Benitakaren Goes to Asia

Old Jan 12th, 2020, 06:17 AM
  #41  
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Got my beloved oatmeal this rnorninng for breakfast. I just had to ask for western porridge. Who knew it goes by porridge.

Then to food market for chili salt. Hope I got what my son has asked for. Picked up my laundry. Number 1 clothes cleaner wanted to know when we were going for massage. Did not have time today. Walked around market. Lots of leather bags but some of it is very stiff and not pliable. Stopped in shop close to hotel and we are all having shoes made. Pick up tomorrow. Intersperced between the junk shops are some very nice stores with lovely items. But you have to hunt for them.

Then back to hotel for lunch. They have a restaurant that serves wood-fired pizza. Had salmon with capers and onions and of course, the obligatory sorbet. Mango for me. They did not have mango on this mornings buffet but they brought me a plate of it for my oatmeal.

Took a cab out of town to find an ATM with a cheap fee. Tried several- no luck- Maybe out of money since it is Sunday. Stopped to get first fitting for clothes. Clothes were too tight in my shoulders. Hopefully they can fix the problem. Then back to hotel for hour rest.

Off again-took bicycle cab around the town. Hundreds of people-lanterns lit across the street, on every building, on balconies, in store, on boat you can rent on the river-very lovely and magical. Dropped off at a very long narrow walkway. Houses were people lived. Passed a house set up with sewing machines. At the very end, was a restaurant called The Secret Garden. Part of restaurant was inside and outside. Charming with little ponds, plants and stone walkways. Food was very good.

Short walk to find a cab back to hotel.

Tomorrow a cooking class, more laundry, pick up shoes, second clothes fitting and hopefully a massage, Days are just speeding by.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 11:49 AM
  #42  
 
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Enjoying your report and taking notes as I will be in Hoi An in early April. What is the name of the store where you are having shoes made?
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 11:54 PM
  #43  
 
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Laurie, try the Anantara hotel— lovely, located at one end of town.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 05:55 AM
  #44  
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Laurie, I will get a card of the leather shop we used. It is very near hotel.

Took more washing for Number 1 and another lady came up and said she was number 1 - then the real number 1 came running across the street saying number 1, number 1. We went back to her shop to count my items and gave me a price. Will pick them up tomorrow am. She still wanted to know when we will come for a massage, We told her later after we checked with everyone else.

Breakfast with those wonderful sweet Mangos. So very delicious. Then I walked back to the market to find peppercorns for my friend Paulette. Very crowded, motor scooters, bikes everywhere. Back to hotel for cooking class: Spring rolls; chicken curry soup with onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots; and a wonderful vietnamese pancake that was amazing.

Then back to store to pick up shoes we had made, they were not ready. Was told to come back at 5 p.m. Next to Yaly for second fitting. My items were fixed - fit much better. Then back to Number 1 for full body massage for Karen and I-Bob and Pat had foot and leg massage.

Back to shoe store - my shoes needed to be fixed - probably they redid the whole shoe - Pat ordered three more pairs. We will pick up tomorrow noon. Yaly will deliver our clothes to the hotel at 10 a.m.

We are planning on checking out at 2 p.m. and going back to DaNang - staying on China Beach for a few down days - then on to Bangkok.

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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 04:48 PM
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by rhkkmk View Post
Laurie, try the Anantara hotel— lovely, located at one end of town.
We've actually booked the Royal Hoi An, booked a Grand Deluxe room with balcony and river view

https://all.accor.com/hotel/9574/index.en.shtml

We wanted to be closer to town since we have limited time there. The Anatara does look lovely though.

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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 02:22 AM
  #46  
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Another lovely breakfast, then off to see Number 1 to pick up laundry. Karen is an excellent packer and repacked my clothes. She should give classes.

Picked up shoes-had lovely lunch out by the river and the Anantara van brought us to The Sheraton in DaNang. Lovely hotel. Since Bob and Karen are Platium members, the hotel rolled out the red cabinet and the manager came over to welcome. We were all upgraded (Bob got a suite) but we have a lovely room with a view of the ocean and mountains. We were upgraded for snacks from 10 am to 10 pm with drinks. We have no idea what food will be offered but we will soon find out. They have a very long pool - 240 meters 3 feet 9 inches deep with lots of lounge chairs and even lounge chairs in the water. Karen and I have already been in the pool and walked the length.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 04:40 PM
  #47  
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Club very disappointing. Drinks and wine were good. Served a little cheese, few small plates of noodles, small bowl (four tablespoons) of chicken soup that they put in microwave to heat up for us. We were so spoiled by the Marriott in Hanoi. Dinners are a little expensive but I had salmon last might that was very good. The hotel is almost empty. Only 13 people in very large restaurant last night including us. Planning a walk on beach and relaxing by pool today.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 08:00 PM
  #48  
 
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I am largely disappOinted with the Sheraton Grand, Danang. I have been royally treated but hotel seems a bit cold and generic, not warm—- little or no Asian decor.

our suite is large and comfortable but could be in Pittsburgh...

Pool and beach are fab, lots of surf.

hang out day for me, girls swimming.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 02:37 AM
  #49  
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Relaxing in comfortable lounge chairs in and out of water. Sun was hot but nice breeze. Going for drinks and dinner soon. Temp. today low 80's.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 04:42 PM
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 09:32 PM
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You cannot beat the views from our suite.... beach from two angles, huge pool, fab shrubs and flowering plants.

Rooms are comfortable but a bit sterile... 2 50” TVs. Balcony on two sides..

Food is good.

on to Bangkok tomorrow.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 06:21 AM
  #52  
 
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Job posting:

Energenic man required immediately to supervise, control, support elderly woman in SEA. Previous person in severe mental decline after only 2+ weeks on job.
Must be available tomorrow afternoon in Bangkok. Must have own health insurance. Must like shopping, especially for suitcases.

NO INTERVIEW NECESSARY.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 06:41 AM
  #53  
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Dinner at hotel. Breakfast as usual. Then out to beach from 10:30 am to 3 pm. I walked on beach picking up shells. Watched young guy putting out fishing net then gets back on motorcycle and puts out another net. He leaves them there for a couple of hours hoping for fish. Never did see if he caught anything. Was interesting to see him whizzing back and forth on the shoreline checking his nets.

Walked a couple of times length of pool. On second trip back I decided to jog. Was just trying to get a little different kind of exercise. I guess I have not jogged in a pool for many years because my ass was shaking up and down and it felt like a had a big load in my pants. I actually turned around to check to make sure that I had not started a tsunami towards the other end of the pool. Thankfully just a few small waves. Then reached around to my behind and just held my ass while jogging. Rather than think my rear is too big I would rather say it jiggled because the entire pool was only 3 feet 9 inches deep. I feel justified now.

Club for drinks then dinner out by beach. Lovely setting outside -swaying lit palm trees, water waves coming on shore-enjoyed the evening.
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Old Jan 18th, 2020, 07:19 AM
  #54  
 
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Dinner was a wonderful experience next to the beach.

Stand by for a reply of our 10 hours today with Dr Nut, our fab driver.

Don’t forget to ask BK if she had “Asian toilet” experiences.
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Old Jan 18th, 2020, 07:54 AM
  #55  
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Nice breakfast-We were the only Americans in the restaurant except when we were leaving an English couple we had spoken to the day before sat down. Paid bill (they charged us for four breakfasts instead of three-got that straightened out). Two cabs to airport (less expensive than a van). Checked in- Bob had already paid for overweight luggage- AirAsia very picky and weighs everything. We were within two pounds of anticipated weight. Karen had scales to use.

Plane was delayed and gate changed. Uneventful flight, about one and a half hour flight to Bangkok. Picked up by Dr. Nut (our name for him). We were dropped off at Anantara Riverside Hotel. Both Pat and I have stayed here before. Went to room and we looked out on front of building. I did not fly half way around the world to look at another hotel. Went to Bob and Karen's room to discuss our situation and they had a problem with their room. We were both up-graded to better rooms. It pays to travel with them. As soon as we got to our rooms, dropped luggage and had t wait for half hour for a cab to take us to Penny's new dressmaking shop at Shangri-la Hotel. Two years ago I bought some Jim Thompson material and brought it back with me. Penny is making me several items.

Went to Harmonique for dinner. Fun evening. Back to hotel to flop.

Breakfast this morning at hotel. We could have eaten on the river but was very hot and muggy at 8 am, We sat inside. Buffet is part inside and hot food, eggs, etc, outside.

Dr. Nut picked us up at 9:30 and first stop was Jim Thompson outlet. Four floors of lovely material and silk and cotton items.

Then absolutely delicious lunch. I had Pomelo salad with chicken and shrimp.

Jewelry shop at Nana Hotel, then Silver shop, silver bowl shop, looked for silk shop, and then eye glass store.

I will report on an interesting situation that happened to me in the bathroom at the eye glass shop tomorrow.

Finally done, and back to hotel. Had dinner at hotel in their Italian Restaurant. I had pasta with truffles. They bring out a huge round of cheese, light it on fire, reheat pasta in pan over fire, put pasta in center of cheese and mix while still hot and cheese melts into pasta. Quite an interesting presentation
and, of course, wonderful.

Finally to bed. People were in pool at 9 pm.
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Old Jan 18th, 2020, 09:48 PM
  #56  
 
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That was 10+ hours with Dr Nut. He is funny and fantastic, maybe 32 y.o.? Comfortable Toyota mis size van... $10/hour.

Dinner was outrageously good—- so cheesy and rich tasting.

Girls at weekend market this AM.... Wait for this report—- B on a binge....
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Old Jan 18th, 2020, 10:55 PM
  #57  
 
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I am loving this report. Thank you! Can't wait for the next installment...
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Old Jan 19th, 2020, 08:09 AM
  #58  
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Great breakfast as usual. Picked up by Dr. Nut's mother, Ratt. She is almost 70, stands probably 4'10" in heels, can barely see over the steering wheel and is a real spitfire. She took us to Chatachuk Weekend market. Hotter than hell, low's 90's and muggy. We told her what we wanted and she was moving at a fast pace - back and forth between the isles. We were there four hours and never any down time.

Unbelievable shopping 10,000 stalls. Tons of people passing each other in narrow walkways. Back to hotel at 3 p.m. Had lunch. Cooled off and went across parking lot to small mall, just to check it out.

Tonight we went to the new mall here. Very, very high end stores, Tiffany, LV, Stella McCartney, etc. Huge, six floors. Dinner was on river at mall. Same restaurant we had lunch at yesterday. River prawns in green curry sauce. Delish.

Karen said we walked over 4 miles today and my feet feel it.

Pick-up by Ratt at 9:30 am tomorrow.

Note: I love to read the sayings on t-shirts that are not American. Saw a guy at the airport the other day in an orange shirt that said "Carrot Fields" in black letters.

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Old Jan 19th, 2020, 08:14 AM
  #59  
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Just checked and there are over 15,000 vendor stalls at Chatachuk. Obviously, we just saw a small portion.
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Old Jan 19th, 2020, 04:40 PM
  #60  
 
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The new mall is Iconsiam. It is very glitzy ,high end, and entertainment, dinning center. You can buy any thing from a tooth pick to a car. Ground floor has a floating market/ street food area. Very well done. Taxi line is the most organized one I have seen....even has chairs to wait in.
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