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Part 2: Valuair SIN-MES, Garuda MES-BTJ  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 17787 times:

Part 2: Valuair SIN-MES, Garuda MES-BTJ

Welcome to the second part of my spring trip to Asia! This report covers my Valuair (Jetstar Asia) flight from Singapore to Medan, in northern Sumatra, my time in Medan and the Bukit Lawang jungle, and my continuing flight up to Banda Aceh with Garuda Indonesia, and my stay on Pulau Weh, a tropical island at the tip of the Indonesian empire.

When I was planning my trip, I really wasn’t sure where to begin. Indonesia is such a vast country I wasn’t sure where I wanted to include in my two weeks. I initially wanted to fly down to Bali, then go over to Lombok and Komodo, before hitting the sights of Java. Flights didn’t work out very well, however, so I asked a friend who’d spent two years in Indonesia what he’d advise. He recommended northern Sumatra, namely the jungle of Bukit Lawang, Bukitingi and Lake Toba. I liked the idea, but decided to add in a trip to Banda Aceh in the very northernmost tip of the country. Banda Aceh was very hard hit in the 2004 tsunami, killing around 200,000 in the province. There has been a lot of redevelopment work since then, as well as the province becoming more open after decades of civil war and restrictions on foreign travellers. Still, it’s quite a long way off the usual backpackers route which is probably why it appealed. Aceh province has recently introduced Sharia law and is the home of South East Asian Islam. Of interest for us a.netters is the frequent A330 flights linking Banda Aceh with Jeddah by Batavia, as well as a host of other regional links.

The entire map:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/map2.gif

This report’s map:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/map3.gif

Previous flights:
easyJet London Luton-Barcelona (LTN-BCN)
Singapore Airlines Barcelona-Singapore (BCN-SIN), Business Class on the 77W

Flights to come:
Sriwajaya Air Banda Aceh-Medan-Jakarta (BTJ-MES-CGK)
Lion Air Jakarta-Singapore (CGK-SIN)
Singapore Airlines Singapore-Calcutta (SIN-CCU)
JetLite Bagradora-Calcutta (IXB-CCU)
Biman Bangladesh Calcutta-Dhaka (CCU-DAC)
Biman Bangladesh Dhaka-Kathmandu (DAC-KTM)
Thai Airways Kathmandu-Bangkok (KTM-BKK)
Thai Airways Bangkok-Frankfurt (BKK-FRA)
Lufthansa Frankfurt-Dusseldorf (FRA-DUS)
Sun-Air (British Airways) Dusseldorf-Billund (DUS-BLL)
Sun-Air (British Airways) Billund-Manchester (BLL-MAN)
British Airways Manchester-London Heathrow (MAN-LHR)

Carrying straight on from my excellent flight with Singapore Airlines from Barcelona, I picked up my bags and headed over from Terminal 2 to the older Terminal 1 where Jetstar/Valuair operate from. Valuair was bought by Jetstar Asia to operate their Singapore-Indonesia flights. For some reason, they were unable to operate flights on their own.

Waiting for the inter-terminal transit
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0838.jpg

As the previous flight was a bit early, I had nearly four hours to wait for my next flight. Online it says that check in only opens 2 hours before departure. Thankfully there was an “Early check in” desk, so I was able to drop off my bag, and go through security without having to hang around.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0839.jpg

T 1 departures
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0840.jpg

As I had a nice long layover, I was planning on using the pool in the transit area. I got up there but decided not to swim in the end as it was pouring with rain.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0841.jpg

Instead I found a bench in a quiet area and slept for two solid hours.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0842.jpg

Feeling a bit more lively after my sleep, I get up and go and see what there was to see. A newly delivered (less than 5 months old) Biman 773ER S2-AFO was just pushing back for Dhaka. Hopefully my scheduled A310 and DC10 next month will go ahead and not be subbed by something “less interesting”. Having said that, I’d love a ride in one of these new machines.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4490.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4491.jpg

Xiamen Airlines
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4492.jpg

Low cost end of the terminal with Jetstar and Air Asia
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4494.jpg

Indian subcontinent reps
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4496.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4497.jpg

A food court area
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4498.jpg

I quite like this shot – CX heading to HKG
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4499.jpg

Walking down to the gate
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4500.jpg

FIDS. The flight was shown as boarding despite the fact that most passengers weren’t even at the gate, and boarding had definitely not started.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4501.jpg

In SIN security is performed at the gate. As the flight was shown as boarding, a lot of people were quite stressed about missing it, so there was quite a lot of pushing and shoving. I told the gate woman about my thoughts about the deliberate misinformation, but she just shrugged it off.
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4507.jpg

I was a bit surprised to see Jeju Air here – I thought they only did Korean domestics?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4508.jpg

LH inbound from MUC, bound for CGK
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4509.jpg

The staff were VERY strict in allowing people to board. First was 30-20, the 30-10, then a big long gap, then finally rows 30-1
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4510.jpg

March 2012
Singapore (SIN) – Medan (MES)
Jetstar Asia, operated by Valuair VF 283
Scheduled: 1650-1715 (1h25m)
Actual: 1715-1713 (0h58m) – one of the few flights where I’ve arrived before I’ve left
Airbus A320 9V-JSD
Economy



Legroom was better than anticipated, and certainly ok for a 1 hour flight.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4511.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4512.jpg

The flight gradually filled until every seat was taken. Of course the final two passengers were destined to be my neighbours.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4516.jpg

The seat back pocket was full. Magazine


Menu


Shop


Safety card


Route map for Asia, then the entire network


We taxied past –SWD on the way to the runway. My seat was by the first 3 windows in the block of 4, under the A.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4529.jpg

BA inbound from LHR, enroute to SYD
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4531.jpg

Silkair
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4533.jpg

China Southern to CAN

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4535.jpg

Cathay to HKG
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4540.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4544.jpg

IndiGo
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4547.jpg

Rush hour Changi-style
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4550.jpg

IndiGo on the active
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4558.jpg

SQ A330
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4560.jpg

Air Asia
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4561.jpg

Firefly
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4563.jpg

TK also heading to Indonesia
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4565.jpg

We finally took off half an hour late
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4568.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4574.jpg

Maintenance – a QF A380 in residence
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4576.jpg

Climbing out over Malaysia
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4578.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4584.jpg


Nice clouds en route
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4591.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4594.jpg

The Valuair schedule
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4595.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4596.jpg

Landing cards were handed out
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0843.jpg

Researching the flight beforehand, it seemed that before the merger, Valuair offered free catering, but now offered BOB. I was quite surprised to see the crew handing out free snacks:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0844.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0845.jpg

Not the best catering ever, but perfectly adequate for a short flight. I was surprised to see them do a BOB straight afterwards – can’t imagine many people bought stuff.

Approaching Medan
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4606.jpg

Garuda B737
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4602.jpg

Arrival was a couple of minutes early
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4608.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4638.jpg

As so often happens outside of Westernised areas, as soon as the wheels touch the ground, everyone was clamouring to get off. The aisle filled whilst the seat belt sign was still on. The crew tried repeatedly in English, Mandarin and Indonesian (which i’m sure 99% of the passengers understood) to get everyone to sit down, but to little avail. For the amusement of those still sat down, we carried on taxiing. I’m not sure if a) the pilot was checking the breaks, b) someone was in the way on the ground, c) the pilot nearly overshot his parking position or d) he was doing it for fun, but suddenly there was a REALLY sharp breaking sending a good 30-40 people crashing to the aisle floor. Hahaha. The American children in the row behind were doubled up with laughter, as were quite a few people along the cabin. Hopefully it finally taught some people to obey the crew, but I have my doubts. The crew made a sarcastic comment about listening to them, but I fear the message was lost on most of those still picking themselves up from the floor. Ironically, a lot of people just stood back up in the aisles afterwards despite the crew telling them to sit back down. These were some of the participants aspiring for a Darwin Award:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0846.jpg

Finally we stopped, the seat belt signs were turned off, and we disembarked into the humid air.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0847.jpg

We were directed to walking to the terminal, so I managed a few shots of my mobile.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0848.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0849.jpg

As I walk quite quickly, I was first in line for applying for my Visa. You hand over $25 and a few minutes later you get a full page sticker-type visa. I’m now down to the final 2 full blank pages in my passport, so I think I need to tone down the long-haul travel for a while. I’m hoping the Nepali visa can be plastered over my Larnaca stamp. With immigration sorted, and my bag back in my possession, I headed into the city.

My bag tag – how small is the ‘MES’ font!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4642.jpg

Compared to SIN/BCN


Jetstar tag
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4669.jpg

A few photos from my night in Medan:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4649.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4652.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4654.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4656.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4660.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4685.jpg

The next day I took a bus the 3 hours to the jungle of Bukit Lawang.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4686.jpg

Tasty nasi goring (fried rice) for $1
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4688.jpg

Bukit Lawang
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4697.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4709.jpg


Writing my report with the help of some Smirnoff
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4724.jpg

After a night in the village, I headed off with a group for a night in the jungle with the aim of seeing some orang-utans.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4731.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4747.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4753.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4777.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4782.jpg

A leech
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4786.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4810.jpg

Finally, we found some!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4862.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4905.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4906.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4914.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4975.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4979.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF4995.jpg

After a day trekking, we spent a night in a small camp next to the river – it was great to have a swim after the pretty exhausting trek through the jungle. Night-time activities included eating, and playing a lot of cards. There were five tourists (me, another Brit, a Finn, and Italian and a Frenchman) and four local guides, whom were pretty funny.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5020.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5021.jpg

A guide making dinner – food was excellent and there was plenty of it.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5016.jpg
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Instead of the hard slog through the jungle back to camp, we rafted back. This was possibly the best spent EUR 10 ever – if you ever go to Bukit Lawang, go rafting! Health and safety takes a very distant second to enjoying the river, so keep your wits about you.

Back at the Ecolodge, it was time for a tasty nasi goring (again)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5126.jpg
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Walking back to the car park for my journey back to Medan
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I ended up getting a minibus back – whilst cheap, comfortable it certainly wasn’t. I would normally say a vehicle was full when all the seats were taken. In Indonesia, it’s full when no one can move anymore. As you can see, not even the driver/manger/boss is saved the squeeze. Four people in 3 small seats:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5130.jpg

Thankfully I made it back to Medan fairly easily. The next morning I headed back to the airport for my flight up to Banda Aceh on flagship carrier Garuda Indonesia. I remember reading an article about GA many years ago in an Aviation magazine, and just falling in love with their beautiful Garuda livery (the national emblem of Indonesia is the Garuda, the bird type thing). A flight with GA was a must!

I initially thought I was in a shopping mall when I got to the airport…
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0862.jpg

Eventually I found the check in area, with only a short queue for the GA 142 up north. I was given a window without issue, but told that I would have to get a yellow tag put on my bag (free of charge) before I could check in my bag.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0863.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0864.jpg

After paying the RP 35,000 ($3.80) departure tax, I walked on into the departure lounge, via the security check.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5137.jpg

The lounge – only £4 to get in, but I didn’t bother
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0865.jpg

Departures
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FIDS
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5135.jpg

I didn’t know GA has a split off company, Citilink?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5139.jpg
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Five minutes after Citilink, there was a normal GA flight down to Jakarta. I think it’s such a shame they have the bland ‘thing’ on the tail now.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 17931 times:

Five minutes after Citilink, there was a normal GA flight down to Jakarta. I think it’s such a shame they have the bland ‘thing’ on the tail now.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5144.jpg

Lionair
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5142.jpg

And younger brother
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5143.jpg

My plan arriving from Jakarta
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5147.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5148.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5149.jpg

Before too long, boarding was called. We were bussed the short distance to the aircraft.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5151.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5152.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5153.jpg

I’ve wanted to try Batavia ever since I saw an A319 of theirs in CAN – maybe the next time I’m in Indonesia. I love how they print the aircraft type in giant font under the name.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5154.jpg

March 2012
Medan (MES) – Banda Aceh (BTJ)
Garuda Indonesia Airlines GA 142
Scheduled: 0945-1040 (0h55m)
Actual: 0948-1037 (0h49m)
Boeing 737-800 PK-GMM
Economy



I wasn’t sure what in expected to find onboard, but the cabin was a major shock – lovey! Like the colours too.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5155.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5156.jpg

I took my seat – great size PTV
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5159.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5158.jpg

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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5164.jpg

Good legroom too
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5160.jpg

Lionair just arrived
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5161.jpg

Full pocket… used headphones and used tissue – I guess they didn’t have time to give it a full clean before boarding
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5165.jpg

Safety Card


IFE guide


Magazine


Welcome!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5170.jpg

Safety Demo
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5172.jpg

Nice to see a new Haneda route
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5173.jpg

Time for a quick prayer before takeoff
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5174.jpg

Seat maps
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5176.jpg

History of Garuda
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5177.jpg

Sriwijaya Air – I’m flying them later in the week down to Jakarta
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5178.jpg

Firefly of Malaysia. In case you hadn’t guessed, we’re at Polonia Airport
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5181.jpg

Sweets before takeoff
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5183.jpg

And off we go! Thanks to my new camera I was able to record take off and take photos at the same time (wow, the wonders of modern technology). Does anyone want me to post the video? If so, what’s the best way to do it?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5187.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5190.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5192.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5194.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5195.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5196.jpg

Let’s check out the IFE
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5198.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5200.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5201.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5204.jpg

With a flight time of only 50 minutes, I stick to something short – Modern Family will have to do
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5210.jpg

A snack box is served soon after takeoff
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5206.jpg

The apple tea was ok (no other drinks were served). The green cake was vile, and the bun was full of BBQ meat, which was ok.


Views of Northern Sumatra, and the coast in the distance
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5213.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5221.jpg

Map
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5214.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5219.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5217.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5222.jpg

Route Map
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5227.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5228.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5229.jpg

Route frequencies
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5231.jpg

Approach to Banda Aceh. Once again I took a video if anyone wants to see it
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5234.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5239.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5241.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5245.jpg

I was surprised to see that BTJ has air bridges, when MES doesn’t.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5248.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5252.jpg

Eksecutif Class
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5253.jpg

Disembarking
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5254.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5256.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5257.jpg

Jeddah arriving shortly
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5258.jpg

Bag were out shortly
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5259.jpg

Banda Aceh curbside
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/IMAG0866.jpg

My bag with yellow strap
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5286.jpg

From BTJ I got a taxi to the port to await my boat across to the island of Pulau Weh. Some interesting nasi goring at the port
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5260.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5279.jpg

Ekonomi klass
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5272.jpg


Eksecutif klass
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5273.jpg

My home on the beach
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5280.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5321.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5339.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5369.jpg

A 360 view of the beach
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5372.jpg

Memories of more dangerous days
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/asia2012/DSCF5358.jpg

A cold Bintang (Superstar) beer


Well, I was very impressed with my short flight on Garuda – I now wish I’d paid the extra £10 for the less well timed GA flight back to Jakarta, rather than wildcard of Sriwijaya Airlines. Still, who knows what lays in store for that flight! Valuair were also better than hoped. The free catering was a great bonus, as was being able to check in so early.

All comments and questions welcome!

Some of my other TRs:

Part 1: U2 LTN-BCN, SQ BCN-SIN 77W Business
Africa Part 6: LX ZRH-ATH, A3 ATH-LCA. A Greek Tragedy
Africa Part 5: Dar es Salaam – Nairobi – Zurich with Swiss First
Africa Part 4: Fly 540 DAR-ZNZ in Y, and Zanzibar photos
Africa Part 3: ET KGL-EBB-ADD-DAR-ZNZ, A to Z with Ethiopian Airlines in C
Africa Part 2: SN BRU-BJM, SA BJM-KGL, Business to Burundi and Rwanda
Africa Part 1: BD LHR-CMN, TP CMN-LIS, SN LIS-BRU in Y and C
A.net meeting in snowy Tallinn. U2/FR STN-TLL-LTN
easyJet and bmi up to Aberdeen, LTN-ABZ-LHR
The Costa del Sol with British Airways. LGW-AGP-LCY
Mysterious Moldova (and Transnistria). Lufthansa LHR-MUC-KIV
BA to the Austrian Alps. LHR-MUC, INN-LGW
I can't get no Jetisfaction: LH LGW-FRA inaugural
Colombia Part 4: Colombia to London via FRA/MUC/HEL on LH & BA
Colombia Part 3: Colombia with Avianca (AV). SMR-BOG-MDE-BOG
Colombia Part 2: Colombia with Avianca (AV). BOG-MDE-CTG
Colombia Part 1: London to Colombia via ARN/MUC/FRA on BA & LH
USA and Mexico Part 4, British Airways Mexico City – London, World Traveller Plus
USA and Mexico Part 3: Around Mexico with Aereo Calafia Cessna 208B & Viva Aerobus B733
USA and Mexico Part 2: Sightseeing tour of San Diego Airport, and American Airlines San Diego - LA – Dallas - San Jose Cabo
USA and Mexico Part 1: easyJet Luton to Paris, and BA Paris to San Diego via LHR in World Traveller Plus
British Airways to Scandinavia (LHR-CPH,GOT-LHR)
Where’s my bag? British Airways, Milan to London
What airline am I flying again? Bmi/Lufthansa Italia LHR-MXP
Albania and Macedonia: Austrian LHR-VIE-TIA, Macedonian Airlines SKP-ZRH, Swiss ZRH-LCY
Part 1, Lufthansa London-Munich-Frankfurt-Nanjing, Economy Class A321 and A343
Part 2, Cathay Pacific Shanghai to Tokyo via Hong Kong, Business Class A330 and B747-400
Part 3, ANA Boeing B767 Tokyo to Shanghai, & Air China Airbus A340 Shanghai to Beijing, Business Class
Part 4: Chinese domestics, inc. Joy Air Xi’an MA60, Tianjin Airlines ERJ, and China Express Airways CRJ
Part 5: Lufthansa Beijing-Frankfurt-London City, Economy Class A388 and E90
5 Countries, 5 Flights, 5 Days, with Ryanair (FR)
bmiFriday: Welcome to Sunny Norway, London to Bergen, A319)
Royal Jordanian, London to Aqaba via Amman. A330 and A320
Royal Jordanian, Amman to London, A330
London City to Antwerp with Cityjet and the Fokker 50
Croatian Airlines, LHR-ZAG,PUY-ZAD-ZAG-LHR, A319 and Dash 8
British Airways, Iberia & Binter to Tenerife and Gran Canaria, LHR-MAD-TFN-LPA-MAD-LHR, A320,ATR, A321
British Airways, London To Amsterdam, LGW-AMS-LHR, B737 & A321
British Airways up to a snowy Glasgow, with a change of flights and delay, LHR-GLA-LCY A321 and E90
Turkish Airlines Business Class from London to Istanbul. From Terrible To Fantastic
Turkish Airlines Business Class from Istanbul to Batumi (Georgia). Not again!
bmi Business Class, Tbilisi to London via Azerbaijan
Tallinn to London, with Estonian Air and BA, via ARN
Cuba! BA/IB London-Madrid-Havana, Business Class
Aerocarribean, Baracoa to Havana
Asia Trip, Pt 1: Qatar Airways Business Class (LHR-DOH-ICN)
Asia Trip, Pt 2: China Southern and Hainan Airlines (A321/A346)
Asia Trip, Pt 3: Malaysia Airlines, Hong Kong to Penang
Asia Trip, Pt 4: Qatar Airways Economy (HKG-DOH-LHR)
A weekend in Transylvania with Blue Air (LTN-SBZ)
Helsinki for the weekend on BA and KF
Easter in Ukraine with Austrian
UAE and Oman with BA and Air Arabia. Y & Y+
HKG-LHR-HKG Air New Zealand, Premium Economy and Economy
US Airways LGW-DCA-MSP-LGA-LGW
London Heathrow - Zurich - Venice on Swiss Business for the weekend
Chasing the Eclipse on China Eastern
Taiwan: EVA Air (HKG-TPE rtn), UNI Airways (TSA-HCN), Daily Air (TTT-KYD rtn)
UA HKG-SIN-HKG Y Class, SQ KUL-SIN C Class
Bangkok to Beijing, Egyptair Business Class
Air China Beijing to Harbin, B777 Economy outbound, A330 First Class return
Tiger Airways, Singapore to Darwin return
A selection of Chinese Domestics; China Eastern, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines
Hong Kong to London on Singapore Airlines (744/380/77W)
Qatar Airways Beijing-Doha-London Heathrow (A330/A340)
Air China First Class. Beijing-Guilin via Xi’an
Round Asia Trip. URC-HTN,OSS-FRU,ALA-URC-LHW-KMG-JHG-KMG-SYX,HAK-NKG-PEK-NRT-LHR,
Hainan Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Lucky Air, ANA, Economy and Business Class.

SAS and Lufthansa Business Class, LHR-OSL-FRA-FRA, B73G and B744



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6708 posts, RR: 78
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 17757 times:

Hi Gabriel,

nice second part of your series with great pictures!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Of interest for us a.netters is the frequent A330 flights linking Banda Aceh with Jeddah by Batavia

Interesting, I had been wondering where their A330s operate.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Having said that, I’d love a ride in one of these new machines.

They look really good.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
a QF A380 in residence

I guess it's the very special one.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I’m now down to the final 2 full blank pages in my passport, so I think I need to tone down the long-haul travel for a while.

How about getting a new passport?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):

I didn’t know GA has a split off company, Citilink?

Yes, operating as a LCC.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I wasn’t sure what in expected to find onboard, but the cabin was a major shock – lovey! Like the colours too.

Sure, GA's factory fresh 738s are really impressive. You can be glad that you didn't get a used frame (without PTVs etc.).

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I now wish I’d paid the extra £10 for the less well timed GA flight back to Jakarta, rather than wildcard of Sriwijaya Airlines.

Oh come on, SJ is a much more exotic option worth a try. And who knows, maybe GA would have sent a less impressive 738 this time.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 17637 times:

Hi Gabriel,

A good continuation of your Asian story.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I thought they only did Korean domestics?

Also scheduled flights to BKK, HKG, MNL and CEB IIRC and seasonal charters to a few other Asian destinations.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I was surprised to see them do a BOB straight afterwards – can’t imagine many people bought stuff.

That does seem odd.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
a night in the jungle with the aim of seeing some orang-utans

Gorillas in Rwanda, Orang Utan in Sumatra - any grape apes left to see? Trekking through the jungle and seeing them in their natural environment must be so much more rewarding then seeing them in a compound.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I would normally say a vehicle was full when all the seats were taken. In Indonesia, it’s full when no one can move anymore.

Sounds just like Morocco and South Africa  

 

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I guess they didn’t have time to give it a full clean before boarding

So they have some way to go still before they achieve the desired Five Star Rating.

Here's looking forward to the next installment.

Cheers,
Roy / Quokkas


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1646 posts, RR: 30
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 17309 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Gabriel,

Interesting story, well done once again. I love the fact you post these reports almost together when taking the flights   Your both flights were good value apparently. I must admit that GA plane looked very nice on the inside: the brown color seats give a warm feel to the cabin (added to the tropical heat outside  ). Good to see the IFE working even on such a short flight.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I got up there but decided not to swim in the end as it was pouring with rain.

Why not? You would get wet anyway and it would’ve been a good refreshment.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
newly delivered (less than 5 months old) Biman 773ER S2-AFO was just pushing back for Dhaka.

I’ve always been fascinated by this carrier: they fly some of the oldest and newest stuff around. I thought they were on the edge of going under and yet they buy new planes?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A food court area

Love the flooring  

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
First was 30-20, the 30-10, then a big long gap, then finally rows 30-1

So if I see this right, people in row 30 can board at any time, disturbing the other people taking their seats and storing their stuff. Strange way of boarding by row number   

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
IndiGo

What a nice url: goindigo.in

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Hopefully it finally taught some people to obey the crew, but I have my doubts.

Those people are the ‘hard learing’ type...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
(me, another Brit, a Finn, and Italian and a Frenchman)

So that was you, AlwaysOnAPlane, FlyingFinn76, JL418 and Eastafspot?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The green cake was vile

Urgl, you actually ate that stuff. Perhaps it was spacecake  

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 16588 times:

Hi Gabriel

Nice continuation, thanks for sharing it with us.
I'm quite surprised about the quality of GA, even for these shorter flights. They really have came a long way.
Thanks for sharing the Medan pics as well, always nice to read about an off-the beaten path place.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently onlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1238 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 15076 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Does anyone want me to post the video? If so, what’s the best way to do it?

YouTube is your best bet - as long as you don't mind about 5 people leaving comments saying they were on the same flight as you after every video you post!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 14851 times:

Thanks for your comments!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
nice second part of your series with great pictures!

THanks

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
How about getting a new passport?

Well, I;ve now got a 1 year multiple entry Indian visa in there, so want to use that at least once or twice

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Yes, operating as a LCC.

Strasnge, with a name like that i'd have throught it was a business airlines

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Sure, GA's factory fresh 738s are really impressive. You can be glad that you didn't get a used frame (without PTVs etc.).

Yeah, lucky

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Oh come on, SJ is a much more exotic option worth a try. And who knows, maybe GA would have sent a less impressive 738 this time.

Ture, i am looking forward to SJ

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 3):
A good continuation of your Asian story.

THanks

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 3):
Gorillas in Rwanda, Orang Utan in Sumatra - any grape apes left to see? Trekking through the jungle and seeing them in their natural environment must be so much more rewarding then seeing them in a compound.

Yeah, great seeing animals in the wilkd

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):

Interesting story, well done once again.

Thanks

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
I must admit that GA plane looked very nice on the inside: the brown color seats give a warm feel to the cabin (added to the tropical heat outside ). Good to see the IFE working even on such a short flight.

Yeah, was a nice bonus

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
I love the fact you post these reports almost together when taking the flights

I try, otherwise I forget things

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
Why not? You would get wet anyway and it would’ve been a good refreshment.

Well. I had a lomg wait, and didn't want to pay just to swim for 10 mins in the rain. If it was sunny, I could sit out and have a nice relax

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
I’ve always been fascinated by this carrier: they fly some of the oldest and newest stuff around. I thought they were on the edge of going under and yet they buy new planes?

Yeah, they are quite facinating!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
Those people are the ‘hard learing’ type...

Need some sense 'knocked' into them

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
So that was you, AlwaysOnAPlane, FlyingFinn76, JL418 and Eastafspot?

Haha

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
Urgl, you actually ate that stuff. Perhaps it was spacecake

Sadly not space cake. I only had a nibble

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):
Nice continuation, thanks for sharing it with us.

No problem Marc

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):
I'm quite surprised about the quality of GA, even for these shorter flights. They really have came a long way.

Yeah, they are a very nice carier - would like to try them AMS-CGK one day



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 13430 times:

Hi Gabriel,

good to sea the second part of your report already online, and again a great read. Quite a contrast to your SQ long-haul flight. And you have managed to catch quite a few exotic airliners on your pics, well done. Seems like both Garuda and Valueair made a good job to get you to your destinations.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I got up there but decided not to swim in the end as it was pouring with rain.

Well, at least you wouldn't have gone wet by the rain   (Sorry, couldn't resist to crack that old joke) But then nice to have a pool in the transit area, was this part of a lounge or available for everybody?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I was surprised to see them do a BOB straight afterwards – can’t imagine many people bought stuff.

Hmm, maybe doing it the other way round would be better for business. Still interesting, and nice to get something on a short flight like this.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Hopefully it finally taught some people to obey the crew, but I have my doubts.

Hilarious story. Indeed I wonder if the pilots did that on purpose. But I doubt as well that these people have learned something from it.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The green cake was vile,

Ouch, now that cake looks indeed, umm, interesting   But again nice to get such a snack on this short flight. Good service in general by Garuda here. And nice to have IFE even on a short-haul flight.

Also thanks for writing about and putting up some pictures of your jungle excursion in Medan. Must have been a great experience to see Orang Utans in wildlife (and probably a less great experience to have that leech on your hand, yuck).

CaptainRed


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13175 times:

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 8):

good to sea the second part of your report already online, and again a great read.

Thanks

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 8):
Seems like both Garuda and Valueair made a good job to get you to your destinations.

Yes, no problems with either carrier

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 8):
Well, at least you wouldn't have gone wet by the rain (Sorry, couldn't resist to crack that old joke) But then nice to have a pool in the transit area, was this part of a lounge or available for everybody?

It's in the terminal 1 departures area, so accessible to all departing pax.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 8):
And nice to have IFE even on a short-haul flight.

Yeah, great bonus there

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 8):
Also thanks for writing about and putting up some pictures of your jungle excursion in Medan. Must have been a great experience to see Orang Utans in wildlife (and probably a less great experience to have that leech on your hand, yuck).

Luckily, the leech was on someone elses hand!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2992 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 12510 times:

Hi Gabriel,

excellent reports of your first Asian flights.

There have been quite a few reports on Jetstar, and whilst Valuair is different, it is still quite similar. Apart from the free snack   A standard Asian LCC experience.

Your time in Indonesia looks fab. I've only visited Bali, and was not impressed; I would very much like to see more of the country, as you did. Orangutans following gorillas in Rwanda... Are there any more primates left in small numbers for you to seek out?  

Garuda seem to have certainly shed their bad reputation from the days of the EU blacklist. Thumbs up for the improvements!

I must say the ferry out to the island does look a bit dodgy - how long does the crossing take? It does seem similar to the Penang ferry accross the straight. And the island hideaway looks stunning! A perfect getaway spot, with very few tourists  

Thanks again

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6484 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 12286 times:

Hi Gabriel !

Thanks for an interesting part 2 of your Asia series!

Great pictures and flights look nice especially for being so short; GA is very impressive !

Nice to see you got to see Orangutans in the wild!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I’m hoping the Nepali visa can be plastered over my Larnaca stamp

They are more likely to deny you the visa due to lack of space in the passport. Let us know what happens.....

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Well, I;ve now got a 1 year multiple entry Indian visa in there, so want to use that at least once or twice

I believe Indian visas are still valid even in an old expired passport as long as it is presented along with a new valid passport.

Looking forward to the next part!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5115 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 12235 times:

Hi, Gabriel,

great to follow Part II of you´re new series. Well done.
That jungle treck looks like amazing and also the flights seems ok.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):

The seat back pocket was full. Magazine

Now that looks like nice.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Shop

And this looks like very nice!.

Waiting for part III.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11934 times:

Quoting signol (Reply 10):
excellent reports of your first Asian flights.

Thanks

Quoting signol (Reply 10):
There have been quite a few reports on Jetstar, and whilst Valuair is different, it is still quite similar. Apart from the free snack A standard Asian LCC experience.

Yeah, they seemed to be pretty good with the assigned seats, free snack and early check in

Quoting signol (Reply 10):
Your time in Indonesia looks fab. I've only visited Bali, and was not impressed; I would very much like to see more of the country, as you did. Orangutans following gorillas in Rwanda... Are there any more primates left in small numbers for you to seek out?

Ha, probably., I'll need to investigate!

Quoting signol (Reply 10):
Garuda seem to have certainly shed their bad reputation from the days of the EU blacklist. Thumbs up for the improvements!

Yeah, thumbrs up for them

Quoting signol (Reply 10):
I must say the ferry out to the island does look a bit dodgy - how long does the crossing take? It does seem similar to the Penang ferry accross the straight. And the island hideaway looks stunning! A perfect getaway spot, with very few tourists

The ferry was ok, better thna the one I took today! Crossing was about 2 hours

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
Thanks for an interesting part 2 of your Asia series!

no problem

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
Great pictures and flights look nice especially for being so short; GA is very impressive !

Yeah, GA was very good

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
They are more likely to deny you the visa due to lack of space in the passport. Let us know what happens.....

Well, I still have 2 full free pages so should be ok

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
I believe Indian visas are still valid even in an old expired passport as long as it is presented along with a new valid passport.

Really? Will need to investigate

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
great to follow Part II of you´re new series. Well done.

Thanks!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
That jungle treck looks like amazing and also the flights seems ok.

Yeah, the jungle was great



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1118 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11825 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Gabriel,
Nice to see part 2 online.
Once again nice trip report.
GA looks good indeed! Nice and impressive pictures of Indonesia!

cheers,
adamspotter // Brendan


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11767 times:

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 14):
Once again nice trip report.

Thanks Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 14):
GA looks good indeed! Nice and impressive pictures of Indonesia!

Yeah, GA were nice - would be nice to try them again sometime. And Indoniesia is just lovely!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 11610 times:

Hi Gab,

Good to see the second part up so shortly. Indonesia looks nice, although I really admire you for going off the beaten path to Banda Aceh, somehow I don't think they get that many western visitors over there. The Sharia law sounds a bit scary to me, especially knowing your fondness of the tipple!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Valuair was bought by Jetstar Asia to operate their Singapore-Indonesia flights. For some reason, they were unable to operate flights on their own.

Valuair sounds like a very crappy name - wouldn't trust a carrier named like that. Or maybe I just remember the Valujet Florida crash too well...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
As I had a nice long layover, I was planning on using the pool in the transit area. I got up there but decided not to swim in the end as it was pouring with rain.

Nice, I didn't know they had this! But then again nothing about Changi really surprises me anymore!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A food court area

What's up with the floor colors? Maybe they are trying to make it harder to spot spilled food.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I quite like this shot – CX heading to HKG

Nice! You can get this kind of shots at FRA as well - love it!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Not the best catering ever, but perfectly adequate for a short flight. I was surprised to see them do a BOB straight afterwards – can’t imagine many people bought stuff.

Interesting concept. I guess you could buy beer or other alcoholic drinks? Or is that too hardcore for an Indonesian carrier?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Garuda B737

Very nice inflight shot!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Tasty nasi goring (fried rice) for $1

Ahh, the trusty staple of Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine. I'm craving for some right now.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A leech

That's tiny! The Finnish ones are about the size of your index finger or even fatter!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Finally, we found some!

Say hello to your cousin! You certainly have a primate thing going on right now!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A Night-time activities included eating, and playing a lot of cards. There were five tourists (me, another Brit, a Finn, and Italian and a Frenchman) and four local guides, whom were pretty funny.

See, we are everywhere! I'm sure my countryman loved your Smirnoff!  
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The lounge – only £4 to get in, but I didn’t bother

Wow, that's a bargain! Wonder what they have there - I guess in Indonesia even the airport prices on food & beverages are quite modest? Next destination for Jonas, perhaps.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I’ve wanted to try Batavia ever since I saw an A319 of theirs in CAN – maybe the next time I’m in Indonesia. I love how they print the aircraft type in giant font under the name.

Batavia, the official airline of Batman & Gotham City.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I wasn’t sure what in expected to find onboard, but the cabin was a major shock – lovey! Like the colours too.

Looks nice. And reminds me quite a bit of my Flydubai flight - same kind of PTVs and nice, subtle interior colors.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Firefly of Malaysia. In case you hadn’t guessed, we’re at Polonia Airport

What a weird name. Did the Polish plumbers already reach Indonesia too?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The apple tea was ok (no other drinks were served). The green cake was vile, and the bun was full of BBQ meat, which was ok.

Ugh, that cake looks horrible! Pretty much nothing non-artifical among the ingredients, I think!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Eksecutif Class
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Ekonomi klass

Ahh, you gotta love Bahasa and the way they incorporate foreign words, adapting the spelling.

My favorite Malaysian term remains "Lif Bomba"  .


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 11576 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Good to see the second part up so shortly.

No problem FF!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
Indonesia looks nice, although I really admire you for going off the beaten path to Banda Aceh, somehow I don't think they get that many western visitors over there. The Sharia law sounds a bit scary to me, especially knowing your fondness of the tipple!

Awh, it's ok if you'e a tourist! Sharia law isn't as scary as it seems (can you tell I've had a few!)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
Valuair sounds like a very crappy name - wouldn't trust a carrier named like that. Or maybe I just remember the Valujet Florida crash too well...

THATS the name. I thought they were called the same thing. Yes, I agree, crap name

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
Interesting concept. I guess you could buy beer or other alcoholic drinks? Or is that too hardcore for an Indonesian carrier?

They're a Singaporean carrier. Not sure what they had on the torlley to be honest. Coke.....beer.... who knows?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
See, we are everywhere! I'm sure my countryman loved your Smirnoff!

Ah ha, I didn't share my Smirnoff with the Finn! That reminds me, I'm running out, need to restock at the Jakarta duty free on Wed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
What a weird name. Did the Polish plumbers already reach Indonesia too?

No idea! It's a districty of Medan. Annoyingly, Skyscanner only recognises airport codes and airport names, so it was a bit of a pain to plan unless you knew the airport names!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4250 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11514 times:

Hi Gabriel,

the green cake on GA, well, it's my most liked Indonesian cake to be honest. Maybe this taste was no good but it should be very nice taste  

GA new interior, really great, love the colour, and screens, good service etc. Definitely great! But, they also have other 737-800s, more on that in my tripreport soon.

Lovely pics and story from Indonesia so far, I love it. This is really a great country, though, when everything runs smooth. The Nasi, Goreng btw (not goring) looks great, but our home made ones are better judging from the picture   Did you try Nasi Uduk also? Maybe something to do soon.

Looking forward to the next episode!

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11356 times:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):

the green cake on GA, well, it's my most liked Indonesian cake to be honest. Maybe this taste was no good but it should be very nice taste

Really? Maybe the GA version is ajust a bit yuck.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
GA new interior, really great, love the colour, and screens, good service etc. Definitely great! But, they also have other 737-800s, more on that in my tripreport soon.

Completely agree - lovely service. I heard that some of their planes aren't so nice though (ex FR ones?)

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
Lovely pics and story from Indonesia so far, I love it. This is really a great country, though, when everything runs smooth. The Nasi, Goreng btw (not goring) looks great, but our home made ones are better judging from the picture Did you try Nasi Uduk also? Maybe something to do soon.

Not tried the Nasi Uduk - will save that for next time! I'l have to come to your house and try your Nasi Goreng!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6708 posts, RR: 78
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11345 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 19):
I heard that some of their planes aren't so nice though (ex FR ones?)

14 737-800s out of 53, registered PK-GEE to -GER, are used ones. Former operators were Air Berlin, Air Europa, ATA Airlines, Futura, Inter Airlines (Turkey), Ryanair and XL Airways.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 11326 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
14 737-800s out of 53, registered PK-GEE to -GER, are used ones. Former operators were Air Berlin, Air Europa, ATA Airlines, Futura, Inter Airlines (Turkey), Ryanair and XL Airways.

Interesting to know - good that I got a new one with PTVs



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 11196 times:

Hey great report and lovely photos as usual. Your big into your adventures and it produces some really unique photos for us all to see so thanks alot for that .  

Another nice Garuda report and as with Udo's report I love the interiors.

Thanks for another nice read .

Regards

Philip  


User currently onlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 959 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 11109 times:

Nice read! Great destination pics as usual too!
Garuda seemed pretty good for such a short hop!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Thankfully there was an “Early check in” desk, so I was able to drop off my bag, and go through security without having to hang around.

A lot of airlines offer that at SIN, so you can enjoy the wonderful world of airside SIN  
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
As I had a nice long layover, I was planning on using the pool in the transit area. I got up there but decided not to swim in the end as it was pouring with rain.

Walked past it a couple of times, never saw it from the inside.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Nice clouds en route

When I flew in to SIN (on JQ, actually) in November we were put in a hold for over 30 minutes due to rain. Man, those were some of the most 30 beautiful 30 minutes on board an aircraft... the cloud formation were amazing.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Hopefully it finally taught some people to obey the crew, but I have my doubts.

I'm pretty sure they'll be standing the next time too!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A cold Bintang (Superstar) beer

Bintang = headache for me  


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11019 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 22):
Hey great report and lovely photos as usual

Thanks Phil

Quoting OA260 (Reply 22):
. Your big into your adventures and it produces some really unique photos for us all to see so thanks alot for that .

Yeah, it's a bit of an addiction I need to kick!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 23):
Nice read! Great destination pics as usual too!

Thanks

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 23):
Garuda seemed pretty good for such a short hop!

Yeah, GA were great

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 23):
A lot of airlines offer that at SIN, so you can enjoy the wonderful world of airside SIN

I'm surprised a loco had it though, especailly as they say that check only opens 2 hours in advance

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 23):
I'm pretty sure they'll be standing the next time too!

I think so too!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 23):
Bintang = headache for me

Ha, yeah, gave me a few headaches as well - not much option though



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
25 deltamartin : Hi Gabriel! Nice report as usual! For sure an enjoyable read. Looks like you had a nice couple of flights, GA seemed really good. Nice pictures! Makes
26 gabrielchew : Thanks Martin Yeah, some nice flights were had around Indonesia You should - that night in the jungle was great
27 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Gabriel, Great report. I especially like the part of your visit to Bukit Lawang and Pulau Weh. I did not manage yet to go that far. Simply a good a
28 gabrielchew : You need to go soon then! It was luxury Yeah, could get beer in most places Lucky me! I guess that flight is longer?
29 sfflyer123 : Great report! Very nice!
30 gabrielchew : Thanks sfflyer123, glad you liked it!
31 alexeu : Hi, Another great report! Last time I was in SE Asia, a year ago, I heard that a special permit was needed to visit the Aceh province! But its good th
32 gabrielchew : Thanks Alex You used to need a permit, but I think after the 2004 tsunami, the government opened up the province to encourage tourism and NGOs It's m
33 ba319-131 : Another great read GC! - Agreed, nice pic with the 747 cockpit in the back. - Yes, not keen on this. - Odd! - Yuck! GA look much improved based on thi
34 gabrielchew : Thanks Mark! Thank you! yes, funny order to do things Yes, I'd like to try them on a longer flight next time...maybe AMS-CGK?!
35 gabrielchew : Thanks Mark Thanks! Yes, very strange procedure Yes, I'd have no problems flying them again
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