Back to Walnut Creek -the usual ways

Ok back to regular lifestyle of Wk, although I came back without my travel bags and only my carry on...Early Gym seeing my buddies, (Jet lag is also best for this), happy I did not gain any weight in this trip, coffee at Pitts & Scala, post office, wholefoods, Prima 4 drinks, shopping the stores for what is new, movies , calling friends , I sure feel back. Although I travel well, (business class seats & lounges for Internet, 5 star hotels with Gym & concierge services, carry my wholefoods with protein and other V-stuff), there is nothing like coming home again around my books, music (although I carry my MP3 on my trips), art, NPR radio and especially my regular hangouts of WAC, the IIE, parties at A-list, and being able to read my regular magazines and browse the Internet in my bed!


Bangkok, Thailand

Cities Bangkok, Thailand:

The Dusit Thani is a five-star hotel in Bangkok, world-famous for the excellence of its facilities and services....located in the heart of Bangkok's entertainment, business and shopping districts, close to Lumpini Park and other Bangkok attractions such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho ( MESSAGE) and the night markets of Patpong. The Dusit Thani is also only 25 kilometres from Bangkok International Airport.... rooms with elegant Thai design....
...Facilities include the Devarana Spa, offering premium spa treatments, a golf driving range, and a swimmimg pool set in landscaped, tropical gardens...fully equipped Fitness Centre and shopping arcade.
..eight restaurants with international menus.... sophisticated spots to enjoy a cocktail, including MyBar, the Champagne Bar, the Lobby Lounge, and the rooftop D'Sens Bar - with its stunning views over Bangkok.

Wat Phra Kaew (??????????), the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the adjoining Grand Palace together form perhaps the greatest spectacle for the visitor to Bangkok
Wat Pho, Temple of the Reclining Buddha as it is generally known to the Thais, is mainly famous for the huge Reclining Buddha statue it houses. At 20 acres large, it is the largest Wat in Bangkok, and is technically the oldest too, as it was built around 200 years before Bangkok became Thailand's capital. However, today the Wat today bears virtually no resemblance to that originally constructed, as it was almost entirely rebuilt by Rama I when the capital was moved to Bangkok. It holds the dual honors of having both Thailand's largest reclining Buddha image and the most number of Buddha images in Thailand.

The highly impressive gold plated reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, and is designed to illustrate the passing of the Buddha into nirvana. The feet and the eyes are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration, and the feet also show the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Budd Wat Pho is also famous as Thailand's first university, and is center for traditional Thai masage - the rich, famous and powerful have all been known to come here. Inscribed on stone in the walls of

Message--Wat Pho are all that was known about Thai massage dating from the reign of King Rama III (most previous texts were lost when the Burmese destroyed Ayuthaya). I had the hotel book for me for the best in town...best is when you do not wake up after 1 hour message and do not want to go home... The Grand Palace adjoins Wat Phra Kaew in a common compound, and is where you will end up after exiting Wat Phra Kaew.
National Museum, which claims to be the largest of it's kind in all of South East Asia. It serves as a good place to learn about the full range of Thai culture, history, and of the traditional significance of Buddhism to the Thai way of life.
The famous Wat Arun (???????), perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn, is one of the best known landmarks and one of the most published images of Bangkok. Very close to the intersection of Charoen Krung and Yaowarat road is perhaps the only real top attraction in Chinatown, Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. At first glance, the 3m high Buddha image in here looks distinctly average and undeserving of the busloads of tourists that visit every day. What attracts them all however, is the remarkable fact that it's made of 5.5 tonnes of solid gold. Ko Rattanakosin is the old royal city area and there are other attractions here amongst the famous temples listed above. Lak Meuang, the city shrine, is often full of worshippers and there's a resident dance troupe for hire about 5 minutes from Khao San stands the 24m tall Democracy Monument. This dominates busy Ratchadamnoen Klang road, and was made to commemorate Thailand's 1932 switch from absolute to constitutional monarchy.

Equally noteworthy, but for the wrong reasons, is that it was here that many Thais were killed protesting against a military coup in 1992. The design is of a large copper tray (which weighs 4 tonnes) carrying the constitution, supported by a pedestal. Bangkok's infamous gem scam has ruined the holidays of many, many visitors to Thailand
Places to go:
Khin lomchom -sa pham, Thailands/seafood dish, softshell crab in ellow curry
-top silk shops is Almeta
-to Be Young & Hip in Bangkok, the Au Bon Pain at J Avenue, a strip mall on Soi Thonglor in ...
-Thai at the famous Baan Khanitha for lunch, just around the corner from Hotel... another great place we went for cigar smoking was Sirocco, reservation outside on the balcony with Paranomic view. Similar to Vertigo moon bar, where I have been in March.
Going to Phuket this trip was out of the question, my consieage confirmed, as I was hoping to go for diving....in my dreams I said, so next time...am on my way to Tokyo tomorrow.


Addis 4 Easter Friday!

Here I am ..my mother land..I smell the Ingera for Easter..too excited, I know the country will be in a frozen status for 2 weeks before they go back to their regular living. Easter is a big holiday. So my VIP recipient did not come this time at the airport, cause the had to get his wife to deliver in Germany. They had a baby boy!Checked-in at the Hilton Addis. http://www.africaguide.com/accomm/index.php?LocationID=88&ItemID=23?LocationID=88&ItemID=23 Room over the pool..lovely. Sure culture is wondering why not with Mom @ home. Spoiled and a rebel in my adulthood,, I opted for my regular travel lifestyle at a cost of 100 US a day. Not bad for a 5star considering my intl standards stay-ins. There is more than money issue in Addis.. stress comes from family, being a socialites, business issues anything! So in order to stay balanced, I worked by the pool most of the time instead of at the office, dipping-in and out depending on the shade/sun weather, which seem to adapt 4 seasons in 1 hr. Aside from the Hilton pool you are seeing me at (did I mention there is wi-fi by the pool)!, the pic below you see is a vacation resort called "Kuriftu", in a town called Debre Zeit, a local hangout turned, "members only" yes, capitalism is back! just for the exclusive elite locals and the international crowd and the privileges Diasporas like us.. amazing place; first class facilities, with health club, manicure, hair styling, massage Asian style, with all the flower on the bed and each room comes with a bike and a motorboat (see details pic in my travels section). Rooms booked 6 months ahead, with some privileged rooms available for the VIPs of course...now I believe why they say Addis was growing at 10%. Also from the buildings in town that you see ( which includes one of my family high rise towers, BTW), many resorts and intl restaurants have flooded the country and yes, if you are staying in a 5star hotel, and go the places I go daily, the 10% growth goes quickly to a 20% right in front of your eyes.

So what else did I do..oh.. yes, my advocacy work...the Rotary Club and my fund raising pet project "Solar Cooking" for Ethiopian villages. Photo Op below! and some of the meetings I used to go to the government offices trying to get projects mobilized for the Country's Eduction. Yes, I got to look chic at times..not bad for a gIRL diaspora trying to get her feet wet in her "mens" country! u go girl!