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EL-AL
Topic Author
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:17 pm

Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan Airlines UL423 HKG-BKK – perfect!

This is the 8th part of my 4 months long trip to asia, describing a pantastic flight on a rare airline operating 5th freedom flight on the common HKG-BKK route. Other reports from this trip (yep, I know I still owe you guys the 4th part):

Indochina Trip 7/9: China Southern CZ3410 KMG-CAN (by EL-AL Jun 18 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 6/9: Vietnam Airlines VN240 HUI-HAN (by EL-AL Jun 18 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 5/9: Jetstar Pacific SGN-DAD (by EL-AL May 28 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 3/9: Lao Airlines VTE-PKZ+LPQ & LXG (by EL-AL May 9 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 2/9: Orient Thai DMK-CEI / MD-82 (by EL-AL May 2 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 1/9: El Al B744 TLV-BKK + LY Lounge (by EL-AL Apr 24 2011 in Trip Reports)

With all do respect to Guangzhou, for me it was just the gateway to Hong Kong. To get there I took the Goungzhou-Kowloon direct train (160 CNY); I was amused with the idea to fly the 180km separating the cities, but flight was pretty expensive – I guess only passengers connecting in CAN fly this short distance. In the train station:
http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/1526/img0120800x600.jpg

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/1558/img0125800x600.jpg

Before boarding the train all passengers pass border control and customs exiting mainland China, just like an airport:
http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/469/img0130800x600o.jpg

The train was very comfortable, I had 2 seats to myself and within an hour we arrived to Shenzhen and crossed the border – I had no idea it’s still a real border, looks like a Middle Eastern one:
http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/5936/img0137800x600.jpg

Inside the territory:
http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/1328/img0140800x600.jpg

I got to Tsim Sha Tsui East train station, and passed immigration into Hong Kong. Afterwards I checked myself into one of those notorious backpackers guesthouses in the ‘mirador mansion’ – a guesthouse in Hong Kong is an apartment with 4-8 rooms with no windows which are usually smaller then a jail sell. No pleasure, but the only way a packpacker can sleep in Hong Kong. My H-U-G-E room (200 HKD a night):
http://img861.imageshack.us/img861/9572/img0531800x600.jpg

I walked around Kowloon in the evening, amazed from the amount of people on the streets:


The next day, I used the good weather to go to HKG’s main tourist attraction, the peak, which is commercialized and overpriced, but gives fantastic views – going up:
http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/9804/img0189800x600.jpg

Beautiful view from the peak – great weather!
http://img830.imageshack.us/img830/1429/img0214800x600.jpg

http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/9073/img0213800x600.jpg



Back down, took a mandatory ride on a double-decker tram:
http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/6638/img0269800x600.jpg







http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/1522/img0258800x600.jpg

2 days later I had a day trip to Macao, PRC’s other special administrative zone, a city that was a Portuguese colony till 2000. Hong Kong’s skyline, from the ferry:
http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/5416/img0340800x600.jpg

I passed another immigration and costumes control and entered Macao. Some pics:
http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/9786/img0342800x600.jpg





Macao’s city center is renovated and well preserved, gives a strange feeling of walking in a small town in Europe while in the far east:
http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/4530/img0360800x600b.jpg

http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/6088/img0358800x600.jpg



http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/5323/img0388800x600.jpg

Macao is a strange place, a combination of European city center, Chinese neighborhoods and American casinos, all on pretty small space:


http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/3280/img0380800x600.jpg

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/3179/img0385800x600.jpg

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/2495/img0386800x600h.jpg

The Portuguese flag is still around here and there:


Europe or Asia?


http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/4592/img0392800x600.jpg

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/879/img0407800x600.jpg

I walked along the eastern part of the north Island towards the boat terminal via Macao’s world class casinos:
http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/8624/img0405800x600.jpg

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/2422/img0411800x600.jpg

Only a small part of the huge MGM hotel lobby:
http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/4653/img0423800x600.jpg

Unlike Vegas, most gamblers do not sleep in Macao, but come on free buses operated by those hotels from the mainland. Those buses going to and from the border are always visible. Near the boat terminal:
http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/4018/img0429800x600.jpg

Inside the semi-international boat terminal; you stay within one country, yet my passport was stamped 4 times that day!
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/113/img0432800x600.jpg

Back in Hong Kong, I took a night walk on Kowloon’s promenade:
http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/5117/img0439800x600.jpg

http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/4043/img0446800x600a.jpg

The next day was ‘admission free wednesday’ in HK’s museums; used it to tour out Kowloon’s interesting museums (must have spent half a day at the history museum alone). This DC-3 is preserved at the science museum:
http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/955/img0465800x600b.jpg

The Bank of China building has free observation deck on the 47th floor:


Kowloon:
http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/7452/img0470800x600.jpg

Hong Kong:
http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/1952/img0473800x600.jpg

The building at night (in a photo I took 2 nights before):
http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/9352/img0331800x600.jpg

Later on, I went back to Kowloon’s promenade, saw Hong Kong’s skyline been light up during sunset and waited for the light show of 8 pm:
http://img803.imageshack.us/img803/1048/img0480800x600.jpg

http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/6985/img0482800x600.jpg

Since I’m back, that’s my wallpaper:
http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/7131/img0490800x600.jpg

http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/7929/img0493800x600.jpg

The light show itself:
http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/7669/img0506800x600.jpg

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/3423/img0509800x600.jpg

http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/9582/img0513800x600.jpg

Time for some aviation in this report, right?
Flight background: with my 4 months trip about to end, I had to fly back to Bangkok where my flight home was due to depart from. HKG-BKK route is one of the busiest in the world, with about a dozen airlines flying it, including some airlines which are pretty rare for me. I wanted to fly an airline that –
A. Do not fly to TLV, my home airport (what excluded ET & RJ).
B. An airline that I will not likely to fly again in the near future.
My final 2 ‘candidates’ were Kenya Airways and SriLankan Airlines. KQ is flying B763 on that route, and since I was due to fly a loooong flight on a B763 just one week afterwards, I choose UL (operating A332) and I do not regret.

Booking: Checked few websites, with expedia.com giving me the best offer for the flight I wanted (UL’s own website was about 20 USD more expensive). Flight booked 3 days before takeoff with no pre-flight seat choosing option..

HKG airport express railway is comfortable, yet pretty expensive (90 HKD one way from Kowloon). Thus, been a poor backpacker, I took the subway to Tung Chung station (18.5 HKD from Kowloon, also had lunch there) then took the S1 bus (3.5 HKD) to the 7 minutes ride to the airport, arrived 2 hours before takeoff. Farewell walk along Kowloon’s promenade:
http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/2446/img0546800x600.jpg

Heading to Tung Chung:
http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/2374/img0555800x600.jpg

I recommend anyone flying out of HKG to get to the airport the same way – it’s very easy (the bus stop is just few meters from the subway station, with the bus leaving every 5 minutes) and indeed saves a lot of money. My ride from Tung Chang to the airport:
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/2091/img0560800x600z.jpg

Almost there:
http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3977/img0559800x600u.jpg

HKG impressive terminal was described positively here many times and it do not fail to impress. Public transport area:
http://img860.imageshack.us/img860/1005/img0562800x600.jpg

Check in hall:
http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/1917/img0307800x600.jpg

http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/9894/img0296800x600.jpg

The check in line for a flight to Dhaka (Bangladesh) – do you think they got charged for overweight?
http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/3618/img0304800x600.jpg

Check in was very fast (no one waiting in line); I asked a window seat to the right, not over the wing, and I was given seat 57K. Check in was done by local employees who were very kind and professional. UL check in counters:
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/8493/img0306800x600.jpg

FIDS:
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/7710/img0594800x600.jpg

http://img830.imageshack.us/img830/6011/img0593800x600.jpg

http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/714/img0592800x600.jpg

Security and passport control was a breeze, passed both within 5 minutes. Probably not the busiest hour in HKG. Then the fun began – what an amazing airport! It has sleeping couches for long connecting passengers, free internet stands, you can walk along all gates to see the airplanes from up close (unlike BKK or IST). Airside:
http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/1589/img0587800x600.jpg

I-missed-my-connection seat:


Some very exotic airplanes to see there! Some are birds I only saw on photos till then. Some examples – Dragonair A320:
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/8679/img0566800x600.jpg

China Airlines B744 heading to TPE:
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/1564/img0571800x600.jpg

Air New Zealand B772:
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7851/img0584800x600.jpg

Kenya Airways B763, my other option for this flight:
http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/4987/img0590800x600.jpg

Talking about exotic birds – a friend from home:
http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/5852/img0597800x600.jpg



Ethiopian B763 behind it:
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/8388/img0598800x600.jpg

QF B744 arrived from MEL (common in some places, pretty rare in my part of the world):
http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/5952/img0581800x600r.jpg

In the middle, looking better then all, my beautiful ride for the evening:
http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/2682/img0579800x600.jpg

There wasn’t another airplane on HKG I wanted to fly more then this one:
http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/977/img0580800x600.jpg

By the time I was done walking around the terminal boarding was already called. Gate:
every day is a good day to fly
 
EL-AL
Topic Author
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:24 pm

Flight details:
Flight: UL423
Airlines: SriLankan Airlines
Airplane: Airbus A330-200 4R-ALD
Route: Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok PR China -> Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Thailand
Date: Wednesday, April 7th 2011.
Seat: 57K -> 10A
Gates: 26 -> D4 (both gates are very much near passport control, UL are well linked!)
Runways: 07R -> 19R
SDT/SAT: 18:20/20:00

Actual timing:
Pushback: 18:14
Taxi: 18:17
Wheels off: 18:35 (GMT+6)
Touchdown: 19:50 (GMT+5)
Full stop: 20:02

Airborne time: 2 hours 16 minutes
Gate to Gate time: 2 hours 48 minutes

Boarding was pretty fast, and I walked to the most welcoming seat I can remember:


I was on the last row with passengers, and except one man (british I think) no one sat behind me or in my row. I was greeted by every FA on my way to my seat. When I told the FA in the back that it’s the best looking YCL cabin I can remember, he thanked me and offred to take a photo of me in my seat. The seat itself was very comfortable with very good legroom, only the IFE box was bothersome:
http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/148/img0612800x600.jpg

We pushbacked 6 minutes ahead of time and during taxi the captain introduced the crew and described our route; the safety video was cute:
http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/3239/img0626800x600.jpg

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/2536/img0628800x600.jpg

It’s big brother is also here:
http://img861.imageshack.us/img861/1007/img0639800x600.jpg

CX in one world colors:
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/2377/img0640800x600.jpg

We took off from RWY 07R and had a nice view of Tung Chung and Disneyland:
http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/715/img0644800x600.jpg

http://img830.imageshack.us/img830/8830/img0646800x600.jpg

http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/9618/img0648800x600.jpg

Making a right turn heading southwest over Disneyland:
http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/6254/img0657800x600.jpg

Sunset over South China Sea:
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/5459/img0658800x600.jpg

Entertainment included no less then 15 channels of TV programs (mostly western) so as 2 plane cameras and our flight route. Headphones were free. Everything was good – a lot of entertainment for pretty short flight, yet the control had better days:
http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/4858/img0616800x600.jpg

Seat control:
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/7318/img0615800x600.jpg



The tray table opens in a way I never saw before:
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/8017/img0613800x600.jpg

http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/4760/img0614800x600.jpg

Few minutes after takeoff we were given manus (it’s been a while since I got menu in Y):


Quite a lot free booze for YCL:


Food menu:


I asked for the chicken with apple juice – look at this meal!
http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/3545/img0663800x600.jpg

This is not plastic #1:


This is not plastic #2:


It didn’t just look good – it was the best YCL meal I ever had, as close to JCL as possible, both presentation and taste. Couldn’t miss the opportunity to drink Ceylon tea for dessert; service was spotless, everything was terrific. As I was having my dinner, with this view from my window, I was thinking that this is probably a moment worth living for:
http://img863.imageshack.us/img863/3978/img0670800x600.jpg

After trays cleared, I wasn’t really interesting an another episode of Friends or the Simpsons, and I went for a walk around the Cabin. Rare economy cabin:
http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/4292/img0674800x600.jpg

http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/9655/img0683800x600.jpg

Middle economy cabin:
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/4004/img0677800x600.jpg

http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/8102/img0678800x600.jpg

Front economy cabin – 3 rows in A section right after business cabin, that had only 1 passenger:
http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/6968/img0679800x600.jpg

As you can see, loads were about 60% in Y and 4/8 in C. When I was back in my seat, a group of Chinese women flying in my cabin became quite laud, so I moved to the front cabin, seating myself in the bulkhead row on the window seat to the left (10A) where I passed the time (reading ‘airliner world’ I bought at the airport) till landing:
http://img810.imageshack.us/img810/5483/img0685800x600.jpg

Interesting how dark everything was when we flew over Laos, I saw some lights on the ground only after we crossed the Thai border. Flight route:
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/9058/img0687800x600.jpg

Descending into BKK:
http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/9625/img0693800x600.jpg

We landed on runway 19R and taxied to a gate right next to Thai immigration control:
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4580/img0695800x600.jpg

Passengers heading on to Colombo were asked to remain seated; most YCL passengers exit the airplane while all JCL pax remain seated. A Thai employee checked all boarding passes on the airbridge (which was not air conditioned!) before entering the terminal what created a short line:
http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/9663/img0696800x600n.jpg

Even Suvarnabhumi was at it’s best behavior today with no line at all in passport control. Even though it was my 3rd entrance to Thailand in 4 months I wasn’t asked any questions. While waiting for my luggage I took this photo showing UL’s unique uniforms:
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/5449/img0700800x600.jpg

(I tried to think what a scandal Israeli women would make if any company would force them to wear such uniforms). Notice no less then 3 flights arriving from HKG in 40 minutes:


http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/1964/img0699800x600.jpg

My bag was out 15 minutes later. BKK’s arrival hall (looks better at night then in daylight):


I took the cityline train to the city then BTS (skytrain) to my hotel, spending my last 3 days in Bangkok before heading home. Boarding Pass:
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/3406/img0564800x600.jpg

Other name brand items:


Conclusion: This was the best economy class flight I have ever had. As simple as that - those who read my reports regularly know I don’t say that often. Everything was just perfect – from check in to the moment I had my luggage back with me in BKK. If the Srilankan hospitality is like the hospitality I experienced in their airline, I must put this Island on my travel list. Of course, I’ll be happy to fly UL again anytime.

Comments and questions are always welcome.
http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/4606/img0454800x600.jpg

Please take a look at my other trip reports:

Indochina Trip 7/9: China Southern CZ3410 KMG-CAN (by EL-AL Jun 18 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 6/9: Vietnam Airlines VN240 HUI-HAN (by EL-AL Jun 18 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 5/9: Jetstar Pacific SGN-DAD (by EL-AL May 28 2011 in Trip Reports)
El Al Independence Day Flyover 2011 (by EL-AL May 12 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 3/9: Lao Airlines VTE-PKZ+LPQ & LXG (by EL-AL May 9 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 2/9: Orient Thai DMK-CEI / MD-82 (by EL-AL May 2 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 1/9: El Al B744 TLV-BKK + LY Lounge (by EL-AL Apr 24 2011 in Trip Reports)
Flying The Box: Ayit Shorts 360 SDV-RPN-SDV (by el-al Oct 10 2010 in Trip Reports)
Nightmares And Thefts: Air Malta TLV-MLA-TLV (by EL-AL Oct 22 2010 in Trip Reports)
EL-AL Inaugural Domestic Flight 1.8.2010 TLV-ETH (by EL-AL Aug 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
2 Countries, 1 Dollar: TLV-LCA-TLV Arkia E195+B753 (by EL-AL Jun 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
Inside Israel: SDV-ETH-TLV; Israir & Arkia (+pics) (by EL-AL May 19 2010 in Trip Reports)
Special TR: Preparations For El Al Ind.day Flyover (by EL-AL Apr 20 2010 in Trip Reports)
LCC In Spain: TLV-BCN-SVQ-REU With UX, VY & FR (by EL-AL Apr 18 2010 in Trip Reports)
Y Viva Espana! TLV-BCN-TLV; EL-AL 'basic' (+ Pics) (by EL-AL Jan 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
EL-AL At It's Best: TLV-MXP, FCO-TLV (+pics) (by EL-AL Oct 12 2009 in Trip Reports)
First Sun D'or Pax TR TLV-BOJ (new Link To Pics) (by EL-AL Sep 12 2009 in Trip Reports)
every day is a good day to fly
 
ronerone
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:38 pm

Absolutely fantastic read!

I will say it again, and again, and again, SriLankan Airlines is one like no other! Look at that menu!!! This has to be the best Y class menu i have seen.

Thank you for posting this, and great to see that UL was part of your Indochina series  

Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
BAViscount
Posts: 1977
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:01 am

RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:47 pm

Have been really enjoying all the installments of your Asian travels, and this installment is certainly no disappointment! In my opinion you really can't beat trip reports that also contain details and photos of the destination...they're really what make a report for me.

Sri Lankan sounds like an excellent airline...service the way it should be.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):
The seat itself was very comfortable with very good legroom, only the IFE box was bothersome:

Dude, those shorts with those socks?!?!    

Cheers.

Andy.
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barbados
 
767747
Posts: 2222
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:47 am

Wow, Sri Lankan Airlines looks amazing in Y ! A menu?! That's something I think un-heard of on many other airlines ... Glasses in Economy?! Amazing ..   Looks like an airline I want to try soon!

Matthew (767747)

[Edited 2011-06-29 18:47:58]
I love to fly!
 
lukeyboy95
Posts: 1063
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:13 am

Very good read, enjoyed that alot...

How were the FA's? I take it very friendly... For once this looks alot more appealing than the middle-east carriers.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
No pleasure, but the only way a packpacker can sleep in Hong Kong. My H-U-G-E room (200 HKD a night):

Hilarious... that bed is just fitting in there. I also budgeted out in one of those horrors on Nathan Road, and would walk past the Raffles green with envy.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
I recommend anyone flying out of HKG to get to the airport the same way

Yes, or you can get a bus straight from the centre of town which takes a little longer but it doubley economic!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):
Actual timing:
Pushback: 18:14
Taxi: 18:17
Wheels off: 18:35 (GMT+6)
Touchdown: 19:50 (GMT+5)
Full stop: 20:02

Airborne time: 2 hours 16 minutes
Gate to Gate time: 2 hours 48 minutes

Jeesh, you must have sat there with a stopwatch, very dedicated!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):

Quite a lot free booze for YCL:

Amazing selection. I'd be in heaven. Also really decent they serve a liqueur, quite rare nowadays.

The menu is nicely designed, and the food looks absolutely spot on. Considering RJ give you a sarnie on this same route, you definitely made the right choice!

Cheers, L
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
The777Man
Posts: 6120
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:40 am

Hi !

Very nice report with very nice pictures! The pictures from Hong brings me back nice memories. I did fly HKG-CAN-HKG back in 1998 on CZ including one flight on their 777 and the ticket then was about USD 125.00.

Macau seems very and I'll have to make an effort to go there the next time I'm in Hong Kong.

UL looks really nice although IFE box seems huge. Meals looks great and nice with free liqeurs after the meal.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6538
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:43 pm

Hi Jonathan,

great report about your UL experience and really nice pictures from HK, one of my favorite cities. I also like the pictures from Macao, I cannot remember seeing a report featuring that city here.

Good to hear UL still provides a competitive product (apart from the IFE). I flew FRA-CMB-BKK-CMB-FRA on A332/A343 in late 2006 and it seems the good service hasn't changed, fortunately.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Afterwards I checked myself into one of those notorious backpackers guesthouses in the ‘mirador mansion’ – a guesthouse in Hong Kong is an apartment with 4-8 rooms with no windows which are usually smaller then a jail sell. No pleasure, but the only way a packpacker can sleep in Hong Kong. My H-U-G-E room (200 HKD a night):

Horrible!

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
I recommend anyone flying out of HKG to get to the airport the same way – it’s very easy (the bus stop is just few meters from the subway station, with the bus leaving every 5 minutes) and indeed saves a lot of money. My ride from Tung Chang to the airport:

I don't like the intensively blowing airconditioning in the subway trains, so I prefer the Airport Express.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
It’s big brother is also here:

That's most likely 4R-ADG, a former CX bird, delivered to UL in May.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Quite a lot free booze for YCL:

Yes, I remember they were very generous...

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Rare economy cabin:

EK has exactly the same seats on the A332, colors are different, though.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
globalflyer
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:15 am

RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:49 pm

Hi Jonathan. Awesome TR. You have really had some great adventures over the past few months flying exotic airlines to exotic locales. Thanks so much for sharing! Safe travels back to TLV.

Cheers,
William
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
 
EL-AL
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:44 am

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Absolutely fantastic read!

Shukran Roni!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I will say it again, and again, and again, SriLankan Airlines is one like no other! Look at that menu!!! This has to be the best Y class menu i have seen.

Like no other indeed. The first thing I thought was that it's like flying back in 1975.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Thank you for posting this, and great to see that UL was part of your Indochina series

My pleasure, UL was definitely good choice.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3):
Have been really enjoying all the installments of your Asian travels, and this installment is certainly no disappointment!

Thank you BAViscount, glad you liked all parts.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3):
In my opinion you really can't beat trip reports that also contain details and photos of the destination...they're really what make a report for me.

I agree, I always all destinations pics to my reports.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3):
Sri Lankan sounds like an excellent airline...service the way it should be.

Service is the way it used to be 25 years ago, it was like flying back in time.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3):
Dude, those shorts with those socks?!?!

Packing for 4 months trip, knowing that need to take cloths to fit both +38C in Phnom Penh and knee height snow in China on one side and knowing that I need to take as less as possible on the other side, matching socks and shorts isn't really a consideration.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 4):
Wow, Sri Lankan Airlines looks amazing in Y ! A menu?! That's something I think un-heard of on many other airlines ... Glasses in Economy?! Amazing .. Looks like an airline I want to try soon!

Amazing, totally amazing. I wish the flight could last longer.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Very good read, enjoyed that alot...

Thank you, i'm glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
How were the FA's? I take it very friendly...

Fantastic, service was perfect, every crew member was kind and professional, while some of those chinese women flying with me were very demanding...

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Hilarious... that bed is just fitting in there. I also budgeted out in one of those horrors on Nathan Road, and would walk past the Raffles green with envy.

Well, every age has it's advantages and disadvantages.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Yes, or you can get a bus straight from the centre of town which takes a little longer but it doubley economic!

My way is cheaper: it's 22 HKD (18.5 for the train and 3.5 for the bus), the A21 bus (from Kowloon to the airport) is 33 HKD and the airport express train is 90 HKD.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Jeesh, you must have sat there with a stopwatch, very dedicated!

Since I'm 15 I have very detailed log book of my flights, all other reports hold the same information.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Amazing selection. I'd be in heaven. Also really decent they serve a liqueur, quite rare nowadays.

Well, too bad I don't drink alcohol on flights...

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
The menu is nicely designed, and the food looks absolutely spot on. Considering RJ give you a sarnie on this same route, you definitely made the right choice!

With RJ flying twice a day to Israel, they weren't really an option, wanted something more exotic. No regrets as you see.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Very nice report with very nice pictures!

Thank you 777.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
The pictures from Hong brings me back nice memories. I did fly HKG-CAN-HKG back in 1998 on CZ including one flight on their 777 and the ticket then was about USD 125.00.

Well, I guess prices have changed since 1998. Probably fun flying such a short distance on a 777.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Macau seems very and I'll have to make an effort to go there the next time I'm in Hong Kong.

Very interesting place for sure, too bad most people come there only to gamble.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
UL looks really nice although IFE box seems huge. Meals looks great and nice with free liqeurs after the meal.

The IFE box wasn't really a problem as the seat next to me was empty.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
great report about your UL experience and really nice pictures from HK, one of my favorite cities. I also like the pictures from Macao, I cannot remember seeing a report featuring that city here.

Thank you PH, There is a popular option of flying from Bangkok directly to Macao on FD.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Good to hear UL still provides a competitive product (apart from the IFE). I flew FRA-CMB-BKK-CMB-FRA on A332/A343 in late 2006 and it seems the good service hasn't changed, fortunately.

Yep, they didn't change unlike most airlines. Did you stay in SriLanka?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Horrible!

Not so much, it had TV and AC, I slept pretty well there.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 8):
Hi Jonathan. Awesome TR. You have really had some great adventures over the past few months flying exotic airlines to exotic locales. Thanks so much for sharing!

Thank you, my pleasure.
every day is a good day to fly
 
nethkt
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:00 am

Thanks for sharing.

UL is one under rated airlines.
They offer low fares out of BKK to LHR and HKG! Very nice deals.

Yep, I miss menu in Economy class, not many airlines provide them nowadays.
I still have some from my recent economy class flights on SQ, TG, OZ (tiny one piece of paper ICN-SFO-ICN), CX, EK, EY, QF.

I'm pretty confident that food served on your sector was uplift from BKK by THAI catering.
I remember the shrimp appetizer very well.  

brgds.
nethkt
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triple7man
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:13 am

Great pics of HKG and Macau. HKG is very expensive...I have had the privilege of staying at 2 fancy hotels, Sheraton (Kowloon) and Conrad (Hong Kong). The service at Conrad was wonderful. You were able to get a cheap room there but I am curious...was it air conditioned?

I visited Macau in 2008 and I did not know until I got there, it was such a big casino place. Did you get to go to Taipa? The Venetian Macau is the famous hotel and casino there. It's like a city in a city.

I live in Bangkok and I usually fly CX and TG between BKK and HKG. They are both excellent but it sounds like you had a really great trip on UL.

Thank you for an excellent TR.
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
ba319-131
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:29 am

Hi Jonathan,

Great read, nice bunch of pictures too, not been to Macau yet, perhaps next time I've a spare day when in the area.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
My H-U-G-E room (200 HKD a night):

- Now that's a steal compared to general hotel room prices, let's face it, how much time do we actually spend in the room?

UL look pretty darn decent in Y, printed menu's, real glassware, well presented food, very nice!

The only downside I could see was the size of that IFE box, not comfortable on a long flight.

Cheers

Mark
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aa61hvy
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:44 pm

Great TR. Was in HKG exactly this time last year. Makes me miss it!!
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BAViscount
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:06 pm

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 9):
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3):
Dude, those shorts with those socks?!?!

Packing for 4 months trip, knowing that need to take cloths to fit both +38C in Phnom Penh and knee height snow in China on one side and knowing that I need to take as less as possible on the other side, matching socks and shorts isn't really a consideration.

Point taken! I admire you for being able to live out of a backpack for four months. When I spent four months travelling around the world in the early 90s I took a massive suitcase with me, and still ended up having to buy a second to hold all the [email protected] I collected along the way!! Luckily I had no luggage weight restrictions...I was allowed a maximum of two pieces, regardless of how much they weighed...happy days! 
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Burj
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:39 am

Very cool trip report! I love all the Hong Kong photos!
 
YLWbased
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:58 am

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
The next day was ‘admission free wednesday’ in HK’s museums; used it to tour out Kowloon’s interesting museums (must have spent half a day at the history museum alone).

I'm glad you've enjoyed your time here in Hong Kong. and you've made a wise decision to visit the History Museum! Have you tried the Heritage Museum in Shatin, that on is just as good as the History one!

This is a very impressive TR, hope to read more of your future ones!

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
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eastafspot
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:36 pm

your airline choice was excellent indeed, as we can read and watch here, well done! not so often that you get "silverware" and real glassware on Y, small details but big differences.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
I asked a window seat to the right, not over the wing,

in dark or bright blue? hey dude you are a bit picky...  

and as usual the non-aviation related pics are stunning, from the begin of your 4months trip, it has saved me many air tickets... 

thanks for sharing

regards
Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Golden Wings Aviation, Kenya Airways, RwandAir and Uganda Airlines...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki !
 
EL-AL
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
Thanks for sharing.

My pleasure hkt.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
UL is one under rated airlines.
They offer low fares out of BKK to LHR and HKG! Very nice deals.

I wonder why not too many people fly with them. Maybe because Colombo is bit off track, also maybe people still remember the terrorist attack on UL's fleet in 2001.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
Yep, I miss menu in Economy class, not many airlines provide them nowadays.
I still have some from my recent economy class flights on SQ, TG, OZ (tiny one piece of paper ICN-SFO-ICN), CX, EK, EY, QF.

Yep, but no european or north american airline on that list.

Quoting triple7man (Reply 11):
Great pics of HKG and Macau. HKG is very expensive...I have had the privilege of staying at 2 fancy hotels, Sheraton (Kowloon) and Conrad (Hong Kong). The service at Conrad was wonderful. You were able to get a cheap room there but I am curious...was it air conditioned?

What can I do? Hong Kong is expensive city, I staied at the cheapest possible place. Good thing is that even the biggest dumps in HKG do have TV and AC (unlike other parts of Indochina that it's extra, in Cambodia for example air coditioned room is usually twice the price of non-AC room).

Quoting triple7man (Reply 11):
I visited Macau in 2008 and I did not know until I got there, it was such a big casino place. Did you get to go to Taipa? The Venetian Macau is the famous hotel and casino there. It's like a city in a city.

It is, but now there are still some authentic parts in the western and northern parts of Macao. The Venetian is surely the dominant hotel there, but it's far away from the city and hasn't got the magic of it's older brother from Las Vegas, just gambling and gambling. Buses will drive you for free to the casino from every part of Macao. I liked the Lisboa hotel and Casino way more, but didn't really spent my day in those Casinos, this trip was expensive enough  
Quoting triple7man (Reply 11):
I live in Bangkok and I usually fly CX and TG between BKK and HKG. They are both excellent but it sounds like you had a really great trip on UL.
TG and CX were more then twice (!!) the price I paid for UL, and eventually the TG flight delayed for 2 hours while my flight was right on time.

Quoting triple7man (Reply 11):
Thank you for an excellent TR.

Thank you for your comment.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
Great read, nice bunch of pictures too, not been to Macau yet, perhaps next time I've a spare day when in the area.

Thank you BA, day trip to Macao is a good idea. The ferry isn't cheap (283 HKD round trip WITH a student card) but it's easy and fast (1:10 hours per direction).

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
- Now that's a steal compared to general hotel room prices, let's face it, how much time do we actually spend in the room?

What can I do? expensive place. Actualy I did spent some time in the room because I cought a nasty cold on my second day, spent few hours lying down. You should see the way Hong Kong people look at you when you're sneezing in the subway!


Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
UL look pretty darn decent in Y, printed menu's, real glassware, well presented food, very nice!

Darn decent are right words.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
The only downside I could see was the size of that IFE box, not comfortable on a long flight.

Yep, but the seat next to me was empty so no problem, and of course it wasn't a problem after I moved to the bulkhead row.

Quoting aa61hvy (Reply 13):
Great TR. Was in HKG exactly this time last year. Makes me miss it!!

Thank you, HKG is indeed a place worth missing to.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 14):
Point taken! I admire you for being able to live out of a backpack for four months. When I spent four months travelling around the world in the early 90s I took a massive suitcase with me, and still ended up having to buy a second to hold all the [email protected] I collected along the way!! Luckily I had no luggage weight restrictions...I was allowed a maximum of two pieces, regardless of how much they weighed...happy days!

Well, I did sent some stuff on the mail here and there...

Quoting Burj (Reply 15):
Very cool trip report! I love all the Hong Kong photos!

Thank you Burj, detestation pics are a must in my reports.

Quoting YLWbased (Reply 16):
I'm glad you've enjoyed your time here in Hong Kong. and you've made a wise decision to visit the History Museum! Have you tried the Heritage Museum in Shatin, that on is just as good as the History one!

Nope, only the History museum, science museum and space museum (which is really out of date!).

Quoting YLWbased (Reply 16):
This is a very impressive TR, hope to read more of your future ones!

Thank you YLW, one more to go (didn't fly anywhere since april    )

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 17):
your airline choice was excellent indeed, as we can read and watch here, well done! not so often that you get "silverware" and real glassware on Y, small details but big differences.

And to think I choose UL just to go 'exotic'....
They do make an effort in every aspect, great airline.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 17):
in dark or bright blue? hey dude you are a bit picky...

I am the worst nightmare of every check in agent. I always ask for a window not over the wing.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 17):
and as usual the non-aviation related pics are stunning, from the begin of your 4months trip, it has saved me many air tickets...

Thank you, air tickets can be pretty cheap, you can give it a chance for real once you have the time. People from all ages travel around in Indochina, I met a British couple in their 80s (!!!) backpacking in Laos with a personal guide.





[Edited 2011-07-02 14:52:18]
every day is a good day to fly
 
MSS658
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:31 pm

Nice trip report series! Enjoyed reading all of them.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
EL-AL
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:51 pm

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 19):
Nice trip report series! Enjoyed reading all of them.

Thank you MS, I owe you 2 more to come soon.
every day is a good day to fly
 
KFlyer
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:24 am

Good to hear that you had a great flight with UL. Yet to hear anything bad about UL from anyone.
The FA dress is called a Saree, the female national dress here.
FYI, the UL A340 that you saw at HKG was probably 4R-ADG. She's ex CX B-HXL, was delivered to UL in May and now has the most comfortable J class offering on whole fleet.
PlaneHunter, in fact things are getting better. They now have two widebodies with fully flat (not lie flat) beds and the rest of 332s and two more 343s will be refurbished with flat beds and AVOD before year end.
The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:06 pm

Thank you very much for that report, and for the continuation of your Asian series. Your pictures of Macau made me smile - I have not been to that SAR in a while, and just might buy myself a ticket now that I am in Manila.

As others have echoed, Sri Lankan has continuously been good to me. I have reviewed their flights in both YCL and JCL, and service standards are consistently good. I worry about their future with all the government intervention, but that is for another day.

Thanks again for sharing this report. UL-YCL is really something amazing and unique.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:59 am

You got some nice pics of HK. Service on UL seems to have kept the sparkle left over since the EK days.
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EL-AL
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:14 am

Quoting KFlyer (Reply 21):
Yet to hear anything bad about UL from anyone

Which is an ultra-rare thing with airlines now days.

Quoting KFlyer (Reply 21):
FYI, the UL A340 that you saw at HKG was probably 4R-ADG. She's ex CX B-HXL, was delivered to UL in May and now has the most comfortable J class offering on whole fleet.

Thx for the info.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 22):
Thank you very much for that report, and for the continuation of your Asian series

My Plasure Alex.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 22):
As others have echoed, Sri Lankan has continuously been good to me. I have reviewed their flights in both YCL and JCL, and service standards are consistently good. I worry about their future with all the government intervention, but that is for another day.

UL is indeed good, I have no idea how are their relations with the government are. I guess with so much money invest in service for relativly low fares, it can't be too profitable. Yet, with the end of the civil war and increasing tourism to Srilanka it just may be UL's chance to make it one step forward.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 23):
You got some nice pics of HK. Service on UL seems to have kept the sparkle left over since the EK days.

Thx, I'm not sure that I understood your last sentence. Simple english for me please!
every day is a good day to fly
 
Lufthansa747
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:28 pm

Looks very much like my UL flight HKG-BKK a few years back. Enjoyed it a lot as well.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 9):
My way is cheaper: it's 22 HKD (18.5 for the train and 3.5 for the bus), the A21 bus (from Kowloon to the airport) is 33 HKD and the airport express train is 90 HKD.

The "E" buses are about half of A21 or A11 (HK island). I think it was HKD 13 from Jordan a while ago.
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flythere
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:50 pm

Had never expect UL to have such a wonderful service and it really makes my eyeballs drop!
Seems UL could be a very good option next time when I flew to BKK.
last month I flew on Hong Kong Airlines (HX) to BKK and it was a great flight nevertheless.

If you dun mind, you may view my trip report on HX but the substitle is in Chinese. But those photos are already well enough for a good story  http://www.discuss.com.hk/viewthread.php?tid=14629813
 
EL-AL
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:20 pm

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 25):
The "E" buses are about half of A21 or A11 (HK island). I think it was HKD 13 from Jordan a while ago.


Never heard of those E buses, I'll remember that for next time!

Quoting flythere (Reply 26):
Had never expect UL to have such a wonderful service and it really makes my eyeballs drop!



Me nether!

Quoting flythere (Reply 26):
last month I flew on Hong Kong Airlines (HX) to BKK and it was a great flight nevertheless.


I had the option to fly Hong Kong air from Kunming, for 1380 CNY, but I decided to make a stop in Guangzhou after all, so I passed. Next time.

Quoting flythere (Reply 26):
If you dun mind, you may view my trip report on HX but the substitle is in Chinese. But those photos are already well enough for a good story


Nice report, HX looks like a good airline.
every day is a good day to fly
 
Flyingsottsman
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:37 pm

I have enjoyed every trip report you have done, thank you for sharing your trip very very interesting reading andf great photos aswell.
 
EL-AL
Topic Author
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:35 pm

Quoting Flyingsottsman (Reply 28):
I have enjoyed every trip report you have done, thank you for sharing your trip very very interesting reading andf great photos aswell.

Thank you very much, glad you like it.
every day is a good day to fly
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Indochina Trip 8/9: SriLankan HKG-BKK – Perfect!

Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:38 am

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 9):
Yep, they didn't change unlike most airlines. Did you stay in SriLanka?

No, we only changed planes.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 18):
Maybe because Colombo is bit off track, also maybe people still remember the terrorist attack on UL's fleet in 2001.

I don't think that many people remember that particular event. I guess the civil war in general has many people turned away. And I guess many people haven't even realized yet that the situation has meanwhile completely changed.

Quoting KFlyer (Reply 21):
PlaneHunter, in fact things are getting better. They now have two widebodies with fully flat (not lie flat) beds and the rest of 332s and two more 343s will be refurbished with flat beds and AVOD before year end.

That's good to hear!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!

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