Hello all, i took this trip in November, and i have been procrastinating the trip report for some time. but since most of my trips are dull, i thought it appropriate that when i take an interesting one i report it!
As it was a few months ago, i dont have all the details, but i have airlines, and destinations and a lot of pics! so here we go.
My family owns a machine shop in ohio, and we buy many of our machine tools from south korea, and this fall we bought one from taiwan. Also, we are looking into buying raw material from various places in China. So, my boss (also my dad) decided we should take a trip to asia. and since i am the last of my brothers to go, i got the honor of the 12 day trip.
the booking process was complicated as we tried to coordinate scheduled visits and flights....needless to say Bob and Yvonne at Oceana Tours in chicago were very helpfull.
We started out in CLE
, taking a VERY early flight to ORD
. We tried to get on a later one, but due to some technicalities, we couldnt get the later one. I believe we left for the airport at 4:00am, for a 6:30 flight. Of course we arrived at ORD
at about 6:45 central time, and our flight wasnt until i believe 1:00. we got some breakfast, and then i nosed around the international terminal a bit, hoping to see some interesting stuff. Unfortunately, it was a pretty dull day, and i didnt see much. We flew korean air to ICN
Here is our bird.
We were pretty far back in economy, the only nice thing being that we were in one of the rows that only had 2 seats in it. I got a window, and had a little extra room to store stuff. This was my first time on a 747, and it was quite an experience. perhaps next time i will go upstairs for my ride!
This is the view from my seat way in the back
After a bit, a lunch was served, they offered a western style and a korean style. I opted for the western style, while my dad got the korean style...he is weird like that.
Here is my meal, i enjoyed it with some complimentary white wine.
and he is my dads korean style...the soup smelled like seaweed....because, well it was. and i know this makes me sound like snot-nosed kid, but i just have never liked the smell of seaweed.
The flight was better than expected thanks to Korean Air's video on demand. this makes for a much better experience, as i learned later. I watch Talledega Nights, and the devil wears prada. i also watched a program that had the highlights of the recent world cup.
later we got our dinner. my father and i both chose the western chicken. Note the actual metal silverware!
They allowed the windows to be open for awhile, and i snapped a few shots of some beautiful clouds.
We arrived at ICN
and it was about 4:30pm on saturday afternoon, and i think i had gotten a little bit of sleep on the plane. We were picked up by a good friend of ours in Seoul, and he drove us to our hotel to check in. then we went and got a late dinner. Before we left the airport, he helped us reschedule our outgoing flights to Busan, as we wanted to tour Seoul on sunday, rather than spend it in Changwon. This was no problem for them, we just had to fly out of Gimpo the next night instead of Incheon. this was no problem, and i had wanted to see both airports anyway.
Sunday we had a nice tour of sights in Seoul, and got to Gimpo for our flight to pusan.
the flight board
Our bird to Busan
We spend a few productive days in Changwon touring factories, and overseeing the progress of some of our new machine tools. Now it was time to go to the next part of the trip, a brief stay in Taiwan. It was suggested to us that we fly to ICN
late in the evening the day before our flight, as fog in Changwon often delays flights. So we did.
This is unusual and exciting for an american like me!
This flight was lightly filled, and i got an exit row to myself! it was economy class luxury!!
Views from the flight
We got to ICN
and took a shuttle to our hotel, which was called the Incheon Airport hotel, which was a bit of false advertising really...after 40 minutes in a shuttle bus, we got to a hotel on the outskirts of incheon. we rode with some ultimate fighters, who have travelled more in their lives than i ever will i expect!
Early the next morning we got up and hit the shuttle back to ICN
We were headed to Taipei on our last korean air flights.
Gates at ICN
Some more shots from ICN
This is the meal from korean air, which was ok.
The flight was ok, and i didnt know what to expect going to taiwan. It turned out to be the highlight of my trip really.
views from the window
We were picked up by an associate, and we took a 3 hour drive to Tainan, to visit some factories.
then, we headed back up north to visit the last, and most impressive factory. then we enjoyed a great meal, and settled down in our hotel.
We got an early taxi ride to the airport, and prepared to take dragon air to Shanghai, by way of Hong Kong.
Our dragon air bird
This is a neat little area near the boarding gates.
This is down some stairs, and to the jetways.
I spotted the hello kitty plane by EVA Air.
And nearly as disturbing was this meal.
Some views on taxi into hong kong
We arrived at Hong Kong pretty much on time, but this was our shortest connection of the trip, or so we thought. the brakes on the plane made a lot of strange noises on landing, and we were happy to get off of it. Then we checked our boarding gate for departure, and it was the same as we arrived at...it was the same plane!!
Then we noticed that the flight was delayed, due to the fact that they were changing the wheel! this caused to miss our window, as a chinese military exercise was tying up the whole east coast of china! we ended up sitting for 2 extra hours in hong kong, and then an hour on the plane before we took off.
but during the 2 hour delay in hong kong, i had a chance to get a Whopper at burger king, which was a welcome bit of food! that is what i love about airports...like tiny bits of home, wherever you go!
This is the gate area in hong kong.
and some spotting
I dont know what it said, but they were lying!
While we were waiting to push back, we overheard a chinese man talking to a FA
in english. He was complaining about the delay, and raising a bunch of hell. He was demanding to be put on another flight, even though it was a military exercise keeping us from going. He called the airline disgusting, and said he would never fly them again. he also demanded to speak someone high up in the company. i understoon his point, but if he was so important, why was he flying with us slobs back in coach? so after that discussion, he calls someone on his phone, and explains to them about the problems with dragon air, and we hear him say, "ok, thanks Yvonne!" it was Yvonne from oceana tours!
My view from my seat...a little disheartening!
Malasya airlines 747
I had the beef
One of the only redeeming things about dragon air!
This wraps up my first part of my trip, the next is all of my travels in china, on many chinese domestic ailines, so stay tuned!
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams