Topic: SIN-HKG-SFO - Prelude To A Great Adventure In USA
Posted 2012-04-22 12:13:07 and read 9517 times.
Hi everyone! I just upgraded my 2 year old account to premium membership and I thought I'd like to contribute a trip report. Was thinking which short yet eventful trip would make a good trip report to post, I decided to share the SIN-HKG-SFO leg of what would be a long trip to the USA.
While hunting for flights across the Pacific Ocean, we found out that Singapore Airlines offered a cheap $800 one way fare from HKG-SFO, and coupled with a budget carrier to cover SIN-HKG, this was the cheapest option for us to get from Singapore to USA, and so we decided to take this option.
I had two buddies who travelled with me to the USA, but they went to explore abit of Beijing on their own first and I couldn't join them as I had a concert to perform 2 days before my departure for HKG, so I went on my own and rendezvous with them at HKG itself.
Jetstar Asia 3K691
0644-1038, 3hr54min (Which is slightly longer than usual, but you'll find out why soon enough!)
Check in was a breeze at 5.00am, went to eat a sandwich for breakfast in the T1, bade farewell to my parents and then went through immigration. As I scanned my passport at the automated gates, I took a deep breath - this was going to be one month away from home, my longest overseas trip ever. Of course I hoped for the trip to go smoothly, but haha Murphy happened to be quite a good friend of mine when I'm overseas.......
9V-JSI at the gate. I remembered telling myself that the longest I'd ever fly on an LCC was a flight to HongKong, and here it is... (oh but hey, I'm taking Scoot for SIN-OOL in July this year, oops! Sometimes extremely cheap fares are irresistible!!!)
Took off from 20C, the summer runway. (ironic because climate-wise, Singapore is summer all year) Saw my homeland for one last time before turning out towards the south china sea. I then zonked out for most of the remainder of the flight until perhaps just before descent?
Nah just being silly, I don't usually take legroom shots!
Not a very clear day as we began our descent. Pilot did mention light showers in HKG.
Flaps set to maximum, definitely on finals. One can even see the water if you notice it, we're quite low! Looks like this is it, the end of what was supposed to be the longest LCC flight I'd ever take.......
Suddenly I heard the spooling up of the engines. I shouldn't even say spooling up, it sounded like a tremendous and urgent roar. And then I cheered out loudly "HOHOHO GO AROUND!!!" and the pax seated beside me stared at me.
The view of HKG's runway 07L, with flaps already back up. I must also mention that the approach felt quite turbulent!
Landed safely, and that go around made the flight a good 15min longer than what it should have been! The longest flight on this sector ever!
Taxied past a local buddy. Didn't see any golden bird tails sadly, I think it was still slightly too early to see any!
Met up with my travel buddies and we spent 3 days in HongKong. It was my 4th time there and my previous trips there were in Dec 2008, Dec 2010 and Feb 2011. One would notice that prior to this trip, I've only been to HongKong in winter, and naturally I would associate HongKong with nice chilly weather. Unfortunately, this time it's summer, and that very familiar feeling was lost the moment I stepped out of the plane. It felt so....weird....to be feeling like I'm still in Singapore....
Went to the observation deck of the newly constructed ICC, have been waiting for it to open since the Dec 2010 trip! Tried to go up in Feb 2011 but it wasn't open yet, but this time we finally went up!
The highlighted region was where legends of flight were born in Hongkong..if only I was old enough to have experienced it firsthand!!!
HongKong island from the ICC. Breathtaking view....
There must be something that the Kowloon Peninsular has against Hongkong island. The ICC complex looks like it's giving HK the finger!!! For those who know, there's also the China Construction Bank, and there's the huge CCB letters facing HK too. CCB also happened to be the acronym for a vulgur Hokkien phrase to which I shall not go any further into.
We watched performances by the Hong Kong Police Band and the PLA Hong Kong Garrison Band, in celebration of Handover Day (1st July), which is the day in 1997 that HK was returned to China from UK.
Drum major of the PLA HK Garrison Band
All too soon, my short HK stopover came to an end, and it was then time to cross the largest ocean in the world!!!!
Singapore Airlines SQ2 (I need to fly the return flight someday, SQ1 sounds special enough!)
Boeing 777-300ER, 9V-SWL
23:27 - 20:44, 12hr17min (would also be the first time I experience sunrise first and then sunset in the same flight)
Was excited to be on the longest flight I'd ever take in terms of distance (however my SIN-MAN flight in 2008 beat it in terms of duration) and definitely excited to step on american soil for the first time in my life.
We took a easterly route out to Taiwan, before making a turn due northeast to the great circle route. Not sure why so though, hopefully someone in the community can explain! As far as I knew, there were no typhoons at that time!
Took a short 2 hour nap and woke up to see the sun rising over the land of the rising sun. We were right beside Japan! Okay you can't really see Japan because it's shrouded in clouds, but the flight map tells me so at that point of time!
Listened to the live recording of Mahler's Symphony no. 2 performed by the Orchestra of the Music Makers, the first non professional orchestra to make it into Krisworld. Oh and I performed in this monumental concert too! I happened to have the honour of being the first member of the orchestra to listen to the recording in flight! Brought back many good memories of the performance! Due to their length, Mahler symphonies make good substitutes to movies during a flight
It does look as though we're almost there, but in truth there's still about 3 hours more to go! Thankfully, excellent cabin service from Singapore Airlines has made this long flight bearable!
The reason why we call the Earth the blue planet, and also a gentle reminder that we do not actually need to make it more blue than it already is! Spare a thought for Kiribati and the Maldives!!!!!
There was one thing that kinda irked me during the flight though, The F/As requested the window shades to be down THROUGHOUT the entire flight, cabin lighting remained dim too (other than breakfast service). I don't know which bugger needs to sleep for 12 hours, but this is totally jet-lag unfriendly! I personally felt that window shades should be drawn up latest 6-7 hours into the flight, which is about 6-7am HKG time, and then give passengers a good 6 hours of daylight time, so that the effect of jet-lag won't be so bad upon arrival.
Seeing solid land after 12 hours of flying over nothingness kinda felt good. Finally flown over the expanse of the pacific! Achievement unlocked!
Taking one final left bank to line up with runway 28R/L for landing, gorgeous sunset over the San Francisco bay area!!!
My traditional "virgin steps into ________" shot. Fill in the blanks with USA! It was definitely a pleasant flight with SQ as always! Now if only SFO's immigration was more careful with stamping passports, would have saved me the detainment at the Tijuana - San Diego border one week later.......
That's all for now folks! My main trip in the USA was mainly done on the road, and it was 3 weeks long so there's really too much to share! However if you'd like find out more about my trip in the US, here are the following facebook albums that I've uploaded, they're all public!
Part 1 (San Francisco to Big Sur)
Part 2 (Big Sur to Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico)
Part 3 (Los Angeles to Grand Canyon and Las Vegas)
Part 4 (Death Valley, Sierra Nevada and Yosemite National Park)
Part 5 (Yosemite National Park to Seattle and Surrey, Canada)
Hope you've enjoyed this very picture inadequate trip report! (oh dear this report really pales in comparison with the rest!!!)