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DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: world2see on September 21, 2010, 06:03:24 PM

Title: tel-aviv -frankfurt-beijing-hong kong-phuket trip report
Post by: world2see on September 21, 2010, 06:03:24 PM
 we traveled from israel to frankfurt,taking the early morning flight arriving at 830 in germany,we had a 10 hour stopover so we figured we'd use the opportunity to go visit some kevarim there,so we arranged a driver around Frankfurt, we arranged to be back at the airport around 200 pm,giving us a little more then 3 hours to fully enjoy the first class terminal and to give us time to freshen up before taking the 520 flight to beijing,as we we're traveling with a one year old,we needed to bath her and get her ready for the long flight. as for the first class terminal,what an amazing experience! when we arrived,our kosher meals were warmed up for us,we sat down to eat,drink(what an amazing array of schnapps!) and they even have a cigar lounge!!! we then arranged a shower room which i must say was right  up there with the best of hotels i've stayed in! everything there was truly first class,from the cleanliness,amenities, and even to giving us a first class terminal rubber ducky for our daughter,simply amazing! we than bathed our daughter,showered ourselves and than were driven right up to the plane in a stretched mercedes,equipped with a superb car seat:)our driver took us right up-to the plane,up an elevator,onto the plane and even schlepped all our hand luggage and put it into the overhead for us! as for the first class cabin,it was pretty enjoyable,even lucking out with an extra seat for our daughter(she officially is an infant -in - arms ticket),we all slept very nicely,enjoying the roses,decent kosher meals and great level of service!                                                                                                                            we arrived in beijing 830 friday morning and arranged a car service to pick us up,after reading previous reports,the $90 hotel pickup was not necessary,and you probably could just take a taxi which might run around $15,our driver charged $30 and it made us more comfortable knowing we had someone waiting for us. we stayed at the St. regis in downtown beijing,which is around a minute walk to chabad,where we stayed and joined for shabbos. after checking in to the hotel we went straight to sleep,being utterly exhausted from all the traveling, when we woke up,we explored the local area,visited the chabad house,made all the arrangements for shabbos(stairs,how to get our daughter back and forth from chabad to the hotel,etc.) and got ready for shabbos.while we were out,we had our personal butler come and unpack for us,which was a nice help!                                                                              as for shabbos,it was very enjoyable spending time with such a mix of people as well as the shaliach and his wife,such amazing people! the meals,davening and whole experience was amazing!the hotel staff knew we needed the stairs and always helped in any way possible,we kept our carriage downstairs thru-ought shabbos instead of schlepping it up and down,overall a very nice experience!                                                                                                             sunday was our busiest day on our trip,we got up early,arranged a driver/tour guide and headed out for the summer palace,really a beautiful area allot of walking,nice buildings,lakes parks,we move a bit quicker than most but you can spend all day there if you like to take things slow.From there we headed to the forbidden city,which i must say was quiet amusing,really so interesting to see different cultures from ancient times. from there we walked over to tienamen square which is right across the street. to sum the day up,there is plenty of ancient culture to see,depending on your interest level thats how long you can spend at each location. after a full day of touring we headed to the chabad restaurant,dini's,which currently was under construction and was based out of the chabad house,pretty much an open grill each night we were there,good food and very nice people! each night we were there,we ordered food for lunch the next day so that was really helpful.         on monday we went to the great wall at matanyu,we arranged a driver(thanks to the chabad tourist info book-an amazing job by chabad and a must for each visitor to china)it was around an hour 20 minute drive each way but was well worth it as it was relatively empty up on top of the wall. we took the cable car up(weren't going to hike up the wall with an infant) and you can really spend as long as you want up there,really a must for every visitor to beijing!amazing views and so much history! on the way back we went to the silk market,which i must say as a general rule to all markets in china,you'll have 100 people surrounding,pressing,pushing and shoving you,telling you what a great deal you are getting,BE PREPARED as it is very overwhelming! you can buy a very good knockoff of almost anything but you must negotiate,whatever price they start off,you can figure the going price would be around 10 percent of the original price.after stocking up on random articles of clothing we headed to dinis for a delicious supper. at night the chabad rabbi sent over their household help to babysit our daughter as me we spent the night exploring the hutong area,very touristy and cute.when we got back to the hotel we had the pool to ourselves,as it is open 24hours!                                                                                                                    on tuesday we started our day off with a hutong tour,really an amazing rickshaw tour thru old time china,we felt like we went back 500 years in time,the hotel took care of arranging it for us,even telling the taxi exactly where to drop us off and having someone from the hutong company waiting for us. from there we went to the perl market which obviously specializes in pearls,but you can pretty much find anything and everything else there as well.from there we had another great dinner at dinis followed by massages across from the hotel.                       wednesday brought us back for more shopping at the markets which took up almost half the day,wednesday afternoon we flew from beijing to hong kong with air china. the flight was of the worst weve ever experienced,no first class,the plane was very very old and really nothing about the flight was professional. even after landing in hkg we waited on the runway for around 30 minutes until being brought to the terminal,only to realize we had to take another bus to the baggage claim. after collecting our luggage we took a taxi to our hotel,the shrangi-la.                                                                                                                           thursday we had a late morning,so we just headed over to the ladies market(more of the same stuff like in china). from there we headed to victoria harbor just a beautiful area. we than took a ferry tour around the harbor.we walked around that whole area,sort of a mix between 5th avenue in new york city and rodeo drive in l.a. very relaxing. we headed back to our hotel,across the street there was a professional custom tailor,you can walk away with a very nice suite with shipping for less than $400. we headed next door for supper at the mul hayam restaurant,located in the kehilas zion shul complex,very very good food!at 800,we watched the light show on the harbor,pretty cute,but personally nothing too special.                              friday we headed straight to victoria peak,taking the tram all the way up. really was of the most amazing views weve ever experienced and while at the peak there is plenty to do(i even had a fish foot massage:) from there we picked up some food at the ymca located nearby,also on the hong kong island side.we took the tar ferry back to the hotel and  made sure we were set to go for shabbos and all preparations were in place.                                      we spent shabbos with kehillat zion,an it truly was amazing!the food,atmosphere and people were quiet unique and so enjoyable to be with!everything from beginning to end was superb!    early sunday morning we flew from hong kong to phuket with thai airways,short and pleasant flight!when we arrived in phuket while walking to pick up our luggage a man walked over to us,having already collected our luggage and told us hell arrange a cab,wanted to charge a small fortune!we quickly told him thanks but no thanks and took a regular taxi with no problems and half the price. as it currently is rain/off season in phuket i managed to luck out and find an amazing hotel with our own private villa with private pool for under $200 a night,it was called the sala phuket.we spent the day walking along the beach,where we didn't spot a person for miles! and relaxed around our pool and hammock! the hotel takes care of every possible need you can think of and it really was amazing! as for food,chabad has a subsidized menu at very cheap prices and they delivered directly to my hotel room,good food and even nicer people!                                                                                                               monday we spent the morning around the pool,followed by taking a tuk-tuk to a shopping village up the road called turtle village. cute small shopping area with a convenience store which we needed at that moment. after being warned about the rain season,we were very worried about the weather,but other than monday afternoon the weather was gorgeous! on monday afternoon we decided to go elephant riding(again the hotel arranged everything for us),it really was indescribable! what amazing creatures!we really had the thrill of our lifes!       tuesday we arranged a personal boat tour around the famous islands of phuket,its quiet impossible to describe the amazing scenery we saw,but suffice it to say we left in awe!in the afternoon we chilled around the hotel and again made full use of our pool!                                        Wednesday as our last vacation day so we really wanted to soak it all in(pardon the pun)so we spent the whole day around the beach,pool,hotel just enjoying relaxing and really taking it all in  such a beautiful location and scenery and really feels like your in dream land in another world!                                                                                                             early thursday we took a short 40 minute flight from phuket to bangkok. in bangkok,thai airwauys offers free massages for all passengers so my wife and i fully appreciated our stop in bangkok to say the least! we than had a 10 hour flight from bangkok to frankfurt,and i must say what an experience!!!!we got on the plane and asked for an extra seat for our daughter,to our suprise they informed us we can have the whole downstairs business class cabin to ourselves,as they booked everyone in the upstairs cabin! we had 20 business class seats to ourselves with our own stewerdess. she told us that whenever we are in the mood of our meals just lt them know and it was served 20 minutes later!(very good hermolis meals) overall a once in a lifetime flight truely enjoyable! from frankfurt we finally took the last leg of our long journey back to israel and were very excited to be back home after a long amazing trip!                                                                                    (i probably left out details as this is my first report,so any questions for more info about anything feel free to ask!)
Title: Re: tel-aviv -frankfurt-beijing-hong kong-phuket trip report
Post by: Deal Guy on September 22, 2010, 03:30:30 AM
Thanks for taking the time out to write the report.
Title: Re: tel-aviv -frankfurt-beijing-hong kong-phuket trip report
Post by: aussiebochur on September 22, 2010, 03:39:27 AM
Very nice! Thanks!
Title: Re: tel-aviv -frankfurt-beijing-hong kong-phuket trip report
Post by: SuperFlyer on September 22, 2010, 07:44:14 AM
Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: tel-aviv -frankfurt-beijing-hong kong-phuket trip report
Post by: Dan on September 22, 2010, 09:12:51 AM
Title: Re: tel-aviv -frankfurt-beijing-hong kong-phuket trip report
Post by: Bp on February 17, 2011, 09:57:01 AM
Thanks for the report really nice!!    Can you expend how you booked the  flights hotels? how many points?
Title: Re: tel-aviv -frankfurt-beijing-hong kong-phuket trip report
Post by: world2see on February 17, 2011, 11:40:43 AM
we booked using one-pass miles,it came out to 120,000 miles in first class,since it was an open jaw ticket all our flights were included,from tel-aviv to beijing,from beijing to hong kong and the return from Phuket to tel-aviv. the only flight i had to pay for was a short flight from hong kong to Phuket,around $100. as for hotels, in beijing the st. regis is a very nice hotel and usually have availability for cash and points and depending on your spg status,very nice suits to upgrade to. in hkg we happened to get a very discounted rate at the shangri-la in Kowloon,thanks to a friend's corporate account. in Phuket we decided to splurge due to the fact that it was 'off season/rain season' and happened to get a beautiful private 2 floor villa with our own private pool,it was around $200 a night! any more details feel free to ask!
Title: Re: tel-aviv -frankfurt-beijing-hong kong-phuket trip report
Post by: momo on February 17, 2011, 03:24:15 PM
Great report! ;D