[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 (SQ) Suites/Economy Class SIN-HKG: Booking Award Flight

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Singapore Airlines (SQ): “A great way to fly”. Pride of Singapore and one airline that I feel lives up to its slogan. (Way better than an airline that used to brag that they are a World’s 5 stars airline. They have dropped that slogan BTW.)

Usually I try to fly via SQ if possible. However, I am also ok with their subsidiary Scoot (Not TigerAir though. I hope SQ kills it.), Jetstar, British Airways and United Airlines. So far I had good experiences with these airlines. But nothing beats complete package of SQ. As their recent campaign says: “No detail is too small”. Their cabin is quite well maintained even on older aircrafts like A330 and service from Singapore Girls and Gents are impeccable.

From 25th to 27 January 2016 (Next Monday to Wednesday), I will be making a trip from Singapore to Hong Kong with a visit to Guang Zhou in between using train from Hong Kong. So I started booking my air tickets with SQ using my KrisFlyer miles.

I have a total of 44,625 KrisFlyer miles in my account which is sufficient for Suites one way on A380 and return via Economy Class. So I booked my flight out on Suites so that I can enjoy The Private Room in SQ SilverKris Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

SQSuitesMiles

SQ Suites Miles (Save SG$2,760.)

SQSuitesCost

SQ Suites Cost

SQEconomyMiles

SQ Economy Miles (Save HK$3,830. SG$719.19.)

SQEconomyCost

SQ Economy Cost

From pictures above, you are able to see amount of KrisFlyer miles and surcharges required. SQ Suites cost me 31,875 KrisFlyer miles with surcharge of SG$38.50 while SQ Economy class cost me 12,750 KrisFlyer miles and HK$194. (SG$36.43.) Total saving amount to SG$3,479.19. However, I have selected a Preferred Seat (Exit Row.) on my Economy Class flight. That cost US$40 (HK$310 or SG$58.21.) and so total savings drop to SG$3,420.98.

You may be asking how come there are Saver, Standard, Full and how come miles required is stated to be more than what I have mentioned. Airlines usually set quota for amount of seats offered via award with Saver given least amount of seats as it has lowest miles requirement. As for miles required, even though box stated that miles required is 37,500 for Suites for example, it works out to 31,875 miles as a 15% discount is given for online redemption. Redemption offline via SQ Call Centre or Service Centre at Ion Orchard will be charged at full. Do that only if you are redeeming an award flight operated by another Star Alliance airline or trying to do up a super complex itinerary. (Looking at my friend at Global Travelogy. LOL!)

Next, you may ask what is waitlist. It simply means waiting list. That means quota is full for that level and you will be put on a waiting list if you choose that. Waitlist bookings may only receive confirmation as late as 24 hours before flight and miles will only be deducted when you decide to book when available. Alternatively, you can check for award availability on Star Alliance partner airlines (For same amount of miles without discount.) via SQ Call Centre/Service Centre or book an award of higher level.

Hope that gives you a good introduction to redeeming flights with miles. Will be sharing more about miles in future posts. Watch for them.