Trip Reports

Category Archives for Trip Reports.

Flying 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 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! My Asian Rail Journey #3

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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Asia Rail Experience: Journey #1 – Kuala Lumpur to the Malay/Thai Border

  KUL: Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar (border of Thailand) KTMB ETS Class 93 Platinum Scheduled Departure: 10:42  Scheduled Arrival: 15:57 5 hour 15 min  Total distance: 260 miles / 417 km  The first part of my 1,500km 900 mile  journey from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok was on Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (Malaysian Railway system) ETS “Electric Train Service“. The journey took me from the heart of the Malaysian capital to Padang Besar, on the border with Thailand. There are now only two rail services that originate in Malaysia that cross the Thai border. One is the ultra-luxury Eastern and Oriental Service and the other starts at…

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Bucket List Check: 900mi By Train from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok

Bucket list… check! A journey I have been wanting to do for over a decade! Over the last week, I travelled by rail from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) in Malaysia to Bangkok (BKK) in Thailand. I have previously ridden a sleeper train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (before Singapore closed its main train station). Six trains took me over 1,500 km (900 miles). Travel time was 25 hours 35 minutes (including delays and wait times). It cost me $US72 for a mix of travel in First, Second and Third class. If you went for the cheapest option (which…

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Sampling Singapore’s New Capital Express -from Canberra to the heart of Asia

CBR: Canberra, Australia to SIN, Singapore SQ292  Boeing 777-200 Scheduled Departure: 12:35  Arrival: 05:40 8 hour 5 min flight Total distance: 6,205 km/ 3,856 miles /3,351 nautical miles Canberra, the capital of Australia must be one of the few national capitals in the world to not have an network of international routes connecting it to the outside world.  This means that every flight overseas from Canberra necessitates a change in Sydney (awful place to transit) or Melbourne (better) Last September, Singapore airlines added service to Wellington and Singapore four times a week dubbing it the “Capital Express”. Qatar will start service to Doha…

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Small plane, Big Service to Amman: Royal Jordanian’s Economy

DOH: Dohar, Qatar  to AMM: Amman, Jordan RJ647  Embraer 175 Scheduled Departure: 12:30  Arrival: 14:25 2 hour 55 min flight Total distance: 1,047 miles / 1,671 km / 902 nautical miles Booking: 8/10 On this sector, it was a toss up between Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian. I figured it was time for a revisit with RJ as I have had more Qatar flights in recent days. While I believe, QR are the superior airline, RJ have a very solid, pleasant product. RJ’s website has been updated since I last used it. The improvements look visually good. The initial booking page…

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The world’s best airline: Qatar Airways Economy Dubai to Doha

DXB, Dubai International, UAE to DOH Doha Hamad International Airport  Qatar: Qatar Airways  QR1025 Scheduled Departure: 09:30  Arrival: 09:40 1hour 10 (In reality, a 40 min flight) Total distance: 235 miles /383 kilometres/ 207 nautical miles   Since I first started flying Qatar Airways five years ago, they have never let me down. Consistently high service with leading edge on everything. I often wonder if on my next trip with them, I will be disappointed. Has not happened yet! Today, a review on my shortest flight ever with them! Was curious to see if they keep their standards up!…

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