April 24, 2014

Trip Report: XieXie, Shanghai - Ibis Bangkok Siam Hotel

Minus the travel time between the airport and the hotel, I would really be in Bangkok for less than twelve hours. So other than wanting to be in the Siam area of the city, my only other requirement was a nice and clean place to sleep and shower. Oh, and it also had to be dirt cheap. Hehe.

With that said, I was looking at staying again at the Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam. I stayed there for a few days back in 2012 and it wasn't bad. It was walking distance to the malls, the Bangkok MRT station was right in front, it was cheap, and breakfast was included. Unfortunately, I was going to use my AA miles for the stay and this property wasn't available for the date that I needed it. 

Remembering that a new Mercure/Ibis was being built a few steps away from the Holiday Inn during my 2012 visit, I then checked if any of those were available. In the end, I decided on booking the Ibis for only 6,400 AAdvantage miles.


Check-In

The doors leading to the lobbies of each property (Mercure & Ibis) are clearly marked...


April 23, 2014

Trip Report: XieXie, Shanghai - PVG-BKK on Thai Airways Economy Class

After two weeks in Shanghai, it was finally time to leave.

Here are a few photos of Shanghai Pudong International Airport....



It looks a little like Hong Kong's international airport; but less vibrant....


Since I flew Coach and didn't have lounge access, I ended up here....


:-)

I don't think I've mentioned it in this trip report yet but I redeemed 40,000 US Airways Dividend Miles and paid $36 in taxes and fees for my flights on this trip. Up to this point, I've flown on EVA Air from MNL-TPE and then on Air China from TPE-PVG.

For my leg back to Manila, I decided to take Thai Airways and chose a schedule that allowed me to spend a night in Bangkok. Not a bad routing for $36, right?

Flight#/Route: TG665/PVG-BKK
Date: December 3, 2013
Depart: 5:20pm
Arrive: 915pm
Duration: 4h 55m
Seat: I don't remember; equipment change 
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Website: www.thaiairways.com

The flight wasn't full and the flight attendants urged everyone to space out; unheard of in Cathay Pacific. Haha.


The seats were good. Better than the current "slim-line" seats the airlines are introducing nowadays.

They are wide enough for the average human :-), well-padded.....


....and with decent leg room....



There's a personal monitor in each seat....



There was more than enough entertainment options for the short flight.....


The seat has a coat hanger...


Like newer Economy class seats, the tray table folds up higher on the seat to give passengers more leg room....



There's a separate drink holder if in case that is all you need and not the whole tray.....


"Chicken or Beef, sir?" "Chicken, please"....



...."and some white wine while you're at it"....


Kidding.

The meal was just alright. Service was typical Asian-carrier service, which was great. The pilots did their best to keep the flight comfortable. Thank God it was smooth for the most part. All in all a satisfying, short, intra-Asia, Economy class flight on Thai Airways.

Hello again, Bangkok.....


April 22, 2014

Trip Report: XieXie, Shanghai - Nanjing Rd. and People's Square

Nanjing Rd (Or, really, just Nanjing Rd. East) is one of the main shopping streets of Shanghai. The street can easily be accessed from a couple of points and is only a couple of blocks west of the Bund....


Here's the start of the pedestrian-only portion of the shopping street, coming from the Bund....


We didn't do any shopping here and never really explored any of the shops and old department stores but we enjoyed the busyness and activity of the street....

 

April 21, 2014

Trip Report: XieXie, Shanghai - Jing'an in Photos

Quick photo post on Jing'an district and the temple it is named after......

Here is the entrance to Jing'an Temple....


...and a few photos inside....

 

April 14, 2014

Trip Report: XieXie, Shanghai - Fun & Funny Shanghai Signs

Here's a quick post to get out of the way from my current Shanghai trip report -- fun and funny Chinese signs in Shanghai....

If not being able to read Chinese characters isn't hard enough. Hehe....


A recurring reminder all around the city....


...with this one found in the Shanghai Metro...


This one was posted in a major intersection -- "The Seven Dont's".....


I wonder if there is a "Seven Do's" :-)

Not necessarily a sign but fun/ny nonetheless.....


#murica. Hehe.

Speaking of USA -- Papa John's anyone?


I wonder if this is a direct translation because there seems to be an exclamation point in the logo's first part, which in the original English logo is "Papa". If it is then this logo can be translated back to "Papa! John's". Hehe.

Lastly, this one was spotted outside the gates of Jing'an Temple.....



Party Time! Yeah! :-)

April 10, 2014

Hotel Review: The Langham, Chicago

I recently stayed at The Langham Chicago for a very special event in my life. It was an easy choice considering it is the newest property to open in the city, it had great reviews on TripAdvisor, the hotel looked stunning, I had an "elite" membership with their 1865 loyalty program that's supposed to have afforded me a few benefits (key phrase: supposed to), and because we were able to book it with United miles and didn't have to (directly) pay for it in cash :-)

That crane just totally ruined my otherwise great photo of the Mies building :-)
For FYI purposes, we booked this for 23,150 miles for room only and no breakfast at the basic level room category, Grand Room. If we booked the room directly with the hotel, it would cost around USD340 for that weekend.


Check-In

From the cab, we were assisted with our luggage by a doorman and was quickly turned over to a "Jackie O"-garbed greeter/bell service lady who was waiting in the receiving area of the hotel. We didn't really bring huge bags but it was still awkward how she wanted to assist us with one of them given her petite size. And it's not as if our bags were sent up separately, she was actually rolling it along with us as she ushered us to the second floor lobby. I guess I'm just not used to women assisting with the bags. Especially when I am an able man ;-)


Anyway, this was all I was able to take of the first floor area in the morning, unfortunately....


...,as it was a really nice space. Here are the "fail" night photos....



This first-floor area set a good tone to the rest of the amazing physical aspects of the property. This was followed by the formal lobby and check-in area on the second floor....


It was beautiful.

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