rhkkmk's to start 10th asian trip

Apr 23rd, 2008, 08:25 PM
  #1  
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rhkkmk's to start 10th asian trip

about a year ago gpanda said they were thinking about going to bali in the spring of 2008....being fresh i said, 'we'll meet you there' or 'can we come along'....his response was, fine....

so we leave boston on monday april 28 for a jfk overnite prior to our 11:35AM thai air flight directly to bangkok---17 hours 10 minutes i'm told, on april 29....economy class..i have a one way car rental..

the tickets are a united FF award...more on that in a bit....

andy and beth will be on their usual 2 week foray but we would never go all that way for just two weeks---we are retired now...they work...well if you call being lawyers work...rates about 50% on the honesty chart...

when i was all done with the trip planning i ended up with a two month trip...end of april to the end of june...

back to the tickets...i am proud to say that we "earned" enough united miles for this trip (60,000 each) having not taken one single flight...chase bank finally cut us off opening new credit cards for the bounus miles....i know its dishonest....but they offered them...

like all other airlines united allows you to secure FF tickets about 330 days prior to your flight...i was right on the phone on that day....no luck at first until about my 3rd call....then they only had the ny to bkk Thai flight, except they could offer me the united flight coming home...i did not want that 7AM flight....i wanted Thai both ways...so i took the going flight, and made up a return flight about two weeks after....the agent said they would probably allow me to change if i explained the circumstances....so then i had to wait for 60 days to make the return flight....no luck when i called back...they checked all methods and alternatives....i called the next day...same story, but i had a really nice guy who wanted to work with me....we finally settled on a singapore flight to newark for the return on the day before what i wanted....fine, but of course there was a $200 fee to make the change....i was ok with this as i wanted to experience singapore air also on a transpacific flight....i asked about a flight from bkk to singapore, but was told it was too many miles for a FF ticket and that i would have to get there on my own...OK

months went by and i seemed to be all set, i had my seat assignments, all seemed like roses....then one day, about 2 months ago, karen got a call from united saying our return flight had been changed....i knew that the newark flight was converting to all business but i did not put the two together....my friend robert in ny had had a similar call...
i did not like the new arrangements...among other things it screwed up the car i had rented, the hotel i had reserved, etc....and worst of all i discovered it was a 747 not an air bus, and thus our seat res no longer existed....so on to the telephone to united i went...

this time i had a super nice guy...he said lets see what i can do....he came back to me and said first of all that is an illegal flight they have assigned to you....it flies through frankfurt and that would make your flight an around the world flight....so i have to cancel it....plus i was also mad as it was far longer in flight times.....so now we were back to square one....we went through tens of senarios...the call lasted 1.5 hours.....finally he said how about an 8:15AM departure from bkk on ANA, connecting to united in tokyo and flying through chicago and directly back to boston on the day before i wanted to go....i hemed and hawed because this would mean i would have to cut out a few days in singapore which i was looking forward to, as we had only been there once before for 3 days, about 11 years ago...GONE...i took what he had and of course there would not be a fee, after he explained it all to his supervisor...Perfect....

what i had planned to do was to fly on air asia to singapore from bkk to take the flight home...quite cheap at $165 for two, one way tickets....now i own 2 tickets for june 24 on air asia....i will try to get a refund while in bkk...

so now our FF tickets are getting expensive....$180 each for taxes, $100 each for the first change, and finally $80 odd each for a wasted air asia ticket....oh well it will be a fun vacation trip....oh we don't have vacations anymore, we are retired...forgot...

its getting late so i will try to continue with my planning tomorrow...

bob








rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2008, 09:31 PM
  #2  
 
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Have a great flight !

Karen may want to look at this, is in today's Bangkok Post about Phetchaburi - interesting about sights to see and more on those temples etc!

http://www.bangkokpost.com/Horizons/...08_hori005.php

Looking forward to what you think of the Sheraton Cha Am

JamesA is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 02:49 AM
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This is so unfair. How do innocent Pandas get blamed for Bob careening around in asia for two months? I can only hope he did not mention my name in the endless telephone calls with the United staff.

Speaking of which, does anyone else have a hard time imagining Bob interacting with any ticket agents that really want to help? I strongly suspect that their primary motivation was to end the call as soon as possible.

Gpanda is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 03:27 AM
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Bob
I hope the trip goes off without a hitch, since securing the flights was such a nightmare. I know how much you love pre-planning. I'm sure it was a bit unsettling to find out that all your plans had to change!

Looking forward to seeing you back in Bangkok! Andy, too bad you and Beth can't make it to the GTG.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 04:59 AM
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What does your entire itinerary look like?
Is Bali ready for both the rhkmk's and the pandas on the same island at the same time?
cruisinred is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 05:06 AM
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Thanks James A....I will copy that to refer to when we are in the area. Are we going to get to meet you finally?
kmkrnn is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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so lorna, here is the trip outline...

one way car rental, home to JFK; dinner with Laurieco; overnite at fairfield inn JFK;
thai air to bkk; 4 nites at the bangkok marriott resort and spa; hyatt shuttle to Hua Hin; 2 award nites at the hyatt regency, HH; rent a car for two days; move north to the new sheraton HH for just one nite to check it out; then back to the hyatt for 2 award nites in the regency club; hyatt shuttle back to bkk (500B per person each way); one nite at the Plaza Anthenee, bangkok; air asia flight to Kuala Lumpur; 4 nites Imperial Hotel (sheraton); road transfer to Melaka; 3 nites Renaissance Hotel; road transfer to Kuantan; 3 nites Hyatt; road transfer to K/L for one nite at Imperial; OK I KNOW YOU THINK WE ARE MOVING AROUND WAY TOO MUCH; air asia flight to Bali; 2 nites at the Puri Santrian in Sanur; Merpati Air flight to Lombok; 3 nites at Qunci Villas (thanks kathie and cheryl); late afternoon flt back to bali; meet up with Pandas in Ubud; 5 nites at Alam Shanti, outdide Ubud (thanks Putu for suggesting this small group of hotels); during a day with Putu we will change hotels back to Sanur; 4 nites at Tandjung Sari, Sanur (sharring a family bungalow with 2 master suites with the Pandas); afternoon air asia flight to K/L; Imperial hotel one nite; afternoon air asia flight to bangkok; one nite bangkok marriott resort and spa (change over of left luggage); limo to Pattaya; 4 nites in a friend's villa at jontiem beach; road to airport for air asia flight to Phuket; 4 nites Le Meridien Phuket; car rental for 1/2 of this stay through to leaving phuket; transfer to Krabi Sheraton for 4 nites (meet up with fodorites while there); transfer to Le Meridien Khao Lak for 3 nites; return car at phuket airport; air asia flight to bangkok; 7 nites Bangkok Marriott Resort and Spa (meet up with fodorites one afternoon)....

so that's it, just a simple trip, with lots of moving around, but lots of down time as well....
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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Sounds like quite a trip. I cannot wait for the report.
cruisinred is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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Thanks for sharing the airline story. It gets more complicated each day to book the award flights, but perseverence does pay off. Don and I were in Singapore last month; way more interesting than I had been told to expect. (however, pricey by Asian standards.) We are very interested in hearing about your Bali trip; We went 7 years ago and loved it. Haven't been back since the political situation changed, but we'd love to return. We're looking forward to your trip report.
Speaking of that, we do want to put together one on our last trip to SW China (Lijiang). Finally, we may be able to "give back" with some suggestions about hotels and restaurants in that area. Information was kinda scarce and not always accurate. As soon as the school year is over, I'll post.
Have a wonderful time, Karen, Bob, Beth and Andy!.

Joyce and Don
p.s. Don and I are going to be up your way twice this summer....The Cape the last week in June, and Hartford the end of August. Any Get-Togethers being planned near those dates?
jodo is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 07:02 AM
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you will note that we are staying in quite a few sheraton and sheraton family hotels....their FF points plan is really a good one and we are often taking advantage of their cash and points deals...using this, we pay as little as 1600 points plus $30 for one nite's lodging....that is a steal for 4 and 5* accomdodations...

as for all the planning....it has all been done using the internet...i have spent the better part of the year tweaking and retweaking my plans....as recently as yesterday i made a change....it is my hobby, along with fodors...

we have a small Fodors GTG scheduled for may 3 in bangkok, when about a dozen will meet at the bangkok royal sports club one afternoon, thanks to hanuman....we look forward to seeing michaelbkk again at the GTG, as well as some new faces..

karen and i will have dinner with hanuman and his family the nite before, (may 2), at the JOK kitchen restaurant in china town...this looks like a very exciting evening...we will meet them at their house, for drinks, prior to the dinner...we look forward to meeting them after a correspondance of several years....we always enjoy his fodors posts....including his great pictures...

we will meet up with carol too, at the GTG, if not in some very dark market around town....

we will visit with our friends gal and cherry in pattaya again...

we will share a drink with two other fodorite families, one in krabi and one at the marriott...we look forward to these visits as well...

tong says that she will join us for dinner at harmonique on our first nite.....we will be glad to see her again...we have hired her for a full day at the end of our trip. originally we thought we would visit the tiger temple, but now we think we may just hang around bkk and visit some areas that she may be able to introduce us to that we have not visited before, like the back alleys of chinatown.....i think we will make another orphanage visit as well...we hope to meet up at the end of the day with chang, tong's husband, to enjoy a dinner at the now infamous CC restaurant...we also hope to meet pear, her small daughter, and maybe even visit her house...Tong's husband's family own eyeglass shops, so we plan on both coming away with several new pairs of glasses...

we plan on visits to the flower market...this is always one highlight of our bkk visits...

andy and i have hired putu as our driver/guide for several days in bali and we look forward to that...thanks to craig, we used him on our first visit to bali several years ago....

i should interject here that we had a lovely brunch last sunday with craig and jeane at sturbridge, MA, a place about 1/2 way between their CT house and our MA house....its always fun to get-together with them....we talked about our trip and their recent trip to sri lanka....jeane wore a beautiful new neckpiece which she had aquired at kathie's SJ jewelers in bkk....

we also look forward to lots of shopping, although we will, for the first time, be very conscious of any added weight to our suitcases...hate all these new airline rules..karen and beth have already discussed shipping things home from bali....we shall see....

so i think that is all for now...i may report our ny visit with laurie and then the next report will be from bangkok....

bob and karen
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 07:04 AM
  #11  
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already i have made my first mistake....THIS WILL BE OUR 11th ASIA VISIT...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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joyce---don't know of any, lets see if craig takes the bait???
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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It's sure to be nothing short of an adventure--you two (and the Pandas) have a blast!

Always wanted to be able to make one of the BKK GTGs but, alas, it's not in the cards again.

Can't wait to read about your trip...warm the city up for us, we'll be there in a few (long) months!
filmwill is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 07:54 AM
  #14  
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Have a great trip!

You're one of the nicest posters around and always willing to help someone out. (Is Gpanda retching?) So here's another one looking forward to your trip report!
wj1 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 08:06 AM
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Bob- we will want a critique of the cashew chicken in every venue!
BillT is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 08:09 AM
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Your trip sounds awesome, going to loads of cool places, have fun!! That is my type of trip..
TracyB is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 08:21 AM
  #17  
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K has convinced me that i need to branch out away from the cashew and chicken, so while i will often have it i will have many other things as well....as a yardstick, it has proven itself very well over all these years...

god only knows i may eat lettuce, buffets and ice in my drinks....naught....
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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Yes, Jeane and I very much enjoyed our mini-GTG with Bob and Karen where we received a preview of all the gory details of their upcoming trip...

Have a wonderful time B&K!

Joyce and Don - we will take the bait - perhaps we can do a mini-GTG in late August when you are in the Hartford area??
Craig is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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For the "drinks" at our house I will use real rocks for your whiskey on the rocks.
Hanuman is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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I know you'll have a wonderful time! I'm looking forward to all of the details!
Kathie is online now  

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