Thursday 10 December 2015

We leave the Etihad 777 and enter terminal 3. Prior to landing the plane on board information system had advised that our connecting flight would be leaving from Terminal 1 gate 6 and time was limited if they are as distant as Heathrow. We should not have worried as even a gentle stroll would have got us there with time to spare; the forced march merely made the wait longer still.

Once again priority boarding and slip into another business class flat bed seat on another 777, although no plans to sleep much on this leg. Once airborne something for breakfast and advance the watch by three hours. As we trundle to the runway I am pretty sure one of the planes in the queue behind us is an A380 – Dreamliner.

A couple of episodes of Borgen are also consumed whilst keeping an eye on the flight path. Initially we are shown taking a route over both Mumbai and Hyderabad, but the plane heads north towards Pakistsan before turning more south-easterly and we will now pass to the north of the two cities.

Time for dozing and listening to music programmes simply to block out the aircraft noise. Emerge from sleep for my “lunch” but now a little confused over what time it really as the clever displays show a local time which is 30 minutes out of step with other timezones. We are also crossing the Andaman Sea heading down towards Phuket – we will follow much the same path heading for Bangkok when we visit Australia next year.

From above the land at this end of Thailand looks stunning, green of course but rocks jutting out of the sea as well. We turn round on ourselves to land and the air part of the journey is complete.

Once back on land reality returns; a queue for immigration and our bags on reclaim 5, except when we get there it seems they have been moved to 4 and they are already off the belt and awaiting our attentions.

Exit the airport, find our local contact and then aboard a taxi for about an hour of typical (so it seems) foreign taxi driving as we taken through / round Phuket itself to the Radisson Blu hotel. All taxis abroad seem to be driven by those willing to take risks!

Check in is straightforward. Shown to our room. It is 8pm local time so we have been on the move for 21 hours. Unpack, order some room service, choose a couple of outings to book for later in the stay, eat room service, shower and retire to bed.