Firstly, I know what you’re thinking. Why is David writing a non Disney trip report? His blog is literally called David AT DISNEY. My intention of this blog was always to make it mostly Disney focused but also to include some of my other passion, that being travel and theatre. I’ve already written a few theatre posts, which can be found in the theatre section in the menu bar, but after a month or so of the blog being online we’re finally at my first non-Disney travel.
The trip actually started a bit differently to almost every single other holiday I go on. Usually I’m up at about 4am to hear to the airport and catch a stupidly early flight somewhere but this time, mainly due to cost as we were flying out over Easter, we were flying out at around 10pm in the evening. I unexpectedly found this to be quite nice. It gave us a chance to get up, have some brunch, chill for a bit in the house, have a nice early dinner and then head to the airport. My original plan for us to get an uber to the airport, but the voucher I had meant it ended up being cheaper to use Getts new Porsche service instead! Spending an hour in a Porsche 4×4 with individual heated seats was definitely the nicest way I’ve ever travelled to Heathrow!
The journey to the airport was as long and as boring as always, with the 15 mile or so journey taking about an hour and 20 minutes. I can’t explain enough how much I’m looking forward to that Crossrail line opening. Once we arrived at Terminal 4 the check-in process was extremely smooth. There was only a few people in front of us so we only waited 5 minutes or so. Our bags were checked all the way through to Bangkok and the man at check in put a ‘Rapid Transit’ tag on our bags. We only had a 1 hour and 20 minute connection in Doha so seeing that tag made me a bit more hopeful that our bags would make it to Thailand with us.
With check out complete we headed through a very quick security check and into the shopping area. After the usual scenario of looking at duty free and chatting about how much better it used to be, we headed to the Skyteam lounge which I’d booked us in for before the flight. This is only the second time I’ve booked into an airport lounge before a flight and I’m starting to come around to them. I paid 30 pounds per adult which may sound like a lot but considering I paid 20 pounds for breakfast and a beer in Heathrow recently it wasn’t too all things considered. It also gave us some comfy chairs to sit in which can be all too rare at airports. Below are pictures of some of the food I ate – nothing too fancy but nice to snack on before you fly out
I also had a couple (probably one too many) Jim Bean and coke.
Our flight was called for boarding around 9.15pm, 45 minutes or before departure. We joined the long but fast moving queue for the gate and were on the plane before we knew. We were flying on one of Qatar Airways very new Airbus A350 and the whole felt new and incredibly modern. That wasn’t the best bit though! We were sat in seats 17b and 17c and, unbeknownst to me when I checked in, seat 17c had no seat in front. Meaning I had so much space to stretch my legs out!
The flight was due to take around 6 hours and on the whole was very uneventful. After about an hour and a half we were served dinner and I chose the Chicken Biryani.
It was actually one of the nicest plane meals I’ve ever had, albeit a bit small. I can’t say much positive about the rest of the food you can see though, with the exception of the kit kat but who doesn’t love kits kats?? I spent the rest of the flight watching about 10 episodes or brooklyn nine nine and another 10 or so episodes of friends that were available on the in flight entertainment system. As an aside the IFE on Qatar was fantastic. They had a great range of very recent films and had full seasons of TV shows available instead of the usual 2 or 3 episodes found on most systems.
A very quick hours soon passed and we landed into Doha at 6.20am, 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Before travelling we thought we may have to run for the connection but happily were now in the situation that we could chill for a bit before our flight to Bangkok. Naturally that meant taking another passport picture.
And time take picture of the big creepy teddy bear in the middle of the terminal
The second flight boarded on time and we left slightly behind schedule at about 8.15am. I don’t have any pictures of the second flight but I can tell you it was on the huuuuuge Airbus A380, we had a spare seat beside us which was a life saver, I slept for about an hour, the food wasn’t great and it felt about 29000 hours long even though it was the same 6 hours as the first flight. Eventually we finally landed in Bangkok, again ahead of schedule so top marks to Qatar Airways for puncutality!
I just praised the airline above so its only right that they get criticism when justified too. I was led to believe from online posts that we should receive an immigration card on the plane which we would fill out and then present at immigration. Unfortunately the airline didn’t have any of these on board the flight, which ended up adding 10 or 15 minutes to our immigration wait time at the other end. The overall wait wasn’t too bad though and we were out in about 45 minutes. And I’m happy to say our cases made it too!
Our next port of call was to the taxi rank to catch a ride to the hotel. The taxi system at Bangkok is pretty nest. There are separate lanes for different sizes of taxi. Once you choose the size you pick a ticket and head to the bay number on that ticket where the taxi will be waiting. We walked straight up to our taxi and were soon on our a way to the hotel. The taxi ride took a bit longer than expected, around 45 minutes, but the price was in the 400 or so baht range I’d seen mentioned online (about 10 pounds).
With a long, 27 hour or so day behind us we finally pulled into our the Avani Riverside Hotel which was to be our home for the first 2 nights. Even with the long day it was difficult not to be blown away by the incredible 11th floor lobby with its even more incredible views!
The check in process was seamless and we were heading up to our 19th floor room within minutes. When we opened the door I was stunned, not only at the incredible view our of the window
but also at just the sheer classiest and comfort of the room itself.
We hadn’t eaten in about 7 hours at this point so were absolutely starving. At this point it was after 9pm and as such out options were a little limited. Luckily I’d found a 50% off voucher for the buffet restaurant in the hotel. When we got there around 9.30pm they said they were happy to seat us but needed to inform us the buffet closed at 10pm. In normal circumstances I’d probably have gone elsewhere but this time I was all about business and then going to bed so gladly accepted. I’m sorry to say I don’t have any pictures but the food was lovely, the bbq pork ribs were a particular highlight! I ate 4 plates of food in 30 or so minutes but at that point the hunger wall and the tiredness wall completely hit both of us. We decided it was time too call it a night and headed to bed after paying the 1500 baht bill (around 35 pounds). There was no tossing or turning needed to get to sleep tonight, I’m pretty sure I tell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow after one of the longest travel days I think I’ve ever done!
That abouts does it for part 1. Be sure to check back tomorrow night for our first day in Bangkok.