Kuala Lumpur, June 2018: Time to say good bye to Johor Bahru and head over to Senai Airport for the late afternoon flight to Kuala Lumpur. A night stop there before a flight to Kathmandu and hopefully a flight to Pokhara but with just 35 minutes from landing, applying for the visa then queuing for the passport stamp, making that Pokhara connection will be pretty tight to say the least – if luck is on my side, the Kathmandu flight will arrive early and the Pokhara flight will depart late!
Here’s a few snaps from the airport bus as it travels the motorways north to Senai. A very rustic scene harking back to old Malaysia where dwellings consisted of wood and tin surrounded by jungles…
Senai Airport is a local regional airport with most flights being on domestic routes. A small terminal with about a dozen departure gates, so the usual advice of turn up 3 hours before departure isn’t really necessary here – I’d say an hour and 10 minutes would suffice. Just a word of warning about the coffee in the departure lounge here – there’s just one place to get it and it tastes damn awful! Bad coffee aside, the place is bright and modern with nice big windows, good enough for a bit of plane spotting before boarding that Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur.
A very quick 35 minutes to Kuala Lumpur with some pretty nice views of rural Malaysia along the way as the aircraft heads towards Melaka, Port Dickson and the final approach to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Over recent decades, Malaysia has bulldozed its natural jungles to create giant ‘Palm Oil’ plantations. Vast swathes of these palms stretch pretty much across the whole country and is seen as an important commodity, especially in food production. More about palm oil here…
Another transit stop in Kuala Lumpur. The Skybus to Brickfields – eat – sleep – Skybus back to the airport for a late morning Air Asia departure to Kathmandu. I’ve written plenty about the Brickfields stopover – here’s a link to those past posts.
Today’s trip to Kathmandu is a 4 1/4 hour flight on an Air Asia A330 Airbus. There isn’t a great deal to see as the aircraft routes across Thailand, India and into Nepal airspace. Haze and clouds over terrain then nothing but sea until the baron wastelands of India. The best part of the flight comes right at the end as the plane descends into Kathmandu – the scenery is pretty awesome!
And as luck would have it, were about 15 minutes early and if the folks over at Yeti Airlines in the domestic terminal have a little sympathy, I should be on that last flight to Pokhara! My ticket is actually booked for a flight tomorrow since the connection time for the last flight of the day was pretty tight. Kudos to the Yeti staff for getting me on that flight, the last seat, on the last flight with just minutes to spare! I really didn’t relish spending a night in Kathmandu. 25 minutes to Pokhara on a British built BAE41, just enough time for the hostess to serve a drink and some nuts.