Saturday, June 4, 2016

🇭🇰 Mid-Summer 21st Birthday Shopping Vacation To Hong Kong In June 2016 ~ Section 1 🇭🇰

Dear bloggers, in view of the busy and ongoing preparations cum revision for my GCE 'A' Level internal mid-year preliminary examinations for my final college school year, please accept my apologies for the lack of vacation reports for the past three months. Nevertheless, to help brighten your spirits for the mid-summer season, please allow me to welcome you to this new vacation trip report about my mid-summer 21st birthday shopping vacation to Hong Kong in June 2016. This new trip report will be sub-divided into a total of four sections, for which, this will be the first section of the entire report.

This first section of the entire mid-summer trip report will be covering two main focus topics, excluding counting the opening sequences. They will mainly be the in-bound evening flight to Hong Kong, and the hotel limousine journey to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong. While the vacation videos featured in this trip report may also be accessed via my YouTube channel, please note that for safety reasons, it is forbidden to post and / or leave comments for any of my posted YouTube videos. Any violations of this policy may result in the removal of comments and / or other consequences.

Part 1 ~ The Opening Sequences

After spending months on planning where to travel to for the mid-summer one-month June school break, my parents decided to take us on a mini-shopping vacation to Hong Kong in celebration of my 21st birthday. For the next coming weeks, I could not help feeling excited and quite energetic, given that it had been two years since we had last undertaken a major shopping vacation to Hong Kong. However, I was also hoping that this upcoming trip would feature a five-star luxury hotel accommodation downtown, as my previous hotel experience at the Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong in March 2014 was quite disappointing and below expectations.

On the morning of Friday (3 June), everyone woke up early at ten o' clock after we had a well-earned good night's rest. The very first thing we did was to have breakfast and a nice, hot shower and had some breakfast before packing the remaining parts of our baggage in preparation for the trip to Hong Kong. My housekeeper also made sure that after our rooms were cleaned, they were securely locked up while we were away. My parents had arranged for a MaxiCab to come and take us to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at two o' clock later that afternoon a few days before the trip in advance.

For the in-bound evening trip to Hong Kong, we would be flying directly with Cathay Pacific on flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong, which would be scheduled to depart from Singapore Changi Airport at 4.05 p.m., and arrive at Hong Kong International Airport at eight o' clock that night. However, due to unforeseen circumstances early that morning, the flight would be delayed by approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, with the new departure time changed to 5.35 p.m.. The flight would eventually arrive at Hong Kong International Airport at 9.30 p.m. later that night.

Despite this delay, this would be one of the highlighting factors for this particular trip, given that it would be troublesome and time-consuming to pass through transit security checks and change flights in another country. Furthermore, to make the trip even more special, my parents had promised a five-star hotel accommodation at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon. Once all our baggage for the trip had been prepared, we laid them out  inside ourliving room while waiting for our pre-arranged MaxiCab to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 to arrive.

Checking that our bedrooms were securely locked, our pre-arranged MaxiCab to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 finally arrived at the front entrance gate of our house at precisely two o' clock. The driver, who was the Chinese gentleman who regularly transported us to the airport, got out and helped us to load our baggage into the cab boot, while we boarded the MaxiCab for the mid-afternoon trip to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1. With everything safely loaded in, we finally left the familiar compound of our home at 2.05 p.m. for a short and quick afternoon trip of 25 minutes over the Tampines Expressway to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 in the eastern part of Singapore.

Soon enough, we ultimately arrived at the departures and drop-off area located just outside Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at 2.30 p.m.. While my younger brother and I headed to get three baggage trolleys, the MaxiCab driver got out assisted my parents in unloading our baggage from the cab boot. Paying our cab fare, we thanked the driver for his services and headed into the main departures and check-in hall before proceeding to the Cathay Pacific Business Class check-in counters to check in for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong.

Walking across the departures and check-in hall in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, we finally arrived at the Cathay Pacific Business Class check-in counters at 2.35 p.m.. Heading to the nearest open Cathay Pacific Business Class check-in counter, we quickly headed to check both ourselves and our check-in baggage in for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong. The entire check-in process for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong took not more than approximately five minutes.

Cathay Pacific (Traditional Chinese: 國泰航空公司; Simplified Chinese: 国泰航空公司) is the flag carrier and the largest airline of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Headquartered in Cathay City located on Lantau Island, the airline maintains its central and sole hub at Hong Kong International Airport, with focus airport hubs at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei. The airline offers 177 destinations from its central hub Hong Kong to Asia, Africa, Oceania, North America and the European Union, with a pure wide-body fleet of Airbus A330s, Airbus A340s, Airbus A350s, Boeing 747s (to be retired by 1 October 2016) and Boeing 777s.

The airline fully owns a subsidiary, Dragonair (Traditional Chinese: 港龍航空公司; Simplified Chinese: 港龙航空公司), to be rebranded as Cathay Dragon (Traditional Chinese: 國泰港龍航空公司; Simplified Chinese: 国泰港龙航空公司), which offers regional destinations in Asia and Mainland China. Cathay Pacific is also one of the co-founding members of Oneworld, the world's second major airline alliance formed on 1 February 1999, with American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas. Being one of the seven airlines in the world to be given five-star rating by Skytrax, Cathay Pacific was awarded the 'Airline of the Year' award in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2014, making it the only airline to have attained the award more than three times.

The departures and drop-off area located outside Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 on a clear mid-afternoon

The white cab that regularly took us to Singapore Changi Airport at the departures and drop-off area located outside Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 on a clear mid-afternoon

The departures and check-in hall of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 during the mid-afternoon rush hour shortly after we entered

Finally arriving at the Cathay Pacific Business Class check-in counters in the departures and check-in hall of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

After completing the check-in process for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong at the Cathay Pacific Business Class check-in counters located in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, we finally received our boarding passes and airline lounge invitation passes at 2.40 p.m.. The check-in agent informed us that today, Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong would be scheduled to depart at 5.35 p.m. from Gate No. D32. Boarding would be scheduled to commence at 5.05 p.m., which was approximately half an hour before the scheduled departure time.

With that, we thanked the check-in agent for her services and departed the Cathay Pacific Business Class check-in counters with our baggage. As we were in need of Wi-Fi Internet service during our trip to Hong Kong, we knew that we could only claim our Wi-Fi Internet routers from the local SIM card and Wi-Fi Internet router office located in the arrivals and meeting hall. Without wasting anymore time, we walked to the back of the departures and check-in hall and took the nearest elevator down to the arrivals and meeting hall.

Reaching the local SIM card and Wi-Fi Internet router office in the arrivals and meeting hall at 2.45 p.m., my mum headed into the office to obtain the routers. Upon attaining the Wi-Fi Internet routers, we quickly took the elevator back up to the departures and check-in hall. While my family decided to search for a restaurant in the departures and check-in hall for lunch, I decided to head into the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 first. With that, my mum handed me my passport and my boarding pass, and promised to meet me in the airside later on.

Without wasting anymore time, I went to the passport control area, where I headed to the automated thumbprint checkpoint. Entering the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at 2.55 p.m., I realised that I had to change some local currencies into Hong Kong dollars, given that I had no more Hong Kong dollars left since December 2015. With that, I walked past the aircraft observation deck and searched the airside for a nearby currency exchange counter to exchange my currencies into Hong Kong dollars. Soon enough, I finally stumbled upon a currency exchange counter by some branded duty-free shops near Concourse C.

Heading over to the counter, I took whatever necessary local currency cash I had to change into Hong Kong dollars. At the currency exchange counter near Concourse C, I changed a total of S$2,320 and ¥24,000 to be converted into Hong Kong dollars for the upcoming trip to Hong Kong. In return, I received HK$14,380, leaving my total amount of Japanese yen to ¥215,157. Upon completing the necessary currency exchange process, I decided to head to the DNATA Lounge for some refreshments. With that, I walked across the main airside near Concourse D and took the escalators up to the upper level of the airside, where most of the airline lounges were located.

My boarding pass for the in-bound segment from Singapore to Hong Kong

The departures and check-in hall of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 during the mid-afternoon rush hour shortly before we headed down to the arrivals and meeting hall to obtain our portable Wi-Fi Internet routers

The arrivals and meeting hall in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 during the mid-afternoon rush hour

The departures and check-in hall of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 during the mid-afternoon rush hour shortly before I headed into the main airside

Finally in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

The departure information screens in the lower level of the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

The overall view of the airport tarmac near Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 on a cloudy mid-afternoon

A Biman Bangladesh Airlines Boeing 737-8E9(WL), registered S2-AHV, taxiing to Gate No. C16 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 after arriving from her regional afternoon flight from the People's Republic of Bangladesh as Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight BG 084 from Dhaka

Walking across the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 to the DNATA Lounge located near Concourse D

Bypassing Peach Garden Noodle House in the upper level of the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 near the DNATA Lounge, where we used to eat in June 2013 and March 2014

Finally arriving at the main entrance to the DNATA Lounge in the upper level of the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

After walking across the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 up to the upper level of the airside for approximately 15 minutes, I finally arrived at the main entrance to the DNATA Lounge at 3.10 p.m.. Entering the lounge itself, I proceeded to the lounge reception counter to have my lounge invitation pass checked by the airline lounge receptionist. I then found my family waiting for me in the main lounge, where they explained that they could not find a good restaurant to eat at while they were in the departures and check-in hall, resulting in them heading to the DNATA Lounge.

With everyone in the DNATA Lounge, we sat back and had some light refreshments before getting out our electronic devices for our own use until it was time to head to Gate No. D32 for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong. Since I was beginning to feel slightly peaky, I headed to the self-service buffet corner, where I had some mashed potatoes with some butter, and with a glass of white wine and hot cocoa from the staffed beverage corner. Having my mid-afternoon tea refreshments, I did some stuff on my laptop while waiting for the good timing to proceed to Gate No. D32 for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong.

The interior of the DNATA Lounge near the staffed beverage corner in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 shortly after I had entered the lounge itself

A small platter of mashed potatoes and a glass of white wine for myself in the DNATA Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

A mug of hot cocoa for myself in the DNATA Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

Preparing the first section of the trip report from my blog on my laptop in the DNATA Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

Reading through the most hilarious sentence in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" via iBooks, where Harry's Uncle Vernon throws a temper tantrum at the breakfast table after Harry tells Dudley to say 'please' to obtain more bacon as a form of manners ー "WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU," thundered his uncle, spraying spit over the table, "ABOUT SAYING THE 'M' WORD IN OUR HOUSE?!"

Overlooking some branded duty-free shops from the upper level of the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

A Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-343X, registered B-HLP, resting at Gate No. D37 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 shortly after arriving from her regional afternoon flight from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) via the Kingdom of Thailand as Cathay Pacific flight CX 713 from Hong Kong via Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi)

The overall view of the airport tarmac near Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 from the upper level of the main airside

The interior of the main lounge area in the DNATA Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

Part 2 ~ The Flight To Hong Kong

Airline: Cathay Pacific
Flight No.: CX 734
From: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN / WSSS), Singapore
To: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG / VHHH), Hong Kong
Aircraft: Boeing 777-367
Registration No.: B-HNN
Class: Business Class
Seat No.: 18K
Date: Friday, 3 June 2016

After spending approximately 1 hour 30 minutes of relaxations, using our electronic devices and having some afternoon refreshments in the DNATA Lounge located in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, the clock was ultimately showing 4.40 p.m.. Given that boarding for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong would be scheduled to commence in 25 minutes' time, we packed up our carry-on belongings and departed the DNATA Lounge for Gate No. D32. The entire walk linking from the DNATA Lounge to Gate No. D32 took not more than approximately five minutes.

Soon enough, we finally arrived at the main entrance to Gate No. D32 in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at 4.45 p.m., which was just in good time for boarding for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong to commence in 20 minutes' time. With a simple and quick security check, we were finally inside the passenger waiting area at Gate No. D32 at 4.50 p.m.. Looking at the number of waiting passengers in the passenger waiting area at Gate No. D32, I could see that Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong would be expected to be filled to the brim today.

Today, Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong would be operated by a Boeing 777-300 aircraft, with the registration number B-HNN and powered with two Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines. B-HNN was delivered new to Cathay Pacific on 24 November 2003 as the ninth Boeing 777-300 and the 14th Boeing 777 for the airline. The overall delivery would make the aircraft approximately 12.5 years old today. I remember flying on this aircraft as Cathay Pacific flight CX 712 from Singapore to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) in late August & early September 2012.

About to head back down to the lower level of the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 from the DNATA Lounge

Walking past some branded duty-free shops in the main airside near Concourse D in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 on route to Gate No. D32

Walking across the automated passageway in Concourse D in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 on route to Gate No. D32

Finally arriving at the main entrance to Gates No. D31 and D32 in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

Our aircraft for today, B-HNN, being serviced at Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 in preparation for her regional evening return flight back home to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong. I clearly remember riding on this particular aircraft as Cathay Pacific flight CX 712 bound for Hong Kong via Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) from Singapore to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) in late August & early September 2012

A closeup of B-HNN being serviced at Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 in preparation for her regional evening return flight back home to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong

The interior of the passenger waiting area at Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 filled with waiting passengers for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong

One final look at B-HNN being serviced at Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 in preparation for her regional evening return flight back home to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong

The passenger waiting area at Gate No. D32 in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 shortly before the first boarding announcements for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong were made

After spending almost 20 minutes of anticipated waiting inside the passenger waiting area at Gate No. D32, the first boarding announcements for Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 bound for Hong Kong were finally made at 5.10 p.m., approximately five minutes behind schedule. The Business Class passengers, along with the Asia Miles & Marco Polo club members and the passengers needing special assistance, were called out to board the aircraft first. Given that we were among the first passengers being called out to board, we rolled up at the front row for the boarding process to commence smoothly.

Walking across the jet bridge, we were finally on board B-HNN at 5.15 p.m., which was just in good time for a 5.35 p.m. departure. At Door A, two friendly flight stewardesses warmly welcomed us on board, and showed us the direction to our assigned seats in the Business Class cabin. Stowing our belongings in their respective storage spaces, we settled down in our assigned Seats No. 18A, 18C, 18H and 18K respectively, with my mum seated adjacent to me, for the upcoming regional evening flight of 3 hours 55 minutes over the South China Sea to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

The Business Class seats we would be using for this regional evening flight to Hong Kong were the newer generation of Regional Business Class seats. Introduced in mid-2013 with the Boeing 777-300, these seats can recline up to 165º with more enhanced facilities, like AC power outlets being provided for each seat, with expanded legroom and larger sliding tables. These seats are mainly found on Cathay Pacific's regional fleet consisting of some Airbus A330-300s, all Boeing 777-200 aircraft and all Boeing 777-300 aircraft.

Upon settling down into our assigned seats, the flight attendants went around their normal pre-flight routines distributing the free newspapers, pre-departure beverages and in-flight dining menus to the Business Class passengers. To commence the flight to Hong Kong, my mum and I opted for our usual pre-departure glasses of champagne and orange juice. While waiting for pushback from Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, we looked at the in-flight duty-free magazine to see what to buy, with my mum noticing that I wanted to purchase a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300/ER Scale 1:500 aircraft model painted in the airline's revised livery from 2015.

A view of my seat, 18K, during the boarding process at Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

The view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin from my seat during the boarding process at Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

My usual pre-departure glasses of champagne and orange juice

The cover page for the in-flight dining menu for the segment from Singapore to Hong Kong

Reviewing the in-flight dining menu for the segment from Singapore to Hong Kong

The view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly before pushback from Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

After the clock struck around 5.40 p.m., all the aircraft doors were closed by the cabin crew, and we ultimately pushed back from Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, which was approximately five minutes behind schedule. With the safety briefing information video being shown on our personal video screens, we began to commence to our relatively long taxi to our assigned runway for the regional early evening departure to Hong Kong, taxiing past several aircraft parked at Terminals 1 and 2, and the future Terminal 4 en route. The entire taxi to our assigned runway took approximately 25 minutes.

It was not long until we reached our assigned runway for the early evening take-off to Hong Kong. Soon enough, the two Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines spooled into action, and the aircraft ultimately lifted off from Singapore Changi Airport at 6.05 p.m. for its regional early evening return flight timing of 3 hours 15 minutes over the South China Sea back home to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). We then climbed into the relatively clear early evening sky for a regional early evening flight timing of 3 hours 15 minutes over the South China Sea to the ultra-modern world city of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Finally pushing back from Gate No. D32 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

A Finnair Airbus A340-313X, registered OH-LQE and painted in the special "Oneworld" livery, resting at Gate No. D34 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 after arriving from her long overnight trans-Siberian flight from the Republic of Finland as Finnair flight AY 081 from Helsinki

A Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-343X, registered B-HLP, being serviced at Gate No. D37 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 in preparation for her regional early evening return flight back home to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as Cathay Pacific flight CX 716 bound for Hong Kong

A Japan Airlines Boeing 777-246/ER, registered JA705J, resting at Gate No. D46 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 after arriving from her long morning flight from Japan as Japan Airlines flight JL 037 from Tokyo (Haneda)

A Scoot Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registered 9V-OJB, about to be pushed back from Gate No. E12 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her regional early evening flight to the Kingdom of Thailand as Scoot flight TZ 302 bound for Bangkok (Don Mueang)

A Lufthansa Airbus A380-841, registered D-AIMJ, resting at Gate No. E5 in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 after arriving from her long overnight trans-Indian Ocean flight from the Federal Republic of Germany as Lufthansa flight LH 778 from Frankfurt

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312, registered 9V-SYF, resting at Gate No. E4 at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 after arriving from her long afternoon flight from the Commonwealth of Australia as Singapore Airlines flight SQ 232 from Sydney

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312/ER, registered 9V-SWD, taxiing to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 after arriving from her regional afternoon flight from the Republic of the Philippines as Singapore Airlines flight SQ 917 from Manila

Taxiing across the main airport tarmac between Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 on route to our assigned runway for take-off

Bypassing the future Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4, which is scheduled to open from fiscal 2017

Approaching our assigned runway in preparation for the evening departure to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Flight 734 ~ Evening Departure From Singapore Changi Airport

Finally climbing into the clear early evening sky for the regional journey to Hong Kong

Shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport, the seatbelt signs were switched off at 6.25 p.m.. Intending to visit the lavatories to wash my hands, this was interrupted shortly after the seatbelt signs were illuminated again a few seconds later because of turbulence. Upon returning to my Seat No. 18K, I quickly fastened my seatbelt until the seatbelt signs were finally switched off once again at 6.35 p.m.. With that instant, all the flight attendants sprung into action to commence the in-flight dinner service while everyone settled down for the regional evening flight to Hong Kong.

Just a few minutes later, two flight attendants came by with the beverage cart, handing out small bowls of mixed nuts to the passengers and asking them for their choices of beverage to commence the in-flight dinner service. Once my mum and I received our mixed nuts, a flight stewardess asked what beverage we wanted to commence the in-flight dinner service. I requested for a glass of Les Chapitres de Jaffelin Bourgogne Chardonnay 2014 white wine to commence the in-flight dinner service, while my mum requested for a glass of Sprite with lemon.

Upon receiving our beverages, both my mum and I settled back into our seats to enjoy our mixed nuts while waiting for the flight attendants to provide the meal trays to the Business Class passengers. The mixed nuts were a good method to commence the in-flight dinner service. Soon enough, the flight attendants finally handed down our meal trays at 6.55 p.m., which consisted of cured salmon fillet, fennel citrus salad and créme fraiche cucumber roll. We then sat back to enjoy our first meal courses while waiting for the main courses to come.

The view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport

A view of my seat, 18K, shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport

The rear view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport

Cruising over the Malaysian Straits between Singapore and Johor

The view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after the seatbelt signs were switched off

A glass of Les Chapitres de Jaffelin Bourgogne Chardonnay 2014 white wine and a small bowl of mixed nuts for myself

Cruising somewhere over the South China Sea between East Malaysia and West Malaysia

The first course: Cured salmon fillet, fennel citrus salad and créme fraiche cucumber roll

Cruising somewhere over the South China Sea between Brunei Darussalam and Vietnam

After spending approximately 20 minutes of enjoying the first courses of our in-flight dinner service, the flight attendants finally re-appeared with the main course trolley at 7.15 p.m.. One stewardess then asked my mum and I what we wanted for the main course. My mum then chose to have the roasted cod with peas broad and edameme beans, sauteed potato and mustard dill cream. For my case, however, I chose to have the braised duck with mai chy preserved vegetables, broccoli, shimeji mushrooms, carrots and steamed jasmine rice.

With our main courses already on our dining trays, both my mum and I quickly tucked into our main meal courses. Taking one bite out of the braised duck, I saw that the taste of the duck was quite tender, with the shimeji mushrooms, broccoli and carrots also tasting quite steamy and fresh to ensure that I was well-prepared for the arrival into Hong Kong. This would be one of the best duck dishes that I have ever eaten on board an aircraft, with my mum also commenting that her roasted cod also tasted quite good and tender.

My main course: Braised duck with mai chy preserved vegetables, broccoli, shimeji mushrooms, carrots and steamed jasmine rice

My meal tray shortly after I had finished my main dinner course

Cruising somewhere over the South China Sea between Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines as night falls

After finishing our main courses of the in-flight dinner service, the clock was finally showing 7.30 p.m.. Given that we were feeling almost full, a flight stewardess came over to collect our used meal trays and asked my mum and I whether there was anything else we wanted. Since we were ready to shop for some duty-free items, my mum purchased some bottled cosmetic products, along with my intended Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300/ER Scale 1:500 aircraft model painted in the airline's revised livery introduced from 2015.

With our duty-free orders recorded by the flight stewardess, she headed to the rear of the aircraft to collect our intended duty-free items we wanted, eventually returning to our seats with our duty-free items at 7.45 p.m.. With my mum paying up for our duty-free items, the flight stewardess asked me whether there was anything else I wanted before the descent into Hong Kong International Airport. Feeling hungry for some dessert, I asked for a small tub of Summer Berries & Cream Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

Once my dessert order was taken down, the flight stewardess went into the galley to fetch my ice cream, eventually returning with it by 8.05 p.m.. With my ice cream already on my table, I tucked into my dessert, which was the perfect but simple way to end off an in-flight dining experience. Upon finishing my dessert, my used ice cream tub was collected by the flight stewardess before I went to the lavatories. With nothing much left to do for the rest of the flight, I settled back into my seat to enjoy my own personal electronic devices until the aircraft was ready for descent into Hong Kong International Airport.

As for the new Cathay Pacific exclusive aircraft model I had purchased from the in-flight duty-free service, the details are as follows:

1) Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367/ER (2015 New Livery) Hogan Scale 1:500 (CXcitement Exclusive)

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367/ER (2015 New Livery) Hogan Scale 1:500 (CXcitement Exclusive)

My newly-purchased Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300/ER Scale 1:500 aircraft model painted in the airline's revised livery from 2015

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367/ER (2015 New Livery) Hogan Scale 1:500 (CXcitement Exclusive)

A small tub of Summer Berries & Cream Häagen-Dazs ice cream for myself

The view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin from my seat during cruising altitude over the South China Sea between the Philippines and Hong Kong

A warning sign in the lavatory indicating that smoking on board the aircraft, including tampering with smoke detectors in the lavatories, is a criminal offence under Hong Kong law

A view of my seat, 18K, during cruising altitude over the South China Sea between the Philippines and Hong Kong

The rear view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin during cruising altitude over the South China Sea between the Philippines and Hong Kong

Cruising somewhere over the South China Sea between the Philippines and Hong Kong

Reading "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" via iBooks on my iPad, looking through the chapter where Percy Weasley broke up with his family after a falling-out with his father over ideologies between their loyalties to Albus Dumbledore and the Ministry of Magic

Playing "Mr. Bean: Around The World" on my iPad, while running from Mrs. Wicket in India, only to be caught out by her in the end, with this screenshot that cracks me up - "I caught you, now I'll teach you a lesson!"

The view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly before the seatbelt signs were illuminated again for the descent into Hong Kong International Airport

In accordance with the Hong Kong Local Timing, the seatbelt signs were illuminated once again at nine o' clock, which was approximately 20 minutes in preparation for the aircraft to commence its descent into Hong Kong International Airport. Given that we had less than half an hour left before our descent into Hong Kong, we stowed our belongings back into their respective storage spaces, and buckled up our seatbelts in preparation for the descent into Hong Kong International Airport. The flight attendants also went around collecting the used in-flight entertainment headsets and conducted checks in the cabin.

The night sky was relatively clear as the aircraft began to commence its final descent into Hong Kong International Airport. After a regional early evening flight of 3 hours 15 minutes over the South China Sea from the Republic of Singapore surrounded by the waters of the Malaysian Straits, we finally touched down in Hong Kong International Airport at 9.20 p.m., which was approximately 10 minutes ahead of schedule. We then taxied across the main airport tarmac to our assigned arrival gate at the Main Terminal building.

Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok Airport) (Traditional Chinese: 香港國際機場; Simplified Chinese: 香港国际机场) is a major international airport on an artificial island in Chek Lap Kok, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. It serves as the central and sole international airport serving the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and is sometimes known as Chek Lap Kok Airport (Traditional Chinese: 赤鱲角機場; Simplified Chinese: 赤鱲角机场) due to its location. The airport serves as the central hub for Air Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines, HK Express, Kalitta Air and UPS Airlines.

The airport was opened for regular passenger service on 6 July 1998, replacing the older Kai Tak Airport (Traditional Chinese: 啟德機場; Simplified Chinese: 启德机场) in Kowloon Bay, which had been in service since 1925. Following the closure of the former, all flights were moved to the more modern airport on Lantau Island. As one of the four airports in the world to be awarded five-star rating by Skytrax, the airport has won the special 'Airport of the Year' award by Skytrax countless of times. Hong Kong International Airport serves as a major focus hub for China Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, and as a core destination in Asia across many major airline companies.

The airport is easily accessible from downtown Kowloon and Central Hong Kong with the Airport Express MTR line, which provides direct railway connection to the major city areas, with in-town check-in service provided for certain airlines at both Hong Kong and Kowloon Stations. The average timing between Central Hong Kong and the airport takes 24 minutes, and 21 minutes between Kowloon and the airport. Various cabs to all other areas, such as Lantau Island and New Territories are also available, indicated by three different colours.

The view of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after the seatbelt signs were illuminated in preparation for the descent into Hong Kong International Airport

Cruising over the South China Sea at night as the aircraft commences its final approach into Hong Kong International Airport

Cruising over the Sai Kung District in New Territories as the aircraft commences its final approach into Hong Kong International Airport

The flight route indication map indicating that the aircraft is now approaching Hong Kong International Airport

Cruising over Tsuen Wan in New Territories as the aircraft makes its final approach into Hong Kong International Airport

Cathay Pacific Flight 734 ~ Late Night Arrival Into Hong Kong International Airport

Taxiing across the main airport tarmac of Hong Kong International Airport shortly after touching down

A Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registered G-VWHO, resting on the airport tarmac near the Main Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport. She will then return home to the United Kingdom later that night as Virgin Atlantic Airways flight VS 207 bound for London (Heathrow)

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367/ER, registered B-KPF, resting on the airport tarmac near the Main Terminal building at Hong Kong International Airport before heading to the Main Terminal in preparation for her long overnight trans-Siberian flight to the United Kingdom as Cathay Pacific flight CX 255 bound for London (Heathrow). This aircraft was notable for being painted in the "Asia's World City" special livery from her delivery in January 2008 until it was re-painted into the standard Cathay Pacific livery in March 2014

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367, registered B-HNH, resting at Gate No. 3 at the Main Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport after arriving from her regional late afternoon flight from the popular tourist resort island of Bali in the Republic of Indonesia as Cathay Pacific flight CX 784 from Denpasar (Bali)

Finally docking onto our assigned arrival gate, Gate No. 2, at the Main Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport

After taxiing through the main airport tarmac to the Main Terminal building at Hong Kong International Airport for approximately 10 minutes, we finally docked onto our assigned arrival gate, Gate No. 2, at 9.30 p.m., which was just as scheduled. Once the seatbelt signs were switched off, we unbuckled our seatbelts and retrieved all our belongings from their respective storage spaces, while checking to ensure that there was absolutely nothing left behind around our seating areas at the same time as we prepared to disembark from the aircraft at Gate No. 2.

Once all the aircraft doors were opened, we rolled up behind some other passengers with our carry-on belongings to ensure that the disembarkation process could proceed smoothly. As we disembarked from the aircraft via the front aircraft door, the flight attendants sincerely thanked us for our patronage with Cathay Pacific, and wished us a very pleasant shopping vacation in Hong Kong. We then walked across the jet bridge onto the passageway leading to the arrivals and immigration checkpoints in the Main Terminal building.

For every single airline that I fly on for every individual segment, the airline will receive a grade. This grading system is set up to determine whether this particular airline is worth flying on for a particular route. The scoring system is comprised of five individual sectors, which consists of the seat, food, service, aircraft cleanliness and legroom space. Each of these five segments carry a weightage of 20 points, which totals up to 100 points for the final score report for each flight segment.

To attain a passing score in one flight segment, a minimum grade of 'D', meaning an overall score of 45% or above, is required for each airline. Grades 'A+' to 'A' denote quality passing grades, with Grades 'B' and 'C' denote acceptable passes. A 'D' grade denotes borderline passing grades. Anything attaining an 'E' grade or below that is considered below passing grades, with a 'U' grade being classified as ungraded. As of 1 June 2016, the airline grading system for each flight sector shall be as follows:

A+: 85% or above (Airline has an excellent rating and performance)
A: 75% ~ 84% (Airline has a very 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: 45% ~ 49% (Airline has a satisfactory rating and performance)
E: 35% ~ 44% (Airline has a fair rating and performance)
S: 20% ~ 34% (Airline has a poor rating and performance)
U: Below 20% (Airline has failed to meet the pre-requisite for the minimum grade)

Cathay Pacific Flight 734 Score Report

Seat: 18 / 20
Food: 18 / 20
Service: 15 / 20
Aircraft cleanliness: 17 / 20
Legroom space: 17 / 20
Total: 85 / 100
Grade: A+ (Quality Pass)

In a holistic point of view, Cathay Pacific has managed to attain a total aggregate score of 85% for the in-bound section between Singapore and Hong Kong, meaning that they have attained the minimum score for an 'A+' grade. Despite a slight drop in the service section and the delays due to ground technical problems in Hong Kong, the airline did provide a good non-stop flight from Singapore to Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific should at least try to improve its ground technical services so that the amount of flight delays can be minimised in future.

Part 3 ~ The Journey To The Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

Shortly after disembarking from Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 from Singapore at Gate No. 2, we walked across the passageway leading to the arrivals and immigration checkpoints. As there were not much foreign passengers arriving into Hong Kong late that night, the entire walk from Gate No. 2 to the arrivals and immigration checkpoints took not more than about five minutes. Soon enough, we finally arrived at the arrivals and immigration checkpoints at 9.40 p.m., where there were mostly foreign tourists coming into Hong Kong. Once our turn for clearing the immigration checkpoints came, the entire process took about five minutes.

Upon clearing the arrivals and immigration checkpoints by 9.45 p.m., I quickly went to see which baggage belt our check-in baggage would be arriving at. According to the baggage claiming information screens, all check-in baggage from Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 from Singapore would be scheduled to arrive at Belt No. 8. Without wasting anymore time, we promptly proceeded into the baggage claiming hall to claim three baggage trolleys to load our lighter carry-on belongings first. We then headed over to Belt No. 8 to claim our bulkier check-in baggage before heading into the arrivals and meeting hall.

Walking across the passageway linking to the arrivals and immigration checkpoints in the Main Terminal building at Hong Kong International Airport shortly after disembarking from Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 from Singapore at Gate No. 2

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367/ER, registered B-KPB and painted in "The Spirit of Hong Kong" special livery, being serviced at Gate No. 1 at the Main Terminal of Hong Kong International Airport in preparation for her long overnight trans-Siberian flight to the United Kingdom as Cathay Pacific flight CX 251 bound for London (Heathrow)

Not long after claiming our bulky check-in baggage from Cathay Pacific flight CX 734 from Singapore at Belt No. 8 and loading them onto the baggage trolleys with our light carry-on baggage, we were finally in the main arrivals and meeting hall of Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1 at 9.55 p.m.. Walking through the arrivals and meeting hall to our hotel concierge, a well-dressed Shangri-La Hotel lady concierge holding our names bound for the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong met up with us to assist us with our baggage trolleys. Feeling relieved at her offer, we were kindly escorted to the parking and pick-up point near Terminal 1.

Taking the elevator down to the ground level, we found a black luxurious Shangri-La Hotel limousine waiting for us at the pick-up point at Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1. While the lady concierge helped us in loading our baggage into the boot, we boarded the limousine for the short and quick late night hotel limousine trip to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong located in the centre of the Tsim Sha Tsui district. Once everything was safely loaded into the rear limousine boot, we finally departed the compound of Hong Kong International Airport at ten o' clock for a short late night hotel limousine trip of 35 minutes to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong.

The Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong (Traditional Chinese: 九龍香格里拉大酒店; Simplified Chinese: 九龙香格里拉大酒店) is a 15-storey five-star luxury hotel owned by the local Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Group located at 64 Mody Road in Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Opened on 17 June 1981, the hotel houses 725 guest rooms and six restaurants. Overlooking Victoria Harbour and the skyline of Hong Kong Island, it serves as the sister hotel of the Island Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong located in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong Island. The hotel is accessible from East Tsim Sha Tsui Station on the East Rail MTR Line, which is connected to Tsim Sha Tsui Station on the Tsuen Wan Line through an unpaid underground passageway.

The arrivals and meeting hall of Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1 during the late evening rush hour

Overlooking the main car parking and pick-up area at Hong Kong International Airport at night

Finally arriving at the enclosed passenger waiting area near the hotel limousine pick-up stands near Terminal 1 at Hong Kong International Airport at night

The black hotel limousine that would soon take us to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong from Hong Kong International Airport

Finally departing Hong Kong International Airport

Travelling on the North Lantau Highway on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong shortly after departing Hong Kong International Airport

Bypassing Citygate Outlets in Tung Chung New Town on the North Lantau Highway

Travelling on the North Lantau Highway on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong close to Sunny Bay and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Bypassing Sunny Bay Station

Crossing the Kap Shui Mun Bridge at night on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

Crossing the Ma Wan Viaduct at night on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

Hong Kong Island coming into view at night as we travel across the Ma Wan Viaduct on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

Bypassing the Port of Hong Kong on the Ma Wan Viaduct on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

Crossing Route 8 near the Port of Hong Kong on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong at night

Bypassing Olympic Station

Travelling between Wui Cheung Road and Austin Road on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong at night

Travelling along Chatham Road on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong at night

Bypassing The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong on Salisbury Road in the Tsim Sha Tsui district

Travelling along Nathan Road by Victoria Harbour on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

Travelling along Mody Road in the Tsim Sha Tsui district on route to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

Finally arriving at the main entrance to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong

After a short and routine late night hotel limousine road trip of 35 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport located located on Lantau Island in the western region of Hong Kong, we ultimately arrived at the main entrance to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong at 10.35 p.m.. While two hotel baggage porters came out to help us with the unloading of our baggage from the rear limousine boot, a female Japanese hotel staff member, Miss Miyako Takizawa, surprised both my parents with a bouquet of flowers, since the hotel had recently found out that they were celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary.

While our baggage was left in the care of the other porters, Miss Takizawa escorted us up to The Horizon Club lounge on the 20th and 21st floors to help us with the check-in process for the upcoming days of our vacation. Arriving at The Horizon Club lounge located on the 20th and 21st floors at 10.40 p.m., my mum followed Miss Takizawa to the check-in desks, while the rest of us helped ourselves to some light late night treats consisting of some soft drinks and praline chocolates. The entire check-in process took not more than approximately five minutes.

The interior of the main hotel lobby at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong during the late night hours

The small mini-lounge area in The Horizon Club lounge on the 20th floor of the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong late at night

The beautiful view of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island from The Horizon Club lounge on the 20th floor of the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong late at night

The view of the living room in my parents' Room No. 1945 in the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong at night

The view of the master bedroom in my parents' Room No. 1945 in the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong at night

The view of my Room No. 1944 in the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong at night

After completing the entire check-in process for our upcoming six-day vacation stay at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong in The Horizon Club lounge located on the 20th and 21st floor, we finally received our room keys at 10.45 p.m.. Miss Takizawa then informed us that we would be allocated to Rooms No. 1944 and 1945, which was located just one level below us. Despite the fact that our rooms were not facing Victoria Harbour, both my parents and Miss Takizawa informed me that I could always come up to The Horizon Club lounge to see Victoria Harbour at any time, much to my delight.

With Miss Takizawa escorting us down to the 19th floor via the elevators, we finally arrived at our Rooms No. 1944 and 1945 at 10.50 p.m.. Alongside a master bedroom, my parents' Room No. 1945 also had a living room. As promised by Miss Takizawa, our baggage was brought to our Rooms No. 1944 and 1945 by 10.55 p.m.. Thanking Miss Takizawa for her services, she informed us that we could contact her at any time if we required her services during our stay. Once we were left to enjoy the comfort of our Rooms No. 1944 and 1945, we had a nice, hot shower and spent a few minutes unpacking our baggage.

Sorting out my prescribed attires for the upcoming days, I took out all my electronic devices to be charged and set my mobile phone alarm to wake me up at 7.15 a.m. the next morning, as I would be going on the Airport Express MTR line and shopping in the Prince Edward district in celebration my 21st birthday the next day. With my younger brother going over to my parents' Room No. 1945 for some late night supper, I politely declined as I had already eaten enough for the day. With all necessary administrative duties settled, I finally turned in by 11.45 p.m. for a well-earned good night's rest.

This officially brings the first sub-section of my mid-summer 21st birthday vacation to Hong Kong to a formal conclusion. As with every other existing vacation trip report, questions and / or comments are more than welcome. The remaining three segments of the trip report will be posted publicly once I have selected the highest quality videos and photographs for each remaining segment. Please do be patient since this would require a certain amount of time and effort to ensure that the posts sound attractive to online readers.

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