Megan and I took a two-week tour of Southeast Asia during our honeymoon in August/September of last year. Now it’s time to wrap up the trip report after a holiday break. Here’s the Trip Report Index:
- Booking the Honeymoon
- Asiana Airlines Business Class (SEA-ICN, HKG-ICN, and ICN-SEA)
- Seoul-Incheon Airport and Singapore Airlines Business Class (ICN-SIN)
- Singapore Zoo
- Singapore Airlines Business Class (SIN-DPS)
- St. Regis Bali – Part 1
- St. Regis Bali – Part 2
- Day Trip to Ubud
- Thai Airways Business Class (DPS-BKK and BKK-HKT)
- St. Regis Bangkok
- Westin Siray Bay Phuket
- Day Trip to Phi Phi Islands
- Thai Airways Business Class (HKT-HKG)
- Conrad Hong Kong
Finally, we were heading off to our last destination of the trip: Hong Kong. Megan and I love this city and jumped on the opportunity to add another stop and a couple of days. Storm clouds had begun moving in the day before, with only occasional sprinkles by the pool, but the day we checked out of the Westin Siray Bay it was really raining. Perfect timing!
Our transportation was already arranged, so we spent the next hour or so watching the scenery pass by on our way to the airport. Next time we’ll have to visit Phuket FanstaSea 😉
Check-in was smooth and efficient. Phuket’s airport is not nearly so crowded or chaotic as Bali’s once you get past the traffic — but this airport is expanding too so hopefully that won’t be a problem for much longer. We checked in quickly in the business class line and then headed to the Thai Airways lounge before our flight. It’s on the very far end of the departure area and doesn’t have much of a view, but it was very quiet.
There is at least one other lounge available in Phuket for Priority Pass cardholders, and so I dropped in for comparison. It had better quality food (in my opinion) but had very little of it, fewer beverages, and was fairly cramped. What annoyed me is there didn’t seem to be any lounge with a view of the ocean next to the airport. That wall is dedicated to a hallway for deplaning passengers.
When we boarded, we were lucky to find it was an Airbus A330 with seats similar to those we had earlier on Asiana. We didn’t need lie-flat seats or anything like that for this short day-time flight, but newer is usually better. The only annoying thing about these seats is the total lack of storage space. The curved bottom makes it hard to put a personal bag there (I don’t think you’re supposed to during takeoff), and the narrow slots fill up quickly with menus, headphones, and all the other documentation.
Also, the lead flight attendant came over to introduce herself to us, asked about our trip, and offered to take our picture. While the staff on our other two Thai Airways flights weren’t unfriendly, this one definitely won the customer service award. It was a pretty empty flight as you can probably tell. Only three other people were seated in business class.
Shortly after take-off she was back with drinks. Like usual, we had a couple glasses of champagne before switching to white or red wine during meal service. Thai’s beverage options don’t impress me much, and I can’t recall anything memorable about our selections. But the food was good — much better, certainly, than on our previous Thai Airways flights. The Hong Kong market definitely gets a better product.
We started with a very elaborately cut tomato filled with chopped pepper and onion. I guess you could call it “salsa,” but it was not like anything I’d had before. The cold cuts on the side were fine but nothing special. I had a few nibbles and waited for the main course since I had started feeling ill that morning. I was not in the mood to stuff myself unnecessarily.
The main course consisted of noodles, beef, and carrots. I thought it was quite good, though it was hard to eat with so much food on a small plate. Something like this might have been better with a larger plate or a bowl so I could mix it around. Noodles are probably the hardest thing for me to eat on a plane without making a mess everywhere.
Dessert was a lemon cake. Also good, but I only had a few bites. It was at this point I began to think that maybe my stomach wouldn’t settle down after all.
We landed at the airport without incident around 7 PM, but Megan could tell something was up. I just wanted to get to the hotel and lie down ASAP. I debated with myself whether to take a taxi or the Airport Express train (it was a difference of roughly $20). Eventually I went with Airport Express, and that turned out to be a very good move because I don’t know what I would have done if we got stuck in traffic on the highway.
Our hotel was in Central, but at the Kowloon station I made it very clear to Megan we need to get off now! There was a trash can right across the platform and I took care of my business without making a mess. What’s worse than getting sick? Getting sick in a public place where you don’t speak the language. I did not want to make any more of a scene than necessary. But the people in Hong Kong are incredibly nice. A nearby janitor flagged the station manager who came over to check on me, and since I was already feeling better and there was nothing really to clean up, he wished me well and told me another train would be by in 10 minutes.
Yes, we’re almost to the end! The final installment comes tomorrow when I review the Conrad Hong Kong.