This report covers a very nice flight back from Phu Quoc island to Bangkok onboard Bangkok Airways - airline commonly known for its high quality service that I've alwyas wanted to try. While searching for this flight we could choose between either this direct flight or a combined trip via SGN. The choice was simple even if the ticket price for Asian conditions wasn't competitive at all (200 USD).
Before going to the airport let's take a look on Phu Quoc island that is a great place for lazy summer holidays in the middle of winter on the other side of the globe. Even if it changes and developes rather rapidly, it still isn't as crowded as many other places in the region, people here are very friendly and don't seem spoiled by the mass tourism.
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Our plan for this stay was very simple: to rest, sunbathe, swim, eat and enjoy every minute of it. No sightseeing as we've already had enough during this trip, no hurry. We've managed to spend these five days exactly as we planned.
Our hotel was located by the island's main beach that was also the best way to get to Duong Dong city - the island's capital.
I fell in love with this palm tree and its swing…
It was illuminated during the night and sometimes we used it as a lighthouse to locate our hotel while coming back late from the town as the beach at night was almost completely dark
The most interesting thing in the island's one and only city is the night market full of everything but mainly good street food and fruit.
Have you ever tried durian? It was my first time and I found it disgusting but in SE Asia people generally consider it very tasty (for me it smells like rotten onion). It shows how different our tastes may be.
Remember not to touch your hands with fruit! It may be really harmful for your hands! Fruit may bite! ;)
Phu Quoc is known for its pepper farms. That's how fresh pepper looks like.
We used to buy fruit from our fruit lady that came everyday to our hotel beach. She carried all this stuff on her back and I'm sure she works like this for many many years.
Time runs fast, especially when you really enjoy it. Soon it was time to go to the airport and start the first part of our trip back home. From the place we stayed we needed not more than 10 mintues to get by taxi to the new airport terminal.
I almost forgot it was New Year's day in Chinese calendar. It's one of the most important holidays in Vietnam that usually lasts even a couple of days with many shops and places of interests being closed.
The airport is very fresh, still unfinished and it shows very well how a not so long ago almost unknown island becomes one of the most popular tourist destination in this part of the globe.
A direct charter flight to Irkutsk in Russia.
Bangkok Airways check-in desks
I was a little bit worried about my bag as the limit was only 20 kg and after two weeks spent in many countries I already had much more than this (knowing that the limit in QR is 30 kg) but somehow we managed to put the heaviest things into handluggage that wasn't checked at all. After a very fast security and passport control we were supposed to spend some time in still unfinished airside part of the terminal.
Vasco airlines ATR caught during the bus ride to our aircraft.
And here it is: Bangkok Airways ATR 72-600. My curiosity is double: not only for the airline but also for the ATR that I haven't flown for many years now and never in the newest version.
This boarding by the rear door only is always very strange
The cabin looks quite fresh, it also looks different than the one of the old ATR 72-200 I used to fly a couple of years ago while it was still flying for LOT subsidiary - Eurolot. Pitch is very good even if I didn't expect much from an aircraft of this size.
View from my window on the jetbridges that will never be used for boarding of an ATR
Quick taxi to the runway and here we go. Are we really flying an ATR? It's so quiet! A huge improvement comparing to the ancient 72-200 model but also 42-500 (I haven't flown the 72-500 version).
We leave the island heading westwards but after a while take a deep turn right and overfly the airport.
Let's look inside the upper seat pocket
Bangkok Airways route map and fleet
I've heard many good thing about airline's service so was looking very much to it. It was announced that in today's flight meal a special Chinese New Year's cake is included. The tray that arrived looked like this. To my surprise there was no hot meal and the main meal were (very good) cold chicken breast slices with sticky rice. A salad, Chinese NY pastry and water were also included. We were given a metal cuttlery and offered different cold drinks to choose from - my choice was Chang beer. Hot drinks and additional water were also served later. As for a 1,5 h flight the meal was ok, very fresh and tasty. We didn't find the Chinese pastry good at all but that was only the question of taste.
We flew mainly along the coast of Cambodia and Thailand. Surprisingly a flight on such a low altitude was very calm with no turbulence.
Approaching and overflying BKK
Quite a long final approach and landing
QR A380 - that will be our tomorrow's ride to Doha
Thai and Bangkok Airways jets
After a very long taxi we finally arrive to our stand that's completely in the middle of nowhere and results in a very long bus ride to the terminal. Slim and not to comfortable seats of our ATR as we slowly disembark.
That's all for now. Mnay thanks for reading. To be continued soon :)
Duong Dong - PQC
Bangkok - BKK
Bangkok Airways was exactly as expected: good service (even if I would prefer a hot meal instead of a cold one), very nice and polite FAs. A surprise was the ATR 72-600, that comparing to older versions is very quiet. Phu Quoc airport is new and provides a very decent level of service (even if it has no Wi-Fi yet).
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