RHK's annual Asia trip

Nov 5th, 2018, 12:12 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Let me try again... No surprise but we layer low again today.

In the last 24 hours we had two interesting chats with a young couple from K/L who have lived in many places, and a young guy from Singapore. The chats covered a load of topics and we came away thinking how lucky we old folks are to be exposed to such dynamic young folks.

For dinner we took a cab to Gem Indian Restaurant on Bishop St (12R). We had eaten there 10 years ago and loved it. It is not fancy, even a bit worn, but the food is delicious: Kingfisher beers, papadons, chicken tikka, pulao rice, plain naan, aloo gobi, bhengan bartha, Dahl palak, dragon prawns (sizzle platter), Murphy badami kebab (chicken), and kulfi. All was delicious, and we came away stuffed. $42.

Taxi back to hotel-- 10R. Taxis were flat fees.

Finished packing for an early departure.

Monday, up at 6:15. Last breakfast in the lounge. Our driver was therefor us before 8.

Reflection: Overall a bit disappointed with Georgetown, even though we rarely left the hotel: huge overcrowding, lacks the colonial feel of years past except for some English built buildings. People are parked everywhere.
On the other hand you can feel the prosperity of Malaysia. People seem very free and happy.
Building, did I mention building: huge restoration projects, hundreds of hi-rises, overcrowding.

The E+O is 4* at best. The older (heritage) wing has low occupancy, but the newish Victory Annexe is usually quite full. The perk of the lounge (for Annexe guests only) is rare and welcome.
I would rate the hotel food as a 6-7 only. Hygiene is high... The pools are lovely and the art work is enjoyable. The staff are wonderful, across the board.

1/2 drive to Penang airport. Long line at Scoot Air, but it moved quickly. Again we scored 3 seats, and although overweight we were not charged for excess baggage. Flight ended up at 60 minutes.

Taxi from T2 to the Newish Courtyard Novena. $32 S dollars. Hotel starts on floor 22. Sweaty clean. Small compact rooms but well designed. We are on floor 33 with a great view. Lunch at their restaurant: chicken Caesar salad and real turkey club sandwich-- good-- $36. They offer a set lunch as well which most people were eating--reasonable.

Comment: good for an overnight but would not want to stay longer... $145. pre-pay.

K scouted the attached mall and restaurants-- Novena mall. Zero.

So tonight it is back to the hotel restaurant. Maybe we will try the fixed meal. There is a 2 hour lounge happening for Platinum guests from 5-7 so we will visit there.

Our Singapore Air flt to Bangkok tomorrow is at 1:10, so we do not need to rush in the AM.

We will be at our Bkk. fav hotel for the next 7 nights-- the Anantara Riverside where we have stayed for over 20 years. We have been upgraded to a river view Jr. suite from the regular Jr. suite I reserved. Also we have been given Kansara lounge privledges there: breakfast, snacks all day, and evening drinks and really good, high quality hors and desserts.

P+L arrive on the 15th.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 5th, 2018, 12:30 AM
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Famous door knobs



We didnít like it......
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 6th, 2018, 06:00 AM
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Leisurely trip to airport, after a nice, included, breakfast at the Courtyard. BTW, the courtyard location is a zero except that there is rapid transit right there.

Quick checkin at Singapore Air. 2 seater in forward Econ compartment... decent lunch.
taxi to airport was 21 S $$.

QUICK CLEARANCE at Thai immigration. Taxi to Anantara Riverside 700B--SUV taxi.

K unpacked and sorted out laundry to be done.

About 6:30 we went down stairs to Brio, their Italian restaurant. K had a boar pasta dish and I had delicious veggie soup and a small eggplant parm, which K shared a bit. My bottle of water was over $10, pissing me off.

Had cake in the bakery which we could not finish-- bottle of water there was $1.

For some reason we are tired tonight, K in bed already at 8. I' m not far behind.

Two more Bobisms: a/c in our courtyard room did not work correctly, especially after I tried to deal with thermostat. #2, I got stuck in the bathroom before we left today...had to have fix-it man come to free me... Door is triple fold on a track and part of it jumped the track--- I could only open it 12" or so.

We may venture into town tomorrow. For sure we will swim.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 6th, 2018, 10:31 AM
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$10 bottle of water would have pissed me off too...should have had that beer.
I've never seen a cake you could not finish btw.
Stuck in the shower?? Trying to flash the hotel employees?
See you soon!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 7th, 2018, 01:32 AM
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He did not explain the visual of him trying to squeeze thru that 12” doorway. Most of us would climb over the sink, but even that was not an option.
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 7th, 2018, 05:20 AM
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By the time we got to the Anantara Riverside it was 4ish. We were warmly greeted and after some confusion about our room-- we declined the upgrade--long story, we arrived at our 4th floor Jr. Suite.
I actually have my own office here with a private bath.
More sliding doors to the bathroom, but not the off track kind.

We had a dinner at Brio, the Italian restaurant in our building... Minnestrone soup and eggplant palm for me and boar ragout for K.

Watched some tv and drifted off.


Up at a decent hour, down to Uno, the bakery restaurant for an American breakfast-- very good--real
Bacon. Yum.

K walked to see if our "local" laundry was still up the street--gone. She swam for a while upon her return.

Decided to take laundry to a place we know up the road a few miles, next to the Penninsula.
Took over an hour to go maybe 3 miles... construction on rapid transit near Penn causing trouble--- AVOID THIS AREA?

From there we taxied over to Nana, soi 4, Sukhumvit to K's jeweler. A couple of projects now underway. Asked them to order in some extra large rubies for my friend Peter.

Had lunch at Bangkok baking co inside the JW Marriott Hotel on soi 2, Sukhumvit---excellent as always.

Taxi back to Anantara.

Drinks in the private Kasara Lounge, followed by lite dinner at UNO.

Reviewed election results---GO POCHAHAUNTIS...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 7th, 2018, 05:22 PM
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Thank God you weren't traveling solo during the stuck-in-shower incident! I wonder how difficult it would be to install alarm cord in all hotel shower areas (like the ones that are in designated handicap rooms).
CaliNurse is offline  
Nov 8th, 2018, 12:08 AM
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Cali-- our Heathrow room had such a cord...

Last nite I had my first had thai w/chicken---yummy.. K had chicken Caesar salad.

Great nights sleep-- we have two 3/4 beds in this suite.

Breakfast at main restaurant--Market... always good and fresh.

Took the hotel boat up river to Taskin pier, then Sheraton boat to hotel and we walked next door to River City Mall--still in transition-- nothing like it used to be, but K's dressmaker is still located there, for now.

We thought we might have a massage at the cheap place--- gone..

Waited around foe Penny to arrive and open her shop. Had a nice chat... She said tourism is way down, which we had been noticing.

Took boat across river to the Peninsula for a dim sum lunch at Mei Jiang--- we were 1 of only 3 occupied tables.... $45, including the same water--this time $11, but somehow at the Penn I don't mind. Besides the water I had a special tea, and we shared 6 dim sum dishes. As always on the table is a silver dish full of candied walnuts with sesame seeds-- I ate every one-- ok K had a couple. Nice lunch.

Taxi back to our hotel.

K has just now hit the pool.

Tonight we will go to the lounge again for nibbles and drinks, followed by dinner-- maybe Japanese tonight in our mini-mall.

Having fun, even though my walking is very slow and limited. K seems to be very patient, most of the time. She is anxiously awaiting Linda and Peter next week.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 8th, 2018, 12:11 AM
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s/b 1st thai Phad Thai above
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 8th, 2018, 01:36 AM
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New Icon Siam mall next to The Peninsula. Opens on Saturday

Sausage and shrimp dim sum

Steamed offerings

Bob on Sheraton boat. Reminds me of Andy sitting there

New T Anantara breakfast...temptation for the younger set, or parent bribery material
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 8th, 2018, 05:35 AM
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Good dinner at the sushi place in the mall. We each had a maki roll, mine salmon, K's shrimp.

Checked out a new Thai restaurant for another day-- very reasonable which raises questions...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 8th, 2018, 07:27 AM
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Following along & wondering what sort of changes they’re making at River City. I’ve loved shopping & browsing there in the past, bought my son a set of dishes he’d requested at the small porcelain factory shop there, you know the one I’m sure, and a spirit house for my garden. But I haven’t been to Bangkok for 6 years now, not for want of wishing.
MmePerdu is online now  
Nov 8th, 2018, 09:29 AM
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Bob, seeing you with that cane always reminds me of that morning you got it at the Nikko Teddy Bear House in Japan. Charles and Yuka were such great hosts. Tell Karen we need a full body camera shot of you and your shoes lol. Linda says hi and tell Karen she is bringing her walking shoes so they can walk circles around us cane people haha. See you soon!

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 8th, 2018, 12:09 PM
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Why is tourism down? Sorry to hear the cheap massage place closed.
benitakaren is offline  
Nov 9th, 2018, 01:33 AM
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I am sure the shop you are speaking of is not there any more. They are trending toward art galleries . Right now about 1/4 of the second floor is a museum exhibit on China and the old way of life. A friend who has a shop on the second floor says the guards say they may have only 6-8 visitors a day. Not sure they are trending in the right direction.
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 9th, 2018, 01:34 AM
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I am ready Linda.
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 9th, 2018, 02:51 AM
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First day with rain today and it's the grand opening of the lavish new mall on the river--Iconsiam.
It's 5:15PM and the heavens just opened up for a 1/2 hour.

We had delicious pastry in the room this AM for breakfast.

We had an 11 AM appointment at K's jewerler to finalize her projects.

K recently lost, in our house a 5 diamond ring I gave her for our 50th anniversary in Dec,2016. It was not yet insured--my fault. This got me thinking about additional jewelry insurance for things not previously covered. I decided to change from our household policy (doesn't cover misselaneous (sp) disappearance) to Jewerlers Mutual which does and at a much lower premium. Our Boston jeweler uses them for all of his merchandise and says they are the best. After this long story the point is that I needed totally updated appraisals. As much of K's stuff came from one place in Thailand, I decided to ask her to update the appraisals for us. We brought some of the items, we brought pictures of items they had made for us and the original sales slips. I told her I would be glad to pay her but she said no. On one items we bought in 1986 Tiffany's wanted $250. to update a sapphire ring. She will also do that for us.
So this story describes our midday.

Next up was a visit to Platinum Mall. It was raining when we came out from the jewerler's location--- it's always hard to get a meter taxi there. The doorman asked if we wanted an Hotel car---350B to go this short way--- I replied 200, he said 250, so I said ok. Driver spoke no English. He misunderstood our destination as "Pratnam", which is just around the corner. We told himto turn left at our street, but it was too late. He pulled over and asked us to walk back and I said no.
He made a illegal U turn on this one way street into the bus lane going the other way... Hey it's Bangkok... When buses moved ahead so did we and others. What none of us knew was that there was a police stakeout at the corner... We got pulled over with many others. We waited quite a while. He showed us the ticket, 1000B ($30.), surely in hopes we would pay---I am mean, and cheap--- NO WAY JOSE...

Once at the mall we had McDonalds, tasted good actually.

We went into the smaller, newer bldg where shoes, etc are. Up to 4. Bottom line K got a couple of pairs-- $15 + $24--- she gets a couple of years out of them and they always look different from USA shoes. I got one pair $24. and a nice leather wallet $25-- she held a lighter to wallet to show it was real leather. These shoes should solve my temporary problem.

Always difficult (slow) to get taxis there-- rain had stopped. We got a smart driver who knew his way around-- he asked if we could take the highway and I said yes for an extra 50B ($1.75)... Brilliant move...

Thai food at the mini mall tonight.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 9th, 2018, 05:16 AM
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Do yourself a favor and do not eat at Basil in Riverside Plaza-- horrible..
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 9th, 2018, 07:12 AM
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Following along - I want to see pictures of the shoes Karen bought!
Florida1 is online now  
Nov 9th, 2018, 11:00 PM
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I too haven't been here for a while- the photo posting is new to me too! Missing out on our SE Asia adventure this year, enjoying your report Bob.
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