HCM to Kuala Lumpur to Phuket
Trip Start Jun 12, 2012
42Trip End Jul 20, 2012
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Where I stayed
Hilton Arcadia Phuket
We were booked on Air Malaysia (the cheapest I could find) so we queued up and proceeded to check-in our bags. We were a bit apprehensive because, as I had mentioned in earlier blogs, we're carrying an extra bag thanks to our shopping spree in Hoi An. We checked the bags and altogether they weighed 75 kilogram and we're allowed 60 kilograms for the three of us
We decided that Major and me should go ahead and go through security, have breakfast, and wait at the gate. That would let Mickell focus on getting his phone back from the taxi company. I didn't have too much hope that the phone would be recovered, but it was worth trying since the iPhone 4 costs roughly $799! So, off Major and I went. We got through passport control and security just fine and went to have breakfast at Burger King. It had just turned 10:00 so I went ahead and got a Whopper while Major got the Big American breakfast (as it's called here)
We started to board the aircraft and they came and got Mickell out of line and told him that he would not be able to take that bag on the airplane. The lady from check-in had come down to the departure gate probably for the sole purpose of this little shake down. As Major and I were gave our tickets, one of the gate agents asked us if we'd like to remain outside the plane while Mickell was making his arrangments. I declined and got on the plane. The overhead bins were empty on the plane and there was so much room it was ridiculous that they were giving him a hard time. Anyway, Major and I got seated and we waited, waited, and waited, but no Mickell. Finally, right before departure, he came on board
So, our flight left Saigon and took us to Kuala Lumpur where we had a 4 hour layover. We had lunch and hung out until it was time to board our flight to Phuket. As we pulled out our tickets, we noticed that all of our tickets were in different parts of the plane! Really! They put a freaking 6 year old away from BOTH parents
It was raining when we landed in Phuket, but I could see as we flew in that it was going to be beautiful. We debarked the airplane and went through passport control to collect our bags. After we collected all the bags, Mickell asked me where the oil paintings were? Remember that he had pulled them out of our checked bags during the hub bub a the check-in counter and we had carried them on. We quickly realized that we had left them in Kuala Lumpur. Mickell spent time completing a lost and found report in hopes that we might get a call stating that someone had found our beautiful paintings in Kuala Lumpur. It was at this time that we decided that Mickell had been having bad luck ever since he disturbed that butterfly in the Buddhist temple in Saigon
We made our way through customs and then decided to rent a car. They drive on the opposite side of the rode here, but I've driven Brittish style in other parts of the world including South Africa and Australia. I had read that Phuket is a good island upon which to rent a car so I found the Hertz counter and rented one. The rate was 999 Bhat per day which is less than $30 USD. Away we went without a GPS system en route to find the Hilton Phuket. Of course ,the Hilton was completely on the other side of the island at Karon Beach. Our plane arrived a bit late and it was already approaching 19:00 and I had some work conference calls to attend to at 20:00 so I was hoping to make it to the hotel in enough time to take the calls. The rain didn't help matters, but we navigated our way to the Hilton where we were met with a security guard. They asked us to open our trunk and then they did a sweep with one of those mirrors that lets them check for bombs underneath the car. We then parked and went to what I thought was the front desk. But, it wasn't. At the resort, you're transported by open-air bus to the main lobby. It's a large resort-style property, so it's definitely better than walking it (especially in the rain). They checked us in and we were given the best room in the resort aside from the Presidential suites and the like. It was on the top floor of the executive tower right next to the Panarama Lounge
I ended up having to cancel my conference calls since I didn't make it to the room in enough time. My other problem was that the phone in the room wouldn't dial an outside line. I did not take today as a vacation day, so I needed to work US hours which, in this time zone, was roughly 8PM to 4AM. My first day back at work started a little late as I was waiting on the engineers at Hilton to fix the phone, but I did email while I was waiting. It was a long first night, but ever bit as productive as I would have been in the US. Tomorrow, we're just going to go to the beach and relax!