initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:51 am



Pre-Trip

There comes a time whereby you have to plan a trip out of the ordinary for yourself while also keeping in a set budget. Planning a trip out of the ordinary means a lot of things; flights, hotels, accommodation and most important of all, the destination. Choosing destination(s) for a trip can be based on certain factors like the culture, the food, the people and the scenery. However, in this trip, be amazed at how the destinations are chosen according to the flights that targeted at, mostly fifth freedom flights or with unique aircraft.

Planning the trip was not easy. The first step involved looking through fifth freedom flights throughout Asia and calculating the costs of the destination and whether it will be viable for a visit. In this trip, sit back and relax as I bring you to travel through the wonders of Asia. Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Dubai. These are familiar names in the world of aviation and the world in general. What unusual flights and aircrafts will we find in these parts of Asia?

Flights

The flights in general were chosen for a special reason; unique aircrafts, airlines and the adventure spirit in me looking for a whole new experience. After massive searching online on various websites for flights to the various destinations, I finally routed myself through SZB-SIN-BKK-HKG-BKK-DXB-BKK-SIN. The SZB-SIN and SIN-BKK leg will be covered in this report. The only airline that flies between SZB and SIN would be Firefly, who claims to be the first community airline in Malaysia.

By flying out of SZB, it provides their passengers the convenience of having an airport nearer to the city center with only turboprop services. That also means that the airport will be less busy hence security and immigration can be passed in a swift. Flying the Royal Orchid Service into Bangkok should be the best decision I have made as I will get to savour the Boeing 747-400 of Thai Airways International on the upper deck on a reconfigured aircraft, meaning there is PTV and flat bed seats in First Class, lie-flat seats in Business Class while Economy Class still maintains the old seats with no personal entertainment.

Getting to Kuala Lumpur

Residing in Singapore, it is natural that I will have to find some way to get into Kuala Lumpur. Before air travel is being open for competition in the 2008, the market was dominated by Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines, the national carrier of both countries. Fares were not cheap; it will cost you at least S$300 to S$400 to get a return ticket on either airline on this short 40 minute hop across Peninsular Malaysia. Traditionally, people turned to the express coaches that ply between the 2 cities and offering attractive fares of S$40 – S$90 round trip to Kuala Lumpur with a travel time of approximately 5 – 6 hours. Not to mention that passengers get plush recliner seats similar to that of airlines’ regional Business Class seats. The journey typically consisted of a stop at a food centre midway for lunch /supper, depending on the time of the day and around 2 – 3 restroom breaks.

However, one particular coach company decided to go against the tradition, offering a non-stop service (with just 1 toilet break) between the 2 major South East Asian cities with food served onboard, coupled with a 10.2 LCD personal television with a decent selection of AVOD movies and lie-flat seats with wifi and power ports available for each and every seat. They also decided to beat the traditional 1-2 layout of the coach and went for a 1-1 layout to provide more comfort and larger seats for the passengers.

The fares were reasonable at S$72 each way – Around 10-20% more than that of its competitors but the convenience and comfort is good enough the justify the price difference. Introducing the Transtar First Class Solitaire Coach, the most luxurious coach between Singapore and Malaysia.

First Class on the Ground

Check in for the coach was fast by just giving my printed itinerary to the agent and directed to the First Class Lounge for a rest. Although not comparable to airline lounges, the lounge offers comfortable leather sofas and drinks with 2 huge plasma televisions to entertain the passengers waiting to board the bus.

Each passenger gets 20kg of baggage allowance, although that is mostly ignored. Each bus comes with a bus attendant to serve the food and drinks while also providing information about the bus ride and answering queries. The bus arrived on time at the scheduled departure time of 9.30am. Once all passengers got onboard, we set off to the Singapore Customs located at Tuas, also known as Second Link.

Food is served onboard around 1 hour after crossing the customs and 2 drinks are served enroute, although the choices were limited to hot tea and coffee. Let the pictures take you through the journey from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.


Views of the First Class Lounge


Legroom


PTV and movie selections


Seat controls


Relax mode


Our bus parked at the restroom stop


Biscuits served as snack


After a 6 hour bus journey, we finally reached Kuala Lumpur and hopped onto a taxi to our hotel, Novotel Kuala Lumpur.

Novotel Kuala Lumpur & Local Pictures

Novotel Kuala Lumpur is situated right at the city center of Kuala Lumpur which makes it convenient to go almost anywhere in the city. Pavillion Shopping Mall is right next to the hotel and that became our usual hangout. Going to landmarks in Kuala Lumpur like the Petronas Twin Towers takes around 15 minutes of walking time. As usual, let the pictures do the talking...


Comfortable beds!


Restroom views


Complimentary water


Esprit outlet at Pavillion


Beautiful fountain!


Petronas Twin Towers


Getting ready to go up to the Petronas Twin Towers!


View from the top!
One way I will fly around the world!
 
initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:52 am

Firefly - Your Community Airline

Firefly is an airline that is rarely heard of on this website. However, the bright orange branding of this 4 year old airline is sure to grow on you especially you see the marvellous livery on the fleet of ATR 72 owned by the airline – a rare breed in the region. For such a popular route like Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, various airlines used aircraft like the Airbus A320-200 to the Boeing 777-200ER for this 40 minute flight. Singapore Changi Airport has not had any propeller passenger services for a long time until Firefly decided to fly from Subang to Singapore. Sit back and relax as I bring you through my Firefly experience!

Subang Airport

Subang Airport used to be the international airport of Kuala Lumpur till 1998 when Kuala Lumpur International Airport was established in Sepang. At its peak, it had 3 terminals. Terminal 1 was for international flights, terminal 2 for Singapore to Kuala Lumpur shuttle flights while terminal 3 for domestic flights. Terminal 1 and 2 has since been torn down while terminal 3 underwent a RM 300 million makeover and rebranded as Subang Airpark.


Views of Subang Airport Terminal 3


Flight monitoring system


FIDS


Upon entering the terminal, I headed to the Firefly counter to check in for my flight. This is the flight I was most worried about as I only have 20kg of baggage allowance and I have 2 weeks worth of clothes and amenities packed in my luggage. Surprisingly, my baggage only weighed 17kg which was a relieve as Firefly charges RM 20 for each kg of overweight baggage. With over 2 hours to kill before my flight, I headed off to Starbucks to surf a.net and catch up with some friends on Facebook.


Chilling in Starbucks


Boarding Pass (or should I call it a receipt?)


Around 45 minutes before the ETD of my flight, I proceeded to my gate.

The Flight

Firefly Flight FY 3515 - 16MAR11
Origin: Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB/WMSA)
Destination: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN/WSSS)
Registration: 9M-FYG (Delivered on 18JUN09)
Aircraft: ATR 72-500
Time of Departure (Scheduled): 3.50pm (3.30pm)
Time of Arrival (Scheduled): 4.55pm (4.40pm)
Class of Travel: Economy
Seat: 1F (bulkhead)

Immigration in Subang was a breeze. Even through there was only 1 counter open, I got cleared within 3 minutes as there were only 2 people in front of me. Entering the holding area of the airport, there was almost nothing to do except for watching the action on the tarmac, which I didn't mind. However, there was minimal movement and all I had to see was the ATR 72s taxiing in and shutting down their engines.


View of the holding area in SZB


My plane arriving!


"Firefly Flight FY 3515 to Singapore is now boarding"


That sentence was like music to my ears after staring at the aircraft that has been sitting there for the last 30 minutes. Eagerly, I queued up at the queue designated for passengers in rows 1 - 10 (the other for passengers in rows 11 - 19) and was one of the first to be on board. One thing I love about small airports is that you can take lots of pictures on the tarmac without the security barking at you.


My plane to Singapore


Wing view


Passengers boarding the plane


Walking to my seat


Cabin view


I settled down into my seat at 1F and was amazed at the amount of legroom the bulkhead has to offer which is pretty good for this 1 hour flight. Another major plus was that I had no seatmate and there was no one behind me so I had lots of space to stretch out and I do not have to worry about eating into people's legroom when I recline my seat. Boarding took some time and we pushed back slightly behind schedule. Taxiing in the ATR 72 was fun as you feel more like you are travelling in a huge bus rather than an airplane as it is travelling so fast.



Legroom shot


Engine view


View to the cockpit


Safety cards


Overhead lightings


Another Firefly arrival upon pushback


Engines started!


It was a quick taxi to runway 15 for takeoff. We held short for another Firefly ATR to land and off we go! Takeoff in this aircraft was VERY noisy compared to the others I've been on, probably due to the close proximity of the engines. The first 2 minutes upon apply full thrust was the most unbearable and normal conversation would have not been possible. Thankfully, the engines quietened down after that. The climb was very bumpy due to turbulence and that resulted in me keeping the seatbelt on for the entire flight even when we are cruising as it gets real bumpy when we hit turbulence and I do not want to risk hitting my head on the ceiling which is just 10cm above my head. Light snacks were served on the flight. We had a choice of 2 snacks, peanuts and a small Malaysian bites which I am unsure of the name. My fellow passengers had peanuts while I asked if I could have both as I was absolutely famished since I did not have lunch. Mango juice came with the snacks served.



Refreshment service


Around 20 minutes after the refreshment service, descend to SIN commenced and preparations were made in the cabin for landing. It was a bumpy approach into SIN and when we were on short finals, our aircraft actually pitched sharply nose down which made me sort of scared. Thunderstorms were approaching and I was glad we managed to land before the storms approached.



FA seat pulled out from the side cabinet


Seatbelt with the Firefly logo


Beautiful clouds on approach which I assumed to be a beautiful weather in SIN


But I was greeted with this on approach into SIN!


It started raining heavily shortly after landing


Disembarking was very slow as it was raining heavily so the ground staff passed the passengers umbrellas one by one. The rain was so heavy that even with the umbrellas, my bag was wet upon reaching the terminal. Thankfully it was waterproof so my laptop and camera was safe. It was a long trek to immigration and baggage claim after landing but I managed to clear both of them in 3 minutes, talk about efficiency! Not forgetting to mention that this was just the budget terminal.



Long trek to immigration


Arriving at the budget terminal and meeting a friend in Terminal 1 was not an easy feat. Since my approximate landing time was 4.40pm, I told my friend to meet me at 5pm at Terminal 1 but it turned out I only managed to get to Terminal 1 at 5.45pm! Oops! It involved taking the shuttle bus from the budget terminal to Terminal 2 and it only departed after 5-10 minutes at bus station. After arriving at Terminal 2, I had to do another long trek to the Skytrain station to take the train to Terminal 1. After that, I had to do another long trek to the Thai Airways counter where my friend was waiting for me. Thankfully I had agreed that dinner will be on me before he came so that lessened my guilt for making him wait. But hey, he made me wait for an even longer period last time before because he overslept, but more about that later! Also, it feels funny using SIN to transit as it has been my hometown airport for as long as I know.

We went straight to the SATS Premier Check-In for First and Business Class passengers and checked in for my flight to Bangkok before heading for dinner. After dinner, my second time with Thai Airways on Business Class begins...
One way I will fly around the world!
 
initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:53 am

The Royal Orchid Service

My love for Thai began in my previous trip to Shanghai - 18 Hours Of Royal Orchid Service: Thai PVG-BKK-SIN (by initious Jul 27 2010 in Trip Reports)

This time, I have chosen Thai again for my trip to bring me on the epic journey from Singapore to Dubai via Bangkok. How did they fare? Join me as I bring you on my experience with Thai Airways on the short hop from Singapore to Bangkok.

Thai seems to be the carrier to go for when flying between Singapore and Bangkok. Unlike SQ and CX which flies the 772/773 on the route while LCCs like FD, TR and 3K flies A320, TG flies a variety of long haul aircrafts on the route like the A333, A345, A346, B744, B77E and B773. Almost a dream for any aviation enthusiastic! Luckily enough for me, the last flight out of Singapore to Bangkok today was operated by a newly configured Boeing 747-400. To add icing to the cake, I am flying on the upper deck for my flight today.

The exclusivity of the upper deck can only be provided by the Boeing 747. Why? The other double decker jet would be the Airbus A380-800 but it features a full length upper deck which lacks the exclusivity and charm of the Boeing 747 upper deck.

A Flight Too Short? SIN-BKK on Thai

Thai Airways International Flight TG 410 - 16MAR11
Origin: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN/WSSS)
Destination: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK/VTBS)
Registration:HS-TGK (Delivered on 31JAN91)
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Time of Departure (Scheduled): 9.15pm (9.00pm)
Time of Arrival (Scheduled): 10.30pm (10.20pm)
Class of Travel: Business
Seat: 14K (Upper Deck)

After an ultimately satisfying dinner, I was absolutely stuffed which made me wonder if I will still be able to savour the wonderful food on TG. I only headed airside at around 8.10pm, 50 minutes before the ETA for my flight. A quick pop into the lounge involved me sitting on the couch panting heavily and giving my girlfriend a call before leaving the lounge in a hurry to the boarding gate. A request to keep the lounge invitation was rejected by the lounge attendant as she needed to keep it for recoding purposes.



Lounge invitation and boarding pass


On the way to the gate


FIDS


Terminal 1 still sparkling new after 23 years!


The gate was absolutely packed and from what I can see this is gonna be a full Boeing 747-400 flight. Didn't know a night flight could be so popular among Singaporeans and Thais! Boarding was supposed to commence at 8.20pm but there was no announcement till 9pm which was our ETD. Finally at around 9.02pm, boarding was announced. Even through Business Class and *A Gold were invited to board first, the agent just let everyone rush in but it is understandable as we are already running late.

Before Takeoff

Welcome drinks were served to all Business Class passengers. A very good improvement Thai has done was that noise cancelling headphones were provided to all premium passengers which was a great touch. I remember seeing on their website a few weeks before my Shanghai flight back in June that they were offering Phitek Noise Cancelling Headphones to all their premium passengers but was disappointed to see the cheap headphones being offered instead.



HS-TGK parked at the gate


My seat for the flight to Bangkok


Front view


Noise cancelling headphones


Storage bins. My bag fits in perfectly!


Welcome drink, lemon tea.


Since this flight is 100% full in Business, I fully expected a seatmate next to me. Sure enough, a gentlemen took the seat beside me shortly after. We started chatting and got to know that he's from Frankfurt and flew LH to Bangkok followed by TG to Singapore followed by SQ to Jakarta as he had business dealings in all the cities. I found it quite a cool itinerary to follow! We started a little talk about airplanes and the exclusivity of the Boeing 747 upper deck and comparing it to the Airbus A380 which he mentioned he has not been on before. He seemed impressed that I will be going on the Airbus A380 the next day when I told him so. I let him know that he could fly the LH Airbus A380 to JNB, NRT and JFK should he have any business dealings in those cities.

Shortly after that, we started pushback to runway 02C for takeoff. It was powerful since we had a light load and within minutes the seatbelt sign was off and a few more minutes we were on cruising altitude. While climbing, the cabin crew sprung into action and began the meal service.



Sunflower seeds for nibbling on


After takeoff drink, coke


I notice this is the case for both the B744 and A388 upper deck, having a smaller window outside while a bigger window at the inner frame. Is this the case for all the B744 and A388 upper decks?


Large flat surface for all my stuffs


Preparing for meal service


Table cloth laid


Watching "Morning Glory" on the PTV


The food is here!


Appetiser - Carpaccio of Smoked Duck topped with Capsicum and Mozzarella Pearls and Stuffed Tomato with Papaya Salad


Bloody Mary to go with the meal. Cheers Roni!


Main Course - Roast Lamb Fillet on Tomato Tarragon Sauce, Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Roasted Vegetables


Champagne to go with the wonderful food


Dessert - Tiramisu Mousse with Coffee Jelly and Vanilla Anglaise, Tea


Right after the meal service, the captain announced that we are commencing our descend to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. That got me thinking - Was the flight too short? Probably I was enjoying myself so much that I even forgot about the time passing by. Sure enough, it did not take long before I saw the Land of Smiles just beneath me which means that this wonderful flight is coming to an end.



Cabin after meal service


Flight information


More views of the seat


A farewell shot to the wonderful HS-TGK! If only I could fly this all the way to LHR!


As premium passengers were allowed to use the fast track lane for immigration, it did not take long. Thereafter, I met up with fellow a.netter Sandeep (AI151), Ish (777ish) and Preet who is not an a.netter to begin our tour of Bangkok after a wonderful 5-day tour around Kuala Lumpur.

Next up: "Great Asia Trip Part 2 - In Love with Emirates"


Past Trip Reports

Flying 5 Star - SQ SIN-CAN-SIN (2009) (by Initious Mar 26 2010 in Trip Reports)
Sardines In A Can - Jetstar Asia SIN-HKG-SIN (by Initious Mar 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern SIN-CAN-WUH Vv (1/2) (by initious Apr 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern WUH-CAN-SIN (2/2) (by initious Apr 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Oldest Vs Newest: Royal Silk Class On Thai (by Initious Jun 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
First On Airliners.net - CZ Shanghai To Shantou (by Initious Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
18 Hours Of Royal Orchid Service: Thai PVG-BKK-SIN (by initious Jul 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Good Morning Borneo! - Where Silkair Unwinds... (by initious Oct 17 2010 in Trip Reports)
Irama AirAsia! - Kota Kinabalu To Singapore (by initious Oct 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
One way I will fly around the world!
 
vietsky
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:42 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:07 am

Hi Initous,

Great report btw. I especially like the part of Luxury Bus from SIN-KUL. It is pretty cool, sth I will consider to do in the future.

Regarding of ATR72, I live in VN where 6 months of the years is a rainy seasons and VNA has large ATR72 team fly domestic, and as my experience, It will get bumpy even in the perfect weather  . For those who love turbulence and bumpy ride, ATR72 is the go....hehehe... not me though.

Looking forward for your next T/r

Vietsky
 
initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:35 am

Hiya Vietsky,

Quoting vietsky (Reply 3):
Great report btw. I especially like the part of Luxury Bus from SIN-KUL. It is pretty cool, sth I will consider to do in the future.

Thanks!  
Quoting vietsky (Reply 3):
Regarding of ATR72, I live in VN where 6 months of the years is a rainy seasons and VNA has large ATR72 team fly domestic, and as my experience, It will get bumpy even in the perfect weather  

That was what happened to me too. It was perfect weather in SZB but it was bumpy like hell! I think I made a good decision to keep my seatbelt on for the entire duration.  
Quoting vietsky (Reply 3):
For those who love turbulence and bumpy ride, ATR72 is the go....hehehe... not me though.

I love turbulence, but not on the ATR 72! It really feels like the plane is going to tear apart anytime. Give me a Boeing 747-400 or Airbus A380-800 to counter the turbulence any time.. It's the most welcomed!

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
RJtraveller
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:09 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:45 am

Hi Initious !

Nice TR, thanks for sharing. Especially the luxury bus TR, a lot better and cheaper than flying on this route.
Interesting ATR trip, my first ATR trip report was with Bangkok air, I see that complimentary snacks are served during a budget airlines flight which is very nice and rare in nowadays budget airlines flight.
Looking forward for your EK trip report !

Cheers,
RJtraveller
 
initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:57 am

Hi RJtraveller,

Quoting RJtraveller (Reply 5):
Nice TR, thanks for sharing. Especially the luxury bus TR, a lot better and cheaper than flying on this route.

Thanks! The Solitaire bus was really a nice catch. Would do it again if I were to go to KL.

Quoting RJtraveller (Reply 5):
I see that complimentary snacks are served during a budget airlines flight which is very nice and rare in nowadays budget airlines flight.

I am not so sure if Firefly is actually a budget carrier or full service carrier. They seem to offer free baggage allowance and free snacks on their ATRs while you have to pay for those on their B738. Now talk about confusing...

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
stipica
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:55 pm

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:41 pm

Hi Initious !
Great report with nice pictures ... the bus is certainly a great surprise.
Looking forward to next reports!
Have fun ...Stipica
Open your eyes and think
 
MIAspotter
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:29 pm

Nice report!

Loved the luxury bus to KL, brought back memories of my trip there in 2008, I took the Aerolines to KL and was impressed! very plush ride indeed, we only made 1 stop tho.

Firefly looks like a nice convenient little airline to fly, I recommended it to a friend of mine who went there last year, she was most impressed.

Looking forward to the other trip reports.

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:25 am

Hi Stipica,

Quoting stipica (Reply 7):
Great report with nice pictures ... the bus is certainly a great surprise.
Looking forward to next reports!

Thanks for the kind comments! I'm sure my next report won't disappoint you.  

Hi MIAspotter,

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 8):
Loved the luxury bus to KL, brought back memories of my trip there in 2008, I took the Aerolines to KL and was impressed! very plush ride indeed, we only made 1 stop tho.

I have never travelled with them before, so I'm not really sure how are they like but I guess it's just a generic bus company? Normally the buses stop once to let passengers eat and another stop for them to visit the restroom. Was food served on your bus or did they skip the restroom stop?

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 8):
Firefly looks like a nice convenient little airline to fly, I recommended it to a friend of mine who went there last year, she was most impressed.

It's a nice airline but nothing to write home about. Service and food was normal. The ATRs were nice though. However, fares can be pretty expensive sometimes.

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
debonair
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:43 pm

Great to read, waiting for the next TR...

Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
Residing in Singapore
Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
I finally routed myself through SZB-SIN-BKK-HKG-BKK-DXB-BKK-SIN

You are living in SIN, going by bus to SZB only to fly back to SIN to cath your THAI flight- right? You must be crazy...

Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
The only airline that flies between SZB and SIN would be Firefly

Nope, not true at all! Berjaya Air is offering OUTSTANDING flights!

You can book via http://www.vayama.com
Flight J8 180
Depart 08:00a Kuala Lumpur (SZB) Kuala Lumpur Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Apt, MY
Arrive 09:00a Tioman (TOD) Tioman, MY
Flight J8 308
Depart 12:40p Tioman (TOD) Tioman, MY
Arrive 01:25p Singapore (SIN) Singapore Changi Apt, SG
Aircraft De Havilland DHC-7 Dash 7  Wow!
Unfortunately 231.11 USD (but a DASH7 is worth every penny!)
 
initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:21 am

Hi debonair,

Quoting debonair (Reply 10):
Great to read, waiting for the next TR...

Thanks for reading!

Quoting debonair (Reply 10):
You are living in SIN, going by bus to SZB only to fly back to SIN to cath your THAI flight- right? You must be crazy...

I think you must have missed out the part I stayed in Novotel. Kuala Lumpur was actually the longest part of my trip as I stayed 5 days in total there.

Quoting debonair (Reply 10):
Nope, not true at all! Berjaya Air is offering OUTSTANDING flights!

Wow, thought Berjaya Air only flies to Tioman and Redang from Singapore, but thanks for the information! The price is putting me off, though.

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
Burj
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:46 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:06 am

Great TR...love the Firefly pictures...

Changi is the best airport! Have you ridden the slide?
 
debonair
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:09 am

Quoting Initious (Reply 11):
Wow, thought Berjaya Air only flies to Tioman and Redang from Singapore, but thanks for the information! The price is putting me off, though.



If you buy the tickets only and separate via https://www.berjaya-air.com/ one leg will be 129MYR. So total 258MYR or 90$ (if you catch a PROMO-fare).   
 
initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:07 am

Hi Burj,

Quoting Burj (Reply 12):
Great TR...love the Firefly pictures...

Thanks!

Quoting Burj (Reply 12):
Changi is the best airport! Have you ridden the slide?

Changi is definitely the best airport in the world! I have not gone on the slide as I am far too big to fit in.  

Hi Debonair,

Quoting debonair (Reply 13):
If you buy the tickets only and separate via https://www.berjaya-air.com/ one leg will be 129MYR. So total 258MYR or 90$ (if you catch a PROMO-fare).

Thanks for the info! I guess that will make my next TR...  
One way I will fly around the world!
 
debonair
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:18 am

Quoting Initious (Reply 14):
Thanks for the info! I guess that will make my next TR...

Looking fwd. to read...   
 
MIAspotter
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:43 pm

Quoting Initious (Reply 9):
I have never travelled with them before, so I'm not really sure how are they like but I guess it's just a generic bus company

No not at all, is similar to the one you took, Business class seats but on a 2-1 config, they have double decker buses and the lower deck is used as a lounge.

They depart from the Harbourfront centre.

Quoting Initious (Reply 9):
Was food served on your bus or did they skip the restroom stop?

Yes they did, they passed around a sealed tray with noodles and other stuff ( I am not totally familiar with Asian Cuisine so I did not know what it was, but it was tasty!)

MIAspotter
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
ronerone
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:10 pm

Cheers Daniel   .. With all the recent Bloody Mary cheers on a.net and Facebook, i should be drunk by now  

great TR!

Quoting Burj (Reply 12):
Have you ridden the slide?

You and that slide  



Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
akhmad
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:31 pm

Hi Daniel,

The luxury first class bus caught my attention immediately on Facebook. Along with the wonderful experience with TG, it feels like I am about to make a great start of your Asia Trip! Well done!

I love your Kuala Lumpur's local pictures. It reminds me of my own visit seven years ago!

Thanks for sharing this lovely report and looking forward to your next installment.

Cheers,
Suryo
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initious
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:20 am

Hi MIAspotter,

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 16):
No not at all, is similar to the one you took, Business class seats but on a 2-1 config, they have double decker buses and the lower deck is used as a lounge.

They depart from the Harbourfront centre.

Cool. The company I took also has another kind of bus that has the lower deck as lounge. It's wonderful!

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 16):
Yes they did, they passed around a sealed tray with noodles and other stuff ( I am not totally familiar with Asian Cuisine so I did not know what it was, but it was tasty!)

We got a box of rice which was cold and did not taste too good, but acceptable. I guess you got fried noodles or something.

Heya Roni,

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):

Cheers Daniel   .. With all the recent Bloody Mary cheers on a.net and Facebook, i should be drunk by now

Don't get drunk.. You need to drive from DXB-AUH everyday!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
great TR!

Thanks!

Hi Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
The luxury first class bus caught my attention immediately on Facebook. Along with the wonderful experience with TG, it feels like I am about to make a great start of your Asia Trip! Well done!

Thanks for the kind comments!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
I love your Kuala Lumpur's local pictures. It reminds me of my own visit seven years ago!

Definitely worth visiting again. Do drop by SIN if you are coming to KUL!

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
LH4116
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:58 pm

Hey Daniel, didn't expect to see a report up so quickly.

First of all, what a great report you've made. Having followed you and Ish's (& Co) adventures on Facebook, I'm really looking forward to the next parts. Looked like you guys had a trip of a lifetime!

It's really interesting how coach companies try introducing similar products to the airline's J class, with the lie-flat, meals and Lounge, etc. Here in Sweden we have similar coach concepts, although the seats look more like old-style J class recliners.

Your TG flight seemed very nice. For being such a short flight, the meal service looked very generous. I did not expect to see them serving a full three course dinner, but it's Asia after all. Btw what did they serve in Economy Class?

As mentioned above, I'm really looking forward to the next parts, hope to see them online soon.  

Thanks for sharing
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
initious
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:34 pm

Hi Jonas,

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
First of all, what a great report you've made. Having followed you and Ish's (& Co) adventures on Facebook, I'm really looking forward to the next parts. Looked like you guys had a trip of a lifetime!

Thanks! Yea we indeed had the trip of a lifetime!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
It's really interesting how coach companies try introducing similar products to the airline's J class, with the lie-flat, meals and Lounge, etc. Here in Sweden we have similar coach concepts, although the seats look more like old-style J class recliners.

Cool! Any pictures to show?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
Your TG flight seemed very nice. For being such a short flight, the meal service looked very generous. I did not expect to see them serving a full three course dinner, but it's Asia after all. Btw what did they serve in Economy Class?

TG had always been very generous with their international meals. Flew BKK-SIN just this afternoon and also got a full 3 course meal for lunch which was very nice. For TG, Business Class meals are sort of similar to Economy Class. In other words, take an Economy Class meal and add a starter and dessert and it becomes a Business Class meal.   Check out the photos on my Facebook if you want, I have uploaded all my photos.  

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
initious
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:12 am

Part 2 is up

Great Asia Trip Part 2 - In Love With Emirates (by initious Mar 27 2011 in Trip Reports)
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NZ107
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:31 am

Hi Daniel,

Interesting report, nice start to the long awaited Great Asia Trip!

The bus trip is a real interesting one.. They've got a lounge as well!? I must say it does look very impressive.

KL is a place I hope to get to some day.. Along with Singapore and other SE Asian cities!

Quoting Initious (Reply 1):
a rare breed in the region.

I guess in the viewpoint of SIN, it might be. But Australia still don't have ATRs - they'll be coming soon as DJ has ordered them. There are some SE Asian airlines do fly the AT7 as well.. I guess you might also start saying how rare the A300/A310 is to the region whereas none of them come down here!

Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
Takeoff in this aircraft was VERY noisy compared to the others I've been on, probably due to the close proximity of the engines.

Yeah, try the back of the cabin if you get another chance on the AT7.


I'm still a little confused as why you chose TG again over trying LH! But TG is very good, even for these short hops around SE Asia.

Looking forward to reading the next parts!

Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
initious
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:55 pm

Hi Nicholas,

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 23):
Interesting report, nice start to the long awaited Great Asia Trip!

Thanks!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 23):
The bus trip is a real interesting one.. They've got a lounge as well!? I must say it does look very impressive.

Having a lounge for a bus between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is definitely a first for me. Pleasant for relaxing but nothing to write home about. Sadly, the meals served onboard the bus was in cheap plastic takeaway containers and drinks in Styrofoam cups. I'd have expected something better for presentation purposes. The tray table was very flimsy too.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 23):
KL is a place I hope to get to some day.. Along with Singapore and other SE Asian cities!

Sadly NZ doesn't fly to SIN! Hope to try NZ one day, either on HKG-LHR or PER-AKL should I be visiting New Zealand.   Probably I could even fly BNE-AKL if I get into the Griffith University in Brisbane to study for my Aviation Degree.   Do let me know if you are visiting Singapore, it's a wonderful place to be!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 23):
I guess in the viewpoint of SIN, it might be. But Australia still don't have ATRs - they'll be coming soon as DJ has ordered them. There are some SE Asian airlines do fly the AT7 as well.. I guess you might also start saying how rare the A300/A310 is to the region whereas none of them come down here!

I just noticed that - haha! The A300 and A310 is definitely very rare but thankfully I could still count on TG to fly the A300, but I'm not sure for how long more! The A310 is an aircraft I always wanted to fly but it seems like it has vanished from all of Asia!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 23):
Yeah, try the back of the cabin if you get another chance on the AT7.

I'd assume the back cabin is quieter? I requested for a seat at the front as I needed more legroom, not sure if I can stand the legroom in the standard seats...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 23):
I'm still a little confused as why you chose TG again over trying LH! But TG is very good, even for these short hops around SE Asia.

No wonder you were asking if I was flying LH.. Lol! If I had to book a BKK-DXB-BKK-SIN flight with TG it'd cost a lot more than flying SIN-BKK-DXB-BKK-SIN. I guess that's because I'm starting and ending in a different city for the former and in the same city for the latter, hence I decided to go for TG. I'd feel weird/special (not sure which word to use..) flying on an airline but not visiting their country.

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
RvXKaz
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:02 am

Hey Daniel,

I just wish to congratulate you on realising your dream trip and also, for this really interesting start to your flying adventure.

Its amusing to see how you upgraded from a fun ride on bumpy propeller jet with a salty-snack service to the indulging in the luxury of Thai's Royal Silk Class, with the luxurious seat with excellent entertainment system and very tasty-looking cuisine, all in the same day! I agree, with such indulgence and comfort, 2hrs in the Royal Silk Class would pass quickly. How was the famed Thai service for the cabin crew on your particular flight?

I stayed in Novotel in Kuala Lumpur myself previously and I found it to be a nice hotel, great breakfast and nice location.

Its so interesting about the flight monitoring system at Subang airport, what a nice way to pass time whilst waiting for your flight. As an aviation-lover, i'd strongly advocate that it be implemented at all airports!

Anyway, good job on this TR and love to see more!  

Cheers,
Gavin
They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
 
initious
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:32 pm

Hey Gavin,

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 25):
I just wish to congratulate you on realising your dream trip and also, for this really interesting start to your flying adventure.

Thanks!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 25):
Its amusing to see how you upgraded from a fun ride on bumpy propeller jet with a salty-snack service to the indulging in the luxury of Thai's Royal Silk Class, with the luxurious seat with excellent entertainment system and very tasty-looking cuisine, all in the same day! I agree, with such indulgence and comfort, 2hrs in the Royal Silk Class would pass quickly. How was the famed Thai service for the cabin crew on your particular flight?

I found it quite interesting too, the 1 hour flight seemed longer than the 2 hour flight. The Thai cabin crew was wonderful as usual which added lots of icing to the already perfect flight on the Boeing 747-400 upper deck.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 25):
I stayed in Novotel in Kuala Lumpur myself previously and I found it to be a nice hotel, great breakfast and nice location.

A great hotel, but no free internet. If only they provided free internet! The breakfast is really nice though.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 25):
Its so interesting about the flight monitoring system at Subang airport, what a nice way to pass time whilst waiting for your flight. As an aviation-lover, i'd strongly advocate that it be implemented at all airports!

I wouldn't dare to imagine seeing one at SIN as it'll be way too crowded for us to spot anything on it! It'll just be crowded with the flight numbers and you'd have a very hard time looking for a particular flight. However, they could implement an interactive feature whereby you can choose which airline / destination you want to the flights from and that could make the job easier.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 25):
Anyway, good job on this TR and love to see more!

Thanks again for your kind comments!

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:02 am

Hi Daniel,

great first part of your series. While the TG premium product looks nice, I'm amazed by that luxury bus service. Never seen anything like that before!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
initious
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:24 am

Hey PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 27):
great first part of your series. While the TG premium product looks nice, I'm amazed by that luxury bus service. Never seen anything like that before!

Thanks for your kind comments! =)

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!
 
Luftfahrer
Posts: 976
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:23 pm

Daniel, many thanks for making an effort to share this wonderfully detailed trip report with us.   I enjoyed it throughout!

Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
a non-stop service (with just 1 toilet break)
Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
coupled with a 10.2 LCD personal television

I can only echo PH's amazement, but at the same time I find it odd that they have all these luxuries, but lack the most basic amenity at the same time: a toilet!

Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
Chilling in Starbucks

Grabbing a coffee is also what I usually do when airside. If only Starbucks wasn't so expensive in some airports...

Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
catch up with some friends on Facebook

Care to add me? I can send you my name.  
Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
Boarding Pass (or should I call it a receipt?)

Well, I guess I can consider myself lucky when I receive a thermal paper boarding pass. 
Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
My plane to Singapore

Notable concrete there. I have never seen it like that before on an airport.

Quoting Initious (Thread starter):
View to the cockpit

...why not ask for a look inside?   Interesting view nonetheless, I have always wondered what the cargo compartment on the ATR looks like from the inside.

Cheers!
Marius

[Edited 2011-04-21 15:15:08]
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
initious
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:24 am

Hey Marius!

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 29):
Daniel, many thanks for making an effort to share this wonderfully detailed trip report with us.   I enjoyed it throughout!

You are welcome and thanks for your kind comments!

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 29):
I can only echo PH's amazement, but at the same time I find it odd that they have all these luxuries, but lack the most basic amenity at the same time: a toilet!

Well, older buses used to have a toilet onboard but you can imagine the smell on the bus! Therefore, newer buses have eliminated the toilets and stuck to toilet breaks instead. It's kind of better too!

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 29):
Grabbing a coffee is also what I usually do when airside. If only Starbucks wasn't so expensive in some airports...

Ah.. Thankfully it's affordable in both Singapore and Malaysia!

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 29):
Care to add me? I can send you my name.  

Sure thing, send me a PM with your fb link!  
Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 29):
...why not ask for a look inside?   Interesting view nonetheless, I have always wondered what the cargo compartment on the ATR looks like from the inside.

Was not particularly interested in the ATR cockpit as it gave me hell in Flight Simulator... Haha.

Regards,
Daniel

P.S.: Do check out the other 2 parts of the report!
One way I will fly around the world!
 
Luxair747SP
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Sun May 01, 2011 5:21 pm

Hi Daniel,
very nice first part of your adventure.
The bus leg also looks very good in this 1-1 layout, the comfort must be way better than on a regional plane thats for sure.
Also cool, that you flew on the only prop service into SIN, an amazing thing to start your trip.
The service on Firefly looked okay for this short hop.
The next part of your journey on TG J class looks very good. The seat is comfortable and the service is outstanding.
And the upperdeck is always something special.
The food also looked quite decent and enough for this sector.
Thank you a lot for sharing
Cheers
Johannes
My blog about travelling in Moscow & Russia:
https://russiainanutshell.wordpress.com
 
initious
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RE: Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury

Sun May 01, 2011 5:36 pm

Hey Johannes,

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 31):
very nice first part of your adventure.

Thanks! =)

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 31):
The bus leg also looks very good in this 1-1 layout, the comfort must be way better than on a regional plane thats for sure.

Definitely, do come to SIN next time and we shall try that out together!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 31):
Also cool, that you flew on the only prop service into SIN, an amazing thing to start your trip.
The service on Firefly looked okay for this short hop.

They were quite alright, although service is lacking.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 31):
The next part of your journey on TG J class looks very good. The seat is comfortable and the service is outstanding.

I've always loved TG for their outstanding service on regional hops. If only I could stay for 20 more hours in that plane!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 31):
And the upperdeck is always something special.

Nothing beats the 744 upperdeck!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 31):
The food also looked quite decent and enough for this sector.

Sure enough!

Regards,
Daniel
One way I will fly around the world!

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