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A Great China Trip! In Both J & Y (Lotsa Pics)  
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 18269 times:

After almost an entire year travelling non-stop for business purposes, its finally time for the long holiday period in Indonesia, meaning, holiday time for me. My family and I decided to organise a private tour to Chengdu, Jiu Zhai Gou (A Unesco World Heritage site, and people who have been there were simply taken aback by the beauty of the natural scenery) and of course, the obligatory stop in Hong Kong to do some shopping. In total, 13 of us were going. 10 of us will fly by CX from SIN, whereas myself, the wife and my sis in law will travel direct to HKG from CGK by China Airlines and link up with the other in HKG before continuing together to China.

This trip has many firsts for me: 1st time on China Airlines (CI), 1st time on Dragon Air (KA) and first time on Sichuan Airlines (3U). Little did I also realise that this will be an all Airbus trip.


9 Oct 2007

Jakarta (CGK) – Hong Kong (HKG)

Flight: China Airlines CI 680
Aircraft: A330-300
Registration: B-18307
First Flight: 18 Aug 2005
ETD: 0632
ATD:0625
ETA: 1225
ATA: 1205
Flight Time: 4 hr 20 min
Cruise: 39000 feet
Seat: 2A
Class: Dynasty (Business)


Pre Flight:

My departure times are now getting to be a real challenge for me. I had to get up at 0400, but, I did it, plus includes waking up both my wife and sister in law too . By the time we reached CGK airport, it was packed like sardines! Looks like the entire Jakarta is leaving for the holiday season, even CX and SQ are adding additional flights and most of it are also heavy equipment like B773’s and B744’s. I am pretty excited as this is my first time on China Airlines (even with all the bad press they had recently) and I had a pretty good deal on the J tickets. Check in was done pretty quick and in no time we went pass immigration (thank god I could bypass the lines due to me being a member of Saphire, whereby you scan your eye retina and go through immigration) and we relaxed at the lounge which was pretty nice. First time in this lounge too. Much better than the usual lounge MH, TG and SQ uses.

Nice Lounge Used by CI






Someone pondering over the buffet spread in the lounge


Yes, this next 2 pics were taken from the men’s toilet in the lounge. Talk about loo with a view!






A nice morning walk to our departure gate


CX B773 ready to go to HKG


And B-18307 ready to take me also to HKG


In Flight:

Its really nice and pleasant in the J cabin on CI. Even a nice painting greets you as you enter door 1L. Really pleasant and charming crews. Seats are capsule, but they do not recline to a lie flat position, but it’s a really good and comfortable offering for regional flights though.

Welcome drink with nuts, a nice touch 


Seat and cabin views
















The painting I mentioned early facing door 1L


This is probably the 7th different type of lie flat (although not flat in this case) that I have been on. It’s a 100% full load in both J and Y. This relatively new A333 also has the new look toilets, cabin lighting and ambience (think A345/6). I really have to commend on the crew as they were both polite yet efficient in their duties, even slippers were handed out for this relatively short hop to HKG. Preflight, even nuts were given out with the usual welcome drinks. Small but really nice touch. Before take off, there was 1 lady with a infant who was really distressed about something, but I also saw the pains the f/a took to calm her down and in the end of the journey I saw her having a nice smile on her face. One thing also good about the new design toilets is that they have more space than the older A333’s like on TG, CX and MH. The lead f/a also took the time to personally introduce herself to each and every J pax, a touch not even on MH.

Simple but presentable menu






Nice inflight slippers which many airlines now neglect on flight sectors of this duration


Great legroom


Inflight mag, safety card, handset and AVOD, I love a/c with cameras mounted on it !












Look it’s a bird, it’s a plane, wait….its Adam Air !! Sayonara Adam Air and CGK! Holiday here I come !




More Cabin views




With seatbelts off, its time to go to the toilets and for some picture taking




Back in my seats, I flicked through the AVOD and also watched Top Gear while waiting for breakfast to be served










And now, its meal time! I had the fried rice while the wife had the eggs.










With AVOD, time passed quickly, and with great food and service. This is really one of my best flights ever. CI did not disappoint me one bit and I will not hesitate to fly them again (oh well another frequent flyer for me to join). Frankly, I rate them up there in equal number 1 spot with MH in J.

On approach to HKG


Scenes whilst taxiing to our gate








Finally at the gate!


Service: 9/10
Aircraft: 9/10
Food: 7/10
Hotel Stay
City: Hong Kong
Hotel: Conrad
Category: 5 Stars
Room: Deluxe City View (Upgraded to Harbor View)
Service: 10/10, Location: 8/10
I usually try to stay at Hilton hotels or Starwood ones as most of my mileage were with them. This stay at the Conrad (Hilton Group) was a great one. Check in took no more than 3 mins as being a Hiltonhonors silver member, all my data were already on hand when I checked in. I didn’t even have to request an upgrade and it was done automatically. Not cheap though as it costs almost USD400, but well worth every penny spent. Perfect location too as its above Pacific Place mall with Admiralty subway station connected to it.

My room at the Conrad & views out my window


















A nice advertisement in the MTR station


[Edited 2007-10-24 07:51:29]

[Edited 2007-10-24 07:57:11]

[Edited 2007-10-24 08:00:06]

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 18224 times:

10 Oct 2007

Hong Kong (HKG) – Chengdu (CTU)

Flight: Dragon Air KA 825
Aircraft: A320
Registration: B-HSL
First Flight: 18 April 2004
ETD: 1855
ATD: 1855
ETA: 2125
ATA: 2115
Flight Time: 2hr 07min
Cruise: 36000 feet
Seat: 37K
Class: Economy

Pre Flight:

After a quick and nice 24 hours in Hong Kong, it was time to leave and start on my vacation. The 3 of us had to meet the other members of our group (10 of them to be precise) at HKG airport. They came in from Singapore on CX. Another 1st for me on this trip is also travelling on KA. Although sadly, its to the confines of economy for me on this sector. I hope they do have enough legroom for me! I went to the airport really early for 2 reasons, 1, I am not a CX or KA frequent flyer member so I had to seating priority on my reservations, and 2, its really nice to spend your time at Hong Kong Shopping Mall, ermmm I mean Hong Kong Airport. Check in didn’t take too long. I think 20 mins was all it took us, including lining up. And I was pretty happy as I managed to secure us exit row seats over the wing, and get this, according to the agent, the seats also recline as per normal . After getting our boarding passes, we proceeded to immigration and security check, after that I had a really ‘fun’ time gathering and meeting up with the rest of our family as everyone was scattered across the shopping area. We proceeded to the gate about 10 mins before boarding and it looks like it’s a 100% full flight to CTU.

Airside at HKG
















Finally managed to gather everyone and get on the airtrain to our gate!




Almost at our gate!


Spotted a Viva Macau B762ER on charter by Air Niuguinea


B-HSL waiting for us to board her


In Flight:

This A320 is in good condition and the f/a were both polite and helpful. I was pretty happy with the legroom too. Many Indonesians were onboard this flight (not too surprising though).

Cabin and toilets views












Night tarmac scenes at HKG




Everyone patiently waiting for their meal


A full meal was also served on this sector and it tasted pretty good I think I finished everything on my tray! The pork was good!


Inflight mag & Safety card




An Australian Captain was in command of the aircraft. I know a lot of ex Ansett A320 pilots were recruited by KA after the closure of Ansett. There were no inflight entertainment offered on this sector and so I spent my time going through the inflight magazines and reading a book which I took along with me. Overall, I was satisfied with my experience on KA and I will not hesitate to fly on them again..

Pulling out of CTU airport, taken from our private tour bus and a quiet night in downtown Chengdu




Service: 7/10
Aircraft: 7/10
Food: 7/10

Hotel Stay
City: Chengdu
Hotel: Crowne Plaza
Category: 5 Stars
Room: Deluxe City View
Service: 07/10, Location 10/10
1st time in Chengdu for me, and it was the right choice picking the Crowne Plaza to stay. Of course it’s a 5 star hotel, but most importantly, its right in the middle of the downtown shopping area (albeit the higher end one). Hotel was actually picked by my mum as she has been here before. The good thing of being on a private tour, we get to dictate our on hotel, schedules and budget. On the way down from Jiu Zhai Gou, we also stayed at the Crowne Plaza again so I will not post this hotel below. To make matters more interesting, on both stays, I got the very same room!

Hotel Lobby and room @ Crowne Plaza Chengdu






A lazy morning in Chengdu






Hotel Stay
City: Mount Ermei
Hotel: Mount Ermei Hot Springs Hotel
Category: 4 Stars (To China Standard, not International)
Room: Deluxe Room
Service: 5/10, Location: 8/10
We also spent 1 day at Mount Ermei which was housed one of the biggest Buddhist statues on its peak. But being more than 2 hours drive from Chengdu, our itenery meant spending a night at one of the local hotels there. Mt Ermei Hot Springs hotel is rated as 4 stars by the local hospitality board, so I did not expect too much, it was still pretty new. But I was actually pleasantly surprised with the room although food was not that good.

The room at the Hot Springs Hotel




The Hotel


Hotel lobby


Nice waterfall in front of the hotel


The long hike up Mt Ermei and the Giant Statue at the top! After all that hike, it was foggy as hell! Damm…..I lost 10 kgs on the hike I think!









We spent another night in Chengdu and the day was spent sightseeing

The famous Wuhou temple in downtown Chengdu, this place was huge!








And of course, a visit to Chengdu is not complete without a visit to the Panda breeding facility












Our last stop for the day was the oldest irrigation project in this human world!








[Edited 2007-10-24 08:09:25]

User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 18137 times:

Guys.....Sorry I am having trouble with part 2 of my TR, having pic link problems again. Will try to fix it and post it soon!

User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 17980 times:

Very nice...I think the Viva Macau is a 763 not a 762. It looks a bit long and has 4 overwing exits doors.

User currently onlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4749 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 17039 times:

Quoting ThaiA345 (Thread starter):
and we relaxed at the lounge which was pretty nice. First time in this lounge too. Much better than the usual lounge MH, TG and SQ uses.

I used the one in Concourse D before and it left very much to be desired.

Quoting ThaiA345 (Thread starter):
I really have to commend on the crew as they were both polite yet efficient in their duties, even slippers were handed out for this relatively short hop to HKG. Preflight, even nuts were given out with the usual welcome drinks. Small but really nice touch. Before take off, there was 1 lady with a infant who was really distressed about something, but I also saw the pains the f/a took to calm her down and in the end of the journey I saw her having a nice smile on her face. One thing also good about the new design toilets is that they have more space than the older A333’s like on TG, CX and MH. The lead f/a also took the time to personally introduce herself to each and every J pax, a touch not even on MH.

CAL has never failed my when in-flight service is concerned. CI was one of the many airlines I flew a lot in my teens between SIN and HKG and I was always a happy camper.

Quoting ThaiA345 (Reply 1):
Perfect location too as its above Pacific Place mall with Admiralty subway station connected to it.

I stayed in Marriott next building before and yes this location is fantastic! you can cover a lot of ground without getting wet on a rainy summer day.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 17012 times:

Ahhh Mr Soh....long time since I heard from you! hehehehe

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 4):
CAL has never failed my when in-flight service is concerned. CI was one of the many airlines I flew a lot in my teens between SIN and HKG and I was always a happy camper.

Yes, although I was a bit skeptical regarding their safety issues...but then again...once on board their in flight service just blew me away!!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 4):
I stayed in Marriott next building before and yes this location is fantastic! you can cover a lot of ground without getting wet on a rainy summer day.

Yup...Pacific Place makes it really convenient...especially during the rainy days, although my wife herself loves to stay either at Excelsior or Parklane as its right smack in the middle of 'tong lo wan' ehehehhe

Thanks again Mr Soh for being one of the first to read my TR. By the way, my dad was invited to view the A380 a couple of days ago at SIN, and he was blown away ehehhe...got free die cast models...and other cool stuff..i guess being a solitaire life member has his perks huh!! ..at least i managed to get him to give me the souveniers ahahhahaha


User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 17001 times:

Thanks for the report!

China Airlines gets too much bad press, sometimes with justification, but other times some people discount them completely without good reason. My experiences with them have always been good (albeit none of them recently) - but after reading your report, I am tempted to try them again. This Business Class seems to easily surpass the regional offerings of SQ, MH, TG and CX.

Looking at your early morning pics at CGK, I notice two CX birds. Didn't realise they had two morning flights to HKG from Jakarta?


User currently offlineTriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 739 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 16903 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Conrad is a wonderful hotel to stay at when you're in Hong Kong. Their service was the best I've ever seen, and the views are great. It's my favorite hotel!


Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlineBrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4136 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 16850 times:

Really good report and am looking forward to the pictures from part 2 of your trip


Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 16737 times:

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 6):
This Business Class seems to easily surpass the regional offerings of SQ, MH, TG and CX.

Regional wise, CI is my current pick!

Looking at your early morning pics at CGK, I notice two CX birds. Didn't realise they had two morning flights to HKG from Jakarta?

Well it was the holiday day season in Jakarta and CX added around 1 additional flight a day to and from HKG for the 1 week period.

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 7):
Their service was the best I've ever seen, and the views are great. It's my favorite hotel!

Ditto!...Actually Conrad is the only hotel brand in the world which I always find a consistent level of service all over the world. For premium hotels, Conrad is my pick!


User currently offlineB747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 990 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 16466 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 4):
CAL has never failed my when in-flight service is concerned



Quoting ThaiA345 (Reply 5):
once on board their in flight service just blew me away!!

Excellent trip report.

I too am impressed with China Airlines' service. They have always had a consistantly high standard and in my opinion are better than regional rivals Thai and Cathay (can't compare them to SQ or MH though as I have never flown with them). Their new AVOD system is great as is the selection of films, music and programmes. The best thing is they serve Taiwan Beer which fantastic. Perhaps second only to Hoegaarden.

The only trouble with their morning flight from Jakarta is that it leaves at sparrows fart in the morning where as Cathay and Garuda leave around 9am. The upside is that you arrive in Hong Kong earlier so you can do even more shopping!


User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 16465 times:

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 3):
Very nice...I think the Viva Macau is a 763 not a 762

I guess you might be right on that one. Viva Macau actually has 2 active 767's, ones a B762 and the other is a B763.

Thanks for the note !


User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 15976 times:

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 10):
The only trouble with their morning flight from Jakarta is that it leaves at sparrows fart in the morning where as Cathay and Garuda leave around 9am. The upside is that you arrive in Hong Kong earlier so you can do even more shopping!

Actually Ci has 2 flights a day to CGK, but the one with the A333 is as you mentioned, the one that leaves at sparrows fart in the morning! But I didn't have any trouble waking my wife and sis in law up as you said it, more time to shop!!!!


User currently offlineBok269 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 2105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 15404 times:

Excellant report and pics..thanks for posting.


"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 15156 times:

Quoting Bok269 (Reply 13):
Excellant report and pics..thanks for posting.

My pleasure mate  Smile ...the purpose of writing up a TR is always to share it with fellow a.netters right  Smile


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17053 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15065 times:

WOW!!!

What a great TR.

I really enjoyed it.

Great pics too.

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 14919 times:

Quoting B747forever (Reply 15):
What a great TR.

I really enjoyed it.

Great pics too.

Thank you for sharing.

Again, its always my pleasure, look out for Part II, should be posting it tonight !

Cheers


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17053 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 14917 times:

Quoting ThaiA345 (Reply 16):
look out for Part II, should be posting it tonight

I will really enjoy part 2 also. I am waiting.........  Wink



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (6 years 9 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 14776 times:

Quoting Brilondon (Reply 8):
Really good report and am looking forward to the pictures from part 2 of your trip

Hey there, part II is already up and running!

Cheers


User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14728 times:

Hrmm wonder where 9MMAR is...somehow he's been awfully quiet ! eheheh

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