Posted at 3:37 pm , on October 22, 2016
This is my first ever tour group review, and also my first ever tour group that I joined since 2006.
This tour that I participated in was made up of 2 different groups with a common itinerary for the first 7 days. The second group however will diverge on day 6 as they will have another 3 extra days exploring the northern part of Hokkaido (10 days 8 notes).
The tour is a fully guided tour with full meals on board (except 2 meals for the 7D 5N tour). The local (Malaysia) tour guide is Cammy while a local tour guide in Japan (Kelvin) took care of the group throughout the journey in Japan.
Posted at 10:50 am , on October 21, 2016
As part of my trip, I utilized my voucher from Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Ascend card for a free stay in Kuala Lumpur Grand Millennium Hotel. I had used the Ascend Amex card before but I discontinued it as the perks were not great. I recently re-applied the card to make use of the 35,000 miles bonus for $10,000 spend (which has since been discontinued). That worked out to be about 4.8 miles per dollar spent (including the miles accelerator program) which is an excellent figure. The benefits of this card were recently changed and the current benefits are:
Posted at 5:12 pm , on October 20, 2016
For my Hokkaido Trip this time, I will be traveling with my parents (both in their mid-70s). The tour group they signed up with is Organised by Parlo Tours (of Malaysia), which I will try my best to review as well. Instead of following the tour group from Kuala Lumpur itself, I chose to fly in from Singapore via Haneda instead.
I had to arrive one day earlier before the group do on October 9. After some research, I chose Terminal Hotel for its convenience as it is located inside the Domestic Terminal of New Chitose Airport. I made my booking via Expedia using my Citibank Premier Miles Card (for the 6 miles per dollar promotion). I paid about SGD $110 (inclusive of tax) and the rate comes with free buffet breakfast and entry into the airport Onsen (located at 4th floor in the Oasis Park). The entry fee for the Onsen cost about 1500 JPY (about SGD $20). The price I paid is for a single room.
Posted at 3:31 pm , on October 20, 2016
My final leg for my October trip was my KUL-SIN flight on MH619. I bought this flight as a return flight from KUL and it cost me about $203 (not a bad price for a J return tickets).
Posted at 12:08 pm , on October 20, 2016
Air Asia X is the regional/long-haul arm of Air Asia. It was previously served by A340s which has since been replaced by the more fuel efficient A330-300. My flight D7 551 is served by this plane.
Posted at 11:37 am , on October 20, 2016
I made a booking on SIN-HND-CTS as Singapore Airlines only fly to CTS direct during winter season. I paid 51,000 miles and $34 for one way First Saver redemption on SQ. After considering the few options (Jetstar, JAL and ANA), I decided to go with ANA as they had a very good promo for tourists (explore Japan fare). A One Way Y ticket from HND to CTS cost $142 (incl. tax). As I bought my ticket during the Free Ninja Wifi promo, I managed to get a 4 day free Mifi rental (valued at $60)! The J ticket cost $600 and I wasn’t keen to burn my miles for a domestic J redemption for a 1.5 hours flight.
Posted at 10:26 am , on October 20, 2016
I made a booking from Singapore to Tokyo with a connection to Sapporo as I would join up with my parents for a Hokkaido trip. Instead of flying from Malaysia, I decided to fly from Singapore on Singapore Airlines to Tokyo and connect domestically to Sapporo via ANA (using the very attractive domestic ANA pricing for tourist).
I had a choice of either doing the SQ 636 (which I chose) vs. SQ632. SQ636 have been flying on 77WN (which I have wanted to try last year on SQ1 but I didn’t manage to redeem it.) Being a night flight, it offered only a supper service (truncated meal service). SQ632, being a morning flight offered a full lunch service but is being served by the older 77W. After much consideration, I chose SQ636 for the sake of trying out 77WN.
SQ636 has been served mainly using 77WN (9V-SWU, SWV, SWY) but there was once the flight was served by SWF (data from flight radar 24). Although there is a small chance that a bird swap may occur, most of the flights were using 77WN.