Sunday, March 18, 2012

Holiday in Hong Kong March 2012 - Part 1

Welcome to my blog report of my vacation in Hong Kong in March 2012. This report will consist of several parts as usual.

Part 1 ~ The Opening

On Friday, 9 March, we woke at 6.30 a.m. to pack up our remaining baggage for the flight to Hong Kong. According to my mum, we would be flying with Cathay Pacific on flight CX 736 in Economy Class, which would leave at 10.05 a.m. for Hong Kong. I didn't mind sitting in Economy Class as this would be a relatively short flight, which would take 4 hours. We usually take Business Class on flights that last for 5 hours or longer.

After we all had a shower, my housekeeper made us some breakfast and hot drinks. We then did a final check on our baggage while waiting for a MaxiCab. At 7.25 a.m., our MaxiCab arrived at our house, and the driver helped us with our baggage. We finally left for Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at 7.30 a.m..

After a 25-minute journey on the MaxiCab from home, we finally arrived at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at 7.55 a.m.. We then took three trolleys, loaded our baggage, and went into check-in Row No. 1 for Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 to Hong Kong.


The departure and check-in hall of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

The departure flight information screen in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

The Cathay Pacific check-in counter at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

A list of Oneworld members on the Cathay Pacific check-in counter in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

My boarding pass for Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 bound for Hong Kong

After we finished our check-in procedures, we went to the passport control area before heading to a money exchange counter to exchange some Singapore dollars (S$) into Hong Kong dollars (HK$).

According to one of the check-in agents, our flight would depart from Gate No. D44 at 10.05 a.m., and that, boarding would commence 45 minutes before departure. At the money exchange counter, I changed approximately S$1018.70 and received HK$6100, making my total amount of Hong Kong dollars to HK$11870.

My parents then permitted me to do some of my usual plane spotting before we headed to Gate No. D44 for Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 bound for Hong Kong. These are some pictures I took while doing my usual plane spotting and in the airside.


The airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1


The departure flight information screen in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1


The list of airlines using the Skyview Lounge


The exterior view of the Skyview Lounge


A FedEx Express McDonnell Douglas MD-11F resting on the tarmac


One of the tarmacs near Terminal 1


A Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-343X, registered 9V-STD, taxiing past Terminal 1 on the tarmac


Another view of 9V-STD taxiing on the tarmac


My Christmas Gift for 2011: Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-412 Herpa Scale 1:500 (500852) ~ New Generation

A lineup of duty-free shops in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1


A cafe in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

Part 2 ~ The Flight to Hong Kong

Airline: Cathay Pacific
Flight No.: CX 736
From: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN / WSSS), Singapore
To: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG / VHHH), Hong Kong
Aircraft: Boeing 777-267
Registration No.: B-HNA
Class: Economy Class
Seat No. 66K
Date: Friday, 9 March 2012

After spending almost an hour of endless plane spotting, the clock was finally showing 9.05 a.m.. Knowing that boarding for Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 bound for Hong Kong would commence in 25 minutes' time, I immediately proceeded to Gate No. D44.


I met up with my family at a nearby duty-free shop at around 9.10 a.m.. We then proceeded to Gate No. D44 for Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 bound for Hong Kong, arriving there at 9.15 a.m.. Again, the security check was relatively quick, and we were in the gate holding area before 9.20 a.m..

Today, Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 bound for Hong Kong would be operated by a Boeing 777-200, registered B-HNA and powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 877 engines. B-HNA was delivered new to Cathay Pacific as VR-HNA on 23 August 1996, but received its present registration number on 31 July 1997. Immediately, I recognised the aircraft, as I knew that this plane transported us between Singapore and Hong Kong in Business Class as Cathay Pacific flights CX 714 and CX 711, when we went to Japan two years earlier.


The moving walkways leading to Gates No. D31 to D49 in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1


The departure information screen at Gate No. D44 showing the details of our flight to HKG


The entrance to security at Gate No. D44

Our aircraft for today, B-HNA, at Gate No. D44 waiting to take us to HKG as Cathay Pacific flight CX 736


The waiting room at Gate No. D44

After approximately 10 minute of waiting, the first boarding calls for Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 bound for Hong Kong were made at 9.30 a.m.. The Business Class passengers, needy people, and Asia Miles & Marco Polo Club members were called to board the aircraft first. Immediately, we grabbed all of our carry-on baggage and we were on board the aircraft by 9.40 a.m., which was in good time for a 10.05 a.m.. We then stowed our baggage, and settled into our seats for the 4-hour flight to Hong Kong.

The Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-200 Economy Class cabin during boarding in SIN


The Cathay Pacific in-flight duty-free catalogue


A closer look into the Cathay Pacific in-flight duty-free catalogue


The safety information brochure for the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-200 aircraft


An Indonesia AirAsia Airbus A320-216, registered PK-AXJ, beside us, along with two Jetstar planes (1 A320 and 1 A330)

After all the passengers for Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 bound for Hong Kong were on board, we pushed back from Gate No. D44 at 10.05 a.m., as planned. The safety briefing information video was shown on our video screens at the same time. We then made our taxi to our assigned runway in preparation for take-off, passing by several aircraft parked at Terminals 1 and 2 along the way.

After 25 minutes of taxiing to our assigned runway, the two Rolls-Royce Trent 877 engines spooled to life, and we finally lifted off from Singapore Changi Airport at 10.30 a.m.. We then climbed into the late and cloudy morning sky for a flight time of 3 hours 35 minutes over the South China Sea towards the modern city of Hong Kong.

Part of the safety briefing demonstration video


A China Airlines Airbus A330-302, registered B-18309, resting at Gate No. D42 before heading back to Taipei as China Airlines flight CI 752 at 10.25 a.m.


Taxiing past two Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-212/ER jets


A Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-343X, registered 9V-STE, parked at Gate No. E12 at Terminal 2


A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-412 aircraft, registered 9V-SPP and painted in the special Star Alliance livery, resting on the tarmac. Sadly, the Boeing 747 passenger jets will be a sight no more for Singapore Airlines after the last commemorative and commercial flight to Hong Kong on 6 April 2012. Hopefully, Singapore Airlines will consider ordering and purchasing the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in the near future!

Cathay Pacific Flight 736 ~ Take-off from Singapore Changi Airport

The Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-200 Economy Class cabin shortly after take-off from SIN


Flying somewhere over the Malaysian Peninsula

The seatbelt signs were turned off at 10.40 a.m., just 10 minutes after take-off from Singapore. I then went to the lavatory and took my usual cabin shots. A flight attendant came around and distributed some drinks and peanuts. I then ordered a cup of orange juice and Coca-Cola for myself.

The posted placard in the lavatory that warns passengers that smoking in the cabin or tampering with smoke detectors is a criminal offence


A pack of roasted peanuts and antiseptic towelette for myself


A cup of orange juice for myself


A cup of Coca-Cola for myself


Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-412 Herpa Scale 1:500 (500852) ~ New Generation


Flying over the South China Sea


The Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-200 Economy Class cabin as seen from my seat

A few moments later, a flight attendant came to my seat to take my meal order for lunch during the flight to Hong Kong from Singapore. I then ordered chicken with vegetables and fried rice. It was promptly delivered to me as soon as possible. The chicken tasted quite good in the sauce as the sauce made it tender, though it was a little too bland. The fried rice and vegetables were not so bad either.

Flying somewhere between Sabah and Vietnam


The Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-200 Economy Class cabin during the meal service


My main meal: Chicken with fried rice and vegetables


Flying somewhere over Vietnam

Shortly after the in-flight meal service was finished, the in-flight duty-free shopping service commenced. I managed to purchase a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300/ER Scale 1:500 CXcitement Exclusive Model, painted in the special Oneworld livery. The model cost approximately HK$260 (US$34 / S$52). The details are as follows:

1) Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367/ER "Oneworld" Herpa Scale 1:500 (CXcitement Exclusive)


My newly purchased CXcitement model: Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367/ER "Oneworld" Herpa Scale 1:500 (CXcitement Exclusive)


Flying somewhere past the Philippines


Flying between Vietnam and the Philippines


The Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-200 Economy Class cabin during the duty-free cabin

The seatbelt sign was illuminated at 1.55 p.m., just 10 minutes before landing in Hong Kong International Airport. Immediately, we stowed away all of our carry-on baggage and buckled up for the landing. After a flight time of 3 hours 35 minutes over the South China Sea, we finally touched down in Hong Kong International Airport at 2.05 p.m., as scheduled.


The Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-200 Economy Class cabin just before the seatbelt sign was illuminated for landing


Getting closer to HKG


Flying over the South China Sea while getting closer to HKG


Flying within the clouds while approaching HKG


Cathay Pacific Flight CX 736 ~  Landing in Hong Kong International Airport

A view of my seat, 66K, after arrival in HKG

As soon as the aircraft parked at Gate No. 33, we took all of our carry-on baggage and disembarked from the plane. The flight attendants bid us farewell at the exit. We then headed to the immigrations area.

As with my previous blog reports, the airline grading systems are as follows:

A+: 85% or above (Airline has an excellent rating and performance)
A: 75% ~ 84% (Airline has a good rating and performance)
B: 60% ~ 74% (Airline has a good rating and performance)
C: 50% ~ 59% (Airline has an adequate rating and performance)
D: 40% ~ 49% (Airline has a fair rating and performance)
E: 20% ~ 39% (Airline has a poor rating and performance)
U: Below 20% (Airline has not met the requirement for the minimum grade)

Cathay Pacific Flight 736 Score Report

Seat: 14 / 20
Food: 16 / 20
Service: 14 / 20
Aircraft cleanliness: 18 / 20
Legroom space: 14 / 20
Total: 76 / 100

Overall, Cathay Pacific scored 76% on the sector between SIN and HKG. This means they deserve an 'A', which is good enough. It was good flight with them.

Part 3 ~ The Journey to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel

After we disembarked from Cathay Pacific flight CX 736 from Singapore, we then realised that our baggage claiming belt number would be Belt No. 8. It was quite far from our arrival gate, so we had to take the Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover, to reach the immigrations area. Here are some pictures taken along the way to the Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover station.

On the moving walkway to the Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover station


On the escalator to the Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover station


The Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover arriving at the platform

As soon as we arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover station, the train arrived at the station. We then boarded the train, and we were on our way to the immigrations area. Here is the video, which can be found below the train interior image.

The interior of the Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover


HKIA Automatic People Mover (Gates No. 33 ~ 80 to Baggage Reclaim Area)

It took just one minute to get to the immigrations area via the Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover. From the station, we took the escalator up to the immigrations hall, via the connecting flight transit mall. These are some pictures.


The Hong Kong International Airport Automatic People Mover station below the immigrations and transit hall


The connecting flight transit mall in HKG

Once we arrived at the immigrations area, we saw that it was crowded with tourists from various countries. As I knew, it was the start of the one-week school break in March. During this time, many schoolchildren often visit Hong Kong with their families to enjoy the cool weather and sightseeing.

At around 2.40 p.m., we managed to get our passports stamped, and went to Belt No. 8 with three baggage trolleys to collect our check-in baggage. Noticing my frequent picture-taking, my mum told me that for security reasons, it is forbidden to perform any form of photography in certain areas of certain airports (e.g. U.S. airports). Here are some of which I took.


The flight arrival belt information screen showing our baggage belt number for our arrival flight


The baggage claiming hall of HKG


The duty-free allowance advertisement at Belt No. 8

After collecting all of our baggage, we went to the arrival hall to look for a hotel and driver sign that read "Kowloon Shangri-La". Immediately, we saw a gentleman holding up a "Kowloon Shangri-La" hotel sign with our names on it. He then went to help us with our baggage. My parents and brother then went to the bathroom before doing anything else.


A model of one of the first airplanes ever built hanging from the ceiling in HKG


The arrival hall of Hong Kong International Airport

After having a short bathroom break, we took the elevator down to the taxi stand and car park area. A black limousine car awaited us to transport us to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel. As our baggage was loaded in, hot towels and bottled water were supplied for us. It was a nice feature to receive on a hotel limousine.


The black hotel limousine car waiting to take us to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

After all our carry-on and check-in baggages were safely stowed, we were on our way to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel at around 3 o' clock. The journey between Hong Kong International Airport and the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel would take approximately half an hour. These are some pictures I took along the way.

I have known the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel very well since my second trip to Hong Kong back in May and June 2006. After my last stay there in September 2009, this would be my third time staying there. Among all the hotels I have stayed in during my holidays in Hong Kong, none of them beats the Kowloon Shangri-La. On the 20th to 21st floors of the hotel, there is a lounge and a restaurant, known as The Horizon Club where hotel guests can have breakfast, afternoon tea, and a late night snack.


Just after leaving Hong Kong International Airport


Tung Chung New Town in the distance


About to go under the over bridge shops of Citygate Outlets Tung Chung


The Airport Express and Tung Chung MTR Line tracks


Bypassing Sunny Bay Station


About to cross the Kap Shui Mun Bridge


Crossing the Kap Shui Mun Bridge


Some buildings on Hong Kong Island during a foggy day


The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong


The busy roadway of Nathan Road


The exterior view of the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel during the mid-afternoon hours on a cloudy day


Approaching the entrance to Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel

We finally arrived at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel at 3.30 p.m. after a journey time of 30 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport. A hotel bellman came and opened the limousine doors for us, whereas one hotel porter came to help us with our baggage. We then went to the reception counter to check in to the hotel and receive our room keys for our floor number. Here are some pictures which I took.


The lounge in the hotel lobby


A view of the hotel hobby towards the check-in reception counter


An overall view of the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel lobby

After we received our room keys, the reception lady told us that our room numbers were Nos. 1126 and 1127 (two connecting rooms) respectively. She then told us that our baggage would be brought up to us soon. My brother and I would be staying in room No. 1127 while my parents were in room No. 1126.

Room No. 1126 was still being prepared by the time we arrived at our rooms via an elevator. Here are some pictures I took while waiting for Room No. 1126 to be refurbished.


A view of my room


A view of the sea towards Hong Kong Island taken from my room


Another view of Hong Kong Island from my room

After a while of waiting, my parents' room (Room No. 1126) was finally finished with its preparations. We then had a good rest in their hotel room.


An overall view of our living room


A view of my parents' bedroom

After a few hours of resting in our hotel rooms, we went up to The Horizon Club on the 21st floor for a few drinks and light bites. Here are some pictures I took in The Horizon Club.


An overall view of Hong Kong Island from the Horizon Club Kowloon Shangri-La


An overall view of The Horizon Club Kowloon Shangri-La


A seating area in The Horizon Club Lounge

After having a few drinks and light bites, we headed down to the lobby and walked across the street to a Chinese seafood restaurant called Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant for dinner. We then managed to get a table and looked at the menu before making our orders.


The grand hotel lobby of the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong


The interior at Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong just above the entrance


The seafood aquarium at Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong


The interior of Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong


The food and beverage menu of Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong


A closer look into the food menu at Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong

After a while, a waiter then came to take our order. We ordered a variety of meat dishes, and had a lovely, sumptuous dinner at Fook Yuen.


A plate of roasted char siew pork


A dish of braised beef steak cubes


Some vegetable dish with an orange colour sauce


A dish of chicken with vegetable and mushroom and gravy sauce


The interior Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong after we finished our meal

After dinner, we paid our bill and walked back to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel. We then had a shower, and unpacked our remaining pieces of baggage. We then went to bed just before 1 o' clock in the morning.

This concludes the first section of my holiday report in Hong Kong in March 2012. Be sure to stay tuned for the remaining sections of this holiday report.

3 comments:

  1. You might be excited before leaving from Singapore to your Hong Kong Holidays. Hong Kong holidays can be very excited and you must had fun there with your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup. I've known Hong Kong very well since December 2005. I go there almost or approximately annually.

      Delete
  2. Hi! Great and detailed post you have here on your blogs! May I ask, if Cathay econ has amenities such as pillows and blankets on their flights?

    ReplyDelete