Trip Reports

Category Archives for Trip Reports.

My First Cebu Pacific Flight

Having tried Philippine Airlines for the first time last week, I was determined to try their fast growing competitor Cebu Pacific. Especially, when I was flying from their own hub. Booking: 2/10 Booking with Cebu Pacific was one of the most mind-blowing frustrating experiences of my life. The website froze seven times in mid-booking over three days! I re-booted my computer multiple times and came back to the website. In frustration, I contacted Cebu Pacific who suggested I did not know what I was doing! Having convinced them that I was a tech savvy frequent…

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My First Philippine Airlines flight

My 1.6 million miles of flying has never before included the Philippines or Philippine Airlines! That changed with this, my 1181st flight. PAL became the 96th airline, I have ever flown. (Not long until my 100th airline). Booking: 7/10 PAL’s system feels a little clunky. After selecting date and routing, the airline presented us with a seemingly confusing array of fare choices! It is really both extremely helpful in choosing the right fare and time and completely overwhelming! They do have a helpful summary explaining what each fare type includes: We chose the cheapest fare possible…

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Cathay Pacific Business Short Hop: Bangkok to Singapore

There is a massive amount of choice between Bangkok and Singapore with at least eleven airlines competing for passengers. I the midst of the clamour, the Cathay pacific option provides a nice calming option. The timing is really nice with an 11:50am departure giving one time to check out of the hotel at a civilised time and get to the airport after morning peak. Arrival into Singapore at 3:20pm gets you to your hotel just before the evening rush in Singapore, allows a check in and shower and then a chance to go for a walk,…

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Etihad Business Cairo to Bangkok summed up in one word: Inconsistent

Today’s review of Etihad’s ride from Cairo to Bangkok through their hub in Abu Dhabi is a perfect example of how I find Etihad’s product can be so inconsistent. When their service is good, it is excellent. When it is bad, it is average! Booking: 10/10 There are a vast array of airlines and flight options from Cairo to Bangkok. Cairo is a very cheap hub in the Middle East for originating flights. In fact, it was cheaper for me to fly from Dubai to Cairo and then fly onto Bangkok back through the UAE than…

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To HEL and back – two more (almost) Heavenly Finnair flights!

Three years ago, I had four pretty nice flights with Finnair. On this occasion, I was particularly looking forward to trying their Airbus 350  for what would be my 1201st flight ever! Booking: 9/10 Finnair runs the only direct service from Bangkok to Helsinki (HEL). During the Finnish winter, the airline offers 16 services a week -mostly for Finns escaping the Northern hemisphere’s cold. From April, the number of flights runs a daily service with a morning departure from Bangkok at 0855 arriving Helsinki at 15:05. The return flight is an overnighter departing HEL at 17:35…

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Flying on an ATR: Vientiane to Bangkok: My first Lao Airlines Flight and my 1200th flight ever!

Booking:8/10 I mentioned last week, that I had reached a milestone” of 1199 flights in my life. This flight was my 1200th. To be honest, this regional hop in Economy was probably not the most exciting option for my 1200th flight ever! Timing, however, dictated this event! There are just a handful of flights between the Laos capital of Vientiane and Thailand’s capital: Bangkok. Our choice effectively came down to Bangkok Airways  (winner of best regional airline) or Lao Airlines. Having already flown ( and loved) Bangkok, I figured that I would give a new airline…

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Asian Rail Voyage Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok: Arrival

Bang Sue to Bangkok, State Railway Thailand (SRT) Second Class Scheduled Departure: 16:35  Scheduled Arrival: 17:00 25 minutes  Total distance: 7 km (5 miles) After 1,500 km (900 miles) of train travel from Kuala Lumpur, I rode the last section from Bang Sue, Railway Junction, in the northern suburbs into Bangkok, the Capital of Thailand. Bang Sue, is one of the Bangkok’s fifty khets (districts), home to 125,000 people. Currently, the suburb is a construction zone as SouthEast Asia’s biggest railway station is being built with an anticipated open date of 2019. With 26 platforms, the station will be 171,000 square metres in…

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Snug & Comfy Thai Sleeper train Surat Thani to HuaHin

Last month, I travelled by train, the 1,500 km (900 miles) km from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia to Bangkok, the Capital of Thailand. Stopping off along the way, the six train trips took 25 hours 35 minutes and it cost me $US72. The longest section (by time) was from Surat Thani, the jumping off place for beautiful Koh Samui up to the lovely resort town of Hua Hin. I chose to ride this section in a brand new Chinese-built First Class sleeping car. Scheduled Departure: 23:57  Arrival:  06:26 – 6 hour 29 min ride Total distance: 300 miles / 1,671…

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A 2nd Class Thai Train ride is almost 1st Class! Surat Thani from Hat Yai

Last month, I had five train journeys which took me on an epic rail voyage from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok. As part of my week-long ride, I had two Second Class train trips with State Railways of Thailand. The first was from one of the southern most cities in Thailand: Hat Yai (E on the map below) 292 kilometres (181 miles) up to Surat Thani (jumping off point for Koh Samui).  Scheduled for a 16:23 departure this four-hour eight-minute train journey in Second Class comes with a meal for nine US Dollars!  The other Second Class train…

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Challenges on the Malaysia/Thai Border- A Rail Journey through Asia Part #2

Padang Besar to Hat Yai, State Railway Thailand (SRT) Third Class Scheduled Departure: 18:00  Scheduled Arrival: 18:10 1 hour 10 min (time change at border) Total distance: 35 miles / 60 km  There is now just one State Railways of Thailand train that crosses the Thai/Malay border. All previous trains no longer operate. This may change again, of course. In an ideal world, the Malaysian Railways electrified line that goes to Padang Besar should be extended all the way to Hat Yai, allowing the Express Train Service to run between Kuala Lumpur and Hat Yai. Immigration and border procedures should be conducted on…

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