Saturday, March 22, 2014

Combined Mini-Shopping Vacation in Bangkok, Thailand & Hong Kong in March 2014 ~ Section 4

A very warm welcome to the fourth section of my combined mini-shopping trip to Bangkok, Thailand, and Hong Kong in March 2014. This will officially be the last segment of the entire trip report. There will be a total of three focus topics, not counting the closing sequences, that will be covered in this final part of the trip report. They shall mainly be the hotel shuttle bus trip back to Hong Kong International Airport, the regional afternoon flight to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), and the early evening return flight back home to Singapore.

Part 1 ~ The Shuttle Bus Trip To Hong Kong International Airport

After spending five days of shopping, metro railway lines, sightseeing and cabs in Hong Kong, it was finally time to head back home to Singapore. On the early morning of Friday (21 March), we woke up at around nine o' clock after having a well-earned good night's rest. The first thing we did was to have a shower and change into our attire for the trip back to Singapore. Having prepared some of our baggage the previous night, we prepared the remainder of our baggage for the trip back home to Singapore.

For the afternoon return trip back home to Singapore, we would be flying with Thai Airways International on flight TG 601 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), which would depart Hong Kong International Airport at 1.25 p.m., and arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 3.05 p.m.. Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport, we would have a short and brief layover timing of approximately 1½ hours before connecting to Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore, which would depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport at 4.35 p.m., and then arrive back in Singapore Changi Airport at 7.55 p.m. later that night.

In conclusion, I regret to say that the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong was quite a disappointing hotel. From my past experiences I had in Hong Kong, I have come to realise that the luxury hotels located in the Tsim Sha Tsui area are more suitable during regular trips to Hong Kong. Despite the hotel being more affordable, our rooms were not connected, with the food and beverages offered at the Premier Lounge, even the buffet breakfasts offered at Essence, being rather limited, of low quality, and tasting rather bland. 

I also found that the hard product and amenities they offered in my room was not as comfortable as the ones found in luxury hotels located in the Tsim Sha Tsui area, with the check-in process being rather slow as well. Given a choice, I think I will choose not to stay at this hotel again during future trips to Hong Kong, except if it is for an overnight stay if I am on transit to another country via Hong Kong. If anyone is particular on luxury five-star hotels if they were to come to Hong Kong, I will strongly not recommend this hotel to them.

The interior of the main hotel lobby of the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong shortly before we departed for Hong Kong International Airport

The blue Hotel Novotel free shuttle bus that would soon take us back to Hong Kong International Airport waiting at the main entrance to the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong

The interior of the blue Hotel Novotel free shuttle bus that would soon take us back to Hong Kong International Airport waiting at the main entrance to the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong

Finally departing the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong

Travelling across Man Tung Road in Tung Chung Town Centre on route to Hong Kong International Airport

Travelling across Chek Lap Kok South Road on route to Hong Kong International Airport from Tung Chung New Town

Bypassing the Airport Island angle station located on the Ngong Ping 360 cable car on route to Hong Kong International Airport

Bypassing Cathay City serving as the headquarters for Cathay Pacific on route back to Hong Kong International Airport

Travelling close to the North Lantau Expressway near Hong Kong International Airport

Overlooking the Airport Express MTR line viaduct while approaching Hong Kong International Airport

Travelling on the road bridge to Hong Kong International Airport, with Terminal 2 coming into the background

Finally arriving at the departures and drop-off area at Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 2

After a short and quick morning hotel limousine bus ride of 10 minutes from the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong in the centre of Tung Chung Town Centre, we finally arrived at the departures and drop-off points at Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 2 at 10.55 a.m..

















A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-212/ER, registered 9V-SRP, taxiing to the Main Terminal after arriving from her regional morning flight from the Republic of Singapore as Singapore Airlines flight SQ 860 from Singapore


Part 2 ~ The Flight To Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi)

Airline: Thai Airways International
Flight No.: TG 601
From: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG / VHHH), Hong Kong
To: Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK / VTBS), Bangkok, Thailand
Aircraft: Boeing 747-4D7
Registration No.: HS-TGB (Named "Si Satchanalai")
Class: Royal Silk Class (Business Class)
Seat No.: 18A
Date: Friday, 21 March 2014

After spending approximately 45 minutes of having a filling and good lunch at Itacho Sushi Japanese Restaurant in the airside, the clock was finally showing 12.30 p.m.. Knowing that boarding for Thai Airways International flight TG 601 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) would commence in 20 minutes' time, we packed up our baggage and left the restaurant. However, while my parents decided to head over to the Royal Silk Lounge upstairs for a washroom break, I decided to proceed to Gate No. 44 first. The walk between Itacho Sushi and Gate No. 44 took no more than approximately just five minutes.


Today, Thai Airways International flight TG 601 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) would be operated using a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, registered HS-TGB, and bearing the name "Si Satchanalai", and powered by four General Electric CF6-80C2-B1F engines. HS-TGB was delivered new to Thai Airways International on 27 June 2001 as the 16th Boeing 747-400 and the 23rd Boeing 747 ever delivered for the airline. The overall delivery would make the aircraft approximately 12.8 years old today. Despite its age, the aircraft was still in excellent condition to fly, even today.





Our aircraft for today, HS-TGB, being serviced at Gate No. 44 in preparation for her regional afternoon journey back home to the Kingdom of Thailand as Thai Airways International flight TG 601 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi)






A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6/ER, registered 9M-MRP, taxiing to the Main Terminal after arriving from her regional morning flight from the Federation of Malaysia as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 072 from Kuala Lumpur at Hong Kong International Airport. Her sister aircraft, 9M-MRO, mysteriously disappeared over Vietnam as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing on 8 March 2014

After the clock exactly 1.25 p.m. sharp, all of the aircraft doors were closed, and we finally pushed back from Gate No. 44, which was as scheduled. As the safety briefing information video started to be shown on our front seat video screens, we commenced our taxi towards our assigned runway in preparation for take-off, taxiing past several Cathay Pacific aircraft parked at the Main Terminal building along the way, with the entire taxi towards our assigned runway for take-off taking approximately half an hour.


After a relatively long taxi along the airport tarmac t our assigned runway for approximately half an hour, the aircraft's four General Electric CF6-80C2-B1F engines spooled into action, and the aircraft ultimately lifted off from Hong Kong International Airport at 1.55 p.m. for its regional afternoon return trip of 2 hours 25 minutes back to the national capital city of the Kingdom of Thailand. We then climbed into the relatively cloudy afternoon sky for a regional flight time of 2 hours 25 minutes over the Vietnamese straits and South China Sea to the capital city of the Kingdom of Thailand.










A Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-313X, registered B-HXA, taxiing to her assigned runway in preparation for her afternoon trip to western Japan via the Republic of China (Taiwan) as Cathay Pacific flight CX 564 bound for Osaka (Kansai) via Taipei (Taoyuan)



An Asiana Airlines Airbus A330-323X, registered HL7736, about to lift off for her afternoon return flight back home to the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as Asiana Airlines flight OZ 724 bound for Seoul (Incheon)

A Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-343X, registered B-HLT, turning to her assigned runway for her regional afternoon flight to the People's Republic of China (Mainland China) as Cathay Pacific flight CX 360 bound for Shanghai (Pudong)

A KLM ー Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406M, registered PH-BFW, rolling up in preparation for her long afternoon trans-Siberian flight back home to the Kingdom of the Netherlands as KLM ー Royal Dutch Airlines flight KL 888 bound for Amsterdam


Thai Airways International Flight 601 ~ Cloudy Take-off From Hong Kong


The seatbelt sign was switched off at.

Part 3 ~ The Flight Back Home Towards Singapore

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 777-3AL/ER
Registration No.: HS-TKR (Named "Hat Yai")
Class: Royal Silk Class (Business Class)
Seat No.: 21A
Date: Friday, 21 March 2014

After clearing the connecting flight security checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the clock was finally showing 3.50 p.m.. Knowing that boarding for Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore would commence in 15 minutes' time, we arranged our belongings and rushed over to Gate No. C7, with the entire walk taking no more than just 10 minutes. Soon enough, we were finally in the passenger waiting area of Gate No. C7 by four o' clock after having our boarding passes examined. Looking at the number of waiting passengers, Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore would have a light load today.


For today, Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore would be operated using a Boeing 777-300/ER aircraft, with the registration number HS-TKR, named "Hat Yai" and powered by two powerful General Electric GE90-115B engines. HS-TKR was delivered new to Thai Airways International on 22 October 2013 as the eighth company-owned Boeing 777-300/ER and the 28th Boeing 777 for the entire airline. The overall delivery would make the aircraft approximately five months old today, making it one of the youngest Boeing 777s in Thai Airways International's fleet.


The Boeing 777-300/ER is currently the latest model of the Boeing 777 in active passenger service today. The aircraft appears exactly the same like the existing Boeing 777-300, with several differences sported, such as having raked wingtips and powered exclusively by two powerful General Electric GE90-115B engines. The Boeing 777-300/ER's direct competitors from Airbus are mainly the Airbus A340-600 and the upcoming Airbus A350-1000.


The first aircraft, F-GSQA, was delivered to Air France on 29 April 2004. Currently, several airlines are placing orders for the Boeing 777-300/ER to replace their older aircraft, such as the Boeing 747-400. Unlike other models, the Boeing 777-300/ER, alongside the Boeing 777-200/LR, is capable of flying longer ranges and saving up fuel more efficiently, unlike other aircraft powered by four engines such as the Airbus A340 and Boeing 747.







Our aircraft for today, HS-TKR, being serviced at Gate No. C7 at Concourse C at Suvarnabhumi Airport in preparation for her late afternoon regional flight to the Republic of Singapore as Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore

A closeup of HS-TKR being serviced at Gate No. C7 in Concourse C at Suvarnabhumi Airport in preparation for her regional late afternoon flight to the Republic of Singapore as Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore

The interior of the passenger waiting area at Gate No. C7 in Concourse C at Suvarnabhumi Airport during the late afternoon rush hour

A Thai Airways International Airbus A380-841, registered HS-TUD, taxiing past Concourse C in the Main Terminal building at Suvarnabhumi Airport

The interior of the passenger waiting area at Gate No. C7 in Concourse C at Suvarnabhumi Airport shortly before the first boarding calls for Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore were made

After spending just five minutes of anticipated waiting in the passenger waiting area at Gate No. C7, the first boarding calls for Thai Airways International flight TG 409 bound for Singapore were finally made at 4.05 p.m.. All the Royal Silk Class passengers, including the Royal Orchid Plus club members and those in need of priority assistance, were called out to board the aircraft first. Since we were among the first passengers being called out to board the aircraft first, we rolled up at the front row with our belongings for the boarding process to begin smoothly.

After taxiing across the main airport tarmac for approximately five minutes to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, we finally docked onto our arrival gate, Gate No. D34, at 7.45 p.m..

Part 4 ~ The Closing Sequences

Shortly after disembarking from Thai Airway International flight TG 409 from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) at Gate No. D34.

To end off this trip report, unlike my past trips to Hong Kong, this shopping trip to Bangkok, Thailand, and Hong Kong was mediocre at most. Though the food, railways and shopping being highlighting factors of this trip, I was particularly disappointed with our accommodation at the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong. Not only was the check-in service slow, but the food and beverages offered in the Premier Lounge were quite limited and tasted rather bland, especially with the buffet breakfasts at Essence.

Furthermore, the hard products and amenities were also not as comfortable as expected. thus making the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong one of the least satisfactory hotels I have stayed at in Hong Kong. I really hope that I can stay at much better luxury hotels located in the Tsim Sha Tsui area during future trips to Hong Kong. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed this report, and thank you for taking the time to read it. I am certain that there will be much more interesting trip reports to come in the near future. Last, but not the least, do have a safe and pleasant blogging experience.

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