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RHK's start spring Asia trip, sadly sans Gpanda's

RHK's start spring Asia trip, sadly sans Gpanda's

Old Jun 10th, 2010, 01:16 AM
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What do you say to a Sri Lankan Mud Crab in Needham?

Welcome home, Your Honor.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 01:18 AM
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Wednesday


Woke up about 6:15, ahead of our 6:45 wake-up knock… down for breakfast at 7---just toast and tea/coffee as kitchen does not open until 7:30.. Mr Lee arrived about 7:15… he and the houseman loaded up our cases and we were off to the airport by 7:25. A bit of traffic along the way as it was rush hour.

I highly recommend Mr Lee for your travel needs while in Penang-- contact info is above.

No wait at the air asia desk… Again no sign of extra charges for excess weight for other passengers. Waited about an hour for the flight to be called… Finally a walkway to the plane---most AA flts are walk to plane and climb old fashioned moveable stairs.
For the first time all of the express boarding seats were taken… Flight left 5 minutes late.
1 hour 10 min. to Singapore. What everyone says about the Singapore airport is true. Clean, neat, efficient and attractive---even live orchids in many corridors. Bags came out by the time we got to the turnstile… walks are very short… immigration was swift and efficient and very close to arrival point and baggage collection area.

Transportation: I asked at the transport desk about travel to our hotel… she suggested the mini bus leaving in 25 minutes---$9. S each…. I asked about taxi and she said $18-25, so we took a taxi with a meter---$17.20 to Intercontinental. Perfect.

I had forgotten how beautiful the roadways are… flowering shrubs and palms and lovely trees all the way to the city…. Smooth parkway type roads. A real pleasure to arrive here.


We had a club room reserved using a ‘family and friends’ rate which tengombre had sent me--- ~ $165. We were lead by a greeter to the 2nd floor exec. Lounge where we were greeted by name---word travels fast. Our room is on 12 with a view out to little India and arab street. The room is excellent and very comfortable.

I was still quite sleepy so we hung around the room until lunch time. In our greeting letter from the GM, one of the offerings was a buy one get one free lunch or dinner. We decided this would be a good take as we had had little breakfast, so we went down to the olive restaurant. We could eat a la carte or the buffet. The buffet looked excellent so we chose that: shrimp, lobster, salads, hot dishes, sea bass, European cheeses, etc., plus about 3 dozen items for dessert including a chocolate fountain….. Quite good, but probably too much for lunch. $38 S ($27 US). Reminded me of the seafood buffet at lord Jim in bkk.

After lunch we took a walk next door into the Bugis Mall area—teeny bopper place… Back to the room and picked up our notebook to take to the lounge to catch up on the internet.

I was still tired. K was irritated with me…. So finally we left for a walk to Arab Street, stopping by the lovely pool (eks—60 feet) on the 4th floor to check it out. Many fabric and rug shops and some interesting small eating places… Unbelievable fancy silks and flashy fabrics on offer. Saw a perfect rug for beth. At one end of the area is a huge colorful mosque.

It was hot and uncomfortable walking the few blocks over there. So when it was time to return, I selected a taxi.

At about 5:45 we went down to the lounge for some drinks and hors’ (yup they are here too). Taking a page out of kathie’s book, we made this our dinner. We spent about 2 hours there looking at their collection of coffee table books, doing internet and having some supper.

Back to room for an early nite I think.

I neglected to mention while we coming in from the airport the heavens opened up and there was a downpour…. That lasted only a few minutes…



Thursday

Our last full day in Asia. Finally a fabulous western bed last nite for our first really good sleep. In fact we were in bed by 9:30 and up about 7:30… WOW..

Went down to the lounge for breakfast. A very nicely presented spread for a club lounge with limited space, although this is the largest and most well appointed club lounge we have experienced. In fact this whole hotel is extremely well run, attractive and very well maintained.

We took a taxi to Suntec Center where the Hippo tour line route starts. We purchased a one day pass (which currently is good for 48 hours) which allows us unlimited rides, on and off, on the two bus routes and on the river cruise. Price: $ 33S each. The bus routes run every 25 minutes with stops throughout the city. We took the heritage (central city-red) route first, lasting 1 hour. We followed that with the Yellow route, which encompasses a larger area. The commentary was all in English, but ear plugs were available for other languages.. This route is also 1 hour. These routes criss cross much of the main city areas and allow you a good feel for Singapore.

Following that we went into bldg 5 of suntac seeking some lunch. This is an extremely busy building with a number of eateries on the ground floor. We ended up at starbucks. I had a veggie quiche and K had a curry tart. We each had a huge cookie as well… Perfect lunch.


We got back on to the red bus line and took it to stop 5 which is adjacent to a covered market which we had thought interesting from the bus. Main product in this market was dried fish and associated products…. It was an interesting stop. We spent 20 min. there and the next bus came around and we rode it two stops to our hotel. I was beat.

We went down (4th fl) to the nice outdoor pool (EKS—bad news-- water seems cooled, but maybe 60 feet long)… We were the only people there as it was cloudy and had rained some more. It rained some while we were on the buses but we sat either on the lower inside level or under the partial roof on the exposed top…

That really sums up our day… Shortly we will go down to the club for some drinks and hors’ and to transmit this update and check our mail.

Originally we had planned to have chili crab tonight, but I am not interested and K is only lukewarm, so we may have Indian instead.

Not sure if Eng Seng is open for lunch, but if so we may go tomorrow. Our flight is not until 2250 so we have all day tomorrow to do things… We have extended checkout to 5:00 PM and then will be in the club the rest of the time till we take a taxi to the airport.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 01:22 AM
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how does a 66 old woman know a hunky guy---itsn't that an old fashioned expression?
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 02:55 AM
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<i>how does a 66 old woman know a hunky guy</i>

Cougar alert!
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 03:20 AM
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Those of us of a "certain age" know just what she's talking about!
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 05:09 AM
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So, Einstein is in Singapore, one of the great food places on Earth, and he decides to eat at a Starbucks. This is disgraceful. It dwarfs the panda Italian Food in Shanghai happenstance. Starbucks as a restaurant is to be avoided at home. How could he go there in Singapore?

Remember, karen has traveled with the panda. She is probably an expert on hunks by now.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 05:38 AM
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Bob- the black pepper crab is soooooo good (and i don't normally like crab)
Andy- LOL
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 05:49 AM
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The bed in the Intercontinental was the first comfortable bed you encountered? Another reason to stay at the E&O next time and not the very lovely but hard bed Clove Hall.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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we found all the beds to be very hard this time---good for your back however
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 05:55 PM
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Thursday

Our last full day in Asia. Finally a fabulous western bed last nite for our first really good sleep. In fact we were in bed by 9:30 and up about 7:30… WOW..

Went down to the lounge for breakfast. A very nicely presented spread for a club lounge with limited space, although this is the largest and most well appointed club lounge we have experienced. In fact this whole hotel is extremely well run, attractive and very well maintained.

We took a taxi to Suntec Center where the Hippo tour line route starts. We purchased a one day pass (which currently is good for 48 hours) which allows us unlimited rides, on and off, on the two bus routes and on the river cruise. Price: $ 33S each. The bus routes run every 25 minutes with stops throughout the city. We took the heritage (central city-red) route first, lasting 1 hour. We followed that with the Yellow route, which encompasses a larger area. The commentary was all in English, but ear plugs were available for other languages.. This route is also 1 hour. These routes criss cross much of the main city areas and allow you a good feel for Singapore.

Following that we went into bldg 5 of suntac seeking some lunch. This is an extremely busy building with a number of eateries on the ground floor. We ended up at starbucks. I had a veggie quiche and K had a curry tart. We each had a huge cookie as well… Perfect lunch.


We got back on to the red bus line and took it to stop 5 which is adjacent to a covered market which we had thought interesting from the bus. Main product in this market was dried fish and associated products…. It was an interesting stop. We spent 20 min. there and the next bus came around and we rode it two stops to our hotel. I was beat.

We went down (4th fl) to the nice outdoor pool (EKS—bad news-- water seems cooled, but maybe 60 feet long)… We were the only people there as it was cloudy and had rained some more. It rained some while we were on the buses but we sat either on the lower inside level or under the partial roof on the exposed top…

That really sums up our day… Shortly we will go down to the club for some drinks and hors’ and to transmit this update and check our mail.

Originally we had planned to have chili crab tonight, but I am not interested and K is only lukewarm, so we may have Indian instead.

Not sure if Eng Seng is open for lunch, but if so we may go tomorrow. Our flight is not until 2250 so we have all day tomorrow to do things… We have extended checkout to 5:00 PM and then will be in the club the rest of the time till we take a taxi to the airport.

We have researched and eng seng is only open at nite…

One of the staff in the club lounge, a very attractive Indian lady, suggested Samy’s Curry to us as a good authentic Singaporean curry house. It’s located a $10 taxi ride but the experience is worth it…. The location is block 25, Dempsey Hill, which is an old army barracks, many of which have been converted to restaurants… Right next door is the infamous Long Beach Seafood.

The place is very open inside with seating outside as well. Its very SIMPLE. We sat down outside under a fan—no a/c. no décor, just good food.

The waiter took our drink order and I asked him for the menu… they do not have one. Most people seem to have a huge bowl of curry which is shared around the table. They also have specials. In our case we went inside and identified what we wanted from a glass case. Our choices: one Masala crab—loaded with meat--$9; veggie dish (eggplant and potato)-$6.; fish tikka (white fish chunks) -- $6; Chicken tikka (very spicy)-- $8; butter naan- $2.80; Briyani rice (colorful)- $3; water- $1.20; Tandoori prawns (large and spicy) $6 each (we had 4); Butter chicken- $8. Total $82.60 S with tip.

That is fine, we think we bought the right amount. We probably could have done with one less dish and 2 less prawns.



Friday


Another lovely breakfast in the club lounge.... 3/4 of the packing is done.

Sun is out fully today so it will be doubably hot, but we will head for the bus routes shortly and then take our river cruise followed by lunch along the quays..
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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sorry for repeat... just wanted to see if you were paying attention
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Old Jun 11th, 2010, 02:58 PM
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currently awaiting our DC flight at incheon...
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Old Jun 11th, 2010, 06:36 PM
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Safe travels. You should be settled in in time for the next Celtics game. Red Sox home game on Saturday in case that affects ground travel from Logan.
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Old Jun 11th, 2010, 08:35 PM
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Have a safe journey home Bob & Karen and thank you for such a great trip report!
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Old Jun 11th, 2010, 09:27 PM
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Thanks for letting me hitch a ride with you & Karen, Bob. I've enjoyed every part of the trip and only wish I were off with my cousin for a month in Bali tomorrow.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 05:18 AM
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One of the best ever real-time travelogues - well done & thanks.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 05:31 AM
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Aloha from The Inn Above Tide in Sausalito!

Another great report Bob and Karen. Thanks for letting us follow along. Just the right amount of detail.

Welcome home!
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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Was he report great or was the trip great? He's back this evening to bring his bad karma. I hope the Celtics are not infected.

BTW, today I ran a sprint Triathlon, 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile nike, 3.6 mile run. I took it very easy, but it went fine. It's my way of teliing cancer that I will continue as a Panda as long as possible. Good news for me, bad news for his Bobness.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Congratulations, Gpanda! That's very impressive.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 04:44 PM
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Well done Gpanda! Your prediction also came true and the USA held England to a draw.
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