Saturday, July 21, 2012

Winter Holiday in South Korea in December 2008 - Part 4

Welcome to the fourth section for my winter holiday in South Korea in December 2008. This will be the final section of the report. The topic that will be covered in this section will mainly be the return journey on Thai Airways International back to Singapore via a layover in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Part 1 ~ The Journey to Incheon International Airport


After spending an enjoyable 12 days in South Korea, it was finally time to head back home to Singapore. On Monday (22 December), we woke up quite early at around 5.45 a.m.. This was to enable to pack up our remaining baggage in preparation for the journey back home to Singapore.


Our baggage was all packed up by the time the clock struck 6.15 a.m.. Ensuring that nothing had been left behind, we went down to the apartment lobby to check out of the apartment. A cab was waiting by the entrance by the time we checked out.


Our itinerary for our return journey would be on Thai Airways International. First, we would fly on Thai Airways International on Flight TG 659 bound for Bangkok, which would leave Incheon at 10.05 a.m., and arrive in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at 1.55 p.m.. Upon arrival into Bangkok, we would have a layover of 2 hours 40 minutes.


After that, we would be flying again with Thai Airways International on Flight TG 409 bound for Singapore, which would depart Bangkok at 4.35 p.m.. We would then arrive back home in Singapore at 7.55 p.m. later that evening. Of course, I'm quite aware of the time difference between Bangkok, Seoul and Singapore.


After we checked out of the apartment, we loaded our baggage onto the cab and settled in for the journey to Incheon International Airport. By 6.45 a.m., we finally left the Han Suites Serviced Residences for a 1-hour journey to Incheon International Airport.



Driving along a downtown roadway after departing the Han Suites Serviced Residences


Along a parallel road tunnel in downtown Seoul


Travelling along the first phase of an expressway closer to Seoul


Travelling along the second phase of an expressway closer to Seoul


Bypassing a quiet Korean settlement in the dark morning sky

Bypassing some settlements, from what I think, this could probably be a farm

Travelling in a tunnel between the expressways to Seoul and Incheon

Bypassing a quiet Korean settlement during sunrise on the way to ICN

The first phase of the expressway between Seoul and Incheon during the middle of the sunrise


The second phase of the expressway between Seoul and Incheon during the middle of the sunrise

Several buildings by the expressway, from what I think, could be housing areas

A mountain along the expressway between the cities of Seoul and Incheon during sunrise

The third phase of the expressway between Seoul and Incheon during the middle of the sunrise

Some small Korean islands and a freighter ship as seen from the Incheon Bridge

Crossing the first phase of the Incheon Bridge towards Incheon International Airport

Crossing the middle phase of the Incheon Bridge towards Incheon International Airport


Travelling in parallel to the Incheon International Airport Railroad A'REX line towards ICN


About to overtake an A'REX 2000 series EMU Commuter train bound for ICN


The rear carriage of the A'REX 2000 series EMU Commuter train bound for ICN

After a 1-hour journey from the Han Suites Serviced Residences in downtown Seoul, we finally arrived at the curbside of Incheon International Airport at 7.50 a.m.. As we unloaded our baggage from the cab, my parents went to grab a few baggage trolleys to put our loads in. We then thanked the cab driver before he left us to return to downtown Seoul, after checking that no personal belongings were left behind.


We then went into the main terminal departure building, and towards the Thai Airways International Royal Silk Class check-in counter. Once we were at the check-in counter, we checked in for Thai Airways International flights TG 659 and TG 409 bound for Bangkok and Singapore. We had about two to three pieces of baggage to be checked in.



The Incheon International Airport Exhibition Hall during sunrise at ICN


The departures and check-in area of Incheon International Airport

Three Christmas wreaths hanging on the wooden wall in the departures area of ICN


The massive departure flight information board in the departures and check-in area of ICN

After checking in for Thai Airways International flights TG 659 and TG 409 bound for Bangkok and Singapore, we received our boarding passes for the sections to Bangkok and Singapore respectively. The check-in lady informed us that today, Thai Airways International flight TG 659 bound for Bangkok would depart at 10.05 a.m. from Gate No. 123.


As Gate No. 123 was located in Concourse A of Incheon International Airport, we had to take the Incheon International Airport Underground Shuttle Train from the main concourse to Concourse A. We were also invited to use the Asiana Lounge operated by Asiana Airlines. As Thai Airways International does not have its own lounge in ICN, it shares the Asiana Lounge with Star Alliance partner Asiana Airlines, as both airlines are members of Star Alliance.


Without wasting anymore time, we headed to the security checkpoint for a quick security check and to the passport control area. Along the way, I spotted some Korean Air aircraft being serviced or pushed back for departure. My parents permitted me to do so for a brief time.



A Korean Air Boeing 777-2B5/ER, registered HL7734, being pushed back from its gate for it flight to probably to the Americas, European Union, or a regional destination within Asia


Several Korean Air aircraft parked at the Main Concourse terminal building at ICN

After a brief plane spotting activity, we headed down via the long escalators to the Incheon International Airport Shuttle Train platform by 8.50 a.m.. From there, we took the Shuttle Train from the Main Concourse to Concourse A. The ride on the Shuttle Train took no more than two minutes, eventually arriving at Concourse A Station by 8.55 a.m..



The underground tunnel for the Incheon International Airport Shuttle Train

Incheon International Airport Shuttle Train ~ Main Concourse to Concourse A

After we arrived on the Shuttle Train at Concourse A at 8.55 a.m., we went up to the departure mall to search for the Asiana Lounge to charge our electronic gadgets before the flight to Bangkok. We managed to find the Asiana Lounge at around 9 o' clock.


With that, we showed our lounge invitation passes to the lounge agents. They kindly welcomed us to the Asiana Lounge and showed us the way to the main seating areas. We then sat down to freshen up and relax briefly before our flight to Bangkok.



The main seating area in the Asiana Lounge at Incheon International Airport


The self-service food and beverage corner in the Asiana Lounge at Incheon International Airport

Part 2 ~ The Flight to Bangkok


Airline: Thai Airways International

Flight No.: TG 659
From: Seoul, Incheon International Airport (ICN / RKSI), Seoul, South Korea
To: Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK / VTBS), Bangkok, Thailand
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3D7
Registration No.: HS-TKF (Named "Lahan Sai")
Class: Royal Silk Class (Business Class)
Seat No.: 22K
Date: Monday, 22 December 2008

After relaxing in the Asiana Lounge for a brief 15 minutes, it was already 9.20 a.m.. Knowing that boarding for Thai Airways International flight TG 659 bound for Bangkok would commence in 15 minutes' time, we packed up our baggage and proceeded to Gate No. 123. The walk between the Asiana Lounge and Gate No. 123 took no more than five minutes. We were then in the waiting area of Gate No. 123 by 9.30 a.m..


While waiting for the first boarding calls to be made, I took one good look at our aircraft. The aircraft that would soon transport us between Seoul (Incheon) and Bangkok was a Boeing 777-300, registered HS-TKF and named, "Lahan Sai". 
I was quite familiar with this aircraft, for it was this particular aircraft that transported us between Bangkok and Seoul (Incheon) as Thai Airways International flight TG 658 nearly two weeks earlier.


Our aircraft for today, HS-TKF, being ready at Gate No. 123 for her flight back home to Bangkok from Seoul (Incheon) as Thai Airways International flight TG 659


At 9.35 a.m., the first boarding calls for Thai Airways International flight TG 659 bound for Bangkok were finally made. The Royal Silk Class passengers, and the special needy passengers, as well as Royal Orchid Plus members were called to board the aircraft first. We were among the first passengers to board the plane.

By 9.40 a.m., we were on HS-TKF, just in good time for a 10.05 a.m. departure. Two flight attendants welcomed us on board and showed the way to our seats. Today, this flight would be a full flight between ICN and BKK. I would be seated with my dad throughout the journey, just behind my mum and my brother.


Again, the Royal Silk Class seats that we would be using were the older style standard recliner Business Class seats. Initially, we weren't expecting these kind of seats. The seats were just simple and outdated recliner seats. These seats were phased out in mid-2009 and replaced with new angle shell designed seats.


The flight attendants then carried out their usual pre-departure rituals of giving out the food and beverage menus and offering pre-departure beverages. My dad ordered a glass of apple juice, whereas I requested for a simple glass of water and orange juice. I then looked through the food and beverage menus for the afternoon flight from Seoul (Incheon) to Bangkok.



A view of my seat, 22K, during the boarding process in ICN


A glass of orange juice for me, and a glass of apple juice for my dad


My mum and brother posing for a picture in their seats


The old Thai Airways International Boeing 777-300 Royal Silk Class cabin during the boarding process in Seoul (Incheon)


My dad posing for a picture in his seat


My dad's pre-departure glass of orange juice


My pre-departure glass of water


Looking through the lunch menu for the sector between ICN and BKK


Looking through the wine and beverage menu for the sector between ICN and BKK


The cover page for the food and beverage menu for the flight between ICN and BKK

After 30 minutes of waiting, we finally pushed back from Gate No. 123 at 10.10 a.m., five minutes behind schedule. As we were being pushed back, the safety briefing information video was shown on the large video screen in front of us. We then made a brief taxi to our assigned runway for take-off, finally lifting off from Incheon International at 10.20 a.m.. We were then on our way for a flight time of 5 hours 25 minutes to the capital city of the Kingdom of Thailand.



A Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-342, registered B-HLC, about to be pushed back from Gate No. 125 for her flight back home to Hong Kong as Cathay Pacific flight CX 417

Flying past a blanket of clouds in the morning sky after taking off from ICN

The seatbelt sign was turned off at 10.25 a.m., just five minutes after taking off from Incheon International Airport. I then paid a visit to lavatory and settled back for the flight to Bangkok. The flight attendants, at the same time, sprung into action to commence the in-flight lunch service.


A few moments later, a flight stewardess came to my seat to take my in-flight meal order. I originally considered having the grilled beef steak with red wine sauce, chateau potatoes, carrot and broccoli for my main meal. Unfortunately, the flight attendant told me that they had run out of that option and apologised.


I then reconsidered having the beef Ddeok Galbi with bulgogi sauce, steamed rice, pak choy with oriental sauce for my main course. The flight attendant then took down my order and went back to the galley to prepare the meal trays.



The posted placards in the seat ahead of me


A warning sign in the lavatory that indicates that Thai Civil Aviation Law prohibits tampering with, disabling and destroying lavatory smoke detectors


The route map indicating our flight over the West Korea Strait


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


The old personal video screen for Thai Airways Boeing 777-300 Royal Silk Class cabin

A few minutes later, the flight stewardess emerged from the galley with a small packet of smoked dry almond nuts, and small plates of crispy crab croquettes. As I normally don't eat crabs, I passed my plate to my dad for him to have. A glass of water was brought to me at the same time.



A small packet of smoked dry almond nuts on my table


A glass of water for myself


Two small plates of crab croquettes


Flying somewhere close over Xiamen


The old Thai Airways International Boeing 777-300 Royal Silk Class cabin view from my seat

At 11.05 a.m., the flight attendant appeared with our meal trays containing our appetizers. Not wanting to spoil my appetite before my main lunch meal, I gave my appetizer to my dad, which he kindly accepted. I then sat back and had some peace and quiet for myself.


My dad's appetizer on his meal tray


Flying over a blanket of clouds somewhere over Mainland China

After 15 minutes of waiting, the flight attendant finally arrived with my beef Ddeok Galbi with bulgogi sauce, steamed rice, pak choy with oriental sauce at 11.20 a.m.. I then tucked into my main meal. The beef tasted quite good and the sauce went pretty well with it, as with the steamed rice. However, the pak choy and carrots were a little dry on the side.



My main course: Beef Ddeok Galbi with bulgogi sauce, steamed rice, pak choy with oriental sauce

After finishing my main course, the flight attendant came over to collect my meal tray and asked if I had wanted anything else. Feeling too stuffed for dessert, I simply requested for a cup of hot Milo, and went to the lavatory. It was then delivered to me at 12.05 p.m.. I then had about 3-hours nap halfway during the flight.



Flying over a blanket of clouds between China and Vietnam


A nice cup of hot Milo for myself

After a 3-hour nap, I woke up at around 1 o' clock, in accordance with the Thai Local Time. A flight attendant came up to me and asked me whether I wanted any more drinks before descent into Suvarnabhumi Airport. I then requested for a glass of orange juice, which was delivered to me half an hour later. As we were about to descend into Bangkok soon, I consumed it quickly and paid a quick visit to the lavatory before the seatbelt sign was illuminated for landing.



My glass of orange juice prior to descent into BKK


Flying over a Thai city as we approach Bangkok

The seatbelt sign was illuminated at 1.40 p.m., 15 minutes before landing in Suvarnabhumi Airport. Immediately, we packed away all of our baggage and buckled up for the landing into Suvarnabhumi Airport. During the descent into Bangkok, I took a picture of the building of Suvarnabhumi Airport, which was quite attractive to me.



Flying over some farm fields in Thailand


The overall view of Suvarnabhumi Airport during descent in Bangkok

After a flight time of 5 hours 30 minutes from Seoul, we finally touched down in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at 1.50 p.m., five minutes ahead of schedule. Upon landing, we made a short taxi to our assigned arrival gate, eventually docking on at 2 o' clock.

We got up and took all our belongings before we disembarked from the aircraft. As we left the aircraft, the flight attendants bade us farewell, and wished us a pleasant and onward journey back home.


With that, we left the aircraft, and headed to the Royal Orchid Lounge. It was not until 4.35 p.m., when Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore would depart.



As with my previous blog reports, the airline grading systems are as follows, with 'D' being the minimum passing grade:

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)


Thai Airways International Flight 659 Score Report

Seat: 11 / 20
Food: 15 / 20
Service: 13 / 20
Aircraft cleanliness: 17 / 20
Legroom space: 11 / 20
Total: 67 / 100

In summary, Thai Airways International scored 67% for the section between Seoul (Incheon) and Bangkok. This means they deserve a 'B' grade, which I find to be a grade decent enough for an airline. I'm not pretty sure whether I will chose to fly with Thai Airways International again. After all, there's always room for improvement in their seats.


Part 3 ~ The Flight Back Home to Singapore

After we disembarked from Thai Airways International flight TG 659 from Seoul (Incheon), we went to the transit mall to check which boarding gate number Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore. According to the departure flight information screen, Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore would be departing from Gate No. C8 at 4.35 p.m..


With that, we proceed to the Royal Orchid Lounge, arriving there at 3.10 p.m.. There, we charged our electronics, and had a shower in the lounge's bathrooms to freshen up for the flight back home. I have some pictures during our break at the Royal Orchid Lounge.



A bunch of Thai Airways roses on display in the Royal Orchid Lounge


A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-212/ER, registered 9V-SVK, being serviced at Gate No. D2 after arriving as Singapore Airlines flight SQ 976 from Singapore. At Gates No. D3, there is another Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-212/ER being serviced for her flight back home to Singapore as Singapore Airlines flight SQ 979. At Gate No. D4, there is a Lufthansa Boeing 747-430 being serviced for her flight to Kuala Lumpur as Lufthansa flight LH 782 after arriving from Frankfurt earlier


The departure flight information screen in the Royal Orchid Lounge


One of the seating areas by the self-service food and beverage corner in the Royal Orchid Lounge


One of the main seating areas in the Royal Orchid Lounge

Airline: Thai Airways International
Flight No.: TG 409
From: Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK / VTBS), Bangkok, Thailand
To: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN / WSSS), Singapore
Aircraft: Boeing 777-2D7
Registration No.: HS-TJA (Named "Lamphun")
Class: Royal Silk Class (Business Class)
Seat No.: 15A
Date: Monday, 22 December 2008

After relaxing for about 1 hour 30 minutes in the Royal Orchid Lounge, we packed up all of our carry-on bags and left the lounge at 3.45 p.m.. We then proceeded to Gate No. C8 for Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound Singapore. As usual, prior to 2009, there were individual security checkpoints for each gate concourse.

The security check was relatively quick, and we were in the holding room of Gate No. C8 at 3.55 p.m.. I then took a closer look of our aircraft. Thai Airways International flight TG 409 would be operated by a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, registered HS-TJA. The aircraft was the carrier's first Boeing 777 aircraft ever delivered.


Our aircraft for today, HS-TJA, being serviced at Gate No. C8 for her flight to SIN as Thai Airways International flight TG 409


A closer look into HS-TJA

After approximately 5 minutes of waiting, the first boarding calls for Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore were finally made at 4 o' clock. As usual, the Royal Silk Class (Business Class) passengers, and those needing special assistance were called to board the aircraft first.


We were finally on board HS-TJA by 4.05 p.m.. When I looked at the seats in the Royal Silk Class cabin, I was most surprised. The Royal Silk Class seats we would be using were one of the newer generation angled shell design seats. The first new generation of these seats were introduced, following the introduction of the carrier's Airbus A340-500 aircraft. They were then installed on most of the airline's long-to-medium-haul fleet (e.g. Airbus A340-600, some Boeing 747-400, and Boeing 777-200).


A flight attendant then greeted us at the door, and directed us to our assigned seats. I would be sitting in Seat No. 15A by myself for the flight. Although the seats were shell seats, they were good enough for the short hop back home to SIN. The flight back to SIN was planned to take 2 hours 20 minutes, with an expected arrival at 7.55 p.m. (1 hour ahead of Bangkok). Unlike the previous sector between Seoul and Bangkok, the flight back to Singapore would have a relatively light load, which meant that it would not be expected to be a full flight.


As soon as we stowed all of our bags, the flight attendants came to ask us for our pre-departure beverages. I then ordered my usual glass of orange juice. The other flight attendants did their usual ritual of distributing newspapers and menus for the flight. The flight would have a relatively light load for the short hop between Bangkok and Singapore.



A view of my seat, 15A, during the boarding process in Bangkok


A pair of Thai Airways International Boeing 777-200 Royal Silk Class seats during boarding in BKK


The Thai Airways International Boeing 777-200 Royal Silk Class cabin during boarding in Bangkok


My usual pre-departure glass of orange juice


The video screen showing that we are still in BKK


The airsickness bag for Thai Airways International


Our neighbour at the adjacent gate, a Thai Airways Boeing 777-200/ER, registered HS-TJV, resting in preparation for another flight to a different city

At exactly 4.35 p.m., all the aircraft doors were closed and we finally pushed back from Gate No. C8. The safety demonstration video was played on all of our video screens at the same time. We then made our taxi to our assigned runway for take-off.



Waiting for a Thai Airways International Airbus A330-321 aircraft to land at Suvarnabhumi Airport before taking off for Singapore

After taxiing to our assigned runway for approximately 15 minutes, we finally took off from Suvarnabhumi Airport at 4.50 p.m. for a 2-hour flight back home to Singapore. Bangkok and Singapore is just a short flight for a minimum of around 2 hours.


The seat belt sign was turned off just 10 minutes into the flight at 5 o' clock. I then went to do my usual cabin shots after going to the lavatory. At the same time, the flight attendants sprung into action to commence the in-flight service.


I then went to pay a visit to the lavatory and settled in for the short hop back home to Singapore. Before I did that, a flight attendant came to my seat and asked what I wanted. I then requested for a cup of hot Milo and a glass of orange juice and water, which she had my order taken down.


The flight stewardess also asked me what I wanted for the in-flight dinner. I then ordered the chicken with egg-fried rice and mixed vegetables for my main meal. She then took down my main meal order and went back to the galley to fetch my drinks.


My drinks were then delivered to my desk a few minutes later. With two whole seats to myself, I settled back for the short hop back home to Singapore.



My mum posing for a picture in her seat


A warning sign in the lavatory that indicates that Thai Civil Aviation Law prohibits tampering with, disabling and destroying smoke detectors in airplane lavatories


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


A small packet of roasted cashew nuts on the centre armrest


Flying over the South China Sea somewhere over Phuket


My glasses of water and orange juice resting on my centre armrest


My cup of hot Milo on my dining table


Flying somewhere between the border between Thailand and Malaysia

After several moments of undisturbed leisure, the flight attendant arrived at my dining table with my meal tray containing my appetizer at 6.15 p.m.. As I didn't wish to spoil my appetite for the main dinner, I ate only parts of the appetizer, which I found to be quite alright enough.



The first course: Ham wrapped with vegetables and salad


Flying over a blanket of clouds somewhere over Terengganu

After waiting for 10 minutes, the flight attendant re-appeared from the galley with my chicken with egg-fried rice and mixed vegetables. I then tucked into the main dinner course. The chicken went pretty well with the egg-fried rice in the yellow sauce. A slight down side would be that the vegetables were a bit dry. Other than that, this was a pretty decent in-flight dinner.


My main course: Chicken with egg-fried rice and mixed vegetables

After I had finished my main meal, the flight attendant came to clear my meal tray and asked me whether there was anything else I wanted. I politely declined dessert as I was rather full from my meal. With nothing else to do, I went to the lavatory and did my usual cabin shots.


As the flight attendants had nothing better to do, they had casual chats with my family while I did my own hobby.



A view of my seat, 15A, while in flight to Singapore


The Thai Airways International Boeing 777-200 Royal Silk Class cabin during the flight to Singapore


My mum posing for a picture in her seat as I took this while in my seat


A view of the wing as we cruise somewhere over Pahang and Terengganu States of Malaysia


Flying over the South China Sea close to Malaysia


The personal video screen mounted on the seat in front in the Thai Airways International Boeing 777-200 Royal Silk Class cabin


The disposable airsickness bag for Thai Airways International


The sunset over the South China Sea and Peninsular Malaysia


A blanket of clouds closing in as the plane cruises between Malaysia and Singapore


The Thai Airways International Boeing 777-200 Royal Silk Class cabin dimmed to allow the passengers to rest


Travelling over a blanket of clouds as the sunset closes in


The safety information card for Thai Airways International's fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft


Flying over a blanket of clouds as the plane reaches closer to Singapore


Night falling as we get closer to Singapore


Several lights shining over Singapore as we prepare for landing

In accordance with the Singapore Local Time, the seatbelt sign was illuminated at 7.30 p.m., 25 minutes before landing in Singapore. Knowing that we were about to arrive in Singapore Changi Airport very soon, we packed up all of our baggage and buckled up in preparation for touchdown into our homeland. Night was falling as the aircraft made its descend into Singapore.


After a short 2-hour flight from Bangkok, we finally touched down in Singapore Changi Airport, just five minutes ahead of schedule. We then made a taxi to our assigned arrival gate, which I think, was Gate No. D38. The taxi to Gate No. D38 took approximately 10 minutes.


As soon as the aircraft docked on to Gate No. D38, we got up to retrieve our baggage before we exited the aircraft. Little did I know that at the front doorway, there was a cheeky flight stewardess who might have admired or served me during the flight. I wasn't so sure myself.


As we were about to exit the aircraft, I was in for a rude shock. The flight attendant cheekily expressed her liking towards me by touching me suddenly, leaving me speechless and in shock. My parents and brother couldn't help smiling and laughing. This is considered very cheeky and inappropriate manners, as some youths may frown upon it, which I do myself.


I initially considered giving the service sector 16 points out of 20. However, because of the flight attendant's cheeky act towards me, five points will be taken, so as not to be strict. Displays of such acts like this will result in loss of points.


Thai Airways International Flight 409 Score Report


Seat: 15 / 20
Food: 14 / 20
Service: 11 / 20 (Note: Originally planned to be 16, but lost five points for cheeky act)
Aircraft cleanliness: 15 / 20
Legroom space: 17 / 20
Total: 68 / 100

In total, Thai Airways International scored 68% for the sector between Bangkok and Singapore. They earned themselves a 'B' grade, which is a decent grade.


However, I understand that some flight attendants have a liking towards young children and youths. Some flight attendants may physically express their likings towards children and young youths, but some children and young youths may frown upon this. The flight attendants need to have manners not to touch young children and youths when they are not expecting it.


If the flight attendant had not expressed her liking to me physically, the service sector wouldn't have lost the five points from the planned 16 points. I may have to deduct more points if I experience anymore displays of such acts like this, as I might give them a piece of my mind to show my disapproval.


After that shocking experience before leaving the aircraft, we headed down to the immigrations area via the fingerprint checkpoint for Singaporean citizens. As I checked the baggage belt arrival screen, our check-in baggage would arrive at Belt No. 21.


As my mum went to shop for some duty-free items, my brother and I went to grab a few baggage trolleys. My dad then went to Belt No. 21 to claim our check-in baggage and loaded them onto the trolleys. We then went to the arrival hall to arrange for a MaxiCab back home. As we left the airport by around 8.45 p.m., we reached home at around 9.15 p.m..


When I last went to Korea in December 2009, it wasn't as good as in 2008. However, with my discovery of the winter holidays in Hokkaido, Japan in December 2010 and 2011, they were much better than Korea. You may refer to these two following links for more details, and are separated into parts:


1) barrych.blogspot.com/2011_12_01_archive.html


2) barrych.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html


To summarise, I can't say anything much about South Korea. However, Japan is much better than Korea for a number of reasons, which I can give a few:


1) The quality of the trains in Japan are much better (most particularly the Shinkansen).


2) I can travel on trains on my own in Japan, as I can speak Japanese.


3) There are some dishes which can be found exclusively in Japan (i.e. the pork on rice dish called "Butadon" in Obihiro, Hokkaido).


4) The quality of the snowfall is better with more quantities of snowfall in Hokkaido.


5) I can follow my train schedule accordingly when I wish to do so.


I hope you all enjoyed this blog report. As always, happy blogging!

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