Author Topic: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR  (Read 11656 times)

Offline israshot

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Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« on: February 08, 2020, 11:26:32 PM »
This is my first trip report and Iím excited to share it.

I will review many details of my trip but particularly I will detail prices and deals I got throughout the trip.

I first booked the Waldorf Astoria Maldives on February 15th, 2019 when I read that they will be opening. The Maldives was a destination my wife wanted to go since we got married 3 years ago but was mostly a far dream. We like brand new hotels and we learned about the WA opening it was like a sign that now itís the time to go there.
It was about a year in advance of the booking and was mostly a theoretical booking that we didnít know the chances of it happening. At that time our daughter was only 7 months old and we didnít know what to expect when she will be 18 months. We already traveled with her to France, The Bahamas, and Cayman Island and everything went smoothly with her. One thing was sure, weíll take her with us all the time in our vacation, that the education we got ourselves and we just love being with her on vacation seeing her happy face all the time.

We then decided to go ahead with it and to add the Conrad Koh Samui to the trip, I talked to my wife a few months before about this hotel on a cliff with private pool in each villa and it was definitely in our bucket list. It did take time though to convince her to go to Asia as it will be our first time and my wife had some phobia, but then she fell in love with it. We weren't sure if we go before or after the Maldives and we finally booked 5 nights before arriving in the Maldives.
At that time we didnít have tickets and we knew that we can cancel or modify it at any time.

A few months later I booked the tickets. I knew I will book with Amex points transferred to AC because of the 20% bonus at that time and their cheap rate for lap infant.

Flights booking:
I transferred 255K Amex to AC with the 20% to get 305K and I booked the following:
JFK-ZRH-BKK in J with Swiss, for 77.5AC ◊2 +62.40 CAD taxes (+100+2.10 CAD for lap infant)
BKK-USM in Y with PG, rev ticket for $91◊2 (+$40 for lap infant)
USM-SIN in Y with SilkAir rev ticket for $353 for both adults and lap infant (there wasnít availability in points).
SIN-MLE in Y with SQ, 9065 SQ miles ◊2 + $74 in taxes (+$58 lap infant) (I booked it previously for 18K SQ each but in late January they came up with the 51% off for February 2020 redemption booking and my flight was still available so I cancel the previous one and rebooked for 9065 SQ each, I was later refunded on the cancellation fee). I called them to attach my USM-SIN ticket with the SIN-MLE ticket to check baggage through.
MLE-SIN-TPE-JFK in J with SQ & BR (-last leg), for 75K AC ◊2 (+100+55.70 CAD for lap infant)

Hotels booking:
Marriott FNC (35K) for the St Regis Bangkok 1 night
380K HHonors for 4+1 nights at the Conrad Koh Samui (When I booked it I was short of 5K points on my account at that time and the representative added them for free to my account before making the booking)
240K HHonors + 1 Weekend night certificate for 3 nights at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives

After booking the hotels and flights, I began to read a lot about the Conrad USM and the WAI on FT. I read all the pages of these 2 hotels for a month and I knew exactly which villa I will take and what to expect pretty much. I can say that I enjoyed reading every page there and it helped me a lot also for a deal I got in one of them that I will share later on.

The day in Bangkok was mostly to catch up some jet lag and rest before heading to Koh Samui. In Singapore, we just had a few hours to go visit around between our flights. 2 weeks before our flights, my younger brother went on Shlichus for a year in Singapore so we had another reason to be there.

Iím now already back from the trip and Iíll begin to go over the trip in detail.

Offline Z56

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 11:31:37 PM »
Sounds cool!
Canít wait for the real details
ďI have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work

Offline mmgfarb

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 11:45:34 PM »
Nice start! Looking forward to the rest (and pictures!)
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Offline iluv2travel

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2020, 08:26:17 AM »
Sounds like you arranged a great trip! Can't wait to read more. Your IG stories are great too.

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 08:32:06 AM »
Sounds like you arranged a great trip! Can't wait to read more. Your IG stories are great too.
Thanks. Hope to do it this week.

Offline sam28

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2020, 08:58:55 AM »
Nice TR keep it coming.  But please pictures.

Offline tmendy226

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2020, 11:24:44 AM »
Cool!

Did you have to pay for your toddlerís boat transfer at the WA?

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2020, 11:42:27 AM »
Cool!

Did you have to pay for your toddlerís boat transfer at the WA?
No. Free for under 6. But some patience and you'll het all the details.

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2020, 06:15:22 PM »
Flight from JFK to Zurich and Bangkok with 7 hours layover, January 25th-27th:

Our flight from JFK was scheduled for 9:10 pm on Saturday night (LX 15). We live in Crown Heights with 2 cars and we didn't want to ask from family members to keep moving our cars for alternate side parking. I made 2 round trips to the Ohel in Queens the previous Thursday and Friday to bring the 2 cars and park them there and ask also a blessing from the Rebbe for a safe trip. We could've gone on Saturday night first to the Ohel with the 2 cars and then to the airport but then it would've been too stressful and we'll have to rush after shabbos.

All our luggage were ready before shabbos. After shabbos, we quickly made Havdola, showered and packed the last items including YO Yogurts for my daughter from the fridge. All other food items were dry items.
We took an Uber to the airport and arrive around 7 pm at JFK. They quickly printed our boarding passes, took our luggage and we went to the TSA pre line that was emptier than the priority line. I don't have myself TSA but always make sure to put my daughter under my ticket and I usually get it automatically.
The Swiss lounge was under renovation so they told us to go to the Etihad lounge instead.



We ordered 2 Mojito but I drank most of both


We saw already a few Chasidishe Yidden in the lounge so we knew that there will be Yidden in the business cabin.
I reserved in advance the bulkhead seats 6 D-G and at my right (6K, maybe you read this ) it was a yid. (the best seats on the A333 and B777 are 4 & 5 as they are together with First but it's reserved for Senator & HON circle members or 24 hours before departure).



We flew on the A333 which is a bit different and older than the LX B777 but overall it looks the same.
They brought us some toys for the baby (We got also in the 2nd leg so I kept 1 aircraft for myself )




We slept a good portion of the flight, my daughter slept together with my wife.




The KSML was Borenstein (VK) on this flight, the meat from the main dish was good.


Before they served breakfast pretty much everyone davened in their seat, the Europeans didn't seem to like it, but who cares.


After landing we went to buy train tickets to the city and we headed to Maadan Bakery.


We sat at a table and ordered a few items; 2 coffees, a smoothie, a salad, a bread, and a croissant sandwich for $43. I asked the lady there to warm up my lox croissant and she refused, then when she saw that I'm insisting she grabbed it from my hands and gave me a bad attitude. Unfortunately, I'm too used to the bad European service but this was surprisingly bad, thankfully, that was the only bad service we got during our trip.
I have a T-MOBILE family plan with unlimited 2G data and text in 210 countries so I had minimum data wherever I went. Enough to use the map and some texting.

We then went back to the train to go to Uetliberg which has trays and nice lookouts to the whole city. We took the small tray and went to the top. Our daughter was sleeping comfortably in the yoyo and it was a sunny day. It was interesting to see many small families with children coming there for a Sunday outing. You could've seen the family values they have and how well behaved the children are, things that you observe only when you're a parent yourself.









We took some pictures and headed back to the train station that will take us to the airport.

It was still 3 hours before the flight and we went to the Business lounge E. It's a very spacious lounge with floor to ceiling glass windows on both sides of the lounge and an outdoor area that you can watch the planes.








I had some phone calls to do to my customers and the time was perfect to call NY in the morning. I went to one of the call room and had some work done.


We went then to take a shower, you need to give them the boarding passes and they give a key to one of the showers room. The shower was large and very modern. One sure thing is that it was the highlight of Swiss air for my wife.


We then went to our flight and had the seats 8 D-G. I selected months in advance the bulkhead seats but in September they change the flight schedule by 5 minutes and that caused the removal of my selected seats. I realized only a month before the flight what happened but it was too late. Luckily I got at JFK 2 seats with direct aisle access as the flight was full.
The B77 was more modern and seats were a bit more spacious but I could've felt the smaller legroom (I'm 6'1).
My daughter got more toys.


Sometimes I'm wondering if the toys were for my daughter or for me


The food wasn't good but I got a small Barkan wine and smoked fish that made me very happy.




Breakfast with some French cheese.


Second Shacharis after only 12 hours.


We landed in Bangkok and saw that everyone was wearing a mask because of the virus...not so reassuring but there was no way I would change my trip as I spent so much time and energy to make it perfect (and I went to the Ohel also).
We cleared immigration pretty fast and took our luggage. I knew I had to withdraw cash for the taxi so I went to the nearest ATM and withdrew 1500 Baht. I used my Sofi card that I transferred money from my checking account a week before (I opened in October and made a few $100's in referrals) and they automatically refunded me the 220 Baht ATM fees I was charged. It was my first time trying Sofi for an ATM and I was very impressed by how fast they refunded it.
I opened the grab app and ordered a taxi SUV (I checked before the trip how can I pay and the only way was to top up with AliPay, that's why I needed the cash, and the app lets pay in cash at the end of the trip).
I was pretty impressed by how everything went very smoothly on a continent that we're visiting for the first time.
The taxi arrived after 5 minutes to our arrival gate, it was a nice Toyota SUV and we drove to the St Regis Bangkok. The trip cost was 619 Baht.




Offline Dawie

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2020, 12:29:57 PM »
Amazing!

Offline Moshe26

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2020, 12:35:08 PM »
keep going!!  ;D

Offline normathej

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2020, 12:57:47 PM »
I didn't know it could get better than the IG stories!  Love all of the info.

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2020, 01:57:18 PM »
I didn't know it could get better than the IG stories!  Love all of the info.
Thanks for the feedback. I have Bangkok ready, just finishing to upload some more pictures.

Offline Z56

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2020, 03:46:46 PM »
I didn't know it could get better than the IG stories!  Love all of the info.

What is your Instagram user name?
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Offline mochjas

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2020, 04:01:31 PM »
What is your Instagram user name?
Take a guess