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Where 'hello' means 'have you eaten rice yet?'

John St. Godard of montreal spent a month in Bangkok, Thailand.

Where did you go? Bangkok, worth every minute of flying time.

Where did you stay? We chose the Bangkok Plaza Hotel for '70s decor and prices to match: $25 a night for enormous rooms with kitchenettes, breakfast, a swimming pool, and fantastic views of the city. Internet was available in the lobby, as well as safety deposit boxes.

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What did you do? Probed the city's ubiquitous shrines while dodging tuk-tuks (small taxis) and overloaded broom carts. Explored bohemian Kao San Road, where the party never ends. Hopped a water taxi to Banglamphu to visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace, and the Wat Pho, home of the famous Reclining Buddha. The granddaddy of all markets, the Chatuchak Weekend Market, was best to visit early. We got lost among its 15,000 stalls of handicrafts and designer knock-offs.

Where did you eat? Food is everywhere. (The original Thai "Hello" actually means "Have you eaten rice yet?") At the winding lanes of the stalls, we ate dried squid and marinated satay for a buck or two. Of the stylish eateries on Pra Athit Road, we preferred Khrua Nopparat, with its Thai soups and delicious curries. The bill for two was under $10.

Where have you been? Write us at Weekend