christao17
Posts: 902
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:41 am

Date: 24 February 2006
Route: BKK-SGN
Airline / Flight: TG680
Departure: 8:50 Scheduled / 8:55 Actual
Arrival: 10:20 Scheduled / 10:12 Actual
Aircraft: Airbus A300-600
Seat / Cabin: 35 E / Economy

Living in Bangkok for just over four months now, I’ve had an opportunity to use it as a hub from which to visit other parts of Asia: Singapore last October and Seoul in December. In February, I had a visitor from the United States who wanted to go to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC hereafter), so yet another opportunity for intra-Asia travel presented itself.

While our travel agent gave us the option of flying either THAI Airways International or Vietnam Airlines, we opted for TG – even for a short flight, there’s no need to turn down miles for my UA Mileage Plus account. Of course, I’d like to try Vietnam Airlines one of these days, too.

Our departure from Bangkok wasn’t until the reasonable hour of 8:50 and since in my mind I didn’t equate HCMC as “really” an international flight, we didn’t make an effort to arrive at the airport terribly early. The result: a bit of a rush and not much time to enjoy the 1960s-esque features of Don Muang International Airport.

Our taxi driver was in such a rush that he nearly overshot Terminal 1, our desired terminal, before I pointed out to him that TG operated from there, not Terminal 2. So we were discharged several hundreds of meters down the sidewalk from where we really wanted to be. Not the end of the world, of course, and thankfully not a sign of how the rest of the upcoming trip would unfold.

There were three of us traveling: my partner Tawn and our visitor Ryan in addition to myself. Ryan isn’t a frequent flier and perhaps didn’t appreciate the enthusiasts’ perspective with which Tawn and I experience travel by air. But he was stuck with us for the four-day weekend so I did my very best to turn him into an enthusiast, too.

The queues at the TG Economy check-in counters were quite long and I passed them by, heading to the Royal Silk / Star Gold check-in aisle instead. Ryan pointed out that we had missed the counters, and I responded with (an either haughty or elusive), “oh, we’re not going to go there.”

Chris and Tawn at the TG check-in counter
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6095.jpg

The line for the Royal Silk check-in counter was short and we were very quickly assisted by a pleasant agent. She checked our passports, printed boarding passes, and checked our two bags. When I inquired about a window seat, she said that the only sets of three seats she had together were in the middle section. While I would have liked a window view, it seemed unseemly to break up our trio right from the start of the trip.

TG’s FastTrack immigration line, unfortunately not available just because you’re Star Gold
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6099.jpg

Passing through immigration, we only had about fifteen minutes before boarding. As a Star Gold, I could bring one guest with me into the TG lounge. As we were three, I suggested we’d just skip the lounge outright. Tawn said he wanted to browse the duty free selection and that Ryan and I should go ahead and use the lounge. After checking to make sure he really meant it (and it wasn’t just some sort of self-sacrifice that I’d hear about later) we went ahead and walked down to the main Royal Silk Lounge.

The lounge, which is located down near pier 1, was a bit of a walk. Once we arrived, we only had a few minutes to relax, so grabbed some sandwiches and other finger food and beverages and enjoyed a quick snack. I also wrapped some pastries in napkins to sneak out to Tawn.

This lounge isn’t very nice. While they’ve put new slipcovers over the chairs, it looks pretty tattered. The First Class lounges have been recently redone and are beautiful, and I think there’s another Royal Silk lounge down near pier 5 that may be newer. Nonetheless, lounge access is a nice thing to have.

We headed out to the gate around boarding time, found the security lines to be thankfully short, and met up with Tawn, who was proof reading a press release for work. Thankfully, within a few hours of arriving in HCMC, Tawn had finished up all his work and was able to relax for the rest of the weekend.

The boarding had not commenced yet, so Ryan and I walked around taking pictures of some other planes. The pier was mostly TG aircraft, so there wasn’t anything too interesting to see, although I watched a Mahan Air Airbus taking off. The pictures I took of it were horrible and I wasn’t able to catch the airline’s name until my trip to San Francisco the following week, when I saw the plane still at the gate.

Other TG planes parked along our pier
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6110.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6113.jpg
Once boarding started, Ryan was once again surprised as we completely walked past the Economy Class line, which was quite long, and instead entered the gate through the Royal Silk side of the podium.

Our aircraft – a TG Airbus A300-600 in the old color scheme
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6105.jpg

The front part of the Economy cabin, between doors 2 and 3, was quite crowded. The rear part, between doors 3 and 4, ended up not being very crowded at all. As boarding continued, the helpful TG flight attendants worked the aisles, assisting customers with their carry-on bags and helping people find their seat assignments. For some reason, I found the seat numbers to be less than prominent on this aircraft.

We settled into our seats in the center section, not concerned about having a middle seat since the flight was not so long. The interior of the plane is colorful, with interesting designs on the cabin walls and bright seat fabric. Unlike the new A340s which have a mixed pattern of seat colors in each cabin, the older TG aircraft go for one solid color in each section of the cabin. In this case, deep purple in our section and a dark fuchsia in the rear section.

A flight attendant “wais” to greet a passenger
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6120.jpg

The cabin sidewalls
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6133.jpg

The safety video was started a few minutes before our scheduled departure and doors were closed on time, but we didn’t actually push back until 8:55, five minutes late. I really like the voice of the man who dubs the safety video. He’s a pretty well-known Thai TV personality, the ex-boyfriend of one of Tawn’s friends. His voice is deep and his English has a neat Thai-British accent. My goal in learning Thai is to model my Thai accent on his. Ambitious? Yes, but we all need goals in life.

It was kind of hard to see out the windows, being in a middle seat, so I just concentrated on enjoying the pleasant conversation with Tawn and Ryan, and reading Sawasdee, the inflight magazine.

Safety video
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6127.jpg

Our taxi out was quite quick, the early morning bank of departures having already taken off. A few minutes later, we roared down runway 21 R and climbed into the hazy morning sky.

For a flight scheduled at only 70 minutes, I was impressed to see a full meal service. Flight attendants started working the aisles about 20 minutes after take-off, offering beverages to passengers. Then came a quick towel service, followed by breakfast. There was only one entrée selection, a pasta in tomato sauce with shrimp. It was tasty and quite large, and was sort of a blend between Thai and Italian style. There was also a fruit plate.

A second beverage service followed. Flight attendants were carrying tea, coffee, and bottles of red and white wine. Other beverages were available on request.

Meal service begins
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6134.jpg

Shrimp pasta with tomato sauce
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6137.jpg

Kevin, you’re eyeing that TG wineglass, aren’t you? You’ll be interested to know that one of our trays actually had the new TG wineglass on it, which has a less-rounded shape to it. I'll keep my eye out for one.

Despite the short duration of our flight, the meal service did not feel rushed at all. After breakfast, I got up and walked around a bit, taking pictures of the cabin.

The front part of the cabin – Tawn is standing at our row
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6142.jpg

The back part of the cabin – not very crowded
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6141.jpg

Our approach into HCMC was pretty smooth. I wasn’t able to see much until just before touchdown but it looked a lot like Los Angeles to me: lots and lots and lots of low-rise building the run up juts to the edge of the airport. We landed on 25 R and took a few minutes to taxi into the gate of the rather staid looking terminal. Along the way in, we passed a long series of mortar-proof shelters in which various helicopters and planes were parked. The reinforced concrete shells were covered with lichen.

Passengers in a rush to deplane in SGN
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6144.jpg

A view from the jet bridge
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6145.jpg

Our TG plane on the ground in SGN
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6146.jpg

This being my first visit to a communist country, other than a few trips across the border from Hong Kong into Shenzen back in 1999, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The terminal is definitely old and the interior is quite stark. Lines for immigration were about 10 people deep but moved quickly. We were fortunate to arrive when we did because two additional planes came in after us, resulting in a very crowded immigration area.

Processing of my passport and visa was handled by a very stern looking woman who said nothing and dutifully stamped my passport, allowing me to enter Viet Nam.

By the time we reached the baggage claim downstairs, our luggage had already arrived and had been pulled off the belt. Since the terminal is quite small, it doesn’t seem to take long to get the bags in.

Baggage claim area
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6147.jpg

We grabbed our bags and headed through the door, shocked to come face to face with a huge crowd – literally hundreds of people – all patiently waiting for arriving passengers. Under the shade of the canopy there were a neat row of chairs in a horseshoe shape, occupied by the elderly and young children. And behind them, four or five rows deep of other people, waiting for some loved one to arrive.

Waiting to greet arrivals
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6149.jpg

There were also many tour guides holding signs announcing who they were looking for, and it took us a minute to spot the one reading “Mr. Tawn + Party”.

The driver spoke little English but gestured for us to follow him to the parking lot, a very large open space that stretched a great distance. We had a good view of the new terminal, which based on the signs that we saw, should launch the airport firmly into the 21st century.

The terminals, old and new
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6151.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6150.jpg

Our four days in HCMC were fantastic. If you haven’t been, it is an energetic city full of enterprising people. The central area, where most of the sights are, is very walkable – so long as you don’t get run over by a motorbike.

Ryan and his family left when he was just seven, so for him it was certainly a homecoming. The sights and sounds were familiar, but the tastes and smells really triggered his memories. Much of our trip was about the food: bun – rice noodles, banh xeo – rice flour crepes with shrimp and bean sprouts, pho – the ubiquitous beef noodle soup, as well as traditional sandwiches of pâté and veggies on crusty French rolls – all washed down with extra-strong Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, or fresh-pressed sugar cane juice.

Ryan at the Italianesque fine arts museum
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6186.jpg

Entire families on their motorbikes in front of an elementary school
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6253.jpg

Young lovers along the Saigon River at sunset
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6286.jpg

Hands-on grilling at a local restaurant
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6429.jpg

Sandwiches from the back of a vendor’s bicycle
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6611.jpg

The trip was also notable for our many encounters with the children of HCMC and their families. Whether at museums, temples, or public squares, there were so many outgoing youngsters who wanted to see what we were doing, wanted to take pictures with us, and wanted to talk with us. Of course, there were also the young people who were pushing postcards, shoe shines, and guide books, but most of our experiences were with people who were selling nothing and were genuinely curious about the people coming to visit their country.

A young boy and his father posing in front of the Hotel de Ville
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6580.jpg


Date: 27 February 2006
Route: SGN-BKK
Airline / Flight: TG687
Departure: 21:00 Scheduled / 21:00 Actual
Arrival: 22:25 Scheduled / 22:20 Actual
Aircraft: Airbus A300-600
Seat / Cabin: 47 A / Economy

Our departure was on Monday evening. After a full day of walking around the city, we returned to the Au Lac Hotel to pick up our bags. The driver of the van was to pick us up at 18:30 and that time came and went. At 19:00 I called the emergency contact number we had for the local travel agent and he said he’d check on the driver and call us back. We heard back five minutes later and he promised the driver was just around the corner. Finally, at 19:10 just moments before I was going to ask the hotel to call us a taxi, the driver pulled up.

It was the same driver we had on the way in from the airport, so I was a little surprised he was so late as we had tipped him generously on the way in. I never did find out from our travel agent in Bangkok what the cause of the delay was – miscommunication, traffic, who knows?

Fortunately, the drive to the airport only took about 25 minutes so we were there in enough time. When we were dropped off at the curb, there was still a mass of people waiting for arrivals and the signage directing us to the check-in area was a bit confusing. Finally we worked our way through the crowd and found the TG check in counter. Vietnam Airlines staff handles TG at SGN and we found no wait at the Royal Silk counter.

TG check-in counter
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6703.jpg

The flight was a much lighter load, so the agent was able to switch us to a window and two aisle seats across from each other. She gave me two passes to the shared lounge and when I asked if she could manage a third, she apologized and said that since it wasn’t a TG lounge she couldn’t do that.

The inside of the terminal is very sparse. UA’s check in area had a bit more color – they had put quite a bit of branding materials up to make sure there once a day flight to SFO by way of HKG was easy to find. Outside of that, things looked very dreary.

UA’s check-in area as viewed from the sterile lounge on the second floor
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6713.jpg

We proceeded through a customs area where our bags were placed through an x-ray machine. I noticed that the agent who was operating the machine was just staring off into space, not even looking at the screen. So much for security!

Customs screening area and the otherwise drab terminal
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6700.jpg

From there we went upstairs, paid a departure tax of US$12 (or you could pay in the local currency, the Dong) and proceeded through immigration. Lines were very short and we were caught a bit off guard because the officers asked for the yellow copy of our entry form. This copy didn’t actually say you needed to retain it, nor was it stapled into your passport. Luckily we all still had our copies, but it took a moment to search for them.

Once through, we walked past some small duty free shops and, hungry, stopped by a very skanky cafeteria. The selection of food was awful – all American style food and none of it looked appealing. Tawn was very hungry, so I gave him one of the lounge passes so he could get some food.

Ryan did some shopping for gifts, ultimately not finding anything he wanted to buy. And I just sat in the common area, watching the world go by.

Views of the terminal area
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6706.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6705.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6720.jpg

The common-use lounge. Only Vietnam Airlines has their own lounge.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6718.jpg

Finally, boarding was announced, which was the point at which everyone decided to queue for security. The line was quite long, but it didn’t really matter. This second security screening was a bit more thorough than the first, and about ten minutes later we were on board.

Boarding on TG 687
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6723.jpg

We pushed back on time and taxied out to runway 25R, climbing into a clear night sky with millions of lights below us defining the shape of HCMC. Slowly, the lights thinned out and the blackness of the countryside merged with the blackness of the sky. We turned northwest and headed toward Thailand.

The flight back was much the same as the flight out: attentive service and a full meal service. This time dinner was baked fish with an asparagus salad and nice banana bread for dessert. Yummy. A nice glass of French wine accompanied the meal and the flight attendants passed through the cabin almost continuously offering coffee, water, tea, more wine, coffee, more tea, more water… They didn’t seem to want to sit down.

Friendly Thai service
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6733.jpg

Our dinner
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6737.jpg

Our approach to Bangkok took us quite far to the north before we turned around and lined up with the runways. Usually, arriving traffic lands on 21L. But this evening we came in on 21R, making a very short landing and getting in to the gate just a few minutes before our scheduled arrival time.

A TG B777-200 at the gate next to us
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/christao17/February%202005/DSCF6740.jpg

The lines for immigration were quite long, with many flights arriving this time of night. Ryan and I made it downstairs to the baggage claim before Tawn, unusual as the Thai passport holders’ lines usually move quite fast. We discovered that our flight wasn’t listed on the monitors so it was unclear which carrousel our bags would arrive on.

Finally, I went to the baggage service counter at the far end of the baggage claim and they checked their list: belt 5, sir.

Sure enough, our baggage was already there waiting patiently for us. A quick stop by the duty free shop to pick up a few bottles of wine and we were on our way through customs and out the door to the taxi queue. Another trip successfully completed.


Hope you enjoyed the trip – comments and feedback appreciated and welcome

Other trip reports recently posted by me:
  • Korean Air Economy BKK-ICN-BKK 2005-12-10
  • SQ Economy BKK-SIN-SFO-BKK 2006-01-12
  • UA Post-Bankruptcy BKK-NRT-SFO 2006-03-04
  • Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
     
    ba319-131
    Posts: 8120
    Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Sun Mar 12, 2006 6:32 am

    Another great report with super photo's, really enjoyed it.

    Many Thanks

    Rgds

    Mark
    111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
     
    B742
    Posts: 3559
    Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:48 am

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:56 am

    Great trip report  Smile

    Nice pics also  Smile

    Rob!  wave 
     
    Tifoso
    Posts: 432
    Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:15 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:13 am

    Quoting Christao17 (Thread starter):
    Ryan at the Italianesque fine arts museum

    Ah, I love photos with people looking away from the camera, and into the distance.  thumbsup 

    Great trip report, Chris. It's a pleasure reading about your travels! Excellent work.

    The food seems to be very generous for a short 1 hour 10 minute hop.
     
    thai747
    Posts: 784
    Joined: Sun Jun 06, 1999 1:23 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:40 am

    Thanks for the report and the photographs, a great read. The cabin of the A300-600s seem a bit more knackered than what I seem to remember! Vietnam looks very interesting, definitely worth swinging by in the near future when I'm back in that part of the world.

    Thanks again.
     
    SR100
    Posts: 89
    Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:43 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:44 am

    Great report.

    I always enjoy your trip reports, your text and pictures.


    After having spent one year in Kansas City and knowing, that you do have some relatives there, I am surprised about your openess and how you judge the service of some airlines - I fully agree.

    Keep going on with your trip reports, they are personel - and very interesting. You do a great job and I am very proud about you.
    My favourite planes flown: Lockheed 188 Electra, Tridents, VC-10, B-707, L-1011, A330, E90 + Concorde
     
    CX881
    Posts: 232
    Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:32 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Sun Mar 12, 2006 6:22 pm

    Hey there! i recently flew from BKK - HKT on Thai. THey are a very good airline. I also flew on the A300-600 and even though it is old it is a very good plane.  Smile I was lucky because i flew in business class and i got a cockpit visit!!!

    CX881
    Dan
    747-400 - FOREVER THE QUEEN OF THE SKIES!!!
     
    kennethsk
    Posts: 285
    Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 2:01 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:09 am

    Great report again,

    I remember when I went to HCMC with TG, the aircraft was delayed by 2 hours, so it departed at around 10.30 something. I was very very tired as I came right from work ( I finished work at 7a.m.) The aicraft wasn't A346, but it was Boeing 737 ( I think if i wasn't wrong) so it was modified with new seats but rather small. I wasn't happy with the food, neither my mother, but the flight was okay anyway. I had only 1 hour sleep.

    The airport was pretty small in SGN. I would say that the airport in HKT is quite bigger than that. Once when we got off from the terminal, with the big surprise like there was a red carpet, people (tons of them) kept looking and taxi gangs came ask and trying to get us to the hotel.

    We didn't enjoy Vietnamese food though. In fact, i thought it was good, when you have vietnamese food in Thailand you expect the taste to be the same, but it isn't.

    Seemed like you had a good trip in HCMC anyway. I am thinking of going to Hanoi actually but don't know yet when. It seems there are too many destination in my vacation plans already, so I don't want to squeeze that in no more.  Smile

    Thanks for the report and thanks for the GREAT pictures.... Keep doing GREAT job!!

    Kennethsk
    Welcome to the REAL world! it SUCKS but you are gonna LOVE it!
     
    wrighbrothers
    Posts: 1807
    Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:15 am

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:43 am

    Nice report.
    Didn't realise Vietnam was still a communist country !, could you notice it was communist (a la N.Korea) or not (like China)?

    Wrighbrothers
    P.S- Do people call it Ho chi Minh city, or Saigon ?
    Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
     
    squared
    Posts: 352
    Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 1:48 am

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:27 am

    Great report!

    Quoting Christao17 (Thread starter):
    shocked to come face to face with a huge crowd -- literally hundreds of people -- all patiently waiting for arriving passengers. Under the shade of the canopy there were a neat row of chairs in a horseshoe shape, occupied by the elderly and young children. And behind them, four or five rows deep of other people, waiting for some loved one to arrive.

    Vietnamese families make it a HUGE deal to go out to the airport and pick up their family. The first time I went to Vietnam, there were at least 30 family members waiting for us...

    Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 10):
    Didn't realise Vietnam was still a communist country !, could you notice it was communist (a la N.Korea) or not (like China)?

    Vietnam is a nominally Communist country. More like China than North Korea.

    Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 10):
    P.S- Do people call it Ho chi Minh city, or Saigon ?

    Depends. Southerners and Overseas Vietnamese tend to call it Saigon (which is still the name of the central district, and the river that runs through the city). Northern Vietnamese and government officials call it HCMC or Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh in Vietnamese (TPHCM). Increasingly though, people simply call it Thành phố.
     
    wrighbrothers
    Posts: 1807
    Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:15 am

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:10 am

    Quoting SQuared (Reply 11):
    Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 10):
    Didn't realise Vietnam was still a communist country !, could you notice it was communist (a la N.Korea) or not (like China)?

    Vietnam is a nominally Communist country. More like China than North Korea.

    Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 10):
    P.S- Do people call it Ho chi Minh city, or Saigon ?

    Depends. Southerners and Overseas Vietnamese tend to call it Saigon (which is still the name of the central district, and the river that runs through the city). Northern Vietnamese and government officials call it HCMC or Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh in Vietnamese (TPHCM). Increasingly though, people simply call it Thành phố.

    Ah, thanks, just wondering  Smile

    Wrighbrothers
    Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
     
    SeaMeFly
    Posts: 249
    Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:54 am

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:47 am

    I always enjoyed your report... And the plenty full of pictures. Thanks again for sharing.

    How's the weather in Vietnam? Is it similar to BKK? I've only been to BKK twice and never been to SGN. It is one of my goal to make it to Vietnam, tho.

    Chris
     
    thai747
    Posts: 784
    Joined: Sun Jun 06, 1999 1:23 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:46 am

    Quoting Christao17 (Reply 7):
    I'd really recommend a visit; it is a fascinating culture. When you get back into this part of the world, drop me a line. We've had lots of visiting A.netters who've been back home in the Kingdom recently.

    Thanks Chris, I do miss the warm weather and the street stalls after clubbing (bring on Kao Man Gai Tod!) Next trip back will probably be a week or two in July (job pending), should be a good one, perhaps a good ol' Bangkok meet at the "new" Bangkok Airport? (right, that's going to happen!    )

    [Edited 2006-03-12 23:48:10]
     
    SASDC8
    Posts: 530
    Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:01 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:48 pm

    Thanks for another great report!! Have now read all of them (I think) and really enjoy your reports Smile Keep it up Smile

    Does Thai serve anything on their domestic flights?? Will be traveling with them in 3 weeks time; BKK-UBN-BKK-HKT-BKK. Really looking forward to be greeted (and served) by the ultra friendly Thai crews again Smile
    2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
     
    christao17
    Posts: 902
    Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:04 am

    Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 13):
    Does Thai serve anything on their domestic flights?? Will be traveling with them in 3 weeks time; BKK-UBN-BKK-HKT-BKK. Really looking forward to be greeted (and served) by the ultra friendly Thai crews again

    Last time I flew TG domestic they didn't have food, just beverage. But somebody else may have more up-to-date info.

    So we can look forward to a domestic TG trip report in a few weeks, right?

     Big grin
    Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
     
    thai747
    Posts: 784
    Joined: Sun Jun 06, 1999 1:23 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:16 am

    From my experience last Summer, they served one of those infamous rancid cold meal boxes on flights during meal time, with prepacked cup of orange juice, dessert and cold snack, something along the line of Thai fish cakes or sandwiches. On flights outside of the preassigned meal time, we were given some pastry from TG's ever-so-popular Puff n' Pie factory, along with OJ, water, coffee and tea.

    Nothing to write home about IMHO.
     
    SASDC8
    Posts: 530
    Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:01 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:00 am

    Yes you can Smile Will hopefully also post BOO-BKK on SK as well Smile
    But still looking forward to check out Thai domestic service Wink
    2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
     
    MrCraigDav
    Posts: 26
    Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:48 am

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:25 am

    Christao - I really enjoyed your report (and the others that I have read.) Your attention to detail is really exceptional - are you sure you weren't a professional proof-reader in a previous life.

    I am taking Thai LHR-BKK (sadly in Economy) later in the year so I was thrilled to read your Thai JFK Express report, as we (are supposed to) have similar seats. I was really worried about the lack of PTVs on Thai in Econ, because I didn't realise until after I had booked, but you seemed to fare ok. The flight times from LHR to BKK are the real draw on that one.

    Anyway, I am also planning to take BKK-SGN-(probably Krabi)-BKK and I have seen hideous quotes of GBP£275 for BKK-SGN-BKK on expedia - does that sound about right - or shall I, as I am inclined to do, book when I get to BKK? I thought you might be interested to know about this fare as it seems a king's ransome for Thailand - what do you think!

    I am glad you love Thailand - I am so looking forward to the break! Thanks for a FAB report.
     
    Lucky727
    Posts: 559
    Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 10:27 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:56 am

    Quoting Christao17 (Thread starter):
    Kevin, you’re eyeing that TG wineglass, aren’t you? You’ll be interested to know that one of our trays actually had the new TG wineglass on it, which has a less-rounded shape to it. I'll keep my eye out for one.

    ...You mean it didn't accidentally jump into your backpack??! What a shame!

    I'm an open book, apparently  yes  That was funny to come across...and by all means let me know if you find anything interesting. My 'latest additions' are from Continental (TR written but not posted yet).

    Oh, and by the way, thanks for another great report!

    Lucky / Kevin
    ··· [·] oooooooo [·] oooo oo ooooo [·] ooooooooooooooooooo [·]
     
    christao17
    Posts: 902
    Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:54 am

    Quoting MrCraigDav (Reply 17):
    Anyway, I am also planning to take BKK-SGN-(probably Krabi)-BKK and I have seen hideous quotes of GBP£275 for BKK-SGN-BKK on expedia - does that sound about right - or shall I, as I am inclined to do, book when I get to BKK? I thought you might be interested to know about this fare as it seems a king's ransome for Thailand - what do you think!

    Craig, 275 quid sounds a bit pricey. While BKK-SGN isn't usually really cheap, my travel agent was able to get a price of about US$300 roundtrip on TG. Vietnam Airlines was a little less expensive.

    If you have the time in BKK, I'd recommend booking here.
    Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
     
    MrCraigDav
    Posts: 26
    Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:48 am

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:48 am

    Thanks so much for your opinion. I think I will take TG and book when I get to BKK. Sounds good to me - now that I have joined that Royal Silk club thing. Thanks again.
     
    thai747
    Posts: 784
    Joined: Sun Jun 06, 1999 1:23 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:26 pm

    Quoting MrCraigDav (Reply 17):
    Anyway, I am also planning to take BKK-SGN-(probably Krabi)-BKK and I have seen hideous quotes of GBP£275 for BKK-SGN-BKK on expedia - does that sound about right - or shall I, as I am inclined to do, book when I get to BKK? I thought you might be interested to know about this fare as it seems a king's ransome for Thailand - what do you think!

    If you don't mind going low-cost (eew), you should be able to score an Air Asia ticket on the BKK-HAN-BKK routing for around £70 all in. Otherwise, if you're keen on banking your miles with Star, have a look on Lufthansa Thailand's homepage - they do fly BKK-SGN-BKK on some days, and if you're lucky enough - their W (online only) fare is going at £80 ish.

    Enjoy.
     
    christao17
    Posts: 902
    Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:56 am

    Quoting Thai747 (Reply 21):
    have a look on Lufthansa Thailand's homepage - they do fly BKK-SGN-BKK on some days, and if you're lucky enough - their W (online only) fare is going at £80 ish.

    That's good news - I had originally wanted to book LH but for some reason the website wasn't letting me price out the trip. It was easier at that point just to have the travel agent do it, but I'd definitely like to fly them on the route sometime.
    Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
     
    MrCraigDav
    Posts: 26
    Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:48 am

    RE: BKK-SGN-BKK On Thai

    Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:59 am

    Cool - thanks for the advice. Particularly pertinent as we are now thinking of doing BKK-HAN, then taking the train down to Ho Chi and the SGN-BKK and on to the beaches. Would like to go direct, but SGN to the Thai beaches is a bit of a problem - rather inconvenient times. Will keep on searching.

    Might fly LH, but have done so often in Europe (when BA if full) and even in Business it was usually hopeless.

    Thanks again.

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