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Old 26th June 2017, 04:26 PM   #16
yflyer
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And what were the pax in Business Class eating? Thanks to Kyo, I can tell you!

Three choices on the J menu today, with the menu being a sheet of paper...



A pretty decent spread for a two hour flight...



...although Kyo thought that the chicken itself was on the bland side...



...for completeness, these were the menu choices for the return BKK-SIN sector...



After meal service, Kyo came by the front of the Y cabin to say hi, and we spent a few minutes chatting in the galley area between the J and Y cabins. The J cabin wasn't particularly full that day...by contrast, we were packed to the gills in Y.

Thanks, Kyo, for the J menu and food pics!

Last edited by yflyer; 27th June 2017 at 12:09 AM..
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Old 26th June 2017, 07:55 PM   #17
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This was too short a flight to watch a full movie, but I did spend a few minutes watching "Great Wall", just to find out why this big name, big budget, movie was panned by the critics...





Perhaps it was because my expectations were so low...I found it to be entertaining in a mindless sort of way. Good fun as long as you checked your brain at the door before entering the theater.

On the other hand, a much better use of time would have been to watch "Arrival", also playing on SQ this month, one of the most intelligent and thought provoking movies to be released in a long time.

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Old 26th June 2017, 07:58 PM   #18
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At least on today's flight, the bathrooms were still stocked with the usual amenities...



...including mouthwash, moisturizer, eau de toilette, as well as combs and toothbrushes...





It would be interesting to see if any of these are dropped as part of cost-cutting measures in coming months.
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Old 26th June 2017, 08:17 PM   #19
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We flew over the Gulf of Thailand towards Bangkok on a very clear evening, after thunderstorms earlier in the day...



The mouth of the Chao Phraya River, not far from Bangkok, as it flows into the Gulf of Thailand...



In the distance, just north of the curves of the Chao Phraya River, the Bangkok skyline was visible, as was Bang Krachao, an island formed in the middle of the bends of the Chao Phraya, visible as a large patch of green the shape of a lung, hence the nickname "Green Lung" of Bangkok...





We flew south of Suvarnabhumi Airport...with the airport terminal complex, shaped like a pair of "+" signs, and runways clearly visible in the clear air after the rain...



We flew past the airport towards the north, before turning back towards the south for a landing on runway 19R...



A very smooth landing, but very strong braking action, possibly on account of the wet runway...



At the gate, waiting for the aerobridge...



A final look at the spacious row 31 bulkhead seats before deplaning...



Overall, a very good flight, with a very comfortable Y cabin product and catering, and an excellent team of cabin crew. And as I left the plane, our aircraft captain was also standing by exit door, just outside the cockpit, smiling and saying goodbye to pax -- a very nice touch, and something I have rarely seen on my previous SQ flights.

Kyo somehow managed to produce a spare priority arrival pass, and led me to a separate priority lane immigration entrance which I did not even know existed in BKK. We were through to baggage claim in no time, and from there we went our separate ways via the AOT's prepaid car transport service, which we booked on arrival from a booth within the baggage area.

Now that the rain had stopped, traffic was light that evening, in contrast to massive traffic jams earlier that day when it was raining. I was at the W hotel in 40 minutes.

Last edited by yflyer; 3rd July 2017 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 26th June 2017, 11:02 PM   #20
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The W is in a busy part of Silom, Bangkok's Financial District. This part of Bangkok is also known for nightlife and shopping, although I experienced none of that on this short visit.

The hotel itself is set in a tall highrise...



No mistaking this hotel for anything but the W...



...although the heritage Thai colonial house next door, the House on Sathorn, lovingly restored and painted yellow, is also part of the hotel complex, housing a restaurant, bar and meeting venues.



I arrived at the hotel from the airport in a Toyota sedan, but tuk-tuk's are still fairly common for short trips around Bangkok...



The hotel has a lively, garish, neon vibe to it....my guess is that you would either love it or hate it. I felt it was a nice change from more conservative decor themes.



Complimentary apples and rose iced tea in the lobby...



And Woobar, the lobby bar at the W, right next to the lobby, was already buzzing at 8pm in the evening...


Last edited by yflyer; 5th July 2017 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 26th June 2017, 11:05 PM   #21
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As SPG Platinum, I was upgraded from a "Wonderful" room to a "Spectacular" room -- yes, those are room category names (!?!), and I was also provided two drink vouchers redeemable for beverages at the Woobar. (I had just learnt from Kyo earlier in the day that W hotels don't have lounges, so I guess the vouchers are a way to make up for that.).

The room itself was quite dazzling...



A large and very spacious open plan design...





...with some quirky design elements, including an oversized pair of sequinned boxing gloves on the bed...



The gloves seem to be a signature element of the W Bangkok design concept...boxing gloves of different sizes could be purchased in the ground floor hotel shop, along with other souvenirs.



Decent minibar selections, including W-branded cocktail shaker to mix your own cocktails...



All white wardrobe...



The bathroom is an open plan design with freestanding tub and shower stall...








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Old 26th June 2017, 11:08 PM   #22
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I was quite impressed with the tablet-based room control system, which handled everything from lighting, air-conditioning/temperature, the alarm clock, and even the do not disturb sign.









The software application on the tablet was very user-friendly, and worked very well. It put older button-based room control consoles to shame. Thumbs up!
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Old 26th June 2017, 11:16 PM   #23
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A few more pictures of the room from the next day...





I had great views from the 24th floor of the W, including a partial view of the Chao Phraya, and the greenery of Bang Krachao in the distance.





And far below, views of the oval shaped hotel pool, and the BTS line running alog Sathorn Road.



Apart from the frosted, coloured, glass panel, there is also a thick curtain that can be drawn to enclose the bathroom area...



...although at least in my room, the curtain and the glass panels didn't quite meet, which meant you could forget about any kind of privacy if you were soaking in the tub...



In any other hotel, I would say the curtain / glass corner would be a design oversight, but at the W, with it's kinky vibe, it's not out of the question that this was intentional...
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Old 26th June 2017, 11:29 PM   #24
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There is a well-equipped gym...



...a spa, and a small outdoor swimming pool...



The Kitchen Table on the 2nd floor serves a buffet breakfast, and is open for lunch and dinner as well.



The breakfast spread is quite impressive, and beautifully presented, with both Thai/Asian and international dishes on offer.









Highlights included an almost psychedelic selection of bakery items...



And a cooked-to-order noodle bar with a range of Chinese/Thai noodles and broths, including spectacular tom yam noodles...





...which you could wash down with bright green guava juice...



The usual international selections were available as well, along with eggs cooked to order.


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Old 26th June 2017, 11:34 PM   #25
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I found the cocktail selections at the Woobar quite impressive...





...with the Pak ***, one of the W's signature cocktails, made with green apple vodka and blue curacao becoming one of my favourites...



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Old 26th June 2017, 11:37 PM   #26
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A small outdoor smoking terrace on the 2nd floor outside the "Kitchen Table"...



A daytime view of the House on Sathorn, next to the W...



Overall, I had a great 2 night stay at the W. Apart from the amazing decor and vibe, the staff were all really warm and friendly, especially the team at the Woobar. I didn't get a chance to explore the area, but with the BTS running right outside the hotel, and convenient taxi rides readily available, this hotel would be a great base for a Bangkok holiday.
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Old 27th June 2017, 12:00 AM   #27
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On the last day of my stay, my meetings ended at 12.30pm in the afternoon. My flight was at 6.30pm, and as usual with SPG, I requested and received a late checkout at 4pm.

This gave me a very small window of time to head out for an afternoon run, before checking out of the hotel and heading to the airport to catch SQ979 to Singapore.

While I had been to Bangkok several times before, all I ever had time for was work, and had not really seen a lot of Bangkok. I was determined to at least do one run around the city -- regulars on SQTalk will know that I like nothing better than to do a leisurely sightseeing run around whichever city I am visiting.

The day before, I had done a little research on potential running routes. Central Bangkok isn't the most runner-friendly city in the world, but there were decent parks and running routes in the city, including Lumpini Park, just over 2km away from the W.

A run to Lumpini Park would have been the logical option. This was a popular spot for the locals, and was quite beautiful as well. But then, I thought, I had just done a park run in Beijing...I felt like something a little more exciting than that in Bangkok.

I was intrigued by what some other visitors had seen on Bang Krachao, an island of green just a few kilometers from Silom, formed from a bend in the Chao Phraya river. This was the so-called "Green Lung" of Bangkok that I'd mentioned a couple of times already by this point in the TR. This was already visible from the plane while on final approach into BKK, and I could see the Bang Krachao from my hotel room too.

There was a small floating market on the island (Not the most popular one in Bangkok, though.), and the trails on the island itself appeared to be popular with cyclists and more than a few runners too.

But how to get there? Most travel blogs and articles I found on the internet were quite vague on this point. There was a ferry from Klong Toey Port, and another on the other side of the island, close to Bang Na BTS station. Neither of these options would work for me, as it would take far too long to get to those places, given the limited time I had.

I asked the concierges about it: apparently this was fairly "off the beaten track" and not something many tourists did. The exactly locations of the ferries? They weren't sure.

And the idea of running through Central Bangkok to get there? To put it bluntly, I think they thought I was mad...

I checked Google Maps...



According to Google, there was an 8.9km route from the W to the Floating Market on Bang Krachao, and this included a short overwater segment -- possibly a ferry? I was a little skeptical, but then this presented the only feasible option given the window of time I had.

Ah what the heck...let's give it a shot. Odds are there may not be a way across the river, but at least I would have recce'd the area for a future trip, and even if I didn't get to Bang Krachao, I could still head back and run through Lumpini Park as a backup plan.

Of course it was now 1pm on a hot, sunny day. The right attire was essential: I smeared on SPF50 sunblock, and wore a white cap and white long sleeved Under Armour running shirt...these had worked great for me on previous hot weather runs.

Cellphone in hand, I headed out...

To be continued...
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Old 27th June 2017, 11:45 AM   #28
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I will be doing Ban Krachao next month on my bicycle.... well, that's the plan anyway...

As I will stay very near to Bhumibol 1 Bridge, and I am told there are boats crossing under the bridge... that's where I plan to start the ride.
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Old 28th June 2017, 06:07 PM   #29
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This TR is simply superb, sorry for my short reply, I'm busy moving house for the next 36 hours!
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Old 29th June 2017, 09:15 PM   #30
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Awesome TR as usual yflyer. The W looks really nice, will definitely consider that as an option when I visit BKK. Curious to know how your run went...
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