MH786/795 KUL-HKT-KUL Business Class

The obvious benefit of flying Business Class in my opinion are the seat pitch. Although you’ll be getting a wider seat, that’s not considered a luxury for me but the extra leg room (pitch) and reclining seat or a ‘flat-bed’ is. Our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket and return was on Malaysia Airlines B737-800 with a 2-2 seating configuration in 4 rows totaling 16 seats. On a short flight of less than 90 minutes, you’ll get reclining seats instead of a ‘flat bed’ typically found on long haul flights in A330 or A380. A pull-out foot rest is available for added comfort. On this short flight, I haven’t had time to even put the seat in recline because shortly after departure it was lunch and then it’s preparation time to land!

(MAS A330-300 Business Class review here.)

MAS 737-800 Business Classs

Business Class check-in at Phuket airport. Only a cabin bag & a backpack for a 40kg baggage allowance entitlement.

Boarding in KLIA was via jet bridge whilst in Phuket we have to board a bus for our plane at one far end of the airfield. On our return flight, since there were only a handful of business class passengers and frequent flyers, Phuket airport authority decide to accommodate economy passengers in the bus as well. This made boarding bothersome as we have to jolts with the others boarding the plane through a common aisle. I wouldn’t have mind boarding last to avoid all these. On A330 or A380, past the entrance door, business and economy class passengers go their separate ways to their designated cabins.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Pink guava ‘welcome’ drink. Refreshing.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Empty seats at the back. 2-2 seating configuration.

Even on a short flight, you will be accorded a small pillow and a blanket. It wasn’t used as the cabin temperature was just right. The day’s newspaper was already slotted into the front seat pocket. Hot hand towels and your choice of chilled fruit juice was served before departure. Unlike long haul business class flight where you are addressed by name, this time it’s just Sir/Madam.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Cross legged and still plenty of room to the front seat.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Feet down, a toddler  could easily walk across.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

In-flight magazine, shopping catalogue & safety card in the front seat pocket.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

For such a short flight, there wasn’t time to watch or listen to any in-flight entertainment. .

Meals were served shortly after take-off and you’ll get three selection to choose from, whether for breakfast or lunch. Meals are served on plates, drinks in glasses and cups, you’ll use stainless steel cutlery and you’ll be handed linen napkin. Refill of cold or hot beverage is free flowing unless you ask to stop! Food tasted good and suited for the local (Malaysian) taste bud.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Dim sum breakfast for wife.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Omelette and sausage for my breakfast with choice of breads

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Briyani chicken lunch for both of us on our return flight to Kuala Lumpur.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Peanuts …. once sought after, now tasted ordinary.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

Taxing for departure in a heavy downfall.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

A little cloudy on the Malaysian side.

Coming in for our landing, we passed Kuala Lumpur airport. The turn into the airport however, was some 100km away. I’m pretty sure it was somewhere around or close to the seaside town of Port Dickson. The airport so near, yet so far.

MAS 737-800 Business Classs KUL-HKT-KUL

KLIA runway & the Sepang F1 circuit in view prior to landing.

Phuket At A Glance

The whole of our 4 days in Patong, was spent walking around town. It’s truly a Free & Lazy itinerary and we did not visit the major Phuket attractions as we have done so before. Patong town isn’t big and you can cover by foot within one hour if you restrict to window shopping. Our main focal point was the vicinity of Jungceylon Mall where our hotel is located. The Jungceylon Mall complex itself can easily take a whole day if not two, to fully explore. A host of convenience can be found here.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Jungceylon Mall entrance facing Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Rd.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

The Junk inside Jungceylon. Twice a day, there will a fountain display.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Adjoining shopping complex housing anchor tenants Robinson’s Department Store & BIC-C Supermarket.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Full fledged BIC-C Supermarket.taking up two floors

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Foot SPA therapy at Phuket Square outside Jungceylon near KFC.

The main tourist attractions of Patong Town are the beach activities along Patong Beach and the night entertainment for the young and young at heart along Bangla Street. Here you’ll find crowded and noisy restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs, etc till the early morning. In the morning, you can do some serious shopping at Jungceylon Mall and souvenir hunting in shops or roadside stalls.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Patong beach, Phuket.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Bangla Road fronting Patong beach.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

The happening street at night for the young & young at heart.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Crowd starting to build up at Bangla Road at night.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Souvenirs by the roadside.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

More souvenirs.

Banzaan Fresh Market is located across Sai Kor Road at the rear of Jungceylon Mall. It is just a normal market serving the locals daily needs. In what is common to most Asians, this market would also be referred as a ‘wet market’, where most of the floors would be wet. The upper floor has a large food court with halal food available.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Banzaan Fresh Market across the road from the rear of Jungceylon.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

The fresh vegetable section.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Varieties of fresh fruits you can sample before buying.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

The seafood section with lobster and crayfish.

The only attraction we went to is FantaSea. It’s a cultural theme park with it’s main attraction being a Thai Cultural Show with trained animals joining in. Laser show has now been incorporated into the one hour segment which wasn’t there 17 years ago. This is our second time here, the first in 2001.

I tend to enjoy more the first time as the animals got more stage time, now lasers having it’s ‘own slot’. Honestly I’ll say, seen once, seen them all. The ‘wow’ factor diminishes for repeat visitors. Video recording devices including hand phones are not allowed in. You’ll hand over your devices and be given a ticket to claim them after the show.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Back again to FantaSea after 17 years.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Parrots at Phuket FantaSea theme park.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

A rare white tiger in a glass cage at Phuket FantaSea. This isn’t part of the show.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

The event building where the show was performed. It has theater style numbered seating.

Phuket now has a new, large modern International Airport. Arrival is on the lower level while departure on the upper. The domestic terminal is next to it which actually was the old airport. This new terminal building was a far cry from the old with many amenities for the convenience of passengers. This new terminal was completed in 2016.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Departure level of Phuket airport.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Entrance for departures on the upper level.

Arrival exit at the ground level.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

The old airport which is now the domestic terminal located alongside the new.

Phuket, Free & Lazy

Spacious check-in counters in the new airport.

Halal Food, Phuket

April 2018

Muslim visitors to Patong will find an abundance of Halal Food eateries here. More than five years ago, it would be taxing walking around Patong in search of a handful of Halal Food stalls and then again, they were expensive. We were taken aback this time around to find plentiful of Halal eateries be it mobile carts, stalls, shops or restaurants. You choose what you prefer (or your budget), be it by the roadside or fine dining in air-conditioned restaurant.

Halal food Phuket

Below, we map out the Halal eateries we came across, with Soi (road) Sansabai offering the most concentration of Halal eateries. Please bear in mind we didn’t eat in all of them, but we did see the ‘Halal’ wording either in English or Arabic (or both) prominently at the respective premises. It will be in your best interest to verify their status as we were informed, some do sell alcoholic beverage.

Halal food Phuket

Location of Halal eateries in the vicinity of Jungceylon Shopping Center. Click to enlarge map.

Another area to look for Halal Food, will be around Holiday Inn Resort fronting Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road. You can use Google street view to explore where they are. Another location, at Thawewong Road along Patong beach, you’ll find a couple more eateries as well as mobile Halal carts too.

Halal food Phuket

Located in Phuket Square, in-front of KFC.

Halal food Phuket

This is the front of SB Plaza, a large bazaar. Walk straight till the end for the restaurant.

Halal food Phuket

‘The Curry’ located in the basement of Jungceylon food-court. There are three Halal stalls abreast.

Halal food Phuket

‘Siam Thai Food’ in-between ‘The Curry’ & ‘Phuket Noodles’ in the basement of Jungceylon food-court.

Halal food Phuket

The corner stall of ‘Phuket Noodles’ in Jungceylon. food-court.

Halal food Phuket

A kebab stand right across Jungceylon along Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road.

Halal food Phuket

Al Hallab, the first stall at Soi Sansabai. In the background is Bangla Street, the happening night spot.

Halal food Phuket

A little further in at Soi Sansabai, is Bombay Kitchen & Lounge.

Halal food Phuket

Rayaan’s Oriental is beside Bombay Kitchen.

Halal food Phuket

Two shop lots away from Rayaan’s Oriental in the same row, is Indian Curry Club.

A little further down the road on the same row of the other eateries, is a restaurant without a name, but you’ll find ‘Sea Food.Thai Food.Arabic Food‘ on it’s signboard. We had dinner here, my wife had fried ‘pad-thai’ while Tomyam Kung (shrimp Tomyam) for me. I must say the Tomyam is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Since Thailand & Malaysia are neighbors, Thai cooking does make its way into our country and Tomyam being one of them. Very rarely can I find tomyam this good back home. Superb, highly recommended. This restaurant does not serve alcohol.

Halal food Phuket

Night view of ‘Sea Food.Thai Food.Arabic Food’ restaurant.

Halal food Phuket

Day view of the restaurant. Look for the signboard.

Halal food Phuket

The restaurant interior.

Halal food Phuket

White rice, Tomyam Kung (small)  & Thai fried rice. THB480 for this meal for two.

Halal food Phuket

On another day, wife had Pad Thai & still Tomyam Kung for me..

Halal food Phuket

Further down in the same row is Kuwait Restaurant.

Halal food Phuket

Beside Kuwait Restaurant is Waleed Oriental Restaurant.

Halal food Phuket

Labanese kebab stand in-front of Waleed Oriental Restaurant.

Halal food Phuket

Further down, in the opposite row towards the end of Soi Sansabai is another kebab stand in-front of Chang Club Hotel.

Halal food Phuket

Mobile cart along Thawewong Road. In the background is Patong Beach.

Halal food Phuket

This Halal pancake mobile cart is next to the ‘Pad Thai’ cart.

Our above list isn’t exhaustive. There are still many more Halal eateries we saw when we were on the move. Another notable location is Kalim Beach during the night. Mobile carts line almost the entire stretch of the road along the beach.

Price of Halal Food is generally slightly cheaper compared five years ago probably due to competition and easier availability of Halal produce. In supermarkets, you’ll be able to get Halal certified products such as instant noodles, tidbits, Thai sauces and others.

Halal food Phuket

Halal Thai paste sold in supermarket.

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