BA agrees codeshare deal with Bangkok Airways

British Airways, a UK-based air carrier, has agreed a codeshare deal with Thailand-based airline, Bangkok Airways.

The agreement will come into play on four routes between the Thai capital city, Bangkok, and Singapore, Koh Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai. It will enable British Airways customers to book flights to any of these destinations, via Bangkok, in one transaction at ba.com. BA currently provides a daily flight to Bangkok, while flights to Singapore leave twice daily.

From October this year, British Airway’s service to Bangkok from Heathrow will be moving to the airport’s Terminal 5 from its present location, Terminal 3.

British Airways’ head of alliances, Steve Ronald, said, ‘Thailand will be more accessible to European tourists now that we have teamed up with Bangkok Airways. The move of our Bangkok service to Heathrow’s Terminal 5 will also serve to streamline connections between Europe and the Far East.’

Bangkok Airways senior vice president for network management, Peter Wiesner, said in a statement, ‘This new partnership will offer smooth transit for passengers travelling from long-haul routes with British Airways to Bangkok and Singapore for their onward journey to Thailand’s key destinations.’

Established in 1968 as Shakol Air, Bangkok Airways has now grown to a fleet size of 23 aircraft that serve 20 destinations, including those in Thailand, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Laos, Maldives, Burma, India and Singapore. The airline is also believed to have more aircraft currently on order, including a number of Airbus A320-232’s. Its main base is Suvarnabhumi Airport, in Bangkok.

 

Koh Samui vs Phuket: where to go on your next holiday

Heading to a paradise island in Thailand has got to be most people’s idea of the perfect holiday – we know it’s definitely on our wish list. The question is, which island should you visit? Koh Samui and Phuket are two of the most popular, so we’ve decided to take a look at each of these to try to work out which is best for who.

Fingers crossed, this’ll help you decide between them!

Laidback atmosphere

We don’t know about you, but when we think of jetting off to white-sand, palm-fringed beaches, we also imagine a totally laidback atmosphere. Both Phuket and Koh Samui are great for relaxing in, but, as the less frenetic and quieter of the two, Koh Samui probably has the most chilled-out vibe.

Don’t get us wrong, Phuket is pretty chilled as well, but you will generally find it’s a busier place overall, which we think means it’s got a less laidback feel – especially if you spend a lot of time in the main tourist area of Patong. Koh Samui also has more secluded spots (you’ll be hard-pressed to find these in Phuket), so there’s more scope for days spent on near-deserted beaches.

Quick tip: if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter on Phuket, head to Nai Han beach on the island’s southern tip.

Overall winner: Koh Samui

Water sports

If you love water sports, Thailand’s islands are a fantastic place to enjoy them. Both islands are home to amazing beaches and offer great opportunities to try out things like snorkelling and scuba diving.

So, which is best? Personally, we think if you’re really serious about giving water sports a go, Phuket probably comes out on top. This is because it’s got a really good set-up for tourists planning to go on diving trips and such – especially in Patong – to nearby famous sites like Shark Point.

The one thing to remember about water sports in Phuket is that while the beaches look gorgeous, they’re not always safe for swimming. So, keep your eyes peeled for a red flag – if you see this, you shouldn’t swim.

Overall winner: Phuket

Awesome day trips

One of the great things about going to Koh Samui or Phuket is that you’ll have the chance to visit some incredible nearby islands. Now, we know you’ll probably be happy enough staying put (who wouldn’t be?!), but we think it’d be a real shame to miss out on these.

If you choose Phuket for your holiday, taking a boat out to Phi Phi Island (where the film adaptation of The Beach was shot) is an absolute must. Should you pick Koh Samui as your base, though, make sure you head out to Ang Thong Marine National Park.

This group of around 40 gorgeous islands is just to the east of Koh Samui, and boats set sail for here from both Na Thon and Mae Nam.

Overall winner: Koh Samui

Nightlife

The party scene in both Koh Samui and Phuket is seriously good, so if you’re planning to let your hair down, you’ll do well in either place. In Phuket, your best bet is to stick to Patong, since this has heaps of bars and clubs catering for tourists. Plus, it’s likely to be where your hotel is, too, so you won’t have far to go to stumble into bed!

In Koh Samui, it’s actually the nearby island Koh Pha-Ngan that usually steals the limelight, thanks to its amazing Full Moon Parties on Hat Rin beach. If you want the ultimate party experience, definitely time your visit to coincide with one of these. Koh Pha-Ngan’s about half an hour away by boat, so it’s not too long a trip.

Overall winner: It’s a tie!

If you’ve been on a getaway to either of these places lately, drop us a line and let us know what you did!

Koh Samui favourite for weddings

Koh Samui, the tropical paradise overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, is fast emerging as a favorite wedding venue of couples around the globe for its boutique ambience, excellent amenities and famous Thai hospitality. However, wedding planning especially abroad is no easy task for couples who are already stressed out with various commitments. This state of affairs motivated Nora Resorts & Hotels to launch a new venture NoraWeddings.com and to come out with wedding packages to simplify the planning process.

 

Couples who have gone through wedding ceremonies at home will attest to the fact that these events are anything but stress-givers. From coordinating wedding vendors to finding time for fitting sessions and beauty procedures, couples no wonder feel drained by the time they are standing in front of the altar. Troubles worsen when guest list run into miles, forcing couples to stretch the scale of reception. Many couples avoid these hassles by choosing to wed abroad.

 

Though guests need to be flown in and accommodation taken care of, Samui weddings are less expensive. As modern practices require guests to pay for their trip, couples need to tackle only the last remaining hurdle of organizing the show. This is where NoraWeddings.com pitches in with its vast experience in hotel industry by offering various wedding packages. Nora’s wedding packages come with the services of a wedding planner to oversee arrangement and to guarantee that it takes place without snags.

 

Thai Wedding package offered by NoraWeddings.com includes a traditional Thai Buddhist wedding ceremony presided over by holy monks. The package provides for the special meals and alms to monks besides flower garlands for bride and groom. Wedding venue décor, wedding cake, wine for toasting, background music and long drum procession with Thai dance come as part of the deal. Wedding ceremony is followed by signing of wedding ceremony certificate and planting of love tree to mark the event. Private candlelight BBQ dinner is a befitting finale to the romantic occasion.

 

NoraWeddings.com also offers couples the choice to wed in Western-style ceremony or enjoy romance and thrill of both with Thai & Western Wedding package.