Before reading my return journey between Hong Kong & Singapore, I give you the opportunity to read the trip report from the outbound journey I took, through the link given below.
SIN-HKG On CX (With Pictures) (by SQNo1 Dec 23 2006 in Trip Reports)
Monday 24th July 2006
Three days in Hong Kong was a great experience, and I wouldn't hesitate in going there again. The only thing that I would do differently is that I would make a short excursion to Shenzen and the reason that we didn't on this occasion was because of the hassle of gaining visas for entry into mainland China.
The hotel that we stayed in was of excellent quality, the Majestic Hotel in Nathan Road in Kowloon, right in the middle of the popular tourist areas of Mong Kok and Tsim Tsa Shui. A personal recommendation for a good night's sleep there from me!
On the Saturday, we were on a half day city tour, included in the total cost of the package. Places that we visited included Repulse Bay, Aberdeen Fishing Village, plus the usual tourist traps were people can buy that fiddly crap and of course a visit of the stunning views from Victoria Peak.
The rest of the trip was spent at our leisure, where we also visited the Mong Kok Ladies Market, the light show from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong island and also took part in the madness that is the City Hall Maxim's Palace Dim Sum restaurant. It was bloody good though! . Here are a few photos from our visit.
The shops and the crowds around the centre of Causeway Bay.
Mong kok ladies market.
Nathan Road, Kowloon.
The stunning view from Victoria Peak.
It was such a shame though that it all had to end. We checked pout of the hotel at around 10am, although the transfer bus would not pick us up until 1pm.
With three hours to kill, we went for one final look around Tsim Sha Tsui, then we went to the hotel for their buffet lunch. To say that I had quite a lot to eat was an understatement. It included two portions of chicken and beef rice, fish ball noodle, cheesecake and more goodies, once again excellent and at only 95HKD.
The bus was slightly behind schedule, didn't really matter though as we left still over three hours before the scheduled departure time of the flight. As we arrived at the airport around 45 minutes later, the heat was really searing as we went to one of the many rows of Cathay Pacific check in desks.
The evening before we went to a internet cafe to try and check in for the flight, sadly however the system was not available. (Is that the case for all Cathay Pacific flights out of Hong Kong?)
As we went to the desk, we were greeted by a friendly lady, when we said that our destination was SIN, she asked for evidence to show that we had an onward flight booking. Guess what, nothing. I told her that if there was access to a computer, I could show her the booking that we had with EK on www.checkmytrip.com. She declined the offer.
The only other option apart from to be denied boarding was to sign a form that basically said that if me, my brother and his friend were refused entry into Singapore, that Cathay Pacific would not be responsible for nay costs in the transport for going back to Hong Kong. I obviously took that option. (My mother was fine as she is a Singaporean passport holder.) One copy was taken by the supervisor and the other was stapled to our boarding passes, they were taken from us at the gate.
Cathay Pacific Check In Desks At HKG.
Now before any member starts on me, I would like to say that in hindsight I should have carried some details, even though the national carrier of Singapore didn't ask us for any details in both Beijing and Taipei.
Following check in we went straight through to departures, probably a bit shocked about what had happened at the desk. We decided to go our separate ways and meet back at the gate. I used the one hour spare to look around the departure terminal, get something to drink, and take some images.
Food court and shopping areas, before going down the escalator to Immigration.
Cathay Pacific Flight: CX 711
From: Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok, China (HKG)
To: Singapore Changi (SIN)
Scheduled Departure - 16:15
Actual Departure From Gate 24 - 16:13
Takeoff From Runway 7R - 16:33
Scheduled Arrival - 19:55
Actual Arrival On Runway 20R - 19:40
Arrival At Gate D44 - 19:48
Seat 61H, AISLE SEAT
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-367
First Flight On 17th March 1999, Delivery To Cathay Pacific Airways 25th March 1999
Photo © Dickson Ching - HKAEC
Photo © Simon Gregory - Jetwash Images
I had plenty of time and funny looks from other passengers whilst taking images, there was plenty of activity on the aprons during this time of the day.
Boeing 747-400 of Cathay Pacific, heading to SFO at the same time as my flight as CX 872.
Another CX 744 departing at 16:15, this time to LAX as CX 882.
BA 747 basking in the haze during the day, before heading to LHR in the late evening.
The plane that I will be travelling on later.
Empty boarding lounge for a KA flight to PVG.
EVA Air's eldest 747-400 B-16465 is just about to push back as BR870 to TPE.
B-18305 (Airbus A330-300) of China Airlines, running late, heading to KHH.
D-AIGR "Leipzig" will operate back to MUC in the night.
At this point I decided to walk right down to the point where the main departure level splits into two separate areas, and grab a drink from a cafe there. At that point a representative from TG asked me if I was travelling on the flight to ICN, she said that they were missing one passenger and that he had two minutes to show or they would go without him.
Area in the middle of the departure hall.
Looking down the hall.
Air Canada Airbus A340-500 queuing to take off, back to YYZ.
After finishing a drink, I headed back down to the gate, not before taking a couple of more pictures where a long line had formed creeping to the middle of the corridor. There was a separate line for the Business class passengers, which was non-existent. My mum and the other two were nowhere to be seen, in fact, they were stuck in a queue at Starbucks!
Eventually they all came back with the usual overpriced junk you get form there, handed over boarding cards and walked down the bridge to the aircraft.
Sadly this aircraft was in the same configuration as the outward flight, which meant that the Studio CX system was not AVOD. Before pushback we were handed hot towels and were distributed menus.
Air India VT-EYW.
Cathay Pacific A330-300, about to depart to NGO.
The economy line before our departure.
We pushed back a couple of minutes ahead of the schedule and went on the long taxi towards the northern runway which would take us back towards the city. Whilst going by I saw a Virgin Atlantic A340-600 that was parked up on a remote stand. This might have been the one that had an incident a few days previous, but can somebody clarify this.
Following take off, where we climbed towards an altitude of 34000 feet, we turned slightly towards the left to hug the coast of China for a short period of time. We were then offered something to drink, where I had a glass of orange juice.
Here was what was available to eat on the flight.
Dinner Service On The Flight
Chicken & Sweet corn Salad
Braised Fish Fillet With Preserved Olive and Vegetable Steamed Rice plus Assorted Vegetables(Created By The Chefs Of Yung Kee Restaurant, Hong Kong To Celebrate The 60th Anniversary Of Cathay Pacific Airways.)
Baked Chicken Breast With Tomato & Mushroom Sauce, Roasted New Potato Wedges, Carrot Parisienne and Broccoli
Magnum Ice Cream
Chicken Dinner. Another excellent meal from Cathay Pacific.
This was probably the first time ever where I ate everything that was handed over to me, everything was of excellent quality and kept me filled for the rest of the flight. After the main courses we were all given a small Magnum ice cream, no complaints, just excellent.
Cabin following dinner service.
Trays were cleared, and then immigration forms were handed out. Once again I screwed mine up and asked for another copy. The cabin crew on this flight I believe were not as good as on the way, the lady assigned to the section of the plane that I was sat in, by the name of Jessica, was friendly in the tone of her voice, but never once produced a smile.
I then went through the entertainment system and there was an episode of Top Gear that I saw. What pissed me off though was the fact my two seatmates kept wanting to move and since the entertainment system was not AVOD, I missed quite a bit of the programming.
Decent started about thirty minutes before the scheduled arrival, and it took place quite quickly, catching those out who wanted to use the toilet, who were very forcefully sent back to their seats by the crew (more so than any other airline than I have travelled on).
We landed in thick clouds fifteen minutes ahead of schedule from the north, and taxiing took another ten minutes before we arrived at the gate.
Cathay Pacific do provide an excellent product in parts, if only the seating was improved and the in flight entertainment was upgraded. I think really to get the full experience of the airline, I should fly on a intercontinental flight, or on one of their Airbus A330s. As mentioned earlier I felt that the crew were not as friendly as on the outbound flight, but better than my experiences of flying within Europe.
CX 711 - 24/07/06
Comments and questions are very much appreciated!
REPORT COMING SOON: SIN-DXB-BHX On Emirates