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Resort Hopping in Thailand via QR Business on A380 & Dreamliner

Resort Hopping in Thailand via QR Business on A380 & Dreamliner

Old Jul 18, 16, 2:09 pm
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Resort Hopping in Thailand via QR Business on A380 & Dreamliner

It's been a while since I posted a TR here, but you know how it goes... Life just gets so darn busy when you're not relaxing on a beach.

I promise that I'll play catch-up and write trip reports for our Paris/Ibiza/Barcelona trip and our Zanzibar trip soon! But first, while it's still relatively fresh in my memory, let me tell you about our recent June trip to Thailand.

It's been 4 years since we've last visited and it was high time we went back and experienced Thailand's magical combination of incredible cuisine, beautiful beaches, natural beauty, warm tropical weather, cheap beer, friendly people and those lazy massages on the beach.

Our previous trip was exploratory. We spend a couple of days in Bangkok and did everything from floating markets, palaces and temples, crazy nightlife and swanky rooftop bars (best one at Lebua Hotel where we stayed).

We then went south and explored the west coast of Krabi province, the unspoilt beauty of Railay. We went island hopping and scuba diving. We stayed on Phi Phi island and did motor boat cruises and even experience the madness of Pattaya for one crazy night. (One day I might do a TR for this as well)

It was an amazing holiday, but so exhausting!

So, this time round we wanted to break away and relax. The pace would be a lot more relaxed and our goal was to experience luxury relaxation rather than frantic exploration.

The exploration we wanted was to experience a new 5 star resort every two to three days.

There are MANY luxury resorts in Thailand, so we had to devise a plan. After a lot of research we decided on two destinations: Chiang Mai (for it's mountains and jungles) in the north and the west coast of Phuket (for its beaches and sunsets) in the south.

The list of resorts?
Chiang Mai:
  • Dusit D2 (More for Location)
  • Four Seasons Chiang Mai

Phuket
  • Le Meridien (Location)
  • The Surin
  • Banyan Tree Phuket
  • JW Marriott Phuket

We're really big fans of Qatar's Business Class offering.
They were named World Best Business Class at Skytrax Airline Awards only a week ago, but we knew this for a while already.

Below is the route. (Don't shoot me if its not scientifically accurate).



Ok, so now that you know the background, I promise I'll start with the TR. With photos.

Last edited by CPT Skywalker; Jul 22, 16 at 1:58 am
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Old Jul 18, 16, 2:54 pm
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Looking forward to hear about the FS Chiang Mai!
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Old Jul 19, 16, 2:47 pm
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It's a cold a dreary day in Cape Town, just the way I like it when boarding an international flight to somewhere tropical!

An Uber Black gets us to the airport. Traffic is a breeze.
Even the airport isn't really busy, so we shoot through security and imigration and head straight for the lounge.

Unfortunately the BA lounge isn't open yet, so we go to the local Bidvest lounge.
Newly renovated and not a soul in sight. Again, just the way I like it!



It's a daytime flight as well, which means a long, lazy and boozy lunch followed by a movie and and a little zzz before touchdown.



Our bird has arrived!



I love the new 787 Dreamliners. A documentary I watched the other day enlightened me on a few interesting facts about them.
They're extremely quiet because their fuselage and wings is made from a carbon fibre compound. Less panels, no rivets, no rattling! Lighter and more fuel efficient and they can pump more oxygen into the cabin (as it doesn't expand as much as conventional planes) so it helps with jet-lag!



There she is! 2K, my home for the next 9 hours.



The obligatory glass of champagne (or two) before take-off.



And we're off!




No sharks in False Bay today..



More champagne, warm nuts and some Rebel Wilson.

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Old Jul 19, 16, 3:26 pm
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Lunch is kicked off with a salmon and goat's cheese starter. Piquant! Perfect to finish my glass of Billecart-Salmon.



Next is the lamb with mint and pea mash and a glass of the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte accompanied by a heartfelt apology that they were unable to show me the bottle or pour at my seat as it was Ramadan at the time, so opening and pouring of alcohol was restricted to the galley.





I finished off the meal with some fresh fruit and a glass of Riesling.



By now the mood lighting and window automatic window tinting has convinced everyone in the business class cabin that it's early evening...



But from the toilet window it's clear that it's still broad daylight glistening off that engine.



Back at my seat...



...I decide some ice cream and port would have to make up for the cheese platter I really wanted, but they ran out of...



According to Mr 747 it was really good.



After the movie, it was nap time and before we new it, we were descending.

Hello Doha.
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Old Jul 19, 16, 7:42 pm
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Great start! Very much looking forward to all the resorts in Thailand.

Btw, how did you make the route map on the first post?
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Old Jul 20, 16, 3:17 am
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I finished off the meal with some fresh fruit and a glass of Riesling.
This is not fresh fruit.
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Old Jul 20, 16, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
This is not fresh fruit.
Doesn´t look like on the first view but it could be freshly sliced, perhaps at the ground
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Old Jul 20, 16, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
This is not fresh fruit.
It might not be freshly sliced
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Old Jul 20, 16, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by 18hours View Post
Btw, how did you make the route map on the first post?
It's a screen shot of Apple maps and a little Photoshop work...
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Old Jul 20, 16, 11:16 am
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What a lovely start. Hope that you enjoy the rest of the trip, but is BKK is not brutally hot and humid this time of year?
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Old Jul 20, 16, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by roadwarrier View Post
What a lovely start. Hope that you enjoy the rest of the trip, but is BKK is not brutally hot and humid this time of year?
We didn't spend any time in BKK this time, but yes, it can get hot. To be truthful, I love it!

Cape Town has lovely weather in the summer months, so we always try to go somewhere warm during the winter.

Besides, there's always a pool, an A/C or a cold drink not too far away. Sure beats 12C rainy Cape Town.
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Old Jul 20, 16, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by CPT Skywalker View Post
We didn't spend any time in BKK this time, but yes, it can get hot. To be truthful, I love it!

Cape Town has lovely weather in the summer months, so we always try to go somewhere warm during the winter.

Besides, there's always a pool, an A/C or a cold drink not too far away. Sure beats 12C rainy Cape Town.
So true - sitting at the kitchen table in Jo'Burg right now and need to get upstairs to get slippers and what not on....

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jul 20, 16, 1:09 pm
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Hamad International, my old friend... Security was a breeze and literally a couple of minutes after leaving the plane we head up the familiar "staircase to heaven"...



...but something is not right this time...It's Ramadan, so NO alcohol is server ANYWHERE!

I understand the point, but it was a little disappointing, especially in contrast with our last visit when they were still serving Krug.

Instead we enjoyed our supper with a glass of sparkling water...



After a stroll through the shops it was time to continue our journey. This time on the Airbus A380! A first for me...



It was a later flight and business class was nearly empty!



We also already had dinner in the lounge so we opted to head straight to the bar.



Here we had a long (and very entertaining) chat with our bar lady who hailed from Jamaica. before going to bed.

We both woke up only when we started decent, but managed to squeeze a cup of coffee, croissant and orange juice in before landing.
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Old Jul 20, 16, 2:13 pm
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WOW what an epic TR - cannot wait to see the rest....
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Old Jul 23, 16, 4:44 am
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The connection flight to Chiang Mai wasn't bad. We flew Thai Smile and was impressed with the low cost offer from Thai Airways.



The first hotel we stayed at was the Dusit D2. It's location was perfect, right between the old town (a section of the city surrounded by a moat and some of the old city gates still remaining) and the river and right on the doorstep of the night market district.











The next few days were spent exploring Chiang Mai. A fascinating city with a culture not unlike Cape Town. Lots of coffee shops, galleries and hipster bars to visit.

And of course the temples! So many temples.









We were lucky enough to witness a ceremony of a young boy becoming a monk. Lot's of music, his mom (amongst others) dancing.













The 3 kings who founded the city:


Last edited by CPT Skywalker; Jul 23, 16 at 4:57 am
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