Wednesday, March 12, 2014


4 Mar: We left Bangkok at 23:40 (TG920) for Frankfurt.

5 Mar: After 12 hours on the plane, we arrived Frankfurt at 6:30 local time, then moved on from Terminal 1 to 2 to catch a flight AB6556 which left for Berlin at 10:55. A two-hour ticket was available at the ticket vending machine for the price of 2.66 euro. This allowed us to travel from Berlin Airport by bus # 128 to the nearest subway station, Kurt Schumacher Platz. Then we took U6 line towards Alt-Mariendorf and got off at Stadtmitte Station. This station is just 300 m. away from the cityhostel where we spent three night here in Berlin.

6 Mar: Our first mission here is a visit at Dussman bookshop which is in a walking distance from our place. The shop is the biggest film and music book shop in Germany, and probably also in Europe. From my glance, it could probably contains twice as many books as you can find in Kinokuniya Siam Paragon, but all these books and CDs concern film and music books. Unfortunately, nearly all are in German, with only relative small section for English books. In the afternoon, we headed for Charlie check-point, a historical site that marks the history of East and West Germany. This was the gate of entrance to East Germany back then when the country was divided into democratic and communist sections. All these places today are within walking distance from the place we stayed.

7 Mar: Another day went by with our walking and sightseeing the city of Berlin. The places included the House of the Paliament, Berlin Gate, Alexander Platz, Museum Island and Berlin Wall. We went around all places by subway which is a bit complicated system with S Bahn and U Bahn systems. The subway and train systems are interconnected and their stations are placed next to each other. So in the same station, you may see both the domestic train and the city metro. There just stops in different platforms of the same station.

8 Mar: We left early in the morning from Stadmitte Station to get back to Kurt Schumacher Platz and took the 128 bus back to Berlin Airport and get on board the flight back to Frankfurt and continue to Amsterdam by the KLM flight AB5667. We arrived Amsterdam around 15:40. Sorn and Franz came pick us up and drove us to Apeldoorn, a charming small town with just one hour away from Amsterdam. Sorn and Franz gave us a fantastic Suki dinner at her place, a red carpet welcome.

9 Mar: A day tour sightseeing in Amsterdam led by Sorn and Franz who took us on a boat ride in Amsterdam canals. We finished the day with shopping and a dinner at a Chinese restaurant. A pity we didn't go to Brussel or the Hague as I had wished earlier.

10 Mar: A lazy day in the town of Apeldoorn, shopping, chatting, and big dinner with everyone. We wish we could stay longer in their place to enjoy Sorn's homemade Thai dishes.

11 Mar: Franz saw us off at Apeldoorn train station. The ride took less than an hour to arrive Amsterdam Airport where we got on a flight KL1767 to Frankfurt. We arrived Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 2, at 14:00 and took a Motel One Frankfurt Hotel shuttle bus to the hotel. The shuttle was available for free at exit 8, but we just had to make free call to the hotel, available at the shuttle bus stand, to let them know of our arrival.

12 Mar: The first day of Musik Messe started and we made every minute worthwhile by visiting and learning more about our new suppliers. Some freights had to come by air, some by sea. Lots to negotiate about such as how to consolidate our freights from different suppliers and negotiated business deals, terms and conditions. On this first day of the fair, it was important to make appointments with many exhibitors for their schedules are tight. Making appointments with them also allowed us to plan our schedule as well because we had many booths we needed to go. In fact, we had earlier made appointments with some of them before we arrived and two of our current suppliers had booked to treat us dinners. Tonight one of our current suppliers took us to a Malaysian Chinese restaurant withing walking distance from the central train station.

13 Mar: We went back to Musik Messe on the second day for the appointments we had with several suppliers all day long. The day ended with a special Western dinner hosted by one of our current suppliers. A western dinner ended quite late as normal, around 10:30pm, so we got to get taxi right there to the hotel

14 Mar: This is the third day at Musik Messe. We still felt like there were so many things that need to be done, but time flew and we went on meeting and talking business with many more future suppliers. Many musical instruments were on display in most of the halls and many have already been imported and distributed by Thai dealers and agents.

15 Mar: We left early to day, so didn't enjoy the good breakfast at the hotel. The shuttle bus from the hotel to Frankfurt airport was 6 euro per person. From Frankfurt Airport, we took HG 7881 to Vienna. This is just a trip to the land of classical music, the place where Mozart and several other composers of classical music were born. From Vienna Airport, we just took a train to city center and had lunch there, did some grocery shopping and got on a taxi from there to arrive at Meininger Hotel Franz to check in.

16 Mar: We spent the day sightseeing the city of Vienna. The highlight would be Mozart House and Stephen Cathedral nearby. Thai food became something we sought after being away from home for sometime now. Recommended one is at the food court of the City Center Subway Station.

17 Mar: We finally found Doblinger Bookshop by googling and searching in the local map, so the place became our fantasy of the day. It is located next to Stephen Church and and so far from Mozart House. After that, we went to Churnboon Palace and did some shopping at ZARA at the city square around Stephen Church, then we went back to the same restaurant we went the day before and enjoyed the last dinner before we left Vienna for Frankfurt the next day.

18 Mar: We left Frankfurt early ...