It was my second time to Maldives. I was convinced by my cousin to come back to Maldives again. I myself love this island nation too. And surely, Maldives treated me well. The trip was in November 2012.
(This report will include another mini report with Trans Maldivian Airways flight from Male to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort because I couldn't create a trip with Trans Maldivian Airways and Conrad resort as a destination)
At first, I booked flights with Sri Lankan Airlines from Bangkok to Male with a transit in Colombo (Sri Lanka) for few hours. One week before the flights, problems happened. Sri Lankan Airlines changed their flight time. It meaned that the transit time in Colombo would be over 8 hours. According to Sri Lankan Airlines policy and Sri Lanka immigration rule, passanger who transits more than 8 hours in this country has to ask for a transit visa. I was just afraid that I didn't have enough time to ask for the visa and transiting more than 8 hours would be wasting of time for me. I had only 5 days of holiday and I had to fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok, then to Male.
My cousin and I decided to cancel the tickets with Sri Lankan Airlines. The carrier was so nice, they returned full fare without charging us since it was their fault. Then, we decided to book Bangkok Airways which has direct flight to Maldives from Thailand.
Bangkok Airways (PG) fare was much more expensive than Sri Lankan Airlines (UL) ticket. For UL, BKK-CMB-MLE RT fare was about 350$ but for PG, it was 700$. So sad. We already booked the flight from SGN to BKK and hotel for transiting in Bangkok so we couldn't cancel the trip to Bangkok. Meanwhile, promotion fare from SAGn to MLE with transit in KUL by Malaysia Airlines was just 600$.
But we weren't disappointed. We went to Suvarnabhumi Airport of Bangkok quite early as usual and gently asked the check-in staff to let us sit in the front row of the economy cabin so that we could take photos without being blocked by the wing. The staff was super nice, smiled at us and let us sit on the 4th row of the plan, the first row of economy cabin.
Surprisingly, even we travelled on economy class, Bangkok Airways let us access to its lounge. They have a lounge for all economy passangers. (That's why the fare is so expensive?) For business passengers, they had another lounge called Blue Ribbon Lounge. Well, the economy lounge was just too good for us. The food and the drink were much better than some CIP lounges in the world, especially those in Kolkata CCU (Port Lounge).
Boarding time. Bangkok Airways FA welcomed us with smile. I love the blue theme inside the Airbus A319 of Bangkok Airways. It made me feel comfortable.
We flew with Angkor Wat livery
The plane took off. The FA served us peanut while waiting for the meal. Bangkok Airways catering was super excellent. On this flight they had noodle with shrimp and fish with potato. The glass noodle salad was delicious. The FA also served us the rice tea. Very special.
I read the review that Bangkok Airways is famous for their catering. And it was true. The meal was so good and I though I was having busines class meal. And oh yeah, we used stainless stell fork and knife, not plastic as usual for economy class.
The plane descended to Male
Ibrahim Nasir International Airport of Male
We stayed in the island Hulhumale near the airport for a night to catch the seaplane flight to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort next morning. Once again, we got to the airport so early. We had to wait cause the check-in counter wasn't open yet.
After finishing the check-in, Conrad's mini bus took us to the lounge at the other side of the airport island, the seaplane terminal.
On the way to the airport
Trans Maldivian Airwats check-in counter
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort had a lounge exclusively for its guests. And trust me, this is one of the best airport lounges I've ever been to. The food was very very great. From the lounge balcony, I could see the seaplanes on the water.
It was boarding time again. We went straight to the seaplane without passing through security gate (actually there was no such one). We flew with De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter with 15 seats. I sat on the front of the plane. It was funny that the pilots didn't wear shoes, sandals or slippers. From the window of the plane, I could see the tiny capital island of Male and various resorts islands with over water villas. It was amazing.
Finally, we landed at Conrad.
The waiting lounge on arrival at Conrad
We were so satisfied with the resort, especially the Ithaa undersea restaurant. We stayed in an over water villa and sure we enjoyed the sea, the coral and the undersea life.
To conclude this FR, I want to introduce my video clip about Maldives. Please enjoy! Thanks for reading this very very long FR.
Bangkok Airways Lounge
Bangkok - BKK
Malé - MLE
A trip to Maldives from Bangkok with Bangkok Airways and Trans Maldivian Airways.
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