Exploring Thailand’s Koh Samui – Review and Tips

I have been wanting to visit Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island (after the famous Phuket) for ages. A spare weekend and a crazy desire to get to an airport that has a code starting with “U“ gave me the opportunity! Seriously! Like the other places I have visited, I have rated key aspects of the place. We chose to stay in the Bo Phut area which is a quieter part of the island and includes one of the most popular tourist attractions: The Fishermans’ Village. The other popular tourist areas on the island: Chaweng with the…

Continue Reading »

Stop the Plane- I want to get on

There are so many stories of poor plane passenger behaviour, that I now filter most out. This one from Beijing takes the cake! On the morning of September 14 at around 9.30, two passengers for flight CA1519 an Air China Beijing to Shanghai service, failed to board their aircraft by the boarding time.  They then pushed past staff, marched onto the runway and insisted on boarding the aircraft. When refused, they stood under the plane with their suitcase in an attempt to stop it leaving. Check out the photos here: Police arrived and put the couple into five days…

Continue Reading »

My 2nd 787: Thai Business Brisbane to Bangkok

It has taken me a while to get onto a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It is five years ago that the first 787 was delivered to ANA and now there are 200 in the air. I am making up for lost time with seven 787 flights booked in 2o16 -with five carriers! My first 787 experience was with OneWorld’s South America member LATAM. Number two is today’s trip with Thai Airways. Numbers three and four are coming up with Scoot. Five will be with Jetstar. Six will be with Ethiopian. Seven is back to Thai! Thai Airways’s 787…

Continue Reading »

I have now flown to airports with codes starting with 24 letters of the alphabet

Every airport possesses its own three letter unique code. For example: Bos = Boston Logan LAX = Los Angeles For some travelers, these codes are mysterious: BOM = Mumbai EZE = Buenos Aires For others, they represent hubs of business: JFK = New York John F Kennedy LHR= London Heathrow I have now been to 215 airports from ABQ to ZRH.Back in April, I reflected that these airport codes started with 23 letters of the alphabet. Up to last weekend, I was only missing airport with codes starting with Q, U or X. I have now added two…

Continue Reading »

Los Angeles Long Overdue Transport Makeover

I have flown through Los Angeles International LAX multiple times over the last 20 years! I have used every one of its eight terminals with a range of current and defunct US and international airlines. If I was a commuter, then LAX is like one of my Grand Central Terminals! It is the world’s fifth busiest airport with almost 75 million people using it last year. And it is not good enough. Ugly buildings, a sprawling, confusing terminal layout, poor signage, horrific traffic and poor public transport connections, underwhelming food choices (definitely improved in the recent Tom…

Continue Reading »

Happy birthday to Cathay Pacific at 70

Few companies last seventy years in our modern world and even fewer non-government airlines have survived. Carriers in Asia have come and gone over the decades but  Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) has maintained services since 24 September, 1946 from its base in tiny Hong Kong. They have survived SARS, hijackings, the handover of HK back to China and several economic crises. I fell in love with Cathay Pacific in 1971 on my  birthday and today, they are my third favourite airline. I have rated its booking systems, check ins, service, meals etc and come up with…

Continue Reading »

Failed French hitchhiker Renames country ‘Nazi Zealand’

Today’s weird story is about how not to behave when traveling. I have travelled across almost every part of New Zealand multiple times and found NZers to be warm, welcoming and kind. When I was younger, I hitched many kilometres through New Zealand. The West coast of New Zealand is one of the remotest parts of New Zealand. There are few towns and not much traffic.  I would never hitch in this part of the world as there are so few cars compared to other parts of the country! One small fishing community is called Punakaiki. The…

Continue Reading »

Sept 11, 2001- fifteen years on.

I cannot believe it is 15 years ago that planes were used to create such destruction in New York and DC and  crashed in Pennsylvania. For many, this is an event that they have only heard about second hand, a part of history. I, however, still remember the day I heard about the planes crashing into buildings. Transfixed by the repeating image which I was convinced had to be a promo from a horror movie, it took minutes to ascertain it was indeed real. The Day represented a shift in the world. A realisation that…

Continue Reading »

Goodbye to the Cathay 747

More on Hong Kong! The 747 has long been one of my favourite aircraft since my first flight was in 1971 from Hong Kong to Sydney, Australia with Pan Am. I celebrated my birthday on the flight with a cake. Cathay Pacific flew their first 747 in 1979 and eventually owned 54 of the type.  Their 747s have carried over 160 million people across the globe! Of my 96 Jumbo Jet flights, six have been on six Cathay 747 flights of them over that time (see below. NB The Hong Kong to Paris route was flown twice).…

Continue Reading »

Van hits plane at Hong Kong airport

This is the aftermath of a China Aircraft Services hitting a fully loaded Dragonair Airbus 330 at Hong Kong International Airport’s apron 25 at about 4pm local time. The video of the incident appears to shows the van driving directly towards the aircraft as it moves towards the runway for takeoff. The van then seems to veer straight toward the engine. Completely bizarre. The vehicle was dragged along the tarmac for several metres by the plane. The pilot stopped the plane. Five fire engines and two ambulances were called to the scene. The driver was reportedly…

Continue Reading »