Oct 14th, 2011, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I am so excited for your India trip to begin. We leave for India in 8 weeks, so I eagerly anticipate your trip reports and any last minute tips.

I've enjoyed everyone's India reports thus far, but think your traveling style may be most similar to mine and my husbands (for better or worse), and based on your recommendation I am using Castle & King for part of our trip. Look forward to posting our own report once we return.
Philafornia is offline  
Oct 14th, 2011, 08:59 AM
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Have fun. Hope you don't freeze in Helsinki.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 14th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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We have some polar tech with us, which Bob doesn't think he will need. Ha! I am planning on wearing mine. Maybe even in Nepal at night.
kmkrnn is offline  
Oct 14th, 2011, 11:45 AM
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I was in Nepal in November last year, and I don't remember it being especially cold at night, at least in Kathmandu. Phulbari, on the other hand....
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 14th, 2011, 03:45 PM
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"...I get mad when people are cheap with their observations and commentary."

Femi is offline  
Oct 14th, 2011, 08:07 PM
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femi---you are not one of them!!
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 14th, 2011, 10:01 PM
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Have a wonderful trip Bob....well planned and a good start to a detailed report.
Looking forward to following along with you.

I am sure you will enjoy India.

Good luck with the flooding in Bangkok.
Bon voyage.
magical is offline  
Oct 15th, 2011, 03:57 PM
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Femi is offline  
Oct 15th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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we are all packed... the snow stakes have been placed in the front lawn even though the leaves are still on the trees. we've been to the dump and tomorrow the door storm windows go in. BRING ON BANGKOK!!
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 16th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Boy, the things some countries will do to keep Bob from returning: a flood of historic proportions in BKK!

Have a great time.
tengohambre is offline  
Oct 16th, 2011, 11:12 AM
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Hoping you remembered wading reef boots (as per lcuy on my facebook post) and a life raft (as per one of my BKK friends who frequents the PL)!

I am packed as well, and should probably start my own trip report thread!

See you soon.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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Bob - Can't wait to read your report. I have re-started my own trip report from the beginning and promise to try to finish it before you get to that portion of your trip.

I wanted to thank you for your recommendation of Castle and King. Arvind, the company owner is a real gentlemen. His drivers were all extremely competent and we felt safe with them at all times. On our return to Delhi, we met with Arvind to pay him for his services. I could not believe he didn't want money up front. Upon meeting with him, he offered us a complimentary car and driver for our first day in Delhi as his driver was available. Suni was a wonderful young man and spoke English quite well. Unfortunately, at the Lotus Temple, my husband was pickpocketed. This was at the end of our day so we returned to the hotel to cancel credit cards. Arvind emailed us upon learning of the pickpocketing and kindly offered us money and assistance if we needed it. We would recommend this company and its services highly. Thanks again.
dgunbug is offline  
Oct 16th, 2011, 07:37 PM
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glad you enjoyed C&K's services.... i am anxious to use them again next month when i am in india...

i will be looking for your report june. i so enjoyed your past ones and of course karen loved your vn notes... even though at 75 pages they were way tooooo brief...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 16th, 2011, 07:38 PM
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we had dinner at similans in cambridge tonight (thai food) with mrs gpanda and a friend and it was a great prelude to the next two weeks...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 18th, 2011, 10:36 PM
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Hope you had a great flight to BKK. So envious of you trip and sad not to be meeting up with you guys in BKK this year, sigh.. Will have to miss out on our BKK winter sun fix. looking forward to your trip report.
Smeagol is offline  
Oct 19th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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So, the trip begins……We departed the ‘dreaded’ Needham about 10AM in our rented Sonata headed for JFK in NY. A short stop at K’s mother’s to drop off some of K’s nearly famous meatballs and pasta for her dinner, and we were on the road. Traffic was light and it was a bright dry day for the 4 hour drive to JFK.

We had a quick stop just north of Hartford, CT at Rein’s Deli to enjoy good sandwiches for lunch and then back on the road. We had 2 brief slowdowns and arrived at JFK with plenty of time. The car rental area is off to one side of the airport entrance and the overhead free tram is right there to whisk you to your terminal. There is a gas station right there too. Our car rental was a pre-pay from Budget for about $90.---excellent rate.

Finn Air is in terminal 8. We were 2nd in line to check in and 1st in line for Immigration. It all was a breeze. The waiting area is very comfortable and the passed quickly. While we were waiting a small group of secret service types had formed next to where we were sitting. The incoming Finn plane arrived and a middle aged red headed woman was greeted by what appeared to be embassy people and she was escorted away---no immigration, etc.
We began to board about 5:10 for the 5:40 departure… The over head bins on this airbus 330 are medium size and my carry on needed extra prodding to fit. The seating is comfortable but tight… We are in the 6th row of economy, just at the front of the wing.

We pushed back 5 minutes early and are 7th in line to take off. The seating is tight but comfortable in the 2X4X2 configuration. Dinner is served not long after takeoff and complimentary wine (r & w) is served. Drinks are available from the drink cart for a fee. No entrée choice—chicken/turkey with a delicious sweet sauce, fried potato cubes and green beans. Wine service was repeated 3 times more.

The on board video system offered about 15 movies, video games, tv, and other options. K used it a bit but I listened to music for the whole trip. A sandwich was served before arrival in Helsinki---good multi-grain roll and really good ham and cheese.

We arrived in H 30 minutes early at 0820. quick move through Immigration—2nd in line… No bags to pick up as they are checked thru to Bangkok. Out to the curb for our free shuttle bus to the airport Holiday Inn, where we had stayed before. I chose it because the restaurant was good and decently priced in this very expensive city.

We were in bed by 0215, Boston time. We slept for about 7 hours getting up about 4PM Helsinki time.

Our plan is to have a nice dinner in the next two hours and leave for the airport about 9PM for our 2330 flight directly to Bangkok where we should arrive about 1:45 PM---yeas, no late night arrival!!
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 19th, 2011, 09:09 AM
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Bob-I thought you usually do not check bags and go with just a carryon? I take it your not concerned about the checked bags getting lost. I'm trying to see if I can pack in just a 21 inch rollie for my 3 week trip to Myanmar because I am concerned about the checked bags not arriving in Yangon when we do.
shelleyk is offline  
Oct 19th, 2011, 09:15 AM
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we always check bags... on our plane you would have had trouble getting your bag in the overhead... in cental rows bins it probably would have fit..

its just too much trouble to carry everything on... my carry on is an 18" i think..
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 19th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Shelleyk - We always take a 22" roll on and a backpack each as carry on. Never a problem except occasionally on small airlines and then it hardly matters as those are usually to and from small airports where nothing is getting lost anyway. You'll find you can pack a lot more than you think in those small bags. Usually my back pack has only a book (this time a kindle) and my camera. You can use the extra room to bring back souvenirs.
dgunbug is offline  
Oct 19th, 2011, 11:11 PM
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Sounds as if the VIP on your incoming flight was Tarja Halonen, President of Finland (separated at birth from Conan O'Brien)
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