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This is my third Mini Trip Report. Hope you guys like them. Please do let me know what you think. I would also encourage you to follow me on Instagram. Getting followers here and on Instagram really keeps me motivated to write the reports. #ladwhotravels✈️ #mytravelinglife🌏
My last trip to Bangkok as well as being my last Mini Trip Report (Mini Trip Report: Bangkok April 2017), and it’s partly because it’s a city I am reasonably familiar with.
Though to be honest I hadn’t thought of going again, had I not seen a special offer to Bangkok flying Cathay Pacific on Business class for something like S$500. Given then some economy tickets are about half the price, I would be getting business class comfort while also getting my tier points for the flight.
This would entitle me to using the Cathay Business Class lounge at Changi. However, this meant that I had to make a choice: Do I use Cathay’s designated lounge, or would I use the Priority Pass, or would I use JetQuay [I talk about it detail in my report Jetquay CIP Terminal Review – an unnecessary luxury?]. Actually what this really meant, was would I use the Dnata lounge or JetQuay, as the Dnata lounge is also the lounge used by Cathay Pacific for its designated business class travelers. Cathay probably don’t want to invest in a new lounge at Terminal 1 as they are expecting to move to the newly constructed Terminal 4 in Q3 2017.
Usually it would be a no brainer. I would always use JetQuay if I could. However, given that I am paying for my business class ticket, I wanted to make sure that I was getting my money’s worth out of it. I have also used both and actually quite enjoyed using the Plaza Premium lounge (I first used it on BA16 from Singapore Changi to London Heathrow in December 2016). It does in fact seem a bit of a hassle taking the JetQuay buggy service – first world problems!!!
This also wasn’t the first time I flew Cathay Pacific to Bangkok. I actually flew back in November 2015, when I got a good deal. Cathay used to have deals every so often. Now they seem to have deals quite frequently.
The night before the flight I was still in two minds about whether I should get to the airport just in time, or with plenty of time to spare. In the end I woke up at 7 am just got up and once I was ready, left for the airport. By this time, it was about 10am.
Why so long between getting up and leaving you might ask? Well I decided to have a bite to eat at home first, and then I started messing about with the packing, which made everything more and more delayed.
Anyway, as I was packing, I checked Uber and saw that it was only about $1.5o to the MRT station, and then the MRT is only about $2 to Changi so I thought, that seems like such a bargain, especially since I was so ahead of schedule. Sure enough I checked my total fare for the journey was under $4. Amazing!!!!
I mentioned this in one of my earliest posts in 2016 [(Idiot’s) Guide to the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)], that when you are coming or going from Changi Airport on the East West Line, the trains do not go all the way. You will need to get off at Tanah Merah station (2 stops from Changi), cross over the platform to get on the other train (depending which direction you are going). Fortunately I had not been lugging my check in baggage all the way to the MRT station, or else I would have been sweating!!!
Once you arrive at Changi, you actually need to take a skytrain to Terminal 1; just follow the signs and you’re all ok.
It was good to see Project Jewel taking shape by the Skytrain line. Unfortunately, much of the journey is blocked so you can only get glimpses of it.
The Cathay check in desks are immediately on your left, with business class, and then self check in.
These are cool little machines. I want to try it out!!! Since I was travelling business class I went to the manual check in counters.
To get the Cathay lounge (DNATA) you need to turn right after immigration and go up the escalators. Cathay currently don’t have their own lounge, and I suspect the reason they haven’t built one here in Terminal one is because they will be moving before the end of 2017 to Terminal 4.
After spending time in the lounge it was time to go to the gate.
Singapore – Bangkok
Airline: Cathay Pacific
Plane Type: A350-900
Flight Number: CX712
Scheduled Departure: 13:35
Actual Departure: 13:54
Scheduled Arrival: 15:00
Actual Arrival: 15:13
Estimated duration: 2hr 25mins
Actual duration: 2hr 18mins
Plane registration: B-LRI
What is great here, is that Cathay block off two sections, one for premium economy and low tier Marco Polo club members
And then they have a separate section for business and One World Sapphire and Emerald card members;
And there is someone actually there to enforce it.
Once I had settled into my seat the cabin crew came around with drinks, and more importantly, a priority pass to get through immigration quickly.
With the pass to the premium lane, I got through immigration in a couple of minutes; and amazingly the luggage was already coming out when I got to the carousel.
As soon as I got through customs, I went to top up my phone card. Then it was to the taxi queue to go to the hotel.
Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok
As with my last Mini Trip Report (Mini Trip Report: Bangkok April 2017), I decided to stay at the Courtyard by Marriott. Again not because it offered a great deal, but mainly because it offered a points earning opportunity that I want to take advantage of. As mentioned previously I wanted to make progress with hotel programs.
Please click here to see the extended review about the Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok. That means this will just be a pictures fest.
Massage at Health Land Spa
Every time I go to Bangkok, I try to make it for a massage at least once. I was busy shopping and running errands, that for some reason, I onl managed to go for a massage once during my 3 night stay.
There are plenty of “happy ending” massage parlours, but I am not looking for that.
I want the traditional Thai massage, and while it may not be the cheapest, I pretty much always go to Health Land. This is chain, and there are a number of branches in Bangkok. This trip, I went to the Asoke branch.
A traditional Thai massage will cost THB550 for 2 hours (about US$16, £12, S$22). Amazing value if you ask me.
When you walk in, there are usually a couple of greeter who will ask what type of massage you want. They will also be able to help you decide what massages you would like to try.
You pay, and they take your name, and you then relax in the waiting area.
Someone will call your name (usually over the speakers) and you will be introduced to your masseur.
And enjoy 2 hours of calm.
What is new here is that they now have a separate building which houses the shop. This is fairly recent development (recent as in the last few years).
Jesse & Son
This trip was also the first time I had shirts tailored for me. I chose Jesse & Son in Asoke. To get there:
- get off the BTS at Asoke.
- exit on the side of Terminal 21/Westin
- walk between Westin and Terminal 21 and then the building is on your left hand side.
Below is a pictorial guide of how to get there.
I went for a measurement, then a day later I went for a fitting (they finish one shirt for you to try) and then I had someone pick up the finished shirts a day later.
Minimum order is 3 shirts (I think), and there is a price range that suits most tastes.
I didn’t order anything but shirts, so can’t comment on their suit making. They also make shoes, but I’m not 100% certain I would buy shoes from them.
Most likely I will write a separate review on this shop.
Last but not least, here are some photos of the food I ate.
Let me know if you want any more details on any of these places.
Finally it was time to leave Bangkok after my three nights.
I had pre-booked a taxi to leave at 9am, and it cost a flat THB400. I don’t think it is a whole lot more expensive than if you were go by meter.
It’s great that you get a premium lane card so you don’t have to fight with normal immigration. Unfortunately, the queue at immigration is always inconsistent. Some times it is huge, some times there is no one.
Time to head to the CX lounge
There are a number of flights out of Bangkok by Cathay (and other OneWorld airlines) so the lounge was quite busy. There is a nice bar of the side where you can order a variety of alcoholic drinks.
There is a food bar where you can order various items off the menu.
A separate section with a small (cold) buffet.
Bangkok – Singapore
Airline: Cathay Pacific
Plane Type: A333
Flight Number: CX713
Scheduled Departure: 11:50
Actual Departure: 12:21
Scheduled Arrival: 15:20
Actual Arrival: 15:20
Estimated duration: 2hr 30mins
Actual duration: 1hr 59mins
Plane registration: B-LAI
For some reason I thought this flight was also on an A350, so imagine my disappointment when it arrived and I realised that it was actually A330.
Yes. That’s the sound of disappointment.
Unlike the Singapore experience, there was no separate section for business/priority passengers. They only started sorting out passengers at boarding time, which still worked.
Once I had landed in Singapore, we parked as possibly the furthest gate away. But it was good to get a bit of a walk after all the food!
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