Andaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8295 times:
The second part of the trip, a compact report:
I spent six days in Bangkok, met an old friend and enjoyed the city, little shopping and lot of good food, especially Japanese. I had good time in Bangkok, as always.
BTS "SkyTrain" in Bangkok
A Bangkok lunch
I stayed in Hotel Narai in Silom area, a good 3 star hotel and a good location,
I just learnt that better ask a non smoking room, otherwise there is a chance you really get a 'smokey' room.
I hate to rush so I arrived at Suvarnabhumi rather early. The taxi ride took longer than to the old airport, a rail connection (2008?) will be a big improvement.
The BKK departure hall looked huge, it has sort of industrial look, lot of shiny steel. A bit cold to my taste.
No queues to the check in. Very quick but not that friendly service.
Travelling in biz class is something special to me and I had high expectations, but I soon learnt my ticket wouldn't open every door.
I knew all the lounge services were not ready at BKK but still the lounge I was guided to was a disappointment: food & services were all VERY basic, not even own toilets there. I had a feeling there must be some better (OneWorld?) lounge somewhere for me but I was too lazy to make a move. Well, at least it was a quiet place to kill time.
Business Lounge at BKK
In some point I just felt I have to leave and I checked out the tax free zone and restaurants. Didn't feel like shopping so I started the long walk to my gate, I felt like I am inside a steely space ship.
A Space Ship Called Suvarnabhumi
I found my gate in the far end of the "space ship". The waiting area wasn't comfortable, rather limited space and strange dark lighting. I was happy I didn't have to stay there too long, soon I was able to get in to the nose of AY's flying "Santa Clause".
Once again, a tall, blond FA guided me to me seat. The fresh, kind of minimalistic cabin was perhaps half full, most of the passengers had travelled from HEL. I didn't get a neighbour, the pair of angled lie-flat seats were just for me.
Before the take off a class of good champagne was served. As usually, MD11 had a powerful take off, old "Santa" still has energy.
When I got rid of the seat belt I started to play with the seat functions.
The seat was a bit hard and the angled sleeping position felt strange first, but I was sure it would work fine on a long-haul flight, with a pillow and a blanket.
And then: lunch time.
The menu was:
Grilled breast of chicken with Thai glass noodle salad
Cantaloupe melon with sweet chili dressing
Red snapper with red curry
Stir-fried beef tarragon cream sauce
The starter was really nice, but the red snapper so and so, nothing special.
In that point I was missing my sea food meal on Emirates.
AY has a good wine list in biz class, I learnt they have got several 'Best Wine Cellar in the Sky' awards from the Business Traveller Magazine.
My white wine choice was Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2004 from New Zealand. Very nice.
In a worn out toilet you could see the MD11 wasn't any new bird, some fixing needed. The IFE system was ok, not the latest model.
The Finnish-Asian cabin crew did they job well, the service was professional and efficient.
Overall, my first AY biz class experience was something I expected: average food, seat and entertainment, good wines, professional service. It worked but didn't offer anything special.
The short flight was soon over. HKG looked like a better version of BKK, it must be one of the best international airports. I took an express train to the Kowloon station, from there a free bus took me to my hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.
I really liked Hong Kong, it's a friendly city for a tourist, hard to get lost and English widely spoken. And easy to walk around and good public transport system.
Hong Kong tram
After five days it was time to fly back home. Again, HKG was a smooth and friendly experience. The only disappointment was the lounge, again. I was dreaming to get in to the famous Cathay Pacific Wing-lounge but no: I only got the invitation to the DragonAir lounge. But, it was much nicer than the one at BKK, they had internet and better food & drinks.
This flight was much similar to the previous one, no surprises.
This time food was better, I especially liked the starter. I never say no to sea food.
AY J-class BKK-HKG
This time I even made some shopping: I bought a 1:200 model of Finnair's MD-11, the 'Santa Edition'.
Again the service was good, the FAs were mature Finnish ladies, no Asian FAs in my section.
I started to feel really tired, I could feel flu coming, so I tried to sleep.
I wished I could have stayed there all the way to HEL but no mercy.
Soon I was at BKK again.
Smooth transit at BKK.
Again, on board the wonderful ICE system took all my attention, you just can't get bored on EK's B777.
This time the food menu was lighter, but still the omelette breakfast was delicious and plenty.
The cabin had a wonderful night lightning, a wakening 'sunrise' before landing at DXB.
Similar transit at DXB than the first one: very busy terminal but still rather quick security check, very slow boarding.
No more wonderful B777 with ICE so I slept as much I could, though the uncomfortable seat didn't make it easy. Only the meals woke me up: a continental breakfast and a lunch before MUC.
I had several hours at MUC, was too tired to go to the city. Actually MUC is a good place to kill time, named one of the best airports in Europe. I agree: not too big, modern, clean, friendly. And less expansive than HEL, for example.
Terminal 2 had a terrace for plane spotting, the weather was great but that time I saw only Lufthansa narrow bodies and one lonely Emirates A330.
I said good bye to the Franz Josef Straus airport and let Finnair to fly me home. In that point, I was really sleepy but in a good mood, it had been a good trip but it was time to get home and to my own bed.
The plane was full of Finnish and German businessmen, no exit seat available this time. A pasta dinner was served, had red wine and a nice bonus: a bottle of good champagne, a gift from a FA I happened to know. I saved it for a rainy day, though.
I was dead tired when I got home, but I had a good trip. I especially liked Emirates B777, the ICE system and their food, the seat on Finnair's A319 and their wines in MD11 biz class. All airports were good, HKG was my favourite.
Bangkok was great as always and Hong Kong became one of my favourite cities, will return there.