10. PHUKET, VTSP, (Thailand) - 29.06.08 - 1097NM - 9:02

Round the World Flight with HB-PON 2008/09
Rolf Martin FRIEDEN & Manfred Melloh
Sun 29 Jun 2008 18:02

"8:06.60N 98:18.80"

Colombo VCBI to Phuket VTSP in Thailand


We left the hotel in a rainy dark morning and made our way to the

airport in the same taxi as the previous afternoon. On the way there,

there where a lot of military personnel and roadblocks visible, this

because the uncertain terrorist situation in this country Sri Lanka is

basically at war with the Tamil Tigers, which are fighting against the

central government in the north of the island. At the moment this

country is facing a difficult time, as the so much needed tourists are

staying away of this troubled zone. The people we met in Colombo were

friendly and very helpful.

Once at the airport, things markedly slowed down and the ordered three

drums of fuel for 05:00, only arrived two and a half hours later Weather

forecast en route to Phuket was good, VFR all the way, with the

exception of the mainland area with some CB's around.




After about seven hours into the flight, we flew over the chain
of the Nicobar Islands (Indian possessions) and we took some photos
and Videos as we slowly over flew this island chain.



Over the gulf of Siam


En route we were first in HF contact with Colombo, the all the
way up to the Indonesian FIR, we gave regular position reports
to Chennai (India). Approaching the main land of Thailand, some
build-ups started to appear on the horizon. Phuket approach gave
us permission for a straight- in approach for runway 09, and we
had not to change our inbound heading at all to avoid clouds.



 Once parked on the apron, we were on our own from the time we
shut down the engine.
No body came!






Rolf spent some time in the aircraft, getting all the needed maps and

approach charts from our voluminous collection of Jeppesen binders for

our next leg from Phuket to Singapore.







Nightfall came very rapidly and we unloaded everything we needed
for the coming days and then headed by foot across the apron to
the International Arrivals hall.

Once in the arrivals hall, there was only one customs days and
then headed by foot across the apron to the International Arrivals
hall. Once in the arrivals hall, there was only one customs official
and with no passport or luggage check, we were waved through the
various gates with a hearty welcome and a smile. Once outside in
the public arrival area, nobody seemed to have been waiting for us.
Sweating and very thirsty we spotted a nice customer lounge from
the Meridian hotel which was empty, and we decided to sit down there
and get somehow adjusted and ready to make some phone calls to our
two friends and partners of the Phuket Airpark Adrian and Robert
and the two employees at the Phuket airpark. At this time Adrian
and Robert were seemingly still travelling at St Petersburg in Russia
and we managed to get hold of them with our mobile telephone via
Switzerland. After about half an hour the representative of the
Meridian Hotel appeared in his lounge this man, in typical Thai
fashion greeted us and lent his help, although we were seemingly
not one of his customers. Note, the local manager of the Airpark
came out with the company car and then drove us to the airpark,
which was just 20 minutes away. As welcomed and awaited guests,
we were then given our guest rooms at the park and were then
treated with a welcome beer and some light Thai dinner,
prepared by Notes lovely wife Lam Yai.

Yesterday morning we of course went for a walk around the Airpark
with its grass runway and all the construction sites. The official
opening is planned for the 14th of January 2009.


In sunny morning weather, Note and Lam Yan drove us in the company van

around the Island of Phuket.




On safe grounds


We were driven all around the Island and visited towns and many beaches.

Kamala, Patong and Kata. It was those beaches which were badly hit by

the Zunami two years ago. We visited the new hotel of Robert, our

generous host. This construction in the heights of the Patong beach and

has a magnificent view over the beach and the town of Patong.





From Robert's new "Boutique Hotel"



En route back to the Airpark we stopped at various Vista points
and were invited to a light lunch in a road restaurant way above
the coast. In the evening we invited our lovely guest couple and
their 6 year old son Mig for a nice dinner in a local Seafood
restaurant the Laemhin at sea

shore. Back in our quarters we went to sleep rather early.




Lam, Manfred, Robert (the owner), Rolf, Note.


Today the 1st of July we had a relaxing day at the airpark and did
all the preparations for our next leg to Singapore tomorrow. Today
the 1st of July we had a relaxing day at the airpark and did all
the preparations for our next leg to Singapore tomorrow.
planning, Meteo, etc.