May 22nd -
Phuket, Thailand to Jakarta, Indonesia
During our stay
in Chiang Mai, Paul's cousin, Colm Galvin met up with us. Colm
is based there teaching English to local people. It is very cheap
to live here but there are two price levels, one for Thai and
one for tourists. It was good to have Colm tell us what we should
be paying for meals, taxis etc. Thanks Colm and see you when we
get home in July.
at Chiang Mai are excellent. Handling by a third party is not
required as the airport authority organise all the necessary paperwork
and sometimes even provide transport to the aircraft. We arrived
early in the morning. ATC had a weather briefing prepared and
after paying landing and navigation fees we were off. The reason
for the early departure is to fly for 5-6 hours and hopefully
land before the afternoon showers. Our initial track brought over
Bangkok which was a beautiful sight from 7000 feet. Unfortunately
both our digital camera and video camera were not working due
to both batteries not charging overnight.
we were cleared to Phuket. It was only 11am and already there
was significant cloud build up on our track. Some small turns
were necessary to remain clear of the nasty stuff. The approach
into Phuket's runway 27 is very interesting. Radar vectors from
ATC brought us over Ko Saumi and we cloud see Krabi Island out
to our left (in between rain showers). The approach is also offset
and you actually line up with a hill to the left of the runway,
and then visually maneuver with the centerline. The runway is
also on a steep hill giving the illusion of a very short runway.
We touched down at around 2 pm local after some five hours in
the air. One night here before heading for Jakarta in the morning.
We are keeping a close eye on a couple of deepening tropical depressions
that are building north of Australia. They don't look like they
will affect our arrival in Oz but still keeping an eye on them.