Travelers visiting Bangkok’s central business and nightlife district, Silom, will be confronted by a myriad of entertainment options, but here we make a couple of suggestions to “elevate” your experiences – quite literally! Take to the cockpit of a 737, and then visit the Vertigo restaurant and bar at the capital’s Banyan Tree.
Flight Experience Bangkok
Private jets are considered by many to be the pinnacle of luxury travel. Whilst thoughts of piloting your own 737 may evoke images of John Travolta on publicity-garnering flights for Qantas, you too can now take to the cockpit to train and fly a 737-800 from almost any airport in the world – and do so for under US$200.
How? Well, first you’ll need to fly into Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. Here, in the heart of the city, Flight Experience Bangkok now offers visitors the chance to get behind the controls of a 737 to fly out of a dizzying array of over 24,000 airports worldwide. Their modern and highly sophisticated equipment is a PS3.5 Series Simulator, manufactured by Pacific Simulators 2010 Ltd. in Christchurch, New Zealand. Their advanced flight simulators have been approved for official pilot training by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia. Pilots holding instrument ratings can log instrument flight times and use these hours for “recency”.
Booking a session may be done online and makes a surprising and memorable gift for both young and old. Whilst comparably realistic experiences normally gobble up hundreds of thousands of air miles or thick wads of dollar bills, a one hour flight in Bangkok costs only THB 6,700 (or around US$200) – allowing you to make a complete virtual flight, to focus on take-offs or landings, or for thrill-seekers to try a landing in adverse weather conditions.
On your next trip to Thailand, simply put aside the time to pilot your own jet and discover the luxury of travelling in true style. Who knows, a session in the cockpit could well be the ultimate motivator and be the stimulus required to take your child (minimum age 12) or your partner to ever greater heights.
Upon landing, disembark and take a short taxi or tuk-tuk hop to the Banyan Tree hotel on Sathorn Road, to take the elevator up to the panoramic, open air Vertigo Bar. As dusk settles, order a signature cocktail – a favourite being the Vertigo Sunset, a tropical blend of Malibu with pineapple, cranberry and lime juices.
We’d recommend enjoying an al fresco drink here before moving on elsewhere for dinner (as prices by Bangkok standards are as stratospheric as the view), but, for those not on a budget, tuck into one of the signature dishes that include Wagyu tenderloin with bone marrow, roast snow fish, and a sumptuous selection of freshly grilled seafood.
With sky high experiences such as these, Bangkok continues to justify its local name – the City of Angels.
Charles Coleman is a Director at Thailand Holiday House.