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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
Or you send your kid to a school more aligned with your hashkafa?
Chalila. How would your daughter get a shidduch?

September 04, 2015, 11:19:24 AM
1
Please do not post Amazon or Walmart deals in this board. All Amazon deals should be posted in the Amazon deals board.

Thanks you!

May 03, 2017, 03:17:15 PM
1
Re: Honeymoon in Greece!
pictures are amazing
Nice segment - looks beautiful!
Really amazing , thanks, enjoyed the TR and the amazing pictures.
Thanks! I still have Athens, Santorini, and Budapest.

January 07, 2019, 12:46:19 PM
1
Re: Something Fishy's Iceland Saga: Summer Edition Getting there and Day 1

Forget about food and clothing; this is the really important stuff:



We departed Sunday night on Delta, JFK-KEF direct. Got an exit row seat, which was perfectly adequate for a short hop. The KSML was from Regal, and was your typical frozen chazzerei:





Spotted some weak aurora out of the window during the flight, which, upon closer inspection, turned out to the the reflection of my seatmate's green pillow.

Approaching Iceland's rugged volcanic coast:



We landed around 7am, and took the Flybus to the central bus station in Reykjavik, where we were picked up and taken to the campervan rental office. I used the same company I did last time, Camp Easy. They had gotten a new van in the interim, which was slightly larger than the one I had in the winter, so I booked that. Being that it was a manual transmission, I actually took a driving lesson before I left. However, as it turned out, the van was a manual/auto, which meant that it has a perfectly functioning auto mode... Oh well.

One of the add-ons Camp Easy offers is a portable grill, so I had pre-arranged with them to put a brand-new one aside for us. We got a couple of bottles of lighter fluid for the grill and the van's stovetop, stopped for some groceries, and hit the road.

The plan today was to head to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands to look for puffins. The ferry leaves from Landeyjahöfn, which is about 2 hours from Reykjavik. Being that it was now around 9 o'clock and the ferry departed at 2:45, we had plenty of time. However, this being Iceland, it was impossible to drive more than a few minutes without pulling over in awe. We therefore had to make sure to pace ourselves and leave enough time to get to the ferry on time.

Made it!:



The sheltered harbor on the mainland:





The captain has been running this route for years and has made thousands upon thousands of crossings:



View from the bridge. The weather was... Icelandic:




The crossing takes around half an hour, and the scenery - especially approaching the islands - is nothing short of incredible. There's a great variety of birds following the ship as well.

Northern Gannet:



Northern Fulmar:



Juvenile Northern Gannet:



Approaching the Vestmannaeyjar Islands you first wend your way past towering cliffs, rising sheer from the water. The cliffs are riddled with pockmarks and packed with thousands of nesting seabirds:





Masses of nesting Common Guillemots, Brünnich's Guillemots, and Black-Legged Kittiwakes:



Brünnich's Guillemots, aka Thick-billed Murres:





We disembarked the ferry right in the only town on the island (also named Vestmannaeyjar). This town of around 4000 was nearly wiped out in 1973 when the Eldfell volcano erupted, and was saved only by the shpritzing of nearly 7 billion gallons of cold seawater which slowed the lava flows.

Here's the volcano, towering above - and right alongside - the town:



A mural on a building depicting the disaster:



A signpost at the harbor points to various destinations on the island:



As you can see on the signs above, the puffin is something of a local symbol here (in fact, this is where Gordon Ramsey got bitten on the nose by one. Go Google it yourself if you want to see someone break the most-expletives-in-one-minute world record). This was indeed the main reason why we were here, to search for the puffins among the sea cliffs.

There sea cliffs were at the far end of the island, but being that this is a fairly tiny island it was a short but stunning drive:



Cool building:



At one point the road crossed over a thin spit of volcanic sand, with the ocean on either side bordered by amazing black-sand beaches:



Wider view, shot on the return trip:



We crossed the spit, followed the twisty one-land road to the top of the mountain, and parked in a small well-maintained parking lot. From there it was an easy hike to the edge of the world:



Hard to tell from this picture, but beyond that patch of grass is a straight 300-food drop to the rocks below. Perhaps this picture, taken from the parking lot, gives a somewhat better sense of height:



As soon as we got to the edge, we saw them - masses of puffins flying, diving, swimming, and heading in and out of their nests.

Only one problem - puffins are famously ridiculously difficult to photograph. They're extremely fast, extremely small, and extremely erratic. Forget about achieving proper focus; it felt like an exercise in futility to simply keep them in the viewfinder. But as is often the case when photographing birds, with enough patience you are able to find patterns and use those to your advantage. So instead of trying - and not succeeding - to take pictures, we simply sat and observed, and enjoyed the spectacle.

After a while, we began to notice that many birds would fly out of the cliffs close to the water, dive down to fish, and then emerge with a mouthful of eels in a certain area. They would then fly way up, almost to eye level with us, and dly to the right before disappearing into the long grass beneath which their burrow nests are dug. With that knowledge, our odds of getting a good picture multiplied exponentially:

\



Sitting on top of the burrow:



Good view of the eels (and their eyes):



@Moishebatchy kept on getting too close to the edge and freaking me out (these cliffs are crumbly...):


Photo by @lfas25

But he did win in the epic socks department:



Lots of Icelandic sheep were wandering the cliffs, such as this guy:



And this terrifying spawn of the Devil:



More puffins:





Shooting:



Northern Fulmar:



After a couple hours watching the birds, it was time to head back:


Photo by @lfas25

Taking some more pictures near the parking lot:




Photo by @lfas25


Photo by @lfas25

Common Redshank:



Trying to get back up....:



The parking lot sits at the top of a mountain, with nothing but the sea and a bunch of steep-sided green islands in sight. There was no one else around, and we were having a nice time relaxing a bit on the ultra-soft grass near the lot, pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

"Mincha! Mincha!"

Wait, what?

But no, we weren't imagining things. Like mushrooms after a rain, a whole bunch of Israelis had suddenly sprouted out of nowhere and wanted to make a minyan. Here, in a remote spot on a remote island in a somewhat-remote country, it looked like Coney Island on Chol Hamoed. The Israeli group beckoned us back to the parking lot and their tour bus, and we davened a lovely mincha:





After davening we schmoozed for a little while, and it turned out that none of them were able to get their Icelandic SIMs to work in their Israeli phones. As soon as they realized that @Moishebatchy a. spoke fluent Hebrew and b. knew how to set up their phones, they promptly formed a neat line and crowned him Tech Support Czar.

In addition, they told us that all their kosher food had gotten delayed somehow. @lfas25, who had brought along enough nosh to feed an army, parked himself near Batchy and happily let them pick through his suitcase for the snacks of their choice:



After mincha and bidding adieu to our newfound friends, it was back to the dock and the return ferry. It was nearly 9pm now, but you wouldn't know it - it was just as light out as it had been at high noon.

On the way down the hill, another nightmare-inducing sheep:



The road down the mountain:









This poor Moai is seriously far from home:



A trail leading up to the volcano:



Tourists, fast boat, and selfie stick:



Back on the ferry, looking out towards the harbor opening:



Cool cave:



The birds in the cliffs were just an amazing sight:



Common Guillemots:



Trying to convince my wife to move here:



A group of 22 Manx Shearwaters:



Shooting on the ferry:


Photo by @lfas25

Another Northern Gannet:



Parasitic Jaeger:



As we got closer to the mainland, the sun peeked through the clouds for some amazing late-afternoon light, and made for some amazing "layers". It was now around 9:30pm:



The waterfall off in the distance to the left is one of Iceland many random roadside waterfalls, There are so many that this one doesn't even have an official name:



Waves crashing on the black-sand beach:



A colony of Arctic Terns:



Arctic Terns are stunningly beautiful birds, but they're nasty little buggers who will dive bomb you at the tiniest provocation. We were to have many run-ins with these guys on this trip:







These birds also have to longest migration route of any living thing by far, traveling up to a mind-blowing fifty-six thousand miles per year as they migrate between the Arctic and Antarctica.

Back on dry land, we had one more stop for the day: Seljalandsfoss, one of the most spectacular waterfalls on Earth. Seljalandsfoss is a quick 12-minute drive from the ferry dock, but unfortunately for us it had gotten cloudy again.

The falls are plainly visible from the main road:



The time was now about 11pm, just in time for sunset. Hoping against hope that the sky will suddenly and inexplicably clear, we began the short hike up to the falls themselves, and then - unique to Icelandic waterfalls - actually behind the falls.

And right on time, the clouds parted and a brilliant setting sun emerged. Words cannot explain the feeling of standing behind those falls, freezing cold and soaked to the bone (camera included), and watch that sunset. Truly a mid-blowing experience. No other words:



There was simply no way of topping this, so off to bed it was. We found a quiet place to park for the night about 10 minutes away, had dinner, and went to sleep.

March 03, 2019, 11:58:36 PM
1
Re: UA Eliminates Close-in Fee....And Award Charts on UA Metal
I thought they were only introducing dynamic pricing in awards from November 19'...
So what is this??  >:(
I just did an award search for TLV-LGA on 7/23 in Y, seeing prices in miles for 55k, 63k, 69k, 70k, 76k, 82k, 95k...
This is not for saver.
On anytime awards this has been the case for a while

April 07, 2019, 07:23:12 AM
1
Taxes & Fees on Award Tickets A while back I had in mind to show a comparison of how backwards Elal does their award tickets, resulting in overpaying in taxes, but was busy with some other stuff so I had to put it aside. Recently I saw that the DOT has fined Lufthansa for overcharging tax on awards, so I looked into the matter again but found Qantas to be a bigger culprit. Still tried to get clear and detailed info from the DOT / IRS / IATA / GDS if this info is correct, but no one can answer me straight.

Let’s start with a sample revenue fare NYC>TLV>NYC

Code: [Select]

 1   EWR UA  084 L 01JAN  420P OK LLA96NCS        01JAN01JAN 1PC               
 2 O TLV UA  085 L 20JAN 1135A OK LLA96NCS        20JAN20JAN 1PC               
     EWR                                                                       
FARE  F USD     240.00                                                         
TX001 X USD   598.00-YQAD TX002 X USD     3.96-XACO TX003 X USD     7.00-XYCR   
TX004 X USD     5.77-YCAE TX005 X USD    18.60-USAP TX006 X USD    18.60-USAS   
TX007 X USD     5.60-AYSE TX008 X USD    26.81-ILEB TX009 X USD     4.50-XF     
TOTAL   USD     928.84                                                         
GRAND TOTAL USD     928.84                                                     
EWR UA TLV120.00LLA96NCS UA EWR120.00LLA96NCS NUC240.00END                     
 ROE1.000000 XF EWR4.5                                                         

Code: [Select]

 1   JFK LY  002 U 01JAN  450P OK ULAPSNY         01JAN01JAN 1PC               
 2 O TLV LY  025 U 20JAN 1205A OK ULAPSNY         20JAN20JAN 1PC               
     EWR                                                                       
FARE  F USD     830.00                                                         
TX001 X USD     3.96-XACO TX002 X USD     7.00-XYCR TX003 X USD     5.77-YCAE   
TX004 X USD    18.60-USAP TX005 X USD    18.60-USAS TX006 X USD     5.60-AYSE   
TX007 X USD    26.81-ILEB TX008 X USD     8.00-APSE TX009 X USD     4.50-XF     
TOTAL   USD     928.84                                                         
GRAND TOTAL USD     928.84                                                     
NYC LY TLV Q295.00 120.00ULAPSNY LY NYC Q295.00 120.00ULAPSNY NUC830.00END       
 ROE1.000000 XF JFK4.5                                             

A few details you can see above. The airlines compete dollar to dollar on the end total price. And now lets break it down (all tax code is a 2 alphanumeric code, the 3rd& 4th  alphanumeric part is an “internal” sub-code)

Fare - is the base fare - UA 240 & LY 830. UA has “YQ” which is 598, vs LY has in the fare breakdown 2 “Qs” for 295 per direction. UA is following most airlines and doing a “Fuel Surcharge” vs Elal is doing a “fare surcharge” which gets bundled in the fare itself, this part ועוד חזון למועד.

Now for the tax itself (other than the YQ) you will see Elal has a tax of $8.00 named “AP(SE)” - this is an Israeli tax charged $4 per flight on every Israeli carrier. This is way UA will be $4 cheaper per way then QF/LY. Regarding the awards I will just breakdown the American Taxes

Code: [Select]

TX001 X USD     3.96-XACO - United States APHIS Passenger “Fee”
TX002 X USD     7.00-XYCR - United States Immigration User “Fee”
TX003 X USD     5.77-YCAE - United States Customs User “Fee” 
TX004 X USD    18.60-USAP - US International Departure “Tax”
TX005 X USD    18.60-USAS - US International Arrivals “Tax”
TX006 X USD     5.60-AYSE -  US September 11th Security “Fee” 
TX009 X USD     4.50-XF   - US Passenger Facility “Charge” 

So first you can see that the US does not have the cheapest Taxes & Fees on airfare, plus it’s the most complicated in the world, 8 taxes/fees compared to 2-3 for other countries, plus XF has to be coded per airport. US domestic airfare is even more complicated. You can also see 4 are called “fees”, 2 “taxes” and 1 a “charge”. - Also note that the US tax is not depend on the class, premium classes don’t pay more tax/fees.

(Side interesting fact - the XF tax is “supposed” to go to the airport for upkeep & improvement, but when the “Twin Towers” < yes the one in the 1970s, the Port Authority got a waiver from the FAA to divert the XF funds to build the Twin Towers, and kept the money going to the PANYNJ general fund ever since & not to the airport directly. No wonder why the NYC airports look a dump.)

AFAIK (if I got this correctly - again I didn’t get clear info from the DOT/IRS/GDS/IATA) that award tickets that are “free” - ie other the mileage no carrier surcharges are added, then the ticket is exempt from “Tax” - meaning the $18.60 per direction on International flights.

Another important DOT law for airfare in general, that the end “TOTAL” price has to be shown, like $928.84 and not “$240.00 plus fuel surcharges & taxes and fees”. (plus they have to disclose baggage fees may apply - but the ticket price itself has to be shown in full).

2 weeks ago Wandering Aramean blogged about Lufthansa being fined $200,000 by the DOT for illegal award ticket taxation - I didn’t understand correctly (and so was the Attorney I spoke with at DOT this week) if it was for displaying one price and charging more, or the general thing that they charged US tax while not required. Now based on the info that US is exempt on completely free award tickets, the only tickets where LH overcharged is on UA, as on all others they charge YQ/YR and therefor you must pay the US tax.

Now let’s see some award tickets

United Round Trip EWR>TLV - no US tax or the XF charge - done correctly
Code: [Select]

Base $0.00
- September 11th Security Fee $5.60
- U.S. Immigration User Fee $7.00
- Israel Departure Tax $26.81
- U.S. Customs User Fee $5.77
- U.S. APHIS User Fee $3.96

LOT/Lufthansa one-way JFK>BUD - YQ is charged & so is the US tax. XF is not charged.
Code: [Select]

1   JFK LO  034 J 24XXX  550P OK JXX037V
     BUD                                                                       
FARE  R USD       0.00                                                         
MILES            37000                                                         
TX001 X EUR    53.19-YQAC TX002 X EUR    16.49-USAP TX003 X EUR     4.97-AYSE   
TOTAL   EUR      74.65    BSR 0.886483                                         
GRAND TOTAL EUR      74.65                                                     
NYC LO BUD0.00NUC0.00END ROE1.000000                                           
MILEAGE NYC BUD37000TOTAL37000                                                 

Singapore award on UA - no YQ & therefor no US tax
Code: [Select]

FARE  F USD       0.00                                                         
EQUIV   SGD       0.00                                                         
MILES            27500                                                         
TX001 X SGD     7.70-AYSE                                                       
TOTAL   SGD       7.70    BSR 1.366XXX                                         
GRAND TOTAL SGD       7.70                                                     
XXX UA X/NYC UA EUR0.00NUC0.00END ROE1.000000                         
MILEAGE XXX XXX27500TOTAL27500                                                 

Singapore award on LX - YQ is charged & so is the US tax.
Code: [Select]

1   TLV LX  257 I XXMON  520A OK IBP00STR                   2PC               
 2 X ZRH LX  016 I XXMON  950A OK IBP00STR                   2PC               
     JFK                                                                       
FARE  F USD       0.00                                                         
EQUIV   SGD       0.00                                                         
MILES            69000                                                         
TX001 X SGD     5.40-XA   TX002 X SGD    24.20-US   TX003 X SGD    21.80-CH     
TX004 X SGD    36.10-IL   TX005 X SGD     9.40-XY   TX006 X SGD     7.40-YC     
TX007 X SGD   264.80-YQ                                                         
TOTAL   SGD     369.10                                                         
GRAND TOTAL SGD     369.10                                                     
TLV LX X/ZRH LX NYC0.00NUC0.00END ROE1.000000                                   

Singapore award on SQ & OS - is charged & so is the US tax. - This is open for discussion as the YQ is only on the intra-Europe segment as SQ no longer charges YQ
Code: [Select]

 1   JFK SQ  025 I XXMON  855P OK IBP00STR
 2 X FRA OS  ZZZ X XXMON 1250P OK IBP00STR
     EUR                                                                       
FARE  F USD       0.00                                                         
EQUIV   SGD       0.00                                                         
MILES            72000                                                         
TX001 X SGD    61.50-YQAD TX002 X SGD    25.50-USAP TX003 X SGD     7.70-AYSE   
TX004 X SGD    14.70-DESE TX005 X SGD    33.00-RAEB                             
TOTAL   SGD     142.40    BSR 1.366245                                         
GRAND TOTAL SGD     142.40                                                     
NYC SQ X/FRA OS ZZZ0.00NUC0.00END ROE1.000000                                   
MILEAGE NYC ZZZ72000TOTAL72000                                                 

Aeroplan award on UA - no YQ & therefor no US tax
Code: [Select]
XXMONXXEWR UA TLV R0.00CAD0.00 END ROE1.00 XT7.50AY
XXMONXXTLV UA EWR R0.00CAD0.00 END ROE1.00 XT36.40IL5.40XA 7.80YC9.50XY

Aeroplan award on AC - YQ is charged & so is the US tax (and seems like XF tax as well)
Code: [Select]
XXMONXXCHI AC YMQ R0.00CAD0.00 END ROE1.00 XT 27.00YQ 7.50YR 24.20US 7.40AY XF6.00 ORD4.50


And now let’s move on to Qantas

One-way economy NYC>TLV - $5.60 AY tax & no US tax - done correctly
Code: [Select]

 1   EWR LY  026 E 16AUG 1135P OK EBP
     TLV                                                                       
FARE  F USD       0.00                                                         
TX001 X USD     5.60-AYSE TX002 X USD     4.00-APSE                             
TOTAL   USD       9.60                                                         
GRAND TOTAL USD       9.60                                                     
NYC LY TLV0.00NUC0.00END ROE1.000000                                           

But why on premium & business do they charge the US tax?
Code: [Select]
1   JFK LY  004 P 01XXX  100P OK PBP
 2 O TLV LY  011 P 20XXX  435P OK PBP
     JFK                                                                       
FARE  F USD       0.00                                                         
TX001 X USD     3.96-XACO TX002 X USD     7.00-XYCR TX003 X USD     5.77-YCAE   
TX004 X USD    18.60-USAP TX005 X USD    18.60-USAS TX006 X USD     5.60-AYSE   
TX007 X USD    26.81-ILEB TX008 X USD     8.00-APSE                             
TOTAL   USD      94.34                                                         
GRAND TOTAL USD      94.34                                                     
NYC LY TLV0.00LY NYC0.00NUC0.00END ROE1.000000                                 

Code: [Select]

1   JFK LY  008 X 01XXX 1145P OK XBP
     TLV                                                                       
FARE  F USD       0.00                                                         
TX001 X USD    18.60-USAP TX002 X USD     5.60-AYSE TX003 X USD     4.00-APSE   
TOTAL   USD      28.20                                                         
GRAND TOTAL USD      28.20                                                     
NYC LY TLV0.00NUC0.00END ROE1.000000                                           

ETA > A DDF member just shared with me his booking confirming this discrepancy. He was booked round trip in economy & then changed to premium, and was then charged the $18.60 US tax

Old Ticket
Code: [Select]
1   EWR LY  026 E 01MON  950P OK EBP
 2 O TLV LY  025 E 10MON 1205A OK EBP
     EWR                                                                       
FARE  F USD       0.00                                                         
TX001 X USD     3.96-XACO TX002 X USD     7.00-XYCR TX003 X USD     5.77-YCAE   
TX004 X USD     5.60-AYSE TX005 X USD    26.81-ILEB TX006 X USD     8.00-APSE
TOTAL   USD      57.14                                                         
GRAND TOTAL USD      57.14                                                     

New ticket - the taxes that have an "X" before are the new ones paid at ticket exchange
Code: [Select]

 1   EWR LY  026 P 01MON  950P OK PBP
 2 O TLV LY  025 E 10MON 1205A OK EBP
     EWR                                                                       
FARE  R USD       0.00                                                         
TX001 X USD    18.60-US   TX002 O USD     3.96-XA   TX003 O USD     7.00-XY     
TX004 O USD     5.77-YC   TX005 O USD     5.60-AY   TX006 O USD    26.81-IL     
TX007 O USD     8.00-AP                                                         
TOTAL   USD      18.60                                                         
GRAND TOTAL USD      18.60                                                     

And Elal does awards the most backwards way
Code: [Select]

FXP/RFFY,U*BONUS/A-PBPB1100                                                     
   1.LAST/FIRST                                                         
 1   EWR LY  028 P 01XXX  115P OK PBPB1100
 2 O TLV LY  007 P 01XXX  930A OK PBPB1100
     JFK                                                                       
FARE  F USD     250.00                                                         
TX001 X USD     5.65-YCAE TX002 X USD    18.30-USAP TX003 X USD    18.30-USAS   
TX004 X USD     3.96-XACO TX005 X USD     7.00-XYCR TX006 X USD     5.60-AYSE   
TX007 X USD    26.81-ILEB TX008 X USD     8.00-APSE TX009 X USD     4.50-XF     
TOTAL   USD     348.12                                                         
GRAND TOTAL USD     348.12                                                     
NYC LY TLV Q125.00 0.00LY NYC Q125.00 0.00NUC250.00END ROE1.000000 XF EWR4.5   

So instead of doing a “Surcharge” as a fee, Elal does it as the base fare, so simply put this is a regular paid ticket at a discount and pays for every single tax & fee. Yes I know it’s only $4.50 that they are definitely overpaying, but still… and plus it’s so not a “Yiddish Kup” to do that.


June 16, 2019, 03:17:25 PM
1
Re: Family trip to Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong ( with a stop in Detroit) Koh Samui

We booked 6 tickets in economy with Bangkok Airways from BKK to USM (Koh Samui). Bangkok Airways is the local airline that I believe dominates the local flights in Thailand. They have flights almost every hour to different parts of the county from BKK. Although you can use miles (JAL, Flying Blue etc.)  to book these flights I wasn’t finding availability for 6 at the times we wanted to fly. I ended up booking direct on Bangkok Airways website for approximate cost of $100 per ticket. I paid for it with my Barclay Arrival card which ended up being free with redemption of my Arrival points.
Check in was really easy and quick. One important thing to note is that every person has a 20 kg allowance for baggage, which is approximately 44 pounds. The amazing thing with Bangkok airways is that they add up the weight allowance for all passengers on the same itinerary and will allow that total weight for all bags combined. In our case all our bags could have a total weight of 120 kg. Each bag is weighed and then added to make a total weight. (For example, one bag can be 30 kg and one can be 10 kg, all that matters are the total combined weight for all passengers.) This is really nice and alleviated a lot of stress.
We visited the Blue-Ribbon Club Lounge which is the only domestic lounge with Priority Pass. The lounge was relaxing and had these very expensive high-quality massage chairs which we all took turns using throughout the 1 hour we spent there. They do have showers in that lounge too, but we didn’t end up using them. They had lots of fruit that was cut up and we asked for whole fruit and they brought us a bunch. We ate breakfast in the lounge too.
Flight on Bangkok Airways was pretty cool. Reminds me of the interisland flights in Hawaii. Although the flight is scheduled on paper for 1.5 hours, the actual flying time is less than 1 hour. We had seats in the front of the plane. They served a snack and a sandwich to all the passengers, we obviously declined because we keep Kosher and then was notified by the flight attendants that you can order kosher food online when making a reservation. Since I never expected more than a drink on these short flights, I never bothered to enter our special diet when booking the flight. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t get a meal on flights from the east coast to the west coast… you don’t even think about being offered any food on a 1-hour flight. (The same thing happened on our next flight from USM - CNX, we declined the food and the flight attendants said the same thing). I have no idea where the kosher food would be from, would love to hear from other people if they have ever gotten kosher food on these flights. We had window seats in the front of the plane and since there were plenty of empty seats, we kept on switching seats between the right and left side of the plane to be able to take in the most gorgeous view that we experienced the entire flight especially towards the end. We weren’t sure which side would have the best view, it turned out the left side of the plane had a better view. As you are nearing Koh Samui there are tons of islands of all different sizes surrounded by blue/ green turquoise water, it’s just gorgeous!
Arrival in USM airport is similar to many small islands around the world. Open airport type. You walk down the steps of the plane and are taken by tram to the airport. Luggage arrived quickly. I had made arrangements with Mr. Samui (mrsamui.com) through WhatsApp (+66 89 0606440) for transportation from the airport to our hotel. He charged us 2200 Baht to the Conrad for 6 people and 9 pieces of luggage (we had 4 carry-on luggage plus 5 suitcases). Communication was easy and he sent us map of airport and where he will wait for us, picture of his large air-conditioned van etc. He had our flight times and it all worked out smoothly. He does many island trips as well, but I didn’t schedule anything in advance since I knew I can do it at the travel agency near Chabad. I wasn’t sure what to compare his prices to so I figured I would wait and can book at a later time if he would be cheaper. Since we were staying from a Thursday morning to Tuesday, I figured we would schedule it when we went to Chabad for dinner. I am usually the type to schedule things in advance but I knew we wouldn’t be taking so many day trips since we were staying at a nice resort, plus we were here for 5 nights so we can schedule things ourselves once we got there and explore the options in length. It turns out it worked out great for our situation and there are so many trip options all over, so you won’t miss out.

Some pictures from the plane as we are flying into Koh Samui

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Bangkok Airways Plane in Koh Samui Airport

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Samui Airport


Conrad Koh Samui

The biggest draw for me coming to this island was for this luxury all villa hotel with private pools. Most of the hotel is made up of 1-bedroom villas with only a handful of 2-bedroom villas and maybe like one 3-bedroom villa. (We had spoken to one of the managers during our stay and apparently there are plenty more 2- and 3-bedroom villas that have yet to be completed, something about the Chinese investor/owner not being able to import the necessary materials to finish those villas ??) Anyways, since we are a family of 6, we needed more than 1 bedroom. I had 2 options here, I can reserve 2 separate one bedroom villas with points or reserve a 2 bedroom villa with points or cash (Cash rate for a 2 bedroom villa was astronomical and the points rate was very high too and not worthwhile). Thankfully I read the trip report written by Denverite about her trip to Koh Samui and that she upgraded with cash a one-bedroom villa reserved for with points to a 2-bedroom villa. We messaged back and forth and she was very helpful with this and other things- Thank you Denverite. I decided to book the 1-bedroom villa with points and wait for an email from the manager to upgrade. I used 95K HH points x 4= 380K points for 5 nights (5th night was free). Sure enough I was asked if I wanted to upgrade to a 2 bedroom villa at a cost of 10,000 baht per night (approximately $330 per night) which I did. By the way we are Hilton Diamond members. I upgraded my regular Amex Hilton to the Aspire card a few months earlier. The reason I upgraded it was with this particular trip/hotel in mind. I charged the upgrade to me aspire card earning 14x points per dollar charged on that card. I also got a $250 credit back from the card which is one of its perks. I got the credit for the upgrade I paid when I arrived at the hotel. Upgrading to the 2 bedrooms was the smartest thing I did for my family. First of all, since each room is its own villa, having 2 one bedroom would be needing us to walk 50 ft to the next-door villa since they are spaced out. That would really hamper the family relaxation time we hoped to spend at this resort. The size of a 1-bedroom villa is 130 meters and the size of a 2 bedroom is 297 meters. The 2-bedroom pool villa is not just an extra room but literally an entire 2 story house. By the way all villas come with a private infinity pool in this resort. When you enter the villa, you walk into a private garden area with 2 chairs overlooking the private pool downstairs and views of the ocean and 5 islands, which we can see from all over the villa. Since all villas are built on different levels on a mountain, all villas have ocean view, however some will have views of the 5 small islands in the nearby distance which is absolutely stunning especially during sunset. From the garden area you have a door to the villa. Villa is 2 stories. The first floor that you walk into has large living room with sectional sofa, apple tv, glass doors that open to the grassed in patio I described earlier, and glass doors that give you direct view of ocean at all times.  Dining room table is large can easily fit 8 people (comes with 4 chairs but we used desk chairs for additional seating), Full size kitchen with full size fridge/ freezer, stovetop, sink, microwave, Nespresso, pots pans, small appliances etc. There is also a half bath on main floor. There are stairs to walk down to the bedrooms and pool level. Lower level has Master Suite with King size round shaped bed, office area in master bedroom, massive walk in closet, bathroom is huge and spa like with round soaking tub, rain showers and double sinks. Shanghai Tang amenities throughout. 2 long sofas in master bedroom as well. From the bedroom you have glass doors that open up to the pool area/ seating etc. with stunning views of the ocean. Second bedroom has large walk in closet too, 2 twin size beds, large sofa that allowed for additional kid to sleep on, big bathroom with soaking tub, shower etc. Desk area in room as well and also had glass door access to the pool area. From the hallway downstairs you have a doorway leading to the outdoors as well. Outdoor area has a 12-meter-long infinity pool with wide steps going down. Part of the pool was 3 ft and part of it was 4 ft deep. There were a couple of lounge chairs and table with couch and more chairs with umbrella. You can hang out there for hours. Pool was completely private and no one can see us and we didn’t hear anyone else throughout our stay. By the way the resort was pretty empty when we were there. Villa is stocked with glass water bottles in every possible place that are replenished daily and at turn down service. Since the resort is on a mountain and goes around part of the mountain, they take you around in golf carts. You will need to reserve pickup about 5 10 minutes before you need to go somewhere. Since we are more people, we needed 2 golf carts to get around. Also, the 2 bedroom and 3-bedroom villas are located on a higher part of the mountain, which obviously has better views. The resort has many amenities which we tried to take advantage of, large pools, canoeing, snorkel equipment, beach chairs, spa, exercise, activity room for younger children, many yoga, boxing, Pilates type classes throughout the day, restaurants, bars etc. This resort is literally amazing, check it out online. My kids don’t stop talking about it and was the best part of the vacation. This is luxury at its best for families and a phenomenal cost compared to US hotels. When we arrived, we were treated with welcome drinks and cool washcloths until our villa was ready. My kids really enjoyed what luxury had to offer. The Conrad offers free transportation to the Chabad area of town which is like a 30 min ride twice a day. 10 and 5 I believe. You need to make reservations in advance. They also have transportation back at 12 and 6 I believe.

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Being driven around in golf carts all around the resort

Living & Dining areas in our 2 bedroom villa

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View from living room sliding doors

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Private terrace once you walk through the outer door entrance to the villa

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The inside of the second door leading to our villa ( from the terrace)

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This is the inside of the outermost door leading into the villa- private terrace area with views of our pool down below and the ocean

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Full size kitchen ( not seen a small full size refrigerator)

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Stairs from the main living areas to the bedrooms and pool level

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View when you get down the stairs- exit to the pool area is straight (Master bedroom is to the left and 2nd bedroom is to the right)

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Master Bedroom

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View from master bed towards the pool/ocean

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Another view from master bedroom ( notice 2 small sofas we moved together to make an additional bed)

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Office/ Workspace area in master bedroom (behind the bed area)

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Master Bathroom

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Shanghai Tang amenities

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2nd bedroom

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Another view from second bedroom towards the pool area

Private endless Pool
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View of pool from top floor

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View from pool area towards the upper level

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Views from the villa

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Being a Diamond member in this hotel gets you free kosher breakfast for your entire family. I communicated with the manager by email regarding our need for kosher food and also reminded them not to open the food packages (Another piece of advice from Denverite) which worked out perfectly thank god. Breakfast comes from Chabad fresh daily each morning, you can tell them what time you want the food to be delivered and they take care of it. (Friday afternoon you get another breakfast delivery in lieu of a Shabbos morning delivery). We didn’t deal with Chabad at all regarding the breakfast. Apparently one of the mangers orders it daily from Chabad. Food was generous, fresh & warm. Look at picture below. This is what we got from Chabad daily: 6 baguettes/rolls, 3 containers of scrambled eggs and 3 containers of Shakshuka, 6 small containers Israeli salad, 6 containers Techina, 3 containers Matbucha and 3 containers Tuna salad and soda cans, plus all the necessary paper goods. Food can easily last for lunch as well if you can get more rolls/ baguettes or pitas from Chabad, which one can do when eating out dinner at Chabad. Now back to this absolutely insane hotel which blew us away when we arrived. 

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A few weeks before we arrived the hotel had us complete a pre arrival checklist with names and ages of our family members. It also gave us pillow choices etc. and some other things. When we arrived and were given a tour of our villa at check in, we were blown away at all the amenities. I would say mostly the kids were blown away at the luxury, beauty and comfort of the villa. They have stayed at countless hotels in the past but such luxury was not the norm for them. One thing we never anticipated was the bathrobes they had for all us embroidered with our initials and hung up in bathroom near we were sleeping. They also had slippers embroidered with our first names (which we were able to keep) and they were nicely placed in each of our walk-in closets. The pillowcases also had the initial of the person sleeping in that bed! All I can say was wow! They really made us feel right at home.

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Lobby area where we were checked in

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View from the lobby of some of the villas

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View of main pool

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View of beach area from above

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Embroidered slippers with our names!

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Bathrobes and pillows had our initials embroidered on it as well

Here is an overview of what we did in Koh Samui:

Thursday:

Arrival in late morning hours. Checked into Conrad at about 1 PM. Made ourselves lunch, taking advantage of our full-size kitchen. We had plenty of cheese which I used to make grilled cheese for all of us. We spent the afternoon in our villa enjoying the private pool while taking in the most beautiful scenery of the blue ocean and 5 islands. At around 5 we took the Conrad shuttle (large 12-15 passenger van) to the town area near Chabad. It is a 10 min walk to Chabad from where you get dropped off. Our initial impression of Koh Samui during the drive was that people here pretty much do whatever they want in many aspects. The island has one-way roads in each direction. Many of the road signs are not marked. Many of the roads are dirt roads and many of them are one-way roads which the driver moves to the side to let the other driver pass. Drivers drive pretty fast here and will pass as many as 4 cars at a time on the opposite side of the ride. Our drivers have done that many times and I am literally breathless until he gets back to his lane. To complicate driving on this island, there are more scooters/ tuk tuks, motorcycles, dirt bikes etc. than cars! They weave in and out the road in between cars and pass on shoulder and even on the line that divides both directions of traffic. Of course, they speed while doing this. Most drivers are not wearing helmets and are definitely not wearing any other gear. Apparently, fatalities on scooters/motorcycles is very high on this island. I also am aware that many tourists want to get this experience and try it out, and they are at a greater risk since they are not used to living the motorcycle life here versus these people who spend their entire life here have lots more experience with these roads. We have passed numerous accidents throughout our stay, and it didn’t look good. Some interesting things we saw was a father riding with child behind him and the mom behind the child. We have seen moms riding while holding their baby in the other arm / dads do this too with their kids. I have seen a man riding and since the woman behind him was wearing a skirt she would sit sideways with both of her feet on one side of the motorcycle! People on this island are pretty poor too and many have homemade stands selling one or two items. Many people even have portable stove stops and have pots and cook up some local food and people literally sit down near the stand to have a home cooked meal. Pretty much anything you can imagine goes on here. When we walked to Chabad we passed many types of people and let’s put it this way I wouldn’t walk there on my own at any time of the day. We were constantly holding on to our younger children throughout the walk since we read to many stories about child kidnappings in these 3rd world countries. Just pointing out that we felt 100% safe and secure at the 5-star Conrad (and all the other high-end hotels we stayed in and with the tour companies we used for trips). They by the way have armed security booth at the bottom of the mountain before the drive up to the Conrad and then one needs to drive up and around the mountain for another 5-7 minutes to get to the main lobby. From there you can get a golf cart ride to your villa. Chabad in Thailand has a very warm inviting feeling to all guests. At every Chabad house we went to we weren’t just restaurant customers. The Rabbi and his helpers (many volunteers over the summer months) would come over to us and introduce themselves and want to find out about us. We were able to get mincha/maariv prayers in during our dinner at Chabad restaurant. We ate at the meat restaurant and they have a dairy one next door as well by the way. Lots of Israeli tourists, families, singles, backpackers and other people from around the world visiting. When we finished dinner, we ordered Shabbos food for our entire family since we were staying too far away from Chabad to be able to join them for Shabbos meals. They have lots of choices and all kind of Shabbos food options. The manager at the restaurant told us they will be delivering our Shabbos breakfast Friday afternoon and since the Conrad is paying the delivery fee, we can add our Shabbos order to be delivered at the same time and won’t have to pay another delivery fee. I was able to be in touch with the manager by WhatsApp and we coordinated all this without a hitch. We also stocked up on pasties, pitas and baguettes so we can have for our Sunday trip. By the way delivery to the Conrad cost about $25 generally. After dinner we went next door to the Israeli storefront travel agency to talk about trip options for Koh Samui. They were very helpful and showed us videos on big screens of the popular tours so we can all choose as a family what interested us. I did not book any elephant/ atv /ziplining tours for Koh Samui since they are suited better for Chiang Mai. I guess the people only coming to one destination in Thailand will take advantage of them here. But I wanted to visit elephant jungles and see them in their environment. We booked a full day tour for Sunday to Ang Thong National Park also known as 42 islands, which includes boating around many of the 42 islands, swimming in beach, canoeing, snorkeling, optional hikes and more. We took a taxi home but not before bargaining with a couple of them first. No meters used here it’s all one set rate. But boy were the prices different when we started asking around.
 
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The streets near Chabad

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Dinner at Chabad Koh Samui

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Dinner at Chabad Koh Samui

Friday:

 One of the things we discuss as a family prior to our trips is what everyone would like to do and what is important for them. We try very hard to satisfy them all throughout the trip as much as possible. Just a reminder we have children in various ages and they all have their goals and ideas of what this vacation is about. We obviously compromise a lot but it’s really important for us on these longer trips to accommodate everyone so they have a good time and come back with memories of their special times. Many of my kids just want relaxation times at pools/beaches etc. So we dedicated a full day of staying at the resort and taking advantage of many of its amenities. I started each morning drinking my Nespresso coffee with my kids on the lounge chairs in front of the pool while watching a late sunrise. After we ate and got dressed, we went down to the main pool area which has a large infinity pool as well with lounge chairs in the water. We pretty much had the pool to ourselves most of the time. We then headed to the beach area which has hammocks over the water, lounge chairs on a floating dock and beach cabanas (no extra fee). The full-time beach attendant brought us all lots of cold-water bottles, fresh fruit and snacks which was so helpful on this hot sunny day. My kids loved playing in the white sand and played in the shade for a while. My husband and 2 older boys went canoeing (complimentary) in the water in front of us and we were able to see them the whole time. The took beautiful pictures of the resort while being in the canoe looking up at the resort. The beach has a very large shallow area that kids can explore and there are minimal waves if any. My husband found crabs, octopus, snails and other sea urchins with the kids in the shallow water. After lunch we checked out the gym, children’s playroom and swam some more in our private pool. We were able to watch a beautiful sunset after candle lighting (we missed it the previous day because we went to Chabad for dinner). See some of the pictures we took on the other nights.

Main pool at the resort
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Beach Area
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Lounge areas around the resort

View of the Resort from the ocean while kayaking
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Some of the most stunning sunsets we have have seen!
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Saturday/ Shabbos:

We spend the day relaxing, eating, reading, sleeping, we took turns walking down to the ocean and relaxing. It took about 10 minutes to walk down and double that to walk uphill. Luckily most of the area was shady. After Shabbos we had some night family swim and went to bed early so we can be up on time for the big day trip the next morning.

Sunday:
 
We booked a trip to the 42 islands/ Ang Thong National Park through Mercaz Hametayel the Israeli travel agency near Chabad. All trips include pick up and drop transportation from your hotel. We had a 45-minute drive to the boat area. Where they offered breakfast (not kosher of course) and divided us with color coded bands according to the boat we were taking. There were about 30 people on boat and it was a smaller boat not a catamaran which we have done before. The company was pretty good and I have no complaints. We got adequate snorkel training on board and the had decent snorkel gear. We all had to use lifejackets when we snorkeled. We stopped for 45 min to 1 hour at a beautiful area to snorkel, near large rocks in the water. We then continued on the boat seeing many of the 42 islands of various different shapes and sizes. It is absolutely beautiful to see it in real life. We then continued on the boat for another ½ hour and stopped at another location surrounded by many of the 42 islands, they had canoes waiting for us on one of those islands and we divided up in the canoes and started canoeing and were following the guide in his canoe. The view of the islands from the water is even nicer. We canoed in and around smaller islands where our boat could not have traveled, our guide even brought us close to one of the small uninhabited islands to see wild wolves and other ones had wild monkeys in the trees. He also took us through some natural caves that were made out of rock. We canoed for about 45 min and we then reached the beach area of Ang Thong National Park which is the “main island” in the 42 islands. They have beach facilities with lifeguards, food stands, park benches, bathroom facilities and most of all a hike up steps to get to see the most beautiful view ever from on top of the island. The tour included lunch and we were able to get whole fruit and cold water, besides for that we brought our own lunch. The tour then had 2 options, one to hike up over 1000 uneven steps of various heights (with your flip flops, of course?) or hang out and swim at the beach area which has an enclosed safe area for swimming. My husband ventured on the hike up the steps and I stayed back with my children because they were so tired. We swam in the very warm beach and had a great time, we even spotted monkeys in the trees near the beach and were able to photograph them. My husband on the other hand climbed a very tiring hike up a never-ending number of uneven/ unpaved steps that you literally must hold on to the rail at all times. And it took him a good 45 minutes to climb up. However, the views were unreal (see pics) and thank god he was able to take pictures for us to enjoy even though we weren’t able to go up. After we left this island, we made a quick stop at another small island for an unparalleled view as well. We climbed up some steps (very easy for the kids to do) and saw this lagoon surrounded by other islands. The lagoon is turquoise in color and absolutely stunning. We were told the lagoon has lots of sting trays and swimming is forbidden there. The view of the lagoon from above and many of the smaller islands in the background is also a sight to admire its beauty. Overall great trip I would highly recommend. It is the main attraction here in Koh Samui. We were very happy with the company we used although I have not tried any other ones so I can’t really compare. Sunday Dinner was much of our leftovers from Shabbos and some supplemental food we had brought, like fresh pasta etc.

Some pictures of the 42 islands national park
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The island we docked to have lunch and do the scenic climb for views

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View from above on the main island:

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Monday:

This was our last full day in Koh Samui, an island we enjoyed so much. We spent the day in complete relaxation which included spa time for me. We received a bonus Hilton points offer from the hotel if we spend a certain amount of money at the spa. So, I took advantage of that and enjoyed one of the local massage treatments at the Conrad. The kids spent much of their time relaxing and swimming in pool and beach. We ordered dinner from Chabad; menu is online by the way for all of the Chabad restaurants in Thailand. Since I already had the WhatsApp contact of the manager on my phone, I ordered the food that way. They have a $25 delivery charge to the Conrad.

Tuesday:

We made arrangements with the hotel to have the kosher breakfast from Chabad delivered earlier on Tuesday morning because we had a scheduled departure from our hotel at 7:30 AM. We ended up waiting a bit for the food but we had extra time allotted for these kinds of things so it wasn’t a big deal. We had prearranged transportation to the airport with Mr. Samui (The guy that brought us from the airport to the Conrad.) His service was on time, comfortable air-conditioned vans and best of all we can communicate by WhatsApp so that is convenient in a foreign country.  Airport check-in was pretty smooth. We flew Bangkok Air from USM- CNX. Booked flights online on Bangkok air website for the same reason I did in the previous flight to USM. Paid with my Barclay Arrival card and was credited the full amount based on redemption of my points/miles. As I mentioned earlier their luggage weight policy is same for all their flights, they add up all allowed weight for all passengers in same group and add up all baggage and as long as it’s less in total weight allowed, we are good. Flight was around 1 to 1 ½ hours in length. Pretty scenic most of the time as we saw lots of islands first and later on the mountainous region as we neared Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai

Arrival in Chiang Mai was pretty smooth. At the airport you are bombarded with taxi services, tour companies etc. We ended up finding a sales lady with one of the tour companies and offered us a free ride to the Le Meridian hotel where we were staying. She said we can sit in the lobby and talk about all the trips they offer and she gave me some general pricing prior and it seemed like it would be a good deal so we went with her. The airport is less than a 15-minute ride to the Le Meridian. She works with a local driver and is part of a larger company so we felt comfortable with her. I checked into the hotel and since our room wasn’t quite ready yet we hung out in the lobby a bit. At that time, she showed me albums and pamphlets of various tours we can take. I ended up booking a full day tour to see the Monkey show, Tigers, Elephants etc. She had good prices when I converted things to the USD but since I didn’t know Chabad’s prices, I wanted to see what they would charge for the other activities. I figured I can always contact her for more activities as the days go on, she gave me her what’s app number and that made things easy. The Le Meridian is a Marriot hotel that can be booked with points and I would have gotten the 5th night free with points however booking 2 rooms with that amount of points wasn’t worth it in this case since the cost per room per night is really low, just over $100 for the dates I booked. We paid with our Marriott card of course earning the extra points per dollar of course. The paid rate for both rooms also came with free breakfast. We were able to get 2 rooms next to each other, one had 2 twin beds and other had a queen bed. Both rooms have sofas as well which they converted at our request to beds, see pictures of before and after. At check-in my husband mentioned we keep kosher and they immediately offered to call the chef; they apparently have dealt with kosher before. We didn’t know what they could do for us, but it didn’t hurt to try. We sat down with the chef who knew a lot about kosher by the way (however he was talking of different levels of kosher some of which we weren’t comfortable with like making us fresh salmon in foil etc.) However, he said he would send up to our room all kinds of whole fresh fruit and vegies for our family. He also sent up 6 raw eggs daily and we used our frying pan and our portable burner to make fresh omelets daily. Of course, we would still go down to the buffet but there wasn’t much we could have there. Being able to have a fresh supply of eggs and produce delivered daily for free really made things convenient to supplement the breakfasts we had already brought from home. (cereal with non-refrigerated soy and almond milk and hot cereals.) We were able to get 2 rooms next door to each other but not adjoining. We walked over to Chabad for a late lunch and had some Shawarma and Falafel for lunch. Chabad restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a meat restaurant. The also carry fresh baked goods like the restaurant in other cities (baked fresh daily pita, baguettes, rolls and pastries.) We stocked up on lots of those for tomorrows lunch since we had a full day trip planned. Chabad is a 10 minute straight walk from the hotel. Lots of religious Jews have stayed there in the past and they are familiar with many of the laws regarding Shabbos and kosher. The rest of the late afternoon we spent the day getting inexpensive massages at one of the parlors we passed (literally every 3rd or 4th store is a massage parlor). The kids got small back and foot massages and really enjoyed. Later we went swimming on the rooftop hotel at the Le Meridian. Hotel pool is beautiful, however coming from the Conrad it didn’t seem that special and was a bit packed. We did hang out there for a little while. Most of my kids had a light dinner since lunch was so late and went to bed early. Earlier during our walk back from Chabad to our hotel I spotted a laundromat (part of the sign was in Hebrew as well) near the hotel (on the left side street when facing the hotel) and I brought many bags of laundry to them to wash. I sorted the bags according to color. They wash and fold the clothes and charge by the weight. Laundry takes 24 hours however can be done express for additional cost. I don’t remember the price but it was really cheap and such a great service to have as it didn’t waste any time from our days to do laundry.  Later that night my husband and I went out with my older son to explore the night market and grab a bite at Chabad. The Chiang Mai night market is literally on the side of the hotel and goes on for a couple of blocks to the right and some to the left. They sell all kinds of things, souvenirs and unique local stuff. We strolled down and checked out all the fake high-end clothing and watches which they claimed were authentic btw. Many of the Thai vendors speak Hebrew due to the influx of Israeli tourists that come to Thailand. They would see us and start talking Hebrew. We also heard lots of Hebrew as we walked through the market every day which was nice and made us feel at home in the midst of Asia. We bought a door sign that had our family name in Hebrew. The guy made it on the spot, he had all the letters and had it ready for us in no time. Later we went back to Chabad around 10 pm for a quick dinner and boy was the restaurant hopping. Seems like much of the crowd comes in later after they come back from their day trips. Chabad has security outside all their restaurants by the way and they have a secure gate as well. No need to bring passports however I did bring them in case, they just ask you questions and let you in. Many minyanim were going on for maariv at that time which was nice. We met many people from around the world and I always loved coming back to all the Chabad restaurants throughout Thailand. The restaurant is not a typical restaurant you would expect in other cities, it has an area of couches for people to relax, shul /prayer area. Many times, you will meet the Rabbi and his assistants and they are helping people out with anything they need. The food is at cost price so donations are very important at all the Chabad centers. On the way back from Chabad we stopped at the large open market which is in the center of the night market. We had outdoor back and foot massages and my son was brave a got a fish spa pedicure (see pictures).

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Lobby at Le Meridian Chiang Mai

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Room in Le Meridian

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Another picture of room/ bathroom and view

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View from our room

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Night market In Chiang Mai

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More massage parlors in Thailand!

Chabad Chiang Mai
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February 10, 2020, 11:46:03 PM
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