top ten rooftop bars in the world – bangkok tops the list

Worlds top ten rooftop bars –  and I have eaten at one of them  – the number one, one, Sirocco, Bangkok Thailand. what great taste I have🙂

And, check out these websites for more infomation about Thailand and Thai Airways

http://www.tourismthailand.org/ www.thaiair.com/

Read what another travel writer Martin Sykes wrote about Sirroco the night we were there in February this year

photo by simonparisphotograph y

1. Sirocco

Bangkok, Thailand

No night out in Bangkok is complete without a couple cocktails at Sirocco. Perched on top of The Dome at State Tower, 64th floors above the hectic streets of Bangkok, this sexy rooftop bar boasts 360 degree views of the city with city lights in every direction, as far as the eye can see. If you’re looking for a picturesque place to dine, they also serve dinner.

The Dome at State Tower 1055 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500

guesthouses in thailand

 

reclining buddha - Wat Po Bangkok
reclining buddha - Wat Po Bangkok

Found this on twitter  from travellingman (follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/kiwitravwriter)

 

I am a frequent traveler to THAILAND. When traveling outside of Bangkok, I often stay at a local guesthouse rather than a conventional hotel. Besides saving some monies, staying in a guesthouse allows me to sample the local flavor and it is a more conducive environment for meeting fellow travelers. In addition, the informal, carefree ambiance of most guesthouses suits my personality better than the somewhat stiff and fabricated environment of many traditional hotels. Guesthouses are usually small family run affairs – ranging from no frills hostels with simple dormitory like accommodations and shared bathroom facilities (popular with the young backpacker crowd) to the luxury “boutiquish” affair with amenities comparable to a small hotel (popular with the older crowd and families). As they say different strokes for different folks!

check out more recommendations from him here  

is thailand safe?

Although I have been blogging about my trip to Thailand last week – I suspect some of you may still be wondering: “is Thailand safe?

Now I have to admit when the political protesters blocked the airport I found it hard to be sympathetic for travelers who were bleating about being ‘stuck’ in Thailand.  That may have been unfair of me, as, as a passionate nomad, as a  traveller who makes her own arrangements as to how, where and when I’ll travel, and where I’ll stay, my thoughts were ‘Thailand is the easiest of countries to leave’.

peaceful lives along the klongs in this old 'Venice of the east'
peaceful lives along the klongs in this old 'Venice of the east'

In my mind I was saying to those nameless people on TV, just get a train south, fly from Phuket,  Malaysia or even fly out from Singapore’. I also knew they could go north to Changmai or west to Cambodia. But I also know, many of those people, even those on the so-called various ‘intrepid-type-travel’ programmes that screen around the the world, that even those  intrepid travellers would not know what to do either. ( After all they have an entourage of minders looking after them, just out of camera range – it’s hardly intrepid.  So to the tv I said, ‘just hole up in your hotel, lay by the pool and wait’.  Guess I was jealous – as I wouldn’t have minded an enforced stay (paid for by the airlines or insurance) in Thailand.

So, back to the question, is Thailand safe?

OF COURSE IT IS! 

Buddha images for sale
Buddha images for sale

 

 

 

When I was there –only a week ago– there was a demonstration outside Parliament when the ASEAN conference was on, but just as when Oxford St, London,  is blocked due to road works  or demonstration (or any road in LA, New York, Miami, Sydney, or even when the so-called ‘boy-racers’ disrupt part of my city  on a Friday or Saturday night … the rest of us are not even aware of it happening .. all we see is the same as other TV viewers see and it doesn’t affect our life.

So too with any political unrest in Thailand ( insert any other countries name here too) YES it is safe …  in fact I have often heard that straight after any major event is when it’s safest to go anywhere – after all the security is on high alert.  and the demonstration had nothing to do with travellers:

It was political, not a secuity risk to any traveller. Go there NOW – I’m sure it will be cheaper.

pecha kucha: I help 79 men become monks in thailand

 

monk takes photos at the Grand Palace in Bangkok
monk takes photos at the Grand Palace in Bangkok

 

Pecha Kucha Night is a presentation format for creative work originally devised by Astrid Klein and Mark

Dytham of Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa) in Tokyo, Japan in 2003.

The name derives from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit-chat“). A Pecha Kucha Night is a non-profit orientated event that is part of an international network and consists of a format where presenters show a data slide-show of 20 images, each of which is shown for 20 seconds, giving a total presentation time of 6 minutes 40 seconds.

Each event aims to have a maximum of 14 presenters. Presenters (and much of the audience) are usually from the design, architecture, photography, art, music and creative fields. The event format has been replicated in more than 172 cities including London, San Francisco, Seattle, Rotterdam, Shanghai, and Berlin, as well as in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Nelson. Events are usually limited to one each month per city and to a minimum of four events per year.

Pecha Kucha Nights Auckland is currently organising their twelfth event, Wellington hosted their fourth event in late 2008, and Nelson, Hamilton and Dunedin have recently joined the New Zealand contingent.  The next one in Christchurch New Zealand is on the 2nd April and features this blogger – the kiwitravel writer – anda presentation on  how she became involved in helping create Buddhist monks from 79 ordinary men to celebrate and commemorate the King Of Thailand’s birthday.

Below are some additional links to more information about Pecha Kucha Nights in New Zealand andinternationally:

http://pecha-kucha.org/ 

http://www.pechakucha.co.nz/

http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/commentary/

go ride a bike – in thailand

Last week I was riding a bicycle in Thailand ….. I’m now in the process of writing a story about it – well more about me and how unfit I am, and how hot the day was: keep your eye out for it in a newspaper or magazine.

Part of the cycle trip on Phuket in Thailand
Part of the cycle trip on Phuket in Thailand

In the meantime, thought I would tell you about Spice Tours.

I did their Bangkok bike trip ( 35k) a couple of years ago and can recommend them: and right now they have 10% off all trips  starting after 31st March and includes all of 2010 (they have cycle trips all over Asia —  from hours to days long — so if that sounds like something you would fancy, have a look at the website. (and start practising .. not just little rides around a flat city like I live in!)

Check here for information about cycling in Thailand  in particular.

cheap flights, a new plane, and a tuk tuk in christchurch

 

Well yesterday morning I saw something most unexpected in Christchurch New Zealand.

Christchurch tuk tuk and cheerful driver
Christchurch tuk tuk and its cheerful driver

 

Getting off our free yellow shuttle bus that provides tourist and locals an easy way around the city centre I saw a tuk tuk. Yes a genuine Thai three-wheeled, tuk tuk! I was immediately transported in my mind to Thailand.

I am sure this was exactly what Emirates wanted as the vehicle was a 3-wheeled bill-board to ‘celebrate the maiden flights of our Boeing 777-300ER to Bangkok.’ (and Koh Samui and Phuket)

Check if there are any seats left (which I doubt as they were at just over $800) on www.emirates.com/nz  

What was even better – I got to ride in it. I rushed home, got my camera, then went for a little advertising trip on the yellow vehicle.

I’m pretending I’m in Thailand’ 

is what I told everyone as we waited at traffic lights. There is no doubt seeing the tuk tuk on their streets made local workers and shoppers smile.

I wish I too could take advantage of the cheap Emirates flights to one of my favourite cities on an airline I love to travel with. Oh well, it was great to be transported in my mind for a little while yesterday

 

Christchurch art gallery
Christchurch art gallery

 

 

 

yellow shuttle bus from tuk tuk
yellow shuttle bus from tuk tuk

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: I have had articles published in the emirates in-flight magazine so check next time you are on board and see if you can find the kiwitravelwriter, Heather Hapeta contributing to your flight.  

How to use a toilet – in a Thai train

How to use a toilet – in a Thai train: from person experience

between shows - Bangkok
Dancers between shows – in Bangkok – but nothing to do with the train!

Inside a small silver-lined room, the floor wet and smelly from twelve hours of use, I finally need to use the toilet: it’s about eighteen inches above the floor.

Rolling my pants legs up to avoid the wetness, I clamp my knees together to stop the material falling back down, then drop the waist of my green, Thai fisherman pants.

Climbing up onto the shining edifice – while keeping my knees together – I place my feet either side of the hole, and, with the train rocking alarmingly, hold on. Moments later I reverse the process and leave.

I’m relieved I haven’t been cursed with the travellers disease; the trots, runs, dheli belly, or whatever common name is given to dysentery and diarrhoea, that so, I’m sure I won’t need to come back into the throne-room – well not for a while anyway.