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The honeymoon TP run trip report

The honeymoon TP run trip report

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Old Dec 26, 18, 7:35 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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Some Bangkok tips

We're frequent visitors to SE-Asia including a trip last month that also included KL and Bangkok among other places. If you are looking for locals restaurant suggestions see our report from a trip a few years ago at A perfect First Day in Bangkok - Southeast Asia Travel. It mentions two places: Krua Apsorn for lunch and Pud Thai Thip Samifor dinner. We've eaten at both multiple times since then including both again in November-18 and are happy to report both are still great. A couple notes: Krua Apsorn no longer serves the stuffed chicken wings we raved about in the review (but there are still plenty of dishes to get excited about) and Thip Sami has opened a back room adding additional tables but there was still a wait of about 30 minutes before getting seated. Portions are a bit small at Thip Sami and we often find ourselves ordering multiple plates.

Last edited by mediakzar; Dec 26, 18 at 7:41 am Reason: Punctuation
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Old Jan 8, 19, 7:23 am
  #17  
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@mediakazar - thanks very much for the recommendations. We were only in Bangkok for a couple of days and had left by the time I managed to read your post.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 4:36 am
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Bangkok

Our joyful and excited bounding towards immigration at BKK was only temporarily halted when we saw the massive queue for immigration control and the looks of despair in people's faces as they slowly inched forward, the end of the line (presumably) somewhere over the horizon. We then remembered that the lovely folks at Malaysia airlines had given us priority immigration passes, which in this occasion turned out to be a real godsend. After realising this and waiting in the the demonstrably shorter priority queue for a couple of minutes our passports had been stamped and we were ready to see Thailand. Thankfully our bags, which we'd check in at Schiphol, had also been on the long journey with us and emerged intact from the bowels of the airport.
We then headed to the taxi rank and got into a cab, the excitement and anticipation building. We agreed that neither of us had ever seen traffic like it; within 5 minutes of leaving the airport and joining the highway we were stuck with many other taxis and assorted cars and trucks in a slow-moving mass of vehicles. It was so slow that after 45 minutes of "driving" we'd only travelled 8km! The wait was worth it, however, as we eventually reached the Sukhumvit district, where our hotel was located, and watched in amazement as one massive and unusually-shaped skyscraper after another whizzed by the taxi window. An hour and a half after leaving the airport we finally arrived at our hotel, paid the very reasonable 380 bhat (around 10) fare and checked in.

As this forum's all about flying, I'll not bore you all with details of our holiday and post too many photos. Suffice it to say that we had a great couple of days exploring Bangkok, which was every bit as insane as people had told us it would be. Luckily we had a very comfortable hotel with a pool and breakfast buffet to retire to after exhausting ourselves with wats, markets and tuk tuks. Compared to what one gets in Europe or the States for the same amount of money, hotel rooms in Thailand really are like palaces.










Flight 5: FD3223 (AirAsia) DMK-KBV
Aircraft: HS-ABN (FD 3223)
Seats: 22F/22E (very much economy)
Avios/tier points: Sadly, AirAsia are not part of the OneWorld "family" so no avios or BAEC tier points.

Although we'd arrived in Bangkok through its main international airport, Suvarnabhumi (BKK), this is primarily used by full-service/legacy carriers and our el-cheapo AirAsia flight was due to depart from Bangkok's somewhat less prestegious and considerably older Don Muang (DMK) airport. The friendly hotel staff arranged a Taxi for us, which arrived almost instantly and we were on our way back across Bangkok. Luckily, being a Sunday afternoon, the traffic was considerably lighter than it had been when we arrived and we got to DMK with plenty of time to spare. After check in and baggage check, during which you have to wait for your bag to be scanned before being allowed to proceed, we went through security and prepared ourselves for a couple of hours of "enjoying" DMK's festive atmosphere. Let's say that I can understand why the likes of BA and CX have chosen to go with BKK - DMK feels old and really busy. Anyway, we grabbed a coffee and some kind of Japanese cheesecake and waited for our first ever AirAsia flight. DMK is pretty much exclusively used by low-cost carriers, so there's not a whole lot of variety in aircraft to look out for - just the usual shorthaul A3XXs and B737s. That said, the absolutely insanity of Nok air's livery, which seems to be different for each aircraft, did lessen the monotomy somewhat.



As our expected departure time drew near, we walked to the gate to discover that our aircraft was nowhere to be seen, the inbound aircraft still being enroute. More loungeless time at DMK. Hurrah! The inbound AC arrived around 5 minutes before we had been due to depart but, impressively (worryingly?!), AirAsia managed to turn it around in less than 15 minutes and so we managed to depart with only around half an hour of delay.
I'll not say too much about our AirAsia flights, other than that for a LC carrier, the level of service was quite impressive and, as we'd booked a "value deal" we got a checked bag, seat selection and a free meal each. This turned out to be a rather tasty Penang chicken curry with Thai omelette. However, as we were to discover, AirAsia don't alternate this, so we ended up having 4 of these over the course of the trip!




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Old Jan 12, 19, 6:24 am
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SE Asia is probably my favourite regions in the world - having spent at least a couple of years there over the last ten years or so (including 2 year long RTW trips)

i hope you enjoy/enjoyed it as much as my wife and I.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 3:09 am
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Thanks @Hawes7701. We're back home now but had a really fantastic time. And, with that in mind...

Krabi/Koh Lanta

After a bit of a wait in Krabi airport for our shuttle to Koh Lanta to depart, we started making our way south to the island. This, perhaps unsurprisingly, involved a vehicle ferry. What was surprising was that the ferry in question was sea-worthy as, having travelled on it, I can't say I'm too sure that it was! Regardless, we arrived at our resort on Koh Lanta and spent a fantastic 5 days there over Christmas eating lots of Thai food (ok, and a club sandwich) and, other than taking a hair-raising scooter trip down to the southern-most tip of the island, did very very little indeed.







Flight 6: FD3211 (AirAsia) KBV-DMK
Aircraft: HS-ABO (Airbus A320-216)
Seats: 21F/21E (economy!)
Avios/tier points: not a sausage

After a lovely final breakfast on sunny Koh Lanta we got back on the shuttle bus and, surviving the rickety old ferry once more, were back on the mainland and at Krabi airport where a slightly odd system presented itself. Krabi airport has 2 terminals - 1 domestic, 1 international - and, although our first flight was only to Bangkok, our connecting flight would take us (hopefully!) out of Thailand and into Vietnam. We checked in at the domestic terminal, where our visa status etc for Vietnam was checked and where we were relieved of our bags. We were told, however, that we needed to proceed through security and emigration at the international terminal, so we would technically be leaving Thailand right there in Krabi, even though our flight would be to Thailand. We were given little stickers to wear so that ground staff at Bangkok knew we were transferring to another flight. A little embarrassing!



We dutifully did as we were told and waited in the internal terminal where, confusingly, they didn’t seem to use boarding screens at all. Luckily, around the time our flight was due to board we saw a queue and decided to join it, which turned out to be the one for our flight. How one was supposed to know that, I have no idea. We then were directed downstairs to a bus which took us back to terminal 2, where our plane was situated, to join us with the non-connecting passengers who has boarded in the domestic terminal!
On arrival in Bangkok we were herded into a little group of other badge-wearing transfer passengers by a slightly harassed-looking AirAsia staff member. After some time she shouted “follow me please” and we headed up some stairs to the most overheated, chaotic and packed terminal I have ever seen and we had over 2 hours to kill before our next flight (uuugh!)



After persevering with this for what felt like days we finally began boarding our next flight to Hanoi. We were not too sad to be leaving Don Meung behind, truth be told, and were excited to soon be entering another new country. We were less excited, however, about the prospect of our second Penang chicken curry and Thai omelette of the day and our third of the trip. Oh well!

Flight 7: FD644 (AirAsia) DMK-HAN
Aircraft: ?? (Airbus A320-216)
Seats: 22A/22B (economy!)
Avios/tier points: nope

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Old Jan 13, 19, 3:26 am
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Hanoi:

I'll update this with text later on but thought I'd upload some photos first!



Hanoi military museum.

The Hanoi "street train"

Temple of Literature

Uncle Ho's place

Hogmanay in Hanoi

Ngoc Son Temple at night

Bai Tu Long bay

Spelunking in Bai Tu Long bay
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