restaurant, once more with Chris & Yo and Bill & Jang. This was a good Indian buffet, good live entertainment and good company, followed by drinks at the Saxaphone Lounge. Shiva and the Saxaphone lounge were both new to us. A new food court on the Pala-U road, next to Big C where we ate - again with Chris, Bill Yo and Jang - is also worth a mention - good food and extremely well priced.

Of the restaurants where we ate alone, mention must go to an excellent meal that Janet and I had at Angie's Bistro on Soi 80. Angie's food is
always first class! Tanida, Angie and Mike - thank you all, we will see you on our next visit in March.

Other restaurants worthy of note, in no particular order, were Saeng Duean (Treffpunkt bei Siggi) where we ate 3 times and La Botte, near the Hyatt, where we had 2 meals.

Hua Hin certainly proved to be an excellent break with good weather, great times, great people and great relaxation - we could hardly tear ourselves away. Mention here must certainly go to the staff at the Hyatt, who were absolutely excellent, and to the management for their extreme kindness to make our anniversary memorable.

We transferred by road to Bangkok, in the late morning, arriving approximately 3 hours later at the Landmark, hotel on Sukhumvit.

Hyatt Regency - Talay Thai Restaurant
Hua Hin - Hin Lek Fai - Anniversary

Hyatt Regency - Talay Thai Restaurant

Hua Hin - Hin Lek Fai - Anniversary


On arrival at the Landmark, where we had not stayed for a few years, we were upgraded to a very modern corner suite. This was modern, bright and very tasteful in design - shame we were only here for a couple of days.

We unpacked and were soon heading off for a stroll round Sukhumvit and the lower numbered sois, to see how this part of Bangkok had changed. We didn't think that the change was particularly great, perhaps more construction, perhaps fewer food stalls, but the Arab / Muslim area seemed busier than ever. As it was Loy Krathong we returned to the hotel to change for an evening trip to Benjasiri Park near the Emporium. Before leaving the hotel we enquired about a table at their renowned "Rib Room" and were told that we needn't book as we were unsure about the time of our return.

We took the skytrain for the short trip to Phrom Phong and were surprised by the huge, dense, crowds heading for the park. Nevertheless we bought a Krathong and headed for the lake. SWMBO was allocated the task of floating the Krathong, and that's where it all began to go wrong. Trying to launch from too great a height was, perhaps, an obvious mistake. In all fairness it was extremely difficult to get through the throngs, perch on a slippery bank and launch. Well, our Krathong turned turtle, extinguishing the lighted candles and began to disintegrate. Parts of it headed, unceremoniously, for the bottom of the lake. Duty done, however, we headed away from the lake, looking for a way through the masses of people to the open road. This proved to be a lengthy struggle but we made it - unfortunately through a gate that was quite a way from the skytrain station. It appeared that half the population of Bangkok stood between us and Phrom Phong so we decided to head off in the opposite direction, towards Asok station.

It was then that the heavens opened. Fortunately we found a bus shelter, but the direction of travel from that side of the road was away from our hotel. The downpour seemed to last an eternity and I had to keep popping out to the kerbside to try to flag down a taxi. It took an age for a passing taxi to actually notice me - and by then I was soaked through and through. Was this punishment for capsizing our Krathong?

We returned to the Hotel, soaked and very late. We managed to get our steak, but from the Rendezvous restaurant - we couldn't be bothered to dress to dine in the Rib Room where, thankfully, we had not booked. Never mind we had Thanksgiving to look forward to.

November - with Kian
Loy Krathong - Whatever floats your boat

Kian

Bangkok - Loy Krathong


The following morning we were up fairly early wanting to have a good breakfast (the Landmark breakfast is probably our favourite in Bangkok) and a stroll before the heat of the day. We headed off to Thong Lo, to search for a restaurant that had been recommended and to look round this area, which was unfamiliar to us. Needless to say, we never found the restaurant and within no-time both felt that we were melting. Only one thing for it - retreat to the hotel and their pool. Good choice. The pool, though smallish, was not overcrowded and served up the most delicious iced lemon tea!

We spent the remainder of the day at the pool, deciding that we would go to the Thanksgiving meal in the Hotel's Atrium restaurant. Not exactly inexpensive at about 50 per head, but not outrageously priced for a hotel.

We duly changed for dinner and headed off to the restaurant. Having no booking we were shown to an area slightly out of the way - what a bonus. The restaurant was packed out - not necessarily for the Thanksgiving fare, but because the majority of diners were Asian people, intent on the seafood buffet which was also available. It was hectic!

A thought then dawned. I chose a great selection from the seafood buffet as a starter, the roast Thanksgiving turkey as a main course and then a dessert from the card, followed by cheese and biscuits! Our waiter also suggested that we took the fixed-price drinks option (I think THB850, each, and when wine costs more than THB2000 per bottle, that doesn't need too much thought). Soooo we had some (several) cocktails, a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon, some coffee and liqueurs .......

Not the finest of dining, but then we got a very fine surprise - a 50% discount for being hotel residents. The result was just over 80 total bill, including service and tax - for both of our meals and including more than sufficient drinks. Superb value and we went to bed, both well watered and well fed.

The next morning we were up in good time for another excellent breakfast before our taxi to the airport. Our EVA flights were once again good - in fact the service and food were the best we have had for some time. Our youngest son was waiting for us at Heathrow, so an hours or so car journey back to normality. Now - my next appointment is at the end of March. How long will it take us to find and book a trip before then?


Landmark Hotel - Room
Landmark - Thanksgiving

Landmark Hotel - Room

Landmark - Thanksgiving


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