Showing posts from April, 2013

Impressions of Phuket

If there was a place (so far on this trip, anyway) where I wished I could have shared it with someone, Phuket, Thailand would have been it.

I stayed at the Sunprime Resort at Kamala Beach, about 15 minutes away from the famous (but more crowded with hustle and bustle) Patong Beach.  I got upgraded to a Junior Suite with pool and partial ocean view.  Hours spent wading though hundreds of hotel listings and reviews were totally worth it.  I got this place for $80/night – including tax.  What a deal!

Such a nice room – but no one to share it with.  :(

View of the pool and ocean from my balcony.

Sunset as seen from my balcony.

Kamala Beach, literally just one-step away from the hotel.

Tsunami Monument, a sad reminder that this area was devastated by the great tsunami in 2004.

You think for such a fancy resort, they would have a better shuttle bus to take you to the city than a converted flatbed truck where everyone just spills on and off?  Then again, it was a taste of the local flavor.


My First "Super" Flight

I logged my first Airbus A380 double-decker super-jumbo a few days ago. It was only a short three-hour flight, across the ditch (as they say), from Auckland (AKL) to Sydney (SYD) on board Emirates. Since I paid for this segment of the trip - I flew in Economy Class on the lower level. I will get a proper introduction to the Super Bus later this trip when I fly on Thai's A380 in Business Class (on the upper level of course) on a long overnight flight from Bangkok to Paris.

Surprisingly enough, Emirates has three flights at AKL - two of them on the A380. They all ultimately go to Dubai, by ways of Melbourne and Sydney (A380s) and Brisbane (777-300ER).

I would get my introduction to the behemoth on aircraft A6-EDC (msn 16, delivered in November, 2008).

Yes, I bought the personalized A380 t-shirt from Airbus to commemorate this occasion. :)

Simultaneous dual-deck loading.

Economy Class was quite full. I guess that made sense since Emirates now codeshares with Qantas. But given mult…

My Travels to Middle Earth

I arrived at the Middle of Middle Earth Airport.

I then went to the shire, known as Hobbinton.

I went to Bilbo and Frodo's hole, known as Bag End.

Outside the shire, while my mates were picking mushrooms, I realized the Ringwraiths were coming, so I yelled: "get off the road!".

I then ran into Gollum fishing.

At Rivendell, my sword glowed blue warned me of pending danger.

It was an Orc!

I then took a walk in the Gardens of Isengard with someone who pretended to be Saruman (well, to be fair, I pretended to be Gandalf).

Finally, at the Embassy Theater, I went to the site of the world premier for The Hobbit and Return of the King.

Previous post from this trip:
Down Under for Some Tight-Assed Fish

Down Under for Some Tight-Assed Fish

The first leg of my trip around the world is complete. As planned, Australia was a spotting plus visits with friends and relative stop.

I kicked off my flights on Asiana 777-200s from San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD) via Seoul-Incheon (ICN). The service was excellent. Although seats were comfortable (lie-flat from SFO to ICN, only angled flat recliner from ICN to SYD), as usual, I was only able to sleep deeply for about two to three hours on each flight).

This was my bed/seat in the lazy mode while getting ready for breakfast.

Since the Business Class cabin was small on both flights - and they were not full - service was very personalized. Dare I say it - pacing during meal service was almost too fast. I was barely done eating one course before my plate was picked up for the next.

Meal highlight of the flight - Bibimbap...on a plane. A first for me! Chili sauce, sesame oil, and steamed rice are mixed-in with meat and vegetables in the large bowl. Kimchi and omelet, along with s…

Watchout World – Here I Come!

In less than one week, I will embark on my vacation/spotting trip/adventure around the world.  As you may recall from my previous post, I redeemed 260,000 United Mileage Plus miles for a Star Alliance “Round the World” (RTW) Business Class ticket.  The ticket only cost me $450 (just the taxes and fees) – not too shabby!

My trip will take six weeks and include six stopovers.  I will also make a couple side trips on my own outside of the award ticket.

I plan on making regular updates to this blog along the way (contingent on my ability to obtain free wifi, of course) – so please check back often.