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Monday, November 17, 2014

FALL CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE: Day 16--Seoul to Bangkok

I enjoy staying at the W and Sheratons at Walker Hill, mostly in the Spring and Fall, as the Spring hills are dominated by the Sakura, and range of colors in the Fall.  Also, the toilets are well equipped:


The Executive Club here is already celebrating Christmas:


I show these grapes because they are the largest I've ever seen.  Bigger than the grapes on Mount Fuji, but not as tasty.

I had breakfast here:


I then notice what looked phantasmagorical:  the still-in-construction Lotte World Tower:


This structure will house 123 floors and rise to 1824 feet tall.  The new One World Trade Center in New York City, of course, has a height of 1776 feet.  There is, also, a "Hotel of Doom" in Pyongyang at 1995 feet, in construction now for 26 years, to open in two years.  But here is how the Lotte World Tower will look:


I can see the Fall colors from my room:


I was flipping around the various channels and chanced upon the 18th hole of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, Christina Kim versus Shanshan Feng.  Feng, 25, is the first woman professional golfer from China, and has won four LPGA tournaments during the past three years.  Kim, 30, was born in the USA, and has  not won in 221 attempts over the past 9 years. So, clearly, the most heartwarming story of this trip so far was watching Christina,  after nearly blowing it at least a couple of times, finally prevailing after two playoff holes.  Interesting note that her first victory as a professional was 12 years ago at a futures tournament, a six-hole playoff, beating Lorena Ochoa of Mexico.  Well, this setting was the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico.  

What was so joyous was understanding that for the past few years she was in deep depression, and many times thought of suicide:


She was hugged by her boyfriend, Duncan French, who happens to be Michelle Wie's caddie.  Then by Michelle, who was crying a lot more than Christina:


Michelle's early years was under the protection of Christina, who was her Mama Bear.  This victory probably saved Christina Kim's life.

My uneventful flight, which is good, from Incheon to Bangkok, took 6 hours.  I got to the W Hotel at around midnight.  Checking into W's in the early AM these days is like signing in at a disco.  Can you imagine walking into this atmosphere?  The whole lobby floor is blinking in lavender lights and pounding to the beat of electronic dance music.  No Donna Summer or KC and the Sunshine Band, but just DJ's building a mood, upbeat, deep and new disco.  Award-winning Paul Oakenfold DJ's here: 


The view from my room:


That's the MRTA Green Line, which also passes by the Sheraton Grand Sukhamvit.  The Bangkok W:



The breakfast here was fabulous.  I had three Shanghai dumplings, a large bowl fashioned at the noodle bar, tossed salad, orange juice and chicken tamarind.  I did notice that I must have been the only old person in the whole hotel.

I will later today move over to the St Regis, for I will dine at the best Indian restaurant in the world, Gaggan, located in close walking distance.

Oh, the Dow Jones Industrials today again broke an all-time record, up 40 to 17,688.
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