Hello! My name is Kevin from Indonesia, and this time I want to share my experience with "Asia's Boutique Airlines", Bangkok Airways, which I flew from Phuket to Chiang Mai during last December holiday.
Background My auntie from The USA wanted to visit sunny places during her visit in Indonesia last year. I recommended her some "paradise islands" to check. At last, she asked me to go to Thailand (Phuket) with her, and I need to arrange some stuff for her, like flights, hotels and places to visit. On early November, we started to book plane tickets for our trip to Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok. We flew on AirAsia to Phuket (and from Bangkok to our city, Surabaya via Kuala Lumpur), as it was the cheapest option (even after we added 25 kg checked bags for inbound flight).
On Thai domestic sectors, I wanted to fly THAI's Boeing 747 to Bangkok, because at first, we planned only to visit Phuket and Bangkok. But later on, my auntie discovered new place to visit (with perfect weather in winter) and she told me a change for the trip itinerary. When she told me about fly to Chiang Mai from Phuket, one thing came in my mind was AIrAsia again. I thought that Thai AIrAsia was the sole operator on this route, but turned out that Bangkok Air and Thai Smile also operate this route along with Thai AirAsia. I was so excited when I saw Bangkok Air offered lowest fare among other carriers, and I directly book our flight on Bangkok Air. This would be my first experience with Bangkok Airways, and let's start the journey!
The Flight Bangkok Airways PG247 Airbus A320-232 HS-PGW ETD: 11.30 / STD: 11.30 ETA: 13.30 / STD: 13.25
My auntie and I left our hotel in Patong about 8 AM, and we arrived at the airport around 9 AM. The van which took us stopped at International Terminal (As other passenger had international flights), so we disembarked at this new International Terminal building
There were few charters flights to Russia, so the check in area was quite crowded. There were also Silk Air flight to Singapore, Malaysia Airlines to Kuala Lumpur, and Cathay Dragon to Hong Kong.
We walked to old domestic terminal, and after we finished check in (and checked our luggages), we decided to relax in Bangkok Air Boutique Lounge. Unfortunately, the "real" lounge was under renovation as a part of Phuket Airport expansion plan, and Bangkok AIr moved to a small temporary lounge
Snacks of the day, there were Kha Nom, muffin, chicken pie, and mini sandwich
I tried all snacks, and almost of all snacks were delicious. There were also WThumbs up for Bangkok AIr!
Around 10.15, I asked my auntie to proceed to our gate. The gates area were very crowded
Around 11.05, boarding call started, and I was the one who board the aircraft earlier, so I was able to snap this cabin view
I can conclude this bird is aging after I saw the panel
THAI Airbus 330 were preparing for a flight to Bangkok. It seems that they did a last minute change, because the flight supposed to use Boeing 747 :(
Not long after, the plane started to pushback. I was surprised when I saw the crew walked down the aisle to start safety demo, because I thought they use a safety video. Luckily, a steward stopped at my row, and put this bag next to my seat (which was empty)
Thai AIrAsia was also pushback and ready to start her next sector
We took off directly without any queue, and reached cruising altitude shortly
Let's check what's inside the seat pocket. There are an "Inflight Enterainment Magazine", a safety card, and a sickness bag. On that flight, Id din't find any "Fah-Thai" Magazine (Bangkok AIrways Inflight Magazine) on all seat pocket, and the screen wasn't dropped down during the flight, so we didn't have any entertainment.
The crew started to distribute the meal, and they offered us a Duck Noodle for lunch. There were only one option, but it was good already for Thailand domestic flight. The meal itself looks good, and it tastes delicious. It's true that Bangkok Airways serves delicious foods, both in lounge and on board
finished my meal, I decided to go to lavatory. The lavatory was very clean, one of cleanest lavatory I've ever seen in a plane
We still had about an hour before landing, so I decided to chat with the crews on the galley. I asked about the entertainment and they apologized because the screen was broken. We also talked about some aviation-related topics, like the load factor of the flight, and their rotation each day. At last, I asked if they had a spare safety card, and they gave me one. Cabin condition during flight. It wasn't a full flight, maybe only two third filled
The Captain announced that our planes were started to descend, and the weather in Chiang Mai wasn't good, so he turned on "fasten seat belt" sign. There were thick clouds above Chiang Mai
Safely landed in Chiang Mai, and our plane parked next to a Juneyao Airlines A320
I just realized that our plane parked at remote area, so we need to use a bus to reach arrival terminal. I was s o happy because I could saw the beautiful livery of this bird
I proceed to the terminal, and transferred to hotel on a taxi.
Here is a bonus about places in Northern Thailand
Bonus : Click here displayhide
I went to Wat Chedi Luang that afternoon
After, we went to Chiang Mai Night Market. Personally, I don't really like it. There were many souvenir shops and food stalls, but there weren't many people come, and it makes market looks so quiet
The next day, we joined a day tour to Golden Triangle, which is a border between Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar. A van picked us up around 7 AM, and we started our journey to Chiang Rai, the northest city in Thailand. We stopped at this beautiful Wat Rong Khun
We continued the journey to Lao. Here is Mekong RIver, and we went to Lao's small island on a traditional boat. We didn't need an immigration check in Lao, only need to pay an entrance fee
We went back to Chiang Rai and continued to border with Myanmar in Mae Sai. After, the van dropped us back in Chiang Mai The next day, we visited Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which located on a hill. The weather was cold that morning, only around 10-15 degrees Celcius. The temple itself has many golden statues and stupa. It's one of sacred place for Thai people.
Have you been to Chiang Mai before?
Thanks for reading this report, and don't forget to like and comment below
Kevin ig: @kevin_jo00
Boutique Lounge (Domestic)
Phuket - HKT
Chiang Mai - CNX
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