Orchid, Elephant, Turtle:
Touring the Thai Conrads
So it was when flying back from Ko Samui to Singapore that I started regretting doing the entire journey on Thai Airways – since Ko Samui is located pretty much halfway between Bangkok and Singapore, having to transit at Bangkok effectively quadrupled the travel time required.
Still, an interesting experience, even if one I’m unlikely to repeat in the future, and I’ve captured some highlights below.
Being rather used to flying through air-conditioned city airports, Samui Airport was a bit of an eye-opener for me. There’s something quaint and charming about an airport that decides to place aquariums in the toilet to entertain you while you… go.
Most of the airport was very much open, with not an air-conditioner in sight. There’s something about walking within the airport towards your departure gate without a roof over your head.
I’d hate to be there when it’s raining, though.
When you finally get to the gate, there are some trams to bring you to the plane. Since we had some time to kill, we decided to check out the lounge first.
Blue Ribbon Club (Bangkok Airways Lounge) USM
The Thai Airways business ticket granted me access to the Blue Ribbon Club, which appeared to be the only lounge(s) in the airport (according to an old FlyerTalk thread, there’re an international and domestic one, and I’d visited the rather lacklustre international lounge).
It’s essentially just a small room with a rather limited range of items you can order off the menu.
There’s also a bunch of snacks – nothing particularly appealing, really.
I did enjoy being able to get a whole coconut while in the lounge.
All in all, a rather skippable experience. Think I’d rather have spent more time walking around the airport!
USM-BKK (Boeing 737)
The flight back to Bangkok was on the same Boeing 737 hardware that I took from BKK.
Again, no in-flight menu was provided for the domestic trip, though the meal looked rather less offensive/bewildering to non-Asians.
Royal Silk Lounge BKK
Unfortunately, due to lack of foresight, the 1h transit time in BKK did not really offer much time in the lounge, other than to snap some quick pictures before running off to the departure gate.
All in all, it seemed like a rather serviceable place. Wish I’d had more time to stay there!
BKK-SIN (Boeing 777)
The flight back was on a Boeing 777. Though not the swanky A350, as an international (albeit short-haul) flight the hardware was pretty decent, with a good amount of legroom.
There were in-flight menus again! After the regional flights I was getting used to life without them. I ordered the green curry with fishballs – it was tasty enough, though nothing fantastic.
At the end of the day, while I enjoyed the A350 experience, the bulk of Thai’s hardware for short-haul flights fails to impress. Unless you’re flying long-haul on newer hardware, I’d suggest saving your miles/money for better usage!
Louis believes he caught the premium travel bug after attaining KrisFlyer Elite Gold and occasionally being upgraded while shuttling between the UK, Singapore and Japan (in economy class). These travels have led to a wonderful marriage, as well as a burning desire to maximise his frequency of travel in business class or better.
He travels with a gryphon plush toy, Griffles, which often stands in for him in vacation photos. Griffles continues to amuse (and confuse) air stewardesses, hotel staff and just about everybody else, all around the world.