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Bangkok jewelry attractions


#1

Hi all,

I’ll be travelling to Bangkok, Thailand on business in August and
wanted to ask if anyone has suggestions for “must-see” places to
visit. Once the factories have been dealt with, hubby and I plan to
spend a few extra days playing tourist. Suggestions? And yes, we
like spicy food.

Brigit


#2

Brigit,

Ok first of all you are walking into a bad political situation there.
Second, if you want to know the best places to visit for jewelry
related manf. etc. get in contact with Alex Ross at GIA Thailand.

You can get in touch through their website. Tell him I sent
you…great guy and wonderful bit of Also, but I think
he is in Canada at present is Randy Park. He is the foremost info go
to guy in Bangkok and Asia…upside of maybe Hanukan. As far as the
food…you must be careful. Do not eat anything from curbside
vendors. I went to a local restaurant, greasy spoon type, and got the
worst case of food poisoning I have ever had…you know the
saying…didn’t know whether to sh…or go blind. for over 6 hours.
Stay the main course with the food in respectable rest…and you
should be okay. I think I got a bad oyster off of a non refrigerated
batch in a local restaurant.

OMG…you don’t want that for sure…but in case you ever do get food
poisoning just get someone to a pharmacy over there and they have
all the meds to curb it…OMG don’t remind me…

Anyway have a great trip…

Russ Hyder
The jewelry cad institute…


#3

Hello Brigit,

I spent 2 years in Thailand. One year in Bangkok and one year in the
Northeast. I have had more experience with getting sick and throwing
up and running it out the hind-end than you could possibly imagine. I
have gotten sick from all sorts of eating places. Be brave and be
smart. Eating oysters anywhere can be risky. I used to eat these
grilled cuttle fish off the street often and never got sick off of
one of those. They’re quite tasty! I got sick at a fancy New Years
Eve party at a fancy resort so getting sick isn’t limited to the
street.

Be aware that Thais love MSG (monosodium glutamate)! If you are
sensitive to MSG be very careful. I learned how to say “my si pong
chu rot” which means no MSG. Always ask like you hope it’s in it so
when they say yes go on. If you ask like you don’t want it in it some
places will tell you no it’s not in it just to sell it to you. Don’t
eat Beef because it is saturated in MSG. Chicken and pork are
typically safe. The Thai’s love spicy HOT food. I went from Las
Cruces, NM where I built up a tolerance for jalopeno peppers and
thought I could handle the dishes in Thailand. WRONG!! Even dishes
where you say “my pet” which mean no hot pepper has still put me on
fire.

One of my favorite dishes and one that never got me sick was the
mango with sticky rice and coconut milk. OMG that was heavenly! So
yummy I want some real bad!!

Thailand is wonderful. Bangkok is a concrete jungle with smog so
thick you can cut it with a knife, but once you get past a few
unpleasantries it’s a beautiful place with beautiful people.

I advise you take the red and white city busses without air-
conditioning. Why? Because most taxi rides I’ve had have not been
very good. Get the bus map for sure. The bus I’m describing is great
because it will stop if you need to get off. The fancier buses
(aircon ones) will only stop at designated stops so it’s not good to
be on one of those when you realize you’ve gotten on the wrong bus.

Basically the most dangerous part of being in Thailand is the
potential for getting hurt not by bad people if you keep your nose
clean, but by unsafe circumstances (e.g. a big whole in the sidewalk
and you step in it and fall into the canal and drown or you lean up
against a live wire and get electrocuted or you are in a bus or
automobile accident. Mostly you can’t get killed in an automobile
within Bangkok because you can walk faster than the traffic moves,
but up country it’s possible.

Oh, yes, carry your own toilet paper.

Be aware that 50% or more of the dogs roaming the street could very
easily be carrying rabies. Don’t make eye contract with the dogs. You
know that saying “let sleeping dogs lie”? Well, I understood what
that means while I was in Thailand. Don’t be frightened, just
cautious. Having insight can help keep you safe. Oh, yes,
the greatest thing is to watch people’s reactions to two dogs stuck
together! I was on Sukumwit and saw two dogs stuck together. The
western folks laughed and made a to do about it. The Chinese/
Japanese would act like they didn’t see it, but position themselves
so they could get a picture of the mating dogs making it look like
they were just taking pictures of each other and not having anything
to do with the dogs. Thais are great! Once my Thai student and I got
off the buss and I pointed out the dogs (I had heard about this
happening with dogs, but never have I ever witnessed such a sight so
I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm). As I pointed the dogs out to my
student she pushed my hand down and said “Don’t look, Don’t see”.
That sums up my dogs stuck together in Thailand story.

When I was over there Thai people loved Americans (1996-1998). Thais
basically want you to love their country and go home with a good
impression. That said there are a number of Thais who will take
advantage of you and will given the opportunity (e.g. over charging
for taxi rides etc.).

All students take 12 years of English. That doesn’t mean they know
it, but most are familiar with the alphabet. Many of the teachers
who teach English in schools especially up country don’t know
English, but teach it anyhow. They are so cute.

Well, enough of my reminiscing of the good old days. I’m certain
you’ll be fine over there as long as you don’t go looking for
trouble the likelihood of you finding it is small.

Enjoy!!

Saw was de kha,
Pamela G Gregory
Weslaco, TX 78596


#4
Ok first of all you are walking into a bad political situation
there. 

Just returned from 2 1/2 months in Thailand, mostly Bangkok. The
political situation is no problem, although you would be smart to
avoid the area where the demonstrations are taking place.

As for the advice to not eat from the streetside stalls, that’s
bunk. My wife and I have travelled extensively in Southeast Asia,
spending two to three months there almost every year for the past 25
years. We eat the vendor food regularly. Only once have I had a
problem and that was my own fault as I drank some water which I knew
at the time was suspect. Thais know that some of the best food is to
be had from street vendors and small open street side restaurants. A
restaurant or a vendor doesn’t stay in busines long if his/her
customers get sick. You are more likely to have a problem with food
from some of the upscale restaurants where you can’t watch the food
being prepared. I would suggest anyone making a trip to that part of
the world to obtain athe appropriate Lonely Planet guide. Their
on food and accomodation is invaluable.

As for jewelry related attractions, If you are interested in gems, I
suggest a trip to Chantaburi to visit (and if knowlegeable about
gems), buy at the weekly weekend gem market there. The Myanmar
(Burma) border town of Mae Sot in the Northwest also has a gem
market where they specialize in Burmese material. Well worth the
time, if you have it.

Jerry in Kodiak


#5

Sorry to get political here, but if the gems are sold so close to the
Burma border, isn’t it a fair bet that a lot of the money spent will
end up supporting a very very nasty repressive regime in Burma?

Anna Williams


#6

Mae Sot is separated from the Burmese town of Myawaddy by the Moi
river, which is about 150 yards wide at that point and not much more
than knee deep.

Every night smugglers cross the river bringing goods both ways. It’s
no secret. The smugglers profit because they are avoiding payment to
the government in the form of duties and taxes. The Karen resistance
fighters benefited from the smuggling as did the miners who otherwise
would have had to turn in the best material to the government. I
think the resistance has been pretty well crushed now though. I did
notice that the market had a lot of African ruby but not much
Burmese. Perhaps the U.S boycott of gems from Myanmar is having some
effect.

Jerry in Kodiak