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Journey Doctor


The Sikhs in Thailand...

The Sikhs, a minority group living in Bangkok, make up only a fraction of a percent of the total population. In addition to being their place of prayer, Sri Gurusingh Sabha is also a school that is managed voluntarily by the congregation. The Recitation of the Holy Scriptures, considered the only authority in Sikhdom today, is a 300- hundred-year-old ceremony. It takes place annually and is a three-day event. Sri Gurusingh Sabha is located at 565 Chakraphet, Bangkok 2.

Looking for a reliable guide...

I found that since Bangkok covers an area of 360 square miles, hiring a private guide can save time when there is a lot you want to see. Here are two companies that I've dealt with and that I can recommend:

PNK Tours & Transport
This company offers an English-speaking guide, driver and van for approximately $20 a person a day (min. 2 people).
36/8 Soi Kasemson 1, Rama I Road, Patumwan
Phone: (662) 219-2079

Land Tour Operator Khiri Travel Co., Ltd.
106/4 Soi Rambuttri, Banglumpoo
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Phone: +2 629 0491, +2 629 0492
Fax: +2 629 0493

A First-class hotel...

The Conrad Bangkok is a luxurious, visually stunning hotel, but, because it is new, many taxi drivers are not yet familiar with its location. I carried directions in both type - and handwritten Sanskrit after having been taxied around most of the city one afternoon, while my non-English speaking driver tried to find it.

The address is: All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road.
Phone: (66) 2 690 9999

It was late when I checked into the Conrad Bangkok. Most notable in my room (especially after my direct NY/Tokyo/Bangkok flight), was a free-standing tub in the bathroom, which opened into the bedroom via louvered mahogany shutters. Divine decadence is what came to mind as I poured the complimentary gardenia-scented bath gel into running water, opened the shutters and, while soaking, focused on the serenity of the large room before me.

I felt great the next morning, thanks to a comfortable bed and the No-Jet-Lag homeopathic tabs I take during long flights. Downstairs, the three-floor atrium lobby was flooded with soft natural light. Breakfasts are on the balcony surrounding the second floor, where strategically placed art objects and a single orchid stem or bamboo branch in colored crystal vases glow from the indirect lighting behind seating arrangements. This was one hotel I didn't feel as though I should rearrange the furniture. Special attention is paid to the smallest detail.


Her silk fashion in Phuket...

I found the most magnificent women's clothing store in Phuket. It's called the Silk Closet. The owner personally designs all the clothes in the shop and uses only the finest silk. Her clothes are exquisite in design, impeccable in workmanship and an incredible value. I bought over a dozen garments from blouses to long skirts. Styles range from everyday to high couture. And, she'll even work with you to create unique clothing to suit your personal taste and style. There are three locations in Phuket. Find out
more at
Lyn, Boulder, Colorado, USA.


Bookshops in Thailand...

Along the busy and dusty streets of Bangkok, I found a cool retreat in which to while away a few hours. Skoob is a quaint bookstore on the 2nd floor of a small mall called Penny's Balcony. Skoob sells used and new English and Japanese books, has a small corner to relax with a cup of Lavazza coffee and cookies while you browse. The ambience of relaxation is enhanced with some quiet jazz playing in the background, and there's a rack with a small selection of jazz CDs that visitors can purchase as well. Skoob carries a fairly decent range of books given their limited space, and I'm sure all readers will find at least a couple of books that will interest them. It also has a great trade-in program for books so you could always bring any books that you've finished reading and trade them in for other books on their shelves. Address: 2nd Floor, Penny's Balcony, Thonglor 16, Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok. Website:
Caroline, Hong Kong


Billed as "Bangkok's Funkiest Secondhand Bookshop," Dasa Book Cafe, off the BTS Sukhumvit Skytrain line is a great little bookstore. They've got two floors of quality second-hand books and the owner is more than happy to help you find that 'perfect' book for your holiday reading pleasure. The desserts aren't too bad either! Check it out next time you're in Bangkok.
Catherine, Bangkok, Thailand

When in Bangkok it will be worth your while to seek out the Kinokuniya Bookstoregirl reading on the 3rd floor of the Emporium shopping centre on Sukhumvit Road. The Phrom Phong stop on the Skytrain goes right to the door. Kinokuniya is an excellent store with books on all aspects of Thai and south-east Asian life, art, history and reference, current fiction titles, a terrific children's section and very helpful staff. Once inside it is difficult to leave empty-handed.
Lauren, Hamilton, Canada


Penguins and the Paparazzi



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