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Making memories in Thailand and the United Arab Emirates

Angela and I recently returned from a circumnavigation of the globe that included extended stops in Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. This trip, like most of our extended travel, was booked with airline miles and transferrable credit card points. In this post, I’ll explain how we booked our travel and lodging, talk a bit about the flights we flew and places we stayed, and detail our day-to-day itinerary. This was another chance for us to nail down some bucket list items, including visiting Asian elephants at a dedicated sanctuary to interact with them.

While we did some hopping around on this trip, especially at the end, we were relatively static for the bulk of it. This is a change from the rest of our trips this year where we rarely stayed in a single city for longer than three nights.

Planning the trip

For this trip, we decided to limit ourselves to Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and the United Arab Emirates. We skipped Southern Thailand, where the beaches are located, so we can come back another time. We stopped in Dubai on the way home to take advantage of several different award travel opportunities as well as lodge at a unique desert resort.

Flights

Our flights were as follows, including a numeric identifier for multi-part itineraries, the airline flown, how much each leg cost in miles and cash (per person), and the total distance traveled. As previously mentioned, all of these were booked using some type of airline miles, either generated through butt-in-seat flying, signup bonuses, or transferred from a credit card partner.

# Airline Class of Service Origin Destination Distance Traveled (Miles) Miles Redeemed Cash Outlay
1 WN Y LAS LAX 263 9,265 WN 11.20 USD
2 CX F LAX HKG 7,260 218,800 CX 393.05 USD
3 EK J HKG BKK 1,049 223,000 EK 252.76 USD
3 EK F BKK DXB 3,050
4 EY F AUH JFK 6,867 230,000 AA 110.06 USD
4 AA F JFK LAX 2,475
4 AA J LAX LAS 236
# Airline Class of Service Origin Destination Distance Traveled (Miles) Miles Redeemed Cash Outlay

Lodging

Unlike most of our trips where we’re paying for lodging out of pocket, we primarily used hotel points and free night certificates for this trip so we could keep our expenses down and spend most of our cash on doing (and eating) things.

Property Location Points Redeemed Length of Stay
Amaranth Suvarnabhumi Airport, BW Premier Collection by Best Western Bangkok, Thailand 10,474 Expedia Points 1 night
Le Meridien Chiang Mai Chiang Mai, Thailand 1 x 7-night Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy Certificate 7 nights
The St. Regis Bangkok Bangkok, Thailand 2 x 1-night Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy Certificate
30,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points
3 nights
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Dubai, United Arab Emirates 1 x 40,000 Point Marriott Bonvoy Certificate 1 night
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa Dubai, United Arab Emirates 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points 2 nights
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 1 x Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy Certificate 1 night
Los Angeles Airport Marriott Los Angeles, California 103 USD 1 night
Property Location Points Redeemed Length of Stay

A long flight and short stop in Hong Kong

Our first destination for this trip was Hong Kong for a long day layover, our second of the year. We were lucky enough to secure seats in Cathay Pacific’s first class cabin for our flight across the ocean and it didn’t disappoint. The service was phenomenal and the seats were both comfortable and enormous.

Once we landed in Hong Kong, we luckily had a couple of things we wanted to see that took up the majority of our day before heading back to the airport. After storing our luggage, we set off on the Airport Express for Hong Kong Central. From there, it was a short walk to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. We had tried to visit the gardens on two previous visits but they were closed both times, so we were happy to finally be able to explore them during this stop.

The gardens are fairly extensive and are a peaceful green space inside a bustling city full of skyscrapers. A beautiful fountain sits close to the entrance of the gardens and, from there, a slow meander will lead you to a variety of beautiful plants and interesting animals. We enjoyed the aviaries before heading to the mammal exhibits and witnessed several different species of primates swinging around their cages and, seemingly, enjoying themselves. We also visited with the lemurs before leaving the gardens.

Our next stop was the last big tourist attraction in Hong Kong we hadn’t seen, the Tian Tan Buddha. We took a long MTR ride to Tung Chung station and then walked a short distance to the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car terminus. From there, we were treated to a ride spanning 5.7 kilometers over forest and sea with spectacular panoramic views of nature and the statue. I highly recommend doing this if you’re looking for a relaxing way to take in the sights.

If you’re a couple of total goofballs and end up in an empty car, you can take pictures while you lay down and hang off the benches you’re supposed to sit on.

After alighting from the cable car, you walk through a small shopping village before encountering the monastery attached to the statue. There are tons of signs promoting tourism, in general, and various stores clearly targeted at visitors. It made for a pleasant walk with a few good spots to take photos. We even got a shot with a local cow.

After working your way through the tourist trap, you’ll arrive at the base of a 300 step staircase. Across from the staircase is the Po Lin Monastery housing the maintainers of the statue. From there, it is a quick walk to reach the top and get a great view of the cast Buddha. The interior of the pedestal has signage that discusses the construction of the statue, both from a process and technical standpoint. Interestingly, the face was cast as a single piece for artistic reasons as the appropriate effect couldn’t be created otherwise.

After wandering a bit, we headed back to the airport to grab some food in the lounge and await our flight to Bangkok. The three hour flight departed shortly after 9PM and we arrived in Bangkok fairly late. Because our flight to Chiang Mai didn’t leave until the next morning, we decided to stay at what appeared to be the best airport hotel option that would be comfortable and provide a shuttle. Of course, calling the property we stayed at an airport hotel is a little misleading as it was a twenty minute shuttle ride from the arrivals area. The nice thing is that we were identified by name and transported to and from the airport for free.

An introduction to Thai hospitality

We left our hotel bright and early, checked in for our flight to Chiang Mai, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Royal Silk Lounge because we assumed we would not be eating on the hour long flight. That assumption was wrong and we enjoyed a full hot meal filled with flavor on our short journey. Upon arriving in Chiang Mai, we headed to the taxi stand, told the booker where we were going, and made sure we had the 150 THB required for our ride. After that, it was a quick jaunt to the Le Meridien Chiang Mai, our home for the week. We were welcomed like celebrities, with the customer experience manager immediately knowing who we were and why we were traveling. We were upgraded to a huge suite on the top floor and given a large plate of charcuterie, an ice bucket full of sparkling water bottles, and personalized notes from various staff members. It was incredible, and a sign of things to come as the week progressed.

We had planned to explore Chiang Mai our first night in the city, but were both feeling somewhat tired and decided to scrap those plans to get some rest and make sure we were ready to go for the rest of the trip given that it would be non-stop scheduled activities starting the following day. We checked out the hotel’s lounge, which was exceptional, and Angela enjoyed an Aperol spritz while I drank my fill of espresso before retiring for the night.

Cycling, cooking, and eating around Chiang Mai

After a hearty breakfast, we walked about twenty five minutes to the Spice Roads Cycling office. We learned during this walk that, when you arrive at a crosswalk, you should definitely just cross because nobody is going to stop and wait for you. Traffic does seem to slow down or stop so as not to hit you once you start crossing, luckily. In addition, we were given our first glimpse into the life of street dogs in Thailand, most of whom looked extremely well taken care of.

After arriving at the office and signing a waiver, we were given a brief safety talk, put on our helmets, mounted our bicycles, and set off through the back alleys of Chiang Mai. Over the course of the day we rode about 17 kilometers, a fairly easy day of riding.

Our first stop was Anusawari Sam Kasat, a monument to three kings of Thailand. While there, our guide gave us a brief history of Thailand and explained why the people in the statue were so important.

Afterwards, we rode to a local food market with a plethora of amazing dishes being prepared. We tried sticky rice with custard, jack fruit, and fried pork with green chili sauce. Each was delicious and it was fun to stand in the middle of the market and chow down with the locals.

Next, we stopped at Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School where we learned how to prepare traditional Thai foods. I was a little nervous, but the whole experience was a blast. We got to pick what dishes we wanted to make, take a tour of the on-site garden, and then walk off to the local market for our guides to purchase the necessary ingredients. Angela and I both made hot Thai basil stir fry as our first dish. For our second and third dishes, Angela opted for tom kha soup and khao soi curry while I chose to make tom yum soup and red curry.

Everything we made was delicious. Angela definitely cranked up the spice on her tom kha soup, though, to the point where I couldn’t even eat it. It wasn’t too much for her as she happily finished it off without a sweat.

After eating our fill of our tasty creations, we rejoined our guide and continued biking around the city. We stopped at Wat Sri Suphan and visited its silver ordination hall. The decorations therein were extraordinary – we were told that each was handworked by a local artisan.

Sure enough, a few minutes later we were looking over the shoulder of one of the artisans and then taking a super awkward photo while standing behind him (at the insistence of our guide).

There was another artisan doing a considerable amount of detail work on another piece. It was pretty amazing.

After leaving the artisans’ workshop, we visited another temple and received a short lesson on some of the standard practices of a Buddhist in Thailand. The temple was beautiful, in spite of its relatively recent construction. The stairway was particularly interesting with an extremely detailed naga motif.

We left the temple and walked a short while to a riverside cafe on a boat where we enjoyed some drinks and conversation with our guide. It was interesting to hear about her travels, including to the United States, and the places she liked the best.

From there, we biked back to our point of departure, said our goodbyes, and walked back to our hotel ready to rest up for the next day.

Pampering some pachyderms

The next day, after enjoying a scrumptious breakfast, we were picked up from the hotel by a representative from Elephant Nature Park, a rescue sanctuary for elephants who have been abused or mistreated. We had signed up, a few months in advance, for the sanctuary’s Pamper a Pachyderm experience to ensure that we could spend some quality time with the elephants.

After an hour ride to the sanctuary, we disembarked with the six delightful people in our group and were given a few minutes to apply bug repellent and sunscreen before getting to work preparing food for the pair of elephants we’d be interacting with for the day. The first task was to quarter a bunch of watermelons.

After that, it was time to mix up some vitamin balls for the elephants. The snacks were made of roasted pumpkin, rice, turmeric, and more. As you can tell by my face, I took this task very seriously.

Finally, it was time to start feeding the elephants. During our experience, we worked with two elderly females named Happy and Sa Ard. They were distinguishable by their tail lengths, in particular, with Happy having a much shorter tail, due to injury, than her compatriot. We preferred working with Happy and Angela developed quite the rapport with her!

After doing a bit of feeding, we set off for our walk with the elephants. We were given a pouch full of bananas to feed the elephants once we stopped in a field after walking a short while.

After that, we walked through a river with the elephants and then up a hill where we stopped for a light lunch. The views along the way were quite picturesque and the walk itself was very relaxing. Being in the presence of our two elephant companions along the way was a real treat.

After lunch, we got to feed the elephants again during our walk back to the main sanctuary. We took the opportunity to grab some selfies during this time.

After our short selfie session, we got a chance to bathe the elephants as we returned through the same river we’d crossed earlier. I had a lot of fun doing this, but Angela was pretty keen to get out of the river as soon as possible.

Once out of the water, I decided to flex on our elephant friend, just to show her who is boss.

We returned to our original departure point and spent a few more minutes interacting with the elephants one-on-one before setting off on the next part of our elephant experience.

We don’t have any pictures of the next part, but we did some light whitewater rafting and all got absolutely drenched. I thoroughly enjoyed bounding along the river, bumping off of rocks, getting stuck, and paddling frantically based on our captain’s directions.

After rafting, we arrived at the main elephant sanctuary where we were able to walk around and see elephants eating their bi-hourly meals, interacting with their newly coalesced families, and undergoing medical treatment for things as severe as stepping on a landmine.

With that, our elephant experience was complete. We were returned to our hotel, grabbed some small bites from the lounge, and retired for the evening.

An underwhelming wat, an excellent treatment, and some mediocre street food

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is the most famous temple in Chiang Mai and is regarded by many as an absolute must-see. As such, we made plans to visit it to see what all the fuss was about. We used Grab to book a car from our hotel to the summit of Doi Suthep, arranged a price for him to stay and wait for us, and then walked up the stairs leading to the temple.

To be quite frank, the complex was a little underwhelming. This may have been due to the time we visited (mid-morning), the general haziness of the weather, or our underappreciation of the nuances of temple architecture. Whatever the reason, we didn’t feel like it was worth a visit once we got there. However, we were already present and decided to make the most things and were able to get some good pictures of the temple.

When we were done, our driver was waiting to take us back to our hotel where we relaxed for a bit before being picked up by a representative of Fah Lanna Spa & Massage for transport to their treatment facility. We both opted for the Fah Lanna Northern Style package which included foot reflexology, traditional Thai massage, and tok sen massage. That last treatment type is quite unique, as you’re essentially being chiseled at by your massage therapist. Each of the treatments was a delight, although I’m not sure that we would request tok sen again. I’m glad we were able to try it, though.

After several relaxing hours, we were returned to our hotel. About twenty minutes later we decided to head across the street to the Chiang Mai Night Market. Lots of people get very excited about night markets and I can understand why in some respects. Many times, the food is extremely cheap while being incredibly flavorful and delicious. Unfortunately, the night market in Chiang Mai seemed like one big tourist trap designed to get people to buy junk they didn’t need. In addition, the food we ate was probably the least delicious we had our entire time in Thailand. Of course, this might be because we picked the wrong stalls or just got unlucky, so it is probably worth a try if you’re in the city. I would say, though, that you should go in with appropriate expectations.

We walked through the rest of the market, got assailed by people trying to get me to buy some suits, and retired for the night.

A long day to Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle

Our next scheduled activity was a day trip from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai to see the White Temple and the Golden Triangle to see the intersection of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. In brief, it was a very, very long day and not one that we would particularly recommend. We were happy to see the sights that we saw, but didn’t feel like the payoff was worth all the time in a van. Luckily, we had very good company for the long drives in between destinations.

We were picked up at our hotel and driven to a local hostel where we joined the rest of our group in a larger tour van. From there, we set off in the direction of Chiang Rai. It is a pretty long drive, so we stopped along the way for snacks and so people could use the bathroom if they so chose. Interestingly, our rest stop had roiling hot springs where locals (and some tourists, I’m sure) were boiling eggs. While there, Angela and I bought some snacks from a small vendor.

About half an hour later, we made it to the White Temple at Chiang Rai. The White Temple is an art installation, more than anything else, and is unique and beautiful. That being said, it was absolutely jammed with other tourists, likely on some permutation of the same tour we were on, so the effect you’d see on a carefully staged Instagram post is completely distinct from visiting in real life. All that being said, it was an interesting place to visit.

Our next stop was Wat Chedi Luang, a ruined temple complex in Chiang Rai. Construction started at the wat in the 14th century and was eventually finished in the middle of the 15th century. Today it is designated a UNESCO heritage site. It is partially restored in some places and completely unrestored in others.

Finally, after a substantial amount of additional driving, we reached the Golden Triangle region. We stopped to take a few shots from a viewpoint overlooking the intersection of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.

After taking a tastefully artistic photo, we headed down to the Mekong River for a twenty minute boat ride with views of the three neighboring countries.

Our final stop for the day was an historic opium house. The structure now serves as a museum (and gift shop) that gives an overview of opium growing, harvesting, and eventual replacement as a crop. It was an interesting overview of an important part of Thai history and definitely the most educational aspect of the tour.

After leaving the opium house, we strapped in for the three and a half hour drive back to Chiang Mai. We did some fun things and saw several interesting sights on this day trip, but it was so long that I do not feel like I would recommend it to others.

Hiking around on my birthday

For my birthday, we had scheduled a day trip to Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand. First, though, we stopped to take in some beautiful waterfalls at the base of the mountain.

After leaving the waterfalls and on the way to the summit, we visited the two chedis dedicated to the former king and queen of Thailand. They were erected as sixtieth birthday commemorations in 1987 and 1992, respectively. The chedis are beautiful and the view from each vantage point is stunning. In addition, the queen’s chedi had an adjoining garden that was quite well manicured.

Another short drive later and we were finally at the summit. We went for a short walk around the top of the mountain and grabbed an incredibly cheesy photo of me in front of the marker for the highest spot in Thailand.

After a brief ride, we were finally ready to do some walking through nature. We walked the Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail. The entire journey took about two and a half hours, but we were slowed considerably by one of our party having some mobility issues. I wasn’t upset, though, because it gave Angela and me some time to look around and take some great pictures!

At the end, we walked into a Karen hill tribe village and enjoyed some delicious coffee. I loved the tour we went on, and I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my birthday with Angela.

At the end, we were returned to our hotel where I was surprised with a birthday cake and balloons by staff. It was a very nice gesture that I really appreciated.

Flying through the forest

On our last full day in Chiang Mai, we decided to fully embrace our role as tourists and went ziplining through the forest at Flight of the Gibbon. The activity was exhilirating and worth the short drive from our hotel. I absolutely loved it and was able to secure a few fun shots from our time out on the course.

Our guides were awesome and we enjoyed the company of the other tourists who were along for the ride with us. I would wholeheartedly recommend the Flight of the Gibbon experience.

Back to Bangkok and a food tour to start

Before departing the Le Meridien, we took a picture in front of the giant Christmas tree in the lobby since we were looking pretty respectable on the morning of our departure.

Our taxi ride to the airport was uneventful and our flight down south similarly so. We decided to take a taxi from the airport to the St. Regis once in Bangkok. This ended up being an interesting experience given that it started with me ripping the weather stripping off of the rear passenger side door as I tried to slide in behind the driver’s fully reclined seat.

We eventually made it safe and sound and were welcomed with a warmth that I didn’t think was possible from a giant corporate hotel property. We were greeted by name as soon as we stepped into the lobby, brought to our room to finalize check-in, and presented with a panoply of birthday related goodies. This included a fruity cheesecake, chocolate bark, custom tourist brochures featuring our pictures, a custom video featuring our pictures, and a huge happy birthday spread on the bed. It was all a bit overwhelming – they certainly found a way to make me feel special.

We relaxed in our amazing room with our delicious treats for a bit before heading outside towards our first activity in Bangkok, a local food tour via tuk tuk. On the way to our meeting point we walked through Lumphini Park, a beautiful green space in the middle of the city. It is here that we were interrupted by the Thai national anthem and witnessed everybody stop what they were doing immediately and stand at attention. Apparently this happens every morning at 8AM and every night at 6PM and is taken very seriously by the Thai people. It was a fascinating look at the culture of the country.

The park was very pretty and the backdrop of the city’s skyline was captivating.

Eventually we met up with our tour guide, were given a bit of information about the night ahead, and hopped in our assigned tuk tuk.

Our first stop was for northeastern Thai cuisine, which meant more beef than seafood and a delicious variety of dishes. Angela and I were quite satisfied by the items on offer and were surprised that every other person on the tour left food on their plates. What a bunch of lightweights!

From there, we were off to Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai where we sampled some incredible noodles and got to visit the kitchen to see exactly how things were made.

Next, we took a break from food to walk through a local flower market and learn how to carefully arrange a lotus for devotional purposes. The number and variety of flowers that are available is somewhat stunning.

Our tour continued with a walk through Wat Pho, one of the more important temples in Bangkok. There, Angela and I laid our lotuses in devotion to King Rama IV given he opened Thailand up to the outside world.

After leaving the sacred complex, it was off to a rooftop bar to take in the sights, including Wat Arun, another one of the most famous temples in Bangkok. It was quite the sight when it was all lit up at night.

Finally, we arrived at our final restaurant and sampled pad thai two ways, traditional and with an egg wrapping (for lack of a better word). Each were delicious, but Angela and I both preferred the traditional style (which we didn’t get a picture of because we ate it so fast).

At the conclusion of our tour, Angela took a picture with our guide and we hopped in our tuk tuk for the journey back to the hotel.

A journey to the former capital

Our first full day in Bangkok was filled with activity as we visited Ayutthaya on a private day trip with a fantastic guide. Our first stop was Bang Pa-In Palace where we were surprised by the eclectic style of architecture. There’s classical Asian architecture, of course, but it is right next to classical and modern Western architecture. I would say that it wasn’t at all what I expected.

After leaving the palace, we stopped at Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, one of the best preserved royal monasteries in Thailand. Interestingly, there were a large number of rooster statues left as devotionals nearby this temple.

Next on the itinerary was Wat Maha Tat, a mostly dilapidated series of structures. Here, we were unfortunately stung by hornets as we wandered the ruins.

After a brief lunch, we were off to two more structures. The first, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, houses a huge restored Buddha.

The second, Phra Buddha Sai Yat, is an enormous reclining Buddha.

Finally, we headed back to our hotel to relax for the remainder of the day and rest up for the next day’s activities.

A day at the museum, a walk through Bangkok, and some delicious sticky rice

After a delicious breakfast, we jumped in a Grab Taxi and took a ride to the Bangkok National Museum. The museum had a lot of interesting exhibits although several sections of it were, somewhat unfortunately, closed. The following is a selection of our favorite pieces from the museum.

We left the museum and decided to walk the 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) back to the hotel. On the way, we stopped at Kor Panich, one of the most famous mango sticky rice shops in the city. We got our orders to go, walked back to our hotel through a variety of Bangkok neighborhoods, and enjoyed our delicious snack.

The journey to Dubai

Our last morning in Bangkok was a little hurried. We ate a quick breakfast before being picked up by the driver supplied by Emirates for our first class flight. We quickly made our way through security at the airport and stopped in the Emirates lounge for a quick cup of coffee before boarding. Once on board, we were given a run through of our first class suite and settled in for the six hour flight to Dubai. Towards the end of the flight, I got to take a shower on the plane. Honestly, it was a really cool experience and one that I’m glad I was able to have.

Our plane was slightly delayed, unfortunately, and by the time we cleared immigration it was apparent we were going to miss our afternoon tea appointment. I sent them an email letting them know while we were in our chauffeured ride to our hotel. We decided to stay in for the night to relax before heading out into the desert the next day.

Two nights at a fabulous desert resort

The next two days were a bit of a fantastic blur. We were picked up from our hotel in Dubai and driven out to Al Maha in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where we were greeted by some interesting bouncers on the road.

After arriving at the resort, we were able to take lunch before being escorted to our suite and checked in from there. The whole experience was just an incredible amount of luxury.

Al Maha allows you to choose two activities per night. We chose to participate in the camelback sunset ride on our first night, falconry demonstration on our first morning, and dune bashing and archery on our second morning. The dune bashing required a supplemental charge, but all other activities we chose were included as part of our stay.

The sunset ride was enjoyable as you’re led, on camelback, out to a large sand dune looking back towards the resort so you can observe the sunset. On the way out, Angela and I both rode the same camel. On the return, we were able to each ride our own camel because many people opted to hop in one of the SUVs back to the resort.

At dinner that night I was surprised by a fabulous birthday cake.

The falconry demonstration was fascinating, with multiple resort staff showing off how the falcons are trained and baited. We also got to witness a tawny eagle pursuing a snack, getting tired, and throwing a hissy fit. Finally, we took some pictures with one of the falcons.

We spent the rest of the day lounging in the pool and acting like goofballs while ocassionally being joined by one of the small gazelles that roam the property. You can see Oman about twenty miles away in the distance.

The next morning we woke up and prepared ourselves for an intense dune bashing experience. Unfortunately, it didn’t really live up to expectations because Angela and I were both envisioning something a little bit more adventurous and we forgot to keep in mind the average clientele of the property we were staying at. That being said, we still got to see the immensely beautiful desert landscape when we stopped at the top of a sand dune halfway through.

Finally, we had a go with the bow and arrow before departing from our idyllic desert life. Angela definitely got the best of me in both accuracy and precision. I’ll have to bone up on my skills before the next time we go.

With that, we were off to Abu Dhabi to prepare for our flight home. We were picked up and driven a little over two hours to the St. Regis Abu Dhabi where we decided to stay in and relax while contemplating all the crazy experiences we’d had.

The long journey home

The next morning we ate an early breakfast and Ubered to Abu Dhabi International Airport for the first leg of our flight home. We were seated in the Etihad Apartments on this particular flight which was a real treat. The suites are huge with tons of personal space. The food served on board was scrumptious and we each thoroughly enjoyed our meals. It was, almost certainly, a once in a lifetime experience.

After arriving in New York City, we transferred terminals and boarded our flight to Los Angeles after a quick stop at the American Airlines Flagship First Dining area. Once we arrived at LAX we overnighted at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott before catching a short flight home.

Overall, it was an absolutely incredible trip and one we won’t soon forget. The flights, hotels, and activities were almost all top notch and we made memories that will last a lifetime, which is obviously the most important part.

4 replies on “Making memories in Thailand and the United Arab Emirates”

What a trip and what great photos, I would say a trip of 10 lifetimes, if not more. It looks like you had a very fun, exciting and safe trip.

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