Trip Report: To Bangkok For The Weekend
Despite only spanning the course of three days, my next trip report leaves me a lot to talk about. Bangkok has always intrigued me – it’s one of the top 10 destinations I believed I hadn’t seen enough of – and I had always wanted to try Hong Kong Airlines’ business class product. The funny thing is that I achieved neither of these goals – I barely managed to visit any of Bangkok during my 55 hours on Thai soil, and I wasn’t even able to book Hong Kong Airlines’ business class product, since their prices were too high to justify flying them by the time our dates were solidified.
A majority of my time in Bangkok was spent in a hotel room, high-end restaurant, or a mall
Ultimately flights between Hong Kong and Bangkok are rather low-yield due to the amount of competition there is, so I can grab another flight there and actually get to explore the city anytime next summer. I’m not too bummed about not being able to extensively explore the city, though based on my parents’ interests, it’s probably a city I would prefer to explore alone.
Here’s the thought process behind what I ultimately decided to book for my trip to Bangkok, as what I did achieve was getting some juicy new review material. Once again, I need to thank my parents for sponsoring my trip, as this trip report would be impossible without their love and support.
Booking The Flights
After solidifying that HK$6,000+ wasn’t a price we were paying for Hong Kong Airlines’ business class (worry not, I have a separate trip planned on them), we decided to look at other options between Hong Kong and Bangkok. We had an abundance of relatively inexpensive fifth freedom flights to choose from, which I was initially really excited about. However:
- with our time limitations we weren’t able to set up Royal Jordanian or Kenya Airways itineraries that would leave us with any more than 48 hours in Bangkok
- while I’ve seen cheap Emirates business class tickets between Hong Kong and Bangkok before, in the case of our booking they were charging upwards of HK$5,000
This left us with two choices – Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways. I was able to price a Thai Airways ticket at HK$3,800, and our travel agent managed to price a Cathay Pacific ticket at HK$4,800. The choice was a no-brainer for me, though it took a while to convince my dad that Cathay Pacific probably wouldn’t be worth the 25%+ price premium. I would’ve loved to try Thai’s A380 (which actually was operating between Hong Kong and Bangkok at the time), though the times didn’t match, so I’ll have to find other ways to review Thai’s A380 business class in the future.
Our final itinerary had us on Thai’s A330 and 747 business class products. I’ve reviewed the A330 before and the 747 features a similar seat, though I was excited to revisit the product for the first time since 2015 nonetheless. Our schedule was as follows:
30/09 Thai Airways 603 Hong Kong to Bangkok dep 07:45 arr 09:25
02/10 Thai Airways 606 Bangkok to Hong Kong dep 16:00 arr 19:45
Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class
The final price brought us up to ~HK$4,300 per person, inclusive of all taxes and fees. That’s not a bad value for a business class ticket between Hong Kong and Bangkok, though I’ve seen cheaper.
The advantage of flying Thai’s business class was that I would have access to seven Star Alliance business class lounges at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. I’ll be reviewing the six lounges I visited individually, so stay tuned for their full reviews in this report.
EVA Air Lounge Bangkok
Booking The Hotels
While we had a little trouble finalising our flight choices, my eyes were set on the perfect hotel to review – the Park Hyatt Bangkok. It had just opened by the time we were ready to book, which meant that opening offers were galore, and prices had dropped after the initial hype of the hotel. My parents approved, so it was just a matter of which room we should book at the hotel.
My dad’s a sweet guy, but he’s also a suite guy. Unfortunately taxes are quite hefty when booking hotels in Bangkok, and a suite that fit all four of us would cost HK$5,650+ per night inclusive of all taxes and fees. Our backup plan was to go for two standard Park Twin/King adjoining rooms, though my dad decided to splurge and upgraded one of our rooms to a Deluxe Corner King room. The Park Twin room went for ~HK$2,200 inclusive of taxes and fees, and the Deluxe Corner King room went for ~HK$3,300 inclusive of taxes and fees. That’s not too far from the price of a suite, though we’d have two bathrooms to share, which factored into our final decision.
That’s almost painfully expensive for a hotel room in Bangkok, though my parents’ final verdict was that they’d return any day under the price point we paid for – the hotel was perfect for them, though I’ll round up my own thoughts in my review of the hotel.
Park Hyatt Bangkok Deluxe Corner King Room
This trip was a prize trip based on my sister’s, as well as my own academic success in the past academic year. From that alone, this trip was one of the most rewarding trips I’ve ever taken.
I also got to meet up with some dear friends that I’d met during past travels. Short trips like these, where I can fly in (hopefully still, by the time I finance my own travels) affordable business class products and be able to meet up with friends that I cherish so dearly, is the way that I would like to travel in the future. Sure, I’ll have to work even harder if I want to be able to stay in hotels in a similar caliber to the Park Hyatt Bangkok in the future, and I’ll have to live this passion to an extent where I’ll be able to fly in premium cabins for pennies on the dollar.
What I’d like to prove to myself, as well as everyone else, is that the luxury of premium travel isn’t as exclusive as it seems. By not financing my own travels, I won’t be able to prove that yet. That’s why I take flying and trip reporting as such a passion, and I hope to have the ability to do so rationally and resourcefully in the future. I didn’t know where else I could write this, so I’ll just add this to my trip report introduction here.
I’m super lucky, and I know that. But it isn’t about the price as it is about the experiences that I can live and have the liberty of reporting back so young. It doesn’t matter if I repay my parents with such wonderful experiences paying pennies on the dollar if they can enjoy the trip as much as, if not even more than I enjoy trips that they have given me. Stay tuned for the full report. 🙂