At the outset, I want to state what a privilege it was to return to East Asia…even under the conditions that I did. I have fond memories of pre-pandemic travel to Japan, Thailand, and Singapore that were only added to on this trip, despite much of it being trapped inside airports.
Trip Report: A Return To Asia
The genesis of this trip was an Aeroplan redemption ticket from Los Angeles to Bangkok via Washington, Cairo, London, and Tokyo. Border closures and flight cancellations torpedoed my trip to Jakarta, but Aeroplan allowed me to rebook to Bangkok and that allowed me to check off two products I have been waiting to review for years: The EgyptAir 787-9 and ANA 777-300ER. Both planes feature a new business class product that I was eager to experience.
Why Bangkok? Well, first off it was open, unlike many of its neighbors. Second, it required only a one-day quarantine. Third, it allowed me to dine at Na-Oh, a former Lockheed L-1011 jet that once flew with Delta Air Lines livery and now sits outside central Bangkok as a fabulous fine dining restaurant. Fourth, the hotels were dirt cheap. For example, the Grand Hyatt Erawan was under $60/night! (the price has already risen…).
I’ve already talked about my transits in Cairo, Tokyo, and Singapore, which I will not repeat. But I will offer extensive details on the paperwork involved for entering Thailand under its new Alternative Quarantine (AQ) program for vaccinated travelers. I will also share details of what it was like arrive into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and how I spent my one-day quarantine (locked in my hotel room).
The trip report will include:
- Washington – Cairo in EgyptAir 787-9 Business Class
- Cairo – London in EgyptAir 787-9 Economy Class
- Singapore Airlines Lounge (LHR)
- London – Tokyo in ANA 777-300ER Business Class
- ANA Suite Lounge (HND)
- Tokyo – Bangkok in ANA 787-9 Business Class
- Guide: Everything You Need To Travel To Thailand
- Arrival Into Bangkok
- My Quarantine Experience In Bangkok
- Hyatt Place Bangkok
- Na-Oh Bangkok (L-1011 Restaurant)
- Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
- Photo Essay: Bangkok During The Pandemic
- Great Coffee In Bangkok
- Hyatt Regency Bangkok
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge (BKK)
- Bangkok – Singapore in Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class
- Singapore – Los Angles in Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class
This was a fabulous 28,798 mile trip and worth the many hours I spent camped out in airports in Washington, Cairo, London, Tokyo, and Singapore. Stay tuned for a fun adventure and a surprisingly spectacular meal onboard a vintage airliner.
image: view from my quarantine room in Bangkok