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Thursdaysd's East Asian Excursion

Old Sep 9th, 2010, 08:19 PM
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Thursdaysd's East Asian Excursion

It feels like I've been in planning mode forever, and I did first float the idea of this trip back in April. ( http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...y-comments.cfm ) April - no wonder it feels like forever. But in just 12 hours I leave for the airport. Thanks to my lovely One World award (150,000 AA FF miles + $400-some for almost 25,000 flying miles) I'll be starting out in First Class. But for a while this evening it looked like I might not be going anywhere in any class - although my first flight showed on my on-line itinerary, it had fallen off (how could that happen?) from the "real" ticket and I couldn't print a boarding pass. Sorting that out took nearly an hour on the phone I could have used for packing.

Although this thread is for Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, I'm starting out by giving New York another chance - but if it's wet and windy this time, that's it! Four nights in New York, a night in transit, four nights in Vancouver, another night in transit, and I'll finally be back in Asia - landing in Tokyo September 20. The First Class flight will be followed by a bus and metro trip to reach my downtown and down-market hotel - the Jane. ( http://www.thejanenyc.com/ )

I am taking a netbook (an ASUS 1008HA) so I'll be tweeting - as mytimetotravel - and blogging - at mytimetotravel.wordpress.com - and I'll try to post here as well, after I get to Japan.
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 12:53 AM
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Hi Thursday, Hope you have a wonderful time. Your trip seems to have come around so soon. Sorry I haven't got any photos up yet of South Korea but I'm sure you are organised now and will really enjoy it. The ceramics are wonderful and everywhere, the scenery lovely and its all quite efficient so you will be fine. There are many many potters and potting areas. All specializing in a particular type so each quite different.

If you do manage to get to the south, the Boseong tea plantation is very lovely and very photogenic. Lots in the south is nice in fact. Roads are good and the service areas excellent all across the country. Museums and galleries everywhere are of a very high standard. English is not widely spoken but people are helpful - skills at charades are useful!
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 02:07 AM
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Bon voyage, Thursday! Eager to read of your exploits! Stay safe..eks
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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Yes, happy travels and take care! Amazing how hiccups appear out of nowhere eh? Hope it's all plain sailing from now. I'll be with you vicariously.
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 06:03 AM
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bon voyage
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 07:13 AM
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Wow time to leave already? Thursday's child has far to go

Waiting right here, alert, attentive and anxious for the details. Have a wonderful trip!

Aloha!
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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Have a fabulous trip! Looking forward to following your blog.
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 09:25 AM
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Have a wonderful adventure!
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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Bon voyage!
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Looking forward to it.
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Thanks for the good wishes. Successful kickoff - I'm settled in at the Jane ($99 + tax/night, free wifi) after an uneventful flight and a very good chicken and spinach curry (extra spicy as requested) and forgettable Reisling at Banjara. I did note that while First Class got me an assortment of nuts in a china dish, they weren't heated.
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 09:54 PM
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Have the trip of your dreams thursdaysd.

Bon voyage
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 04:04 AM
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Have a great trip. Vancouver is fabulous. My favorite Canadian city. I'll be looking forward to your trip reports.
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 05:17 AM
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How are you liking The Jane? Based on the photos at the web site, you're going to find Japanese hotel rooms altogether enormous after four days in a "cabin.". I actualyy quite like the train concept---it sort of sounds as if your journey's already begun.
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Old Sep 13th, 2010, 04:23 AM
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Therese - well, I stayed at the Jane a year ago, so I'm fine with it. Obviously it's not for the claustrophobic, the seriously disorganized, or people who have to have their own bathroom. Also, I wouldn't stay there in the summer as the AC is too noisy to run at night.

I like the location - killer view of the Hudson (including distant sight of the Statue of Liberty) from the bathroom window, walking distance to Greenwich Village and a number of subway lines. Once I covered up all the little lights I slept well, and the room lights are bright. I've never had to wait for a shower - and there's plenty of hot water and rain head showers.

I find it amusing that while the cabins are cheap (great deal for singles) the downstairs bar and cafe are expensive and "in". Friendly staff.
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Old Sep 13th, 2010, 06:04 AM
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I'm claustrophobic, but not in a way that The Jane's rooms would bother me (and I sleep with ear plugs, so a noisy air conditioner won't be an issue). It's now officially on my list if I'm traveling to NYC solo, particular if I can't get a decent rate on Priceline. I do so love Fodor's.
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Old Sep 13th, 2010, 05:29 PM
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Long day coming up. My flight to Vancouver leaves at 10:40 pm tomorrow, landing at 4:30 am my time.

I'm hoping for good weather tomorrow, but New York, once again, hasn't been too kind to me. Lovely day Saturday, but wet and windy Sunday, and variable today. I did get to walk the Brooklyn Bridge (west, with the sun behind me and the best views in front of me - couldn't believe all the people walking the other way), and ride the Staten Island ferry, and I had a lovely travel chat with nywoman.

She also was kind enough to trek out to Queens with me so we could try Sripraphai that I kept reading about here. Afraid it wasn't worth the trek: Ambiance - fail. Too bright and way, way too noisy. Food - mixed. I liked the papaya salad but nywoman found it too spicy. We both thought the duck with Chinese vegetables was forgettable, but loved the pork with long beans.

I plan to spend tomorrow at the Frick, the Fashion Institute of Technology and maybe a repeat visit to the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art - but perhaps I should go for a walk round Central Park to offset the linzertorte with whipped cream I indulged in at the Neue Gallery's Cafe Sabarsky today!
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Old Sep 13th, 2010, 07:47 PM
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You're headed to my neck of the woods next - Vancouver! Weather's a big of a mixed bag for the next few days I'm afraid.
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Old Sep 13th, 2010, 08:13 PM
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Glad to hear you are having fun and I look forward to following along on your trip.
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Old Sep 15th, 2010, 03:37 AM
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Reached Vancouver - got to love the free wifi in Canadian airports! Also got to love business class - I had a much-needed shower in the BA lounge at JFK before leaving. My Cathay Pacific flight to YVR (889, goes on to Hong Kong) had lie-flat seats in pods (seatguru said they weren't all the way flat, seatguru is wrong) with lightweight duvets.

I was surprised to be offered dinner - my itinerary said beverage service. I ate the smoked salmon salad and cheese and fruit (nothing special) with port but skipped the main course. The wine choices looked good.

Came in over budget for NYC and got some sleep on the flight, so decided not to go for the $109 deal the Holiday Inn Express offered (at 2:00 am), and camped out at the airport Starbucks for the rest of the night.
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