- ANA First Class SFO-NRT
- Thai Airways First Class NRT-BKK
- Exploring Bangkok, Royal Orchid Sheraton
- Thai Airways Business Class BKK-DPS
- Bali Part I: Kuta, Padangbai
- Bali Part II: Gili Trawangan, Seminyak
- Thai Airways BKK First Class Lounge and Spa
- Thai Airways First Class BKK-NRT, UA First Class NRT-SFO
After our 10-day trip it was time to pack up and head home. It’s funny because we met quite a few people on our trip, most from Europe and Australia, that were doing the extended-travel thing. Some had already been on the road for as long as 6 months to even an entire year. But for me, beginning a couple days prior to leaving after having been gone for about a week, I already started to feel antsy and my mind-set began transitioning back into work mode, even spending some time checking work emails during the day. I guess us Americans have somehow been brain-washed into feeling guilty when not at work.
Anyways, we left our villa and headed for the airport which was about an hour-long drive with traffic. The airport lounge options in the Bali airport aren’t great, so would recommend heading over at the last possible moment possible, but do take into account potential delays due to traffic.
The ride to Bangkok was fairly uneventful, with the highlight being the fact that I could spend a few hours kicking back and finishing up season 1 of House of Cards, which by the way is a fantastic show and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new TV series.
I was really looking forward to our layover in Bangkok as I had gotten to sample the Thai First Class ground service a couple times before now. I had even chosen to forgo the first available flight out to NRT to experience a longer layover, which would definitely have gotten me yelled at if traveling with my fiance. Luckily, my friend completely understood, since the longer layover would also mean that we got to try out one of Thai’s 777-30ER planes leased from Jet Airways which features first class suites with closing doors.
Once we landed in BKK, consistent with my other transfer experiences, everything was handled for us and we literally could switch off our brains for the next several hours. We were picked up in a buggy and driven to the security checkpoint near the first class lounge. Because we had eaten on the plane, we decided to go straight for the massage. A few different options are offered, but since we both wanted to shower anyways we decided to go for the 1-hour full body massage with oil. It’s a short walk over to the spa, and once you walk in you truly do feel like you are at a real spa, not just in a nice smelling room within an airport.
After enjoying a cold towel and welcome drink, we were shown to our treatment rooms and the massage began. While the actual massage itself isn’t necessarily the best ever, it’s still very relaxing and was a great respite from thinking about our long journey home. Afterwards, you’re given the opportunity to shower and then relax for a few minutes in the waiting area before heading back to the lounge.
|welcome drink and cold towel|
|anxiously waiting to get my massage on|
|treatment room – not given chance to use the tub|
Once back at the lounge, I took the opportunity to chow down since I really do like the food served in there. I viewed this as somewhat of a last hoorah before heading back home and having to eat more sensibly. The service in the lounge is great, and if you look up with even somewhat of a hungry or thirsty twinkle in your eye, someone will stop by with a menu to see if you’d like to order anything. The menus are all loaded on iPad’s which was actually a bit awkward at first, since the lounge attendant will wait for you while you make your choices instead of giving you time to kick back and peruse.
I ended up trying many, many, many things on the menu, Definitely too many, since by the end I felt absolutely disgusting. Some of the highlights were the pork with coconut rice, beef curry, and the beef steak with fries all of which were cooked very well and very quickly.
|first class lounge|
After eating, it was time to leave and it’s honestly a rare feeling to actually be sad to leave the airport to hop on a flight. The 4+ hour layover we had went by extremely quickly, which is a testament to the greatness of the first class experience here. For all future travel through Asia, this will continue to be my #1 choice when given the choice between various layovers locations. Next on my list is to experience the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and I’ve read that is it on par with this one.