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Trip Report RHK'S FALL 2012 ASIA TRIP

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It’s Fall so it must mean Asia again. We leave Needham (Boston) on Oct 16 headed to Long Island, NY in a one way Hertz rental car (~$140.). Our good friend Patricia Cote, from NH, is joining us for part of our 6 week trip. We will spend our first night at a Marriott property in Bellport, NY before heading to JFK for our 2PM Korean Air flight to Hong Kong via Seoul (Delta FF coach tickets).
We have put about a year’s worth of effort into the planning of this trip. We are unusually excited to be taking the trip largely because of some of the activities which we have lined up. Let me list a few for you.
1. We will meet lots of fodorites along the way: HawaiianTravellers, Dgunbugs, BillTs, CokeSmiths, McBeanies, Hanumans, Mrs Gpanda, Ciccerone, and Eve and J from Canada.
2. New places to visit: Vientianne, Xian, Shanghai, and Udon Thani.
3. Tons of new restaurants to try.
4. New pools to swim in.
5. Finally get to see the royal barges in a full dress rehearsal on the CP river.
6. Revisit to HK for 4 days, 16th visit to Thailand, 2nd visit to Laos, 2nd visit to mainland China, 1st visit to Issan.
7. Delivery of memorial gifts to Moo Baan Dek Orphanage in memory of Gpanda.
8. And all those surprises that await all of us as we travel.
I expect that Karen has a long list of shopping experiences for us on this trip, not the least of which will be making purchases for the Orphanage. I know she has jewelry repairs too and maybe some must have new item. Jim Thompson fabric is on the list for a few projects from JS Thai Silk in River City Shopping Center too. We have a silk shirt project for a friend as well..
We have some old favorite hotels reserved (Anantara Riverside {former Marriott}, JW Marriott Khao Lak, Sheraton Krabi, Marriott Sukhumvit Park serviced apartments), as well as some new ones (St Regis, JW Marriott HK, Sheraton North Xian, Renaissance Yu Gardens Shanghai, Renaissance Phuket, Green Gecko Villa Udon Thani, and Salana Vientiane).
We have 5 mini GTG’s planned in 3 different countries.
We think we are fully recovered from hosting our 50th high school reunion in mid-September and from last week’s Boston GTG 2012 to move forward. In fact we can’t wait to begin. Next update from Hong Kong.

Tuesday October 16, 2012
Picked up the rental car from Hertz in the next town. Next stop Long Island. Tonight we plan to have dinner at Porter’s on the Lane in Bellport, NY with a former classmate. Pat arrived this morning so we are set to go. Expect we will stop for lunch in Hartford at Rein’s Deli, our usual on the way to NY stop.

Sunday I received the usual pre-arrival confirmation from the JW Marriott in HK, so I took the liberty to ask for a harbor facing room and to confirm our upgrade to club access (the usual for platinum status guests). I received a confirmation back in the affirmative on each. BTW, this (PLATINUM) is a really great bonus as it gives you an automatic room upgrade, a decent breakfast (and in this case access to the non-club breakfast, if we want it), full lounge privileges (breakfast, tea, drinks and desserts), bonus points, a gift (wine or cheese) on arrival, plus a lovely lounge area to retreat to with a great view. In Asia Marriotts they go all out with the perks.
We will arrive in HK about 10:30PM on Thursday. Our first day we plan to take the tram along the streets of Hong Kong Island, have some dim-sum, take the peak tram if the weather is decently clear and check out central area a bit. We have visited HK several times in the past, but it is a first for Pat. We have, however, never stayed on the Island before, always in Kowloon. We are using 120,000 Marriott points for the room, which is a huge savings, given HK’s current outrageous hotel rates ($451. for this basic room).


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