Got it

Trip Start Jan 21, 2013
Trip End Apr 05, 2013

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Where I stayed
D Varee Diva Bally Sukhumvit Bangkok
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
mae Nam Chao Praya, Jim Thompson House, China Visa Office

Flag of Thailand  , Krung Thep,
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Am so happy I finally got my China Visa.  It took a Letter of Invitation from my friend Dianne who is teaching in China, plus a copy of her passport and work permit!  That along with flight reservations to and from, copy of Thai visa and copy of passport (along with my original Passport).  Picked up passport with visa in it, just four hour after application being examined and approved so  same day service, $77 Canadian.  Same chaos in the office as last week when I was there but this time, I walked out with a pink slip, which was my receipt to pick it up from 3-4 yesterday.  Now I can rellax a bit and plan a trip out of Bangkok, either stay in Thailand and go to a beach resort such as Hua Hin, or go out of the country somewhere like Singapore (but boy is it expensive there!).
Anyway this past week has been good - had dinner with Kim and two of her friends, one who lives in US now and the other from England who teaches here - on Sat. night near Ari train station. We are meeting up again for dinner THursday night at a restaurant in Siam Paragon, a huge mega mall with the latest fashions etc. a few train stops away.  This time in Bangkok I have noticed more shopping malls, high tech, new, expensive, with tons of people shopping, and building lots which have been razed and new megastructures being built, lots of rebar and workers wearing headscarfs to protect from heat, dust and basic grime.  Hot heavy work. 
Went on the tourist boat (40 bh\aht, about 1.10)  on the river to Khao San Road (backpackers ghetto) and met a young couple of Austria - Philip and Alexandra. He is a software engineer and I am not sure what she does but they are taking a year to travel and had just landed in Bangkok via 3 months in Aust and New Zealand.  They were staying at a hotel in Khao San road - am so glad Im not staying there as it is chock a block of people, good and clothing stalls, cheap bars and stifling air.  It is a destination for at least a view though and I had meant to go to the Emerald Buddha but enjoyed talking with Philp and Alex so we went walking through the area.  AFter I got too much claustophobia, about 4 p.m., I decided to head back to downtown where I am staying (Sukhumvit area), and it is such a maze to get back to the pier, I decided to take a bus downtown. Always an experince, first trying to find among the myriad a buses, a. which bus, and b. where does it pick up.  If you know that area, it radiates out from Democracy Monument, where several roads intersect.  So after asking at a hotel, I found Where i should be standing, but after getting on 2 different buses and then getting off again as it was the wrong bus, a couple of school girls (who speak English!) giggling told me which buses I could take to get downtown.  So I saw the number 79 (aircon), there are some non aircon! too, in the distance in a traffic jam and it wasnt moving so I asked them if a person could just run up to the bus and get on even if stuck in traffic and they said yes, so I did, and so it was.  We were in gridlock for about 30 minutes, good thing I had the Bangkok Post English newspaper with me!   THis was apparently the daily drill about 5 p.m., When we finally go waved through by traffic policeman, we went about 100 metres and stopped again.  This continued until we got through Democracy Monument.  People on the bus were sleeping or doing homework....
I made an appt to see a dentist here, the same one I saw 6 years ago and who did extensive crown work for half the price in Canada. It is a wonderful facility, very well known. My appt is tomorrow at 2 p.m.  Today I want to get to the Bangkok Floral Museum, and I want to sometime get to the Verandah restaurant at the Oriental Hotel where I had lunch last time and I still remember it! and to the 63rd floor of Sirocco Hotel where I read the view is amazing.  
After being here a week in this hotel, I find out that Soi 18 is much better to walk on than Soi 20 where the so called sidewalks are full of makeshift bars, (bring out the bar with some bottles onit every night on the sidewalk) and food stalls and massagers hawking for clients.  It is a maze, and then on top of it are the tuktuks, motorbikes and taxis that are racing down the streets Z(Sois are small side streets, barely wide enough for two vehicles to meet much less add in a few pedestrians trying to walk about the stalls on the 'sidewalks'.  Anyways Soi 18 is much more civilized and I w\huad a wonderful Tahi Massage last night at the Lemon Tree restaurant and massage place on Soi 18.  Went to a movie Hyde Park on the  Hudson, about Roosevelt.  A real eye opener. Also saw Swartzenegger in The Last Stand and Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly.  Movies are cheap - $3 and offer aaircon respite from the heat.  Very popular. well going to send this off now.  
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Patricia on

Glad you got the visa - and so pleased that you are enjoying it all!
I am down with a cold but today feeling better. Take care.

Patricia on

Hi: Sorry our conversation stopped. Hope all continues to go well. Keep in touch

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