Jacky and I decided to take advantage of the low season just before the starting of summer for US and European countries to visit Phuket Thailand.. this will be the first article of a few that will bring you to the journey that we had.. Ever since starting Ardent, Jacky and I realized that we never actually taken any Ardent inspired holiday and decided what better than Phuket, not only to relax and enjoy but also to test drive the Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 lens..
So with that, lets begin the journey… Below is a picture of the Air Asia KL Sentral to LCCT bus, which takes about an hour to reach.. quite comfy..
All one needs is just the online printout of your plane ticket and bus fair (that is if you buy it at the same time as your ticket), if not then you'll have to pay to one of the other bus companies that offer transport to LCCT for about RM 9 / 10.. Below is my Air Asia online travel itinerary and bus ticket..
About 45 minutes into the journey depending on the traffic, you'll reach upon the Sepang F1 Circuit.. 's signboard..
and a few moments later, the actual circuit..
This is our first time to LCCT, which is like on the other side of KL International Airport.. so between Sepang and LCCT, we had to encircle KLIA.. waste of petrol and time.. Why can't KLIA provide a cheaper satellite building for Air Asia and save on all the hassle? go figure.. this is Malaysia..
Its Low Cost Carrier Terminal.. or in Bahasa Malaysia, Terminal LCC.. TLCC? Tender Loving Care Carrier?
Anyway, from the bus stop to the check in is a good 100m walk.. do remind yourself to bypass the local flights and head on straight further down to the international flights check in, where your bags are x-rayed, radiated and glowing.. then proceed to the Air Asia counter.. show the lady the online itinerary and all of the necessary passports.. and once done, check in your baggage and off you go..
Then you check yourself in.. mineral water or anything larger than 100ml containers will be disallowed entry to the departure hall.. so everyone gets to fork our RM 2 for RO water which Hypermarkets sell for 50 cents..
Frankly I didn't expect the kiasuism during my trip and was caught off guard.. by the time the counter open for check-in, the queue was this long..
Can you see that tiny monitor at the end of the line? jeez.. I still don't get it as Air Asia already predetermined our seat numbers.. so its not like the first one gets 'the best sardin can seat' in the house..
Anyway, below is that monitor up close..
After checking in, all of us had the joy and fun in walking on the tarmac.. seriously if this terminal was made any cheaper, we'll probably have a barn instead and live stock all around us… the up side to this is I get to see the plane..
The wide angle lens is really amazing.. tho very tricky.. as with all wide angle lenses, it tend to distort and a slight angle up or down changes the composition greatly.. but when done correctly, it brings out the subject towards the viewer.. the in your face kinda view.. if done wrongly, it'll be the my head is bigger than my legs kinda view which is perfect if you are a hobbit and best friend to Frodo Baggins.. for a human? not so much..
Going closer to the plane.. clear blue skies.. lovely!
Just had a split second to do an instinctive composed shot.. the shot below was meant to give the viewer a sense of going up towards the plane.. well experience does help greatly especially with the shot below as it was taken without seeing the view finder or LCD..
If you are scared of planes, now the shot below will be the last deep breath before entering the plane.. maybe if the plane used Shell V-Power, we could have cut like 30 minutes off the original 1 hour and 10 minutes flight..
Yep.. that's the view from my seat.. a MAS Kargo plane awaiting take off.. for the uninitiated, the LCCT terminal is next to MAS Kargo.. I feel that cheap..
Below is the view of the take off runway.. just before the plane turns towards it.. the images won't be as nice or sharp as its taken through the 2 layers of plastic protecting the cabin..
The view from the plane as it passes some coastline.. no idea where..
Once landed in Phuket.. it was actually raining and dreaded the thought of starting our holiday by walking on wet tarmac under the rain.. but to my surprise, Phuket Airport didn't actually treat us cheap skates like the outcast son, and gave us a bridge connection from the plane directly to the Phuket International Airport.. wheeeee! Thailand 1, Malaysia 0 ..
So fast forwarding all the checks, we gotten ourselves a taxi for BHT900 to Holiday Inn Phuket which is located at famous Patong Beach.. Just be warned, these taxi drivers earn side income by driving you to their affiliated tour company to get their sales pitch.. the excuse they gave me was that the driver needs to go to the office to sign out.. soon after the driver leaves, 2 ladies will open the door and 'entice' you to just drop in and see what tours they had to offer..
I smelt a rat when they pushed me to sign up packages even when I informed them that I'm rushing to check-in the hotel as I had an event planned soon after.. I even went as far as to tell them that I'll give them a call if I am interested.. anyway I just got hold of the driver and we bolted off..
The final few KM towards Patong beach.. you'll be going up steep hills and slopes.. I mean really steep.. rivalling those found in Genting.. below is just a quick shot of the windy road going down towards Patong beach..
The picture above was set on manual mode with a slighter longer delay to give the impression of speed while delicately not over doing it with too slow a shutter speed which will cause too much motion blur, bluring important elements such as the road and skyline.. its made worse since the road is curved and not straight..
More to come…. Continued..
Adrian & Jacky