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That's the best way to describe Baiyoke Sky Hotel. I'm on the 68th floor (rooms only go to floor 74; restaurants and other facilities occupy the upper floors with observation decks on the 77th and 84th floors - the latter is an outdoor revolving one). The room is extremely luxurious with a huge bathroom, a separate office area, a dining alcove, dessing area, and two windows overlooking Bangkok far below. I'm wearing a really cool Baiyoke bathrobe as I type this.

My room is so high that my cellular service is very intermittent, however (Tim and I tried to call each other several times but after the signal kept dropping, I finally called her successfully from the bathroom phone - the bedroom phone had interference). Riding in the second elevator from the 18th floor lobby, my ears pop from the change in altitude.

Upon checking in, the receptionist gave me coupons for a free welcome drink in the lobby bar and for a free buffet breakfast in the 76th floor dining room for each day I'm staying. There's a swimming pool and sauna on the 20th floor, a full business center with broadband (not sure if the Internet service is free, but I plan to check it out), a full range of shops, even an on-site hospital. In a little while, I plan to go down for my welcome drink and book a sightseeing tour for tomorrow.

Earlier today, I checked out of Ebina House (ironically, more expensive by about $15 than Baiyoke, for which I'm paying a little over $50 per night). My shuttle dropped me off at the airport around noon and I went up to the 4th floor of the international terminal for lunch at Burger King; I'd been craving a cheeseburger all night). I then walked over to the domestic terminal where I found my driver waiting for me. The drive to Baiyoke took less time than expected because of relatively light traffic for once so my room wasn't ready when I checked in. Once I found out how to get to the room, I set out in search of a pharmacy.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel is located in the heart of the Pratunam garment district and the streets and sois are filled with clothes wholesalers and boy much else. I finally located a pharmacy where I purchased some cough medicine (a result of too-cold air conditioning at night and sweating under the sun during the days) and then stopped in a shop where I purchased four really nice tropical shirts (with pockets - important to me) for 480 baht (a little less than $12). I also stumbled across a 7-Eleven where I purchased several bottles of soft drinks, two packages of Mentos, some rice crackers, a glossy travel magazine, and a DVD all for the sum of 606 baht (less than $15). One of the things I love about Thailand are the cheap prices.

When I finally got a good call through to Tim, she was hanging out with Juum who helped out with a bit of translation on both ends. Once again, it was wonderful hearing her voice, particularly her infectious laugh. The way she says "Mark" in that sing-song speech rhythm the Thai people use isn't bad either...

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