I've been lazy for too long, there's quite a few nice flight experiences from this year that have yet to be documented, time starts to chip away at the memories and it's nice having a written record to look back into after a few years.
Bangkok, May 2011.
After a few nice days in Bangkok it was time to head back home. BKK
is always a worldwide favorite for many reasons, good food, great hotels and attractions, all for very reasonable prices.
Mmmm, beef, mint, lime and chili.
No mall is complete without a picture of the King.
Always lots of interesting contrasts.
100 dollars gets you Roach Motel in Manhattan or this in Bangkok.
Broccoli Pie :S
That sign says nut, nya ha !
So many layers.
Behind the scenes.
Someone is getting surprising news.
Puppies, can anyone resist?
Mmm, street food.
From lowbrow to highbrow.
Bangkok at night.
Fancy a swim?
But it was time to go back home. Flying back home from BKK
through Tokyo on UA
would be a total pain, 6am departure? no thankyou : ) The thought of taking a redeye to Japan or Korea with Thai sounded more tantalizing, and it would also give me a nice day somewhere interesting before heading back home.
The choices narrowed down were either flying to NGO
, I was leaning towards PUS
but unfortunately flights on TG
got full so that was out of the picture, as I had never been to NGO
(The city that is), it made the next best choice.
May 30th 2011
TG 644 A330-300 HS-TEN
This was my first time departing BKK
at night, the blue lighting makes for a nice ambience. In the terminal things seemed very busy, when I see how things are at Suvarnabhumi, it makes me wonder how they ever managed in Don Mueang, must have been a madhouse.
Crowded airport of smiles.
Check in with Thai was very quick and we got our seat assignments at the counter. Managed to score a window for this nearly 6 hour night flight.
Check in area, what's up with those beach umbrellas?
is decent i think, It's not HKG
but at least there's room to stretch out, although the concrete look is pretty spartan.
Airside at BKK
What better way to spend your last hours in Thailand than getting a foot massage? The airport foot massage is sort of expensive compared to what you can get in downtown Bangkok, especially since the massage lounge looks pretty basic, but it's the airport I guess. It's nice to sit back and relax while a stranger gropes your feet. Sure beats sitting in a regular chair.
Once my feet had been declawed, it was closer to boarding time, or so it seemed. A quick glance at the FIDS screen indicated that TG
644 to Nagoya was the lucky winner of the delay lottery tonight, it was just one hour so it wasn't that bad, at least we were luckier than the passengers on TG
's Sydney flight, they won the cancelled flight lottery.
644 is on the first screen, bottom part
It's times like these that the Priority Pass comes in handy as it opened the gates to the multiple Louis Tavern Lounges scattered throughout BKK
. The lounge was nothing to brag about as it had the charm of an office in a factory but at least there was free wifi and a self serve fridge with beer. Does one really need more for entertainment?
The estimated departure time of 1:00 am was closing in with no further news from the TG
people, some feathers were getting ruffled, finally boarding was announced at around 1:10.
Rather cold looking waiting areas
Thai staff in purple looking busy
A quick bus ride afterwards we get a chance to board our beautiful A330 by airstairs. Always a great way to get a close up of these wonderful machines.
Well hello there good looking.
These engines are gonna take us 3kms up into the air.
Face to face with a giant.
The Thai crew were very welcoming tonight, dressed in their brightly colored uniforms. The plane looked clean and well kept, all seats had a pillow, blanket and of course, a nicely sized PTV.
Thai A330-300 cabin.
Seats look roomy enough.
I get a purple seat, wooo.
Our captain apologized for the delay and welcomed us on board from the cockpit, apparently there were electrical problems with the entertainment system. Glad they managed to fix that, I don't have huge entertainment needs but I like having my moving map.
At 1:30am, we were finally roaming the taxiways of Suvarnabuhmi. Flight time was an estimated 5 hours and 15 minutes. The smooth rolling motions from taxiing lulled me into a daze, I thought I had only blinked, yet when I opened my eyes we were becoming airborne and the bright lights of Bangkok were being left behind, almost too late for a good picture.
Taxiing to the active runway.
See you soon Bangkok.
In flight service for this redeye flight consisted of a tiny sandwich and an abbreviated beverage run 20 minutes after takeoff, most people were groggy so it seemed like an ok Idea. I chomped down my sandwich and chugged some juice, afterwards it was time to head back to dreaming about Bangkok ping pong ball tricks and non-conventional golf clubs.
Luxurious dinner, worst of all, I liked it
Even though the flight was more than 5 hours, exhaustion made sleeping not quite so difficult. About 4 hours into the flight, service carts made their appearance and FA
's offered a choice of egg fritatta or congee. I'm not a big fan of seafood and porridge so I went for the egg.
Breakfast time while sailing between Taiwan and Japan.
After breakfast, we're almost there.
Crew members were fine throughout both main service runs and I do recall a few water runs during the flight as well, since this was a night flight though there weren't too many chances to interact.
Descent took us over the picturesque and rugged Kii Peninsula, but since my window seat was over the wing it was a bit difficult to take good pictures.
Miss Wing, you look good but you're sort of blocking the view.
Rugged coastline off the Kii peninsula.
Upon touchdown I saw the sight that no traveller wants to see, and that's lots of international arrivals coming in at the same time. Lufthansa was already parked and Finnair had touched down immediately before us, there was also a Delta 757 coming in from Guam.
Delta arriving from guam
The euro planes are here too.
It wasn't that bad of a wait at passport control though, about 20 minutes or less.
9:40am in Nagoya.
So, now it's barely past 9:30am, hotel check in isn't until 3pm, that means there's time to hang around Centrair.
Centrair was built as a replacement airport for Nagoya Komaki airport. While not as big as Kansai International, the airport boasts a huge observation deck and a very nice shopping area.
I did what any self respecting aviation nut would do and headed to the observation deck where one could enjoy excellent views !
Domestic side, ANA gates.
HS-TEN, getting ready for her return flight to Bangkok.
Long observation deck.
Amazing views, shame I wasn't closer to the end of the deck.
After the plane watching, it was time to ease the stress away in the airport bath. Now, this isn't your regular airport shower, it's a full fledged Japanese style bath and sauna with the added benefit of having an excellent view of the airport tarmac. Yes my friends, the world's only official naked plane spotting terrace and hot tubs !
Views from the spa were excellent, I managed to see the LH
A330s take off from there, unfortunately, due to obvious reasons I had no camera on me.
There's really no better way to relax the body than soaking in all of those differen tubs and bubbles, after a few wash/rinse/repeat cycles you feel like a mass of well kneaded dough, with not a care in the world. If there's one feeling that embodies happiness, this is it.
Now that the eyes were satisfied with planespotting, the body relaxed by the onsen, the stomach demanded attention, and it sure picked a good place.
Tehre's plenty of good food options at Centrair, hard to pick, but we settled on Tonkatsu Wako, a well known chain in Japan specializing in fried pork. As we were in Nagoya, I tried their version of the local specialty, Miso Katsu, fried pork in a special sauce made with miso beans.
Excellent Japanese meal.
Tonkatsu with miso sauce, almost tasted like a Mexican mole sauce.
I wanted to go do some more plane spotting but the wind had unfortunately picked up, the terrace was now closed : ( There's always a hope for a next time.
Shoppers at Nagoya Airport.
Before Haneda's old style shop arcade opened, there was Centrair…
The Centrair mascots, including a cloud with a bowtie and another cloud possibly consisting of noxious intestinal gases of human origin.
Mmm, food options.
Nagoya, aka Chicken Wing Land
We stayed in Nagoya for one night before heading back home via the nonstop NGO
flight. It was my first time in the city and was pleasantly surprised. Tbe city has a very open feel to it, it's not quite as crowded as other Japanese cities, streets are wide and tree lined. Unfortunately the transportation network is in turn not quite as extensive as other cities, but it's still workable.
Yes yes, I purchased some basics.
Windy day in Nagoya.
Hello Kitty scooter
Nagoya doesn't have big name tourist attractions like nearby Kyoto or Osaka, but it has one very important specialty that makes up for any shortcoming, the fried chicken wing
Tebasaki are deep fried seasoned chicken wings; spicy, juicy, crunchy, perfect ! Enjoyed the dish at Yama Chan, one of the most popular chains and was certainly not disappointed. Fortunately they have outlets in many japanese cities so even if you're not in Nagoya you can still try them out.
Tasty draft beer at Yama Chan.
A set of 5 crispy chicken wings.
Magnificent chicken tempura.
Downtown Nagoya at night.
I like Thai; clean planes, nice crews and full service, other than the 1.5 hour delay, there's not much else to complain about, their home isn't quite as fancy as ICN
, but it gets the job done.
Nagoya Airport, what can I say besides "BEST AIRPORT EVER !!". You've got good views of heavy metal, places to air out your flesh, places to eat and shop. Who needs Disneyland I say. NGO
is a must for aviation fans.
Hope you enjoyed reading, questions and comments are welcome.
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[Edited 2011-10-15 22:43:27]