RHK'S FALL 2012 ASIA TRIP

Old Nov 19th, 2012, 07:26 PM
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so back to our wonderful lunch. Beth wanted to visit the wonderful old colonial hotel (c.1932) called Settha Botique Hotel in the center of the city so the driver took us there. Now back in the hands of the original chinese owners after the communist era it has been completely redone and modernized. The current owner lives in singapore and runs things via telephone from there. The bldg is a lovely sprawling colonial structure of 2 or 3 stories. The main rooms are very bright with lovely decorations and lots of wood accents. We ate in the La Belle Epoch Restaurant which is also bright with wood beams, ceiling fans and large black chandeliers with blk shades making for a busy but effective overhead. The tables are covered with starched linens and shinny silverware, making for a most pleasant but formal atmosphere. During lunch we were the only guests. There was a staff of perhaps 4 or 5 to serve us. It was great fun.

The matre d' suggested we start with larb salads (laab), so we ordered 2 chicken and one pork which was delicious and perfectly seasoned for our tastes. I chose a yellow noodle dish with chicken and lots of other bits and pieces; K, P and B had the same on a shared basis plus 3 pieces of steamed fish with herbs wrapped in banana leaf for steaming and was accompanied with a spicy tomato sauce; M had chicken cashew.

The fish was a huge hit... The whole meal was memorable both for the food and the atmosphere. $16 per person.

Following lunch we went to a couple of more small shops, but honestly we had had it with shopping.

We returned to the hotel only to be warned that they would be mosquito spraying for an hour at 4:30... horrible timing and I told the manager this. She claimed it is the law monthly. I was not pleased and made a bit of a stink...

more later..
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 07:49 PM
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to think how nice this trip report would be without political commentary. guess that ain't gonna happen. where's the channel changer?
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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Thru thick and thin we are your friends one and all

No matter the politics or whatever we know and love you all whatever and whoever you chose

Political is emotion

Friends are forever

Aloha!
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 03:19 AM
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You might do well to show a little more understanding and respect, filmwill. Report is 98% travel, 2% politics. No, wait, it's 7% travel, 91% discussions with the manager, and 2% politics. Which makes for a great read. And whenever you see the political stuff, think Schadenfreude.

And a bit of compassion is called for, too. With the new taxes on the MegaRich, some people may have to cut down on their vacations to, say, 274 days/yr.
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 04:28 AM
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The rich would be happy to pay more in taxes if the revenue were used to pay down the debt but we all know thats not going to happen. Next year add another 1 trillion to our debt which our grandchildren will have to shoulder some day!
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 05:35 AM
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billy, i'm disappointed in your comment especially when so much of your social media content is full of politics... still friends i hope..

it's just my way of attempting to be "funny".. and amusing.
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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ok, now back to the travel, AND EATING AND SHOPPING.

For dinner an italian restaurant in our neighborhood had been suggested as the best IT in town... It is Aria and owned by a chef from Genoa. It is a very relaxed and casual place with a good menu. Sadly i had a pizza, which was very good, K & B had gnocchi with ham and mushroom filling served on a long plate with the G in a straight line with a tomato/basil sauce with a dab of Parmesan on top---delicate and delicious and M had a chicken/mushroom/mashed pots plate. We all had ice cream for dessert. I had a large lao beer and 3 of the women shared a bottle of white from Umbria... 987,000 K.

We waddled back to the hotel afterwards. A perfect ending to 3 nice days in Laos.


Tuesday

M&B were picked up by our driver at 7:30 for their 9AM flt to Luang Prabang, Laos.

We had a lazy AM with showers, packing and internet with a so so breakfast. Pat went out and took some more pics.

The driver came for us at noon and we started out for Udon Thani airport for our flt back to bkk. We breezed thru lao immigration but while going thru thai immigration our driver came to us and said he could not go cause his passport had expired. No problem he found us another driver immediately.

Between them we paid 3000 B for the drive. The total drive took about 1.5 hours.

Checkin at UT was swift, no wait. The flt was on time and was to be 50 min, except we had to circle at 5PM over bkk cause the PM of china was landing at the old airport at 5 so i think everything was slowed down.

The drive into bkk was swift except for the last 1/2 mile which was slow around sukhumvit/plenochit. Thank god we did not come yesterday as Pres. O'Bama was staying next door at the 4 seasons and our entire street was closed down.

We arrived at the newish St Regis and were whisked to the 12th floor where the reception area is. Check-in was swift and we were escorted to our lovely room on 19. Our butler brought us tea and offered to unpack for us, but K prefers to do this.

We relaxed for a while and then decided to have room service for dinner. Good move. Just had hamby's, which really tasted good.

Talked with Tong briefly about this weekend and going to the orphanage on Sat. to deliver the items we are presenting in Gpanda's memory. We have lots of shopping this week to get ready.

Tried to call the McBeanies but there was no answer.

Busy day planned for tomorrow as we begin our shopping.
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 06:52 AM
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omg, he spelled gnocchi right.

I haven't been to the St Regis. Same street as Hyatt & 4 Seasons?
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 07:21 AM
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Bob, you are absolutely correct: my social media page is exactly that -- but that's why it's not my Fodor's trip report...or anywhere near Fodor's. The two are completely isolated -- and for good reason. I have a feeling that a bunch of us here might have slightly different relationships if we were all Facebook friends.

When I travel (and hey that's just me) I talk about my trip. Not what I think of Bush or Obama or whomever. For me, the two have nothing to do with each other.

Of course we're still friends. But as for me, it takes away from the ability to enjoy a report that really was about the joy of traveling. That's what connects us all on here. The minute politics gets introduced it goes downhill.

Anyway, I've hijacked this thread enough -- and it's Bob's trip -- so I'll remove myself now.
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Wow we got out of there just in time before <i>he who cannot be mentioned</i> arrived. Would have been a big PIA being at the GH or the FS this week. We already had to undergo mirror checks under the cars before we entered the premises last week. The doormen were already getting ready for the influx of security teams as they scoured the area ahead of time. The GH security even swept Hanuman's BMW when he graciously picked us up for dinner. BTW, Hanuman's BMW was like riding on a cloud with a serious sound system.....really fine. Money can hardly wait to get that car

Bob, have you been to Zanoti's before? Best Italian we have had in Bangkok and our local friends greased the tracks for a great time. I know, you already have all your dinners planned,lol.

Where's Pat?? Does she have a butler too?

Aloha!
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 01:08 PM
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That would be <b>Mony</b>....sorry.
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 03:42 PM
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HT Mony want something smaller! Bob promised her years ago that he would buy her one after she graduate. She's looking forward to that!
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 04:41 PM
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that's right, i think a '54 packard would be great for tooling around either london or bkk...

pat went home yesterday.

a few years ago we had a res at zanotti and they called that AM and cancelled it. that made me mad so we have never visited even though pook always speaks highly of it. i'm sure it is good, if not excellent. it's their loss not having us eat there..
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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don---spell check is really helping out these days on fodors..
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 05:40 PM
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Where all did you decide to shop for items for the orphanage? When we went to one (a different one)for Thai friend Pong's birthday (for good karma) we stopped and shopped at a Big C. I think my own donation was about $100 give or take. We took a HUGE amount of things... mostly baby stuff, as this was an orphanage with little ones, not of school age yet.

Leaving for Amsterdam on Thanksgiving day. Will you manage to find turkey for your dinner Thursday, or are you looking for that sort of meal?

Zanotis is good, yes. I still like Via Vai's pizza better though.
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 02:44 AM
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no turkey for us, probably just another platinum fix..

funny you should ask about the shopping--read below..


Wednesday

A fabulous night's sleep in a very comfortable bed.

I walked next door to 4 seasons to get some pastry for a light breakfast for a change. K phoned the butler for coffee and our day started a bit earlier. It was humid and a bit smoggy/overcast this AM. After nice showers we took a taxi to River City Shopping Center where K's tailor is located. We got there before it opened at 10. We sat outside where it was almost comfortable---this proves my point that it is cooler near to the river than in the central city.

Penny was already in the shop when we were let into the building. She had a problem with the piece of silk K brought her from Shanghai (thanks to peter for letting us know). Seems there was too little material to do the top the way she wanted it---i said have one short sleeve and one long one and create a new style. Problem was solved and that project moves forward now with all the others in progress.

From there we took another taxi to the Anantara (too hot to take the boats .. We had our kept luggage there and also wanted to check on my new robe with jack (monet il sarto)---too small, back to the drawing board with different cloth totally (3rd try). We picked up some pastry for tomorrow's breakfast--pat says they have the best croissants.

Another taxi to pantip, via the St Regis, where we dropped off the left luggage and pastry to be placed in our room.

Pantip---for those who don't know this is the electronics super store for bkk.

Our goal was to begin the shopping for the Orphanage in memory of Gpanda.

IT City on the 5th floor is the fixed price major brand, 1st quality store. We had some trouble finding an true english speaker but finally found a young guy who worked with us....

First we selected 2 Acer desk tops with decent guts... we added 2-25" HD screens, 2 different style Epsom printers with 3 extra cartridge sets. We also bought a 2010 version of Microsoft office home and student, which includes word, excel, power point and one note which the orphanage had requested for the kids to be able to learn from (i was concerned with 2+ year old software, but decided it would be fine for kids {cost 2790 B or $93.}).

Our plan is to go back to Pantip at 10:30 on Saturday to pick everything up on our way to the orphanage.

On the way out we also purchased a Wii unit with quite a few games for about $450. We bought 3 extra control units with that.

And on the next floor we purchased some bootleg DVD's for the kids, some educational and some fun ($75).

We found a taxi near the exit driveway (always the best place) after 2 or 3 tries. It took us 1 hour (105B) to get back to the St Regis---not all that far really.

K went swimming and i did this and relaxed with my iced tea from the butler.

Time to head next door for our res at Biscotti for dinner... K's favorite place.

Next it was 2 TV's---first we saw a sale one at 9990 B but the salesman suggested a HD LG's for which he would adjust the price to 9990. We added 2 LG DVD's to that.

Next we bought 12 reims of all purpose A-4 paper.
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 03:25 AM
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Look forward to our GTG tomorrow night Bob. Gaggan asked me what you look like, in case you get there before me, and I told him Justin Bieber so wear a cap backward if you get there before me.
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 03:40 AM
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That would be Bibendum, not Bieber.
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 04:54 AM
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i've lost weight while eating thai..
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 04:59 AM
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whaddya mean, while eating thai? You've gone to nothing but Italian restaurants, except for the 1 lousy Indian place.
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