Bangkok Bound

File:Bangkok skytrain sunset.jpg
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Late this week, I’m going to Bangkok for a five day visit.  I’ve never been before and I’m totally psyched about it!  To tell the truth, though, Bangkok was an afterthought for this trip.

As a full time blogger who blogs about tricks for earning frequent flyer miles, I can easily and almost freely fly around the world whenever I want.  I can do my “job” in an airport lounge, on a plane, in a hotel, and really anywhere.  In theory, I’m free to work and play anywhere, anytime.  In theory…

In real life, I have a family and responsibilities.  My wife works full time and travels often for her work.  My son is in school.  My dog needs to be walked.  I can’t just leave anytime on my own without planning ahead.  As a family, we do travel often, but usually just during school breaks.  Recently, we’ve traveled international business class a few times (and loved it), but I really want to experience the best of international first class travel. 

I would love to experience international first class with my family, but the logistics are difficult.  Using miles, it is rare to find saver level award availability for three on the same flights.  And, by restricting our availability to school breaks, award availability is even worse.  I still expect that we’ll find an opportunity someday, but its not obvious when.  So, I sat down with my wife and a calendar to find a good opportunity for me to go out on my own.  Due to family trips, planned events, and even Million Mile Madness, there were shockingly few dates available.  The best dates we could find were near the end of January and into early February.

I worked with an award booking service to help me find the best flights (full details about the service to follow later).  At first I made an open ended request: I wanted to fly the best airlines with the best service: take me anywhere.  Later, I refined the request when I realized that my mom was going to be in Bangkok during the time that I could travel.  I figured that I might as well meet up with her there!  So, I’m going to Bangkok!

I rarely do trip reviews because I like to focus on tips and tricks for earning points and miles, but I’ll make an exception here.  My intention is to post mini reviews in-the-moment as often as possible.  If a flight has Wi-Fi, I’ll post my impression of the flight from the air.  Otherwise, I hope to post shortly after arrival.  If my airport experience is worth sharing, I’ll post that too.  In Bangkok, I’ll let you know what I think of the hotel, and any attractions, events, or experiences that seem worth sharing.  I’ve never before flown international first class, nor have I been to Bangkok.  So, my perspective will be a bit different from those who have made a career out of writing about first class cabins and international travel.  I expect you’ll see some “wide eyed wonder” along with (hopefully very little) whining when things don’t go quite right.

So, what are the special airlines and flights I have booked?  I left a small clue in one of my recent posts, so I have no doubt that many readers will figure out one of my flights ahead of time.  The rest, though, will be revealed as I go.  The adventure will begin Thursday night.  Please follow along!

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[…] the post “Bangkok Bound” I explained that my Bangkok trip was an excuse to use my points and miles to experience […]


I am staying at the W Bangkok now. It’s a beautiful property. Posted the same text below to FT.

I can be picky and notice the small things but I am not that demanding when I stay. Here’s my data points. I’m not feeling terribly poetic so will keep my list, er, functional… YMMV

– only one suite is ready so no upgrades for PLT
– spa is not yet open
– restaurant is great especially breakfast buffet (which I chose as my amenity)
– wish the signage on items in the restaurant was better
– rooms are awesome but no privacy if there are two of you
– staff is attentive, friendly and mostly speak great english
– lobby bar is awesome – prices are reasonable compared to any decent higher end Bangkok bar
– you control lights / AC using an Archos tablet. The hotel is only two months old and this already looks dated. This seems like a peculiar choice IMHO: they will break, get dirty, become out of date very quickly.

There’s something lovely about a new property.

I’m a PLT 100 and no noticeable treats. I got some sweets/candies and a welcome card from the manager in my room when I got there which was a tasty welcome. I didn’t get a drink voucher at check-in as some people have reported.

OK, time to finish breakfast and explore the neighborhood around the hotel and then I’m off to JJ market with some friends.


Hv fun

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If you are going to the amazing city that is Bangkok (probably one of my favorite destinations in Asia, make sure to at least scan this website:
Even the smaller scams like the birdseed scam can really ruin what is otherwise a great trip.
Enjoy and looking forward to read interesting trip reports. (Ignore the naysayers… You’re allowed a trip report if you want one!)


I will be visiting Bangkok for the first time this June. I will be looking forward for your report. Thanks for all the tips you have shared.


Now that you’ve written that, I’m quite looking forward to reading your Bangkok trip. Happy trails, Greg!

Steve Schwartz

Was in Thailand from Jan 15-27 and Bangkok from Jan 23-27. Flew First on Cathay. First time to Thailand – I can promise you an amazing experience with the nicest people on the planet. I heard a lot about scams and never had an issue. The traffic sucks so take that into consideration – we always ended our sightseeing by 3 PM to avoid the masses. The prices – cheapest country I have been to.

We stayed in an amazing Executive Suite at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok and it is a top tier hotel – and I’m writing this from the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong! You will have a great time in a great country with wonderful people. Enjoy!


Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions!

To those who recommended that I should not write trip reviews, let me address that here:

I get it. I really do. I rarely do anything like a trip review. And, many of my readers consider that a good thing. I should stick with what people really want: new strategies for earning points & miles…

That makes sense, but consider this: My rule for deciding what to write about is simple… 95% of the time what I write about is whatever is most interesting / exciting to me at the time. It just happens that creative point earning opportunities more often then not are the things that make the cut. Right now, though, my upcoming trip is the awesome thing on my mind, and so I’ll write about it. I won’t have pictures of menus and hot towels. I won’t drag the “trip report” out months after my trip. I won’t copy the format of other bloggers. My goal is to write quick little snippets about whatever I find most interesting / exciting at the time. All of the posts will be titled “Bangkok Bound: XXX” where XXX will be replaced with the topic. If you’re not interested, then skip them. I’ll be done with these in a week so you won’t have to suffer long. In the meantime, I hope to still crank out some informational posts. In other words, as much as possible, the Bangkok posts will be in addition to my regular content. We’ll see if I can really keep that up though…


Its your blog.Post whatever you want.
I’ll be in BKK for first time in mid-Feb
so am looking forward to your posts.


THANK YOU for NOT doing trip reports. Some of your fellow bloggers really go overboard on them.


I’ll be there from 2/2-2/7. SUPER BOWL in BKK!! Very Good Points had a piece on Thailand recently.


I eagerly await any/all future reviews of your experience with award booking services. Thanks, enjoy your trip.

Thanh P.

Haha, will be in bangkok on Sunday-Monday myself! Please post any update by Friday afternoon (NY time) so I know what to do there lol. I’ll be going solo as well! Hit up go go bars?