Asia For a Whole Month

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Jerichohill, Nov 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    *Note: I'm creating this thread now before my wife and I depart. Will be hopefully updating each day, hence the huge number of reserved posts. I'll add links to the hotels we stayed at when we stay at them and point to the right post.

    Gary's Advice to me:

    A Month In Asia:
    Japan, Thailand, and Cambodia

    Hotels Visited:
    Sheraton: Four Points @ BWI Airport
    Tokyo: Mercure Ginza
    Kyoto: Hotel Monterey
    Bangkok: (No hotel: swanky friend's apartment!)
    SIem Reap: (Swanky friend got a swanky place, don't know where yet)
    Krabi: Tubkaak Boutique Resort
    Hua Hin: Hua Hin Six Senses

    Cities we will visit!
    Tokyo, Japan -- Full Day Dynamic Tokyo Hato Bus Tour
    Kyoto, Japan -- We will be based in Kyoto for most of our time in Japan. We plan on going to Osaka and Nara for day trips.
    Phetchaburi, Thailand -- Half Day of walking around!
    Krabi, Thailand -- Apparently the best beaches in all of Thailand. I plan on very much relaxing on the beach with a drink for 3 straight days...Maybe go snorkeling, see an island nearby, etc.
    Hua Hin. Thailand -- Was recommended as a stop for a few days, former capital I think. Going on a Hua Hin Adventure Tour.
    Bangkok, Thailand -- Hoping to go to a Muay Thai fight night, do some swing dancing, get a few new suits, and enjoy the street food (hopefully...)
    Siem Reap, Cambodia -- Seeing Angkor Wat, 3 day pass. We have a guide who came very highly recommended from our good friend we are visiting in Bangkok. However, this guide was booked by an Australian group of people. Happily, the Australians are a-okay with having a few Americans tag along for a few days. I promise to not order a single Fosters.

    Flights: (Award Booking: Thanks Gary for the valuable advice)
    BWI-ORD United First (A320)
    ORD-NRT United Business First (747, Upper Deck)
    NRT-BKK United Business First (777)
    BKK-NRT United Business First (777)
    NRT-ORD United Business First (747, Upper Deck)
    ORD-DCA United First (A320)

    Train:
    JR Rail : 14 Day Green Pass (This is the first class cabin on the bullet trains)
    Thailand: Taking the Train from Bangkok to Petchaburi, touring for a half day, then in an overnight sleeper car to Surat Thani, bus takes us to Krabi. Taking the train back to Hua Hin for a short jaunt there before heading back to Bangkok.


    *SemiProtip: For booking an award trip, ORD-BKK, you can have a 2 week layover stopping at NRT. Sweet! Same miles cost!

    So, we look forward to sharing some awesome locations, awesome hotels, and more awesome photos n stuff. However, I sincerely doubt we'll be taking pictures of airline food. We all know what to expect.

    Who are we?
    Mid-30s couple living in the DC area, not quite part of the 1%, but getting very close.

    Estimated Total Trip Cost: 5K.
     
  2. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    1st Night:
    We checked into the 4 points Sheraton at 7:30 pm on Sunday night. We wanted to avoid DC traffic hassles on Monday morning, and this hotel is the closest to BWI. Tomorrow we will get up and catch breakfast in the USO lounge( DOD contractors and civilians can access this lounge with the ID). Yay! Sadly, we didn't arrive at BWI until well after the United desk closed. Bums. I saw two 747s parked outside, very cool.

    So, here's what our king bed SPG room looks like. I found the "your stuff" holder in our bathroom unintentionally hilarious.

    Just landed in Ord. Change of equipment to another 747 and we are delayed until 3 to 4 pm Chicago time (3 to 4 hour delay). The line outside the gate is insane, and having access to the united club was a big boon. We asked for and received lunch vouchers due to the delay. Arrival now at 8 in Tokyo rather than 4, maybe a bit earlier, let's hope.

    Added a picture of the. Crowded lounge

    Okay, so I should probably talk a bit about the flight from BWI to ORD to NRT

    For the first leg, we sat in the second row of first class. I really enjoyed the fully functional directv , that passed the time very quickly. This flight was on time, uneventful, and not much more needs to be said.

    Now, for our second leg, well, this was a minor disaster. We eventually took off 6 hours late after the third 747 didn't have any problems. Our first bird was delayed, and our second bird had a leaking fuel tank! Having access to the UC paid off here, as we promptly got our lunch vouchers so at least we had a reasonably good sit down meal for our troubles. The UC was crowded during the day, probably because 50 first / business class px's from our flight were with us.

    So, the best part of this flight is that we landed safely. At midnight. When the trains were shut down. United did not mention it had a shuttle for us to to,yo station, we found it after 45 minutes of being harassed by cabbies. Not fun at all. United had mentioned they had agents for connecting passengers, but not for the shuttle! Arghhhhhhh!

    So tired from 24 hours of travel we collapsed, in the hopes of meeting our 8 am tour of Tokyo

    Pics of bf and airport stuff. Tokyo tour and Kyoto a adventures to follow in the next post.
     

    Attached Files:

    Kalboz and NYCUA1K like this.
  3. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    Tokyo day tour, bullet train

    I've attached pictures from Tokyo. Will have text later, must pack for Bangkok!
     

    Attached Files:

    Kalboz and NYCUA1K like this.
  4. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    saved for trip report 3
    Pics of travel from Tokyo to bangkok
     

    Attached Files:

    Kalboz likes this.
  5. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    saved for trip report 4
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  6. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    295
    Status Points:
    460
    Looking forward to hearing from you on it; seems like a good selection of locales with a decent time in which to see them.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    Kool, as I, too, will be doing nearly four weeks of award travel in Asia, from about the middle of next month to the middle of January, to visit the places shown in my itinerary map below. However, I have never been able to understand the frequent concern (bolded in your post above) with the duration of layover stops in the course of an award trip. The redemption miles are "linear", meaning that two-way awards will cost you twice the number of miles of one-way awards (i.e., unlike for paid trips, the costs in miles scale linearly). This means that you can redeem in a way that makes every segment of your award trip independent of any other, so that concerns about layover durations are immaterial. What I usually do is to select a "central city" as my "home base" during the award trip, from which I would just redeem for independent one-way or two-way awards to get around, as shown in the map below. In this case, I made HKG my "home base" because I wanted to visit cities in both North Asia and SE Asia and, in addition to being a major airport that will have loads of alliance carriers to choose from to get around, HKG is conveniently and centrally located...

    Enjoy your travel and I will be checking back here for your progress!:)

    ASIA-ESCAPE-12-13.png
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  8. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    I sure hope so!. I'll put up the # of days in each locale so you can see the budget of time
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  9. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    I suppose that's a good point. This is the first time my wife and I have booked a trip using award miles using Gary Leff's advice. I think we were just looking to keep it as simple as possible, so a straight linear booking made sense (that our travel plans fit such a linear path was really helpful. Further, I felt that traversing Thailand by train (and Japan as well) would offer more experiences than flying from place to place.

    That said, that is one hell of a trip you have planned. We'll be departing Bangkok right in the middle of December, so I will post up here if we have any experience that's "utterly cool" just in case you decide it might be really cool too.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  10. Tad's Broiled Steaks

    Tad's Broiled Steaks Silver Member

    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Status Points:
    825
    @NYCUA1K

    Curious as to what brings you to Jakarta. I'm a fan of the city, and may be able to help you if you have questions.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  11. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    1st night updated
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  12. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    Flight, Tokyo tour with pictures!!!!
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    Cool! Thanks for sharing your progress!
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  14. Jerichohill

    Jerichohill Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    31
    Status Points:
    50
    Thanks man. Hanging out at Ana lounge in nArita about to leave for Bangkok. Nice lounge!!!!!!!
     
    Kalboz likes this.

Share This Page