From Germany via Nepal and Thailand to Poland

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  1. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Nobody knows when the bmi Diamond Club will be going up in Miles&More, so it’s high time to use all of its loopholes.
    One of them is flying to Nepal while backtracking to Thailand. Unfortunately, this loophole will be fixed as soon as Air India joins the Star Alliance. So sit back, relax and enjoy my “short” trip report to Nepal, Thailand and Poland!
    I’d chosen Copenhagen as the starting point for my trip because of low taxes and the fact that CPH is in Zone 2, so I had to use less miles. Therefor I needed a positioning flight, I booked a cheap SAS one way flight for 49EUR. Luckily it was a nice MD82, but as we SK now, you’ll have to buy everything on board. So I filled myself up at the LH Sports Corner and got a free McD muffin for the flight.

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    I know Copenhagen from previous visits, but haven’t been in Malmo. Time to fill this gap. Transferring to Malmo is easy from CPH airport, there are frequently Oresund trains which take that route in less than 20 minutes. One afternoon at Malmo is fairly enough to explore the small town with its nice old houses.

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    I took the bus back to Copenhagen in the evening (because it costs less than a half than the train) and met my travel companion there who arrived by train from Berlin. We spent the first night at the Radisson Scandinavia and went out to Christania for cheap booze. But we had to get to bed early, the metro departed at 0630 in the morning for our first flight…

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  2. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    After a light breakfast at the nice SAS lounge, we boarded the boring A319 and got on a more boring flight to Zurich. I ordered a Seafood meal, which consisted of a lot of prawns. I expected salmon though.

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    At Zurich, we maximized some time at the lounge with its large bar and got on the second flight that day: The “Appenzell” should fly us to Delhi that day. Delivered in December 2010, this is the newest A330 in the Swiss fleet.

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    Meal cards and (very dry) Champagne were distributed and shortly after take-off the meal service started. I’d chosen the fish which was a bit too cold. The Swiss red wine tasted nice. After lots of it, I made use of the good inflight entertainment program and watched Black Swan. If you haven’t looked it yet, I recommend to watch it now or on the next flight ;) Building playlists of your favourite songs is a nice feature, they even got my favourite band, Lunik!

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  3. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Shortly before landing, some light snacks were served and we arrived around midnight at Delhi. Passport control was been no hassle, but our pre-ordered airport transfer wasn’t there… So we had to took an ordinary taxi to our hotel. After two hours, the taxi driver finally found the hotel in a somewhat shabby back alley… The beds were hard as rock and I recommend not to book the Emperor Palms in Delhi! The price per night is far too high and the location is not as handy as mentioned on their website.
    On the next day, we explored the town itself, especially the two different parts of it: There is the Old Delhi which is quite confusing with its narrow streets and masses of people, but there are some key sights like the Red Fort. Unfortunately it’s closed on Mondays.

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  4. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    We took the Metro back again to New Delhi to a whole new world. Large streets, lots of Greenfields and the East-West-axis remind me of Washington D.C. or Paris. We went back to our shabby hotel early because we had to catch the 0640 train to Agra. Booking train tickets in India is hassle-free and you’ll get an E-ticket and even a pre-assigned seat! Food is included, too. What more can one expect for 8 Euros per way?

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    The train was on time and we went straight on to the main sight of Agra, the Taj Mahal. Kinda amazing. But the town itself consists of more than just the Taj: The well-preserved Fort is also worth a visit, as well as the mosque. We planned to visit a mausoleum 20km off the city, too, but the taxi driver understood something else and we were released at the above-mentioned mosque, obviously it was nice, too.

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    After a good indian dinner, we went back on the train to Delhi. The dinner served here consisted of something hot (at the lower left) with something very hot (at the upper left).

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  5. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    The night was short and we went by taxi back to the airport to take our Spicejet flight to Kathmandu.
    Thanks to the competition, flying in India nowadays is very cheap. On DEL-KTM, one can choose between Spicejet, Jet Airways, Kingfisher, of course Air India and the notoriously delayed Nepal Airlines. SG was the cheapest, it’s a typical low-cost-carrier. 189 lost souls in the 737-800, but surprisingly boarding started more than one hour before departure… One bottle of water is free and you’ll have to pay for everything else. We bought ourselves a breakfast for approximately 2 Euros and it was really delicious.

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    Be sure to be seated on the left side of the plane when flying into KTM. You’ll get wonderful views of the Himalaya, if the weather’s playing a fair game…
    We used the complimentary airport transfer and went to our hotel, the wonderful Ganesh Himal. One of the top budget places in Kathmandu, the staff is really helpful and the breakfast is delicious! After a short power-nap the capital of Nepal was explored. There’s a temple in nearly every back alley. The center of the town is the Durbar Square, where you have to pay a small entry fee, despite it is a big street crossing!

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    For our upcoming itinerary, we went to the office of Yeti Airlines to buy a ticket to Pokhara, 170km West of Kathmandu. There are many airlines flying this route, so it depends on your personal affinity to a special airplane. One can choose between Beech 1900s, Dornier 228s, boring ATR42s and the kinda rare Jetstream 41. I also got some Agent Discount on the expensive and state-regulated fare J
    Some Tibetian specialities had to be tasted, too. We tried Tongba, a warm fermented millet beer. It sounds awful and it tastes awful!
    We arrived pretty early at the airport, so it was no problem to put us on a earlier flight to Pokhara. The Jetstream 41 offers free seating, so be sure to seat on the right side for some nice views! Unfortunately, the window was scratched and it was cloudy outside.

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  6. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Pokhara is a small town dramatically set between the Annapurna range with its 7000s and the 2ndbiggest lake in Nepal. It sounds nice and it looks nice! On a clear day, you’re able to see the whole range of the 7000s mountains. But days in March turn to be greasy. We hired a boat to get to the other side of the lake, where a small hill with the World Peace Pagoda can be climbed. We went on the wrong junction and got on the direct and very steep climb up to the hill. Be sure to carry plenty of water with you! The way back down was even steeper and I fall on some stones. Maybe some scarves will remind me of this trip forever J

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    So, why is flying to Pokhara so popular even it’s only 170km away from Kathmandu? Easy to answer: The bus will take up to 8 hours for this way! We took the ride on our way back to KTM, but more on that later…

    After a nice Korean BBQ (finally pork meat again!) and some more Nepali Beer we went to bed. The next step on our list was the loooooong bus ride back to Kathmandu. We decided to take a break en-route at Manamakama, one of the holiest temples in Nepal. Thanks to Swiss engineers, one can take a cable car up to the hill. There are even open ones for chicken and goats, but only one-way-tickets can be bought for them. You wonder why? They will be sacrificed up there (and restaurants offer “local chicken” and “local goat” :D)…

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    My companion wanted to walk back down to Gorkha, but I still had enough from yesterday and convinced him to take the bus J This tiny uphill town was the next night stop on our route and we took the suite at the hotel there, though it costs 8EUR per day…

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  7. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Another day and even more stairs, exactly 1500 each way: The way to the top of Gorkha to another Hindu temple… The view is amazing.
    Back in the village again, we even found a direct minibus to Kathmandu. The 6-hour-ride was kinda bumpy and the I hoped that the battery of my Ipod will last till we arrive there… Nepalis do like Justin Bieber and of course that’s the perfect music to enjoy the countryside oO
    Finally arrived in the civilization again. Finally more than just Daal Bhat as food J We enjoyed having power for our netbooks during their 14-hour-a-day-earth-hour and looked forward for the next day: No hiking anymore J
    We took the taxi to Patan, once an autonomous city, now a suburb of Kathmandu. This town has the most amazing Nepali architecture!

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    But five days in Nepal come to an end and we ended up at the airport flying back… But back to Europe? Nooo… The next destination on our list is Thailand!
     
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  8. kraven
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    Thai has its own lounge at Kathmandu airport with some tasty chickenburgers, but unfortunately the restrooms are outside and maybe the dirtiest in the whole country… The airplane itself parked directly in front of the gate, but we had to board the bus and had the chance to examine the plane from all sides…

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  9. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Load was around 80% in C and the service was efficient. I took the Chicken Tikka and it was one of the tastiest airline meals I ever ate. Thumbs up for TG! The à-la-carte fruit and cheese plate at the end was also a nice touch.
    After 3 hours we arrived in Bangkok and we took a taxi to the hotel. We’d chosen the All Seasons Huamark because of the proximity to the airport and the chance to take the river boat directly into the city without ending up in traffic jams. Every traveller who’s already been there knows what I’m talking about J

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    We explored the Wat Pho and the old King’s Palace before ending up in the countless Shopping Malls…
    The next day meant going further south: Flying Jetstar Asia to Singapore! It doesn’t matter which low cost airline you fly on this route, they only distinguish in names. 3K was the cheapest on that date, so we took them. Service on board depends on what you’ll pay for it, not even water is free. Singapore was just a quick stop over for the next thing on our route: The DHC-7. So we enjoyed spending a day in the pool at the Fairmont (the cheapest hotel we found and this one night costs as much as the six days at the All Seasons in BKK :D) and some shopping in the evening, nothing more.

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  10. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Nowadays, the DHC-7 itself is very rare and nobody knows if they will still fly next year… Berjaya Air owns three of them, mainly for flying to Tioman Island and its 910m-runway. The unpunctuality rate is very high, I believe of their W-pattern-flights, but today there way only a 30-minute-delay on our route. Landing at Tioman is like flying into Madeira: Shortly before approaching, the airplane has to do a 180°-turn. The main difference is just the short runway and the steep hill on the other end of the runway. Think about it only after landing…

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    The taxi mafia wanted 10EUR for the ride to our night habitat, so we decided walking to Batang… It was a nice and sweaty 30-min-stroll along the beach. The village itself is very small with (fortunately) no large hotels and nobody on the beach. One can call it paradise.
     
  11. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    We spent one night down here before flying back to Bangkok. As there are no direct flights, we stopped in Kuala Lumpur. Berjaya Air (today with a delay of one hour) lands at the old Subang Airport, with is between the city and the new airport. We took the bus into town for a quick look at the twin towers before heading back to the other airport.

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    Royal Jordanian was just 5EUR more expensive than Air Asia, so we decided to give them a try. The additional charge had been maximized at the Malaysia Airlines Lounge, which is now one of my favourite ones in the world. The food selection is simply amazing and very tasty. They also got champagne!

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    The food on the flight itself was also tasty and filling, thus having no beverage service. RJ thinks, the orange juice and the water on the tablet will be enough… Did you know that you can crash the whole IFE system on the whole plane just by touching the off-button while playing the safety demonstration? I tried it accidentally 2-3 times :D

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    Sadly, this was now the last night of my trip and my flight back to Germany went on the next day. But, as we all know BD, flying back to Zone 2 is cheaper!
     
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  12. kraven
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    I enjoyed the free massage at BKK airport and went on the 744, far the largest bird on this trip. If you ever wanted to know how to wire this plane, look at the luggage bins at 19K! :D

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    Food on this flight was okay, nothing to complain and write about. I still think of the tasty Chicken Tikka on the KTM-flight…

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  13. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    11 hours later, I arrived back in Frankfurt and went home and into my own bed. And no, this trip report isn’t over yet!J
     
  14. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    As I mentioned, flying into Zone 2 is cheaper, so I still had a flight to Warsaw… I didn’t bother to get a breakfast at the crappy LH lounge, so I arrived 30mins before departure and I took mine on board… Also nothing to complain about, despite I expected more than this small MOML… Service itself was attentive though.

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    2 hours in Warsaw later, the last two flights of the whole journey are waiting: Flying via Wroclaw back to Frankfurt again. Why via Wroclaw? Because an ATR72 is much more interesting than the 737 and 2 flights for just 8EUR more is a no-brainer. (Un?)fortunately it was a four-bladed -202, so nearly as loud as the Jetstream!
    Connecting at Wroclaw is not intended, so you’ll have to leave the airside area to go back into it again… The lounge itself reminded me more of a pub.

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    Further two hours later, I finally landed in Frankfurt (and the first time on a turboprop!) and exciting two weeks found an end. Thank you for reading!
     
  15. milchap
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    A very good report with informative photos. Thank you.
     
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  16. Bonnie
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    Thanks for the great trip report! We were in Kathmandu about 30 years ago...and loved the experience. After reading your TR, I want to go back!!
     
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  17. SirRagnar
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    Thanks for sharing this great trip report. How many miles did this end up costing you?
     
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  18. Junca
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    Where's the aisle?

    Thanks for the trip report. I love the photos of locales and local foods.
     
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  19. Junca
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    Love this photo!

    As well as this one:

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  20. kraven
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    About 60k.

    Between the first and the second seat.
     
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  21. SK2868
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    Amazing TR. Thanks for sharing! :)
     
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  22. Traveller
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    Loved your trip report!!
     
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  23. Mangy
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    Nice report. Thank you for posting
     
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  24. kiwi
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    Great trip. Thanks for sharing.
     
  25. hotelsallover

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    Great TR. Thanks for posting.
     

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