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Two of the Phuket-born attendants on the new AirAsia flights to Bali

Paradise to Paradise as Phuket Partners Bali

Monday, November 8, 2010
AIRASIA has formally announced its Phuket-Bali flights with ''Paradise to Paradise'' as the theme. Beginning on December 17, the service will fly four times a week for the first 60 days before going daily.

A large media contingent from Phuket and Bangkok turned out today to hear the details, and to listen to the promise of the future for Phuket and its new-found co-paradise partner and former rival.

One point made loud and clear by Vice Governor Niwit Aroonrat was the need for Phuket to bring an end swiftly to tourist rip-offs and to improve its service mentality to be able to compete with destinations everywhere.

''Phuket is fortunate to have private companies as partners who are so keen to bring tourists,'' he said. ''We need to help each other.''

Khun Niwit is Phuket-born, and so will all the people connected with the new service be, with the exception of the pilots, said the General Manager of Thai AirAsia, Tassapon Bijleveld.

He said the concept of Phuket as an international AirAsia hub was working well, especially on flights to Hong Kong and Jakarta.

AirAsia was also launching a service from Bali to Darwin from December 17, he said, while flights from Indonesia to Australia's west coast capital of Perth were already extremely popular.

If just one in 10 of the three million visitors to Bali each year could be enticed to Phuket as well, the new paradise partnership would be extremely successful, he said.

The general manager of Phuket International Airport, Prathuang Somkhom, said that Phuket was now coping with 150 flights a day and that work on the five billion baht expansion would begin in March.

But the old terminal would remain intact while a new international terminal was being built, so there would be no interruption to services.

Australians are big fans of both Phuket and Bali and the Aussie Dollar is faring exceptionally well, so prospects for the paradise partnership are extremely good.

The loyalty of Aussies is also traditional. Australians were the first group to return to Phuket after the tsunami and the first to return to Bali after the bombings.

Airbus services between Phuket and Bali leave Phuket at 6.30am on the three-and-a-half hour flight and leave Bali for Phuket at 11.40am.

How does Kuta beach compare with Karon, Kata, Kalim and Kamala? Phuketwan's opinion is that a sunset walk along Kuta, with its superb long-line breaking wave, takes some beating. But Phuket's beaches offer a generally higher standard for everything except surf, and much greater variety.

Phuket lacks an Ubud, a cultural heartland where music, dance and art thrive, and a rice-field dotted hinterland with a stunning volcano in the background.

But there are plenty of similarities. Visiting Bali in the 1990s, we well remember being offered drugs in the dark behind one of the beaches, being pestered by more street vendors than Patong has ever seen, and being groped by a ladyboy in a Nazi helmet.

For regular visitors to Phuket, some feelings about the Bali version of paradise will be familiar. And we'd love to be a fly on the wall to hear what's said in Bali at the launch of the service to Phuket.
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For accommodation I keep returning to the Phulin Hotel in Karon.Excellent value for money, attention to detail & set back on a hill, quelling any fears of another tsunami.
Phuket is a spiritually healing Island that gives more than it takes. Do not miss FantaSea,worth every cent.

Posted by Astrid on November 10, 2010 21:35


Monday July 6, 2020
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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