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Thailand Biennial Sep. 2012

81 posts in this topic

Liz opened up registration just a little while ago. Please check out http://www.palms.org for full details.

In order to register you need to be an IPS member.

Here are the registration fees:

Registration per person for double occupancy RECEIVED and PAID by end-of-day May 4th, 2012, is US$1,500.

Registration per person for single occupancy RECEIVED and PAID by end-of-day May 4th, 2012, is US$1,910.

Registration per person for double occupancy RECEIVED and PAID from May 5th through August 17th, 2012, is US$1,600.

Registration per person for single occupancy RECEIVED and PAID from May 5th through August 17th, 2012, is US$2,010.

We had hoped the registration fee would be considerably lower, and this assumption was based on early estimates of the cost structure. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the various costs in Thailand have gone up. We sincerely hope that everyone who was planning to attend will still be able to do so. This event is likely to be a "once in a lifetime" experience. :)

This is the itinerary:

Day I : Tuesday. September 11, 2012

- Arrive Bangkok ( Suvannaphum Airport ) - Transferred to Grand Four Wings Hotel, Bangkok

1900 (7:00 p.m.) - Welcome Dinner at the Grand Four Wings Hotel

Day 2 : Wednesday September 12, 2012

0700 (7.00 a.m.) - Breakfast at hotel/checkout

0800 (8.00 a.m.) - Leave Hotel - Bus to Khao Yai

1130 (11.30 a.m.) - Arrive Khao Yai National Park - lunch and see Pinanga sylvestris, Licuala poonsakii and other palm species near Kong Kaew waterfall.

1600 (4.00 p.m.) - Depart for Tawaravadee Hotel in Kabinburi district in Prachinburi Province (1:30 hour drive)

1900 (7:00 p.m.) - IPS-hosted dinner at the Tawaravadee Hotel

Day 3 : Thursday September 13,2012

0700 (7.00 a.m.) - Breakfast at hotel/checkout

0800 (8.00 a.m.) - Leave hotel for Tub Larn Park to see wild populations of Corypha utan

1200 (12.00 p.m.) - Lunch at Nong Nooch 2 Gardens, Prachinburi

1300 (1:00 p.m.) – Tour of Nong Nooch 2 Garden

1400 (2:00 p.m.) - Leave for Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden (NNTBG) in Pattaya (Approx three hour drive)

1700 (5:00 p.m.) - Arrive at NNTBG, Pattaya, check into hotel.

1900 (7:00 p.m.) - IPS-hosted dinner at NNTBG

Day 4 : Friday September 14,2012

0700 (7.00 a.m.) - Breakfast at NNTBG

0800 (8.00 a.m.) - Start the Nong Nooch garden tour from Orchid House, Palm Garden,French Garden, Variegated Gardens, Cactus Garden by sight-seeing buses.

1200 (12.00 p.m.) - Lunch at Nanta building, Nong Nooch Garden.

1300 (1.00 p.m.) - Continue the tour of the Nong Nooch Gardens by sight-seeing bueses nto Palms of the World Garden and the Cart Cross Arboretum

1930 (7:00 p.m.) - Dinner at the NNTBG, also featuring a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker

Day 5 : Saturday September15, 2012

Free Day on your own for all Biennial attendees other than IPS Directors and key committee members.

0800-1700 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) - IPS Board of Directors meering in the Chamchuri meeting room in the Nong Nooch Resort. Lunch provided

Dinner on your own

Day 6 : Sunday, September 16, 2012

0700 (7.00 a.m.) - Breakfast at NNTBG

0800 (8.00 a.m.) - Tour of the Nong Nooch Gardens Cycad Collection, Hortus Botanicus Plant collection by sightseeing bus

1200 (12:00 p.m.) - Lunch at Nanta building, Nong Nooch Gardens.

1300 (1:30 p.m.) - Continue tour of the Nong Nooch Gardens

1800 (6.00 p.m.) - Pre-dinner palm lecture at NNTBG

1930 (07.30 p.m.) - Dinner at NNTBG.

Day 7 : Monday, September 17, 2012

0730 (7.30a.m.) - Breakfast at NNTBG

0930 (9:30 a.m.) - Thai cultural performances and elephant show.

1200 (12:00 p.m.) - Lunch (on your own (not included in Biennial fee)

Afternoon - Free time

1830 (6.30 p.m.) - Farewell Dinner at Nanta lawn.

Day 8: Tuesday, September.18, 2012

- Breakfast at NNTBG

- Transfers to Bangkok Suwannaphum Airport for flights home or to Hanoi for Vietnam post tour.

Please note - there is also a Pretour of southern Thailand, organized through the IPS. Full information is on the website. In addition, Dr. Andrew Henderson is arranging a post-tour to Vietnam, and this is outside of IPS responsibility, but you will find a link on the IPS website.

Feel free to ask questions! :)

Bo-Göran

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Even with the higher prices that we were warned about, I'd still like to try to make it. I know I'll never get a better chance to visit this part of the world and I'll regret it if I don't go. Has anyone especially on the U.S. East Coast found any good deals on flights? Any airlines you can generally recommend or that I should avoid? I'm somewhat familiar with the major U.S. airlines, but otherwise have no idea. Any intermediate airports to avoid, especially for someone handicapped by lack of fluency in ANY language except English? Thanks for your help.

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Even with the higher prices that we were warned about, I'd still like to try to make it. I know I'll never get a better chance to visit this part of the world and I'll regret it if I don't go. Has anyone especially on the U.S. East Coast found any good deals on flights? Any airlines you can generally recommend or that I should avoid? I'm somewhat familiar with the major U.S. airlines, but otherwise have no idea. Any intermediate airports to avoid, especially for someone handicapped by lack of fluency in ANY language except English? Thanks for your help.

Flying out of Dulles the cheapest fare is on Qatar airlines at about $1400 round trip, United can get you there thru code sharing with ANA for around $1800 both with just one stop, Long flights but you are pretty far away.

Hopes this helps. You would not have any problems with the one stops or the language at either transfer point.

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Even with the higher prices that we were warned about, I'd still like to try to make it. I know I'll never get a better chance to visit this part of the world and I'll regret it if I don't go. Has anyone especially on the U.S. East Coast found any good deals on flights? Any airlines you can generally recommend or that I should avoid? I'm somewhat familiar with the major U.S. airlines, but otherwise have no idea. Any intermediate airports to avoid, especially for someone handicapped by lack of fluency in ANY language except English? Thanks for your help.

Flying out of Dulles the cheapest fare is on Qatar airlines at about $1400 round trip, United can get you there thru code sharing with ANA for around $1800 both with just one stop, Long flights but you are pretty far away.

Hopes this helps. You would not have any problems with the one stops or the language at either transfer point.

Thank you so much! Great suggestions.

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Cindy,

The price that Charlie gave you on Qatar Airways sounds like a good one. I havn't checked any prices or schedules out of your area to Bangkok but you may want to check a few others before making a decision. In some cases you may find a somewhat higher price, but maybe the connection is a better one. On a long flight like this, I don't mind a connection time of 2-2.5 hours. Gives you a bit more of a "buffer" in case the first flight is slightly delayed. You would also have many more options out of New York - either JFK or Newark, and I don't know if that's feasible for you, or worth the trouble. You may want to check the other two Gulf carriers as well; Emirates (via Dubai) and Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi). Qatar Airways is the third one (via Doha) and all three are known for their service. You could also check any one of the main European carriers; British Airways, Air France (even though Paris CDG is not the best airport to connect through), KLM, Lufthansa and SAS. The most direct route is actually Finnair via Helsinki, but depending on the connection time some of the other options may have similar total travel times. In many cases you may have to check directly on the airline's own website in order to get the best price. Checking Expedia and other similar sites will not necessarily give you the best available price. And if you happen to come across Aerosvit Airlines with a connection in Kiev and a great price, DON'T! Lots of complaints against them. And other than the three Gulf carriers that I mentioned above I would also stay away from other carriers in the Middle East as well as Air India and Pakistan International. You may want to check Singapore Airlines as well. They have a great price out of Los Angeles (via Singapore) to Bangkok, and who knows, maybe something competitive out of NY as well. Known for their outstanding service.

Bo-Göran

PS. Oh, and I guarantee - you will definitely not regret your decision to attend this event. It will be something very special in so many different ways. :) And English is the language of aviation. You won't have any problems at any of the connecting airports.

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There is a website that rates airlines plus has traveler's reviews.

http://www.airlinequality.com/

I found out the Singapore Air is a 5 star, as is Cathay Pacific ...

Delta, United & AA are only 3 star,

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Cindy,

The price that Charlie gave you on Qatar Airways sounds like a good one. I havn't checked any prices or schedules out of your area to Bangkok but you may want to check a few others before making a decision. In some cases you may find a somewhat higher price, but maybe the connection is a better one. On a long flight like this, I don't mind a connection time of 2-2.5 hours. Gives you a bit more of a "buffer" in case the first flight is slightly delayed. You would also have many more options out of New York - either JFK or Newark, and I don't know if that's feasible for you, or worth the trouble. You may want to check the other two Gulf carriers as well; Emirates (via Dubai) and Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi). Qatar Airways is the third one (via Doha) and all three are known for their service. You could also check any one of the main European carriers; British Airways, Air France (even though Paris CDG is not the best airport to connect through), KLM, Lufthansa and SAS. The most direct route is actually Finnair via Helsinki, but depending on the connection time some of the other options may have similar total travel times. In many cases you may have to check directly on the airline's own website in order to get the best price. Checking Expedia and other similar sites will not necessarily give you the best available price. And if you happen to come across Aerosvit Airlines with a connection in Kiev and a great price, DON'T! Lots of complaints against them. And other than the three Gulf carriers that I mentioned above I would also stay away from other carriers in the Middle East as well as Air India and Pakistan International. You may want to check Singapore Airlines as well. They have a great price out of Los Angeles (via Singapore) to Bangkok, and who knows, maybe something competitive out of NY as well. Known for their outstanding service.

Bo-Göran

PS. Oh, and I guarantee - you will definitely not regret your decision to attend this event. It will be something very special in so many different ways. :) And English is the language of aviation. You won't have any problems at any of the connecting airports.

Thank you so much for all the great information!!!!

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There is a website that rates airlines plus has traveler's reviews.

http://www.airlinequality.com/

I found out the Singapore Air is a 5 star, as is Cathay Pacific ...

Delta, United & AA are only 3 star,

I'm enjoying this website already. Since I'm used to the major US airlines, I look forward to enjoying the long flights with more highly rated carriers. Thanks so much!

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Just a couple more questions for now: If I arrive at 7:45 am Tues. Sept. 11 and my flight back to Virginia leaves Bangkok at 2:45 am, will transfers between the airport and hotel still be included with the registration? Or do I need to arrange transportation myself especially in the middle of the night on Sept. 17 or early Sept. 18 for the return trip? I figure I'll just stay up late at the farewell dinner... All Qatar's return flights leave at that early hour. Also, If I arrive at the hotel in the morning on the 11th, would there be a chance of early check in or at least a place to stow my bag until a room is ready after the long flight?

Great news for me is that using half the points I thought I'd need, I'll pay a total of $120 for my round trip ticket if I book this flight! I knew I was hoarding all these points for something!

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Airport transfers are included in the registration fee as long as the IPS receives flight information from the participant. See the Biennial information on the palms.org site. There is no way at this early date to give specific information exactly when the transfers may take place, except that as a general rule they will be planned with the travellers' convenience in mind.

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Singapore airlines are among the best, IMO. A bit expensive, but much better than most. Besides, going via Singapore is the best too. Sometimes they even give you a deal $1 stop over in Singapore, if you are lucky!!

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Well, I've made flight reservations and registered so I'm definitely going to my first Biennial! Hope to see many of you there in September!--Cindy

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Cindy,

That's great! I look forward to seeing you there. And this promises to be the Biennial with the most PalmTalk members ever. I started a new thread - feel free to add your name. :)

Bo-Göran

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Hi Cindy,

My wife Andrea and I attended the first ever biennial in Thailand back in 1998 and we still today talk about it quite often. This will be an exciting trip, and we also look forward to meeting you.

Jeff

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Bo,

Can you pay deposit first to secure your place? I can't take advantage of the early bird unfortunately as I am going away in June/July holiday with the kids and I need to spend money on that first.

Regards, Ari :)

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Ari,

In order to take advantage of the early bird special, the full amount needs to be paid prior to May 5th. Part of the reason for this is that the IPS has to pay a considerable deposit in mid May to Nong Nooch so the money is needed from those who register early.

Bo-Göran

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I wasn't asking for the early bird special, Bo. I don't think I will make that as I have many commitments before then. I just want to make sure I get a spot while trying to save as much as I can in the time. Is that possible?

Regards, Ari :)

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Ari,

I am sorry I misunderstood you. There is no need to be concerned about missing out. As we get closer to the event I will be making announcements here every now and then as to what the general status is. And if we are getting close to "selling out" I will most definitely make that clear. Well in time for anyone to register.

Bo-Göran

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I think the question is can you hold a spot with a deposit, and if so, when is the balance due?

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A mid April update on the Biennial:

Registrations have been coming in at a good pace ever since we opened up and we just passed the 100 mark a few days ago. 100 people registered and paid for. That's an excellent number considering that we still have four more months before registration closes in mid August, and more than two weeks before the "Early Bird Special" opportunity expires (saving $100 per person). It should be stressed that we only have a certain number of rooms available inside Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden and they are being allocated on a first come/paid-first served basis. Once filled up, alternate lodging at the nearby Botany Resort in Sattahip outside of Nong Nooch will be used."

Bo-Göran

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Mahalo Bo for the update - I'd been wondering how the registration process was going, and look forward to seeing some old friends from previous Biennials

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So... the long and short of it is I spoke to my work and what WAS to be my "25th anniversary at work" gift to Hawaii, got turned into my 2012 trip to the Biennial.. :D

I will still go to Hawaii, just on my "hope to stretch far/goodwil/mooching dollar"... :winkie:

Now to start working on the housesitter while gone..

Flying China South air.. I see 4 stars.. Ok with me. YAHOO!

Oh yeah.. be prepared for jacuzzi time! lol.. lost 10-14 pounds or more since then.. about 20 pounds less than last Florida trip.

BUT STILL PALE :P

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Bill,

Glad to see that you're going to make it to Thailand! :) It'll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and as much as I would like to see you visit Hawaii, you can do that any time. And hopefully soon! :)

Bo-Göran

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How many buses will they need and how do they arrange who goes on which bus ? Is it first in best dressed ?

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Wal,

The number of buses will depend entirely on the number of participants. We had 220 in Thailand in 1998 and if I remember correctly, we had six buses. Buses obviously vary in size, I think generally between 45 and 55 seats for the larger ones. We had four buses in both Rio and Costa Rica for about 180 people. Jim Cain and Kim are handling the bus allocations. In both CR and Rio we had a bus that was more or less a PalmTalk bus. If you promise not to bring up "dress code" again we may be able to squeeze you and Colin onto the PalmTalk bus... :mrlooney:

Bo-Göran

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Dear Bo Goran,

Perhaps this is a bit premature, but I'm leaving home (Guatemala) in a couple of weeks traveling before the biennial starts. Is there anything I need to bring besides common sense? This will be my first biennial and I wanted to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.

Thank you,

Peter

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Peter,

I can only think of one thing: make sure you have the name and address of the hotel in Bangkok (Grand Four Wings) so that you'll be able to find your way there. For those arriving Bangkok on September 9th, 10th and 11th, transportation will be provided to the hotel, but JUST in case there's a problem and that doesn't work the way it's supposed to. Other than that, nothing beyond what you would normally bring on a trip.

Looking forward to seeing you there! :)

Bo-Göran

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Thank you Bo Goran, it will be a pleasure meeting you.

Peter

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Bo,

Three of us will be arriving much earlier, and most likely staying at Four Wings. Can we still have the transfer from the airport if notified before our arrival?

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Jeff, Jim Cain and I are keeping track of arrivals and airport transfers. If you are arriving Sept. 7, 8, 9, or 10 AND staying at Grand Four Wings Hotel in Bangkok, the answer is most likely yes. If anything different, please email us directly (see the IPS Biennial page at www.palms.org) and we'll see what we can do.

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Jeff, Jim Cain and I are keeping track of arrivals and airport transfers. If you are arriving Sept. 7, 8, 9, or 10 AND staying at Grand Four Wings Hotel in Bangkok, the answer is most likely yes. If anything different, please email us directly (see the IPS Biennial page at www.palms.org) and we'll see what we can do.

Thank you Kim. I will get you some dates very soon.

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Kim, I rented an apartment for a week (six days) in the Silom district near the river, and I told Jim that I would find my own transportation to the Grand Four Wings Hotel on the 11th, but perhaps the GFW hotel can pick us up there instead? I'm sure it's closer than the airport. Peter

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Peter, I'll get back to you on that. :)

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Peter already has his answer, but in case this question comes up again, please note: IPS Biennial registration includes transfers to and from the airport and the Grand Four Wings Hotel ONLY. Any other transport you must arrange on your own.

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Kim, I got Jim's email yesterday...thank you.

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Bo, just to be sure...

The Grand Four Wings Hotel

333 Srinakarin Road

Huamark, Bangkapi

Bangkok 10240 Thailand

+66 (0) 2 378 8000

There is a Four Wings Hotel Bangkok which can lead to some confusion.

Thank you.

Peter

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Peter, yes correct. Below is the information that's on the IPS website:

The Grand Four Wings Convention Hotel

333 Srinakarin Road, Huamark, Bangkapi

Bangkok 10240, Thailand.

Tel: + 66 (0) 2 378 8000

Fax:+ 66 (0) 2 378 8080

E-mail: hotel@grandfourwings.com

Website: www.grandfourwings.com

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Just a quick reminder to those who are still thinking of signing up but have not done so yet - final day for registration is next Friday - August 17th. Less than a week to go - time for a decision! :)

Bo-Göran

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Just a quick reminder to those who are still thinking of signing up but have not done so yet - final day for registration is next Friday - August 17th. Less than a week to go - time for a decision! :)

Bo-Göran

For those of us going, when can we officially get REALLY excited about 'walking amongst the palms and our friends"?

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RIGHT NOW would be perfect timing! :):mrlooney::drool::bemused:

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