Author Topic: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong  (Read 12875 times)

Offline BrooklynCPA

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #90 on: November 18, 2013, 02:38:19 PM »
Mr. and Mrs. AJK:  Absolutely amazing and entertaining TR!!!!!! Its actually better in writing than in person!!! You really should consider a career in Journalism!!

My only issue is that you skipped the first weekend of your vacation!!!!! :P

Offline aj26

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #91 on: January 01, 2014, 07:03:55 AM »
Im still waiting for more

Offline AJK

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #92 on: January 01, 2014, 07:07:50 AM »
Thanks for reminding me.

Will post the next installment this week, Gd willing.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline aj26

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #93 on: January 01, 2014, 08:52:55 AM »
Do you have something on Maldives? Trying to convince my wife to go
These trs go along way

Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #94 on: January 01, 2014, 09:04:24 AM »
Do you have something on Maldives? Trying to convince my wife to go
These trs go along way
Search and you shall find. You can even search Google and find it

Offline daganster

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #95 on: January 01, 2014, 09:07:53 AM »
Do you have something on Maldives? Trying to convince my wife to go
These trs go along way
Search and you shall find. You can even search Google and find it
There are plenty of TR's here on DDF. For heaven sake even I have one ;D
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=15937.msg266860#msg266860

Offline aj26

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #96 on: January 01, 2014, 09:30:36 AM »
Most people don't write as well as Mrs ajk

Offline rots5

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #97 on: January 01, 2014, 03:53:47 PM »
Do you have something on Maldives? Trying to convince my wife to go
These trs go along way
most ppl are from.... lemme guess lakewood... :D jk

thats how i got my wife convinced we should go to the maldives. all your wife needs is 20 minutes of mrs ajk's time :D
If you have any questions please search and then ask. PM me for detailed help.

Offline morgs

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #98 on: January 26, 2014, 04:58:53 PM »
Hey I'm sitting at the edge of my seat waiting for the rest of this awesome report-what happened!!! I'm holdin my breath.......

Offline AJK

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #99 on: January 26, 2014, 05:38:51 PM »
After a brief stop at the top of the mountain to “top off the elephants tanks” and ours with water, we rode all the way down the mountain and headed straight for a small lake.



Here is the best part and also the grossest part. Who knew elephants loved water so much? They all took off into the water while we slipped off their backs and grabbed some buckets and some elephant sized scrub brushes. We got to wash our elephants off while they played in the water and sprayed us with lake water. Sounds idyllic, right?

Well, it was, but the water was also filled with some other things elephant related which weren’t actually so charming. However terrible it sounds, it was worth it. When the elephants are in the water the prospect of plummeting off their backs is not as scary, so we got to sit on them, stand on them and just have fun with them without any of the worry.



Turns out our elephant was ten months pregnant so she was quite lazy and let us climb all over her. We had a great time; I think she enjoyed it, too. When swim-time was over the mahout--obviously spotting mahout potential in me-- let me ride the elephant out of the lake while everyone else had to leave their elephants behind. After one last kiss, I sorrowfully said good bye to our elephant and went off to shower and change out of our mahout gear. They thankfully had relatively clean, if not luxurious, shower accommodations and we were able to wash off the less cute part of the elephants that were all over us.

The ride back from the elephant farm was relaxing, and once back at the hotel, we decided to go get some ice cream. One of the wonderful things about the Le Meridian is its central location. By central, I mean close to the Haagen Daaz around the corner.

My world basically revolves around food, specifically ice cream, and my wonderful husband indulges this craving no matter the time or place. We got ice cream that was both delicious and overpriced, and in my estimation, well worth it. We then went to relax by the pool. We had invited the young couple from Chabad to come hang out with us and they soon showed up, fresh off a day of Flight of the Gibbon at our recommendation. We all went to the pool where we hung out for a few hours and then made plans to meet up later at the famous Sunday night street market.





First though, we took another of our beloved Tuk-Tuk rides to Chabad for dinner and obviously, straight after that we headed to the Green Bamboo for our final massage.



We both got another two hours of massages each. AJK chose a Siam package, which he loved and I had a coconut oil massage and then an hour of hot herbal compress massage. I loved both of my massages; however, as you can probably guess I was mostly asleep for the majority of it; it was lovely.

From there we walked to the night market and met up with our friends. The night market is huge and has lots to see, so you definitely want to give yourself strolling time. The vendors are open to bargaining, but we did not see them being as easy to talk down as we had been told about by other travelers. We ended up snagging a gorgeous mango wood tray, and a ridiculously cool tray that has four elephants carrying it on their backs (yes, I really do love elephants.)



One of my favorite buys was some really neat jewelry which was literally 10% of the cost had I bought it in the US. Not buying more funky, one of a kind jewelry is my one “I wish” of the trip. The night market has the most eclectic, oddest collection of things you can buy ranging from week old adorable puppies (AJK--which we almost ended up buying), to paintings, to cricket kebobs (AJK--which we did NOT almost end up buying), to the most intricate hand-crafted designs.















It was well worth a stop. By the time we had walked around for a few hours we were pretty exhausted and ready to head back to the hotel for some sleep before our flight the next morning to Koh Samui, an island in the south of Thailand where we would be for Shavuos.

Before leaving our new friends, we found out that they would also be on Koh Samui for Shavuos, but only keeping one day of chag, so we made plans for them to come see us on the second day of Shavuos when it was no longer chag for them. We took our last Tuk-Tuk ride back to the hotel and went to sleep.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline AJK

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #100 on: January 26, 2014, 05:56:48 PM »
The next morning, I ran over to the laundry place to pick up our freshly laundered clothing. We did five pounds of laundry which they washed, dried, and folded for.... $7.

...maybe one of the best buys of our trip.

I actually get nostalgic thinking about picking up that pile of laundry that someone else washed, dried and folded. That laundry honestly smelled so good I was reluctant to re-wash any of the clothing when we got home. We quickly packed our things and headed downstairs to catch a taxi to the airport for our flight.



The airport is no more than ten minutes away and we made it there in plenty of time to check in and go sit in the lounge for a bit. The ‘lounge’ is basically a room with couches and some snacks, nothing to write home about, but nonetheless nice. The airport is pretty small and there’s not that much to see. I did walk around to see if I could snag any last minute souvenirs, but the prices were all about one and a half times the price as at the night market, for the exact same objects. We boarded our flight and settled in for the quick one hour jaunt to Koh Samui.














The weather got noticeably nicer and the sky cleared into a beautiful, clear, bright blue as we neared the island.







We landed on the island’s one runway and embarked down a jetway straight onto the tarmac. We boarded little open-sided shuttle that took us to the baggage carausel.










[No, that isn't me on the right!]

The Conrad, where we were staying, was on the opposite end of the island from the airport about a 1 hour drive away. We opted to rent a car instead of taking a taxi, because this gave us the option of leaving the hotel that night or the next day should we want to do some touring.

Now, at this point in the trip we had done some pretty crazy and dangerous things. None of them, I repeat, none of them even rivaled the sheer danger of renting a car and driving from one end of this island to the other… on the left side of the road. AJK was actually scarily good at it, and after a few small hiccups where we turned into the wrong lane and found large trucks barreling down upon us, he got into a good groove and we were able to start enjoying the ride.

While I played navigator to his captain, we made our way first to the stunning Chabad for lunch.







Then we headed toward the hotel and down and up the twisty and curvy roads surrounded by jungle on one side and some of the most stunning turquoise waters on the other side. We stopped along the way at one lookout point to take some pictures of the gorgeous water and then headed back to the car to continue on our way.



With the aid of Google maps we made our way to the bottom of a very steep hill that the hotel, according to Google, was on top of. We started up this hill with some trepidation, as it was literally so steep that it was cut into about seven switchbacks. There was a guard at the bottom of the hill, who coordinated with a guard at the top of the hill to ensure that only one car at a time was on the road because it was just so steep. After going up halfway we realized the car was running out of steam, we had to turn off the air conditioner to allow the car to give everything it had to make it up to the top.

Once we got to the top and pulled into the Conrad driveway we realized that our drive and trip up the side of the cliff was all more than worth it. The ocean lay spread out before us, the sun glinting off the water in a thousand different places sending shimmering sparkles up at us. The Conrad is built literally on a cliff-face, with each room laid out on a separate pair of stilts. This not only affords you great privacy, but each room is afforded truly spectacular views of the water and of the ‘five island’ that stand a few miles offshore. 





2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #101 on: January 26, 2014, 10:10:35 PM »
The wait has been worth it... Waiting for the rest of the Koh Samui report!
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Online damaxer91

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #102 on: January 27, 2014, 12:02:05 AM »
Looks like they got themselves a new Chabad House in Koh Samui.

When I was there in '11 it was quite dingy

Offline Dan

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #103 on: January 27, 2014, 12:12:04 AM »
Awesome, keep going!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline morgs

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Re: Southeast Asia with a Splash of Hong Kong
« Reply #104 on: January 27, 2014, 02:23:31 AM »
Nice job!! (Still at the edge of my seat though :))