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Colourful Kathmandu With MH And A Bit Of SQ  
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 15 hours ago) and read 14661 times:

Recently, me and my partner went to Kathmandu for a short 4-nights getaway, experiencing a destination different from the norm. Initially I was very hesitant about going to such an under-developed country, but after visiting Nepal, it proved to be one of the most enjoyable places to visit so far, with the exception of the initial culture-shock!

Obtaining reasonably-priced tickets from Singapore to Kathmandu is almost impossible, with Silkair pricing their tickets at more than S$900!! TG was near at $800+ with transit in BKK. Jet Airways was cheapest at S$600+ but the return flight necessitated a 12hrs transit in Delhi, which proved out of the question. Then came Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia X, both which started flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu from late last year. Air Asia X was selling tickets from as low as S$550 with bags from SIN-KTM via KUL, but no connections is possible and each flight requires individual check-ins. Not too keen in transfering in LCCT and enduring long immigration queues, and the return flight requires a stay in KL as it is too late to catch the last AK flight to SIN. Then Malaysia Airlines sprung with an offer price (via Cheapoair.com) of S$700 all-in, with departure early from SIN, and returning comfortable in the evening. Perfect timings! And the last sector KUL-SIN was on SQ as well as MH also code-shared on the flight. Booked!! Next was the hotel, which was also a headache due to the many choices and locations, and I settled on the new Shambaling Hotel, which is situated in Boudha and away from the touristic area of Thamel, and offered one of the best hotel service and experience I have ever encountered!! On to the trip report.


The first sector, SIN-KUL, departs at the very early hour of 0645am from Changi Terminal 2. Online check-in has been performed on the SIN-KUL sector, but could not be done for the KUL-KTM sector. Not sure of the reason why. No problems as check-in at 0530am was with minimal queues and efficiently done by a seemingly very tired but still with smiles agent, and when requested for emex row on the KUL-KTM sector, was offered readily! Scored!!

My 2 boarding passes for both sectors. The boarding passes looked a tad boring, only in black and white.




Proceeded through immigration and got some light bites for breakfast. Shops were just opening at 6am. Outside on the tarmac, Silkair and Tiger aircrafts were being prepared for their morning departures.



17 January 2013
Malaysia Airlines
MH 602
Singapore (SIN) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
B737-800
9M-FFD
Economy Class


Departure was from Gate F52, which is one of the recently re-configured dual aircraft gates. At the gate was parked a Silkair aircraft departing for Surabaya as well as my MH aircraft. However as the MI flight was departing later, processing was only done for the MH flight. Boarding has just started when I reached the gate. Only the Silkair aircraft was visible from the gate while the MH aircraft was parked at an angle away from view. Boarded via bridge F52B (F52A links to the Silkair plane) and only when nearing the aircraft door that I could see that the plane was still in the old MH livery. Not good, means that it must be one of the ex-Firefly planes. No worries as it would only be a short flight, but I would not be too pleased if it was flying the KUL-KTM sector.

2 female crew members were cheerfully welcoming passengers onboard the flight at the door. More crew members were along the aisle welcoming passengers as well and assisting with bags. Total of 5 crew members, 2 in Business Class and 3 in Economy today. Finally reached my seat at row 20. A SQ B772 was parked beside.




Boarding in progress with crew assisting with bags. It turned out to be an almost full flight, mainly with business travellers.




Seat pitch was not that fantastic on this ex-Firefly plane. Probably only an inch better than the budget carriers? Seats also appeared worn out. Not good for a full-service carrier.




Inflight magazine and safety card in the seat pocket.




Pushback was delayed due to late boarding by a family. Doors were finally closed and safety video was played. The new MH safety video, which was introduced recently, was broadcasted on the overhead drop-down LCD screens. Felt that it was also better than the SQ one (which looked like a final-year project video by tertiary institution students).




Click here to watch the new safety video, uploaded by a youtuber.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFpMiTAtz7Y


Pushed back. Looked like Tiger and Silkair are dominating T2 now.




Taxi to Rwy 02C for takeoff. An early HKG-bound CX flight departs.




Takeoff from Rwy 02C bound for KL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1DbOBtgXpI


Sunrise.




After takeoff announcement while climbing to cruising altitude.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHRUe8KNYeU


Service on the short hop started, first with the distribution of peanuts by a stewardess from a basket. Hmm, peanuts so early in the morning.

MH peanuts. Well, better than nothing.




After peanuts were distributed, crew came out with trays of orange juice, apple juice or water, all poured in cups. I had an apple juice. Apparently hot coffee/tea were also available on request as a few passengers requested for them.




Beautiful sunrise.




Pilot's announcement just prior to descent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87orfvoFwnw


We ended up circling for 15min while waiting for landing clearance. Boosted the flight time from 30min to 45min. Crew also cleared all refuse and prepared cabin for landing. Very efficient performance by the MH crew. Guess they are used to these short sectors.




Final after a few turns, we made out final approach into KLIA.




Lower...




Nearly there, overflying plantations.




Landing on Rwy 32L after a 45min flight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOxCgNiKm4k


KLIA 2 in the distance, due for completion by June this year.

MH land.




Parked at gate.




Economy seats during disembarkation. Sorry for the blurred pictures.




Business Class seats. Looked like Jetstar Business Class seats to me.




My only proper view of 9M-FFD.




A short SIN-KUL sector on MH with the basics. Generally friendly and cheerful crew (surprisingly for such an early flight out) with the standard MH offerings.

[Edited 2013-01-26 08:35:51]

[Edited 2013-01-26 08:37:14]


My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1162 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 14314 times:

The YouTube does not seem to work.

User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 3 hours ago) and read 13702 times:

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 1):
The YouTube does not seem to work.

Hmm, not sure why the links are not working. Guess would need to "copy-and-paste" the links.



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months ago) and read 13348 times:

After disembarkation, we originally only had a short 50min to transfer to our next connection. However when checking the Flight Information Displays, our connecting flight was delayed for 2hrs from 0855hrs to 1100hrs! Approached the transfer desk to enquire regarding the delay and was informed that it was due to the morning fog in Kathmandu which necessitates the closure of the airport. I had read about the infamous Kathmandu fog and thus was not too troubled with the delay. The transfer agent also gave us a breakfast voucher each worth RM13, to be used at any restaurant in the airport.




Went to Old Town White Coffee to grab a hearty Malaysian breakfast!




The cafe had a nice view of the tarmac but unfortunately, there were not many interesting movements other than MHs and more MHs, until I spotted the MH Retro-jet 9M-MXA taxiing in! What luck!




Three different MH liveries can be seen here.




The morning SQ flight has also just arrived.

17 January 2013
Malaysia Airlines
MH 170
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Kathmandu (KTM)
B737-800
9M-MXF
Economy Class


The next sector, MH170, would be departing from the main terminal building, where the bulk of MH narrow-body flights depart from. I had checked on the previous planes used on this sector and they were a mix of either leased B738 or MH's own B738s with Boeing Sky Interior and AVOD. Thus was keeping my fingers crossed that I would not get the leased planes. Luck on my side, the aircraft assigned to the KTM sector today was 9M-MXF, a new AVOD equipped B738!




The boarding gate was rather crowded, mainly with nepalese worker traffic. Only a few tourist faces. MH musty be really doing very well on this route, especially with such high load factors even for a newly launched flight. Guess it would soon increase to daily if the high load factor continues. Boarding was soon announced, by status followed by row numbers. It was enforced strictly, so much so that it was amusing to see a number of nepalese workers hesitating to board when their rows were called after watching a few turned back when they tried to board during the priority boarding.

Boarding the aircraft.




Was welcomed by the leading crew at door, who started a small conversation, asking if we were going to Kathmandu for holiday. Apparently we and a few others stood out from the mainly workers traffic.

Passed the 16-seater Business Class cabin with blue leather seats.




Into the Economy cabin with seats in pristine condition. It was a drastic difference from the previous sector where the seats were even in worse condition than budget airlines. Blankets, pillows and headphones were pre-set on every seat.




With personal IFE available as well. Now, this is how a 5-stars airline should be!




My seat at the emergency exit row 14A, with tons of legroom! However, do note that even though this is the 2nd emergency exit row, the seat also could not be reclined, similar to Row 12 in front. But I am satisfied with the more than adequate legroom as the normal rows do not seemed to have too much seat pitch (only 30" as written on MH's website). The PTV is touch-screen enabled, with the handset below the screen. There is also a USB port, as well as electrical point in between each pair of seat. Seats are all upholstered in leather and are comfortable.




Similar contents in the seat pocket as on the previous flight. No duty-free purchase available on this flight either.




While at the gate.




Boarding in progress. The cabin of this B738 with Boeing Sky Interior really felt more spacious and modern and any other narrow-body aircraft I had flown on. There were 6 crew on this flight, 2 in Business Class and 4 in Economy Class. Guess MH staffed their longer flights with one additional crew.




Very soon. boarding was completed and we started out pushback with safety video shown. Flight time was announced to be 4hrs 15min. No flight map available on the IFE even though there is the option.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE67CWgr9so


Taxi to the departure runway, passing a MH B744.




Takeoff from Rwy 32R. Spot the all-white MH A380 in the video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auzkL_KyPSs


Climbing above the clouds.




After takeoff safety and service announcement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVDc9_W1GWE


After seatbelt signs were switched off, I made a visit to the lavatory to check it out. It was modern and rather well stocked with amenities.




Moisturizer and colognes were also available, but no toothbrushes and combs.




Cabin view again. It was an almost full flight!




Very soon after takeoff, crew came down the aisle with trolleys to serve brunch. 3 crew manned 2 trolleys to serve meals, while the 4th crew remained in the galley to replenish meals.




No menus available but 2 choices were on offer today by the crew. Spicy minced chicken with prata or omelette with sausage and hashbrown. We chose one of each. Accompany on the tray were fruits, yoghurt, orange juice, a packet of aftermint and a Mars dessert bar. I also had a tea to go along.




Meal revealed. Metal cutlery were used as well!




Spicy minced chicken with peas and prata. It was a bit hot but good enough.




Omelette with mushrooms, sausage, hashbrown and grilled tomato. The western selection was of both higher quantity and quality. Tasty omelette!




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12967 times:

Fresh fruits consisting of melons, papayas and a grape, along with yoghurt.




Mars bar and an interesting South Asian aftermint. Overall, the meal was substantial and satisfying, though not gourmet quality.




Cruising.




More drinks were offered during tray collection.




After trays were collected, I settled into the inflight entertainment. Even though this was the latest system on MH, the offerings for english movies were quite lacking. Apparently MH offers a smaller selection of english movies on shorter regional flights of up to 6 hours. The full selection, which would be comparable to other major carriers, would only be available on long-haul flights. This, I find, is rather unacceptable, and affects the consistency of service. Only 2 out of 16 latest release films and 9 out of 44 "favourite" films available on this flight. The rest of the asian films and tv programmes are available though. Games are also not available on B738 aircrafts. And as mentioned, the flight map is just an empty screen. Kind of reduced my choices by quite a bit. Not sure of the logic behind this but I suspect it is due to the cost of film copyrights. I eventually settled for a Japanese comedy for the flight.




Took a short nap halfway through the film as I was pretty tired and even with the upright seat, it was still rather comfortable for napping. Crew came around once or twice during the flight offering water, though they would also respond to call bells immediately.

Nearing Kathmandu, the Himalayas could be seen from the right side of the window. Alas I was on the wrong side, but the F seat were all taken when I checked in. However still managed use my camera's zoom function to grab a shot.




Pliot came on to give some arrival announcements and crew prepared aircraft for landing. Headsets were collected back by the crew, though the IFE was not switched off. We then started our descent into mountainous Nepal.




Turning circles in a valley.




Video of the descent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwXFF20V3YY


Final approach was rather interesting as the gears came down very early and descent angle was very steep as we flew across the hills into Kathmandu valley!!




Note the steep angle of the descent.




Landing in Tribhuvan Airport Rwy 02.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygPW_kVl4Qo


Had a rather long taxi to the parking stand as we need to backtrack along the runway to avoid the QR plane that would be taxiing in the other direction via the single taxiway. Apparently planes at KTM could take off towards either direction of the runway depending on their destination.




TG B772 from BKK. I guess this is the largest scheduled aircraft to land in KTM.




Parked at the stand beside Gulf Air A320. No aerobridges at this airport and so would be disembarking via the traditional way!




Waiting for disembarkation.




Down the stairs. 2 flights of stairs ensured a smooth disembarkation.




9M-MXF from the ground.




Tarmac towards the boring-looking terminal building.




Another shot of GF A320.




Under the wings.




China Southern A319 bound for Guangzhou and Qatar A320 taking off. There are up to 4 flights by QR to Doha daily! Surprised that Emirates do not fly here.




Just before boarding the bus with passengers still disembarking.




The bus brought to the arrival building and we were fearing long queues as the TG flight has just landed before us. Surprisingly, yes, there were long queues but only for the local and visitors with visas lane. The queue for visa-on-arrival facilities was almost non-existent! As we had prepared our photo and visa-application forms prior to landing, it was just a payment of USD$25 each at the counter, visa stuck onto passport and we were across within 5 minutes!! Ironically, the queue for locals and travellers with pre-obtained visas were snaking in the immigration hall. Guess now is really not the tourist season.

Off to the carousel belts to pick up luggage, of which there was only 4. Turned out 2 were broken and we were left with 2 usable ones to handle the load of arrival flights. On screen, TG bags were supposed to arrive on Belt 3, but all ended up on belt 2 instead.




And as the baggage belt it not very long, bags can only be loaded onto it after those on the belts had been retrieved, resulting in quite a wait.




It was almost an hour wait for most of the TG bags to clear before MH bags appear on the belt. By then, Silkair has also arrived and using the exact same belt. So now we had bags from 3 flights appearing on one belt. A huge mess!! Welcome to Kathmandu!!!




The flight on MH to KTM is rather comfortable and value-for-money, considering that competing carriers are charging obscene prices. No problems with the service and food was reasonable. Inflight entertainment is not as good as many carriers but with competing carriers on the route not offering IFE as well, guess not much of an issue here.

And so my Kathmandu adventure begins!



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12943 times:

Nice report! Good to see the new Sky interiors on the MH 737 fleet. It's annoying that they only offered a condensed AVOD choice, but CX do the same, even in C class.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 3):
The transfer agent also gave us a breakfast voucher each worth RM13, to be used at any restaurant in the airport.

Well, that's better than nothing. I guess if you don't ask you don't get though?

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Three different MH liveries can be seen here.

Ha, so they now have FOUR liveries flying!

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
TG B772 from BKK. I guess this is the largest scheduled aircraft to land in KTM.

I took this flight last year.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 12819 times:

Stayed at the new Shambaling Hotel, which was previously a Tibetan guest house. Newly renovated with 30 guest rooms and with great service staff, it is currently ranked No.1 or 2 on Tripadvisor. And rightfully so I feel! Loved the location too, within a Tibetan community and 10min walk to the Boudha Stupa.

The friendly hotel guard dog.

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/251953_10151565875949017_1290336283_n.jpg


Entrance to hotel




Hotel grounds



Reception




Room




Youtube video ad of the hotel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVduCIigHSE



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 12782 times:

Day 1:

Boudhanath Stupa is just a 10min walking distance from my hotel. The biggest stupa in Nepal and a really interesting area with Tibetan culture to visit. Many nice cafes around the area too with wonderful views of the stupa!

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/148329_10151562799244017_944689179_n.jpg


Locals, pilgrims and tourists circling the stupa and turning the prayer wheels.

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/528964_10151562799089017_1301544168_n.jpg


Prayer wheel

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/45893_10151562799154017_1035694513_n.jpg


http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/428325_10151562799319017_233437328_n.jpg

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http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/149580_10151564357559017_927648204_n.jpg


All sorts of incense on sale.

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/484787_10151564357599017_1925166012_n.jpg


Tibetan-style trinkets

http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/251971_10151564357539017_600851886_n.jpg


Dinner by the stupa

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/3388_10151555766244017_1089692658_n.jpg



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 11657 times:

Lots of places to visit on Day 2! First up, Swayambhu Monkey Temple.

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/484703_10151562802424017_289988079_n.jpg

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/304179_10151562802909017_1428804480_n.jpg


Monkeys everywhere! But they are rather harmless as long as not disturbed.

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/601163_10151562803299017_2051597497_n.jpg

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/554441_10151562803559017_322019051_n.jpg

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http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/549772_10151562808524017_291892172_n.jpg


Little monks having fun

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/196266_10151562803284017_1624296197_n.jpg


Lighting butter lamps.

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/734705_10151562804589017_525503319_n.jpg


http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/395449_10151562806069017_911270419_n.jpg

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/399129_10151562806359017_981120971_n.jpg


Rather hazy day.

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/312402_10151562807649017_1467654914_n.jpg


Other than monkeys, lots of dogs too!

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/149590_10151562807989017_62147505_n.jpg



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11588 times:

Next up, Durbar Square.

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/487083_10151562808574017_356108116_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/485959_10151562808794017_273007477_n.jpg

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http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/555451_10151562809504017_70591720_n.jpg


Spot the buffalo

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/37111_10151562810464017_945561394_n.jpg


http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/321441_10151562810729017_2047487791_n.jpg

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/14767_10151562810719017_359649888_n.jpg


School outing

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/309832_10151562811324017_2091336659_n.jpg


The goat is just like a puppy!

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/428330_10151562811304017_1084157209_n.jpg


http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/537161_10151562811394017_467962509_n.jpg


Buffaloes roam free.

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/734880_10151562811579017_1618138803_n.jpg

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/66456_10151562811569017_1696113494_n.jpg



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 10817 times:

Indra Chowk shopping street.

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/45873_10151562811894017_62582552_n.jpg

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Lunch time!

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/428360_10151556008189017_1059391716_n.jpg


Along Thamel

http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/602888_10151564201609017_425490750_n.jpg


Patan Durbar Square

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http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/428095_10151564201899017_428995920_n.jpg


Nice dinner!

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/603117_10151556299814017_1151282097_n.jpg



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinejetsetter629 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 439 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10706 times:

Great pictures of Kathmandu - certainly a place I would love to visit (along with the rest of Nepal). The food in Kathmandu looks great!

User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10224 times:

Day 3: Walk through a local neighbourhood uphill to Kopan Monastery, the monastery which inspired the movie "Little Buddha".

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/309824_10151564258944017_59769370_n.jpg

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Wonderful view of Kathmandu valley from Kopan Monastery!

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At Kopan Monastery

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Words of Dalai Lama

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Many little monks

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Pagoda of thousand Buddhas

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Great views

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Turning giant prayer wheel

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Don't mess with the cute doggie. It can really bark!

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TG B772 preparing to takeoff from Tribhuvan in the distance.

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Buffaloes as pets!

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Another monastery ahead.

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineVIDP From India, joined Feb 2010, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9935 times:

Nice pics Hope you enjoyed your trip in KTM. Did you take the everest flight.

User currently offlinelaolao From Laos, joined May 2008, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9550 times:

Very nice trip report. Remembers me at my trip to KTM 2011, though it's very poor, sometimes dirty and undeveloped, it's an amazing city and country. Nepali people are so friendly and kind, and i hope living and health conditions will improve in the near future.

User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9388 times:

Walking back towards Boudha

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Nepalese snack

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Selling popcorn and nuts.

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A small monastery in Boudha.

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Boudha again

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Giving light offerings

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Dinner beside Boudha again

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8923 times:

Day 4: Foggy morning at Baktapur ancient city.

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Locals going about their daily life in the ancient city. Attraction for tourists, but home for Baktapur residents.

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The school is definitely not fake!

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Back alleys

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Living in Baktapur

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The famous Baktapur-produced yoghurt!

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 8524 times:

On the way to Nagarkot for Himalayan mountains view!

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Mountains around the corner!

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There they are!! Luckily the morning fog had lifted.

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Back to town.

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8309 times:

4 nights in Kathmandu and it was time to return to the modern and material world. The return flight was booked on MH to KUL, transferring to SQ back to SIN. As MH codeshares with SQ and MI on the KUL-SIN vv sector, I was able to hop onto the earlier SQ flight, avoiding a 3hrs transit stop in KUL. Taxi ride from the hotel was a real interesting affair, with the driver avoiding the jams by cutting through a local residence area, along a beaten track up and down a hill and finally popping out just beside the airport entrance!!

Lots of migrant workers waiting to enter the terminal building.




Before entering the terminal building, all passengers must present a copy of their ticket/e-ticket for verification, and have their luggage screened. Luckily, MH check-in area was situated at the part of the building where there were not much of a queue. 3 counters opened for check-in today, but only a short queue as I guess most of the passengers (again mainly nepalese migrant workers) had arrived much earlier and checked in prior. There was a contract staff processing check-in and a MH staff supervising at each counter.




Was directed to the Business Class counter for check-in. Even though it was 1.5hrs prior to departure, I was already number 124 in sequence! However, our request for emergency exit rows were granted again! Score number 2! Bags were tagged to SIN but boarding passes for the SQ sector could not be issued and could only by picked up at KL. Luckily today's flight operated as scheduled as the previous 2 flights were heavily delayed due to foggy weather.




Off through immigration, where again the local queue was much longer than foreigners' queue, and into the waiting lounge before security. All airline lounges and duty free shops are at this area. Nothing too interesting though.




Then it was through another long queue for security screening before allowing into the gate area.

Boring and sterile-looking Tribhuvan terminal building.




Boarding gates, which resembled bus gates.




Clear skies today! Our MH plane had just arrived not too long ago.




Rather busy noon!! Mainly flights with worker traffic departing for regional destinations.




One of the four Qatar Airways flights scheduled on that day arriving.




Rak Airways A320 departing for Ras al-Khaimah. First time I heard of this airline and destination.




Tara Air Dornier Do228




Rak Airways pushing back.




View of tarmac with Himalayan mountains in the background.
21 January 2013
Malaysia Airlines
MH 171
Kathmandu (KTM) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
B737-800
9M-MLJ
Economy Class


Boarding started slightly late. Again, we were bussed to the aircraft as aerobridges are non-existant at this airport.




Upon alighting the bus, a queue was formed. A MH ground staff was directing passengers to the respective doors (front or rear) for boarding depending on the row numbers. This ensured a swift boarding process.




Aircraft today was the leased 9M-MLJ. Darn, no personal IFE today.




Royal Nepal B752 and Oman Air parked beside.




I was directed to the front door while some passengers were directed to the rear for boarding.




Entering the aircraft.




Fuselage seemed long at this angle!




Was welcomed aboard by 2 stewardesses at the door. Malaysian-published newspapers were available upon entry. Passed by the Business Class cabin with retro-looking seats. Only 2 out of 16 Business Class seats would be occupied today.




And into economy class, which was totally packed!!




Emex row again! Pillow, blanket and headsets on each seat, but no personal IFE available. Cabin was clean and well-maintained though. Unlike the previous flight, row 14 on this leased plane can be reclined! Perfect!




With the cabin crew's assistance to get everyone seated down, boarding was completed rather swiftly.



[Edited 2013-02-02 20:27:32]


My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7810 times:

Royal Nepal Airlines B752, with a plane departing.




Safety video played on the drop-down LCD screens.




Even though we were ready to go, the captain came on and gave the bad news that due to congestion in KTM, we would be expecting a delay of about 20min. Groans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyHbysJQ3As


Himalayas can be seen!




IndiGo A320 arrived.




However, we pushed back shortly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYpoy-pQlQk


View of Himalayas again.




Buddha Air ATR72 taking off.




Taxied to the runway holding point, where the wait started. We held there for about 15 minutes waiting for 4 planes to land!




The last of the 4 aircrafts that landed. TG's B772 from BKK.




45min after STD, we were finally on our way!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTLJ-EBmXn4


Right after takeoff, the aircraft made a 270 degrees left turn, overflying the city of Kathmandu while gaining altitude.




Over southern Kathmandu.




Beautiful Himalayas!




Another view.




Overflying Tribhuvan Airport. Peak hour now! All aircraft lots, less for one, at the International apron were taken up! Time for airport expansion!




Climbing higher.




Himalayan mountains could be viewed from the left side of the plane. Again, seated at wrong side, but give me emex row anytime!




Post takeoff announcement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGPb3ZoPUH4


Over hills.




Zoom out through the left window.




The nice passenger seated at the A seat, on seeing me taking photos, beckoned me over to snap some photos through his window. Nice scenery...




About 10min into the flight, the pilot came on and announced that Mt Everest was on the left! Again, snapped a zoom-up shot!




Inflight entertainment on this flight was a Hindi movie played on the overhead screens. I do not care for the movie, which however kept most of the other migrant workers onboard occupied. No radio channels were available as well even though channel selector was available on the seat, much to my disappointment.




Service started with a peanuts and water/juice run. I had an orange juice.




This was followed shortly by lunch. As the load in Business Class was very low, the leading stewardess came down to assist in Economy as well. 5 crew in economy really made for very efficient service!




Choices today were Chicken Briyani or Fish Curry with Rice. The tray came with a Chickpea and bean salad, warm bun with butter and dessert. I had an orange juice and white wine to go along. For a supposedly 5-stars airline, meal presentation was definitely much to be desired. What is with all the disposable plastic containers and cling-wraps?? No metal utensils used on this sector as well, unlike the incoming sector.




Chicken Briyani choice, which was rather tasty with huge chunks of meat under the rice. Rather spicy though.




Fish curry with rice, which was equally tasty and spicy as well. This appeared to be the more popular choice for the nepalese passengers. Guess seafood is not too readily available in Nepal.




Chickpeas and kidney beans salad for starter and Bread & Butter pudding for dessert.




Soft roll and Amul butter.




Chunky curry fish with rice.




Bread and butter pudding, which was quite nice as well.



Crew came round with 2 rounds of drinks before tray collection. However, no coffee/tea was offered during the meal service nor after during 2nd round of drinks or tray collection. Weird....

Cruising.




Visited the lavatory, which was rather basic on this leased aircraft.




However the standard amenities were still available.




View of the cabin. It was almost full in economy again!




Having nothing to keep myself entertained, I took a nap during the flight. Luckily the seat is comfortable, with lots of legroom and decent recline.

Nearing Malaysia, it started getting cloudy and a bit bumpy.



[Edited 2013-02-04 06:14:11]


My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7491 times:

After a comfortable but boring 4hrs of flying, the captain came on with the arrival announcement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyw_nuG_n2Y


Sunset.




Crew prepared aircraft for landing, followed with the landing announcement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plJ4n0Cnf6w


Nearing Kuala Lumpur.




Making a turn back to the airport.




Approaching KLIA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfYYn-EZjso


Landing in KLIA Rwy32L, about 15min behind schedule. Made up quite some time enroute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js-GfUcNe_M


Taxi to and parked at the main terminal.




Disembarking, with a blurred picture of normal seat rows. Legroom did not seemed that good.




Another comfortable flight on MH but it was lacking inflight entertainment. It is a lottery on whether you would get an aircraft with personal IFE as MH rotates both its leased and owned aircraft around on the regional routes. Catering is good but presentation is definitely not 5-star standard. Crew were friendly, but not particularly outstanding (think average SQ crew). All in, acceptable flights on MH.


Upon disembarkation, a MH ground staff was waiting for us with our connecting boarding passes. Interestingly, they were handwritten boarding passes on MH stock. We were informed to proceed to the boarding gate directly for our SQ flight. Unfortunately, we were assigned one of the worst seats on the aircraft, the middle seats right in the center of the 4-seater row. The MH staff explained that the seats were assigned by SQ and there was nothing she could do about it, and we have to approach the SQ staff at the gate for any changes. Here, I was also wondering how we would be allowed onboard with the hand-written boarding passes.

21 January 2013
Singapore Airlines
SQ 119
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Singapore (SIN)
A330-300
9V-STH
Economy Class


Took the train to the satellite terminal and proceeded to gate C3, where our A330 aircraft had already arrived. In fact, the aircraft had landed just after my KTM flight arrived. It has been quite a while since I last flew SQ on the KUL-SIN route, especially with the invasion of budget carriers.




At the gate, the SQ agents saw our hand-written boarding passes and moved us aside to the processing counter, where we were then issued with proper SQ boarding passes. Our bag tags were also checked to ensure that our luggage would make it onboard. I requested for a change of seats from the center seats and we were given window/aisle seats. It was only when the boarding pass was issued that I realized that it was the emex row again! Hat-trick!




9V-STH preparing for the short flight back to SIN. 3rd time that I would be flying her!




Flight appeared rather full, with mainly connecting passengers. Not many business travellers on this flight. All has defected to the budget carriers? Boarded, welcomed at the door and directed to my seat. Newspapers were available as well during boarding.

My seat with tons of legroom!




Magazine rack at the side.




Newspapers, inflight mags, safety card.




40min to cover 294km.




SIN is literally a short hop away.




Boarding in progress. The middle seats remained empty. Guess nobody wants to fork out extra money for the seats on this short flight, unless they are free!




At the gate.




Pushed back on time and took off from Rwy 32R. No video as the stewardess was just seated in front of me. Made a quick visit to the lavatory after seatbelt signs were switched off. No amenities other than the mouthwash on this short flight.




Service started, with the crew offering a selection of coffee, tea, orange/apple juices or water. No nibbles on offer as usual. I had an apple juice, which came in a pre-packed container. Service was very efficient today.




Drinks cart reaching my row.




Very soon after, the pilot came on and descend commenced. Trash were cleared and we soon approached Singapore. Surprisingly, not much of a hold tonight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SIIIMiH084


Landed on schedule on Rwy 02L and had a short taxi to T3 for disembarkation. Our front-row seats while waiting to disembark. If only the flight is longer...




Mid-cabin.




9V-STH with its distinctive grey nosecone.




Short and efficient sector on SQ but would appreciate some nibbles (aka MH peanuts) during the flight. This thus concludes my very long Kathmandu trip report. Hope you have enjoyed it!! Comments are very much welcomed!


Next month, I would be doing a 11-days USA trip to New York, Buffalo, Las Vegas and Frisco, on a mix of SQ, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America and Jetblue, in a mix of economy and business classes! Watch out for it!


My past reports:
Bangkok Countdown 2013 By Myanmar Airways Intl (by ycp81 Jan 4 2013 in Trip Reports)
Catching My "Final" Qantas A380 Flights (by ycp81 Nov 30 2012 in Trip Reports)
JQ & SQ Albino Jets To Beijing In Business! (by ycp81 Sep 27 2012 in Trip Reports)
Silkair To Solo, The Spirit Of Java (by ycp81 Sep 16 2012 in Trip Reports)
Lazing In Kandooma (SQ To Maldives) (by ycp81 Aug 11 2012 in Trip Reports)
"Scoot" Off For A BKK Weekend (TZ/3K) (by ycp81 Jul 19 2012 in Trip Reports)
City, Beach And Food Paradise (Jetstar,KLM,Tiger) (by ycp81 May 1 2012 in Trip Reports)
Getaways To KCH & BKK On The 'T's (TR & TG) (by ycp81 Feb 23 2012 in Trip Reports)
Winter Weekend In Macau & Hong Kong On Jetstar (by ycp81 Jan 22 2012 in Trip Reports)
Flying The Kangaroo To Oz (by ycp81 Dec 10 2011 in Trip Reports)
Taiwan On 4 Airlines (TR,KL,GE,SQ) In 3 Classes (by ycp81 Nov 6 2011 in Trip Reports)
Binge In Bangkok By 3K And FD (by ycp81 Aug 22 2011 in Trip Reports)
Jetstar Long-Haul To Auckland! (by ycp81 Aug 11 2011 in Trip Reports)
Budget Weekend Trips To Phuket & KL (by ycp81 Jul 19 2011 in Trip Reports)
Budget Vs Business To Boracay (TR, 5J, 2P, SQ) (by ycp81 May 6 2011 in Trip Reports)
Bonjour Paris On SQ A380 (by ycp81 Feb 14 2011 in Trip Reports)
To The Cape With SQ (Pics And Vids) (by ycp81 Jan 29 2011 in Trip Reports)
Another Short Hop To KL On Firefly And Air Asia (by ycp81 Nov 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
TG Vs SQ To Incheon (Lots Of Pics And Vids) (by ycp81 Nov 8 2010 in Trip Reports)
Lazing In Lombok By Silkair (by ycp81 Aug 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Mix Of Both Worlds (Budget Vs 5-Stars To KCH) (by ycp81 Jul 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
Tigering To Vietnam (and VN Domestic) With Videos (by ycp81 May 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
Flying With Malaysian Hospitality To Tokyo (by ycp81 Apr 17 2010 in Trip Reports)
Silkair To Siem Reap : A Wonderful Way To Fly! (by Ycp81 Feb 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
36hrs In KL By Firefly And Air Asia (by Ycp81 Oct 30 2009 in Trip Reports)
Invasion Of The LCCs (Penang On Tiger And Jetstar) (by Ycp81 Aug 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
10 Flights On 6 Airlines In 11 Days! (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Way To Taipei (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
SIN-DPS-SIN On Lionair And SQ (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
SIN-SYD-MEL-SYD-SIN On SQ & QF (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
SIN-SGN-SIN On SQ In 2008 (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
Missing Swiss In SIN (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
('07 Memories) SIN-KBV-DMK,BKK-SIN On TR, DD & FD (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12408 posts, RR: 37
Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7427 times:

Very enjoyable - well done. I'd certainly love to visit Kathmandu - and Nepal. Mind you, I wouldn't fancy flying into KTM in bad weather or at night!

User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1118 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7380 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report with many nice pictures, thanks for sharing!
MH looks like a mixed bag here. Its quite a lottery to find out if you get one of their new or leased aircraft, quite a shame really.
Loved your pictures of Nepal, fantastic stuff!

Looking forward to your USA TRs  

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinefidelidade From Brazil, joined Dec 2012, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6822 times:

I can't believe you went to Nepal. I found it a very strange place.

User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6493 times:

I loved your warts and all pictures. Anytime I think of Kathmandu my stomach churns and I want to cough. The air there is impossible to breathe.

Your trip report is a very accurate reference article for anyone planning a trip to Kathmandu. It's real and honest.

Love reading it. Well done.


25 allrite : I enjoyed reading your report and the interesting pictures of Nepal. Pity that MH are not consistent in their 737 offerings - at least I now know not
26 Post contains links ycp81 : Thanks for reading. Apparently there are a few scheduled arrivals/departures into KTM at night! You never know what you are gonna get! It was not too
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