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My Transpacific Adventure, Part Two, Many Pics!  
User currently offlineUniTED From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 312 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5715 times:

This is a continuation of My Transpacific Adventure, Part One which described my UA flights on IAD-SFO-NGO

After four wonderful days in Nagoya, Osaka, and Kyoto Japan we were ready to escape the super-technological, conformist, (yet extremely interesting) culture of Japan to that of a more laid-back Thailand, of which we have only read. On the 24th of June we made our way though the ancient capital of Kyoto on bicycle. Here is my last dinner in Japan:


Eventually we made our way to Kyoto’s grand train station which is a HUGE shopping mall/park/train station all together. The thing was so huge, I couldn’t believe it! Most of what I saw in Japan so far in terms of buildings, cities, and malls were much larger than we are used to in America!

After a beautiful yet smoggy sunset over Kyoto...

we headed out to Osaka Kansai (KIX) to catch our 01:25 flight to Phuket. We arrived at KIX at around 9:30, with four hours to spare! So we took showers and surfed the internet on KiX’s free wireless system while we waited for TG’s counters to open. After being charged for a fuel surcharge, we were checked in and given seats since there were only about eighty people booked on this “MIdnight ‘Plane to Phuket”, a massive A300-600.

Osaka Kansai - Phuket
Dep: 0125
Arr: 0555
2967 miles


Boarding for the flight began at about 1:00 am and was completed very soon thereafter. I was very thrilled to experience an Asian carrier’s service for the very first time, as I was used to UA service levels. We claimed our seats in the rear of the first economy cabin just behind the wing. Since the flight was so lightly loaded, we were able to spread out a bit and I claimed a row of two next to a window.

The cabin after takeoff...
Soon after takeoff from Osaka’s unique island airport, the flight attendants came around passing out various sandwitches and Japanese rice balls as a light midnight snack. The cabin lights were off for the entire night portion, until the breakfast service. I tried to force a small nap, but my efforts were futile and I ended up just nodding off a few times to sleep. After about four hours, the flight attendants came through with a full breakfast service. What really surprised me was the speed at which they distributed the choices of omlette with potatoes or baked fish. I’m not really much of a fish person, so I took an omlette and opted for some tea in the cute little glass with the Thai logo on it. The breakfast came with various fruit, a very scarce item in Japan and must have been the most expensive part of this breakfast. Breakfast was on a large tray that took up the entire tray table and included a choice of breakfast breads. The extremely gracious crew took very good care of us and came countless times with tea, coffee, and bread extras.

The cabin was not particularly beautiful, but there was no trash to be seen and the sidewalls had strange shaded murals of flowers, very 70’s! However, the gracious flight crew more than made up for the antiquated interrior.

Soon we were descending into Phuket, still in darkness as the 6.00 hour was approaching. In darkness we pulled into the gate and deboarded; all the women were given orchids on their way out. Customs was a breeze and as a German citizen, we did not have to pay any fee for arrival, although the Americans in our group did. I found an amusing sign right before entry into the immigration control- “no hippies allowed in Thailand.” So then what if you are a hippie? Do you tell the nice customs people that, and they ship you out? It was quite funny and we all had a few forced early morning laughs over it. Soon enough we were outside the terminal in the fresh humid morning air being surrounded by a sea of taxi drivers making offers. We bargained a little in the limited Thai skills of one of our group members and found a taxi for Eight Dollars A Day! Could this be a reality for us in the next week?

During our lovely week in Phuket at the JW Marriot resort south of the Airport, we relaxed and had a fantastic time. The resort was without exception the best I've ever experienced.

We also hired a taxi-van for the entire day for fifteen dollars! On one day we toured Patong Beach and the shops around there where everything was “cheap, cheap, same, same!” and all the sales peoples were “my friend!” It felt awkward being so, well, worshipped, almost just because we’re Western tourists. The market was astonishing with so many different kinds of unique produce and (yuck!) dried fish...


I simply loved the beach and watching the sun set over the Andaman Sea and looking over the light blue ocean in the direction of India!


After a week there, it was time to tour Bangkok, so we were to head out on TG222, the 10.10 747-300 to Bangkok. We took another (!cheap!) taxi out to HKT airport and checked in with Thai there. Up to now, Thai was very friendly to us, considering we were NRSAs, but the agents at HKT were very abrupt and short with us. Maybe it was because of the overbookings that day, which caused us to actually catch the 11.20 flight instead. Anyway, the show definately went on!

Phuket - Bangkok
Dep: 11.20
Arr: 12.45
430 miles

There is really very little to report about this flight other than it was my first shorthaul flight within Asia and the level of service was simply outstanding! On a block-to-block flight time of 1.25 there was a boxed green curry wrap lunch served with a full beverage service and plenty of time to spare. This simply does not occur anymore in the US or Europe much, for that matter. The only good picture I got in this flight was of the map, since we were in the middle block of four on this A300, a 100% full flight.


Arriving in Bangkok in the early afternoon, we had the rest of the day to explore from our "hotel" near to Siam Square. Bangkok was so surreal to my eyes since it is a laborynth of streets, elevated subways, and elevated, twisting walkways in the midst of high-rise malls and hotels. It was really amazing! More to follow!

The opinions expressed here are mine and not necessarily those of Delta Air Lines.
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineWN230 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 341 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5588 times:

That was a nice part two. The pics were great, especially ones of the JW Marriott in Phuket. Can't wait for the next reports. 


[Edited 2006-12-06 05:23:06]

Judas Priest North American tour in '08 . . . cannot wait!!!
User currently offlineThepilot From Canada, joined Jan 2010, 5 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5512 times:

Quoting UniTED (Thread starter):

Eventually we made our way to Kyoto’s grand train station which is a HUGE shopping mall/park/train station all together. The thing was so huge, I couldn’t believe it! Most of what I saw in Japan so far in terms of buildings, cities, and malls were much larger than we are used to in America!

Yeah, this was an absolutely beautiful train station! I spent an afternoon on the top of the roof looking over this amazing city. Great trip report, though, thank you for sharing.

From YVR
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4864 times:
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Very nice report and pictures!


User currently offlineSkyvanMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4561 times:

Awesome report. I'm anxiously awating hte next part. BTW in response to your comment about the fruit being very expensive in Japan, TG might have had the food for the return flight from japan put on the aircraft when it left HKT (I assume the aircraft runs an HKT roundtrip).

The 3 best planes of all time: Shorts Skyvan, 330 and 360
User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3917 times:

You reported no problems with the Taxis at HKT. Flying there in March, according to the web site, there is a warning about the taxi drivers, part of a gang, don't want to take you to your hotel, etc. With all the wide bodies that TG flies into HKT, any major problems checking in..

User currently offlineUniTED From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3879 times:

No, we didn't have much trouble at all with taxis. The drivers were very friendly and did not take us on any "detours." However, we did go on a day-long boating excursion at on the way back our driverrs took us on an unplanned jewlery "excursion." This is where they undoubtedly get a pre-set amount of money from the jewelry warehouse for bringing tourists there. That was definately frusterating.

Other than that, the check-in at HKT was really not that bad nor were there long lines. My only gripe is that the agents were mean to us, but then again, being NRSA is hit-or-miss with friendliness: some take pity on the stand-bys and others think we're just inconveniences.

Thanks for reading!

The opinions expressed here are mine and not necessarily those of Delta Air Lines.
User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3806 times:
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Thai's A300s are awful. The cabins are so old and dated - the sooner they replace them the better.

Nice trip report though - just sorry you had to fly on such a battered and tired old aircraft!

User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8588 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3732 times:
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Nice report, thanks.

Quoting WN230 (Reply 1):
The pics were great, especially ones of the JW Marriott in Phuket

- I stayed there last new yearss ever for a few days, super place, loved it, just wish the company I was with had been different!(another story)

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 7):
Thai's A300s are awful. The cabins are so old and dated - the sooner they replace them the better.

- Flew HS-TAG back in jan, she seemed pretty tidy, all Thai need to do is give them a cabin make over, I love them, superb planes  Smile



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