While I just returned from Thailand in October '18, it was now time for me to head back to Thailand once again to start one of my bigger journeys of 2018 (a period of four weeks originally, but decided to add another week to it and travel to Singapore). I decided to book plenty of flights to different cities to explore in both Thailand and Myanmar together with my girlfriend.
A small tip regarding to airlines in Myanmar for domestic flights. In case you want to book a flight with them long in advance, expect your itinerary to be changed from what you originally booked it for. Two or three weeks in advance is sufficient as prices will be the exact same as you would have paid for like six months ago and be sure to verify your flight on their site 24 hours for any change.
So the routing below will give you an idea what my upcoming reports are going to be. Enjoy your read!
While I originally booked my flight to Yangon with Nok Air for a very cheap price, I changed my itinerary to a flight from Myanmar Airways International. The price was quite hefty, but I wanted a new experience and to try them out as this airline did receive some good reviews from other passengers.
As we were in Bangkok for just half a day, we now had to transfer us back to Suvarnabhumi from Bangkok's city center. I checked out of my hotel and one of the bell boys went out to fetch me a cab. In case you need a good hotel in Bangkok, I would definitely recommend you to check out ''Amaranta Hotel'' . As we departed early, a monk was still out for his daily ritual as you can see across the street.
After a few minutes, the bell boy returned with a cab that brought us to the airport in no time.
After a ride of forty minutes or so, we finally arrived at Bangkok's main airport. The driver did ask us as to what airline we were going to fly, but still dropped us at a location that was not nearly as close to the counters. The airport was rather crowded.
After checking the monitors as to what row we had for check-in, we then proceeded to the designated zone to drop-off our luggage. At first I was rather shocked as two very very large lines were located at N, but those two lines were for a Korean Air flight to Seoul and an Aeroflot flight to Moscow and our check-in counters were literally almost empty. Thank god!
While we proceeded to check-in, we were greeted by a rather emotionless woman. Despite the fact that she did show little to no emotion, she did understand her job rather well and immediately questioned me whether I had a visa and a return flight, which I obviously did. In case you are traveling to Myanmar and you do need a tourist visa, I would strongly suggest you to use the official link of the government itself; https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ . You'll only pay more if you do so with third parties for a very easy process.
Time for my least favourite thing right now. To clear customs and security. This process is rather slow at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and required me about thirty minutes to clear.
I made a right turn to the F Gates and you will have a long walk passing shops. By this time I can pretty much remember all shops and to what they offer… Not a fan of the shops though.
As my girlfriend and me did not have breakfast, we decided to grab a bite….. Bangkok offers a few restaurants to eat, but nothing impressive. It is usually expensive for bad food with bad service, so I usually grab a bite with the first restaurant that appears if I am really hungry. Mango Tree. I ordered a 'Ba Mee Sukothai (Sukothai Egg Noodles)'.
With about thirty minutes to boarding, we finished our meal and decided to proceed to our gate with a hard choice to make. Left, Straight or Right. While most of my flights depart from ''E'', I had now to continue straight and proceed to ''F''.
A view that never bores me every time I go down.
And our gate was immediately to our right at the bottom of the escalator. Gate F2, but no aircraft in sight yet.
One thing that I dislike a lot in Bangkok is that once you scan your boarding card, there is no way for you to return up to buy a drink or so, unless you request your boarding card back. All that you can do here is sit down, relax, read a book and to take a pee. You could look outside too to spot some aircraft, but most of the windows are dirty and I feel like the airport itself just doesn't bother cleaning them.
About five minutes to our departure time, our aircraft finally appeared. XY-AGV, a 18.6 year-old bird that has flown with Iberia for thirteen years, before being transferred to Myanmar Airways International.
Twenty minutes later, boarding was called.
Newspapers were on the offer and I decided to grab one. The Myanmar Times.
With the upcoming Christmas, MAI did bother to cheer up the cabin a bit to bring us all in that mood.
While everyone was seated, the captain announced that we had to wait another ten minutes for departure due to an airport slot. Not a big deal, so let's review my seat for a bit.
One thing I noticed immediately was the very very poor legroom. For the ticket fare they charged me, this is unacceptable. (I booked the ticket literally six months ago too!) . Even LCCs like Nok Air and Thai AirAsia offer much more.
A check on their literature.
A very basic safety card
Their magazine which was meant to last for six months… Really?
And their shopping magazine
And a card to promote their on-board wifi for free. The wifi indeed was very fast, but you could only use it for their own website and the offering they had was very very limited.
and the window view it came with.
Push-back was finally initiated and one of the flight attendants came around to serve us a refreshing towel in a rather colourful package.
During my push back, I found the exact aircraft of Myanmar National Airlines that is going to be the featuring star in my next report regarding a domestic flight within Myanmar. XY-AGP.
A small shot from the cabin. Notice the little Christmas thingies.
A few more shots during push back. Three big birds, two 777 from Cathay and EVA and an A350 of Hong Kong Airlines.
And the lovely sight of an Airbus A310 of Mahan Air. I took Mahan a few years ago and was surprised by their service. I'd love to fly them once again.
While both engines were on fire, we slowly moved forward. The Embraer 190 of Myanmar National Airlines was ready for it's flight too to Yangon.
an ANA 787 was ready too, but had to wait for it's clearance by ground staff.
Upon reaching 01L, we were immediately rolling for take off with a delay of approx. 30 minutes.
Reaching 10.000 ft, the seat belt signs turned off and the aircraft continued to climb with a slower gradient.
A few minutes later, the lovely flight attendants came by to serve us our sandwich with water. A drink of choice was given too. I opted for an Orange Juice. Nothing exciting to write home about. The sauce did most of it's job as the sandwich was rather dry.
Cruise was reached by now and the flight attendants came by for some in flight shopping. A few minutes later, tables were cleared as the pilot initiated the descent already.
Cabin crew was told to sit down for landing about 15 minutes later. The views were not so impressive due to a big long layer of haze.
Even though the flight crew did manage to gain some time of their delay, we still touched down with a delay of about twenty minutes with a very short taxi to our gate. Another A319 of MAI was parked in the left corner with an Qatar A330 rolling for a departure.
Our aircraft itself was parked next to a Vietnam Airlines A321 from Ho Chi Minh.
About a minute later, we were deboarding and one last look of my seat plus plane.
After a short walk, you are now to take an escalator down to immigration, which was very quiet. Yet it took some time as the process is very slow. At least Mitsubishi is keeping us comfortable here!
Immigration cleared and luggage was on belt about ten minutes later.
Find some bonus footage of Yangon below.
Bonus : Click here to display to hide
Yangon, A hidden gem in South East Asia.
Shwedagon Pagoda, even though it was in maintenance. Still a magnificent sight to see.
With some enjoyable street food at it's foot.
Kandawgyi Lake is within a few minutes walk too from the pagoda, which offers a nice sunset and Karaweik Palace.
Bogyoke Market and another day of local food.
Myanmar Airways International
Bangkok - BKK
Yangon - RGN
While the flight was pleasant and the flight attendants did an outstanding job, I am still in awe to the poor legroom. To me there is no way they could justify that poor legroom.
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