Asia Aviation Travel

Bangkok: Emirates and the Grand Palace

Our last day in morning in Hong Kong, we hopped into the car and headed off to the airport to go to Bangkok. The Peninsula HK is famous for their collection of green Rolls Royce Phantoms and they have tons of space in the back. I always felt like Mr. Monopoly when we rode in them.

In about half an hour, we arrived at the Hong Kong airport. Although I like to travel, I’m not that particular about airplanes and airlines and am the kind of person who you’d probably find sitting in cargo if that meant that I could save the most amount of money to use at duty free. Mr. Feather really loves airplanes however, so we decided to use the relatively short connection to and from Bangkok (~3 hours each way) to try out the infamous Emirates first class. It’s what the ladies flew in Sex and the City 2 (worst movie ever) and would probably be some ungodly price to try out for a longer haul flight. Anyway, I thought the plane was awesome, but a little excessive. Details below:

The seats were these little self contained “suites” – each with closing doors. To the left were some drinks that rose up with a button. Mr. Feather took a photo of me sleeping. I am sadly never an attractive sleeper but luckily for all of you I hadn’t yet reached my peak open mouthed, slackjawed drooling sleep position yet. Oh and as you can see, everything was detailed in gold. Gold gold gold.

Since I had already seen photos of the plane suite, I thought it was cool but wasn’t all that surprised. What did wow me however, were the bathrooms. As a certified germaphobe who also dislikes small cramped spaces, plane bathrooms are one of my #1 feared places. But the Emirates bathroom was spacious and clean (with a waterfall in the middle):

There was an ironing board on the other side of the wall..lighted mirrors…and two kinds of amenities for the SHOWER. A shower! With a hair dryer and everything. Amazing but since there are only two bathrooms in first class, I think I might feel bad taking up one of these for so long. But a cool option.

There was also a bar on board, with sitting area at the bar and lounge space around it. The bar continually had plates of sandwiches and desserts, as well as a bartender serving drinks.

The drink list was also really impressive.

Overall I really enjoyed our experience on Emirates but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t fly first class again given other comparable options. While some the amenities and certainly the bar/bathroom were really cool, the service wasn’t as good as on a typical Asian airline. Emirates business/economy options are much better values for the money.

Emirates gives the impression of the average first class flier being some kind of super duper VVVIP used to all kinds of luxury – and that’s definitely true some of the time. Most of the time though, I suspect the average flier is just a random peon like me, flying for a lark and getting drunk off of the booze while taking a bunch of photos. As a result, the suites were already getting to look a little aged and dodgy after lots and lots of manhandling and drunk cavorting, and mine even had stains on the walls on the return flight (I hope it was just alcohol).

Anyway! We landed and headed over to our hotel (I’ll cover that in the next segment). For now though, I wanted to share with you some images from one of the most fantasic sites I’ve personally seen – the Grand Palace in Bangkok:

The Grand Palace was just breathtaking and everywhere you looked were beautiful displays of color, architecture and artwork. So amazing to see the amount of detail and care put into each structure and a must see for everybody, not just those who happen to visit Bangkok. I’d love to go back one day.

Finally, I will leave you all with a preview of my next segment on Bangkok! I loved all the local food (so good) and riding around on the water taxis. That is, until my local Thai friend decided to share some terrifying tales about the canal water – more on that later. Can’t wait to share more with you all and thank you for reading!

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  • Heather
    January 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Gawd, I really love reading your posts – you're so open and sharing, it's such a treat to have a peek into your very fabulous life! Thanks for writing! :))

  • couturecoco
    January 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    That's great you got to have the experience, love reading your 'travel review'. Believe me on some flights I've been on, I thought they'd put me in cargo lol!
    The bathroom is so good for a plane but the stains and tatiness you mention would seriously put me off. In recent times, I've noticed a horrible level of dirtiness on planes except for the brand spanking new ones. For 1st class Emirates, there's no excuse really.
    One of my nicest flight experiences was with Dragon Air but that was a couple of years ago so no idea if their standard has been maintained.
    Have a great weekend!

  • lucydphoto
    January 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Interesting experience and observation about the Emirates 1st class accommodations, and had to laugh at your comment about SATC! I wholeheartedly agree. Embarrassing one-liners and puns, and don't get me started on the fake ostrich Birkin. =D

  • Mary Ann
    January 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos – i would love to travel to Asia!

  • jilliandanica
    January 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    You're making me miss Thailand! I was in Phuket and Bangkok in 2010 and it was such an amazing trip. Can't wait to see the rest of your posts.

  • alison*elle
    January 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    SATC2 was awful but I did like the scenes from the plane… so nice to see your pics as comparison. How ridiculously over-the-top! I've always wanted to go to Bangkok, looks so nice!

    xo, alison*elle

  • Pretty in Pink
    January 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    that bathroom is insane! you could have found me at that bar though, as i HATE flying!

  • Jennipher
    January 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks so much for this post! I love to travel and also read about other's travel experiences. I am almost always a coach-class or business at best flyer, but I loved reading about the great first class amenities. Looking forward to the next installment about Bangkok!

  • Amy
    January 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    That bathroom is unreal! I usually stay clear of the restrooms on airlines, but this one is pretty spectacular.

  • meghan
    January 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    This post was so great. I have this weird love for flying as well, and I am so glad you shared the pictures of the first class on that plane and the bathroom! My goodness that bathroom is amazing. I flew to London one time and they were offering upgrades for $50 into the Business class and I definitely took that one real fast. The chairs weren't quite as elaborate, but they were nice nonetheless. And how cool that there was a bar!

  • Permanent Nomad
    January 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    agh these pictures are getting me SO excited for my thailand trip in feb!!!!! can't wait to read pt 2!

  • Chocolate, Cookies & Candies
    January 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Can you believe it? I grew up in Malaysia but have never ever stepped foot in Thailand. Granted, I was in the other island (Borneo) most of the time but still. Amazing trip. I would've expected first class area to be impeccably clean and free of stains. I'm like you – cargo all the way to save money on DFS. Terrible!

  • caise
    January 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    beautiful pictures!
    whoa it is a plane?! wow!:)

  • MJ
    January 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I love your posts! As someone who may not be able to travel first class ever, it's fun to "experience" it through your blog. My gosh that Emirate bathroom. I'd love to read about your Thai massage experience. I heard they are the best.

    Thank you so much for posting Kat!! I enjoy reading your blog every weekday afternoon. Your blog educational, fun, and eye opening! Have a great weekend.

  • Katherine
    January 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Aww thank you everybody! I'm so glad that you find my travel posts useful and put up with my prattling 🙂 I hope you have a nice weekend!

  • Katherine
    January 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    $50?? Best deal ever!

  • newpetite
    January 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Interesting bathroom features! But yeah I wouldn't pay so much unless someone will sponsor my ticket 😀

  • Girlie Blogger
    January 13, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Wow. I need to travel like you do.'

  • Wendy's Lookbook
    January 14, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I love reading your stories Kat!!! You're too funny! Thank you so much for sharing your travel adventures with us!

  • mai
    January 14, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Wow, so interesting! Thanks for these pictures! I always love looking at things like this.

  • Anna
    January 14, 2012 at 2:28 am

    DOM PERIGNON 2002 on board? IMPRESSIVE!
    Gal, you travel with style! Love your pics!

  • RosaLovesDC
    January 14, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Oh those pictures are fabulous. I am really enjoying your trip recaps.

  • homestilo
    January 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I thought the private mini bar was my fave till I got to the ironing board?!

  • Rose-et-Violet
    January 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    WOW. That plane looks amazing, but I can understand why you would say it's really just a one time thing, hahaha! But, the architecture of the Grand Palace is so striking! I love, love, LOVE temples and palaces and their intricacies, which is why I'm taking a course on them this semester!

    Thanks for your comment on our blog!


  • jillian nicole
    January 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Oh my goodness that bathroom is unreal, Katherine! Can't wait to hear more stories!:)

  • MissA*
    January 14, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Katherine! We are flying with Emirates for the first time to Asia next week. I've flown business class before but never First class!

  • soniadeli
    January 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I cannot believe those pictures are from the inside of an airplane (especially the bathroom ones! :). Your Asian trip seems to have been really amazing. I can't wait to go back to Asia.

  • Call me M
    January 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    A bar and such a big bathroom in an airplane? Wow! That must have been amazing. I don't think I would fly first class any time soon though.

  • Claudia Juestel
    January 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Just found you through Paloma.

    I to love travel, but HATE flying, so if first class is an option I am all over it to decrease the suffering. I like Lufthansa and Singapore first class. Take a look a my comparison between Lufthansa and United first class if you like. But the private "rooms" and showers at Emirates take it up a notch. However, from what it sounds a little refurbishing is in order. Nothing worse than tired and dirty luxury.

    Love Bangkok, dying to go back.



  • Ale e Elis
    January 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Such beautiful places and photos.
    If you don't say that was an airplane I would think that was a hotel!!!!

  • Lindsay
    January 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Look at you, fancy pants! Wowza! I don't blame you for trying it out. If I had the chance, I would too, just to say I did it. Can you imagine the people that really live like that? And I agree, SATC II,

  • Veronica of Best of Palm Beach
    January 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    You made me LOL at the SATC 2 comment, agreed was very disappointed. Love these travel posts. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  • jin
    January 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    wow! can't believe all the amenities! thanks for sharing 🙂

    xx jin @ her imajination

  • Katrina
    January 15, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Oh my word everything loos gorgeous!

  • Anna
    January 15, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I'm not generally a finicky traveler but I don't like coach on long, crowded flights. My BF is the opposite – he doesn't like spending money on transportation because he can easily fall asleep even on the 22 hour flight to Australia sitting in coach (still can't believe he actually did it). Anyway, everything you showed here looks beautiful but per your recommendation I'd try the Asian airlines first.

  • littlemissandrea
    January 15, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Oh my gosh, the on-flight bathroom is crazy! I've never seen anything like it.
    Can't wait to read about your next installment – I'm going to be heading to Thailand in May, so I'll have to visit the same places!

  • Jessica @ Here(and)Now
    January 15, 2012 at 2:56 am

    i love how you captured the special little details!
    flying first class is still on my bucket list! looks so lux, even if it is way over the top!

  • audrinajulia
    January 15, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Thanks for uploading photos of your vacation get away. I love the info of everything that must see in a first class airplane cause personally like you if given a chance to travel I like to spend my money for shopping.:) Can't wait for your second post.

  • cathrine a.
    January 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Isn't that the same airplane that was in Sex and the City 2? Anyways, I've always wanted to go to Bangkok! My grandma is Thai, so I better go there soon! Haha, love your blog 🙂

    xo, Cathrine

  • lesouefsbrouilles
    January 16, 2012 at 4:57 am

    that is the fanciest airplane ever!

  • Sarah
    January 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Oh wow, that plane is amazing! I hate flying, but I'd probably be tempted if I could fly in that. 😉

  • Lisa
    January 16, 2012 at 9:22 am

    omgosh that plane is AMAZING!! especially the bathroom!! i'm just like you i HATE airplane bathrooms.. but that one looks so neat!! almost like a lounge hahaha i think i would like to hang out in it!! love your bangkok pictures kat! can't wait to see more :)!

  • blue roses
    January 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    wow, that is an incredible airplane; so bombastically lush, i love it. your descriptions are hilarious…. i always zonk out on flights, and can just sense the moment when my jaw drops and my saliva begins to drip. real attractive, sure my seatmates love me.

    bangkok is gorgeous, jealous of your trip!

  • PetiteAsianGirl
    January 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Amazing travel photos, Katherine! I had no idea it could get so luxurious up in there. Thanks for sharing so we can travel vicariously through you and Mr. Feather.

  • The Fashionable ESQ
    January 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    NICE!!! I just saw that movie again the other day – it's SO FREAKING BAD. But looking at these pictures is really cool – so lavish!!

    The Fashionable ESQ

  • Susan
    January 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    amazing! it looks more like you guys were on a hotel then a plane! can't wait to see more photos of bangkok! were any areas still affected by the flood last year?

  • Ruth
    January 17, 2012 at 11:00 am

    That first class looking amazing – if only I could afford to travel like that. I got upgraded to business class on Emirates before… after 8 hours economy to Dubai and 9 hours sleeping in Dubai airport I nearly cried when they told me I'd been given an upgrade for the next 8 hour flight to Cape Town. Ahhh… I slept for most of the way on the most amazing flat bed ever!

  • Jo
    January 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Wow! Thanx for sharing with us photos of your 1st class plane ride. I love peeking at such stuff and live vicariously.

    Yes I recognise that it's the same as the SATC movie.

  • cryskay
    January 18, 2012 at 6:44 am

    goal in life – fly 1st on emirates. that is over the top crazy! a full bar? What happens during turbulence?

  • redvelvetmartinis
    January 18, 2012 at 7:12 am

    That bathroom is just wicked! I hate airplane bathrooms too, and I would definitely give an arm and a leg to be able to have a shower on a long haul flight.

  • Nee
    January 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    oh my gosh, love the photos! thanks for sharing them:)


  • Urban Jungle Fashion
    January 24, 2012 at 4:11 am

    I loved your photo diary! That batheroom is something else! that's better than mine at home! LOL! I love the detailing in your photos! LOVE LOVE LOVE

    I agree Sex in the City 2 was an atrocity. However, I LOVED the clothes!

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