Introduction: Spending The Calm Before The Storm In Bangkok

Introduction: Spending The Calm Before The Storm In Bangkok
Thai Airways 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok – Premier Twin Room
Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok – Duplex Cabana
Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok – Grounds and Facilities
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Bangkok Concourse E
Thai Airways A330 Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong


First of all, as the trip report suggests, my few days of quasi-relaxation in Bangkok were meant as a break before my final push to get through the IB. Well, now is the time that I’m pushing through my final days of the IB, so I’m going to struggle even posting one installment per week. The idea is that I’ll try to get one installment out every Friday up until around the beginning of May, and after May 23rd (my last exam) I’ll write up the last three installments at once. Writing is therapeutic for me, and I can’t wait to tell you guys about this trip, so stay tuned!

Welcome to my next trip report, where I’ll be sharing details of my five day trip in Bangkok regarding my flights and hotels – specifically, two Thai Airways business class products, a lounge that I hadn’t visited yet during my lounge hop in 2017, and the Siam Kempinski Hotel in Bangkok.

Bangkok, Thailand

The thought process of going to Bangkok was simple: we wanted to go somewhere cheap and close by during Chinese New Years’, and my parents didn’t want to go to Singapore, my favourite city. We were all enthralled by the prospect of going to Bangkok again, since none of us really got to know the city the first time around, so we organised another trip there.

This installment will cover how we booked the flights and hotels, and the thought process behind the choices we made.

Booking The Flights

Whenever our family makes bookings for trips, we consider a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • cost (comes first either way)
  • cabin class (preferably business class, especially if we can fly it on the cheap – business class reviews are more valuable, my dad won’t fly economy class, and holiday economy fares are rarely “worth it”)
  • comfort (I’d prefer to do low-cost airlines alone such as British Airways)
  • uniqueness (preferably a cabin product I haven’t flown before, so I can review it)
  • time (preferably we’d maximise time at our destination, or minimise the number of hotel nights/days Dad takes off work)
  • reputation (my parents are not into the industry and wouldn’t instil as much faith in the safety of Royal Jordanian as I would)
  • duration (preferably direct – if I want to do multiple transits and try a plethora of different products, I have four years to do this myself travelling between home and university, instead of dragging my parents and my aviophobic sister with me)

Well, that was more factors than I imagined. This left Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates. Emirates had a night flight and was charging insane prices (and was running a 777 instead of an A380 for our dates…I’d have figured demand would be highest during Chinese New Year, but okay), so this left us with Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific. Both were charging similar prices, so we chose to fly Thai again, simply because we’d yet to try their staggered business class product.

Thai Airways Boeing 777 Business Class

While I’d have wanted to do the 777 both ways, one of the 777 flights was fully booked at our time of booking, and the other was too early. (The 777 flight got switched to a 747, which I’ve also reviewed before, so no major losses there.) So we just picked up the A330 flight that would best our time schedule.

Thai Airways Airbus A330 Business Class

Bangkok is almost the perfect city to fly a new business class product into, as flights are normally dirt cheap. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case this time around, since business class retailed at ~HK$6,160. This was mostly due to the fact that we were booked into a higher booking class for our return flight (due to high demand).

That’s not a price I would personally pay for Thai Airways business class, but we’re talking about Chinese New Year – we booked in August for our February flights, and everything (even in economy) was crazy expensive, so we went ahead and shelled out HK$6,160 per person. Our final itinerary was:

06/02 Thai Airways 601 Hong Kong to Bangkok dep 12:45 arr 14:25
10/02 Thai Airways 602 Bangkok to Hong Kong dep 18:40 arr 22:25

Booking The Hotels

Our hotel booking for the trip was also a splurge, but compared to the flights, the splurge was somewhat more worthwhile. My mom had wanted to stay in one of the Siam Kempinski Hotel‘s Duplex Cabanas for a long time, so she finally got to live her dream for four nights during this trip. The room itself was an insane HK$8,000/night, and we had to book another room for me and my dad, which went for another HK$2,000/night.

Obviously the Cabana was a unique situation, but I personally wouldn’t pay close to HK$2,000 for an entry-level hotel room in Bangkok, a city with some of the lowest luxury hotel room rates anywhere. That being said, I’m glad that my dad found it worthwhile to let my mom live her hotel dream, and I definitely didn’t mind tagging along for the ride. 😉

Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok Duplex Cabana

Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok Duplex Cabana

I’ll be separating the hotel review into three installments to make the report more readable, and my workload more manageable – each of the rooms we booked will get its own installment, and I’ll also review the rest of the hotel grounds in another installment.

Other Installments

In 2017 I did a mega-lounge hop in Bangkok where I toured a bunch of Star Alliance lounges. I missed one lounge, so I’ll be reviewing the Royal Orchid Lounge at Concourse E this time around (mostly to add to my comprehensive repertoire of Bangkok Star Alliance lounge reviews, and not really because I think it’s any different from the others).

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Bangkok Concourse E

I also ran into the brand new Turkish Airlines Lounge, which hadn’t opened by the time of my visit. I was only able to grab a couple of pictures, which I’ve already shared, so I won’t be reviewing that lounge this time (though I sure will revisit it if I have the chance).

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Bangkok

In addition, I won’t be reviewing the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge at Hong Kong Airport, since I did last month. That being said, everything else I experienced this trip was pretty new.

Bottom Line

Bangkok is an eccentric city in its own ways, and despite juggling work, I’m glad I had the chance to experience it in greater depth this time around. I mean, it’s not in every city in the world where you can walk around an outdoor park and suddenly spot a full-blown gym (being spotted on the bench rack by an older Thai guy after asking if the gym was free-for-all is probably, as of now, one of my favourite travel memories ever).

I’m not kidding, this is literally a free-for-all open outdoor gym in a government-owned park

On the flights and hotels front, I was glad to have the opportunity to try a new cabin product, despite the fact that I came out with a worse impression of Thai Airways as I did going in. I’m grateful that my parents organised this family trip so meticulously, and keep supporting me for what I do – I vow to cherish every family trip that I have left with them, especially before I leave for university, and obviously my promise withstands to give them opportunities at least half as amazing for pennies on the dollar.

Once again, this trip report will be a slow rollout, due to my hectic work schedule. That being said, I hope you guys enjoy this one and/or find it useful.

Which trip report installment are you looking forward to the most?

One thought on “Introduction: Spending The Calm Before The Storm In Bangkok

  1. Looking forward to the Siam Kempinski Hotel review most. Had considered staying there last time, but opted for the Waldorf Astoria instead (35% off for Hilton Honors members, coupled with 4th night free on Citi Prestige, and free breakfast as Hilton Gold, made it a no brainer).

    Like

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