Continued from: Tokyo To Siem Reap On DL/MH - Y Class (by SR117 Jan 14 2012 in Trip Reports)
Angkor Wat and Siem Reap
The temples in Angkor are pretty impressive and well worth a visit. The city of Siem Reap, next to the ruins, is small but quite pleasant and a good place to relax for a few days while making daytrips to the surrounding wonders.
Along the Siem Reap River.
Downtown Siem Reap.
Bars and restaurants downtown.
Some serious sea churning going on.
South gate of Angkor Thom.
Bayon Temple, only 800 years old.
Walls are all covered in some sort of artwork or scene, amazing.
Ancient water market scene.
Naptime at Angkor.
Newly renovated temple.
Looking towards the entrance.
After a couple of relaxing days in Siem Reap, and given the difficult time getting in, we didn't really want to take any chances and headed out a day early just in case we had to move to plan B, C, D… or, well, you get the idea.
Siem Reap's airport is barely 20 minutes away from downtown. The terminal is small but nicely designed.
18 JUL 11
Most of the people checking in at both the Asiana and Korean Air counters were part of a tour group, they all had one person checking at each counter with a stack of 30 or so passports. Seeing that check-in might otherwise take a while, I timidly asked the KE
supervisor (he was quite visible) if he had any space for us on standby and he let out a laugh "We have about 100 seats available", truly music to my ears : ) After that he quickly ushered us to the the first class counters for check in. Now that's service.
After a few taps later we had our boarding passes for the nonstop to Incheon, simplicity never seemed as beautiful. After that whole NRT
trip, a nonstop sounded glorious : )
is pretty nice airside, it's not a huge airport but there's a few shops and the architecture is interesting, oh and there's free wifi too.
Shopping and plenty of seating.
Wooden floors and nice ceiling.
No less than 3 planes bound for Seoul.
Looks like three of tonight's departures are for Seoul, never imagined Cambodia was quite so popular with Koreans.
Before boarding the KE
station manager apologetically approached us, uh oh, trouble :S Turns out it wasn't that bad, he was just warning us that since the plane was catered in Seoul, they didn't have us considered in the meal count. He was incredibly apologetic about it and even offered us lounge passes for Seoul, what a nice guy…
, boarding in REP
is via airstars so I managed to take a shot of our 737-900, too bad the airstairs were blocking the nose.
Our ride to Korea.
Stepping on board, wow, now this is an airplane ! This -900 had the new signature interiors, everything looked factory fresh, the bins were huge and the IFE seemed top notch.
The cabin crew were fresh and were very welcoming, you could hardly tell they had just come in from ICN
Pretty empty cabin in the back.
Now this is one pimped out 737.
Load for today was indeed quite light, after doors were locked most people managed to snag their own row.
Takeoff was a bit bumpy, after we reached cruising altitude the crew did a quick pass through the cabin with peanuts and juices. No carts were used. After this it was lights out for the next 4 hours. They didn't offer anything other than water or juices.
As I had a whole row to myself I was fortunate enough to get a good rest and woke up as the FA
's were passing through with breakfast about an hour out of ICN
. My suspicions had proved correct and many passengers had refused breakfast, mwa ha ha, that means food for me ! Choices were either omelette or Korean style porridge. I know what I've said about omelets before, and I still think they're boring, but porridge and seafood just aren't my thing.
Very nice omelette breakfast, with sausage, potatoes and red beans.
Twas a beautiful morning in South Korea, descent into Seoul was very scenic with clear skies and bright sunshine.
Good morning Korea.
Electricity and wind farms.
Final descent over the sea.
Busy morning, 777-300 arriving from Bangkok, Incheon Bridge and Songdo in the background.
Our 737 amongst giants.
Despite being a huge airport, we were done with immigration and customs within 10 minutes of deboarding.
The problem now was that it was barely 7am and check in at the Ibis in downtown Seoul wasn't until 1pm. Never fear though, airport spa to the rescue !
I've talked about Seoul before but I'll talk again ; ) It's definitely a great place to hang out in ! Stayed downtown right in the middle of the main shopping/eating district. Had a great time.
Mmm, Mister Donut how I've missed you.
Myeong Dong in Seoul.
Lush and verdant Cheonggyecheon in Downtown.
Galbi for dinner.
Downtown stream at night.
Such a nice spot to enjoy the summer night.
Someone had too much shoju there aren't many places where you can go out at night on a Tuesday and see as many drunken businessmen as you do in Seoul, they sure know how to get their drink on
The next day it was time to head back home. Planned route was a simple GMP
and onwards to LAX
Getting to Gimpo airport now is even easier thanks to the A'REX train. The new train takes you from Seoul Station to Gimpo in about 20 minutes. Easy peasy indeed.
20 JUL 11
Gimpo is pretty boring compared to new international airports, yet it has a certain charm, the international terminal looks like the result of a love affair between a 1970s grand airport and a 1980s mall in the Los Angeles area. Can't deny that I love it.
Korean Air check-in counters at Gimpo.
Check in counters were quite empty and we were quickly given our boarding passes by a very friendly agent.
Departure lobby shops.
Check-in lobby viewed from above.
Relaxing for a while before clearing security.
Most of the fun at the airport though is landside where there are many shops and restaurants while the options are more reduced airside. On the upside are the huge windows that afford great views of the ramp. Too bad there's not really much to look at since GMP
only handles flights to Haneda, Kansai, Shanghai and Beijing.
Marble and gold !
JAL arriving from Haneda.
Lots of windows at Gimpo.
Our 747-400 for the short hop to Tokyo.
Shot before boarding.
After flying on the bling bling 737-900, I was curious as to wether this 747-400 would be as nice. Of course as an older plane, it wasn't as up to date but it wasn't that bad, business class had old style recliner seats and coach still had projection screens only. This would be terrible for long haul but for short regional flights it seems ok.
Rearmost economy class cabin.
View from my seat.
The ANA 777 next to us would operate the next and last GMP-HND flight about one hour after ours.
The cabin was very well maintained and seat pitch was actually pretty good, seemed close to 33-34 inches. The crew was also very friendly and chatty.
Right on pushback I could smell something from the ovens, food ! At least I knew we were gonna get fed ; ) Smelled like they were roasting garlic.
Ready for takeoff.
The good weather from yesterday morning was still with us and we enjoyed great views on takeoff.
View of the international terminal upon liftoff.
After turning south, Incheon airport and the tidal flats are in plain view.
Closeup of Incheon airport.
Incheon Bridge and the new Songdo district.
Moving map on display.
Headed to Tokyo.
As soon as we leveled off the FA
's were setting up the meal service.
FA's going through the cabin with meals.
There was only one choice today, Beef Bulgogi. It was pretty good although the sides were a bit poor. the "salad" was actually just tofu with dressing and pickles on the side. Dessert was a pineapple slice. All in all not a bad meal for a 90 minute flight.
The mystery of unwrapping your meal…
Beef and rice, wooo.
I was a bit worried for arrival the Tokyo area was being skimmed by a summer typhoon. Things had looked a bit scary the day before but fortunately the bulk of the storm had turned towards the sea. Still, we seemed to be taking a very northern route to avoid the bad weather.
Northern route today, a bit too northern.
Descent was a bit bumpy and you could tell weather was pretty nasty on the ground, things seemed to get more stable as we approached the ground, I was getting ready to hear the landing gear slam against the runway but instead we heard the engines roar to full power for a missed approach. It's such a shame the cloud ceilings were low as otherwise we would have enjoyed awesome views of central Tokyo.
We ended up being sent for a hold before getting another try for landing and fortunately the second time was the charm. Phew ! Feels good to be on the ground on a stormy night.
After a rather eventful short flight.
Thank god for transfer counters ; ) Thanks to the DL
counter we were able to avoid exiting the airside area and just recleared security.
Transfer counter, what a welcome sight.
Boarding via a remote gate tonight. HND's international terminal is quite full at peak times even though it's brand new.
Don't you just love airstairs? What views !
Big engines and a Hawaiian A330 behind us.
This was my first experience with Korean Air and I think they were pretty good. Particularly when it comes to their hard product, the newest aircraft really are top notch. Even the older 747-400 was still adequate for the stage length and the comfortable legroom made up for the outdated IFE. Meals on both flights were quite decent as well. Cabin crew were friendly and did their job efficiently, although perhaps a tiny notch below the stellar crews I've had on Asiana or All Nippon. Big thumbs up to the incredibly friendly station manager in REP
though, he was a great guy.
Hope you guys enjoyed this trip report, any questions or comments about the journey are welcome.
Photos were taken with a Nikon D90 DLSR and a Canon S90 Point and Shoot.
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