Explore Undiscovered Asia with SilkAir – a Journey to Treasure30 August, 2010
Myanmar is one of the best travel gems in the Southeast Asia region – having been to cities such as Bangkok where you can literally shop your whole trip away, my experience in Myanmar is definitely eye-opening and brings a side of Myanmar that I have yet to seen before. Less crowded than other popular tourist destinations e.g. Ho Chi Minh and Jakarta, Yangon is where I can see genuine local hospitality, generally free of annoying touts asking you to buy 101 things.
The most memorable part of my trip had to be my visits to the Big 3 of Myanmar:
- Yangon, home of the beloved Buddhist landmark, the Shwedagon Pagoda;
- Bagan, an ancient royal city backed by a vast plain of temples and pagodas;
- Mandalay, one of the last royal capitals; and
- Inle Lake, a mountainous backpacker base and a soft adventure frontier of sorts
Myanmar is perhaps one of the few places left in the world where you don’t need tacky souvenirs to remember your trip. The wonderful experience, be it enjoying the sunset views of the thousands of pagodas across the Bagan plains or exploring the historic teak temple in Mandalay, had etched deep in my memories and there are just so many unforgettable moments that was shared with my loved one.
Of course, all this wonderful experiences wouldn’t be complete without SilkAir, which enables travellers like us to explore undiscovered Asia such as Myanmar by offering a unique experience even before boarding the plane. SilkAir believes that a holiday starts the moment you decide to go and this is definitely what I have experienced from the smooth booking process which took me just 5 minutes – no confusing details to fill in; simply select your destination, provide name of passengers, pay and you are good to go. There is no need to fuss over limited luggage allowances (20kg) or worry about extra hidden charges e.g. credit card facilitation fees (all prices are listed and explained clearly). Furthermore, the early morning flight timing allows us to arrive at Yangon before noon, thus we could make full use of the day to explore around the city before going on our excursion to other parts of Myanmar.
The fact that we are flying with an airline which was voted Best Regional Airline in the TTG Travel Awards for the 10th time, made it very reassuring. The accolades did not end there – SilkAir was also voted Best Regional Airline (Southeast Asia) in the 2009 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Very impressive for a regional airline which is competing with many budget and mainstream airlines in the area.
The short 3-hour flight to Yangon is itself quite a enjoyable experience – I heard that SilkAir serves great local favourites like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, mee siam, mee rebus and wonton noodle. We were not disappointed this time round – the honey-baked chicken rice was just perfect and servings were generous. Thanks to this inflight meal, we were sufficiently energised and good to go upon touchdown at Yangon.
SilkAir is definitely deserving of its ranking within Top 10 Airlines for Best Cabin Service Worldwide 2009 by Hong Kong-based online travel magazine, Smart Travel Asia. As we step into the aircraft, the refreshing cabin ambience immediately helps us to settle into a holiday mood while we get comfortable in our seat. The spacious seats with generous legroom with a seat pitch of about 32 inches, are very comfortable especially for me, who needs lots of legroom during flights.
For any airline experience, it ultimately boils down to the human interaction i.e. the cabin crew. It is the simple gestures that SilkAir crew had displayed that made this flight unforgettable – such as checking that I am ok with the temperature when she saw that I had covered myself snugly with a blanket and checking back that my partner’s meal (with special dietary requirements) was suitable for her.
This is indeed a great holiday – thanks to the SilkAir flight experience and the wonderful sights of Myanmar. As with our other trips, we keep scrapbooks of ticket stubs, photos, notes, currency of the places we visited, in addition to our blog here. The SilkAir surprise did not end with the flight back home – they even had a site at silkairexplorers.com where travellers could share their travel story online and stand to win one year’s worth of air tickets + S$2000 cash!
To participate, simply create an account at the site and develop your journal using the Journal Builder – there are tonnes of air ticket stubs, creative motif designs that you could tap on to beautify your journal. If you already have a journal or scrapbook, simply take a picture of it and upload onto the site easily in 2-3 steps. Entries will be judged based on creativity, originality and quality of info. Do note entries are also subjected to the contest’s terms and conditions e.g. your travel story must be about one of the 33 travel destinations that SilkAir fly to and the journal must be in English.
Starting from 1st July 2010 till 30 December 2010, there will be a monthly winner who will receive a pair of Economy Class SilkAir tickets to a pre-determined SilkAir destination. One grand winner stands to receive Economy Class SilkAir flights for one year + S$2000 cash to cover accommodation. With such attractive prizes, what are you waiting for? Not sure how to start, browse the pages of travel journals already uploaded onto the site. Check out Rufus’ exciting trip to Chiang Mai for inspiration – he is also the winner for the July round of the SilkAir Explorer contest so you can be sure his entry is a good one! He won a pair of SilkAir tickets to Penang.
Besides the contest, you can find out on the same site, travel tips from fellow travellers to each of the 33 SilkAir destinations – very helpful info on scams to avoid and where to find the best food.
Stories always make for better souvenirs and bringing home an unforgettable experience had never been easier with SilkAir, especially with their attractive promotional fares.