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-   -   RHK's & GPANDA'S in Thailand (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/rhks-and-gpandas-in-thailand-814431/)

rhkkmk Nov 15th, 2009 06:26 AM

RHK's & GPANDA'S in Thailand
 
Friday Nov 13, 2009


Picked up the hertz rental van about 9AM…..Loaded our cases and drove to Boston to pick up Maureen (M) before heading to the sainted Cambridge for Andy (A) & Beth (B)… We left their house about 10:45, after andy forgot several things… Off to NYC.
Little or no traffic the whole way and we were in Queens in 3 hrs and 25 min. Lunch was set for the fabled SRI in Queens…. Fantastic as usual and A&B were blown away with it…Thai food…

An easy drive to JFK from there and we were at the Singapore air counter a couple of hours before it opened. We hung out.. Easy checkin after they opened.. We were almost at the front of the line…

While waiting in the lounger I was paged. Seems my seat is broken… Great… full flt, etc… they said the csabin staff will figure it out. We boarded early and cabin staff knew nothing about it…. This is the beginning of a few problems with Singapore…. Poor communications is lacking!!! What finally happened is that I took K’s seat and she moved to the middle when a couple left for two empty seats on the other side of the plane, which we should have been given…. Fine in the end as this segment to Frankfurt was only 7 hrs, 10 min. I had two seats to myself and K had an aisle in the middle… A, B, & M were further up in that pod but on the other side of the plane…. Bumpy ride until we cleared nova scotia… The plane was 1.5 hrs. late leaving JFK because of huge winds…. We were 25th in line to take off… On the ground the plane shook---747… We had row 64, the last in the window section… Good seats normally…

We arrived in Frankfurt about ½ hour late. Enough time to walk a bit and use the bathrooms. As we left the plane we were told the staff had been notified earlier about my seat and arrangements were to be made…..We were to use the same plane on to Singapore… Long and short nothing was done… I made a fuss and finally we were assigned new seats in the first coach pod….3 seats with a guaranteed empty between us… PERFECT… I will not go into the plane itself, but surfice to say it will be out of service by February..

So we reboarded in a very unorderly fashion and we were off. We liked our seats and took some sleeping pills so were able to sleep a significant time… The flt was just under 11 hours…

Singapore Air---- we were really looking forward to this, especially because the tickets jfk-bkk only cost $677, and because we had never flown the fabled airline before… At first we were unimpressed and I made it known… After that I was called Mr K….but they knew I was right..
The cabin staffs could not have been more attentive, polite and service orientated. They work as a superb team and with great speed and efficiency… We were impressed… We were feed a huge number of times as we had 3 flt segments. The food was good to excellent. There were lots of extras, like a sdilky bag containing a tooth brush, paste and a comfy pair of socks….menus….when do you get those in coach anymore?? Coats taken away and hung up in coach… I fault them on their communication---one work group to another and for the terrible facilities in Frankfurt…but other than these small things, there are still one of the top airlines..

Our flt to bkk from Singapore on a 777 was efficient and lasted just short of two hours, including yet another full meal--- I passed…

We arrived in bkk about 20 min early and were 2nd in line at immigration… Bags took 15+ minutes to show up and our driver’s rep was waiting just outside customs…. Tong had arranged a driver for us. A nice van and we were at the marriott resort and spa in 35 or so minutes---lite traffic on a Sunday at noon…

We had a discounted agency room for the hotel---About $145 net, not including breakfasts. I wrote them and asked that we all be upgraded to river view rooms…. They upgraded K & I, long term customers to a club room with all the club privileges, including breakfasts, but the others were only upgraded to river view rooms… I was amazed as I have never received more than a river view room in the past….. It is a bit awkward with the others, but we will work that out.


We are on the 3rd floor close to each other…

We hit the pool quickly and spent almost all afternoon there relaxing…. We had some lunch by the pool which was tasty, but expensive---pepsi for A, satay combos for K & B, Indonesian rice for me and later M had a salad plate… Boy, did that pool water feel nice after a 36 hour trip…

K & I had cocktails in the club and now we are going to Tongue Thai for dinner… Marriott boat then the Oriental boat…

A, btw, has or is getting over the flu, so lucky for us is quiet….in a day or so he will be his old self…

Dinner at Tongue Thai, in back of the Maderine Oriental hotel was excellent… we had two orders of cashew nut and chicken, a noodle/pork dish, papaya salad, rice and one or two other dishes… about 1100 B for 4.5 of us…

All enjoyed it and are tired so off to bed... It's sunday nite here

Hanuman Nov 15th, 2009 06:35 AM

Welcome back Bob!

tengohambre Nov 15th, 2009 07:02 AM

Bob was upgraded to the Club floor. Andy was not? Hmmm. . .
Anyone else think we may hear about this in a bit more detail pretty soon? I can hear Andy screaming from here.

Have a great time. Send the cashew chicken my way please.

PS
One year ago we had those same seats on SIA. Our seat too was broken. Talk about a bit of a delay in working a repair.

DonTopaz Nov 15th, 2009 07:03 AM

Nothing but admiration for your energy.

Craig Nov 15th, 2009 07:17 AM

Congratulations on your Marriott upgrade. A & B will survive - the Marriott staff must be aware of their loyalty to the ROS...

marya_ Nov 15th, 2009 08:43 AM

Great to see that you have arrived and are "home" at the Marriott. Are you in the north or south building? Look forward to hearing how Bricco (if I remember the name of the new Italian restaurant) is doing and if there are any other changes at the hotel. Does club privileges mean that you get internet at the club lounge now and don't have to cadge it somewhere around the pool or pay the high in-room rate?

Looking forward to more.

Mango7 Nov 15th, 2009 08:50 AM

CHicken and Cashew nut for first meal in Bkk? Lmao, are you nuts, Bob?? Sheesh. What's the plan for tomorrow- Pizza
Hut, spaghetti and meatballs? Please be more cuisinally responsible, will ya? lol

bookchick Nov 15th, 2009 11:27 AM

Good to hear from you and know the Panda is uncharacteristically subdued. Who knows, perhaps he'll lose his voice and the entire trip will remain a relaxing oasis of peaceful bliss? BTW, I spent last weekend in Montreal visiting family and have posted my trip report on the Canada Forum if you've any interest. Enjoy the remainder of your time in BKK and let us know if the Panda remains subdued or manages to infect the rest of your travel party....

BC

DonTopaz Nov 15th, 2009 01:40 PM

There's a Canada forum? Who knew?

bookchick Nov 15th, 2009 02:06 PM

Canadians, Rizzuto, Canadians knew. Also dual nationals like myself.


#-O


BC

lcuy Nov 15th, 2009 02:12 PM

After all of Andy's work getting the flights worked out, he didn't get upgrades too? I'll bet he was more sulky than sick.

Glad you are in asia though. Let the adventures begin!

rhkkmk Nov 16th, 2009 08:07 AM

the club rooms are regular rooms with club lounge add ons, plus lasundry, phone, internet, breakfast ...

not too many changes except 200 employees have moved on recently---some of our favorites too...

new rest. is brio... looks lovely but pricey... not sure we will visit... it is an improvement over former rests...

rhkkmk Nov 16th, 2009 08:11 AM

tonight we hired a van to take us out to pook's house for a visit and dinner....

we had such fun... i'm way too tired to report tonight but will soon... Leave it simply, there should be only one more coveted invite in thailand other than dinner with the king....

haroth Nov 16th, 2009 07:02 PM

i can tell you they were thinking other names for you in the galley."$$#@&^%!!!" "Mr. K" for Mr. Kronic Komplainer.

its a good thing panda was sitting away from you or the stain would blot him also!

bookchick Nov 16th, 2009 08:34 PM

Are you kidding? Based on his appearance at the Boston GTG, I'd rather have dinner with Hanuman any time, forget the king! The dude knows how to dance and how to party!

A stain blotting the Panda? Pandas have spots already, so no stain could be detected. Sounds like he himself may be going under the alias Walter Whiner, though, with his cold/flu thing going on.

BC

simpsonc510 Nov 17th, 2009 07:02 AM

Hey guys, sounds like your BKK adventure is off to a good start. I hope you find the time to stop by the Pickled Liver on soi 11. Maeng would love to meet you. I know NYwoman plans to return there at some point. You should join her!

Have a great time!

Carol

rhkkmk Nov 17th, 2009 07:05 AM

hoping to post tomorrow... K going to dentist tomorrow, so i should have plenty of time to write...

zoo has refused gpanda entrance based on his H1N1 status...

busy shopping day today..

dinner at brio, the new marriott italian rest... food excellent, service poor---general manager made a mistake and came to our table to introduce himself... he got an ear full from rhk... more later...

Hanuman Nov 17th, 2009 07:45 AM

The hospital call today to confirm the appointment and I forgot to give them your number here.

Best Italian at the moment is Fuzio!

Bookchick,

I heard they dressed me in some weird s&m outfit for the GTG. Gpanda gave me a pink Speedo to wear for him but I said no.

DonTopaz Nov 17th, 2009 08:44 AM

<i>zoo has refused gpanda entrance based on his H1N1 status</i>

Was he trying to get in as a visitor or as a permanent resident?

robmac Nov 17th, 2009 08:50 AM

Glad that you are all having a good time.

bookchick Nov 17th, 2009 10:53 AM

Hanuman, not at all! While the choice of clothing was a bit unusual I certainly did not get an s&m vibe off it. As to Gpanda and the speedo, he tries to get that onto each "Special Guest" of the GTG, and made Dogster wear it in '08, poor fellow!

My guess is Gpanda wanted to enter the zoo under the guise of being a visitor, but his intent may have been to get in as a permanent resident. No wonder the zoo officials refused, and it had nothing to do with H1N1. Can you just picture an entire zoo filled with animals wearing speedos? It makes my blood run cold just thinking of it.

Is K all right? Now I'm worried. Seriously.

BC

Kristina Nov 17th, 2009 11:45 AM

I can't believe I missed the start of this. Must be because I've been hanging out on the Europe board (doing my Rome trip report).

Looking forward to reading more and seeing what you end up doing while there this time. I'm always looking for new stuff to do in BKK!

DonTopaz Nov 17th, 2009 12:11 PM

BC's concern is shared (for all members of traveling party). It is decidedly no fun to be on the road, under the weather.

hawaiiantraveler Nov 17th, 2009 12:27 PM

Hanuman, Where is Fuzio?

rhkkmk, so did the Panda manage to infect everyone with the Panda flu that he's been in contact with yet? I notice he is uncharacteristically quiet on this trip. Someone buy him a mask! Hope all else is going well.

Aloha!

Gpanda Nov 17th, 2009 04:53 PM

The Panda is alive and not so well. No fever at all, but chest and stomach issues continue. Energy level is low. My only purpose on these excursuions is real time entertainemnet and I'm not holding up my end of the bargain. Trust me, when left to Bob's sense of humor, everyone's spirits are down. I'll start an accurate thread when there's a remote chance it might be amusing.

I will take this opportunity to thank Pook and Deng for a wonderful evening and stunning hospitality. They were kind enough not to quarantine the large sick one.

One real bummier isnthat I have no appetitie whatsoever. My taste buds work, but I'm never hungry. I eat with everyone else, but just a little. I've already lost ten pounds.

Hanuman Nov 17th, 2009 04:53 PM

HT,

Currently I really like the chef at Fuzio for being inventive and very generous portions of the food. The location is unique as well being situated on top of the Austin Mini showroom. The roof top dining is wonderful if the weather permit.

I cant' find it's website but here's some food site with pictures and description of the restaurant.

http://www.dininginthailand.com/fuzio.bkk.asp

Craig Nov 17th, 2009 05:29 PM

Panda, I don't think you had the flu. Jeane came down with something 2 weekends ago which sounds similar - lack of appetite, tiredness, weight loss etc after an episode of chills and vomiting (more than this forum needs to know). Her phys says it is just something else that is going around. You will recover soon...

Craig Nov 17th, 2009 05:30 PM

Pook - Fuzio looks interesting. Is there a skytrain stop nearby?

simpsonc510 Nov 17th, 2009 05:46 PM

Pook

Well, the chocolate cake dessert looked good. Me, I like pizza!!! So does DH. I think we will stick w/Via Vai for now.

What's the location of Fuzio??? Where is the Austin Mini Bldg? That's a new one for me. The photo makes the place look like a higher floor than 6th (I think that's what I read).

Carol

Hanuman Nov 17th, 2009 06:39 PM

Craig,

The nearest BTS station is Ekamai and it's quite a walk from there so perhaps a short taxi ride from the station.

Carol,

It's like a low rise mini mall, about the equivalent of a 5 or 6 floors high building half way down or up Ekamai.

OK I've found the restaurant's web site with good pictures, menu etc. - http://www.fuzio.co.th/index.php

Hanuman Nov 17th, 2009 06:46 PM

Just one last thing about Fuzio. The seven course dinner menu at 1,200 Baht net is very good. Order two and they will give you a bottle of wine as well.

marya_ Nov 17th, 2009 07:09 PM

Feel better soon, Panda, while on the way to a new Speedo-svelte shape after all that involuntary dieting.

For what it's worth, I'll add to Craig's report above. I had something similar a couple of weeks ago just after coming home from China: no fever at all but chills and other wretchedness and complete lack of energy for 5 days. It wasn't flu, but just some kind of trans-Pacific viral special, I guess. It is much worse to come down with something at the start of a trip though. Hope you are through the worst of it.

simpsonc510 Nov 17th, 2009 07:31 PM

Fuzio:
Wine list.... I recognized a few names on the Italian red list.
No caprese salad??? No bruschetta (pronounced bru-sketta)??? No pizza... Too much fish/seafood for DH... not sure we will be going there.
Thanks for that web site, hanuman.
Carol

Hanuman Nov 17th, 2009 07:57 PM

No problem Carol.

They give the bruschetta along with the breads for free so I don't think it's on the menu. Will definately try the pizza at Via Vai soon.

starrs Nov 17th, 2009 11:25 PM

waiting for more...

rhkkmk Nov 18th, 2009 02:45 AM

carol... we had lunch at via vai today... salad bar and pizza.. quite good..


Monday


We slept quite well but were up by 6… K & I went down to our included buffet… More changes in this area, but several people greeted us… Food was glorious as ever… I was pleased that they have reintroduced some dim sum…

Afterwards, I asked for a big taxi and luck would have it there is a mini suv available… The driver speaks great English (Lek 084-133-4639). He drove us to thai stone jewelry in the nana hotel, soi 4, sukhumvit… K worked out a few projects, B developed a project and M bought some ear pieces…

We then took a taxi to coconut palm restaurant near wat po----5 of us in a toyota corolla---andy says the 4 of them were breathing in tandem in the back seat……

Fantastic lunch for 5 for under $20… “real thai food”…. English menu…

The girls went to the flower market for flowers to take to Dang (Mrs Hanuman) that evening… We had been invited for dinner at Hanuman’s. A & I took a taxi back to the hotel….we visited jack the tailor briefly … The time for our driver was changed to 3:30, so we had to move quickly… It seems tong or someone felt we needed to avoid traffic… As it turned out there was no traffic and we arrived an hour early… Very embarrassing…

We received a very warm greeting from Pook’s niece…. Pook flew down the stairs just fresh from the shower. We sat for a while on a veranda overlooking the river, Dang joined us and she served some delicious warm hors’ along with bubbly. The conversations were fun and interesting…. They are fantastic hosts…. We toured Dang’s wonderful gardens and settled into the living room afterwards in the a/c comfort…
Later we moved to the dining room for a very relaxed and delicious thai meal. Dang really outdid herself and spoiled us --- the food was memorable…. Perhaps the two most memorable items were the grilled eggplant salad (simply the best) and an hors d’oeuvre of lettuce wrap with a tempura fried shrimp, peanuts, brown sugar and coconut filling….One of the main dishes was a sumptuous crab, cracked nicely for easy access.

The evening ended , sadly, and we returned to bkk. All were tired.. We all agreed that we had not had such a nice evening in a long time…


Tuesday


Up a bit later….breakfast in the market restaurant for K & me….. a wonderful swim…off for some shopping….taxi to Platinum Fashion Mall for some shopping, followed by lunch at the loft at central chitlom (pizza for me and Indian tandori chicken for K….We thought the loft has shrunk in size and offerings, but food continues to be good….After lunch we took a taxi to sukhumvit, soi 93 for some Jim Thompson outlet shopping… The oulet facility has been updated, but also has raised its prices we felt… still a good deal can be had…

We returned to the hotel, visited jack at monet il sarto, in the Marriott mini mall for some clothing measurements---shirts for me and slacks and shirts for K…

Dinner followed at the new Italian rest. at Marriott---Brio….

Service was stiff and weird---I later complained to the GM… Food was delicious and moderately priced…. We all had pasta… Mine was angel hair with a rich ragu type sauce and very special small beef meatballs… very rich and delicious… The GM sent us a huge tray of various desserts as a peace offering… Tummy..

Internet and bed…




Wednesday


Up a bit early for breakfast…. K has a dental appt. at bumbargard hospital as a tooth deteriorated the day before we left home… our dentist stabilized it and we decided to check out the thai service… the American estimate is $1400., so we will see what B wants to charge… she has her xray with her.. I also registered for some potential future treatment…

From here we plan to visit kinaree to check out the venue for our GTG on nov 25…. Then its off to visit chang (mr tong) for some glasses… then fittings with jack, and hopefully some pool time. The day will end with dinner at harmonique I hope…

Tomorrow we fly to krabi for 6 nites…. M will go to SR for those same 6 days, staying with ponheary and lori….

Smeagol Nov 18th, 2009 03:07 AM

Bob
Loving the updates, sounds like you are all having a great time. Muffin and I leave tomorrow for Vietnam, last minute rush as usual. (you will be pleased to know the paint shade has at last been chosen!!!)
Anyway remind me, where abouts is coconut Palm? we may try and make it for lunch there.
N

Hanuman Nov 18th, 2009 04:10 AM

Bob, Karen, Andy and Beth were lovely guests and we had a great time with them. Andy did perform one his macho muscle dance and I have it on video but I think it will be too embarrassing for him if I were to put it on youtube.

Smeagol Nov 18th, 2009 04:45 AM

Hanuman... YOU HAVE TO, he has taken soooo much pleasure from taking the mickey out of others, that it's only fair we get to enjoy that video!!!!

bookchick Nov 18th, 2009 04:53 AM

Hunuman, "too embarrassing" and "Andy" should never, ever be in the same sentence. The man has no understanding of the word, really. I was worried about his health, but if he's well enough to do what you described, he surely isn't as bad off as I'd thought.

B, you and K sound like you may have nicked Laurieco's book on Medical Tourism!

Have fun, you nice folks!

BC


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