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Craig & Jeane Varanasi-Kathmandu-Phulbari (Nepal)-Bangkok Trip Itinerary

Craig & Jeane Varanasi-Kathmandu-Phulbari (Nepal)-Bangkok Trip Itinerary

Sep 12th, 2009, 11:47 AM
  #1  
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Craig & Jeane Varanasi-Kathmandu-Phulbari (Nepal)-Bangkok Trip Itinerary

The time spent in each destination is set but the details are not. Here's what we have so far:

Arrive Bangkok midnight - overnight Novotel Airport
Day 1 noon flight to Varanasi, arrive 3:30 PM
Day 2 Varanasi
Day 3 Varanasi (1/2 day trip to Sarnath)
We will have the services of a guide associated with our hotel (Rashmi/Palace on the River) to arrange things, as needed
Day 4 noon flight to Kathmandu, arrive 1:30 PM (Hyatt Regency)
Visit Boudnath at sundown (time for 1st visit to Pashupatinath after tourist buses leave?)
Day 5 Kathmandu - Patan
Day 6 Kathmandu - Changu Narayan
Add Swayamunath to Day 5 or Day 6 depending on timing
Day 7 Kathmandu - Durbar Square/Garden of Dreams, Thamel, Freak Street
Day 8 Kathmandu - Open day for revisiting shops and returning to Pashupatinath
Day 9 Kathmandu - Bhaktapur - Phulbari (Apa Villa)
Day 10 Phulbari (open - hiking, village/school visits)
Day 11 Phulbari (open - hiking, village/school visits)
Day 12 Phulbari to Kathmandu airport, fly to Bangkok, departing 2 PM, arriving 6:30 PM (Peninsula Hotel)
Day 13 Bangkok - open shopping/touring day
Day 14 Bangkok - tour with one of Tong's guides to "secret place"
depart Bangkok 6:30 AM
Craig is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Note that I am one of very few Fodorites that can spell "itinerary" correctly...

Anyway, I neglected to say that I would appreciate all comments, especially from Kathie (if you're still willing to speak with me after my responses to your Burma posts O.
Craig is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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i avoid that word...i can't spell normal words, never mind ones that are complicated...

looks like a fabulous trip....why not tong herself?? shall i intercede?
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 12:37 PM
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btw, i am now able to fill in at jeane's office while you are gone...my operation only allows for pulling teeth...so even if they look ok, i pull them...there are a few openings if anyone wants a few minutes with me, just ask...
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Sep 12th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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Is this in Feb? Looks very good to me, and I will look forward to one of you great trip reports!

And i missed the Bburma comments...was it a really nasty argument? Both Kathie and Craig are such loud, argumentative types that it must have been wild! I'm going to search for it now.

lcuy is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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lcuy - yup, February. Argument with Kathie - really nasty... I implied that she was stubborn and she took exception. We'll probably both be banned from the forum forever .
Craig is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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What?? I'm the one who said I was stubborn! Can I be banned for saying that? Even if it's true? I guess only if I complain about my own post! (Craig, I really didn't take exception to anything you said. It's taken me a while to see and respond to your post as we've been out luggage shopping.)

Your itinerary looks good. You might have time for Pashupatinath that first day, but I'd put it before Boudnath. Also, if you have time, visit Boudnath early in the morning... it has an entirely different vibe. Changu Narayan can be combined with another stop. We did it with Bhaktapur, but I see you are doing Bhaktapur with Phulbai.

This will be a fabulous trip, Craig!
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Sep 12th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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Bob, Tong is not available - I've already dropped names of prominent Foderites, but to no avail...
Craig is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 08:26 PM
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Craig, looks like an itinerary that we would enjoy. Have a fabulous time and I know you will tell us all about it when you return.

The Godfather will intercede with your BKK guide.....I foresee a change coming soon....I hope horses are not popular in Thailand....

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 02:51 AM
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I think it's all looking really good, Craig. You'll find KTM really easy to play by ear. As you remember, Boudnath is just an interesting 10 min walk away, so you can really go there on a whim.

One important thing to rfemember: when you ask the concierge at Hyatt for a taxi, he will send in the guys waiting in the line outside. These are 'tourist taxis' and their meters run up to 4X faster than normal meters. Why? Dunno. How? Dunno. But it happens every time, outside every tourist place so beware if winging it [which is perfectly simple to do].

Cabs in the rank outside Garden of Dreams can be iffy too - but that's just normal trying it on: meter, meter, meter - every time.

Good luck trying to find Freak Street. lol. You'll find the spirit of Dog lolling outside the now demolished Inn Eden Coffee House. Clue: find the Kumari House. Stand outside facing the house. Look to your left. Across the square, way on the other side - you'll see a bank where Inn Eden used to be. That's where Dog became lost and never came home.
dogster is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 02:55 AM
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BTW, while I remember. Getting OUT of Phulbari can be a very interesting adventure if you want to have some downhill walking fun from the top of the hill wa-a-a-ay down to the main road and your pre-arranged pick up. Ask and I will tell you how.

Luggage? Ptooey. Mr Tiger will put all 14 of your bags on his head and run down ahead of you.
dogster is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 02:57 AM
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Typical Yankee fan. He brags that he can correctly spell itinerary and then spells Fodorites with an "e". Maybe, we're all tennis fans and should become Federerites.

Looks like a wonderful trip. We'll pre-warn the children at the schools. I'm sure all of the little ones are Red Sox fans. After all, they are seeking enlightenment.
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 03:00 AM
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More BTW: I don't know whether you are flying Business Class - but, should you be in the mood, the KTM to BKK flight is the one to upgrade. KTM airport is one place where the Business Class Lounge is REALLY advisable. There are very good reasons for this. You'll see.

On the VNS to KTM flight, unless they've upgraded the airport, NOTHING but your own personal guide and handler, will get you through the bun-fight of the century at Varanasi Airport. It's a comedy of errors, just like Indian airports USED to be. So take the sedation. Keep smiling. Pay bribes.
dogster is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 05:26 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone...

dogster - all of our flights are in business class. I appreciate the warning about the VNS airport - hopefully whoever it is that takes us there will stick around to see that we are pointed in the right direction...
Craig is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 08:18 AM
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lol, Dogster, yup, the Biz lounge in KTM is just a teensy bit better than hanging around the "concourse."

Craig, I was able to book the Novotel at BKK on agoda for under US$100 by booking months in advance this trip. Take a look and when the price looks good, buy. At one point, a room there in Sept/Oct was $49! I think I paid $84 or $89 as opposed to the $149 I paid last year.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Kathie, I will keep checking agoda - right now they are showing no availability for February.
Craig is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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Hmmm... it may just be too early.
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Sep 2nd, 2010, 07:13 AM
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Hi Craig and Jeane, We are owners of Apa Villa Phulbari and just noticed your itinerary in Nepal which included three days stay.
Even though it is past a year now, we would appreciate a review or comments on your stay including lodging, food, staff and your activities.
We are upgrading facilities on the farm and would love to share this quiet beautiful spot outside Kathmandu valley with others.
Hope to welcome you back to our Organic Himalaya farm one day. Best regards, Cynthia and Hans Hoefer
Singsong is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 07:41 AM
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Actually Cynthia and Hans, you will be welcoming us for the first time, if and when we get to the Kathmandu Valley. We canceled the Nepal portion of our trip because of all of the strikes that were going on in the country late last year. We spent the entire time in India instead.

We do hope to get to Phulbari some day.
Craig is offline  
Oct 30th, 2010, 12:43 AM
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Hi Craig,
Bandhs or strikes have quietened down tremendously these days. And as a recent visitor and blogger wrote in fodors.com, strikes empty the streets and allow foreign visitors to walk and enjoy a less crowded place. They usually leave foreigners alone. I spent two weeks mid-September on the farm, confirmed how lovely the countryside is.
Next time then to Phulbari.
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