flying emirates back, i think technically this is considered a direct - but not nonstop - flight. it's the same flight number but it stops in BKK and some of us get off. the opposite of the one i took out; this time i thought i would accomplish both the shower and the bar that i failed to on the way out to hong kong. a380.
emirates has a lounge in HKG but it seems it has been closed for a bit. the ticket comes with access to a plaza plus lounge or something like that, i didn't bother going as it didn't seem too great plus i had access to the other lounges. i have just a couple meh food pics but video walking around them; for now i'll just say one was a chase sapphire lounge - the first i have been to. i had access through priority pass. it was nice looking, the food was not that impressive though. i also had access to the amex centurion lounge here with a platinum card - nicer food and cool cocktail selection. centurion > chase.
onto the plane -
a lot of biz seats actually narrowly guide you into nooks, you can see the awesome apex suites in the oman flights in my other posts have tons of space, so does this config on the a380. easily space for both my backpacks here. i did not convert the seat to a bed as it was not that long of a flight to try really. champaign on the ground was brut but i swear it was dom perignon 2013 coming from BKK. the middle eastern airlines all also offer you an arabic tea and a date, i picked one with orange.
we did have dom after getting off the ground. cavia, salmon tataki appetizer, i ordered beef but they were out of it by the time they got to me (4A) so i got the sir fried prawns. dessert was chocolate mousse.
also a bunch of post meal chocolates and i just stuck with drinking the champaign. watched master gardener then had some time with mah girl tay tay. they gave us a box of chocolates after the flight as well.
i like female flight attendants for a number of reasons, but one is i feel like when dudes see you being a flight dork they kind of groan a little. meanwhile the women always seem happy to help you out and be a dork. the shower requires prep with towels and water, and i knew the flight was fast at ~2h 45m so i mentioned i'd like to try it before we even left the gate. she totally was down and understanding i was just doing it as a fun check off the experience kind of thing. which i did make, but unfortunately they closed the bar when i was in there. you can strategize to hit both but it took me 2 flights to figure out how to even do it. basically before you get your food you have enough time to probably do both, but should at least do one (probably the shower) before the caviar. in any case, achievement unlocked, showered on a plane. looking like a gomer.
i did walk through business class and head back to check out the bar, but it was shut down. the flight geek thing to do there is have them take your picture behind the bar, which like practically everyone who goes to it does.
flight attendant took some pics of me too, which came out way better than the goon ones i usually take of myself in this seat. i didn't ask her to, she basically insisted she do it for me. she opened the bar to show it off too, she knows all the proper ways to flex
i then arrived and proceeded to spend the night in a $25 hotel.
if you didn't pick up from the other threads that i am just trying to get flights and experiences by being clever and doing things i'd never actually pay for, here's another example - this hotel was arguably around the same cost. amex has a "fine hotels and resorts" collection - https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/travel/discover/ where there are various bonus schemes but the main one is $200 credit for a stay and $100 in on site credits for food/spa/whatever. i booked this hotel for about $280 so, in a way you could argue by using all the credit they actually paid me $20 to stay there. the next night i stayed at the waldorf astoria bangkok. you also get a free room upgrade, but i would have had to wait until up to 3pm as a normal check-in time vs. my much earlier 11am when i arrived, but they would still give me an unupgraded room. i took that one.
some interesting things about the room were that the drapes would be closed, except once you opened the door and entered the room they would open. also first for me - walking up to the toilet seat it would automagically open for you. i had at least 5 staff helping me with things before even getting to my room for the first time. they also all seemed to know i was only there 1 night, i was going to krabi the next day, and how much credit i had left to spend when i went to the restaurant or bar or breakfast or wherever.
entrance and lower lobby, then welcome drink and upper lobby view.
room and bathroom tv
mini bar, free nespresso, lemon cakey treats, choccies, and coconuts
pool on the 16th floor, view from the restaurant on the 55th floor
explored during the day. pretty snazzy open bookstore/food/coffee/working type area in the top of one of the malls. some nice cars on the way out too.
i tried to book lunch at this cool chef spot by this guy i found on instagram, most of his stuff is in thai so i don't think he's actually well known to western tourists. they never actually confirmed my request though, there was a miscommunication and i went to follow up way too late. the guy just won top chef thailand 2023 so i imagine it may be even harder for me to try and get an actual reservation in the future.
i went to the grand palace and a couple of temples, but took mostly 360 video. so just a few pics here.