Bangkok

A lot of people ask me how much my flight and total cost to Thailand was. Let me break it down for you…

We booked our flights from the states about 6 months in advance. We decided to go during December after Christmas because it is high time in Thailand. Meaning weather is bearable and beautiful. Around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, we had to use less vacation days since it was over a holiday so it seemed the most logical. Originally, when I started looking on Google flights, I was looking to fly out of Chicago, LAX and SFO. The cheapest option found was for $708 per person from San Francisco to Bangkok round trip. I found it in the $600’s but I waited a bit longer to book.

Cheap flights means longgggg overnight layovers though.

Below is a snap of the flight we took in United and Cathay Pacific. It didn’t allow us to book online so we ended up having to call United which was a pain. I think there was a glitch in the system with the Cathay Pacific segment because all of our friends were having issues too.

Where We Stayed

We decided to stay two nights total in Bangkok. One on the first night and one on the last night which worked out beautifully. See my posts on Phuket and Koh Samui to see the rest of our itinerary.

On the first night I used points at the Doubletree for 20,000 points. It had really nice amenities including a gym, rooftop pool and warm cookies upon check in. We were able to walk everywhere including the mall and Isao Sushi. I recommend getting there right when it opens at 5:30pm because there was a long wait when we got there a few minutes til.

On the last night, we stayed at my favorite of all time The Conrad for 27,000 Hilton points. In comparison to the States, that’s a pretty good deal. In a big city it can cost around 40,000 Hilton points or more for one free night. The Conrad has robes, fresh oranges and water upon check in. The pool was amazing

Rooftop Bars

I recommend seeing Sky Bar in Lebua at State Tower as seen in the Hangover 2. You don’t need reservations just to get drinks, but you do for dinner. There was quite the line when we went. The view makes it worth it to see all of Bangkok at night!

Other Costs

I pulled out a little over $300 aka 10,000 Baht. I used this money mainly for food and taxis. I’ve heard the cheapest way is to out of a ATM vs. a bank or exchange place. The exchange rate was only $9.41 plus $5 for my non bank fee.

I didn’t even spend all the $300 I pulled out! I spent $300 on other tours on my card +$708 flight + $200 for flights and ferry/bus ride to Koh Samui+ $300 cash everything was a little over $1,500. How crazy! For a two week vacation!? Now I know why people love Thailand so much.

Priority Pass Airport Lounge Review 2018

Let me start by thanking Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card partnership with Priorty Pass in order to get into all these lounges! I know I’ve been talking about it a lot lately on my blog, but it is seriously such a great perk especially when traveling internationally. The lounges are bigger and better! What not to love about free food and alcohol!?

So far here are my ratings to the ones I’ve been to:

On a scale of 1-10 I’ve decided to rate each club on amenities, ability to sleep and location.

  1. Phoenix Airport- The Club at PHX located in terminal 4.

Pro: terminal 4 I fly most often out of PHX.

Cons: small, doesn’t open until 8am and many times I’m at the airport much earlier than that, and no showers.

Sleep rating: 2

Amenities rating: 5

Location: 8

2. Hong Kong international airport- Plaza Premium Lounge terminal 1.

Sleep rating: 8 very dark and comfy chairs

Amenities rating: 9 love the showers and free towel use. Shampoo and conditioner included!

Location: 8

Plaza Premium Lounge terminal 2

Sleep rating: 3

Amenities rating: 6 food is not as good as terminal 2

Location: 7

Pro: both lounges are 24 hours.

3. Phuket International Airport-the Coral Executive Lounge.

Sleep rating: 3 bright

Amenities rating: 8 complimentary neck and shoulder massage just book at front desk!

Location: 2 before security and not located in the same place the description said in the app.

4. Bangkok International Airport- Miracle Lounge

Sleep rating: 3

Amenities rating: 10-best lounge I’ve been to yet!

Location: 10-right across from our gate

I plan to review more as I go and see more lounges around the world!

Things to Do During a 12 Hour OVERNIGHT Layover in Hong Kong

We landed in Hong Kong around 8pm with a 12 hour layover overnight… Obviously we would go completely insane if we didn’t leave the airport so why not go check out the good food and night scene in Hong Kong?!

It took us about 30-45 minutes to get through immigration & customs.

From there, we took the airport express $15 a person. It took about 20 minutes to get to the city.

We decided not to get a hotel since we would just head back to the airport in a few hours. A lot of restaurants were already closed, but we found Tsui Wah Restaurant on Yelp open until 2am here.

I did get two free guests in the Plaza Premium Lounge with free food, alcohol and even showers. Read my post on the Chase Sapphire Reserve to see how we get over 1,000 lounges all over the world for FREE (comes in the annual fee, but well worth it in my opinion)!!

We wanted to go to Victoria’s Peak which overlooks the city, but we were worried since everything closes around midnight we were worried we wouldn’t be able to figure out the bus system so we headed back to the lounge since it’s open 24 hours and hung out until our flight.

All in all, Hong Kong was a very clean and safe city. I would highly recommend going to check out if you have the time, even if it’s overnight.

Guide to Thailand’s Full Moon Party, Koh Samui and More

Koh Samui

  • Flights are super cheap. I got my flight one way from Bangkok to Koh Samui for $157 one way on Expedia.
  • Big Buddha- we took a taxi and walked around many beautiful sculptures close by each other.

  • Laem Sor Pagoda aka the mummified munk very close to Na Muang Waterfall. Our taxi driver actually offered to take us here on the way home from there.

  • My favorite place to eat at was the Jungle Club. At the top of the mountain, they charged 100 Baht each way to take our group up and back down the mountain. The JC overlooked all of Koh Samui. The restaurant had a wide variety of options including salads, pizzas and other Thai foods. Find out more information on their website here.

  • Na Muang waterfall

Fish spa

I found many massages and spas along the beach. I found a fish spa in Fisherman’s Village. It cost only $9 USD for 10 minute fish spa and 30 minute foot massage. I would highly recommend, but it tickles!

Where We Stayed

We decided to stay in Koh Samui for five days and take day trips to all of the islands below rather than packing up all of our stuff and keep moving. Here is a link to our Airbnb. We stayed in the jungle with a private pool! It was about $80 per person with 7 people for 5 nights. The only downer was that it was always a process to get a cab usually took 10 minutes. We were too scared to ride the motor scooters to rent a car because of how crazy people drive here.

Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan most famously known for the Full Moon Party hosted once a month when there is a full moon. It really is a party days leading up to to it.

How to Get There

You can’t fly into Koh Pha Ngan so you must take a ferry from Koh Samui. There are a few different docks you can depart from. We chose Mr Tu’s again because they picked us up from our Airbnb and dropped us off after which was nice for about $35 USD total. Without cab options one way ferry’s were about $7 USD.

What to Wear

You can buy everything there or in Koh Samui for less than $15 USD. Everyone wears neon and paint all over their body which you can find anywhere. Once you get there, there it was 100 Baht to enter. There is plenty of food and alcohol buckets for cheap. We walked the whole beach where included many clubs, fire jump ropes, and tourists from all of the world.

If I could Do It Again…

I would stay on the island. We ended up taking a ferry to Koh Samui. It was just a lot of steps I felt like we were all worried about making the ferry back to Koh Samui.

Koh Tao

Unfortunately, we didn’t get off the boat to this island because it is private and you must stay there, but we did snorkel around it.

Koh Nang Yuan

Last, but not least, we went to this island on part of a tour from Koh Samui for $49 USD. There are many tour places all along the city of Chaweng. You can negotiate with them! I would recommend Mr. Tu’s day tour. They picked us up from our hotel around 7:45am. They provided a light breakfast which included coffee, bananas and mini croissants. It was about a 1.5 hour ride from Koh Samui to Koh Nang Yuan where they gave us a few hours to do whatever we want: hike to the view point (which I recommend going to first because the line behind us to get pictures was insane), snorkel, lay on the beach and eat the lunch buffet. From there, they took us to Koh Tao to snorkel for about a hour then return another 1.5 boat ride which is pretty rough. I would recommend taking some motion sickness medicine if you get sea sick! We then returned to the station and they dropped us back off at our hotel around 5pm.View from “View Point”

That’s all for the east side of the Thailand islands, now off to our ferry and bus ride to Phuket, Phi Phi islands and Krabi. More soon! We took the shortest one ~6 hours for only $24 (with tax) USD!

Best Travel Credit Card for 2018

Previously I blogged about The Best Travel Credit Card aka the Southwest credit card. My mind has changed….big time. There are way more credit cards out there with more airlines options to redeem your points for. There are more credit cards out there were you can earn 3x restaurant purchases vs. 1:1 ratio on all purchases.

I recently got the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card here. You can earn 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. You can use these points for any airline!!

Pros:

  1. $300 ANNUAL instant credit for travel purchases
  2. Lounge access!! To over 1k lounges around the globe. This is huge benefit for me as much as I’m at the airport and always early….
  3. Transfer points to travel partners such as Southwest, United, Marriott, The Ritz Carlton and more.
  4. Transfer points for gift cards
  5. Amazon.com shop with points
  6. 3 points for $1 on travel and dining
  7. $100 credit for TSA pre-check OR global entry
  8. No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  1. $450 annual fee. You get charged with it right away.
  2. Spend $4,000 to get the bonus in the first 3 months. I was thinking about linking it to my venmo. My boyfriend learned the hard way that those purchases don’t count because it’s considered a cash advance. Luckily I got this before my Thailand trip so I plan to swipe everywhere since there is no foreign transaction fees.

Seattle

Seattle blew my expectations away. The weather was PERFECT! I kept waiting for rain and it never came. Which means….more time for exploring.

Place to Eat & Drink

  1. Elliot’s Oyster House- this place was packed! I highly recommend a reservation. It was right on the water with a beautiful view. Try to get an outside table if you can.img_1201
  2. Momiji- awesome Japanese food with a Twilight vibe in Capitol Hill. There is a super cute patio in the middle of the restaurant.
  3. Rachel’s Ginger Beer- just drinks!

Places to See

  1. Future of Flight Tour– we did a 90 minute tour in Everett, WA. About 1 hour outside of downtown Seattle.
  2. Space Needle
  3. Chihuly Garden and Glass- we bought tickets for this and the Space Needle package $38 each.
  4. Original Starbucks & Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
  5. Pike’s Place Market
  6. Wallace Falls State Park– 4.6 mile trail to a beautiful waterfall just one hour outside Seattle

    How We Got There

    We flew American there and Alaskan back for about $250 per person.

Where We Stayed

  1. The Renaissance in downtown Seattle for $183 (AAA rate) per night + tax. Not bad for downtown! It was cheaper in area like Bellevue, but I figured we could walk to a lot of places from here like Capitol Hill
  2. Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle. We walked to the Space Needle from here! Overall the location was very central. I used 10k points so it was free!

Overall, I would definitely go back to Seattle and explore. There are so many hikes, parks and restaurants with great views.

Vegas 2.0

So you probably know I have a slight obsession with Vegas, but my last Vegas post really focused on pool parties and clubbing.

I’ve done a few trips since then with some fun fesitivies that I would highly recommend for your next Vegas trip.

  1. Brunch during off season aka when you aren’t going to a pool party (October-March) : Lavo Brunch
  2. Seven Magic Mountains
  3. Minus 5 Ice Bar– in the Monte Carlo. Totally worth it to do once and buy the pictures! We got two drinks each in ice cups with parkas and gloves.
  4. $$$$ STK– if you’re looking for a good steakhouse go here! Its located in the Cosmopolitan.
  5. $ Taco Bell Cantina

Need promoter advice? Email me at jetsetbrunette247@gmail.com

Zion National Park

What You Need to Know

Getting into the park: $15 each. We paid a total of $30, but it was good to re-enter for 7 days. We parked on then street in Springdale and took the free shuttle to the park entrance. 

There are plenty of restaurants and camp grounds before you enter the park and at the visitor center. 


We hiked Angel’s Landing which is one of the more popular trails in Zion. We took the free shuttle from the visitor’s center to stop 6 (which is labeled with trails, museums, etc. on the bus). It was a pretty hard hike about 5 miles total in and out. Make sure you use the bathroom before and bring sunscreen and hats! The beginning of the trail was the hardest part for us and completely in the sun going uphill! 

At the end of the hike you use chains to scale the mountain. On both sides there is a couple thousands feet drop which is pretty scary. I wouldn’t recommend this hike if you are afraid of heights.


One thing we didn’t check out was the narrows. If we had more time we would have, but you can rent shoes to hike through the water! One suggestion from a girl we met while hiking was to do this hike after Angel’s Landing if you are trying to fit it in the whole day. 

View from the top of Angel’s Landing

Newport Beach

 

Where We Stayed

Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa– $273 total for two nights. I found that the prepay option is cheaper although, it was non-refundable.


Where to Eat

Bearflag-loved this chill atmosphere. I got the Bearflag sushi roll!

Wahoo’s Tacos- cheap, but so worth it! We were able to walk here from our hotel.

Agora Churrascaria– a Brazilian steakhouse a lot like Texas de Brazil if you’ve ever been.

Things To Do

 Rent bikes and bike around the pier.

Take the ferry from newport to Balboa Island only $1

Where to Drink

The Bungalow– great atmosphere and view of Huntington Beach!

Laguna beach- we did the 1000 steps beach located here. Be prepared to feel the burn on the way back up!

7 Day Ring Road Route in Iceland

 

Route

This blog post includes a day 7 itinerary of the ring road including the golden circle in Iceland.

Day 1: The Blue Lagoon! It’s only minutes away from KEF airport. Buy tickets online ahead of time because they sell out. We choice the comfort package because it included entrance to Blue Lagoon, Silica Mud Mask, use of towel, 1st Drink of your choice and algae. 

We spent about 2 hours here. Let me tell you it was SO relaxing!

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Day 2: The Golden Circle which which includes: ÞingÞingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geyser , Gullfoss Waterfall, Crater Lake, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and Gljúfrabúi. Have fun pronouncing those.

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Day 3: Vik which included the DC-3 plane wreckage. This was a four km walk from the parking lot so be prepared. You won’t see the plane until you pretty much walk the whole distance.

Next stop: the glacier lagoon. They offer tours here, but be prepared with layers for this stop. It got pretty chilly.

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Day 4: Myvatn Lake, Godafoss, Horseback riding at Galsi horse rental, Grjotagja Cave and Rhino rock

Day 5: Kirkjufell, volcanic crater, Snaefellsbaer, and the seal stop.

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Day 6: We explored Reykavik. I highly recommend the Icelandic hotdogs. They have many food trucks and it’s only $4 which is cheap for Iceland. The Phallic museum which was interesting…only $15.

Day 7: Reykavik again. We visited the big church aka Hallfrimskirkja, Hapra and explored all the street art.

How We Got There

Check out my blog post on Wow Airlines.

                 Where We Stayed

Check out my blog post here.

Questions? Email me at jetesetbrunette247@gmail.com