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First visit to Bangkok: Finding a Pet Friendly Hotel

IN THE February 2 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andMaria Ruiz,
andPets,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Maria Ruiz

Maria often shares stories with us about Santa Barbara history, her travel all over the world, her dogs, and life.

While traveling the world for 10 years, my husband and I stayed at low-end budget hotels to keep within our budget. As travelers living on Social Security, we didn’t have money to spend on luxury places. This meant we had a lot of experiences we would have missed if we had stayed only in better hotels. It also meant we met a lot of wonderful people, took local transit, ate from street vendors, and experienced some tummy troubles while traveling. Without these experiences, our 10 years of traveling would not have been as much fun or as educational.

motorhome

Maria, Ted and their dogs on the road with their motorhome

For the first five years of our travel, we had two small Schnauzer dogs. One passed away in Costa Rica, of cancer. The next four years included Sherman, who passed away during our stay in Thailand at the old age of 17.

For our arrival in Thailand, I had explored the internet and found a pet-friendly hotel in Bangkok, the Bangkok Inn. I paid for a week and we arrived at midnight. After going through immigration, we found a taxi and headed into the city of 13 million, and a temperature of 95 degrees (35 Celsius). The heat and humidity were almost too heavy to endure, especially after 9 p.m.

The taxi dropped us off in front of the Bangkok Inn and unloaded all our bags. I walked Sherman, who was by then 15 years old, keeping an eye on our luggage while Ted went in to register. He rushed back to tell me “No Dogs Allowed.”

travel

A street in Bangkok

Outraged, I went in and informed the clerk that I had paid for a week and further told them we had a dog when I registered. He called the owner who said “No dogs allowed.” The owner said I could leave the dog outdoors on the street. I refused and the owner said we couldn’t come in and no one in Thailand would allow a dog. I was screaming by this time and the clerk found The Peacock Inn which he said would take the dog.

Ted flagged down a taxi, loaded our bags and we set off for the Peacock Inn. By now, we were both covered with sweat, tired, and angry.

We arrived at the Peacock and were refused entry. We explained that the owner of the Bangkok Inn had sent us. The clerk looked blankly at us and still refused.

As we sat on the curb in the strange city, sweating, hungry, and tired, Ted was yelling and threatening to leave the “!@%$ City!” I spotted a sign at a bar “Internet Inside.”

Entering the dark bar, I found the computer and sat down. Searching Bangkok for ‘Pet Friendly Hotels’ I found the Conrad Hotel. I dialed the number and explained our problem. The night manager finally said “We have a pet weight limit of 5 kilos (Sherman was 10 kilos) but we will let you stay for a night and we will find you a hotel in the morning that will take the dog.”

travel

Sherman and Maria riding a camel on another trip

As I was leaving the bar, one of the patrons spoke up. “I’ll take your dog. I can cook him up for you.” The bar erupted in laughter.

Another taxi ride and we arrived at the Conrad, one of those luxury hotels that we had never even considered. At $98.00 a night, it would not have been our first choice. A young man carried our luggage in, then handed us the card key and Ted tipped him.

The room was cool, almost cold and that alone was more than welcome. The bathroom was bigger than most rooms we had stayed in. There was a shower and a bath tub. We could both wash up at the same time. We gladly cleaned up and climbed into bed, under a duvet. Sleep took us almost immediately.

Early the next morning they did find us a hotel, The Seven Seasons, another luxury hotel, which charged us $198 for three nights. As we walked into the large reception area, a small lady greeted us with a basket bed for the dog, dog food, and bottles of water, all handed to us with a big smile. Every day when the maids cleaned the room, they left more food and bottled water for Sherman.

Reception arranged for a copy of a newspaper in English with ads for apartments. Ted started calling and in the first sentence “Hi, do you allow dogs?” whoever answered the phone would slam down the phone. Ted’s idea to grab the first plane out was beginning to sound good.

travel

Sherman in Chaing Mai in the yard

Finally, one man asked if the dog was house broken and we realized here was a chance to find a place. I was ready to take the apartment sight unseen, just to move before our three days were up. We set up an appointment and later that day took a taxi to a small apartment building (nine apartments) on one of the millions of small streets in Bangkok.

The apartment was on the second floor, a two-bedroom, one-bath unit with a hot plate, a small refrigerator, several pots, some flatware and a couple of dishes. We later bought a microwave and an electric coffee pot.

We lived in Bangkok for a year and I taught English at the school down the block. I found out that most Thai people don’t cook, they eat from the street vendors. Usually there is at least one person on every block fixing wonderfully-smelling food. One of my students told me that he spent about fifty cents (American money) on a day’s meals. Because there are so many English people living in Thailand, and a few Europeans with a smattering of Americans, the Thai apartment owners advertise “Western Apartment,” and that means a sink, hot plate, refrigerator and sometimes a microwave.

Our landlord lived on the third floor with his family and a new pet, a puppy. We moved in and never had a problem with our dog, landlord, or apartment. We spent a year in Bangkok before moving on to Chiang Mai. Another story for another time.

Maria Ruiz was born in Santa Barbara, California; her family had been there since the Spaniards first converted the Indians & created small towns. She graduated from the University of San Diego State in 1972 & taught for 8 years before starting her own business. After retiring she began a ten-year odyssey to visit and live in 57 countries around the world. She just recently relocated to California. Her book, I’ll be in the Fourth Grade Forever, can be ordered on Smashwords & Amazon. Her blog can be found at mariaruizauthor.com.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hannah RowanNo Gravatar February 2, 2019 at 10:21pm

Another fascinating story, Maria!

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2 Pamela S ThibodeauxNo Gravatar
Twitter: @psthib
February 3, 2019 at 7:42am

Wow what an interesting story and adventure!
Thanks for sharing
Good luck and God’s blessings
PamT

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3 VickiNo Gravatar February 5, 2019 at 11:36am

Maria, your travel stories are so much fun to read. Hugs, VB
A recent post from Vicki: Blog: Book and Bag – Holly Bargo shares her “winter purse” and her #book Bear of the Midnight Sun #readromance #MFRWauthorMy Profile

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4 Pet TransportNo Gravatar April 4, 2019 at 5:19pm

A very nice story. Having a pet as part of family is the best. A really nice story.

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