My husband and I love to travel, but the ability is often subverted by day-to-day life. Either money is tight, or we don’t get enough vacation time (because we’re Americans and we get lousy paid time off from work). We can always come up with a multitude of excuses. My husband travels quite a bit, but he does it without me. About two to three times a year he travels to Hong Kong, China, Vietnam or Thailand for work. I never enjoy him leaving as (1) I love him and (2) I hate having sole responsibility of the dog for two weeks. This past year, though, I discovered the advantage to all his international business trips: Frequent Flyer Miles. He racks them up, and for our honeymoon, we cashed them in for first-class tickets.
We decided to go to Bali, Indonesia on our honeymoon because . . . Well, why not? We don’t have children or a mortgage. We’re young enough that we can handle a 20-hour flight without suffering from deep vein thrombosis. And if you’re going to splurge on a trip once in your life, why not do so on your honeymoon? We did our research, booked the hotels, and found first-class reward tickets on Cathay Pacific. Oh yeah, and then we got married.
We did an overnight layover in Hong Kong on the way to Bali, so our route was DFW-LAX-HKG with American Airlines & Cathay Pacific. The American Airlines flight to LAX was nothing to write home about. You get some warm nuts in first class, which is a nice touch when you’re hungover from your wedding the night before. But that’s all.
The LAX-HKG flight, on the other hand, was the greatest flight of my life. Don’t pay for a ticket (it’s over $8,000), but if you can redeem miles for a first-class ticket on Cathay Pacific, you should do it. There are only six seats in first class. We had the two “suites” on the left side of the cabin. In each suite, you have plenty of room to lay flat with about a foot on each side of you to move around. I got a designer amenity kit and cotton Shanghai Tang pajamas that I quickly changed into. We had at least three glasses of Krug champagne and dined on caviar, smoked salmon, and steak. It was the most delicious and high-class moment of my life.
As you can see, first class is way better than flying in coach for 13 hours. All that leg room! I slept 6 hours on that flight, far more than I’ve slept on any other flight. I’m spoiled now, though. It’ll be difficult to take international, economy-class flights going forward. This was the only first-class leg of the trip. On the way back, we flew business-class, which is still preferable to economy-class but not quite as enjoyable.
Since my husband has been to Hong Kong dozens of times, he was in charge of showing me around. We stayed at the W Hotel in Kowloon for the one night prior to Bali. We didn’t get into the city until 6pm so we checked into the hotel and walked around Kowloon. We grabbed some dinner at a German biergarten and, because we were jet-lagged and exhausted, hit the hay early in the night to catch our flight to Denpasar, Bali the next morning.
To be continued . . . Stay tuned for more posts that include photos from Bali!