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Monday, 31 October 2011

Back to Singapore from Hong Kong on Singapore Airlines...

This post covers my journey from Hong Kong to Singapore on SQ. As i had taken the incoming flight from singapore on SQ's latest A380, this time i booked an earlier timing instead of waiting for another 2 hours for the A380 which was scheduled to depart at 1730hrs. 4 days spent in hong Kong was truly amazing and awesome, food was damn good and so was the ease of getting from point A to point B. Pretty much reminded me of Singapore. Transportations like the MTR, public buses, trams are so efficient but what i don't like is that Hong Kong is so densely populated and if you ever fly above Hong Kong, you'll see many buildings being built close together and they have to build them high too!

Check out time was 1pm, as i extended it cause my flight was only gonna be at 1500hrs. Once checked out, took the hotel shuttle bus to the Airport Express Town Check-In Station. Proceeded to the SQ check in counter and seems like no one was there, as most of them are checking in at the airport instead. Check in was efficient, didn't wait too long. After about 5 minutes, we received out boarding passes and then took the lift down to the Airport Express Train Station. It's just located at Basement level as there are lifts going down directly. Had to top up $150HKD to my Octopus Card for the train ride. Waiting time for train takes about 15-20 minutes and the traveling time takes about 25-30 minutes into the HKIA.
Hotel JEN
Hotel JEN entrance
The hotel's shuttle bus that runs hourly
Airport Express Town Station and Check-In
Waiting for the train
Reminds me of City Hall MRT station

Yup, it's SQ!

Departure Hall
After reaching HKIA, got thru customs and immigrations very efficiently and we headed to Popeyes Restaurant. Popeyes in Hong Kong International Airport are the only Halal certified fast food chain there. Only bought  large fries for the time being to cure my afternoon hunger as i didn't want to eat a full lunch before flight. I wished that i had applied for the Priority Pass earlier before making this trip. That membership really is useful as you could go to the designated CIP Lounges that are available at major airports globally. Imagine, somebody greeting you at the door and welcoming you into the lounge. Taking a break on a large comfy sofa, while munching on the snacks and sipping on a cup of Cappuchino while awaiting to board! Now that's the 'high' life i should say...hehe.

China Airlines A340-500 loading up
Dragon Air A330 parked at gate with Cathay Pacific in the background
SQ 863 B777-300ER to Singapore

Destination : Singapore
From : Hong Kong
Flight : Singapore Airlines
Flight no: SQ 863
ETD : 1505
ETA : 1835
Aircraft Type : Boeing 777-300ER
Class : Economy
Seat no :  51J, 51K

Boarding announcements are made at 1430hrs and the business class and priority passengers are allowed boarding first followed by families with children and then Economy passengers. At the door of the plane was greeted by 2 lovely Singapore Girls addressing me by my last name and wished me a good afternoon. As i made my way down the aisle, managed to snap a the Business class seats along the way! As we were seated and buckled up, the crew began handing out hot towels and some welcome drinks for that signature SQ service standards! Not many airlines would serve you welcome drinks and hot towels.Captain welcomed us on board and did the usual stuff like informing the travel time, speed, altitude and other info.

Business Class
Economy Class
9" inch IFE screen powered by KrisWorld
Passengers boarding and steward attending to queries

View of planes from cabin
Luggage being loaded up
Push back and ready to taxi towards runway
Waiting for clearance for take off
Speeding down the runway
Taking off
Ascending into the skies
Beautiful blue skies with little clouds

Somewhere above South China Sea
My Muslim Meal that i have pre booked
Cucumber and Yellow capsicum salad with Cherry tomato
I arranged the tray making it look more tidier and neat for photo taking
SQ logos on cutleries
Dessert was given a cup of Haagen Daaz Ice cream

Encountered some turbulence along South China Sea near Malaysia
Watching episodes of The Simpsons to pass the time
Over Malaysia

Meals were served about an hour after taking off and i pre booked the Muslim Meal. The meals served on the incoming flight from Singapore was not that good as i had a hard time chewing my mutton! This time i was served Mutton Masala and Peas with Basmati White Rice. This time they got it right on the tenderness and flavor of the mutton! Melts in your mouth as i happily tucked into my meal and leaving no prisoners behind! One of the best inflight meal i had on SQ. The dessert served was a small cup of Haagen Daaz Ice cream. Vanilla ran out so had to settle for Cookies and Cream. After a heavy meal, what a better way to cool it all down with an excellent brand of ice cream.  Halfway in the flight, we encountered some minor turbulences over South China Sea near Malaysia. Other than that , the flight was uneventful. Watched the whole episodes of the Simpsons for an hour and a half.

If you are coming from western Malaysian Coast, you can see this bridge
Changi Coastline
Over Changi Beach
B777-200 being unused due to the low flight demands
Taxi to gate
Parked at gate and disembarking
Total flight time took about 3 hours and 10 minutes, rather early than expected time arrival. Landing was smooth and within minutes, we were already at the gate ready to disembark. Overall flight experience on SQ was good. I would fly Singapore Airlines anytime but to certain destinations only, as their prices are much more expensive than other carriers such as Emirates, KLM or Qatar Airways. But still my heart lies with Emirates for overall inflight experience! Stay tuned for more trip reports and stories.....

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Hong Kong....The city that never sleeps!? Day 3 and 4

 Third and forth day in Hong Kong. Nothing much to do other than eat, shop and eat again! This trip really makes me hungry as i'm a freak about food! Took the shuttle bus from Zen hotel as usual going towards the Star Ferry Pier. Weather was clear and sunny, unlike other days before which was cloudy and misty. Visited an exhibition at Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Exhibition Centre. There was an expo in digital, electronic products such as HD Plasma TV's, Turntables, State of the art speakers and amplifiers.

Passing by IFC Center
Visitors flocking in the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre
A marching military band was playing at the entrance, manage to get this pic
My ticket into the expo for HKD$60

Cool Vinyl player, state of the art!
Used usually for DJ's
Awesome Pioneer DJ Console
LG Plasma HDTVs
Spent 2 hours roaming around the expo listening to sound systems and demos. Pretty much an 'earful' for those who can't stand loud and orgasmic noises. As if i'm going to bleed from my ears after hearing those awesome sound systems!

The next best part of the day is as usual, EAT! Having scoured around Victoria Harbor, no Halal food seems in sight. Thanks to the web portal called Zahibah, i found some Halal food outlets nearby Wan Chai area. I decided to give Ebenezeer's Kebabs and Pizzeria a try as i heard rave reviews that they get from loyal customers in Hong Kong. Tucked away in the junction of Lockhart Street and Luard Road, there lies the one outlet available in Wan Chai. Ebenezeer's has since expanded their outlets into other parts of Hong Kong's districts even there is one located in Lantau Islands at the Ngong Ping Theme Village. If you ever need to try them when in Hong Kong, visit their website at for more info and locations!
Located along Luard Road in Wan Chai area
Certified Halal
Chicken Kebab and Crinkled Cut Fries
Simply awesome and filling meal!
Cafe like fast food environment, clean, modern and hip!
It's clobberin Time!

Food was at a reasonable price. Menus included from Samosa, Potato fritter, Spring rolls to Briyani Rice with Chicken, Mutton or simply just Chicken, Mutton Kebabs and other side dishes available. It's usually packed during lunchtime with office workers looking for a decent and fast meal without ever burning a hole in their pockets.

Off to Time Square, where i bought a Barcelona Home kit and a Chelsea Away kit. Total price for both jerseys were $750HKD. Got discount as i paid using MasterCard. 20% discount was shown outside, well that really tempted me and bought these.

Final night in Hong Kong, so we decided to go look for the best Halal Indian Restaurant. I came across an interesting and rather unmanly naming restaurant called Gaylord Indian Restaurant. Yes folks, it's really called Gaylord! Well i guess whoever the owner is, maybe he was drunk when he came up with that name...hehe. It's situated in Ashley Road, which was full of pubs and restaurants during the night.
Back in Kowloon

Chicken Tandoori with Briyani Rice
Also had the Kofta Masala and Tandoori Mixed Grill Platter
Nice ambience with Indian music played in the background by live performers.
The food prices range between HKD$20-30 and menu was interesting as they have mixed grill platter, traditional Bryani, Murg Makhani( favorite), Lamb Kofta Balls in Spicy Masala and many more. This restaurant is a must try for Indian Cuisine foodies, when coming to Hong Kong.

The address are as follows below:

GayLord Indian Restaurant
25 Ashley Road
Hong Kong
2376 1001

Hours: Sun-Sat 11:30am–10:30pm
Subway: Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Kowloon