The airline with the best average rating is Thai Airways with 8.1/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 5 minutes.More information
Journey December '18 & January '19
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!
The Journey of PG 135.
While my girlfriend wanted to visit Koh Samui for once and to celebrate new year over there, we had either two options. To take a plane to Surat Thani with a Thai low cost like Nok Air, Air Asia or Thai Lion Air or either fly straight to Koh Samui with Bangkok Airways as THAI canceled their flights to Samui in September '18. While Samui is completely owned by Bangkok Airways itself, the airline has once again quite a monopoly on this route and therefore asks absurd prices for a hour flight in Thai terms.
As I had traveled now for many days to get from A to B, I was not really in the mood to travel a full day once again if I opted for a flight to Surat Thani and therefore paid an expensive ticekt with Bangkok Airways to proceed directly to Koh Samui itself with them on one of their Airbus A319. The ticket price they charged me was about 5.310 THB per person (which is equivalent to approximately 145 euros) and would only require an hour of travel by plane. So the total price for me was 10.620 THB (290 Euro), which of course is a very expensive price.
As we arrived rather late yesterday, we just stayed in Fx Hotel Metrolink Makkasan, which is very close to one of the stations of the Airport Rail link. While it was time for us to move ourselves to the Airport for our flight, we walked for a few minutes to Makkasan Station for a 30 minute ride to the airport. As it was close to New Year, Bangkok itself was very quiet as most Bangkokians were now away to visit family and you clearly can see how quiet one of the major stations of the airport link is in the picture above. Unfortunately this meant that the airport trains were not running on their usual schedule too as there was not much traffic.
About ten minutes later, the train was finally docking at the station.
When all passengers were aboard, the train shuts it doors and continues to the next station. The train was rather full, but not completely packed like you would have one on a normal working day.
About thirty minutes, me and my girlfriend arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport and we took an elevator up to the floor for departures as the elevator was just arriving the moment we passed by.
And proceeded to F, where Bangkok Airways is located for all flights. The check-in was rather full, but luckily I checked in online and could bypass most crowds and took only a minute of 10 to drop off our bags.
We then proceeded to the left to domestic departures. It was rather pact and It took another fifteen minutes to clear security. While security is usually no issue for international departures (except border control), it is rather small and crowded for domestic.
While everything is cleared, you are required to take an escalator down a level or stairs if you are feeling healthy!
And from there, you will have a long walk to one of their hallways to arrive in the zone for domestic departures.
About a five minute walk, you will end up in the duty free zone of Bangkok's domestic zone with a few shops and a food court, which offers you a variety of Asian and Western foods. A nice thing of Bangkok is that both international and domestic zones have a pharmacy available, so you don't really need to bother negotiating with security agents whether it is a valid drug or not and can simply buy them after security. (Trust me, I have had several discussions with some security agents about simple aspirins.
I settled down at the food court and bought a BBQ Pork and Wonton Noodles soup with Kopi Tiam. Indeed it was a rather expensive dish, but to my surprise it was a very delicious dish too and the lady behind the counter did enjoy her job as she was happy to help whenever needed. It is usually very uncommon on Suvarnabhumi to have friendly staff and good food… Apparently it is possible!
Finished our meal with about 30 minutes left to boarding, we proceeded to our gate. The gate for today was one for buses, which meant that we were going to be driven to our plane by a bus. Another Airbus A319 of Bangkok Airways that was prepping itself for it's next flight.
A THAI Boeing 777 from Chiang Mai was docking at one of the stands to complete it's flight.
This Airbus A320 (HS-PPK) of Bangkok Airways just parked after a flight from Phuket (HKT) and was being prepared for a new journey to Krabi (KBV).
Twenty minutes after our original boarding time, a call was finally made that boarding was start right away with already quite a long row with passengers waiting for that call. No idea why people would do that as both buses left simultaneously.
Our flight was going to be performed by HS-PPR, a 13.7 year old Airbus A319 that started as N814BR in May 2005 with Independence Air. While that US carrier ceased operations in Jan 2006, it found a new life two months later with Air Berlin as D-ABGB for four years. In August 2010 it joined TAM (Nowadays Latam Brasil) as PT-TMF till September 2016. Almost a year later, it found once again a new life with Bangkok Airways as HS-PPR in July 2017. This specific aircraft is in an all-economy configuration and sometimes sells it's flight with business class too like you would suspect from an European airline on regional routes…. A business class in a normal economy seat with the middle seat being blocked..
A close look-up of the plane with a slogan they are so proud of. Unfortunately that colourful livery they used to have and you can still witness on some of the older Airbus A319s and ATR 72-500 is slowly being changed to this dull livery you can witness in my photos.
Legroom was good and not really something to complain about.
The literature was almost the same like it was on my previous flight a few days ago from Mandalay, but was provided with an in-flight shopping magazine and a different safety card that was set up for their Airbus A319.
A cabin shot. The aircraft was a rather old bird, but Bangkok did maintain it accordingly and it still had an individual blower. A feature I really miss on some of the newer aircraft as cabins tend to be rather hot nowadays.
HS-TXQ was parked next to us. An A320 of Thai Smile with a Cartoon Network livery.
Push back was initiated by about 35 minutes late and we were quickly off to runway 01L. An ATR 72-600 of Bangkok Airways was being pushed back to for one of it's flight.
Well that dreamliner of THAI is not going anywhere anytime soon.
A livery I was not aware of with Bangkok Airways before, but I totally cheer for the purpose to safe animal life.
And some big birds. A 787 of Kenya Airways, A 777 of Turkmenistan Airlines and EVA Air and another 787 from Oman Air.
Reaching the holding point of 01L, we departed at 13:27. 42 minutes late and a common practice at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi.
Once at a safe altitude, the flight attendants appeared on screen to start preparing meal service.
About ten minutes later, two trolleys were being pushed forward to serve us our meal. For today's flight it was a spicy seabass in a sweet & sour sauce with fried rice. As appetizer two pieces of fruit, a slice of Papaya and Melon. Edible, but nothing to write home about. Real cutlery was provided and a water. No choice of drinks.
Finished serving everyone, the flight attendants appeared once again several times with Coffee, Tea or Orange Juice. I opted for some Orange Juice as I was not in the mood for some hot drinks. A common style of Thai orange juice it was.
Captain checked in with us shortly before our descent was initiated with the weather and to thank us for flying with PG. It was also an indication for the flight attendants to start cleaning as the moment the captain finished his speech, they came out with trolleys to clean.
About twenty minutes later, Koh Pha Ngan was in sight and it meant that we were really close to Samui.
And indeed as a minute later, the plane was configuring for it's final approach.
Landed at 14:12, which meant that we were only 17 minutes behind schedule. The landing itself was good, but flight crew braked hard.
At the end of the runway, a 180 degrees turn was initiated to proceed to our parking stand via the runway. It gave me a chance to capture that beautiful terminal of Koh Samui. Not just an ordinary terminal, but a bunch of seperated buildings in a tropical environment that are connected to each other by hallways. (Next report you will see more details)
While we were parked at stand four, another A319 of Bangkok Airways just rotated for it's return flight to Bangkok.
Deboarding happened rather quickly and I decided to quickly take a photo of the seat I was on.
Once again the bus that would bring us back to the terminal was parked too closely to the aircraft making it impossible to capture the entire aircraft at once like it happened too in Bangkok.
And those cute vehicles would bring us back to that terminal
Dropped off at the arrival terminal, it was only a walk of a few meters to our belt.
the belt was very crowded as people refused to literally stand a meter away from that belt creating more space for other passengers, but the social thoughts in aviation are far gone by now….
At least music was provided by a school choir who was playing songs for arriving passengers for a charity. Decided to drop some money for them.
Our luggage was as one of the first on belt and once picked up, we were greeted by Samui's Airport sign and with Bangkok Air's mascots.
Now it was time for us to find a means of transport to our hotel and was rather shocked by the prices they charged. 500 THB for a ride of 5 minutes? In Bangkok they'll ask 300 THB for a ride of 30+, In Chiang Mai it's 150 THB for a ride of 15 min and Phuket would even charge you less…. Refusing to pay these absurd prices (as they were definitely made to get the cash out of your pocket), I took a minivan which costed you around 120 THB per person. Other means? No chance as this was the official taxi of Samui Airport.
While I usually am in no mood to visit such places, my girlfriend wanted to see it. A few days in and she regretted it too for getting here. Yes, the Island is nice, however the prices they charge I would definitely consider a cheat and it is just too crowded with tourists. Don't dare to say that you have seen Thailand, if you have stayed here for the entire holiday. See some of the bonus below.
Chaweng beach by night with some places you could have a romantic dinner.
A viewpoint of a beach north of Chaweng, which gave you a view of incoming aircraft to Samui Airport. An ATR arriving from Krabi.
Hin Ta…. A stone that should look like a male genital. The female genital should be somewhere too, but I couldn't find it anywhere. See the second picture below this one for the explanation of this folklore.
A waterfall we visited.
And a meal we ate that night somewhere in a very local restaurant.
On the 2nd January, we decided to make a trip to Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Tao for some snorkeling. The boat trip took over two hours with waves over 4 meter high. A lot of tourists had to throw up their breakfast…. The next day (3rd) it was time to return to Bangkok and thank god so as all flights were canceled on the 4th due to an incoming storm in Thai called Pabuk.
While Bangkok Airways is an airline with an excellent reputation and for a good product, they often are very expensive on monopoly routes. The food was decent, the legroom was good and cabin crew was professional and friendly.