Oct 19th, 2011, 11:25 PM
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Bob, Karen, enjoy your pool at Marriott for a while, and then come on into the city and we'll meet up for dinner. Hope your flight onward to BKK was uneventful, and that your bags arrived with you.

(I can't imagine carrying all my stuff on board... I've really only had one lost bag in all my years... and it was really LOST, but ended up being found about a month later. I have had a couple of delays where bags arrived on the next flight rather than with me. No biggie...
simpsonc510 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2011, 05:43 PM
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we arrived just fine in bkk... we met carol and mcbeanie for dinner and then crashed...

the city has been spared flooding thus far but today may be another story. everything seems normal other than that.

tong and hanuman have lost use of their houses because of flooding. we wish them the best with recovery, but i fear it may be a huge ordeal.

i will write more later today after we finish some errands around town.

the marriott is fine as of now, but heavy water is expected later today. it seems the new government has really bungled this emergency.
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 05:38 AM
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aloha bob, great report. looking forward to your india adventures, as i am planning to go to india in april next year. hi k.
kuranosuke is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 06:22 AM
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too tired to write tonight, plus too many free G&T's in club...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 09:11 AM
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Like your style Bob!
Smeagol is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Which is rhk's way of saying he's completely drunk, fell in the ornamental pool and is currently undergoing deep-tissue therapy.
dogster is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Oct 19 & 20 and 21

After our good sleep we showered and had a decent, but simple, dinner in the HI dining room, read expensive. Our plan was to head back to the airport on the 9PM shuttle. It was pouring down rain. The HI friends and family rate was 106E for our stay---perfect.

When we got back to the airport the place was empty. There were a few people in the international departure gates area as there were 2 other asian flights scheduled about 11:30 PM. Our plane was there and waiting…

Boarding was again swift. The flight was full. K thought she had 4 middle seats to herself until just before the door closed a family came on and she was back next to me…

There was a 20 minute delay because of a faulty smoke detector, but we were off about 45 minutes later. Dinner was served and we settled in for the 9 hour, 50 minute flt to BKK. We had the exact same seats as the previous flt in row 7 of the economy cabin.

We both took sleeping pills and I got 5 hours of good sleep. We arrived at BKK about 30 minutes late. Good flight. We were 2nd in the immigration line. Our cases came out fairly quickly, but K’s was the last one to arrive. But, we had arrived at 1420 and we were in a taxi by 1505---AMAZING… a record for us.

I spoke with AOT limo as we exited and they asked 2700 B, about $81----O U T R A G E O U S… The last limo I had was about 1100B. We headed for the taxi line, and there was no wait and for our swift ride into the city---Marriott R&S on the river was 299 B, plus 70 B for the tolls.

We were greeted at R&S by the doormen who always remembers us. We were escorted to the club lounge for check-in and a simple snack. We had been upgraded to a jr suite on the 5th floor, main bldg (our favorite). My platinum Marriott gives us plenty of perks, the most valuable of which is free breakfast, internet and evening drinks. Our room is very nice and best of all has a separate shower stall, which the regular rooms do not…

Note to R&S regulars: the hotel ceases to be a Marriott about nov 1, and is being re-branded as an Anantara…. The south building is currently closed for renovations and I guess there are lots of other plans as well, including expansion into the mini-mall at some future point, plus there is the huge empty lot next to the bridge crying for expansion.

Sandbags are evident around the hotel in a few places but the city itself has more sandbags than the whole desert. The pier at R&S is straight out from the high water, no downward angle to the boat…. Boats were not running the first day but have now resumed. The river level is at least 5-10 feet above normal, and is 2 feet below the patio level. There is ground water between the slats in the pool area, which is no problem, but must be a mosquito breeding ground. We have not encountered any problems, YET, because of the flooding.
We are, however, devastated to learn of both Hanuman’s and Tong’s situations. Both have had to leave their residences because water has filled the first floors. Some of pook’s staff is trapped on the 2nd floor with no electricity, no a/c, tons of mosquitos and one of his dogs. His pics on F/B are saddening.. We are keeping in touch.

Sadly, our plans to honor Gpanda’s death with gifts to the orphanage and the blessing of some of his ashes, which I brought with me, will be postponed until our next visit in 2012.

So after we were settled into the R&S, we headed by taxi to K’s jeweler on soi 4 Sukhumvit to drop off a couple of repairs and make a purchase for our eldest granddaughter, 11, who just had her ears pierced recently---think gold and pink…

From there we walked to soi 8 to meet Carol Simpson and McBeanie and her husband for dinner. It started to pour after our arrival so we just ate at Adelphi Suites. The McBeanie’s are lovely.

After dinner we took a taxi back to the hotel and went to bed fairly early. Love this lack of a huge jet lague.

After a delicious buffet breakfast we headed to Chang’s eyeglass shop (Mr Tong). I owed him 3000B for a past project and while there I ordered a pair of tv glasses as I am now liking glasses for the first time----do you know the things I was missing…

From there we went to Pantip, the electronics emporium. We looked at computers as part of our Gpanda memorial project…. Seems we can get decent name brand desktops for about $500-750 with all the add ons. Perfect. After that stop we headed back to the hotel. The pool was our agenda for the rest of the day.

We had a quick McDonalds for lunch and said hello to Jack, at Monet il Sarto, my tailor and put on our swim suits. I did some computer and K headed for the pool. I joined her later.
I spent maybe 2.5 hours in the water. About 5, we dressed and went to the lounge for drinks and hors’. Boy were those G&T’s great. K was in heaven with freely poured wine---too much maybe?

We met a lovely English couple from Essex. We spent perhaps 2 hours in the lounge with them. We were not that hungry so settled on Phad Thai at the hotel and shared a delicious apricot and sultana crumble…. In bed at 10.

Up at 6 and now ready for breakfast. We have a mini-GTG today at Maeng’s Sidepocket on Sukhumvit, across from the Landmark hotel at 4PM. It should be fun. In the meantime we are hanging out at the pool. It is overcast but bright.

There is a warning about more potential flooding within BKK today as more damns are opened up. We have our fingers crossed for everyone in the city. We feel perfectly safe.
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 05:04 PM
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(dogster...lol...not a pretty sight)

Bob, nice to 'see you' up and posting early this morning. I was up at 5 but talked myself into going back to sleep, after a small bowl of cereal, and then had a second awakening at 7:30. I'm now very refreshed and ready for the day.

We have full sun, not a single cloud in the sky that I can see, down in city center. Will have breakfast (maybe mcbeanie and Richard will join me) and then have time to go over to Platinum today. I'll be that place will be busy.

Looking forward to the GTG at Side Pocket. Maeng is pleased to be hosting our GTG. She has never met rkh and K. In all their years of travelling to BKK, they have never crossed paths.... until today.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 05:54 PM
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we just looked at the river and it is down about 18" from yesterday afternoon--that may be tidal??
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 09:39 PM
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the reason AOT wanted 2700B o/w was because you were wearing your gold crown on your head! and they were quoting a MB limo.

i was charged 1200B o/w 3 weeks ago and when i booked for later this week back to the airport it was 950B. rt to pattaya was 2600B o/w from my hotel on soi 10.

with your new TV glasses, you will know that walter cronkite is no longer the evening newscaster.

and speaking of Jack, where are my shirts?
skip44 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2011, 10:39 PM
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jack told me he sent your shirts yesterday???
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2011, 02:15 AM
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Saturday Oct 22

After a delicious breakfast we hung out for a bit and then hit the pool for a few hours. We had some lunch by the pool and later returned to the room to dress for the GTG at 4.

While in the room Hanuman (Pook) called me. For those of you who do not know his beautiful house now has water chest deep on the first floor from the Bangkok flooding.
He did not even sound like himself. He and the family will survive, but they never will be the same again.

Speaking of the flood waters, central Bangkok has thus far (as of Sunday afternoon) escaped any flood waters. We have just returned from the Sukhumvit area and life seems perfectly normal there. In many places however, there is a shortage of bottled water and staples.

So at 3 we left for the GTG at Maeng’s Side Pocket pool room/bar opposite the Landmark hotel on Sukhumvit Rd. We ended up as 7 Fodorites: Karen and myself, Harouth (Skip Palmer, my best man who lives in HI), Carol and Brad Simpson, and Sandra and Richard (McBeanie from Houston). We had a ton of fun chatting and catching up, and then Maeng cooked us a delicious Thai dinner of perhaps 6 special dishes and white rice, followed by mango and sticky rice. Yum, Yum, Yum..

K & I returned to the hotel by 8 and were in bed by 9:30…

During the day we also spoke to our youngest daughter and K’s mother. We used both regular skype and skype telephone which btw is very clear and cheap…

Sunday Oct 23

Lazy morning following a light breakfast. At noon we were meeting the ‘McBeanies’ at Rang Mahal in The Rembrandt Hotel (soi 18, Sukhumvit rd) for their fab Sunday brunch—all Indian. About 1800 B for 2.
We spent about 2.5 hours with them. It was fun getting to know yet another Fodorite couple.

On the way home we stopped at the newly opened Terminal 21 at the corner of Sukhumvit and Asoke Rds. It is a huge place for trendy youthful “crap”. Each floor (maybe 6) has a different country theme. I couldn’t wait to get out of there!! We had trouble getting a taxi there but finally got one back to the Marriott.

Karen just returned from a swim and I am just hanging out. We are in for the night. We will go to the club for drinks and have a light dinner here.

Sorry that this is not much of a travel log but it will improve on the 30th when it comes from India.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Bangkok for this trip.
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2011, 03:18 AM
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Hey Bob, are you thinking of going to the Batu caves when you are in KL lol?
Smeagol is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2011, 05:32 AM
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i hate caves and we arew not going to that K/L
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2011, 07:44 AM
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I was only kidding as I know you hate the Batu caves... Oh I got confused with your itinerary. Koh lak?
Smeagol is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2011, 07:48 AM
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How tragic these floods are. They are showing video here on the local news and the scenes are terrible. Please let Hanuman know we are collectively thinking of he and his family and praying for them. A big cyber bear hug from all here in HI.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Oct 24th, 2011, 02:20 AM
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Monday Oct 24

This was to have been our day to visit the orphanage to deliver items being given in memorial to Andy Levine (Gpanda), but the flooding has put a stop to these plans so we have alternative plans.

A wonderful night of sleep…. Carol joined us for breakfast this morning---the McBeanies could not get out of bed I guess—haha… We had a nice leisurely meal.

Carol decided to join in some shopping with us after that… First we made a taxi stop just up the road at Hanuman’s condo on the river to drop off a package from Amazon which he had sent to our house. Next we headed over to the Khoa San Rd area to pick my new glasses up from Chang ($. From there we headed to Platinum Fashion Mall on Phetburi, just up the road from Pantip, the electronics emporium. They have a new annex to the left of the main store and carol introduced us to it…. It is more organized as areas have themes, like a shoe area, a bag area, a men’s area…

Main shopping goals were wild and weird evening bags for one daughter, shoes and costume jewelry… All were accomplished. We finished up with ice cream at Swensons in front of the mall. They were out of some things because of the flooding: whipped cream, some flavors and raspberry sorbet.

Carol took a tuk tuk back to soi 8 after getting the driver to cut the fare in ½ to 100B. We took a cab back to the Marriott for a nice swim—102 B.

This evening we are heading to Tongue Thai in back of the Oriental for dinner. Gpanda introduced us to this restaurant quite a few years ago so it seems fitting that on our way there we will release a few of his ashes into the Chao Phraya River. I think he might like that…
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 24th, 2011, 02:59 AM
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Enjoy your dinner. I'm eating shrimp at Meang's. I'm signed under bradinbangkok, but it's me, Carol. I really had a nice time today. Will I see you when you come back to BKK from KL, and before India? We could do dinner, maybe? Have fun in KL.
BradinBangkok is offline  
Oct 24th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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We invited a english couple that we had met a few days ago to join us for dinner at TT. We met in the lounge for a drink. The GM stopped by, calling me by name which surprised me. We had a wonderful conversation about Minor Corp (the owner of the hotel), the hotel's future, Bangkok, the flooding, hoteling, his family, private schools in bkk ($11000./yr). He spent at least 15 minutes with us. Nice guy (beth---same guy with the deserts).

We took the hotel boat and changed to the Oriental boat to get to TT. We had a good dinner and took a taxi back to the hotel.

Bed about 10...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 24th, 2011, 07:12 AM
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dinner 1250 B incl tip.
rhkkmk is offline  

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