Oct 222011

So, yeah…it was an early morning. A majorly early morning. That said, the staff at the Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit in Bangkok were great, checkout was super-fast, and we were off to the airport in one of the better meter taxis I’ve had in Bangkok in a long time. By better, I mean it was 0-dark-30, and he didn’t act like he had drunk club patrons who he could either milk for an outrageous fare, sell call girls too, etc. Soon we were at BKK, and checking in.

Now, the whole reason we went to MNL was for the super-cheap fares to South Africa. If not for that there really was no point in a one day trip to Manila. There’s lots of other parts of the country I want to see, but, Manila? Not so much. We tried to find a Lufthansa rep to upgrade our flights the next day, but no dice. They don’t show up until much later in the day. Checked in, headed to the Thai lounge for a few munchies, and soon it was time to board.

Thai Airways flight 620, Bangkok to Manila
Depart 7:40, Arrive 11:55, Flight time 3:15
Airbus A330-300, Registration HS-TED, Manufactured 1994
Seats 11H and 11K

Flight was incredible uneventful. Small breakfast served, great crew as always on Thai, and soon we were descending into Bangkok. Immigration took over 30 minutes, but soon we were landslide, and trying to find the Cathay office. We were hoping to change our next flight to head to Hong Kong today, and have a better chance at sleeping in and upgrading the Lufthansa flight the next day. Unfortunately, the Cathay office at the airport was beyond useless and we were sent away. Oh well.

We stayed at the Intercontinental in Makati City, and it was well above average. Check-in was slow, and room wasn’t available at 1pm, but we went away and grabbed lunch, and when we came back at 2:30 it was ready. All in all, no complaints here. Next stop was to be a bit cultural, and see what was supposedly one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.

The Church of Guadalupe was begun in 1601, making it well over 400 years old. There’s been a good deal of restoration, but there was still a very historic feeling. More surprising…nobody knew where it was! Once we finally (thanks to the iPhone and maps) found a taxi who could get us there…he waited. We were not only the only tourists, we were the only people there at all. We finally found a maintenance guy to unlock the church for us so we could have a look inside, and it was awesome. So glad we went through the effort.

Next stop was the Lufthansa office to try and confirm the upgrade a day in advance. No dice, they stuck to the “coupon says day of travel only” so try in Hong Kong line. Boo hiss. Off to the Cathay office next, and we managed to change our Manila to Hong Kong segment to a little earlier so we had more than 70 minutes in Hong Kong to try and not only ensure the upgrade, but to make sure we didn’t misconnect!

After sorting that, we headed to the hotel and the included “free drink” in the hotel bar before heading out for dinner. The bar was clearly overworked, but free drink came as promised, and we headed out to get some dinner. You wouldn’t know we’d just come from Thailand, because we ended up at a restaurant called the Peoples’ Palace in Makati. Yes, it was a Thai restaurant, and delivered a meal much better than anything we’d had in Thailand. Highly recommend this place.

Back to the hotel, and off to bed, because our long day of travel the next morning was about to begin!

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