Exactly on time, the huge Airbus 319 taxied along the NAIA tarmac. It revved its engine, escaped gravity and soared high into the dark Manila night. Electric lights twinkled below and far into the horizon; we were smoothly navigating the air above the metro. TigerAir Philippines recently opened a direct flight from Manila to Thailand’s premier beach destination, Phuket, and it’s where exactly where we’re heading.
Regular readers might notice that I’m not really one to travel out of the Philippines, usually traveling abroad only once a year. But I was fortunate enough to be invited to try out Tigerair Philippines’ direct flight to Phuket. What’s really enticing about their Phuket flight is how affordable it is compared to the competitors out there. One can easily save up to 70% through their direct flights, and that’s not even during their seat sales.
I tried booking a regular flight through their website a month ahead and got a total price of Php8,464.00 for a two-way Manila-Phuket-Manila flight. Pretty good deal if you ask me. And it can only get sweeter if you wait for seat sales and promos, I even remember them offering a roundtrip flight to Phuket for as low as Php3,499.00 before. Now that’s a sweet deal.
Phuket, Thailand within absolute reach. The flight takes about three and half to four hours and most of my companions started reclining their seats and closing their eyes as the seatbelt sign pinged above and cabin light was switched off. But I was too keyed up to sleep. Reading through the airline’s tigertales magazine about our destination didn’t help at all, it just made me more excited.
The hours passed slowly but eventually the captain announced that we were finally descending into Thailand. I adjusted my watch an hour backwards, filled out my immigration papers and our plane smoothly landed through the Phuket International Airport. Sawa Dee Thailand!
We did the routine airport check out; passing through immigration without a problem, grabbing our checked in baggage and changing dollars to baht. After a few minutes, we finally went out into the sultry Thai night.
Everyone boarded our tour bus from Bamboo Travel, our official transport for the next few days in and around the island, and it promptly zoomed into Thailand’s right-hand driven roads to Phuket’s Patong City. I sat back and kept my eyes peeled, soaking in my first view of the Kingdom of Thailand.
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