Every year at around this time, the wife and I go on vacation. We pick Thanksgiving because our coworkers usually take Christmas off. After visiting the Seychelles last year and having been to Bora Bora and the Maldives already, I wanted to visit the Conrad Koh Samui. Yes, I chose our vacation based on a hotel more than the city/country. Plus neither of us have been to Thailand recently, and since we were in the area, I figured we’d also do Cambodia. So here’s the rough itinerary:
- Arrive into Phnom Penh at night. It seems Korean Air removed their Seoul to Siem Reap direct flight, and so we’re flying into Phnom Penh instead
- Spend 2 full days there (please let me know of any tour suggestions for 2 full days there – I know visiting the killing fields is the biggest attraction, but anything else?) I booked a booking.com hotel via a $50 rebate promotion.
- Next day fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap via Cambodia Air (about ~$50 USD per person)
- Booked 2 nights at the Park Hyatt on points. Spend a full day visiting Angkor Wat (I thought about doing 2 days and will probably regret not doing so)
- Next day fly from Siem Reap to Bangkok to Koh Samui (about $150 USD per person)
- Five nights at the Conrad Koh Samui (3 of them were bought with a package, which I’ll write about later. The other 2 nights were free weekend nights.)
- Then fly to Bangkok via Bangkok Air (about ~$100 USD per person)
- Four nights at the Hilton Millennium (chose this because of a Hilton sale, Diamond status, and Citi 4NF. Plus, it’s close to the temples from reviews. I had booked St Regis initially, but Bangkok is a terrible use of points.)
For flights, we chose Korean Air all the way. It was something like 95,000 miles and $65 per person ONE WAY from Seattle to Phnom Penh and then the same 95K but $208 in fees on the way back from Bangkok. A few things I learned – there’s only 2 F award seats from SEA-ICN. Someone had booked the 1 F seat on the day I wanted, and so I was gonna route through SFO instead. Eventually I realized how ridiculous it was to fly to SFO and then pay for a hotel room, and so I booked 1 F seat and 1 J seat to ICN on the day that I wanted. Then there was only 1 J award seat to fly into PNH, and so I’m going to let the wife fly F to ICN and then Y to PNH (6 hr flight) while I’ll fly J the whole way. Shhhh don’t tell her any of this.
On the way back, it was actually easy for us to find 2 F seats from BKK-ICN-SEA. I also have a reservation out there on JAL J from BKK-NRT-LAX-SEA that I’m waiting to see if F opens up. If it does, I may cancel my KE flight because I haven’t done JAL F yet.
The ONLY thing I have planned so far is the driver to pick me up from Siem Reap, a full day tour of Angkor Wat, and the airport dropoff. We have some excursions lined up at Koh Samui, but most likely will just be relaxing. I don’t yet know what we’re going to do in Phnom Penh (I’m looking for a full day or 2 day tour) or Bangkok (full day tour companies.) If you have suggestions, please leave a comment. THANKS!