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November 2011 Newsletter

Wednesday, 2nd November, 2011

BKK Guru 2012 Sue & Aileen 006Our trip to Bangkok for the Shopping Guru at the Rembrandt Hotel was a mixture of old and new friends and everybody voted it a great success.

We started the frivolities at The Café on the 1st floor at the RembrandtHotel where we enjoyed a lovely Thai meal and got to know one another. It was delightful to have a family flavor with June joining her daughters Maree and Camille.

First morning we sorted out the use of the sky rail card which came with our shopping package and then used the sky rail to get to the Emporium Shopping Mall where we all had a great deal of fun spending our 1000 baht shopping voucher which was also part of the package. Sue had trouble spending hers but one thing about a group of shopper the others were quickly on hand to help her out.

As usual on this trip Jim Thompson’s factory outlet with its many bargains in small gifts, home wares and beautiful fabric was great hit. We spent time in Platinum Fashion Mall, this mall of several floors with a multitude of small shops selling fashion with children’s clothing a great buy, but the best find was a hat shops selling some fascinators, many under $10, there will be some great head gear at Melbourne Cup luncheons this year and June who is a guest at a wedding was able to find a suitable facinator!

Each evening we gathered in the executive lounge of the Rembrandt, again part of our package and enjoyed drinks and nibbles while we discussed the day, what we had brought or what we were going to do the next day. The staff in the lounge, as are all te staff at the Rembrandt,  were fantastic and were helpful with extra shopping hints and making sure that drinks were kept flowing.

We went to Gail Dwyer-Gerrard of Ethan’s Accents Jewelery’shome and had a private viewing of her fantastic jewellery collection. I must admit several of us brought some of her exquisite pieces, well worth a look if you are heading to Bangkok and I believe she will soon be bringing her collection to Australia.

Food cooking classIt was a tossup whether the cooking class at the Blue Elephant or afternoon tea at the Oriental was the favourite. The Blue Elephant is easy to get to as it is opposite the Surasak Sky train At the cooking school we watched as our teacher showed us how to make each recipe and then adjourned to the well-equipped kitchen to try ourselves. However one of the highlights was a meal of the food we had prepared in their delightful restaurant. We all left with copies of our recipes as well as a little goody bag of curry pastes, and other ingredients to use when we got home.

The afternoon tea in the Authors Lounge at the Oriental Hotel was a great opportunity to relax and be waited on in beautiful surrounding. Our only problem here was the extra cool air conditioning, why do so many Asians feel the need to cool down building to near on freezing temperatures.

Something different was the Calypso Cabaret which is a transvestite one and half hour cabaret show at the Asia Hotel. The small theatre meant we were able to get a good view of the fantastic costumesand makeup of the stars of the show and several of our group waited at the end to have their photos taken with the actors.

Our last night was time to swap email address, reminisce about shopping bought and shopping left behind and to talk about where to next! We ate at what I consider to be Thailand’s best Indianrestaurant the Rang Mahal.On the top floor of the Rembrandt Hotel the view of Bangkok is fantastic and the food is superb. We had party masks and there was loads of laughter and great food to say farewell.

Flooding in Thailand

Over the past weeks, seasonal rains that have been heavier than usual have resulted in flooding in Thailand. Airports including Suvarnabhumi Airport have been affected

Our hearts go out to the people of Thailand in these dreadful floods. One of the festivals that will be effected by the floods is Loi Krathong, the Festival of Lights scheduled from1 to 30th of November when the full moon of the 12th lunar month lights up the night sky, throughout Thailand, and is when thousands of decorated krathong or traditional banana leaf floats are set adrift in rivers and waterways in a spell-binding ritual called Loi Krathong. It is the time to make wishes for happiness together and success in love but this year many will just be hoping  to be blessed with survive.

Also the Phimai Festival from10-13 November the traditional long-boat races and the Royal Barge Procession will be affected by the floods. Normally people line the banks for this festival.

If you would like to help the people of Thailand in their hour of need The Royal Thai Consulate, Sydney has launched a relief appeal to help those affected. You can also help make a different by donating:

Thai Relief Appeal:

Commonwealth Bank

BSB 062070 Account No 10290038

Fake goods

Fake goodshave become a problem worldwide however it is something that we usually attribute to Asia rather than Australia so it was a surprise to learn that hundreds of fake designer handbags worth over $1 million were seized at Parklea Markets in western Sydney.Police say they raided the markets and seized more than 500 counterfeit handbags bearing brand names including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Burberry and Prada.

Officers also raided a house at Stanhope Gardens, where they allegedly seized more fake handbags, footwear and other accessories. It is probably a timely reminder to all that this is an illegal business.

Hot Spots to Sleep at Airports

Airport is always coming up with new ways to look after wary transit passengers. Those flying through Dubai International Airport can now catch some rest by staying in a ‘Snooze Cube’. Ten sound-proofed units have been installed at Dubai’s Terminal 1 and each unit contains a full-sized bed, touch-screen TV offering a selection of entertainment and music, as well as high-speed internet. You can hire by the hour for under $20.00 per hour.

Those of you who love something a little different for yourself or to give at Christmas  will find Shining Inspirationswho sell fantastic beaten stainless steel at The Boutique Markets,to be held at Portside Hamilton,39 Hercules Street, Hamilton on Sunday morning on 13th November from 0900-1300. There will be another two markets in December The twilight market from 5pm – 9pm on the 9th December and then subsequently the last one before Christmas is on the 11th December from 0800-1500.

The Boutique Market Website is

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