Gmex23 From Canada, joined May 2006, 14 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8497 times:
Hello all - this is my second try at a trip report - the first is inrntransit I guess, so please be kind... So after a year of studies combo'drnwith full time employment - I decided to whisk myself off to Asia torncatch up with old friends and see some sights. I decided to go with arnCathay All Asia Pass - as one can't beat the price and quality ofrnservice that it offers.rnThe first flight was at the horrendous time of 2:50 AM - I was hopingrnto maybe catch a few sights - but the traffic to YVR at that time wasrnpretty slow to say the least. After a great check-in (the ground crewrnfor Cathay seem to be some of the friendliest I have had to deal with)rnmy window seat was secured, I headed over to the Milestones pub in therndomestic terminal to have one last Canadian beer - then everythingrnseems to shut down at YVR - by 11pm everything was closed except onernduty free store... snooze... but oh wellrn
I noticed the EVA flight and wandered over to see it - was surprisedrnto see that they offer refreshments to their passengers - I thoughtrnthat was a nice touch - I spent most of my time wandering from theirrngate to mine listening to my ipod trying to pass the time, I did see an Air Tansat flight come in and the EVA depart, watched Jay Leno on the in terminal telly - then CX889 from JFK came in to take me to HKG. Now maybe it was because the flight from JFK was rough, but the FAs for this leg of the journey seemed to be in snippy moods - BOO! - that's the last thing I need at 3 in the morning is a PO'ed FA - so I decided to sleep most of the flight away - I had the Stir-fried noodle with pork and mushrooms with an average Cab Sauv called 'Camelot' - I decided against snapping pics as most of the people were asleep when it was served. Here are the flight details:
May 4 02:55am
Awakening I watched the BBC show Top Gear which I love, played some Yatzeernon the inflight entertainment unit, and had the scrambled egg breakfastrnthat was served. As we were about to arrive I snapped this out of myrnwindow:
Hong Kong Harbour
The landing wasrnfine and soon enough I had arrived
CX889 in HKG
I stayed at the CosmopolitanrnHotel next to the Happy Valley race course - I was a little bummed tornfind out they only race there once a week which was the previous nightrn
The service at the hotel wasrna bit stuffy and probably won't stay there again. I then went up tornGuangzhou in China, this was exciting as I had never been to thernmainland before -
myrnoverall impression of China was positive and would love to travel itrnmore extensively in the future! My dinner on the train back to HKG wasrnsomething like this:
What a great dinner on the train!
My last day was spent in HKG at the Victoria Peak
the Po Lin monastery to see the 'Big Buddah' and some shopping in Wan Chai - while strolling the streets I saw there was a HerpaWings Cafe - so being the plane geek I am I had to have dinner there, surprisingly they serve a decent meal at a low price and this is the view you get
Herpa Cafe View
My next leg of the journey was to see a friend in Tokyo
HKG - NRT
May 8 9:10am
Afterrnanother smooth check-in I decided to do some spotting at this busyrnairport:
I loved seeing the Asia World City CX and a few others that don't make it to YVR. by 9 o'clock we had pushed off ahead of schedule and this Quantas flight was mirroring our taxi out
After take off the FA handed out menus and to my suprise - Cathay is serving some select menus from various restaurants in the HK area on all outbound flights to celebrate their 60th anniversaryrn- this was a nice touch - but I really didn't feel like having thernChicken and mushrooms from the Lei Garden this early in the morning -rnso I had the omelette with braised beans, streaky bacon, pork sausage and potato wedges
The FA were much better on this flight and soon enough we were descending into Narita - The weather was a bit crappy
Naritarnis doing extensive searches for narcotics which make for longer ques -rnbut the policeman was friendly enough and soon I was on the train en-route to Shinjuku station
I was staying at the Hilton Shinjuku and the service here is much better that that I received in HKG
Japan - was great as always, partied a bit with my friend in Shibuya, had an amazing dinner at a restaurant called Chibou in the Evisu Garden Tower 38F - its a teppenyaki/onomiyaki restaurant with a spectacular view
Went on the Hatobus tour of Hakkonernand Mt. Fuji
then on tornthe next leg of the journey to Vietnam, but first of course, up to thernobservation deck for a wet round of spotting - I did manage to see arnVirgin Atlantic Miss Behavin'
and this Finnair bound for Helsinki was next to us at the gate
10 May 11:00am
Lunch was pasta with chicken and some of the best side-dishes - The Soba Noodles are some of my favorite to get on the Asian flights and a staple on JALrn
Descent to HKG was clearrnso I snapped a pic from abovern
My flight to Ho Chi Minh wasn't for a few hours so I grabbed a starbucksrnthen on to do some spotting
a treat to see the football nose on the Luftansa and the Sakura China Airlines livery.
HKG - SGN
10 May 16:20
Early dinner was Pad-thai which was delicious
Now apart from my stop in mainland China - Ho Chi Minh was the only port of call that I have never been to before on this trip.
Sornin my idiocy I didn't think that I needed to get a visa, just pay thernmoney when I arrived - boy, was I wrong, after the third degree fromrnthe comm-andante explainingrnhow stupid I am to think I can land in a country and just get a visa -rnhe sent me away to discuss it with who-ever they discuss these thingsrnwith - but I thought - to heck with it , I will see if I can get onrnthis flight back to HKG so I don't have to spend the night locked inrnsome holding tank. I asked another officer if this could be arrangedrnwith Cathay - and he went off - luckily the cheery Cathay rep came andrnsaid they would get me on the flight back to HKG and deal with thernflights to BKK when I got in. She said I should come back and visit herrncity in the future when I get the visa worked out - and I probably willrnnext year if Cathay offers the Asiapass again. So here is my only picture of Ho Chi Minh City
ThernFA I had was so shocked to see me get back on the flight - she chattedrnme up and served me a beer just after take off - what service!!
Now I had all my meals on airplanesrn- this one was actually quite tasty despite the color of it. Uponrnarrival at HKG I was greeted by Cody another cheery Cathay service rep,rnwho led me through the transit area and booked me on the next flight tornBKK in the morning - again I must say that they went out of their wayrnto help me - so I thank them again - I stayed at the Accorrnhotel next to the airport - if you have a chance and want to stay at anrnexcellent hotel for a great price try this one - the morning flightrncame soon enough and I didn't have a chance to do any spotting
11 May 08:55
Irndecided to try the Pan-friend Fillet of Chicken with Onion Sauce fromrnthe Grand Hyatt in Hong Kongrn
I must say that thesernfeature menus are quite delicious for Y-class travel.rn
Man I would love to playrnthat golf course before the new airport opens up this year...rn
I stayed at the Prince Palace Hotel in the BoBae tower - it was supposed to be a 4 star hotel but I'd say it was a 3 at best
My hotel was also host to a flight crew from the Russian carrier Transaero and a UN Buddhist conferencern- and the first 7 floors are some of the cheapest clothing you findrnanywhere - T-shirts form 70 Baht!! - I then went to the beach with myrnold roommate who lives in BKK now -
Last bit in another report if this one goes through.....
SeaMeFly From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 317 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8374 times:
re: Vietnamese visa... a small part of it was CX's fault. They should never let you board the plane without a proper document for the country you're visiting. I bet that was the reason why they went above and beyond assisting you for the flight back to HKG and onto BKK.
Little did you know that the Vietnamese government has already charged CX (typically around USD10,000,-/passenger. The fine is a normal procedure for the airlines for transporting passenger without proper documents).
Well, consider yourself lucky that they had empty seats to accomodate you back to HKG. I hope you learned your lesson the next time you plan an overseas journey.
Other than that, I really enjoyed the pictures and the report. Thanks for sharing.
Thai747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 1999, 814 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8116 times:
Have done a read through of both your reports - great reads! Hope you've enjoyed your stopover in Bangkok. Regarding your hotel, from what I can remember, the name Bobae is actually associated with the "stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap mentality" - but I'm glad to hear that the whole complex has been completed since my last visit to the Kingdom!
Triple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 763 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7984 times:
Very good trip report and visas. On your visa situation into Vietnam: I am a retired AA reservations supervisor (now living in Japan as a missionary but still getting to travel)..
The airlines are required to advise passengers the requirements for visiting a foreign country at the time they ticket their reservations. We would ask the passenger their country of citizenship and advise them based on that (I had one instance where a passenger would not give out his country of citizenship. I advised him he will need his passport when he travels, and because he would not give us his country of citizenship, AA would not be responsible if he does not have the proper documents at checkin).
We would advise the passengers and it would be their responsibility to have the required documents at checkin. If they do not have them, we will not board them..period.
As someone above stated if we do board a passenger without the proper documents, we can be fined, and the passenger will not be allowed to enter the country upon arrival. Normally we will put them on the next available flight back to their country of origin.
Alaskaqantas From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 906 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7964 times:
nice report amazing pictures!
I use to get the whole rn thing going on but mine had a few slashes in them as well, for me it came from "check spelling, " if you used that then that could be your problem. next time copy it into Word and do your editing from there... it works out a whole heap easier!
can't wait for the rest!
p.s. just be glad that you didn't have drugs on you (no offense to Asia) but in asia they are really strict about that.
I remember back in december (I thinkit was december or maybe late november) when the auzy man was cought with drugs, he was hung. YOu know in some countries they still stone people to death... the government does that. opps sorry to get off topic , but nice work!
AND, WELCOME TO A.net
to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!