[Travel] Singapore Airlines SQ976 A330-300 SIN>BKK Business Class 7 May 2016

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Is not my first time travelling on A330-300 Business Class with Singapore Airlines. (Did that to Hong Kong before. My 1st adventure in a premium cabin.) However, it is my first time travelling with Singapore Airlines on my birthday in a premium cabin. So this is how it went. In this post, I will focus more on new experiences and some interesting points.

Blue Ticket

Green (Old Economy Class. Now is Premium Economy Class. Not done that yet.)/White Ticket Checked. (Economy Class.)
Blue Ticket Checked. (Business Class.)
Gold Ticket Checked. (Suites.)
Only left Red. (First Class.)

Champagne

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne served at SilverKris Lounge Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. Same as inflight.

Gate E20

Gate E20.

A330-300

A330-300.

Priority both on and off the ground.

Priority both on and off the ground.

Deliciously Wholesome: Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom

Deliciously Wholesome: Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom by Zhu Jun. (Book The Cook.) Not a common choice says the Stewardess. But good pick. Side dishes: Thai Style Salmon and New York Cheesecake as Dessert.

Hidden Menu: Birthday Cake!

Hidden Menu: Birthday Cake! Have to call in to SQ to request. Available for all classes of travel.

Packed for off flight enjoyment. (AKA: Supper)

Packed for off flight enjoyment. (AKA: Supper.)

[Travel] On rails

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One mode of transport I like other than plane is rail. So far I have been on KLIA Ekspres in Malaysia, Airport Express/MTR in Hong Kong, Intercity train from Hong Kong to Guang Zhou, Metro in Guang Zhou, HSR/Metro in Taiwan, NEX/Subway in Tokyo, Heathrow Express/Tube in London, Virgin Trains from London to Manchester and Milan Metro. So far more of modern rails or high speed rail and enjoyed them.

So on this recent trip to Hong Kong, I decided to venture into China for 1st time. 2 cities were considered: Shen Zhen and Guang Zhou which are both accessible by train.

Shen Zhen

  • Accessible by MTR.
  • Electronics paradise.

Guang Zhou

  • Accessible by Intercity train. (2 hours approximately.)
  • Bigger city than Shen Zhen.
  • Ex colleagues are there.

So eventually decided on Guang Zhou. Here are some pictures and description on my rail journeys in Hong Kong and Guang Zhou.

Airport Express Ticket

Airport Express ticket. Return journey and 3 days of unlimited travel on MTR at HK$300. (HK$250 after HK$50 refund by returning ticket. HK$350 now for ticket after price adjustment. See this for more information.)

Platform

Airport Express platform directly accessible from Hong Kong International Airport concourse.

Luggage area

Airport Express luggage area.

Station Information

Airport Express station Information.

Power

Airport Express power socket. Good to see USB ports there.

Intercity Through Train

Intercity Through Train to Guang Zhou at Hung Hom station. (Where stadium is.)

First Class Ticket

Intercity Through Train First Class tickets. Well, there is only First Class on this ride. HK$219 each way inclusive of booking fee. See this for more information.

Gate

Intercity Through Train Departure Hall Entrance.

Duty Free

Intercity Through Train Duty Free.

Intercity Through Train

Intercity Through Train. Nice touch to have board to bridge gap between train and platform.

Intercity Through Train Cabin

Intercity Through Train Cabin.

Intercity Through Train footrest

Intercity Through Train footrest and tray table.

Intercity Through Train

Intercity Through Train magazines and tray table.

Intercity Through Train Tray Table

Intercity Through Train tray table set.

Intercity Through Train Power Socket

Intercity Through Train power socket.

Intercity Through Train Menu

Intercity Through Train Menu. Payment can be made by HK$ or RMB. Slightly cheaper in RMB.

Intercity Through Train Fried Ham Sandwich

Intercity Through Train Fried Ham Sandwich with Coffee.

Intercity Through Train Fried Ham Sandwich

Intercity Through Train Fried Ham Sandwich. Egg just the way I like.

Shen Zhen

Shen Zhen

On Intercity Through Train

On Intercity Through Train.

Guang Zhou East Station

Guang Zhou East Station. Interchange for different type of trains including Guang Zhou Metro.

Guang Zhou East Station Concourse

Guang Zhou East Station Concourse.

Guang Zhou Metro Ticketing Machine

Guang Zhou Metro Ticketing Machine.

Guang Zhou Metro Single Trip IC Chip

Guang Zhou Metro Single Trip IC Chip.

Guang Zhou Metro Signs

Guang Zhou Metro Signs.

Mongkok MTR

Mong Kok MTR.

Hong Kong MTR

Hong Kong MTR.

[Travel] Singapore Airlines A380 Suites to Hong Kong

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Hope you have enjoyed my recent review of Singapore Airline SilverKris Lounge The Private Room at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. I always believe that travel experience and service from an airline starts from ground and ends with ground. From check-in to lounge to boarding to in flight and eventually disembark. Airlines will need to deliver a good experience to delight passengers. Singapore Airlines remains on top of my list when it comes to this. Whenever I fly with them, I enjoyed their service. It is still a great way to fly.

So I flew with Singapore Airlines A380 Suites to Hong Kong in end January 2016. It was my second time travelling on Suites on this route. So I am familiar with this product and what it offers. It is the shortest route (4 Hours at max.) on Singapore Airlines that offers Suites product and they are the first airline to fly Airbus A380 with Suites offering before their middle east competitors.

Boarding

Boarding at Singapore Changi Airport is a smooth and efficient affair. After security screening at gate, I comfortably waited for boarding announcement for Suites, First Class, Business Class and PPS members. PPS stands for Priority Passenger Service which is the elite frequent flyer program offered by Singapore Airlines. Need to spend SG$25,000 with them on premium cabins within 1 year to qualify. (Ouch. Personally thought that unless travel super frequently for business. Otherwise forget about qualifying for this. Even KrisFlyer Elite Silver status is also a bit far fetch for me.)

After boarding announcement was made and ground agent scanned my boarding pass, I am on my way to plane on aerobridge. So far I never had to take a bus to board or disembark a plane in Singapore Changi Airport and I have to thank (But no thanks!) Doha Airport for giving me a chance to do that when I boarded a plane which has Doha as a home hub. (Quite easy to know which 1.) For that experience and many other unpleasant things that add up, that airline went into my condemn list. (That experience is enough for me to write a horror story. Will write about it when I feel like.)

At end of aerobridge, lovely cabin crew were there anticipating arrival and gave a warm welcome.

Gate Display

Gate Display

Priority Lane

Priority Lane

Gate

Gate

Airbus A380

Airbus A380

In cabin

As soon as I set foot on plane, cabin crew escorted me to my Suites: 3D. As I am travelling solo, ground agent did ask me if I like to have a window Suites instead. In any other class, I will have asked for that. For Suites, no way! Unless Suites 3C or 2C is taken. Why? When Suites 3C or 2C is not taken when you are on either Suites 3D or 2D, you can enjoy an expanded feel of roominess. On long haul flights or when travelling with a companion, you can even request for 2 Suites to be combined into 1 with full flat bed deployed for 2. (Not converted from seat.) If not all 12 Suites are occupied, you can even have luxury of requesting for 1 Suites to be used for living/dining room and another 1 for sleep on long haul flight. (First come first serve!)

Suites Plan

Suites Plan. Lower deck front of plane.

Suites 3D

Suites 3D. Small closet for jacket which cabin crew will gladly help you stow your jacket into. Blinds can be pulled down for Privacy.

Empty Suites 3C

Empty Suites 3C. Divider can be pulled up for privacy.

Around Suites

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancellation Headphone

Bose QuietComfort 15 acoustic noise cancelling headphone in compartment, ports and power socket.

Seat Control

Controls

Seat Control

Seat Controls on armrest.

Leg rest or Stool for guest

Leg rest or Stool for guest. Pillow etc by Givenchy. Hand carry luggage stows below here as there is no overhead bins. Magazines and safety information on side.

Full stretch

Full stretch

Door

Door

Food and Beverages

Welcome Drink: Krug Grade Cuvee

Welcome Drink: Krug Grade Cuvée

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Table set

Table set

Fruit Platter

Fruit Platter: Pomelo, Raspberry and Blueberry

Special K and Pastries

Special K cereal in skim milk and Pastries

Book-The-Cook: Nasi Lemak

Book The Cook: Nasi Lemak. Recommended by my friends who are in service and ex Singapore Girl. Good recommendation. Had this as I have tried Boston Lobster Thermidor in my first Suites flight.

Dessert: Warm Banana Crumble with Chocolate Ice Cream, Canilla Sauce, Fresh Fruit Salad and Blue Mountain Coffee

Dessert: Warm Banana Crumble with Chocolate Ice Cream, Vanilla Sauce, Fresh Fruit Salad and Blue Mountain Coffee

In Flight Entertainment System (KrisWorld)

Personally find in flight entertainment system to be lacking in content and sound quality. Especially if it is middle east airlines. Censored movies…Thanks! I prefer to bring my own Asus Transformer Book T100 Chi with movies loaded and use Sennheiser PXC310 Noise Cancelling Headphone nowadays. However, Singapore Airlines KrisWorld is one of the better In flight entertainment system around.

KrisWorld Controls

KrisWorld Controls

Screen and leg rest

23″ Screen and leg rest

Flight Map

Flight Map with Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Screen

23″ Screen

Benefit of empty Suites next door

Benefit of empty Suites next door: 2 screens!

Conclusion

Singapore Airlines A380 Suites may have been caught up by middle east competitors in terms of hardware like newer Airbus A380, more lavish Suites, in flight shower, bar etc. However, 1 thing remains in Singapore Airlines favor: Service. Service in Singapore Airlines A380 Suites is very personalize and attentive. Team of Stewards and Stewardesses make sure you are well taken care of. They check in from time to time to see how they can help you and make your journey a comfortable 1. I also enjoyed my conversation with them about the flight, experience, Hong Kong and even food/drinks options. They make good recommendations. Some of them are even certified Sommeliers.

This flight is also a test to crews’ capability. As it is only a 4 hours flight, crew delivered nothing short of the impeccable service offered on A380 Suites on a long haul flight.

Suites

Suites

Stairs to upper deck

Stairs to upper deck

Disclaimer: Drink Responsibly.

[Travel] First Class Train Travel to GuangZhou on MTR Intercity Through Train

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Since I have been to Hong Kong a few times, so I thought why not do something different this time. Time to venture up north: China! After thinking about options, went with GuangZhou instead of Shenzhen as it is a bigger city.

After doing some research, I went ahead and booked transport. Booking is done on MTR’s website for their Intercity Through Train service. I am making this a day trip so I booked the earliest train and a train for return in late afternoon/evening. Journey will be 2 hours per trip and there is only 1 cabin class: First Class. Ticket is priced at HK$219 per trip inclusive of HK$9 handling fee. (Approximately SG$40.) Shall do a review on this next week.

Shanghai

MTR Intercity Through Train