[Airline Review] – JetStar Asia A320-200 (3K686) – Economy Class, KUL-SIN (11 Nov 18)

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Jetstar A320-200

On the Ground

Jetstar departs Kuala Lumpur from KLIA 2, the new terminal for budget carriers. Check-in counters for Jetstar are located in row Z, to the extreme right of the terminal building. As I have completed mobile check-in (which I always recommend my friends to do which can save time waiting at the airport), I headed to the counter for document verification to obtain our boarding passes. There was a small queue at the check-in counter, despite the queue, it did not take us too long to be served. Being a low-cost carrier, passengers who have luggage to be checked-in has to pay extra. The ground staff at the counter seemed friendly enough to assign to us the seat that we have requested for. However, she seems to rely on us to read the information on the boarding passes to figure out the departure gate and the time of boarding.

The Aircraft

The Cabin

Jetstar uses A320-200 to fly between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The single-aisle, single cabin aircraft has a total of 180 seats, arranged in 3-3 configuration. The cabin onboard Jetstar A320-200 is decked in white and black seats, with strips of orange on the floor as well as running along the overhead bins, consistent with the uniform colours that the crew are wearing.

There a total of three lavatories for all 180 passengers onboard, one of the lavatories is located at the front of the aircraft, while two others are located at the rear of the aircraft. As with most single-aisle aircraft, the lavatories are a tad small due to the lack of real estate space onboard the aircraft. The lavatory is brightly lighted and is kept very clean by the cabin crew. There are limited amenities in the lavatory, however, it serves the purpose it is built for.

The Seat

Seats in the cabin are cladded in black leather, each having a pitch of 29″ and a width of 17.9″. The seat pocket is cast in hard plastic material, located on top of the seat back instead of at the bottom.  These seat pockets are rather deep, making retrieving of small items difficult. Seat functions are very basic onboard, only seat recline button located on the right armrest and a large tray table is found in each seat. Other seat functions such as air vent and lighting are located on the ceiling above the seat. Legroom is quite good for a low-cost carrier, however, there is limited recline on the seats. Being a low-cost carrier, seats in Jetstar does not come with In-flight Entertainment, there aren’t any drop down screens onboard this aircraft. Safety briefings are conducted manually by the cabin crew.

Service

As with most low-cost carriers, service onboard Jetstar on this Kuala Lumpur to Singapore leg is minimum. Cabin crews are seen only during safety checks before taking off and prior to landing as well as during safety demonstration. Since this is a short 1-hour flight, cabin crews only went around the entire cabin once to solicit in-flight sales. The lack of service onboard is expected of low-cost carriers such as Jetstar. Despite the lack of presence of the cabin crews, they were friendly and smiled at passengers whenever we bumped into them during the flight time.

Afterthought

Jetstar is a low-cost carrier and served its function of bringing passengers from point A to point B at a low cost compared with traditional full-fledged airlines. The seats are comfortable and I do find the legroom to be good. However, seat recline tend to be a little stingy, perhaps due to the operation model in low-cost carriers. For a short 1-hour Kuala Lumpur to Singapore flight, Jetstar served its purpose and is rather comfortable. I would not say the same for longer flights.

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Flying over Malaysian airspace

 

[Accommodation Review] – Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre (2 Bedroom Apartment), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (9 – 11 Nov 18)

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Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Signage

Location

Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is located in the heart of the shopping district of Bukit Bintang in the capital of Malaysia. The Pavilion Shopping Mall is located opposite the hotel, and also a gateway to the numerous shopping malls in the vicinity. The Petronas Twin Tower is a mere 10 mins walk from Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Chinatown is just a short monorail ride away from the hotel.

The Suite

Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre has two buildings located next to each other. Most of the hotel rooms are located in the hotel building, while the 2-bedroom apartment suite we booked is located on the residence tower. The spacious 2-bedroom Apartment Suite in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre has a total floor area of 97m², which seem significantly larger than most of the 2-bedroom apartments that I have stayed in.

Front Porch

The 2-bedroom apartment suite in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is a corner suite. Entering from the main door, a front porch for guests to put on their shoes is immediately in our sight. This area is furnished with a fairly large shoe cabinet which seems capable to store more than 10 pairs of shoes.

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The front porch in the suite is furnished with a large shoe cabinet

Kitchen

Further into the suite, separated by a wall, is where a small kitchen in the suite is located. The kitchen is fully equipped for guests to cook a simple meal and comes with simple cookeries as well as a full dining set for four persons. However, only two teaspoons are available in the suite, which seems a tad weird. There is a full-size fridge in the kitchen, perfect for guests to store some food items and drinks. Other kitchen equipment found in the 2-bedroom apartment suite is a microwave and an electric kettle. A bar counter segregates the kitchen from the rest of the areas in this suite.

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Kitchen in the 2-bedroom apartment suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Dining Room

Opposite the kitchen, a little after the front porch is where guests will find the dining room. The dining room is furnished with a wooden dining table with four chairs. This is a great place for guests in the room to gather, other than dine in the apartment suite. There is another cabinet placed by the wall next to the dining table, which we did not utilise.

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Dining room in the apartment suite

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This cabinet next to the dining table provides suite guests with extra storage space

Living Room

Occupying the largest real estate property in the suite, tucked in the furthest corner from the main entrance is where guests would find the living room. The living room is furnished with a 3-seater couch and two single-seat armchairs by the side. There are a couple of small tables on each side of the couch furnished with table lamps. In the centre of these chairs is a fairly large coffee table. Behind the couch is a semi-circular large window, which gives guests a good view of the city.

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A very cosy living room in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre 2-bedroom apartment suite

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View of Kuala Lumpur from the living room in the suite

Opposite the couch is where a large 49″ LED TV is placed onto the TV cabinet. The feature wall cabinet above the TV not only serves as decor for the room but also provides extra storage space for guests. The heavy use of wooden furnishing in the living room area, coupled with the use of warm yellow lights makes this area feel very cosy.

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TV console area

Tucked in the furthest corner from the main entrance to the 2-bedroom suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is a small work desk. The work desk pretty standard which one would find in most hotels, comprising of two tables, which provides ample workspace for the apartment’s occupants. The hotel has cable internet access, which might provide fast internet complimentary internet access. I find the wifi in the suite to be very sluggish when I connected my phone to it.

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Work desk in the apartment faces the living room

I like the way the hotel place the living room, which is between the two bedrooms, serves not only as a focal point but a very good gathering space for occupants of this 2-bedroom apartment suite.

The Bedrooms

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom in the 2-bedroom apartment suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is found next to the kitchen. The squarish master bedroom feels a tad smaller compared to the second bedroom. At the centre of the master bedroom are the king size bed and a couple of bedside tables on each side of the bed. The use of yellow lighting in the master bedroom gives it a cosy feel. I find the sleep quality on the king bed to be good, however, the pillows are too soft (and gave me neck sore the next day) for my liking. The Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre does not provide a pillow menu for guests. Air conditioning in the master bedroom is rather bad. I had turned the temperature to the lowest, but still, find it warm.

The storage space in the master bedroom is not fantastic. There are two wardrobe space and a cabinet below where a 32″ LED TV is mounted. The wardrobe beside the TV  only allows guests to hang their clothes. The hotel managed to squeeze an ironing board and the iron inside this wardrobe, which takes up space in the already limited spaced wardrobe. The other wardrobe is found opposite the entrance to the bedroom, which has only shelves for guests to store clothes folded. However, I would think twice about putting my clothes here as I am not too sure when this wardrobe was being cleaned. There are some more cabinets below the TV which only allows guests to store small items and perhaps their shopping. The only power outlet in the master bedroom is found in the ledge below the TV. There is no in-room safe found in the master bedroom.

Second Bedroom

The second bedroom is located opposite the kitchen in this 2-bedroom apartment suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Unlike the master bedroom, the second bedroom has an elongated space. The second bedroom is furnished with 2 twin beds each with a side table. There is only a small window in the second bedroom.

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Twin bed in the second bedroom

There is more wardrobe space in the second bedroom compared to the master bedroom, which goes to show the lack of thought by the interior designers of the hotel. It is also weird that the only in-room safe in the entire suite is found in the second bedroom. There are more wardrobe space as well as storage space in the second bedroom, allowing its occupants to store more clothing and items compared to the master bedroom. Similar to the master bedroom, a 32″ LED TV is placed on the cabinet opposite the bed.

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Wardrobe space and TV in the second bedroom

The Bathrooms

There are two bathrooms in the 2-bedroom apartment suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Both bathrooms are located in each bedroom.

Master Bathroom

The master bathroom comes equipped with a bathtub and a walk-in shower stall. The bathtub is of a decent size, sufficient for guests for a good soak. Guests can opt to shower in the bathtub or utilise the walk-in shower stall.  The walk-in shower stall is equipped with a massaging function shower head.

At the centre of the master bathroom and also the first thing that one would see upon entering it from the master bedroom is the sink area. The master bathroom is equipped with a single sink and the marble countertop has sufficient space for one to put their additional toiletries on. There are cabinets above the sink that provides more storage space for guests. The hotel provides good quality bath amenities. Additional bathroom amenities such as toothbrushes, shavers, are found in this cabinet. However, the hotel does not provide glasses or mugs in both the bathrooms. Beside the sink and next to the walk-in shower is where the toilet is located.

Second Bathroom

Similar to the master bathroom, the second bathroom is located inside the second bedroom. Compared to the master bathroom, the second bathroom is smaller. The second bathroom is furnished with a bathtub, which is the same size as that found in the master bathroom. The bathtub in this bathroom also functions as a shower area as a walk-in shower stall is absent in this bathroom. There is an also a single sink countertop in this bathroom, however, this is smaller than that found in the master bathroom. The toilet in the second bathroom is found next to the sink area.

Ageing Suite

The suite screams of the need for a major renovation. The suite that I was assigned comes with fixtures that are broken and air-conditioning that is not functioning well.

Breakfast

Breakfast for guests staying in the 2-bedroom apartment suite is served at the Living Space, which caters to guests staying in the resident tower. The restaurant is located on the 10th floor in the building and is next to the swimming pool. One would find a good mix of local as well as western options for breakfast. The egg station is located outside the main restaurant area. The food is quite good and sufficient to fill one’s stomach. A small part of the menu for breakfast varies from day to day.

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is located on level 10 of the hotel. The single swimming pool is separated into three parts, with a small shallower area catering for children and a large, deeper area for adults to do some decent laps in it.
A smaller round pool between the children and the adult pool is where one can find the jacuzzi pool.

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Swimming pool at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Gym

There is a small gym located on the 10th floor of Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Access to the gym is via the keycard to the room. The gym comprises two areas, one area for guests to do their yoga pilates. An area further into the gym area is equipped with some gym machines such as treadmills and weight machines that guests can do some simple work out. The gym in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is quite simply equipped.

Children’s Club

The hotel has a Children’s Club located next to the gym, which is essentially a huge play area for children and young adults. The children’s club has an indoor playground as well as some computer for LAN gaming and console games such as Xbox and PS to keep children entertained during their stay at the hotel. There is even a movie screen area where guests can borrow movies from the manned counter to watch with their friends or children.

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Children’s Club is equipped with entertainment options for kids and young adults

Service

Service rendered in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is generally good. Staffs are welcoming at the point of check-in. There are even staffs at the reception area that are deployed to assist guests in check-in and check-out. The porters at the main door to the hotel are very friendly and would always be there to open doors for guests. I called the housekeeping to request for additional bath amenities and my requests were met with speed and efficiency. The amenities that I requested for were delivered to my suite within minutes of hanging up the phone. The staffs at Living Space where breakfast for residence guests is served are very friendly. The lady at the front of the house was always seen with a smile and promptly brought us to our table. Plates were cleared promptly by the staff in the restaurant and food was constantly topped up during the first day when I headed the Living Space for breakfast, However, there seems to be a lack of staff around the Living Space on the second day. This has resulted in plates not cleared and food not topped up.

Overall

Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is very well located with tons of shopping around the hotel. The suite I was assigned is very spacious and is well equipped even for a long-term stay. The suite seems dated and fixtures are falling apart. The sleep quality on the bed is decent, but the pillow is too soft for my liking. Service is generally quite good in the hotel where staffs can generally be spotted smiling whenever guests walk past.

[Airline Review] – Malindo Air B737-800 (OD804) – Economy Class, SIN-KUL (9 Nov 18)

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Malindo Air using Batik Air B737-800

On the Ground

Malindo Air has its dedicated check-in counters in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. Malindo Air shares the same check-in counters as Lion Air and Batik Air. Passengers flying on Malindo Air are given 20kg check-in baggage. Web check-in on Malindo Air was not available for flight departing Singapore. The check-in counters for Malindo Air is located in Row 1 in the terminal building, which is located at the left extreme side of the terminal. The ground staff processing our check-in wasn’t really that friendly, she has a poker face as if she is there just to do her job. The ground staff did not even bother to inform us of the gate the aircraft will be departing nor the boarding time. After processing our documents, she merely passed our boarding pass to us.

The Aircraft

At the departure gate, we found that the aircraft plying this Singapore to Kuala Lumpur route is being serviced by Batik Air B737-800. Despite having Batik Air livery, the only item onboard the aircraft having the Malindo branding is the aircraft safety card.

Cabin

Malindo Air B737-800 is a single aisle aircraft equip with two classes, Business Class and Economy Class. There are a total of 12 seats in Business Class cabin and 196 seats in Economy Class cabin. The Economy Class cabin is brightly lighted and decked with dark brown leather seats with red trimmings, giving it a very clean and refreshing look. The mood lighting present in the Economy Class cabin gives it a very vibrant feel.

There are only two lavatories situated at the rear of the aircraft serving all 196 Economy Class passengers. However, during the flight, only one lavatory was usable. According to the flight attendants, the other lavatory did not have water hence was not usable. The lavatory is a tad small given the size of the aircraft. Unlike most other airlines, Malindo Air uses blue lighting to illuminate the lavatory. Amenities inside the lavatory are limited to hand soap and tissue. Despite being small, the lavatory has all the necessary that served its purposes.

The Seat

Seats in Economy Class cabin onboard Malindo Air B737-800 are arranged in 3-3 configuration, each having a pitch of 32″ and width of 17″. Each Economy Class seat is wrapped in leather, which is very comfortable to sit in and also gives the cabin a premium feel. Legroom in Malindo Air B737-800 is very good, it does not feel cramp during the flight. The seats onboard Malindo Air B737-800 feels very basic. Since there is no IFE onboard, the only seat function that is found onboard is the seat recline button, located on the right armrest. The seat pocket is pretty standard, allowing passengers to store personal items such as passport, mobile phone and even an iPad (though I do not recommend as most airline seat pockets are filthy). Other controls such as air vent and lighting as well as flight attendant call button can be found on the ceiling above the seat.

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Business Class seats

In-Flight Entertainment

I was a tad disappointed to find the absence of In-flight Entertainment system onboard this aircraft. Drop down screens are not even available onboard. Safety briefings are conducted by the flight attendants. The only form of entertainment onboard is the in-flight magazines. Since this is a short 1-hour flight, the absence of IFE did not bother me much.

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The only entertainment onboard is the in-flight magazines

The Food

Due to the short flight time, only drinks are served onboard. Passengers are given options of water or cranberry juice.

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Only drinks are served during the flight. I opted for cranberry juice.

Service

Despite the “basic-ness” of the seats, the service onboard is great for a short 1-hour flight. We were welcomed by the warm flight attendants during boarding and again thanked by the crew when deplaning. Despite the short flight time and the numerous passengers to be served drinks, the flight attendants carried out their duties with a smile. As I was queuing for the lavatory, the flight attendants quickly served those of us in the queue a cup of drink and even returned to ask if we wanted more. Flight attendants were seen patrolling the cabin several times during the short flight.

Afterthought

Would I fly Malindo Air again? For a short flight such as Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, yes I would. However, I wouldn’t consider the airlines for longer flight times. Despite the comfortable seats in Economy Class cabin and the great service, the lack of IFE and the non-availability of web check-in is sufficient to deter me from flying with the airlines for anything longer than 1 hour.

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Flying with Malindo Air

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways B777-300ER (TG409) – Business Class, BKK-SIN (1 Oct 18)

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The refurbished Thai Airways B777-300ER

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I like the Thai Airways logo between the two sections of its Business Class cabins

On the Ground

Check-in

Thai Airways has a dedicated check-in row for Passengers flying on Business Class in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. The check-in counters are located on the left most of the terminal building, in Row B. The Business Class check-in is a sit-down experience, where chairs are available at the counters for passengers to rest their feet while the ground staff perform their check-in. The staff processed the check-in with efficiency and handed our boarding pass to us in no time. She also reminded us of the boarding time and the gate where our flight would depart. The ground staff also extended an invitation to us to the Royal Silk Lounge. One thing I like about flying out of Suvarnabhumi Airport on Thai Airways is the dedicated immigration counter for Business Class passengers. There is no queue at the immigration counter, which allowed us to clear immigration in no time.

Royal Silk Lounge

Passing the immigration counter, an escalator leads us one floor down to the Royal Silk Lounge. The Royal Silk Lounge at the bottom of the escalator (Concourse D) is the largest among the five lounges spreading across Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. Business Class passengers can access any of the five lounges at the airport. The staffs at the Royal Silk Lounge welcomed us with a warm smile and gave us a printed slip with log in details to the lounge wifi. The lounge at Concourse D, with a floor area of 1,400m², is decked in dark brown colour scheme. There are several food stations spread across the massive lounge and no lack of sitting area. The food on offer at the lounge is mainly Thai food with a small mix of sandwiches. Business Class passengers are also treated with a huge selection of beverages. The lounge is a great place to relax and unwind while waiting for our flight. There is also a selection of magazines and newspapers for passengers to read at the lounge. Business Class passengers are also treated to a 30 min foot massage or head & shoulder massage at the Royal Orchid Spa across from the Royal Silk Lounge at Concourse D. Due to the shortage of time, we did not get to enjoy the massage in Royal Orchid Spa.

Departure Gate

TG409 departs from Gate C7, which is a relatively short walk from the Royal Silk Lounge at Concourse D. As Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is rather long, walking from gate to gate would require a substantial amount of time. My friends and I catered extra time to get to the boarding gate.

The Aircraft

The Cabin

Thai Airways uses its B777-300ER which is refitted with the new Business Class seats on this Bangkok to Singapore route. The refitted Business Class cabin is decked in its iconic purple hue and an earthy brown tone. The earthy brown tone makes the cabin feel cosy, and the purple seems to suggest Thai Airways is paying homage to the colour that most passengers would identify the company with. There are a total of 42 seats in the business class cabin, split into two sections with 24 seats in the forward section and 18 seats in the rear section. The cabin feels very comfortable and the use of mood lighting at different periods of the flight time allows passengers to adjust their body clock to the time of the day in the destination. I am sitting in the rear Business Class cabin, which is separated with Economy Class by a thin bulkhead. This part of the cabin is behind the door where Economy Class passengers boards the aircraft, there seem to be a tad livelier during boarding.

Two of the three lavatories in the Business Class cabin is situated between the two sections of the cabin, with one more next to the cockpit. The lavatory does not seem any bigger than those in Economy Class cabin, however, the use of wood-like materials and the clever use of light combined with mirrors eliminates any feeling of claustrophobic feel that one might experience in this tight space. There is a difference in terms of amenities in the Business Class cabin lavatory compared to that in Economy Class cabin. Other than the hand soap and cologne found in Economy Class lavatory, hand lotion and handkerchiefs are available in the Business Class cabin lavatory. These amenities are presented in white cloths, together with the orchid flowers, gave the lavatory a premium feel. I always like the use of sensor tap onboard Thai Airways lavatories which is more hygienic for its passengers.

The Seat

Business Class cabin onboard Thai Airways B777-300ER are refitted with the new generation staggered Solstys style seats that one will find onboard Thai Airways newer aircrafts such as Thai Airways A380 and A350. The staggered seats in Business Class cabin gave passengers direct aisle access. Business Class seats on Thai Airways B77-300ER has a pitch of 82″ and measures 20″ wide. It is capable of reclining 180º into a true flatbed. Other than the flatbed mode, the Business Class cabin seat has a lounge mode, which is somewhere between the upright take-off/landing mode and the flatbed mode. I find this mode to be the most comfortable when watching TV onboard. The Business Class cabin seats come with massage function, which is great for passengers sitting on them for an extended period of time. There is a button on the seat controls that allows passengers to move the Business Class seats forward and back. Business Class passengers will find a large size pillow and a quilt placed on their seat at the time of boarding.

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Business Class cabin seats on Thai Airways B777-300ER

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Seat control buttons and IFE controller

The legroom onboard Thai Airways B777-300ER is excellent. There is plenty of room for me to stretch my legs out onto the ottoman that comes in every seat. There is a small area below the ottoman where passengers can put their shoes in.

Each Business Class seat on the refurbished Thai Airways B777-300ER is fitted with a side table, which is perfect for passengers to stow their reading materials. This is also where the flight attendants placed drinks or snacks when served to the passengers. Above the side table is where one will find one of the two seat pockets holding in-flight magazines and the menu. A LED reading light is mounted in front of the seat pocket, which comes with a brightness adjustment function. I find the storage bin beneath the armrest very functional and is great for storing small items such as tablet PCs, passports and mobile phone. This storage bin is hidden out of sight, which makes it safe to store small items in. The headphone jack and a seat power socket are found on the side of the seat.

The Business Class seats come with a rather large table, clad in wooden furnishing that is coherent with the furnishing of the side table, giving the cabin a luxurious look. The table can be moved slightly forward to allow passengers to exit the seat without having to stow it back. When stowed away, the table is nicely flush with the bulkhead. There is also a coat hook next to the table. Beneath the stowed table is a small seat pocket where one can find the aircraft safety card and air sickness bag.

In-Flight Entertainment

Passengers on all Thai Airways flights are treated to on-demand audio and video In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system. Business Class passengers are equipped with a noise cancelling headphone, which is placed on the seat prior to boarding.  The refurbished Thai Airways B777-300ER Business Class seats come equipped with a 15″ TV screen which has a touchscreen function, which feels very responsive. There are two USB ports underneath the TV screen where passengers can use to charge their mobile devices as well. The IFE system onboard Thai Airways is packed a wide array of entertainment options. With more than 100 movies, including latest Hollywood blockbusters and latest Thai movies, 150 TV programmes and 500 CD albums, passengers are assured that they will be well entertained flying on Thai Airways.

The IFE is well organised in intuitive menus that passengers can control from the touchscreen on the TV. The same IFE menu is replicated on the IFE controller which also comes with a touchscreen function.

The Food

Business Class passengers were served pre-departure drinks as soon as we got settled in our seats. I recommend one to try out the Thai Airways signature drink, Violet Bliss, which is only available in Business Class. Violet Bliss is made with butterfly pea and is very refreshing. I had this drink throughout my time onboard this flight. Despite being a short 2-hour flight, flight attendants went around serving drinks and peanuts as soon as the seat belt light is turned off, while the meal is being heated up.

As this is a short flight, meals are served all at once instead of course by course. The crab meat and avocado timbale appetiser are delicious. I can taste the freshness of the generous amount of crab meat, which opened up my appetite for the main course. Business Class passengers are given three options for the main course: salmon, chicken or pork dish. I opted for the stir-fried pork fillet with noodles. The pork is very tender and flavourful and the Sha Cha sauce is delicious. However, I did not quite like the noodle as it is cold and tasteless, which I find does not complement the pork well. After the main meal, I had Thai pudding for dessert which is light and tasty.

The Service

The service in Business Class on this Thai Airways flight is nothing short of impeccable. Business Class passengers were welcomed onboard with the traditional Thai hand gesture and the warmest smile when we stepped into the aircraft. We were served the pre-departure drink and a hot towel as soon as we settled into our seat. The flight attendant showed us where to find the menu and returned to take our orders for the meal. Flight attendants swiftly sprung into action to heat up and serve meals to passengers as soon as the seat belt light is turned off.

The flight attendant serving this section of the aircraft is nothing short of excellent and knew what customer service is all about. She took the time to go around introducing herself to all the passengers under her charge. During her introduction, I am surprised to find out that the flight attendant took the initiative to memorise each passenger’s name and addressed us by our surname. This is the first time I encountered such treatment onboard Thai Airways Business Class! When my friend was not sure about what to have for the meal, the flight attendant took the time to explain how each dish is prepared and the ingredients that go into the meal. The flight attendant recommended my friend the salmon dish, which my friend remarked the meal was the best in-flight meal she had tasted. I remarked to the flight attendant how much I like the Thai Airways signature drink, Violet Bliss, and would always request for the drink whenever I fly in Business Class. The flight attendant took note of my liking and topped up the drink whenever she saw the glass is empty. The attention to details and her taking the time to listen and remember my preference for the drink is what makes flying on Business Class on this Thai Airways flight awesome.

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Flight attendant serving this section of the cabin introduced herself to the passengers prior to taking off

Afterthought

The Business Class seat on the refitted Thai Airways B777-300ER is very comfortable. I particularly like the seat in lounge mode, which I found most comfortable for resting and watching movies. The IFE system is packed with loads of entertainment options that removed the boredom of flying with Thai Airways. The food is tasty and flavourful and does not taste like your typical aircraft meal. The service I received on this flight is nothing but excellent. Just when I thought my last experience with Thai Airways on their A380 was the best, the service provided by the flight attendant on this flight tops it. Her attention to details and dedication to ensuring passengers have a great experience in Business Class is what makes this flight memorable for me.

[Accommodation Review] – Grande Centre Point Ploenchit (2 Bedroom Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (27 Sep – 1 Oct 18)

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Hotel Signage

Location

Grande Centre Point Ploenchit is very centrally located, very near to central shopping malls such as Central World and Siam Paragon in Central Bangkok. The hotel is located on the main street of Wireless Road and is a mere 5 mins walk away from Ploenchit BTS Station. Ploenchit BTS Station is two stops away from Siam Station where Siam Paragon and Siam Square is located, as well as two stops away from Asok Station, which is where Terminal 21 Shopping Mall is located. Nearer to the hotel is the newly opened upscale Central Embassy shopping mall, situated opposite Grande Centre Point Ploenchit. A 2-bedroom suite in Grande Centre Point Ploenchit and its relatively central location is a reason why I chose to stay at this hotel, I paid under S$1,200 for a three-night stay that comes bundled with daily breakfast for four guests. This provides very good value in staying in Grande Centre Point Ploenchit.

The Suite

The 2-bedroom suite has a total floor area of 96m². which modern Thai architecture resonating throughout the entire suite. White is the main colour with a touch of earthy brown, making the suite looks refreshing and clean.

Kitchenette

As soon as one enters the suite, the kitchenette is immediate to the left of the entrance. The space allocated to the open kitchenette is not big, however, it has all the amenities that allow guests to cook a simple meal. A full-size fridge that comes with 8 bottles of water and a can of coke, as well as a packet of fruit juice, is replenished every day in the fridge with compliments of the hotel. Next to the fridge, tucked nicely into the table top, is where one can find a 2-in-1 washer cum dryer. There is a sink as well as a single induction stove located next to it. Other kitchen appliances such as microwave oven and electric kettle are also found in the kitchenette. The kitchenette is also stocked with a complete set of dinnerware sets and cutlery for four persons. A small dining table, capable of sitting four adults comfortably is also found in the kitchenette. This dining table separates the kitchenette area from the living room area.

Living Room

The living room in the 2-bedroom suite of Grande Centre Point Ploenchit is located a little into the room from the entrance. The living room is decked in white with hues of brown that makes the living room look clean and cosy. The space allocated to the living room isn’t really that big, however, it is large enough for the occupants to hang around and interact. The living room is furnished with a 3-seater couch, placed by the wall and a single seat armchair. A coffee table is placed in the centre of the room. Opposite the couch is a large LED TV mounted on the wall. There is a table that runs along the wall where the TV is mounted. This table serves as a great place for us to put our shopping onto. The entire suite is equipped with power outlets that accept international plugs, there are four power outlets in the living room alone. I do find the living room a tad dark at one corner at night, due to the placement of the lighting. However, the living room is well lighted in most parts. The air conditioning in the living room seems to be malfunctioning. Most of the time the living room feels warm, as though the aircon is not working. We contacted front desk a few times to get it rectified, however, the problem seems to persist throughout our stay at Grande Centre Point Ploenchit.

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Living Room

Balcony

The balcony in this 2-bedroom suite is located at the furthest end of the room, right after the living room and is quite large. It runs the entire width of the suite, up to the second bedroom. A single wooden chair and a small coffee table are placed in the balcony, which makes it a great place to hang out and relax by. The view of Bangkok from the balcony is superb.

The Bedrooms

Master Bedroom

The entrance to the Master Bedroom in this 2-bedroom suite in Grande Centre Point Ploenchit is found after the dining table in the kitchenette area. Entering the Master Bedroom, one will find the entrance to the toilet to the left. As one walk past the wardrobe, tucked into the right side of the wall, the room opens up to a spacious sleeping area. The furnishing of the Master Bedroom is a tad weird. Instead of having a standard king bed, twin beds are found in the Master Bedroom. The hotel can configure the bedding in the room to the king bed (by simply pushing both beds together. The colour theme in the Master Bedroom is predominantly earthy, giving the room a very comfortable feel. The sleep quality on the bed is excellent as I was able to get a great night sleep every night. The pillows are of the right firmness for me (I will not be able to sleep on soft or flat pillows). On either side of the bed are a couple of side tables, where I found a couple of power outlets to charge my electronic devices. Other than the bedside lamps, there are reading lights mounted on the wall where the beds are placed. The large picture of a river in Thailand adds some Thai flare into the room. However, I find the distance between the bed and the bedside table a tad far when both beds are pushed together to form a king bed. Opposite the bed, mounted onto the wall is a LED TV. An open ledge and cabinets are found beneath the TV, which provides guests with more storage space. There is no other furniture such are writing desk in the Master Bedroom. Instead of using curtains, Grande Centre Point Ploenchit installed wooden blinds in the Master Bedroom, which is equally effective in blocking out sunlight.

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Bedding in the master bedroom

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TV and cabinet in master bedroom

There is only one wardrobe found in the Master Bedroom located beside the TV. which I find weird given that there are two wardrobes in the second bedroom. The wardrobe size is not large and I can only hang a limited amount of clothing. The presence of a two-tier cabinet inside the wardrobe does create additional space for guests to stow some more clothing. The only in-room safe is found inside the wardrobe in the Master Bedroom.

Second Bedroom

The entrance to the Second Bedroom is located next to the balcony doors. There is also an en-suite bathroom inside the Second Bedroom. Compared to the Master Bedroom, the Second Bedroom is a lot smaller, however, it feels cosier. The second bedroom is also decked out in earthy colours with white walls, giving the bedroom a cosy feel. The Second Bedroom is furnished with Queen size bed, with bedside tables on each side of the bed. Similar to the Master Bedroom, there are lamps and reading lights mounted onto the wall on each side of the bed. Power outlets are also found on the wall by the bedside tables on both sides. Opposite the bed is where a TV is found mounted on the wall. Beneath the TV is a small work desk.

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Queen size bed in the second bedroom

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TV and a small desk in the second bedroom

Unlike the Master Bedroom, there are two wardrobes in the Second Bedroom. The wardrobes are located next to the work desk and stretch to the entrance of the Second Bedroom. Despite having two wardrobes, only one and a half wardrobe space can be used by guests staying in this bedroom. The full wardrobe, located next to the work desk, is similar to that found in the Master Bedroom, which also comes with a two-tier cabinet space. The other wardrobe, by the entrance to the Second Bedroom, only have half the space allocated for clothing storage. There is also a two-tier cabinet inside this wardrobe. The other half of this wardrobe is where one can find the only iron and ironing board in this 2-bedroom suite as well two umbrellas.

Bathrooms

Master Bathroom

There are two bathrooms in the 2-bedroom suite at Grande Centre Point Ploenchit. The bathroom in the Master Bedroom is the larger of the two bathrooms. Decked in brown tiles and dark flooring, the bathroom feels a tad old school and is a glaring contrast compared to the rest of the suite. The Master bathroom is designed with the bathing area on the left and sink/toilet area on the right. Immediately after the door, a walk-in shower stall enclosed in glass panels is the first thing that greets guests. Further into the bathroom, on the left side is where the bathtub is located. The sink area is situated on the right side of the bathroom, opposite the shower stall. The sink area is large enough for both occupants of the Master Bedroom to stow their toiletries. Next to the sink area is the toilet, which comes with bidet function. Grande Centre Point Ploenchit provides its guests will full bath amenities including toothbrushes, which some hotels in Bangkok does not provide. However I find the quality of the shampoo and shower gel to be a tad poor, the amount provided (30ml bottles) seem to be insufficient for both occupants to utilities in a day.

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Shower stall and the bathtub is found on the left side of the bathroom

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Toilet and sink on the right side of the bathroom

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Bathroom Amenities

Second Bathroom

The Second bathroom is slightly smaller than the Master bathroom. This bathroom is also decked in the same colour scheme as with the Master bathroom. There are two entrances to the Second bathroom, one from the Second bedroom and one from the living room. I guess this design is to allow the suite’s occupants’ guests to use without accessing into either bedroom. The Second bathroom is also designed with the bathing area on one side and the sink/toilet area on the opposite side. There is no walk-in shower stall in this bathroom, guests using this bathroom would have to take their shower in the bathtub, where the shower head is mounted at a higher height compared to the one in the Master bathroom. The sink area in the Second bathroom is also a tad smaller compared to that in the Master bathroom. The toilet in this bathroom also comes with bidet function.

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The Second bathroom is smaller and is accessible from the living room

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Bathtub in the second bathroom

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Bathroom amenities

Breakfast

Breakfast is served at BlueSpice Restaurant, the only restaurant in Grande Centre Point Ploenchit. BlueSpice restaurant is located on the ground floor next to the reception. Guests are treated to a mix of Asian and Western cuisine for breakfast. There is also Thai food included in the buffet breakfast. The food served is delicious and I especially like the mango sticky rice, which is served at a limited quantity daily. The mango served was juicy and sweet. There is also an egg station where it is prepared ala-minute. The breakfast menu is adjusted slightly daily so that guests will not get bored with the food.

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Breakfast in Grande Centre Point Ploenchit

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool in Grande Centre Point Ploenchit is located on the second floor of the hotel. The main pool is large enough for guests to swim some decent laps in. The pool is a great place for guests who want to suntan as the deck chairs are not obstructed by trees or tall buildings. Other than the main pool, there is also a wading pool in the sheltered area of the pool area for children as well as a Jacuzzi pool.

Gym

Grande Centre Point Ploenchit has a small gym, located next to the swimming pool area. The gym is a tad small and is split into two separate rooms. The first room consists of weights, where one can find some decent weight equipment. The other room is where guests can do some running on the treadmills on or do some cycling on the stationary bike.

Service

The service rendered by the staff in Grande Centre Point Ploenchit is excellent. We were greeted with smiles wherever we go in the hotel. The great service started the moment we alighted our cab, where the porters readily received us and helped us with our luggage. The staffs at the reception welcomed us with a smile and processed our check-in swiftly. I approached one of the staffs at the reception regarding the aircon issue in the living room of my suite, the staff took note and the problem was resolved when we returned to our suite. The staff at the reception were seen wearing a smile every time. The staffs at BlueSpice restaurant were great too. We were always welcomed with a smile every day we patron the restaurant for breakfast. The diligent restaurant staff were seen patrolling the dining floor and ensured that no empty plates where left uncleared. The food was constantly replenished by the staff who checks the quantity level of the food on a regular basis. Even the housekeeping staff made us feel welcome. We bumped into them a few times and these heroines behind the scene will always smile and greet us. They did a fantastic job in keeping our suite clean.

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Complimentary refreshments in the hotel lobby

Overall

Grande Centre Point Ploenchit offers excellent value for money for the suite and the location it is in. Despite not being right smack centre of Bangkok, it is close enough to the city centre where all the buzz is. Being situated in this area of Bangkok does bring some tranquillity in busy Bangkok. The hotel is very close to BTS station, which makes it very accessible to other parts of Bangkok. The room is nicely decorated with modern Thai theme and is very clean. The sleep quality on the bed is excellent, provided me and my friends with excellent sleep quality. The staffs throughout the hotel made us feel welcome and are always seen with a smile. I had an excellent and comfortable stay in Grande Centre Point Ploenchit.

[Airline Review] – Malaysia Airlines A330-300 (MH714) – Economy Class, DPS-KUL (11 Aug 18)

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Malaysia Airlines A330-300 flying from Bali to Kuala Lumpur

On the Ground

Check-in Counters

Malaysia Airlines check-in counters are located at Row C, on the right end in Bali Denpasar Airport. There are four counters used by Malaysia Airlines for passengers checking-in. Two counters are dedicated to passengers travelling in Economy Class cabin and one for Business Class passengers. There is an additional counter for passengers who have oversize baggage to check-in. As we were at the airport a tad early, there are no queues at the Economy Class counters. We were asked to check-in at the Business Class counter, which seem to be the only counter that is operating at the time we arrived at Bali Denpasar Airport. Check-in was done efficiently, the friendly ground staff quickly processed our check-in, took in our luggage and gave us instructions on which gate our flight will be departing. As the flight was delayed by 45 mins, which has an impact on our connecting flight to Singapore in Kuala Lumpur, when we raised our concerns to the ground staff, the ground staff assured us with a friendly and assuring tone of voice that we will still be in time to catch our onward flight to Singapore in Kuala Lumpur.

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Malaysia Airlines check-in counters are located in Row C at Denpasar Airport

The Aircraft

Malaysia Airlines uses the wide body twin aisle A330-300 for this Bali to Kuala Lumpur flight.

The Cabin

Malaysia Airlines A330-300 has a total of 290 seats spreading across Business and Economy Class cabins. There are a total of 27 seats in Business Class cabin and 263 seats in Economy Class cabin. The Economy Class cabin is further split into a three sections, with a small section of 16 seats located just behind Business Class cabin, isolated from the rest of the Economy Class cabin. This section is a lot quieter and offers a lot more privacy compared to the rest of the Economy Class cabin at the back of the plane. I managed to secure seats (for the six of us flying) in the small section of Economy Class seats through the Malaysia Airlines mobile app when performing online check-in. This section of the Economy Class cabin (rows 9 and 10) looks bright, thanks to the white walls and the use of white mood lighting during boarding. The choice of bright red colour for the seats also contributes to the clean and new look onboard Malaysia Airlines A330-300.

There are two lavatories behind the small section of Economy Class cabin, however only one of the lavatory can be used, the other lavatory is constantly kept located by the flight attendants as it is reserved for Business Class passengers. The lavatory onboard Malaysia Airlines A330-300 is slightly larger than those found onboard the B737-800. The lavatories is very clean thanks to the lighting and the clever use of mirrors by Malaysia Airlines. There isn’t any amenities other than the hand soap in the lavatory.

The Seat

Seats in the Economy Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines A330-300 are arranged in 2-4-2 configuration. The Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines are clad in bright red upholstery, with bright red headrest which is adjustable four ways. The 16 seats in the forward section has slightly wider pitch, measuring a good 36″ and a width of 17.3″. While seats in the main Economy Class cabin has a pitch of 32″. With 36″ pitch for those 16 seats in the forward section of Economy Class cabin, the legroom is very good. The seats moves forward when reclining, however it took some force for the recline to work well. As there are no seats behind me, my seat can stay reclined all the way after taking off till prior to landing. I highly recommend passengers flying on Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines A330-300 to book seats in the forward cabin (Rows 9 and 10). Pillows and blankets are not made available on the seat in Economy Class cabin, however Malaysia Airlines brings limited quantity of pillows and blankets onboard.

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Legroom is very generous in the forward section of the Economy Class cabin

All the seats in the Economy Class cabin comes with a USB port for charging of mobile devices, located on the right beneath the TV screen. Headphone jack is found on the right armrest, while the seat recline button is located on the left armrest.

Unlike the B737-800, the tray tables in Economy Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines A330-300 features a bi-fold function, which can be folded into half when passengers do not need to use the entire tray. This design also allows passengers sitting inside to access the aisle easier without having to stow the tray table. The tray table is large enough for passengers to put their laptop. The seat pocket is located on the back of the seat in front of mine. Seat pockets are deep enough for passengers to stow away small items they carry with them. In-flight magazine and duty-free shopping catalogue as well as the aircraft safety card are found in the seat pocket.

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Seat pocket is rather large in the Economy Class cabin

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Seat lights and air vent located on the ceiling above my seat

In-Flight Entertainment

All seats in Economy Class cabin are equipped with a 9″ personal TV screen. These TV screens have touchscreen function, however the touchscreen function lags when using it. I find using the remote control for selection of movies to be far less frustrating than trying to use the touchscreen function. The In-Flight Entertainment system was already turned on during boarding and remained on until we were deplaned, which helps passengers to kill time when boarding is still in progress. IFE system is well packed with movies, including the latest Hollywood blockbuster, as well as sitcoms for passengers who prefer to watch shorter films. The IFE onboard features Audio Video on Demand, which gives passengers the flexibility to watch the shows as and when they like. IFE menu is well organised and designed in an initiative manner, which makes navigating through the menu for the movies I want to watch very easy.

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In-Flight Entertainment System in Economy Class Cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines A330-300

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All Economy Class seats comes with a 9″ personal TV

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The IFE system onboard Malaysia Airlines is very easy to navigate

The IFE controller onboard Malaysia Airlines Economy Class cabin is stored under the IFE TV screen. The design of the controller is similar to those found on other airlines, with all the controls that passengers needs to navigate the IFE menu on the front side of the controller. The attendant call button as well as the seat light control is also found on the front side of the controller. On the back side of the controller is where a qwerty keyboard and game control is found. The IFE system onboard Malaysia Airlines does not contain gaming or productivity options, hence these features on the controller does not serve any purpose. Headphone is made available in every seat in the Economy Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines at the time we board the plane.

The Food

Food service commenced about 1 hour into the flight from Bali to Kuala Lumpur. As we were seated at the front of the Economy Class cabin, food was served in this section first. Food in Economy Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines was served in a cardboard box, with a packet of peanuts, an oatmeal cookie and a small cup of water. Two options of main meal were offered for Economy Class passengers, Fish with black bean sauce and Chicken Nasi Briyani. I opted for the Fish with black bean sauce, while my friend opted for the Chicken Nasi Briyani. The fish in my meal was not crispy and the flavour is a tad blend. However the Chicken Nasi Briyani is a better choice as the chicken was tender and flavourful, the rice in the Nasi Briyani is well spiced and very flavourful. The flight attendants went around the cabin to serve beverage after the meal was served to all passengers.

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I opted for the Fried Fish in Black Bean Sauce

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My friend opted for the tastier Chicken Nasi Briyani

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The flight attendant gave me two cups of coke and coffee when I mentioned to her I was very thirsty

Service

The service onboard Malaysia Airlines is quite good, starting with boarding. We were greeted by friendly flight attendants as we were boarding the aircraft. We thought this is the standard greeting that most airlines accord to their passengers during boarding. The service extends beyond there. The service we received at the front section of the aircraft was spilled over from Business Class. While we did not get the pre-departure drink, when the flight attendants were distributing newspapers in Business Class cabin, those of us seating in the forward Economy Class cabin were offered newspaper from the push cart as well. The flight attendants were seen wearing their smiles, despite a tiring return flight back to Kuala Lumpur and was seen patrolling the cabin constantly. When we requested for blankets and pillows, the flight attendants immediately attended to our requests. During beverage service, I casually told the flight attendant that I was very thirsty, she immediately gave me drinks with a smile. When she walked past my seat, the flight attendant even checked if I would need more drinks. Finished meals were cleared quickly so that we can either rest or continue watching the movies on the IFE. When the aircraft has landed, as we were waiting for the door to be opened, the flight attendant directed us to deplane from the Business Class door, which saved us time from waiting (as we had a connecting flight to catch). When we deplaned we realised that the aerobridge to Economy Class cabin doors were still being connected.

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Fight attendant doing beverage run

Afterthought

Flying on Malaysia Airlines Economy Class in the forward section is very comfortable. The legroom is very generous and I like the quiet cabin environment up front. The seats has great recline, which allowed my friends to rest during the flight. We were the first ones to be served food and the food was tasty. The IFE was packed with movies and sitcoms, which kept me occupied during the 3 hour flight from Bali to Kuala Lumpur. The service rendered by the flight attendants were fantastic, flight attendants were seen wearing their smiles throughout the flight time. I think the seats upfront were sold by Malaysia Airlines as extra legroom seats, which we got without paying extra (thanks to the internet check-in option).

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Flying over Indonesia

 

[Airline Review] – Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 (MH851) KUL-DPS (8 Aug 18)

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 at the tarmac of Denpasar Airport

On the Ground

This is the second leg of my trip via Malaysia Airlines from Singapore to Bali. As there was a delay in takeoff at Singapore Airport, our transit time has been reduced from 1hr 20 mins to 45 mins. When we disembarked from the previous flight, we saw a ground staff standing at the gate with a paper stating the gate of our onward flight. Our onward flight to Bali departs from gate G4, which is next to the gate of our onward flight.

The Aircraft

Malaysia Airlines uses B737-800 for Kuala Lumpur to Bali. This version of the B737-800 comes equipped with In-Flight Entertainment system (I termed this B737-800 V2 to differentiate the version without IFE in my previous post).

The Cabin

The cabin in Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 looks bright, coupled with the use of white walls and white mood lighting during boarding, the cabin looks clean and fresh. The pilot also uses different colour mood lighting during the flight to help passengers adjust to the time of the day. Economy Class seats are decked in two shades of red, with the main seat in maroon colour and bright red as the headrest. The tight leather wrapping on the seats makes the cabin look new and tidy. There are a total of 16 seats in Business Class and 144 seats in Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2.

There are only two lavatories onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 in Economy Class, both are located at the rear of the aircraft. Due to the limited space onboard, the lavatories are a tad smaller compared to those found onboard larger aircrafts such as B777 series. However, the clever use of bright lighting and mirrors made the lavatory feels larger than it actually is. The lavatories housed the standard equipment like toilet and sink. Onboard amenities in the lavatories are limited to hand soap other than paper cups and tissues (some other airlines still provide cologne and/or mouthwash).

The Seat

Seats in Economy Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 are arranged in 3-3 configuration. The maroon seats and bright red headrest measures 30″ in pitch and 17″ in width wrapped in cowhide leather. Unlike other airlines, the headrest cannot be adjusted. The legroom in the Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 is very good, I still had a good amount of space between my knees and the seat in front of me. There is a USB port located on the bottom right of the TV screen for passengers to charge their mobile devices. The seat recline button is located on the right armrest. The Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 also comes with a single fold tray table, which is perfect for passengers who brought their laptop to work onboard.

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Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2

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Legroom is very good in Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2

The seat pocket in the Economy Class cabin is fairly large and has only one tier, which is good enough for passengers to store small items. In-flight magazine, duty-free catalogue as well as the aircraft safety card are stored in every seat pocket onboard Malaysia Airlines. The in-flight magazine was very useful to help me kill time when the IFE was down halfway through the flight. Malaysia Airlines seem to be cutting operating costs as pillows and blankets have to be requested. During the flight, I attempted to request for a blanket and was told that there aren’t sufficient blankets carried onboard.

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Seat pocket with in-flight magazines and safety card

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Pillows were not distributed at boarding, passengers have to request for them

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Seat lighting and air vent at the ceiling above my seat

In-Flight Entertainment

All Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 comes equipped with on-demand In-Flight Entertainment system. Economy Class seats are fitted with 9″ touchscreen TV that kept me entertained during the flight. Despite TV screens having touchscreen function, the touchscreen function seems to lag quite a bit and I find using the remote control to be a lot less frustrating when navigating through the IFE menu. The IFE is loaded with a large collection of movies and TV shows, some of which are fairly recent Hollywood blockbusters. However halfway throughout the flight, the IFE hanged and there were no attempts by the flight attendants to reset the system despite being a three-hour flight.

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IFE system in Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2

The IFE controller is stored beneath the TV screen, which has functions such as seat lighting control, flight attendant call buttons on top of the four-direction control panel for navigation of the IFE system and the standard video control functions. A qwerty keyboard is found on the back of the IFE controller, which serves no function as there are no items on the IFE menu that warrants the use of the keys on the back of the controller. Headphone jack for the IFE is located on the right armrest. Headphones are already being placed on every seat at the time of boarding. These headphones were collected prior to landing for recycling purposes.

The Food

Food was served about one hour from taking off. Unlike most airlines which served food in a tray complete with salad and dessert, food offering was a tad simpler in the Economy Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2. Food was served in a cardboard box, that contains the main meal, an oat biscuit and a packet of peanuts on top of a small cup of water. On this Kuala Lumpur-Denpasar flight, passengers in Economy Class cabin were given the choice of Roasted Chicken Rice or Fried Fish with rice. I opted for the chicken rice and the chicken rice is very tasty. Rice is full of flavour and the chicken is tender and juicy. It is a pity the portion served is a tad small. After all the passengers were served with food, the flight attendants went around the cabin to serve beverages.

Service

The service onboard is the Economy Class cabin on this Malaysia Airlines flight is rather mediocre. There is hardly any smiles on the flight attendants. I pressed the call button to request for pillows and blankets, the flight attendants did not seem to bother to bring me these items the first time around. I had to request for another time before a pillow is being brought to me. During meal service, it is apparent that the flight attendants serving the Economy Class cabin rushed to complete meal service. The flight attendants disappeared into the rear of the aircraft and were not seen during the flight other than during meal service and prior to landing. One of the attendants convenient skipped asking my row for beverages during the beverage run. When requested for beverage, the attendant gave an irritated look on her face.

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Flight attendant during meal service

Afterthought

Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 is very comfortable for the three-hour flight time to Bali. The Economy Class cabin looked modern and feels clean, thanks to the colour scheme and the bright lighting used throughout the flight. The IFE system was easy to navigate and provided me with entertainment halfway through the flight. It would be perfect if the IFE had not hang halfway through the flight or that the flight attendants did their due diligence to reset the system rather than leaving it hanged. The catering onboard in the Economy Class was tasty, but the portion is a tad small. The service onboard is less than desirable. The flight attendants did not seem to put in the effort to provide any form of service other than distributing food and drinks and collecting the used headset.

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 taxiing to the runway in KLIA

[Airline Review] – Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1 (MH604) / (MH613) – Economy Class, SIN-KUL (8 Aug 18) /KUL-SIN (11 Aug 18)

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1

On the Ground

Check-in Counters

This is a trip that I took with my friends to Bali from Singapore via Kuala Lumpur due to the cheaper fares for the Singapore holiday period. Malaysia Airlines operates 9 flights daily between Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. The airlines fly out of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. The check-in counters for Malaysia Airlines is located at Row 5, in the middle of the terminal. There are 3 counters opened at the airport terminal at the time of our checking in with 1 dedicated for Business Class passengers and 2 for Economy Class passengers. Out of the 3 counters, only 1 counter was manned, perhaps due to our flight being scheduled 3 hours at the time we check-in. Unlike some other airlines, Malaysia Airlines did not seem to cater any counters for passengers who have completed their check-in online. There was no queue at the time of our check-in and we were served immediately when my friends and I entered the queue. The ground staff handling our check-in was friendly and processed our check-in efficiently. She also briefed us on the time we should appear at the gate and our gate number. As we are connecting via Kuala Lumpur, the ground staff placed our Kuala Lumpur to Bali boarding passes into an envelop and placed our Singapore to Kuala Lumpur boarding passes into our passports. This provided us with the convenience of not having figure out which boarding pass should we be using for Singapore to Kuala Lumpur sector.

The Aircraft

Malaysia Airlines uses B737-800 for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route. There are two versions of the B737-800 that Malaysia Airlines is using, one is the refurbished version that comes with In-Fight Entertainment units, while the other seems older without IFE. I term the version without IFE as V1 (though not official from Malaysia Airlines) and the version with IFE as V2. For both legs between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines uses the B737-800 V1.

The Cabin

The Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1 cabin is a tad dull decked with dark blue seats which gives it an aged look. The use of white bulkhead in the cabin and yellow mood lighting during boarding and throughout the duration of the flight gives it a clean feel but did little to give the cabin a newer look. Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1 comprises a small section of 16 seats in Business Class at the forward of the aircraft and 144 seats in Economy Class, separated by a wall.

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Mood lighting used during boarding

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The same mood lighting used during flight

There are only two lavatories in the Economy Class cabin serving all 144 passengers, both are located at the rear of the aircraft. Despite the small size of the lavatories, they are kept clean by the busy attendants. The use of bright lighting and mirrors in the lavatories made it look larger than it is, reducing the feel of claustrophobic for passengers. Lavatories are equipped with the standard essentials that are found onboard most aircrafts such as push button taps and toilet with trash bin being placed below the sink. The amenities in these lavatories are limited to hand soap and tissues.

The Seat

Seats in the Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 is arranged in 3-3 configuration. Each seat has a pitch of 30″ pitch and a width of 17″, which is fairly comfortable for this 50 mins flight time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. All the seats in Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1 Economy Class cabin are wrapped with cowhide leather. The legroom in the Economy Class cabin is very good with a good amount of space between my knees and the seat in front of me. I did not feel cramped up in the Economy Class cabin seat.

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Seats in Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1 Economy Class cabin

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Legroom in Economy Class is very good

As with most airlines, the tray table onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1 is found on the back of the seat in front of me. The tray table does not have a bi-fold function and is large enough for me to browse through the in-flight magazine on. The seat reclined button and the 2-pin headphone jack is found on the right armrest. As the B737-800 V1 is an older aircraft, the lighting control, air vents and the call buttons are located on the ceiling above my seat. The seat pocket is located in front of my seat is fairly deep (but dirty) where one can find a copy of Malaysia Airlines in-house travel magazine as well as the aircraft safety card. There are no amenities such as pillows, blankets and handphones on the seats in the Economy Class cabin.

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Lights and aircon outlet above our seat alongside the flight attendant call button

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Deep but dirty seat pockets

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Seats in Business Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1

In-Flight Entertainment

In-Flight Entertainment is non-existent on Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1. There is a small panel on the right armrest which seems to provide some form of in-flight radio entertainment. I did not test out if there are indeed any in-flight radio as Malaysia Airlines does not provide headphones for this short 50 min flight between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The only other form of entertainment onboard is the drop-down TV screen on the ceiling, but these screens are only used prior to take-off for the safety video. They remained undeployed throughout the flight time.

The Food

Due to the short flight time, each passenger is given a packet of peanuts and a cup of orange juice. I requested for an additional packet of peanuts, which the flight attendants are happy to provide.

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Only peanuts and a cup of juice is served

Service

The service onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1 plying between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is good. The short flight time provided minimum interaction between flight attendants and passengers. Flight attendants are seen helping passengers finding their seats and stowing their luggage in the overhead bin during boarding. Despite the short flight time and only two flight attendants serving more than 100 passengers, the flight attendants are seen wearing smiles on their faces during the service run. The flight attendants went around serving peanuts and drinks as soon as the seat belt sign is turned off, ensuring that all passengers in Economy Class cabin get the drink and the peanuts.

Afterthought

Despite the lack of IFE and the ageing aircraft, Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V1 is comfortable for the short 50 min flight time. Passengers would not have much time to watch any shows even if IFE is available. Despite the hectic schedule, the flight attendants in the Economy Class cabin are still seen wearing smiles on their faces when interacting with passengers.

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 winglet

 

[Accommodation Review] – The Nibbana Villas (4 Bedroom Private Pool Villa), Bali, Indonesia (8 – 11 Aug 18)

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The private pool and the gazebo in the villa

Location

The Nibbana Villas is located in Seminyak area, an upscale and less crowded part of Bali, north of Kuta. The location of The Nibbana Villas is a tad far from Seminyak town centre, approximately 20 mins walk to Seminyak Square. However, the villa is within 5 mins walk to Bintang Supermarket, where a night market full of local food is located. Seminyak is also where most of the villas in Bali are located, mostly comes with their own private pool. The Nibbana Villas seem to share the same facilities as Jineng Villas. Visitors who might have difficulty communicating with their taxi drivers can quote the address for Jineng Villas. There is a small 24-hour convenient store across the road where The Nibbana Villas is located.

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The walkway to our villa

The Villa

We booked a 3 bedroom villa, however, we were surprised to know that we were given a 4 bedroom villa upon our arrival. Since we paid for 3 bedrooms, the staff welcoming us during our arrival informed us that the 4th bedroom, located on the second floor will be locked. However, he is kind enough to let us view the 4th bedroom in the villa, which is slightly smaller than those rooms on the ground floor.

Garden and Pool Area

The villa that we booked comes with a private swimming pool. Walking through the 2-panel wooden door that serves as the main entrance to the villa premises, we arrived at the outdoor area of the villa. From the entrance, it is apparent that the villa is designed with the private pool as the centrepiece in mind. The building structures of the villa are built surrounding the swimming pool. There is a large gazebo placed near at one end of the swimming pool, near to the main entrance to the villa. This gazebo is a perfect place for those who are not swimming to relax in. The private swimming pool in the villa is quite big, occupying almost the entire real estate of the villa, with a few trees planted on either side of the pool. The size of the pool is perfect for its occupants to get a good swim or just to chill out when the day in Bali gets hot. There are a few pool size deck chairs placed around the pool for guests to rest onto while not swimming.

Living Room

The living room is the first room that is near to the main entrance of the villa. The entire living room is air-conditioned, which is a feature I wanted when looking for a villa for my stay in Bali. My previous experience in Bali was met with a war with mosquitoes, hence an enclosed living room for my friends and me to chill out becomes one of the factors when scouting for an accommodation for our trip to Bali. The size of the living room is excellent for us to chill in. The decor of the living is modern, yet comes with a touch of Balinese in the feature wall with the Balinese wood carving. A 3-seater couch together with 2 single seat armchairs (large enough to squeeze 2 persons on) forms the centrepiece of the living room. In front of the 3-seater couch is a coffee table large enough for us to play card games on and to put our snacks on. Tucked by the wall, in front of the couch is a TV console where the cable TV, as well as some books, is placed. The only hairdryer in the entire villa is stored in one of the cabinets in the TV console. There are a couple of chairs and a small side table placed behind the 3-seater couch by the wall, which provided additional seating space for the occupants of the villa. The living room has powerful air-conditioning provided great cooling for the occupants of the villa.

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Living room in the villa

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There are more chairs in the living room to chill out

The Bedrooms

The bedrooms in the villa are identical, except for the placement of the furniture inside the bedrooms. The decor of the bedroom is simple and the lighting in these rooms are bright. The villa uses yellow lighting in the bedroom which gives out a cosy and comfortable feel to the bedrooms. The air-conditioning in all the bedrooms are powerful enough to cool the room within a short period of time. The sleep quality on the king beds is excellent. My friends and I were able to get quality sleep on the beds.

Bedroom #1

This bedroom is linked to the living room with a wooden door separating the rooms. There is another door that faces the swimming pool where guests can gain access into the room. As we enter this bedroom, a king size bed that is placed in the centre of the bedroom caught our attention. The king bed is placed facing the main entrance to this room.  Bedside tables are placed on either side of the bed, each decked with a bedside lamp and power outlet, providing convenience for guests to charge their lifestyle devices and to put small items onto. Behind the king bed is where the dressing tables with a large mirror tucked by the wall at the corner with the exception of one of the bedrooms where the dressing tables are placed beside the bed. A large wardrobe with a safe is placed between the 2 dressing tables. I like the clever use of a headboard in this room as it divides the bedroom into 2 areas and allows access to the wardrobe behind as well as the dressing table. Hangers are provided inside the wardrobe. Despite being able to store a large quantity of clothing, however, there are no hanging racks inside the wardrobes. A TV, facing the bed, is mounted on the right corner of the room next to the entrance to the room. An armchair placed below the TV for guests to relax.

Bedroom #2

Bedroom #2 is located next to the kitchen and dining area. Unlike bedroom #1, the king bed is placed by the wall facing the bathroom as we enter this bedroom. Similar to bedroom #1, bedside tables are placed on either side of the bed, each with a bedside lamp and power outlet for guests to charge their lifestyle devices and to put small items onto.  The dressing tables with a large mirror tucked by the wall at the corner with the large wardrobe are placed beside the bed. Similar to bedroom #1, a safe is placed between the 2 dressing tables. Hangers are also found inside the wardrobe. The TV in the room is mounted on the left corner of this room, between the main entrance to the room and the bathroom. Similarly, the armchair for guests to relax in is placed under the TV.

Bedroom #3

The decor and placement of this bedroom are similar to bedroom #1. Bedroom #3 is the largest of the all the bedrooms. A king size bed, facing the entrance to this bedroom, placed in the centre of this bedroom immediately caught our attention as we enter the room.  Bedside tables are also found on either side of the bed, each with a bedside lamp and power outlet for guests to charge their lifestyle devices and to put small items onto. Similar to bedroom #1, the headboard separates the dressing area and the main resting area in this bedroom. Behind the king bed is where the dressing tables with a large mirror tucked by the wall at the corner. A large wardrobe with a safe is placed between the 2 dressing tables. Hangers are also found inside the wardrobe, but there are no hanging racks inside the wardrobes. We had to hang our clothes on the handle of the wardrobe. The wardrobe is large enough to store a substantial amount of clothing. The TV mounted on the wall to the left corner of the room and faces the king bed similar to the other 2 bedrooms. The armchair in this bedroom is placed in the right corner of the bedroom.

The Bathrooms

All of the bedrooms in The Nibbana Villas comes with an ensuite bathroom. The bathrooms in all the bedrooms are identical, with the only difference being the orientation of the facilities in each bathroom. The bathroom in all 3 bedrooms are bright and clean and is rather large in terms of the size. In all 3 bathrooms, the sink area is placed next to the entrance to the bathroom. The sink area is rather sizable with sufficient space for 2 persons to place their personal toiletries. On one side of the sink, one can find a power outlet mainly to charge electric shavers. The sink is placed in the centre of the sink area with a mirror hanging on the wall above it. In the centre of the bathroom is a large bathtub with Jacuzzi function. The tub is clean when we check in and the Jacuzzi function works very well. There is a walk-in shower next to the bathtub that has both a rain shower and a regular shower head. In front of the walk-in shower, next to the entrance of the bathroom is where one will find the toilet. The villa does not provide a full set of bath amenities, soap is provided instead of shower gel. However, toothbrushes are provided in The Nibbana Villas (some hotels do not provide toothbrush).

The Kitchen and Dining Room

Located between the rooms and in front of the swimming pool is where one finds the kitchen and the dining room. The villa uses an open concept for the kitchen and the dining room, likely to cater for cooking needs in the villa. Tucked by the wall of this area is a small kitchenette, fully equipped with 2 stoves, microwave oven, toaster and an electric kettle, allowing its occupants to do some simple cooking. This is also where the staffs of the villa come in every morning to prepare the breakfast that is included in the price of the villa. Along the same kitchen bench is a sink where one can wash their plates in. The villa is also fully stocked with plates and cutlery, sufficient for 8 occupants, to enjoy a decent meal in. There is a water dispenser, capable of dispensing hot (sufficient to make a hot cup of coffee), cold and room temperature water. I find this water dispenser very functional and saves us time to boil water. Next to the water dispenser is where a large fridge is located. The dining table is placed in front of the kitchen area, which is large enough to seat 6 comfortably. This is where the staff would serve breakfast every morning. There is a small stand-alone toilet beside the kitchen and dining area, which is very functional for the villa’s occupants.

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The kitchen in the villa is fully equipped

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Dining table with the fridge and water dispenser in the background

Service

The service we received at The Nibbana Villas is nothing short of excellence. The great service started with the booking. As I booked the villa through a third party website and asked some questions regarding the booking. I was surprised to have received responses from the villa management. The reply was very prompt and the staff relentlessly answered all my queries. When I arrived in Bali, I received WhatsApp messages from the villa informing me that they took note of my arrival time and that the villa was ready waiting for our arrival at the villa. I was also given directions and the exact location of the villa. The staff responding to my WhatsApp messages even told me to give them a call should our driver got lost. I also received text messages from the housekeeping staff to confirm our arrival time. At the villa, we were greeted by a housekeeping staff, who introduced himself to us and showed us around the facilities in the villa. The staff helped us with our luggage, served us welcome drinks and took our order for breakfast the next morning. The same housekeeping staff, came in the next morning to prepare our breakfast and brought together with him another housekeeping staff, who are equally friendly and approachable.

The housekeeping staff are meticulous in cleaning the villa. We would always come back to a clean villa and tidy bedsheets. The housekeeping staff even changed our towels despite us not placing them in the bathtub every day (some hotels will only change towels when they are being placed on the floor or in the bathtub). The housekeeping staff always wore smiles on their faces whenever they bumped into us in the villa. They even helped us with our luggage on our departure date when the front of the villa was flooded. Breakfast is always served on time and the staff would prepare coffee and tea.

Overall

While the location of The Nibbana Villas is not central, my friends and I enjoyed the tranquillity of the surroundings that this location has to offer. Walking to Seminyak Square takes a little longer, but the presence of the nearby Bintang Supermarket more than makes up for the distance. For SGD1,300 for a 3 bedroom private pool villa that comes with breakfast, I thought The Nibbana Villas offer good value. The bedrooms are sizeable and the air-conditioned living room makes a great place for us to gather late at night without worrying about mosquitos. The swimming pool is rather big and the sleep quality on the beds are exceptional. The bathrooms in the villa are bright and clean and the Jacuzzi tubs gave us a relaxing soak. We felt welcomed by the warmth and friendly staffs who are also very helpful. I highly recommend The Nibbana Villas for visitors to Bali.

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways B777-300 (TG401) – Economy Class, BKK-SIN (26 May 18)

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Thai Airways B777-300

On the Ground

Royal Silk Lounge

During my 4 hour transit in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, I gained access to the Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge using my Airlines miles. There are several lounges in the airport, the lounge I went to is the nearest to the gate that my flight will be departing from in Concourse E. This lounge is one of the smaller Thai Airways lounges in Suvarnabhumi Airport. I was given a wifi password by the ground staff at the entrance of the lounge. This lounge is one of the few Thai Airways lounges in the airport that is equipped with showering facilities. There is quite a spread of finger food as well as rice dishes served in the lounge, together with beers, wines and drinks. The food provided in the lounge is laid out in buffet style and are mostly Thai snacks and some sandwiches, which are rather tasty and filling. Spending time in the lounge is a great way of killing the 4 hour layover time. The connecting flight departs from Gate E1A, which does not have an aerobridge linked to the aircraft. Passengers are ferried to the aircraft which is parked on the tarmac by the airside bus.

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My flight from Bangkok to Singapore departs from Gate E1A

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Thai Airways airside bus taking us to the aircraft parked on the tarmac

The Aircraft

The Cabin

Thai Airways B777-300 Economy Class cabin is decked out in the signature vibrant yellow, blue and purple colours that are familiar across most of the airliner’s fleet. The Economy Class cabin gives a cheerful vibe to passengers flying in it. There did not any mood lighting in the Economy Class cabin of this aircraft after all the Thai Airways B777-300 has an average age of about 9 years. Nonetheless, the lighting gives the aircraft a clean and spacious feel to it. Thai Airways B777 Economy Class cabins have 330 seats spread out in 3 sections.

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A vibrant Economy Class Cabin onboard Thai Airways B777-300

There is a concentration of 6 lavatories at the rear of the Thai Airways B777-300 aircraft. The lavatory in the Economy Class onboard Thai Airways B777 is rather small. The use of white lighting gives the lavatory a clean feel and the clever use of mirrors makes the lavatory feels bigger than it is. The amenities in the lavatory is very basic with cologne, hand soap on top of the tissues and paper cups. However, compared to other airlines such as KLM, the amenities are decent onboard Thai Airways. I always like the sensor activated tap in the lavatories onboard Thai Airways, which is both convenient and hygienic for passengers.

The Seat

The seats in the Economy Class cabin onboard Thai Airways B777 has a 32″ pitch and 18″ width. A bulk of the seats are arranged in 3-3-3 configuration, with the exception of several seats at the end of the second and third section of the Economy Class cabin that is arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. I was seated in one of these 2 by 2 seats on the aircraft. These seats are perfect for couples or groups of 2 travelling together. As the Thai Airways B777 is an older aircraft, the seats on this flight are older in design. For instance, the footrest is just a bar that hangs on the hinges below the seat in front of mine. Even the IFE controller shows signs of ageing. Nonetheless, legroom in the Economy Class cabin is fantastic. Unlike some of the other newer aircraft in the Thai Airways fleet, the tray tables in the Economy Class cabin onboard this B777-300 does not come with a bi-fold feature. It is a big single piece that folds away on the back of the seat in front of mine. There is a small cup holder latch on the back of the tray table, which is a nice touch for passengers who only has a cup and does not want to fold out the tray table. The main seat pocket, where the in-flight reading materials are found, is rather deep (but does not seem to be clean). I like the addition of a small seat pocket in front of the main seat pocket that creates additional (and convenient) space for passengers to store small items such as their mobile phone and passports. On the left of the armrest is where one will find the recline button, which allows passengers to recline to a maximum of 122°. The headphone jack and the IFE remote controller is stored on the right armrest.

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Seats in Thai Airways B777-300 Economy Class Cabin

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Tray table folded down

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Pillow and blanket

In-Flight Entertainment

Thai Airways offer personalised Audio Video On Demand on every of their Economy Class seats on the B777-200. Seats are equipped with 9″ touchscreen TV, which is a tad smaller than some of the other aircraft in the Thai Airways fleet. There are numerous options for passengers in the Economy Class cabin ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to Thai Movies (which I totally enjoyed and it comes with English subtitles as well), there seem to be something for everyone, including kids channels. There are games available in the IFE, which I find a little boring. TV screens can be tilted to cater for a various sitting position. The remote control is located on the armrest, which is a tad old school by today’s standards. However, it serves the function that it is meant for. Headphones are placed on the seats at the time of my boarding, these headphones are not noise cancelling unlike those in the Business Class cabins. I like the overhead headphones, which is way better than earbuds styled headphones, provided by other airlines, which can be quite uncomfortable. The touchscreen function tends to be slightly laggy, probably due to the age of the aircraft. I used the remote control all the time during the 2-hour flight from Bangkok to Singapore.

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Touchscreen TV on each seat in Economy Class cabin

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IFE controller is found on the right armrest on each seat

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Economy Class cabin headphone set

The Food

Meals are served promptly and efficiently during the flight. I like Thai Airways catering as the food is rather flavourful and tasty. For this flight, I opted for the Ginger pork with rice, which comes with an egg on top of the pork. Meals are served with the standard tuna salad as the appetiser and a sponge cake as dessert. The sponge cake is very fluffy and tasty, which is a great end to a meal. Passengers are also served with a bun and a bottle of mineral water with every meal. Drinks are also served shortly after the meal runs and flight attendants went around the cabin to serve coffee/tea after the drinks service.

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Pork with rice and egg meal

Service

Service onboard this Thai Airways is great. Friendly attendants are seen smiling and emitting the signature Thai hospitality from boarding to disembarking. Meal service is conducted in an efficient manner by the attendants who are always wearing their smiles. Requests by passengers are also promptly attended to. Flight attendants are seen constantly patrolling the cabin to ensure passengers are comfortable and finished meal trays and trash are being cleared. The warm and friendly crew made me feel welcome onboard throughout the flight.

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Flight attendants preparing to distribute meal

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Flight attendant during meal service

Afterthought

Despite being a rather old aircraft, Thai Airways B777-300 is still very comfortable for the 2-hour flight from Bangkok to Singapore. Legroom on the Economy Class seats are excellent and the IFE, despite its age, served its function of keeping passengers entertained throughout the flight. The service onboard is impeccable, which warm and friendly flight attendants displaying the warmth of Thai hospitality, which makes the flight enjoyable.