some miscellaneous thoughts about a recent trip to Thailand

asia,travel — commander flatus @ 2:32 am July 20, 2019

Just returned. Here are some thoughts to share.

As hotels go, the St. Regis is not terribly expensive, is extremely convenient to the BTS, and has wonderful food, service, amenities. Great staff. Property is slightly dated in some common areas – pool and spa. Overall my though is that if it’s within your budget it should be your first choice unless you are determined to be near the river.

Many people rave about the Sheraton Royal Orchid (it’s a favorite on the flyertalk forums). We spent 2 nights there and it’s OK but not great. Larger property. Close to the river and has nice ferry service but hard to get around because you usually have to take the ferry to the BTS stop then proceed on from there.

Grab is the Thai version of Uber. They used to have Uber. Not sure why they got rid of Uber. Grab is convenient and inexpensive. The drivers we used spoke no english or so little that it made things difficult. Don’t count on communicating directly.

Google Translate is now useful for Thai. Previously when I had tried it lacked significant functionality vs German or French (for example). That appears to have been fixed.

I’ve spent probably 3 weeks in aggregate time in Bangkok. I think in the future I only need to go for 2-3 days and then go someplace else – either Chiang Mai or Laos for the next trip. Would like to see Ko Phi Phi also. This isn’t because I don’t love Bangkok. I do love Bangkok. It’s just a big city and there are limited attractions. I like going primarily for good food and shopping at this point.

Lime soda (both home-made at restaurants and the stuff in 7-11’s and Family Mart) is delicious and not sweet.

Check the Buddhist calendar as there are now days during the year (1-2 or even 3 day periods) where there are no alcohol sales anywhere but duty-free stores.

Also note (I could not find an answer on the web anywhere) – airport lounges (Thai Air in particular) DOES SERVE BOOZE during these holidays.

Crab yellow curry was my favorite dish this trip. I also continue to love Chiang Mai and Issan sausage.

Cooking schools seem to always offer the same few dishes (or minor variations) – glass noodle salad, some kind of curry, and fish cakes.

Raja’s Fashions in Bangkok – make sure you go to the correct one (there’s an imposter across the street) – is probably the only tailor I will ever use in the future. Made my 4th (I think) visit there. Lovely people. Lively shop with many returning customers. Reasonable prices. Lovely garments. Click the URL link and take note of what their logo looks like so you don’t go to the wrong store.

That’s it.

Some thoughts about tailored clothes in Asia

asia,reviews,travel — commander flatus @ 3:31 am June 21, 2013

A Dong Silk is a highly marked tailor on tripadvisor.com. Their clientele (the clientele of tripadvisor.com, that is) are notorious cheapskates. I had 14 shirts, 12 trousers, and 4 suits made by them about 6 years ago. They’ve worn very poorly and are not the fabrics they represented – 100% cotton shirts are cotton/poly blends.

The jackets of the suits are coming apart – they appear to be somewhat glued together.

If you have special tailoring needs (crooked back, leg length differences, etc.) you really need to speak up for yourself. Usually there’s a salesperson who isn’t a tailor doing all of the measuring. If you have special needs, you’ll have to insist that the tailor come out and have a look.

If you get a mens suit made and don’t have at least 2 or 3 fittings before the jacket is finished then they haven’t really done their job. It’s just not possible. It’s like if you told your kid to take out the trash and they come back inside 5 seconds after they left. If this happens, you’re not getting a well made product and you’re usually too late to back out. You’ll have to make demands about the fit and finish and you likely won’t/don’t know enough about clothes to do so.

Finally, recognize that you are not capable of telling the difference between egyptian cotton, cotton/poly blend, wool, wool blends, cashmere, etc. Further, if the material is presented to you in a deceptive fashion, you’re really gonna be screwed.

Use somebody you trust. Use somebody that’s not super duper cheap. Do not count on tripadvisor ratings. Gather ratings and reviews from elsewhere, and be prepared to spend money. It’s like they say: fast, cheap, good – pick two.

Vacation haiku

asia,travel — commander flatus @ 1:41 pm June 10, 2013

Great food, nice people, cheap beer
Shopping, tailored clothes
Hangover, credit card bill!

Today’s vacation haiku

asia,travel — commander flatus @ 5:15 am June 9, 2013

My new television pitch:
Man versus buffet
Must buy much bigger pants soon

Paris, 1989(?)

photography,travel — commander flatus @ 3:21 am April 30, 2013
View back towards the city from Notre Dame back towards La Tour Eiffel.

The problem with the internet = the great thing about the internet

travel — commander flatus @ 8:59 pm February 2, 2013

All good FF mile deals are doomed to die:

US News reports on buying reload cards then
Lifehacker gets in on the action then
the deal dies (or is dying) according to this thread over on FlyerTalk.

The problem with the internet = the great thing about the internet. Rules are exploited widely, loopholes are revealed, and information is shared. You just have to get in on the action before everyone else figures it out.

I already officially hate Lifehacker, if they run a story about “Spook and Owl” I might have to release my aggression on them – which in internet terms means calling them sh1h3ads and other angry epithets.

For the record, I think I only exploited this deal for about 40k Chase UR points.

And in unrelated news, the hackintosh is still running great.

Delta’s new website

travel — commander flatus @ 9:41 pm January 6, 2013

Wants to make me pull my hair out.
It appears to systematically make it impossible to apply ecredits/vouchers to ticket purchases.
It incorrectly charges Medallions for economy comfort ($0 instead of 50% off) – not going to complain much about that, though.
It’s slow as hell.

Hanauma Bay

travel — commander flatus @ 7:28 pm December 30, 2012

Rainy day but cleared right up.

More idiotic truths

travel — commander flatus @ 2:27 pm April 10, 2011

Cheap hotel = free internets
Expensive hotel = expensive ingernets

Apartment in Florence

italy,travel — commander flatus @ 9:37 am April 9, 2011

Piazza Santa Croce. Galileo is buried there.

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