Earlier this week, I found a fare from Washington DC to Bangkok starting at $564. Bangkok was the second most visited city in 2015 (see: 10 most visited cities of 2015), so I’m sure many of you would like to go! Travel dates were available from May to November and the flights were operated by United, ANA and Air Canada. The fare permits one night and one day in Tokyo, unlimited time in Bangkok and unlimited time in either Vancouver or Montreal.
The Original Routing
When this routing first came across my desk it looked like a trip from Washington DC to Bangkok with terrible routing: DC – Tokyo (airport change) – Bangkok (stop) – Tokyo (airport change) – Vancouver – Montreal for $438. Clearly, this leaves you in Montreal and you need to buy a one way back to DC ($126).
At this point, you’re paying $564 for a trip to Thailand with four stops. In particular, the airport changes in Tokyo are awful. Let’s take another look at those.
First Tokyo Airport Change
Tokyo is huge. Narita (NRT) is located about 45 minutes north of the city and Haneda (HND) is located about 30 minutes south of the city. It’s a 14 hour flight from DC-Tokyo, so you should sleep on the plane.
On the outbound, you set down in NRT at 3:30pm. Your flight to Bangkok leaves the next day at 10:50am. It’s less than $15 per bag to have luggage shipped from NRT to HND. You can even ship golf clubs. If it’s your first night in Tokyo:
- Park Hyatt Tokyo and the bar on the 52nd floor. This is the bar from Lost in Translation and if you get there before 8pm you should be able to avoid the 2,500 cover.
- Get a reservation at a good omakase restaurant (think Jiro Loves Sushi). Jiro’s son runs Sukyobashi Jiro and has lower prices and a more laid-back environment.
- Shibuya and Rippongi have very well-known nightlife. Personally, I would head to ageHa in Koto. Make sure you see the terrace. Cover is around 4000.
- At 3am head to Tsukiji market. If you get there by 4am you should catch some of the auction action. Sushi Dai opens at 5am and is a 3 minute walk from the market. You should try to get there before 5am to start waiting in line. Some people wait for over 3 hours to eat this sushi. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Haneda from Sushi Dai.
If you can knock out half of the above list you will have a very memorable experience. Tokyo is an expensive city. If you start getting nervous about prices, remember that Thailand is one of the least expensive tourist destinations in the world and you paid almost 1/2 price for your ticket 😉
You made it. Beautiful temples and beaches await. You can spend as much or as little time as you want here. DMK airport has tons of cheap domestic flights.
Second Tokyo Airport Change
You land in Narita at 8:40am and fly out of Haneda at 9:50pm. I would recommend shipping your bags again and enjoy a good lunch and dinner in the city.
Vancouver or Montreal
This fare requires Haneda-Vancouver-Montreal routing. A one way fare from Montreal to DC costs $126 and a one way from Vancouver to DC costs $225. There’s nothing stopping you from skipping the Montreal segment and walking out of the airport in Vancouver. However, you won’t earn FF miles if you don’t finish your ticket.
Regardless, you need to buy a one way home. Since the one way is on a separate ticket, you can stay in Vancouver (or Montreal) for as long as you want.
- Tokyo, Bangkok and Vancouver = $663
- Tokyo, Bangkok and Montreal = $564
The Actual Booking
All times are local:
- May 11th – depart IAD at 12:35pm
- May 12th – night in Tokyo
- May 13th – arrive in Bangkok at 3:25pm
- May 23rd – depart Bangkok at 12:30am
- May 23rd – day in Tokyo
- May 23rd – arrive in Vancouver at 2:55pm (skip Montreal)
- May 26th – depart Vancouver
Nine full days in Thailand and two full days in Vancouver would certainly be a treat. This trip is pricing at $1,100 today.
This trip is not for everybody. You can really have an amazing night in Tokyo if you can sleep on the 14 hour outbound. I book airfare for free (you have 24 hours to cancel for a full refund) and I hope you will also consider me when the time comes to book accommodations for your trip. I charge no fees to book hotels and I can guarantee 10% off any published hotel rate.