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Smiler last won the day on August 23 2013

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About Smiler

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    getting there .

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    Ankh Morpork

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  1. Laos riders/drivers are the worst I have ever encountered - simply beyond stupid with no respect for anybody let alone themselves.
  2. Yep agree with all the comments re Dynasty Grande, it is also my hotel of choice. That said Som Non Na also makes a good point about Agoda. Last time as a family we stayed in Bangkok, we got a great deal on a suite in a place that I can't remember the name of but it was reduced from 4.5k down to 1850 including breakfast. I think it pays to shop around a bit closer to your dates Stu however the DG is a great fall back.
  3. Always remember when the yellowshits shut down the airports leaving 1000s of travelers stranded. Pop up embassies appeared overnight at swampy from most of the european nations. No such help was offered by the great British Embassy - they didn't even answer the phone because it was the weekend.........
  4. Absolutely, can't give the soviet era any credit at all for those buildings. Well I guess you could say they didn't destroy them . Great report as usual Chris, thanks for posting.
  5. The only bad thing about Qatar Air is Doha Airport. The old dump was a hideous ordeal starting with the bus ride from plane to gate, ******* twats at security and the mind numbing boredom of the place if you were there for longer than an hour. The new airport is an improvement - certainly more comfortable but the last few times I have been through there the bus was still in operation for my flights and transit time was short so I didn't get to use the lounges etc. Years ago they used to do great deals if you bought tickets in advance, buy 2 or 3 trips at the same time and you almost got a free flight. Don't tend to see that so much these days. That said some good deals around right now, me and young smiler are going back to UK at Xmas for a total price of 950 great British pounds, I remember the exact same flights 4 years ago close to 800 quid EACH ffs.
  6. Ah the X7 - there was a fair bit of rivalry as I remember between those of us who had the RD and mates who went for the x7. I think the X7 was actually faster top end but the Yammy was quicker through the gears...................... When I go back to UK at the end of the year I will dig out some old pics. I know I have a couple of group shots with around 6 of us on RDs and X7s.
  7. First bike I ever rode was an old Greaves 249 trial bike that my old man bought for the numberplate. Used to go around the back field on it till the inevitable happened and I came off and broke my wrist, think I was 12 or 13. My mum made him get rid of it after that. I got an RD250 when I was 18. There was a special offer on because they had just brought out the alloy wheel version and were selling the spoke wheel ones cheaper. How I am still alive to tell the tales about the lucky scrapes, bumps, bounces and collisions I had on that bike god only knows. There was a powerband around 5000 revs and it was truly "lift off" time when you hit it in the right gear. Always wanted an early 80s Kwaka Z1000 but got married at 21 and the first mrs smiler hated bikes so the RD was the only one I had in UK. Got a Mio for use in the village and just bought a spanking new Koalao "Juliet" in Vientiane to beat the traffic as a run around. Yeah I would like a big bike but lots of other things on the list before that will happen. Got a mate who has a Ninja that I have been out on a few times and TBH I scared myself shitless with the sheer animal power of the thing so when the time does come it will be something a little more sedate .................. Good thread.
  8. Great report sir.
  9. Over 6000 people have died due to the troubles in the south of Thailand. I find it very difficult to believe that the horrible events of the last couple of days are not related.
  10. Good post. But if all that fails take 2 filthy bar girls and tell us about it the next day :)
  11. My experience has been with First Assist, I bought the cover through Halifax Bank, Couldn't fault them TBH. I only made the one call to them and they phoned me back a number of times to rearrange flights and an airport Hotel for a night. I think I ended up getting £70 or so back from them for other exes after they deducted the excess payment. My mate had to be rushed into hospital in Chiang Rai last year he paid for his medical care but his company sorted the flight home and taxi from Heathrow to Bournemouth. All good apart from the fact that he had to wait 3 months for the cash he laid out at the hospital to be reimbursed. His policy was bought through the Nationwaide Bank.
  12. Will the insurance pay for mrs matt's ticket as well? I know some policies will depending on your level of cover. Was there any reason why you didn't get your insurance co. involved while you were in Thailand (if you don't mind me asking??). I have had experience and I know of others as well who have had to change flights both domestic and international for one reason or other. Insurance co handled everything and no cash was required.
  13. Yep, I would go along with all of that and of course make sure you specify an outside kitchen for the foul smelling "local" stuff they cook. Good luck with it matey, be very interested to see the results.
  14. Ah the requisite Farang Escape Pod/Pad - essential for a stay of longer than 10 mins in the village