Michelle’s Brilliant Guide to SE Asia

December 24, 2008

Michelle handed this to me two days before my trip—as if she hadn’t helped me out enough. Since it’s too good to keep to myself, please enjoy. I tried to edit as little as possible so that her guide would maintain its authenticity and sweetness, so my apologies, to you, if this just looks like a long list of weird words. Whateva.

Some foods you should definitely try….

Som tum – papaya salad, one of my favorite dishes (its a spicy one)
Sticky rice – good with papaya salad, mango, or on its own
Tom yam koon – shrimp, sour and spicy soup
Tom Ka Kai – similar to the above but with coconut milk and chicken
Masaman curry – my favorite curry

Amazing, Michelle. I will carry this with me always.

Read the rest of this entry »


Thailand Contacts

December 24, 2008

Hi all! Here are a few emergency contacts. In case something should happen over there in Thailand, which it won’t, you can contact one of these nice people to make sure everything is OK, which it will be. Thanks, Chad, Michelle and errrrveryone else!


Florence Chinalai
Sukhimvit 68
House #44
h. 02 393 3821
The name of the area she lives in is called Bang Na.

Vichit Chinalai (Uncle Pan, pronounced with a “b”)
h. 02 718 8288
m. 081 899 5188

Tulajit Chinalai
m. 081 373 2344.
Nickname: Pi Paw
Chad says: In Thai culture there are a number of prefixes used to describe the person you’re speaking to or about, similar to Mr., Mrs. or Miss. But it’s complicated because the prefix can change based on the relationship between the person who is speaking and the person who is being spoken to or about.  Anyway, my cousin’s name is actually just “Paw,” but I would never call her that. She is not exactly my peer so I have to show her respect by saying the word “Pi” before saying her name.  Because you are my peer and my friend it would be polite for you to show her the same respect.  When you meet her or talk to her, she may very well tell you it’s not necessary to say that and to just call her Paw, but that should probably be left to her to decide. (Thanks, Chad ;-))

Jureerat Isarankura
m. 085 063 9906
Nickname: Jun
Pronounced: June the month (not exactly)
Chad says: She’s a good friend of mine, and is also best friends with my cousin Pi Paw, and knows my uncles family very well. No need to prefix her name, we’re pretty close friends.

c. 081.701.5834

His addresses are:

387/18 Thonglor 21, Sukhumvit 55
Klongton Neua, Wattana 10110
Bangkok, Thailand
T: +66.2712.6933
F: +66.2712.6934

SAITARN CONDOMINIUM (near victory monument station by skytrain)
111/37 12TH FLOOR
Tanon-phayathai, Ratchatewi, BANGKOK 10400 THAILAND
Tel: +


Samart Srisoda (he’s a tour guide and a friend of Michelle’s)
m. (66) 0861895224
Email: spicypumpkin@gmail.com
Samart says: Use plus before 66 and no (0) if calling from overseas. No 66 if you use Thai phone. You should get Thai sim card at 7/11 coz cheap for domestic and international call.

Nothing for Cambodia—but I’ll check in. Prom.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! <3, the Mannino clan

December 19, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "MERRY CHRISTMAS!", posted with vodpod


December 18, 2008

Here is an easy-to-follow outline of my traveling schedule for Thailand/Cambodia. Print by selecting “print” from the iPaper drop-down menu! (There’s also a ZOOM function in the menu bar.) Some of my whereabouts are still TBD, but I’ll try to keep everyone updated.

View this document on Scribd


December 17, 2008

A week from today, on Christmas Eve 2008, I’ll be boarding Japanese Airlines Flight 5 en route to Tokyo. From Tokyo, on Christmas Day (Tokyo time), I’ll board Flight 707 to Bangkok, Thailand!

I’m posting this video because the lyrics are sort of appropriate, because I love Jupiter One and because it’s my party and I can vlog if I want to.

Money Pouch

December 16, 2008

10000092Oh, shown money pouch—the cause and cure of all my mother’s tears and worry, and for all I know, of mine (if gone missing during my upcoming travels in SE Asia). Here’s hoping, though, that in the wreathe of 5 months of diligent, totally unanticipated, spent-energy on planning, studying, peeing my pants, etc., that that will not be the case.

For all who know Francesca, please enjoy the following behind-the-camera footage a la Mannino family dialogue:

“Sleep with it.”

“I will.”

And when you take a shower, bring it into the bathroom; it’s the first thing you put on…”

“I know.”

“I don’t think you do…”

“I don’t.”

“I know.”

“I will.”


I hear the familiar sniffle, the break in conversation which usually means the tip of her nose is on its way to a frightening, uncomfortable (for me) shade of red…

“Mom—I don’t want to lose all my money/identity just as much as you don’t want me to lose all my money/identity.”

This seems to calm her for a moment.

“I have to go,” she says…

“Everything will be fine.”

“OK. You just…can’t put it down.”

And this is how our phone conversations went—mostly—towards the end. But it seemed to have built her up considerably for the worse news to come: that Chad (the friend I planned the trip with/around) couldn’t confirm his accompaniment. Though, in the end, she seemed unable to disengage in my excitement of my solo traveling experience to come.

Pet mach ma!, I say, which according to Ian, my unofficial Basic Thai Phrases instructor slash teammate (yeah, Zog!), means “Kick it up a notch!” I can’t say for sure that it’s correct, but I like it too much to confirm its accuracy. Cheers.

Michelle Gadot

December 12, 2008


It is she, Michelle Gadot, who has been my unofficial travel consultant. In the image above, she is standing at the forefront of the Ho Chi Minh trail, Vietnam.

We are fellow Ithacans, and to my delight,  she is as much now as she was back in college among the Ithaca [is] Gorges dedicated to cultural tolerance, religious freedom and partying. Everything I have planned, researched and booked (and not, advisedly, booked!) has been inspired by Michelle and her recent year-long exploration of SE Asia.

Soon, I will flee the comfort of my hid-day-ously furbished NYC office and fly 25 hours into Thailand (with a 2-hour layover in Tokyo that makes me happier than it should)  to a city whose latitude and longitudinal reading varies from the country itself: Bangkok! During my 1st solo traveling debut, I will also visit Chiang Mai, Cambodia and Koh Samet. (A more detailed itin to come…)

This is my tiny thanks to Michelle, who I couldn’t have done it without. Word to your motha’.

Brynn \B-R-I-N\, pn

December 9, 2008


A lover of: fake mustaches, gorge jumping, airports, egg mcmuffins, rollerblading in the park, typing post-manicure, facial exfoliants, long island summers, the north shore, lake houses, food, vampy red lipstick, humor writing, running on the river, manhattan and its boroughs, the olson twins, travel, wigs, adrian grenier, culture, skinny mirrors, orchestra, new york magazine’s approval matrix, local music, kate hudson, new running sneakers, soccer, black nailpolish, vintage clothing, down comforters, cigarettes, brooklyn, suit-clad men, ridiculous shoes, anne lamott, red plaid, fingerless gloves, precocious kids, plump lips, tailored navy blue blazers, boot slippers, oversized bags, mittens, religion, the adirondacks, hoodies, jeremy piven, the violin, classical music, skinny jeans, the hamptons, asian cuisine, broadway musicals, rufus wainwright, rufus wainwright’s horn section, sunburns, bucket seats, road trips, fashion week, pashminas, enormous rings (not the engagement kind), fat diamonds (the engagement kind), almost famous (the movie, the hope), navy blue, the stationary set, oversized scarves, boho chic (the style), egg whites and turkey on wheat, boys, white teeth, new sheets, mock-necked coats and sweaters, layered necklaces, apple ciders (starbucks), nourit, the late moe (my former cat), pizza and more.

(*I’ve started this blog so that my friends and family may follow along with my Thailand/Cambodia travels this coming winter. What follows is still TBD. Your vote counts.)