On the Waterfront

 Posted by  Northern Trip 2010  Comments Off on On the Waterfront
Jan 032010

Bangkok (January 3, 2010)

There is much to see and do in Bangkok, only one more day to do it, and so much traffic in the way. We would begin with a market walk in Chinatown, followed by a dim sum breakfast. Then we would tour the newly renovated temple housing an enormous solid gold Buddha. Leaving Chinatown, we would make our way through thick traffic to a pier on the Chao Phraya River for a charter boat to take us on one of the larger canals, Bangkok Noi, to the Royal Barge Museum and sites beyond. Somewhere, we would squeeze in a quick lunch before returning to the Grand Tower for one more massage before one more remarkable dinner at My Choice. Or would we? Schedules have been unraveling since day one due to the New Year holiday…

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Jan 022010

Bangkok (January 2, 2010)

The Grand Tower Inn is located at the corner of Sukhumvit, a major boulevard, and Soi Thonglor (AKA Sukhumvit Soi 55), a busy commercial street. (Crossing Sukhumvit is like a live action version of Frogger; it is safest to transit through the overhead BTS Skytrain station if possible.) Kasma usually schedules her trips to arrive on Friday, so the first breakfast can be bought in individual nibbles from the extensive “market” of street vendor stalls near this corner every Saturday morning. Covering the full range from raw fish to dumplings and desserts, the market is fun but the sidewalk gets crowded when a dozen Americans are peering and poking and taking pictures.

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Jan 012010

En Route (January 1, 2010)

Coming into Taipei, my first thought was of dumplings. When I laid over here in 2006, there was a little place in the C gates serving jewel-like xiao long bao, Shanghai-style juicy pork dumplings. I would pay a high price — there is a 3% currency conversion charge on my credit cards — but it’s worth it. My second thought was what might await in the business class lounge. I upgraded my second segment by spending all of the miles from my 2006 trip. Would there be a shower? Wi-fi? Dumplings? Where to go first? Hmmm… Continue reading »