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Displayed prices are for multiple nights. Check the site for price per night. I see hostels starting at 200b/day and hotels from 500b/day on agoda.


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RhinoTusk last won the day on November 15

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  1. I hope it wasn't the Mark Twain Suite https://www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok/chao-phraya-river/luxury-hotel/accommodations?room=ST4K
  2. I'm afraid to leave the Kingdom now, but I haven't been outside since 2011 and have only spent one night outside Thailand since 2005, so it suits me fine. I have a Non B visa and think there's an excellent chance I'll be excluded (or overlooked) for any mandatory insurance requirements How many farang have worked here and actually paid taxes? In the interim, I'll do my best to keep the girls occupied. 😄
  3. FYI: This luggage fee only applies to Taxis going to/from airports. Otherwise no baggage fees. https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30398295
  4. Here’s an interesting account of the history and plight of the indigenous people of Ko Lipe https://thaiislandtimes.substack.com/p/the-urak-lawoi-people-of-the-butang
  5. This time I booked Majestic Suites on Sukhumvit near Soi Nana, for nostalgia. This and Nana Hotel were the monger's choice because of the location and guest friendliness. They were always booked, you needed reservations a few weeks in advance. I booked with agoda for 950 without breakfast. It used to be 1200 including breakfast, as I recall, when I stayed here frequently 15-18 years ago. Now they're taking walk-ins for 750, I'll remember that for next time. I was assigned room 203, second floor facing Sukhumvit. Glass is thick enough so there's little street noise. I've had some great times in this room and it's just as I remember, they still haven't fixed the TV. But they've replaced the window panels, used to be a lighter brown. For example, here's Fon from Rainbow 1 in 2007. I knew I'd be getting some hot sex here, the room has synergy. I was thinking of a T-Bone at El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse all the way in on the bus. Had to get there before 5 PM for the 600 baht discount. Christmas tree is already up at Terminal 21 next door. Art Box is cleared from Chuvit Park and another mall will eventually be occupying that space, adjacent Soi 10. An office building is being constructed on Soi 6, across from Q House. This lot had been empty for years. Lots of traffic during rush hour Lively at Nana Plaza, it's Friday night. Found my short time du jour She left her watch in the bathroom, so I went back to her bar and dropped it off to the mamasan, then headed over to Soi 11 for some live music. There was some across from Taco Bell, but not what I wanted to hear. Stopped at Daniel Thaiger for a beef burger and bottle of 10% Trappist ale. Things were getting started at Insanity Disco. I went to Apoteka. The entertainer was quite good, doing some old classics like (Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay, Ain't No Sunshine, Take it to the Limit, etc, while picking his guitar 🎸 Good stuff. For breakfast, I went over to Fitzgeralds. It was a very quiet Saturday morning on Soi Nana. I had lunch at a place I'd not seen before, the 8855 Cafe and restaurant. Shrimp Pad Thai, only 80 baht, San Miguel draft for 99. It's on the second Soi 8 subsoi, across the street from Lolitas. If you don't see anything there that strikes your fancy, you can that the Soi 6 passage at the end of the Soi and have your knob polished at Kassalong. That's two BJ bars 30-40 meters apart. I made the trip for a photo shoot with Blue. Thought I was in for a treat with a brand new bus home, but it broke down even before getting out of town. This is the third time this has happened to me in the last year. This time, the delay was only 30 minutes, other times an hour.
  6. Thanks for your comments and helping me celebrate my 67th birthday
  7. EPILOGUE It was an uneventful 2 hour ride back to Pac Bara Pier, no stops along the way. I booked a minibus to Hat Yai International Airport but no one was waiting with my name card when I exited the port. Went to the speedboat office and they directed me to a travel agency where I boarded the bus and arrived at the airport in plenty of time for my 7 PM departure to Bangkok. After a 70 minute flight, was back at Rembrandt Suites for a quick shower and back again an hour later with a friend. Feeling relaxed and horny, hadn't had any since Phuket, we snuggled up for the evening and she wore me out. It was a happy ending to a wonderful 17 days. EXPENSE REPORT Accommodation: 17 nights, including book ends in Bangkok Rembrandt Suites, Bangkok (2 nights) 2,200 Kudo Resort, Patong Phuket (3 nights) 6,300 Harbour View Hotel, Ko Phi Phi (3 nights) 5,250 Pimalai Resort and Spa, Ko Lanta (3 nights) 10,700 Princeville Resort, Ao Nang (3 nights) 6,000 Akira Resort, Ko Lipe (3 nights: Pool Access Room) 14,600 Food and Beverage 17,000 Transportation: flights, taxis and minibuses, speedboats and ferries 13,500 Entertainment: Soi Nana, Soi Cowboy, Soi Bangla, two bar fines 13,000 Miscellaneous 1,000 It was a good time for three thousand bucks. Would have flown from California for this, fortunately didn't have to. Perhaps I'll visit Koh Phangan next, include Ko Samui. Haven't been to Samui since 2004, never been to Phangan. Now would be a good time to go, I'm too old for the full moon party.
  8. KO LIPE I didn't realize this island was so tiny. Shaped like a boomerang, only about 3 km long and 2 km wide. You can get anywhere by walking, which is good because there aren't many vehicles except motorbikes (half seem to have sidecars). Ko Lipe is home to about 800 permanent residents, including 500 Sea Gypsies (Chao Ley), who originally settled the island. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moken Reggae music is very popular and you see guys in dreadlocks. There are three main beaches: Sunrise Beach on the east coast, Sunset Beach on the northwest, Pattaya Beach on the south. Naturally, I stayed at Pattaya Beach, 😊 at the Akira Resort. https://www.akiralipe.com/index.php The resort featured three huge pools, the main pool had a swim-up bar I booked a superior Pool Access room and they put me in the back of the resort, furthest from the sea. Booking a Pool Access is risky because you could have a family with screaming kids in the next room. Have nothing against kids, just don't want them screaming next to me. But I had the entire section of 32 units all to myself, including the 60 meter pool. I picked up this bottle of Bordeaux in Phuket. I set up my own swim-up bar The room was nice, not to the standard of the Pimalai, but still very good Despite a limited number of guests, they had a buffet breakfast. I had my breakfast at the beach. I traversed Pattaya Beach over to Walking Street which dissects the island. Where is Pin-Up? Where is Palace? Baccara? No hab! But, unlike my other destinations, most places were open. There weren't any customers, but at least they were open. You can see my hat in this pic if you look into the reflections. OK, the All-U-Can-Eat seafood place was closed, along with a few bars, but most places were open. I had a hunger for some beef, so went to the Steakhouse for Aussie tenderloin, and it was 2-for-1 happy hour. One nice thing about Ko Lipe was there wasn't the mandatory 10% service charge and 7% government tax, anywhere. Even the room service and minibar prices at my resort were very reasonable, but with many restaurants close by, I just went out and everyone seemed to have 2-for-1 happy hour. I was also the only customer at the King Crab Restaurant. There were a few others at Papaya Mom's. One kilo of crab on the barbie, 700 baht. In the early evening, I walked over to Sunset Beach, a much smaller beach, only about 200 meters long. Here are some scenes from Pattaya Beach, I didn't make it over to Sunrise Beach. I awoke early on my departure day but it was overcast and looked like rain after breakfast, so I only saw it from the boat upon departure. At night they had fire shows Unfortunately, it's time to return to Pac Berra. I'd like to come back to Ko Lipe, I thought it was pretty cool. 😎
  9. AO NANG I originally had Ko Ngai in this slot but my speedboat tickets were cancelled, so I substituted Ao Nang beach in Krabi province. I'd been here before 10-12 years ago. At first, I booked 3 nights at the Centara Grand Beach Resort for 10,000 but after I found out it was only accessible by boat I cancelled the booking and changed to the Ao Nang Princeville Resort, about half the price and right across the street from the beach. My concern was that I may be temporarily stranded due to inclement weather and miss my first night on Ko Lipe, which was the most expensive resort I booked due to the pool access room. I still needed to arrange transportation to Pacbara Pier near Satun, a 4 hour journey, and the last boat to Ko Lipe was at 3:30 PM. The room at the Princeville was spacious and had a nice balcony and a huge TV for watching football. My whisky bottle is like an hour glass showing how much time I have left of this vacation. After showering, there was a knock at the door and I scrambled to put on a bath robe. The staff were at my door singing "Happy Birthday" with a decadent piece of chocolate cake. LOL. I had to lay down for a couple hours and couldn't eat for the rest of the day as I have difficulty digesting that much sugar. Fortunately, birthdays are only once a year. The town was empty. No chance of getting some Tex-Mex I felt so sorry for the few shopkeepers that were working, they were so happy to see me. I felt obligated to buy something so I bought a personalized passport holder for 100 baht. The beach was empty. The bars were closed I spent one day talking with travel agents to arrange my transportation to Satun, then went over to the Centera Grand Beach Resort, just to see what I was missing. The resort is only accessible by sea if you have luggage, but there's a path around the mountain and through the jungle called "The Monkey Trail" I wouldn't want to drag my luggage through this passageway. Finally, arrived at Phra Nang Beach in front of the Centara resort. The resort looked pretty nice It looked very good for kayaking if that's your thing. Next morning, my taxi arrived promptly at 7 AM. The Princeville Resort had prepared a box breakfast for me, two bananas, an orange, a croissant, a sandwich, orange juice, and water, and I arrived at Pacberra pier at 11 AM. There was an admission of 20 baht to the port and 200 baht for an entry ticket to Tarutao National Marine Park, good for five days. The boat was mostly full and after 30 minutes we stopped at Ko Karutao, an undeveloped island about 26 km long and 11 km wide. I wish I'd skipped Ao Nang and come here instead, taking minibus from Krabi airport and spending the night at Pacberra. There are very limited facilities on the island, all accommodations and restaurants are maintained by the park service. You can rent a tent for 150 baht. The 5th season of the television series Survivor was filmed here. Another hour and pull up the engines for another stop, this time Koh Khai, a small uninhibited island, for more photo opportunities. I just stayed on the boat. The Princeville was nice but I though Ao Nang was a waste of three days. NEXT: KO LIPE
  10. I have Allen Edmonds, but I didn’t pack them so I couldn’t gain entry to the Seven Seas Restaurant for dinner, usually don’t bring dress shoes to the beach scene. I’ve had these shoes for 40 years, they never wear out. Allen Edmonds
  11. Which one? The brown safari hat or the white one? http://www.panamahatmall.com
  12. KO LANTA I originally booked a speedboat from Ko Phi Phi to Ko Lanta but this was cancelled due to the pandemic, so I changed my ticket to Klong Jilad Pier in Krabi. My Ko Lanta resort offered free transfer service from/to Krabi airport, quite impressive considering it's two hours. I contacted the resort and asked if they could pick me up at the pier instead and was informed this was possible for a fee of 650 baht. Since the airport was 30 minutes away by taxi, I would only save a few hundred and I was anxious to see this resort, which had received the most stellar online reviews I've ever read. My driver was waiting with a minibus when my ferry arrived at the pier about 11 AM for the two hour trip to Pimalai Resort and Spa. Ko Lanta consists of several islands, the largest being Ko Lanta Noi and Ko Lanta Yai, where all the tourist activity is. When people refer to "Ko Lanta", they usually mean Ko Lanta Yai, an island about 30 km long and 6 km wide. There's no bridge connecting the islands, so you have to queue up at the car ferry to cross the channel. ...UNLESS you're a guest at the Pimalai Resort and Spa, which operates a high-speed jetty. The boatman was prepared for my arrival and I was the only passenger. It took 5 minutes to cross the channel, should have brought my water skis. Another driver in a minivan was waiting on the other side for the final half-hour ride to the resort. I arrived just after 1 PM for an early check-in. Pimalai is a very popular resort for their sea view villas nestled in the mountainside with private pools, 120 square meters for a one-bedroom, starting around 10,000/night, or 20,000 for a 3-bedroom. I booked one of the cheap rooms. My room didn't even have a sea view, unless you looked through the trees. I lived in View Talay 6 for two years and refuse to pay extra for a sea view, it just isn't worth it to me. I walked to the private beach and enjoyed the sea view from there. I was the only person using the beach, except for the guy handing out towels, who brought me a glass of ice water every 20 minutes. That's the level of service you receive at this resort. Beach was clean but the sea was rough at first and I took a pounding, but 80 meters out was over my head and no more whitewater. There were two happy hours, drinks were 320++ or about 185 baht each during happy hours, the only time I drank. I can down a lot of mango daiquiris in two hours. Food was good but expensive. Ink jet pasta with clams, grated cheese on the side, 415++ Lamb kebabs, 495++ Breakfast was included with the room, and served up the mountain in the Seven Seas Restaurant. You were driven up in a golf cart from the lobby and had a choice of eggs Benedict. I opted for smoked salmon, and loaded up on the cheddar cheese. There were stunning views of Kantiang Bay from the restaurant. They served dinner but with a dress code and I didn't bring anything appropriate to wear, so I dined at the Rak Talay Beach restaurant. The hillside estate also featured the Infinity Pool. The beach side estate also had a pool but I swam in the sea. The resort has 121 units spread across 100 acres. The Spa had a 999 baht special, normally 2500. I thought about it but didn't pull the trigger. I left the property only once, because who can afford to eat at the Pimalai every day? I walked down the road for about 20 minutes until I found something open. It was the Drunken Sailors Coffeehouse I had the Calamari burger with fries for 190 baht Next morning a few hours before check-out, I was enjoying the great view at breakfast, thinking the three days couldn't have been any better, when the staff came over with a piece of cake and started singing "Happy Birthday". They must have noticed from my passport when I checked-in. It's these little things that make all the difference and how they treat you like you're special. I took their free transfer to Krabi airport and caught a 150 baht shuttle bus to Ao Nang. If you're looking for the perfect getaway, I strongly recommend the Pimalai Resort and Spa, but bring your wallet. They raised the rates for high season the day I checked out. Here are the current packages, only for Thai Residents. NEXT: AO NANG
  13. I’ll include a cost report in the epilogue. We haven’t gotten to the expensive places yet.
  14. KO PHI PHI A 45 minute speedboat ride from Phuket. Known as a party island for backpackers. I never had the desire to visit, not that I see anything wrong with young people having some fun. I just thought it would be too touristy, so now is the time to go! Booked the Harbour View Hotel, just 5 minutes from the pier, on the isthmus with the harbour in front and the beach in back. The best of both worlds. https://www.phiphi-harbourview.com/ Room was OK, nothing fancy. Beach in the rear was picturesque. They normally had a breakfast buffet, but only one other room was occupied when I checked in, so they served a set breakfast. They said I could have as many plates as I wanted but I only needed one. Best thing I liked about the hotel, other than the location, were the large pools. One was between the two buildings, with a wider, deeper one towards the beach. I enjoyed the deeper pool, 1.7 meters. The only bar open was the Beach Bar, fortunately in front of my hotel. I spent a lot of time watching the ships come in while sipping mango margaritas. You could put your feet in the water and get a free fish massage. Behind the pier was a maze of small streets with shops, almost everything was closed. ...except the starving artist There were two seafood restaurants on either side of the pier that seemed to be doing decent business, but they received the worst online reviews so I avoided them. Poor restaurants in good locations can survive if the don't rely on repeat business. Instead, I found a family-run Turkish restaurant, Efe Mediterranean, which offered a 20% covid discount, tasty lamb skewers were only 280 baht, served on a sizzling platter. The next day I went back for the mushroom pizza, only 200 baht. For seafood, I went to a whole-in-the-wall places called Ae's Fish BBQ and had a fried red snapper for 250 baht. I wanted to visit the Viewpoint for some pictures, so I found these stairs up the mountain and thought this was the way. There were some interesting bars back there but they were all closed. Turns out the stairs only led to some backpacker guest houses which were closed. Here you could get a dorm room for 200. ...with a shared bathroom. May as well just hang it over the side, guess the seats are for the ladies. Some decent views up there though. Eventually, I found the correct stairs to the Viewpoint. There was a guesthouse closed, but with employees there cleaning, and they sold me a bottle of water. I needed to rest and they had a nice view. ...then many more stairs to climb. Finally reached Viewpoint #1. There was a 30 baht entrance fee. There was a small park up there. Viewpoint #2 was another 500 meters up an incline. I'm disappointed the Google Fitness app didn't give me more heart points because I certainly exerted myself, I think there's a need for 3-dimentional GPS. Great view from up there. You can see my hotel in the middle of this picture Getting back was much easier. The next day was my two hour ferry ride to Klong Jilad Pier in Krabi for my pick-up to Pimalai Resort on Ko Lanta. NEXT: KO LANTA
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