SE Asian side trips from Bangkok - help please

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Gaucho, Oct 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Some 7-8 years ago, I would have been able to answer this myself, but now that Ive retired from the serious fflyer game and havent been to Asia in a little over 5 years Im afraid Im no longer qualified and must ask for help.

    Some good friends will be spending 2 weeks in Thailand, and while there they want to make one or two side trips. The two places they are considering are REP (airport that serves Angkor Wat, Cambodia) and DPS (Denpasar Bali, Indonesia).

    Im looking for tips from seasones Asia-hands so help them plan this.... Im trying to figure out if there are some low cost carriers that can take them to these destinations for a reasonable price.... also, dont know if there is a SE Asian AirPass or similar type of ticket that would perhaps come in handy...? They already have tickets to get to BKK, but I wonder if they could purchase some sort of add on tix that would get them these additional side trips...?

    Thanks,
    Alex
     
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  2. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Bangkok air has some airpass options which can get you to REP.

    If they really want to save money and they have time- they can always fly on Air Asia to PNH and then get a bus or taxi to REP.

    VN has good prices to Vietnam if that is up their alley.

    There are also excellent fares to Malaysia.

    It also depends when they are going- prices in peak season in Bali have reached Hawaii level now- so I wouldn't do it unless you really want to be in Bali or they are able to visit off peak when there are still some very good values.

    Air Asia has flights BKK-DPS although I would personally pay the extra for TG just for a bit more comfort.

    Let me know if I can answer anything else- frequent visitor to SE Asia.

    Lastly- sometimes using STAR alliance points on TG can be exceptional value and there are usually very few surcharges etc. Last year I got two tickets business BKK-SGN (open jaw)-HAN-BKK-HKT-BKK as an example.
     
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  3. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    I would guess the best usage of *A miles for that region is the UA intra-South Asia award (stopover and TWO open-jaws). 25K in Y... 35K in C. ;)

    Followed closely by the US South Asia award (20 K in Y, 30K in C). No stopover... but US includes the Indian subcontinent in South Asia (but important to note, NOT Hong Kong). US Airways miles can be had for about 1.1 cents per mile thanks to a share miles promotion going on right now.

    BA Avios can be useful there as well, since a lot of SE Asia locations are available for less than 12,500 miles in Y (and about a $50 USD tax+fee surcharge).
     
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  4. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Except the Avios redemption rules make using them out of BKK difficult since any connection to your destination would require you to expend more points. Since neither REP nor DPS is served by BA partners out of BKK, the 12.5K award is much higher to get to those destinations since you'd need to redeem an award to HKG, and then another award to DPS or REP from HKG.

    From BKK on Avios you can currently go to the following Asian destinations direct: CMB, DEL, HKG, KHI, BOM, SIN, NRT, HND, KIX, KUL.

    Depending on when the trip happens, you might be able to add destinations on UL, MH, and QR to that list.
     
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  5. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    AirAsia's Bangkok outfit moved to DMK and is no longer at BKK. I was considering booking a ticket with them recently and am glad I didn't because at the time I didn't realize they'd switched and would have instinctively shown up at the wrong airport!

    I just got back from a two week trip to KUL and REP, and can definitely say a sidetrip to REP is a great idea if one is spending time in BKK and wants to get out for awhile. It's a short hop, easy to navigate town, and the sights are awesome (though crawling with tourists).

    I'd throw a quick warning about DPS though. I think sometimes we forget that while SE Asia is geographically looks like a compact region, it covers a very large area. Flying direct from BKK to DPS is over 4 hours in the air, and if you are looking for a cheap flight you might end up connecting in KUL/SIN/HKG which would push your travel time significantly higher with the potential layovers. While it's a wonderful destination, it's not exactly a short hop from BKK like REP/PNH/HAN/SGN etc. As long as they don't mind the travel time, go for it!

    Also, if your friends are aviation geeks like me, BKK (and SE Asia in general) is a fantastic place to try out premium cabin products on a variety of carriers who operate 5th freedom flights in the region. EK's A380 BKK-HKG in F can be bought for under $500 on some occasions. QR flights to HAN/SGN, MS, ET, and LH all operate to KUL, ET also goes to HKG, KQ goes to HKG and CAN, etc.... and generally speaking a J or F ticket isn't too much.
     
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  6. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    I absolutely agree with this. I think BA miles come in handy when plugging in holes caused by things like using two UA open-jaws, or for straightforward itineraries. ;)
     
  7. patmike

    patmike Silver Member

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    I like to fly Bangkok Air. Join their FlyerBonus program even if you think you will never fly with them again. They give you bonus points yearly on your birthday and also give points for surveys. They have great hotel deals as well and offer extra baggage allowance for FlyerBonus members. They have lounges that have snacks, beverages and wi-fi available to all. Check out their route map. They may still have a multi-destination ticket. I believe they had one in past years.
     
  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    TG A380 also flies the same route :)
     
  9. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    True- but not for $500 in F.
     
  10. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    I have used the multi-destination ticket a few times previously and it worked out very well. Earlier this year when I priced it out it was was quiet a bit less expensive just to buy the legs I wanted so YMMV. Agree completely they are a wonderful little airline.
     
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  11. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    + 1
     
  12. TRAVELSIG
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    If you decide for any reason you need to go or want to go to Shanghai- I have used the UL flight twice now- it is a CMB-BKK-PVG roundtrip- prices out one way at less than 5000 THB BKK-PVG all in. Very good flight by the way and only four hours.
     
  13. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I looked at two dates in 2014 last night and tg was cheaper. 660 vs 680? I think it was.
     
  14. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    2014 flights aren't currently available for purchase. ;) Do you mean 2013?
     
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  15. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    yup. sorry. Toooo early to be typing on the iphone
     
  16. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Generally speaking every time I've looked at BKK-HKG F fares EK has been the cheapest, TG might be making a push to be more competitive. CX certainly isn't trying too hard. Traditionally the TG F fare was closer to the CX fare than the EK fare when I looked.
     
  17. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    For about $700 if you use the US 100% match on sharing miles. ;)
     
  18. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    From what I remember last when when I looked; (i think it was for BKK -> HKG on 1/13; a day I was going to be in BKK)

    TG was 660
    EK was 690
    CX was 9xx

    And I think my reasoning was that EK doesnt partner with any US based Carrier thus TG would be a better option since the miles earned could be credited to UA. CX was just too expensive and not competitive.
     
  19. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    EK has a very solid product and the goal of my post was to note how you could try out the premium cabins at low prices. TG and CX premium cabins are easy to access through various mileage programs. EK is more elusive unless you collect miles in a handful of programs.
     
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