Bangkok, Thailand 2008

Five nights in Bangkok


We were set to arrive at 8:00am.  We actually arrived about 45 minutes early and immigration was a breeze.  I had booked with AAC Limousine for a car to pick us up because when arriving in a new country like this after a long flight, I like to see someone holding up a little sign with my name!!  Well, we walked out and no sign with our name!!  I started asking for AAC Limousine, someone pointed me to an agent and she said, your flight must have come in early.  Well, it did, but there was a big board with flight information right in front of them so I figured they would check.  She loaded up our bags on a cart but said the driver was not here yet.  We had to wait about 15-20 minutes, which was a bit of an annoyance considering what they charge.

Well, he finally arrived and whisked us off to the Peninsula (read my review here).  The drive took about 45 minutes.  We arrived at the Peninsula about 9:15am  and luckily our rooms were ready.  We were on the 9th floor with fabulous views of the river.  We settled in and then headed down to the breakfast buffet.  It was an incredible buffet, with just about anything you might want.  Michael was ecstatic that he could have fried rice and pork buns for breakfast. Read More →

The Golden Triangle – Chiang Rai 2008

Day 5  Anantara Golden Triangle

Today we had an 11:40am flight to Chiang Rai. We were flying Air Asia, a low cost airline.  We had never flown a low cost airline here or in Europe so were not exactly sure what to expect.  We splurged (just a few extra dollars) for the Xpress boarding.  Since there is no reserved seating, Xpress boarding allows you to board first and they save you seats in the first 3 rows.  We found it nice, but not really necessary, unless you are trying to make a tight connection on the way back and then you could be the first one off the plane.  We thought the plane was fine and the service was great.  No complaints.

We arrived at Chiang Rai airport about 1pm and our driver and guest services representative from the Anantara were waiting for us.  We got into our air-conditioned van with cool towels and water; however we noticed right away that while it was still hot, it was not quite as bad as Bangkok. Read More →

Siem Reap, Cambodia and Angkor Wat 2008

Day 9 – Travel day to Siem Reap

We had just spent a few days in Chiang Rai and so had flown Air Asia from Chiang Rai to Bangkok and then were flying Bangkok Airways from Bangkok to Siem Reap.

The Bangkok Airways flight was fine, only about 55 minutes, and they even served a meal (sandwich).  However, with all the forms you have to fill out to enter Cambodia I spent the whole time filling out four copies of each form. I had tried to do e-visas on line before we left, but kept having problems so just decided to get them upon arrival.  We did not have to wait long at all and it was fun to watch the row of important looking people look at and stamp our passports.  Picked up our luggage and there was Ponheary Ly (our guide for Siem Reap/Angkor Wat) and her driver waiting to pick us up.  The Siem Reap airport is fairly new and extremely nice – we were quite impressed.  They dropped us off at Hotel de la Paix (read my review here) and we were set to meet her at 8am the next morning.  We were tired and hungry, but it was late, so we decided to eat at Meric the hotel restaurant and we had a nice dinner. Read More →

Piedmont, Lerici, Tuscany, Rome: Trip Planning 2006

We did a three week trip to Italy in June 2006.  We stayed five nights in Piedmonte(Acqui Terme), four nights on the Ligurian Coast (Lerici), five nights in Tuscany (Castellina in Chianti) and five nights in Rome.  This was our second trip to Italy, our first was fifteen months earlier when we did Rome, Venice and Florence.  This trip was to celebrate our 20th anniversary, although our kids came with us on the trip.  Our daughter, Lauren, turned fourteen on the trip and our son Michael, was ten.  We had been to London, Paris, Rome, Venice and Florence but this was our first time to do smaller towns.  I was not sure what we would think as we love big cities, but we really loved the smaller towns as well.

We flew in and out of Milan (could not do open jaw with these frequent flier miles).  We rented a car in Milan and kept it until our arrival in Rome.  This was our first experience driving in Italy (or Europe for that matter).   Read More →

Piedmont – Acqui Terme 2006

Day 1, June 10, Saturday

We arrived in Milan, picked up our rental car, drove about 1.5 hours to Acqui Terme and arrived at Baur B&B  ( about 3pm.  It was incredibly beautiful, just as the pictures on the website show.  It was up a hill with a fantastic view below and a beautiful terrace. Before I continue, a few words about Baur B&B.  This is now our favorite place in Europe.  It is run by Diana (an American), and Michael (a German) Baur.  This is a small B&B with only two rooms (since we were there they have added a third room).  We rented both rooms as there were four of us so we had the whole B&B to ourselves.  The rooms are very large and beautifully decorated with local treasures and some of Diana’s own pottery.  The bathrooms are large tiled bathrooms with all the amenities you would need including a real hair dryer (not those  things stuck to the walls in many Italian hotels).  There is a great pool and beautiful area around the pool with plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas.  Read More →

Ligurian Coast – Lerici 2006

Day 6, June 16, Thursday

We arrived in Lerici about 5pm.  Our first reaction was – WOW!  It was a bit startling at first as there were a lot of people, particularly on the beaches – quite a change from the more quiet days in Piedmont.

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Tuscany 2006

Day 10, June 19, Monday

We left Lerici and decided to stop in Lucca on the way to Castellina.  I know everybody raves about Lucca, but frankly we do not know what all the excitement is about.  We had a nice visit and a nice lunch but I guess we were not really enamored by it.  Oh well, to each his own.

We left Lucca to drive on to Fattoria Tregole in Castellina in Chianti.  There was very little information on this wonderful Fattoria on the internet.  No postings on Trip Advisor (when we returned I wrote only the second review on TA – now there are over eighty reviews and it is #1 in Castellina in Chianti) and very little mention on Fodors.   However it came highly recommended by Megan and she was right!!  It was a wonderful place located just 4km outside of Castellina in Chianti in Tregole.  All the buildings are stone, the original wine cellar was built in 1000, and the remainder of the house was built in 1580.

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