Flightsimboy
Topic Author
Posts: 1629
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-YYZ)

Mon May 21, 2018 8:40 pm

This trip report covers my second Aeroplan Around the World redemption ticket. The routing was as follows:
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This report will cover the journey from Toronto to Hong Kong via Istanbul, Karachi and Bangkok. It will end with the second half day before continuing on the journey back to Toronto.

TK 18/118 – YYZ-IST-KHI
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TG 342/ 508 – KHI-BKK-HKG
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AC 8 – HKG-YVR
AC 122 – YVR-YYZ
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Reason for using my Aeroplan points
I have already covered Turkish Airlines numerous times already so I will just post some highlights of this trip. My parents had arrived into Toronto with a friend who had gone back to Karachi after almost 14 years. So it made sense for my parents to come with them to have some company. Fast forward some months later it was time to look for flights on Turkish to accompany them back. It was getting incredibly expensive to find a fare back for less than $2,200 in August. So I had to make a decision to use my around 55K points to book a round the world by buying the balance of the miles to make up the 100K miles required. I first had to get my parents to extend their tickets by two weeks which cost about $180 for both tickets so that was not much of a big deal. Even with buying the additional miles, I was paying a lot less than a full fare ticket which would take me just to Karachi and back. This way I had the option to head back on a different route.

The Routing
Unlike my last trip Around the World trip which took me West with stopovers in Sydney, Singapore and Karachi and back to Toronto, this time it would take me East with stops in Karachi, Hong Kong and Vancouver. I had always wanted to travel to Hong Kong, having worked with some really nice people from Hong Kong and of course Kai Tak (which is no more) always had me fascinated with Hong Kong. Vancouver on the hand being another city of Canada would make a nice addition to my only other Canadian city I have visited which is Montreal. The dilemma of getting on the phone to make a stopover in Vancouver on the way back as you can only book two cities with the Aeroplan website, had me on the phone on hold for an hour while at work on my cell phone, and when I finally got through I had to literally rush down to the parking lot and then be there for another 40 mins before I finally got the stopover in Vancouver done. I had no idea a couple of bumps on this trip would result in me having to dish out some more cash to stay tuned.

PART 1

The Day Itself – Bad Surprise
Fast forward to the airport on the day itself, we were a bit late and were one of the last to check in, which was a good thing because we didn’t have to wait too long before we were heading through security and were on the aircraft sooner than others as both parents were wheelchair passengers. The aircraft on this route was going to be TC-JJK. The flight was scheduled to depart around 22:25 but we were still on the ground heading to the active runway around 23:30. We finally departed around 23:40 and that delay would cost us dearly when we got to Istanbul. The flight was uneventful and we got some very interesting views of Schiphol Amsterdam on our way to Istanbul.

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View of TK- 18 – TC-JJT
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Turkish Logo on Board the Boeing 777-300ER
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Still not departed. Scheduled 22:25. Departed 23:40
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2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt
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Meal Service
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Excellent Salmon
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Afiyet Olsun!!
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An Iranian movie about a religious cleric wanting to improve his appearance.
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Has Meryl Streep gone too far. After the Iron Lady and August: Osage County.
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Over the Atlantic
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Approaching Amsterdam – View of Schiphol & the city of Amsterdam
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Dutch Coastline
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Amsterdam Schiphol
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City of Amsterdam
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Breakfast prior to landing
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At Istanbul
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The delay and missed connection
When we got to Istanbul, Turkish who had been operating two flights to KHI at the time that we were to connect at 17:20. We only got there at 16:10 I believe, with an hour to connect which I thought would not be bad since we had our boarding passes already. However, with other wheelchair passengers on board they were getting everyone on the bus. They took each of our boarding passes and once everyone was on board, then handed them back confirming the destination. It was now around 16:25 and I started to get a bit worried as I pointed out to the guy the boarding time on the card which was in around another twenty minutes. We got to the terminal, passed the usual security, made our way up to the gate areas, got to the gate at 17:10 only to see it deserted and yes our KHI flight which had just pulled away from the gate. It is something I will never forget, as this is something I have never experienced. I immediately remembered those instances on You Tube with frantic passengers throwing tantrums, some even if lucky jumping down to the tarmac and running to the plane lol.

Using the wheelchair accessible facility to de-board
Beautiful GE-90

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The Good Surprise
It was not until later the following year while looking for 1:200 Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER models, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Gemini Jets released a model in that scale with the very some registration!! It is on my list to buy however here are pics of that gorgeous jet. Link to the seller is here.

https://www.ebay.ca/usr/diecasttrading?_trksid=p2047675.l2559

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Link to the Youtube video of TK 18

https://youtu.be/Lo1hXEWOs1c

Transit in Istanbul
We made our way wheelchair agents in tow to the Information Desk and without any hassles we were put on the TK 708 flight departing some 6 hours later. We were also handed dinner vouchers to be used at any of the fast food outlets in the airport. I have to give Turkish Airlines full marks for taking care of this effortlessly. I was also a little worried having a mileage redemption ticket in hand but was also on the same flight. What about the rest of the flights on Thai Airways and Air Canada back to Toronto. I just didn’t let it worry me for now. The six hour long wait was soon over and we onboard TC-JVS an almost spanking new Boeing 737-800 having it’s first flight in May that year some three months earlier. It was a comfy jet with leather seats and that wonderful ceiling on all Boeing 737-800 jets. Have always been on wide-bodied jets so being on this Boeing aircraft was a pleasure. The only single aisle aircraft were Etihad A320s.
Six hour later – Not our aircraft just the night view.

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Finally on our way
It was such a relief to be finally airborne and got some excellent views out of Istanbul. The winglet with the Turkish Airlines logo on it was fully illuminated and gracefully added to the city of Istanbul as it glittered below on this clear August night. During the flight it had a wonderful pattern of illumination as the lights danced in stages on the winglet. See the video to see what I mean. The Inflight entertainment featured the interactive maps which was fun to view the flight which was going to take us literally all of Iran. The early morning light gave way to rugged terrain below and then the familiar brownish hues of the landscape over Pakistani airspace. A few turns here and there and we were soon lining up for an Easterly approach to KHI. Unlike my other trips where I am arriving in the wee hours of the morning, it was nice to arrive in daylight. And so ended the Turkish Airlines flight with my first actual missing a flight. Two of my other flights from Istanbul to Toronto were delayed by over three hours, but that did not matter as Toronto was my final destination.




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PIA Retro colour scheme
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Pakistan’s second airline – Shaheen Airlines
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Pakistan’s third airline – Air Blue
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Never seen this in daytime in a long time
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A partnership that was strongly contested
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Link to the YouTube video for TK 118

https://youtu.be/EsMPmrBRf6s

PART 2

The next leg to Hong Kong via Bangkok
The day arrived three days later to travel to Bangkok. Not surprisingly I was totally bed-ridden for those three days at home with a stomach virus after eating some street food, something I never do due to the consequences of having a weak stomach. Others visit the city and eat to their hearts content and yes a bit of washroom visits and they are fine. But I could not keep anything in not even liquids and fortunately the evening of the flight I got better. I had no choice but to get that on the flights. After the scare of what might have happened to my onward flights at Istanbul airport, I was happy to know the flights were all intact. I know if you miss one connection all other flights can be impacted.

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On-board TG 508

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What I found with Thai Airways flights to and from Karachi, with some that go onwards to Muscat, the service seems mediocre and I have only one flight attendant who was very friendly and happy to have you onboard. The familiar “Wai” welcomed me onboard and the “Sawadee Kah” from the female FAs at the door. The distinctly familiar THAI uniform adorn the FAs who would later into their Western uniforms. I was right near the engine which meant I would get unobstructed views of the scene ahead. We made our way to the active runway and were soon climbing into the night passing a line of planes parked at the Ispahani sky banking left almost immediately after passing them with the city then starting to appear and disappear under the clouds which the landing lights were illuminating as we cut through them. Soon it was all over and it was darkness outside as the landing lights turned off, the city was shrouded under cloud cover and the cabin lights turned on.

Dinner was served immediately and I noticed unlike the daylight flight that I arrived on the year before we had excellent porcelain dishes but on this flight it was the aluminium foil tray. The main course was good but the salad and dessert was quite meh!

All meals are marked Halal.
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After dinner relaxation
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The cabin lights out after dinner and a duty free run, I tried to get some sleep just so that I would not be too tired when I got to Hong Kong. The windows were open and I drifted in and out of lala land, but never really can just out of sheer excitement of being onboard an aircraft. I was suddenly drawn to bright lights outside the cabin as they temporarily flashed into the cabin. I looked out and just outside we were passing an area of active thunderstorms. Lightning flashed within tall clouds that were silhouetted against the flashes of light emanating out of them. What a show to behold. I grabbed my camera and tried to click frantically, but in the meantime we were actually moving away from it and soon it was just a few lights in the cloud in the distance.

I gave up trying to sleep and started to watch Adele and by the time I was done with the concert it started to get bright outside.

Settling down with some Adele
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Getting a lot brighter outside as the show progresses
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A juice and water run was conducted and soon we were on finals into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi’s airport.

Pre-landing refreshment of Orange juice or water.
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Over Bangkok
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Gorgeous winglet
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Again it was about an hours connection time as we got in a little after 7am instead of 0640 and the flight to Hong Kong was departing at 0800

On finals
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Disembarking via the stairs
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The famous Thai Airways Logo and name
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The rest of HS-TER
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On board TG 600

Managed to get to the gate in time after passing through security and in time to get a quick shot of the Boeing 777-300 jet to HKG.

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Again I was in the front this time in front of the engine. I do quite like sitting in these seats but they are also very close to bassinets which on this flight did not seem to exist. I think families tend to take the later flights due to the numerous number of flights available on that heavy route.

A gorgeous Oman Air Boeing 787-800 was outside and then after passing the tail of many TG aircraft.

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Gorgeous Oman Air Boeing 787-8
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Is there any airport you don’t see an Emirates aircraft!!
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In Thai Airways territory
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We lined up on the active runway and began our take off roll. I heard a loud click behind me and I would have been tempted to look behind but I had the camera recording. It was immediately followed by the shouts of a female FA “Sit down, please, Sit down”. This got me turning my head while still continuing to record to see an elderly passenger shut the overhead bin as he had earlier tried to retrieve things out of it. I looked back outside and we were just climbing out of Suvarnabhumi. This trip was starting to have quite the incidents lol.

Just departed Bangkok
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Breakfast aboard Thai Airways
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Again the meal was nothing much to talk about and even the service was nothing stellar. I always had these visions of Thai being so friendly however I think these might be on their European/Australia routes? The flight progressed and being in a window seat on the 3-4-3 configuration meant I could not just leave my sight anytime. In fact, I think I did not leave it at all as it was just a 2 hours 25 mins flight. A far cry from the ultra long hauls of +10 hours that sometimes has your backside screaming to escape the seat for a while.

En-route to Hong Kong
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TG Fleet
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Descending into Hong Kong

We were soon descending into Hong Kong and not to sound too dramatic but if what I was about to experience was anything short of majestic, I could only imagine what those Kai Tak approaches were like where they came in so much lower. We came over some mountainous tops in the distance with Skyscrapers seemed to be built out of them. These were in the distance and when we got nearer it was just a sight to behold. My camera decided to go out of focus for some shots but I am glad I got one good one. That arrival into Hong Kong is something that I definitely will never forget. I had seen videos on the internet but to actually experience it and see those towering skyscrapers below you is just breathtaking. Similar to my arrival into La Gaurdia some years back which literally took us over Manhattan, I mean literally.

Approaching Hong Kong
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The view starting to get better
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The most amazing view
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We soon were passing the AsiaWorld Expo site before we burned some rubber as we touched down on Rwy 25R at Chek Lap Kok’s. I was in Hong Kong
Landed in Hong Kong and Cathay Pacific territory
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Reflection of our gorgeous Thai Boeing 777-300 at
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Link to the video of TG 508 & 600.

https://youtu.be/Lo1hXEWOs1c



Three Nights in Hong Kong
The only knowledge you have when travelling to a new city for the first time is the knowledge you have gained from the World Wide Web lol. I had done some research online, however where I had to stay in Hong Kong was recommended by an ex-school mate where he suggested I stay at “The Shamrock Hotel” which he guided me was on Nathan Road. I had to figure out how to get there and while the option was there to get there by transit, the Airport Express seemed like a nice luxurious alternative something to pamper yourself right away in Hong Kong. Some Canadian Dollars changed for Hong Kong Dollars I bought the Airport Express Travel Pass which allows 1 or 2 trips on the Airport Express and unlimited 3 days on the MTR. I had to get to Hong Kong Station and from there to Jordan which is where my hotel was located.

Signage for the Airport Express
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Heading to the Airport Express
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On-board the Airport Express
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Need this at subway stations here.
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Jordan Station
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One thing about Hong Kong you should not be deceived that it is a short walk between stations and that is what I found out when I got off at Hong Kong Station and looked for Central where I was going to connect. Luckily I had just one pull along suitcase and a shoulder bag. From Central it was two stops to the Jordan station. Like all subway stations in Toronto, there are various exits at Hong Kong MTR stations too and I took the wrong exit and then had to waste another few mins to look for the Hotel. I don’t recall the exit I had to take, but it was a less than a minute walk to the hotel from Jordan. Nothing luxurious about Shamrock, yes a good bed, good washroom amenities, TV, hot water that was actually lukewarm but big on convenience. Right on Nathan Road and minutes to Mong Kok to the North and actually walking distance to Victoria Harbour. Yes I should mention that where I was living was in Kowloon. You have to take the Hong Kong ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier to Hong Kong Island.

Shamrock Hotel
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Day 1
Day 1 was spent basically walking around Nathan Road and taking in the sights and sounds, the double decker trams, which I am quite disheartened that I did not experience but a sight to see. Having just come out of a few days of stomach ache I was not prepared to have any street food, which is what Hong Kong is famous for. I settled for some sandwhich, cookies and a juice for dinner from a local bakery outlet. It was a good walk around which got me knocked out before 10pm that night. However, I was up bright and early at 6am the next morning.

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Day 2 – Full day in Hong Kong
Day 2 was a long walk down to Victoria Harbour and if I thought the views from the air was spectacular the view of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon is just breathtaking. The long stretch of buildings from right to left was something that even Toronto, Sydney or New York could not boast. These cities have their own views but nothing compared to this. I did a quick ride on the Star Ferry one of the cheapest means to get across the harbour and so cheap. I actually rode back and forth twice before I felt it would be nice to go to Lantau Island and see the Tian Tan Buddha. My childish behaviour of frolicking back and forth on the ferry resulted in me losing time later in the day. I tell you the view of Hong Kong Island is just something unrivalled at least from other cities I have visited. Did I mention how hot Hong Kong was….Singapore was a constant sauna for those few days I was there, but Hong Kong was no less, at least I did not look like I just ran a marathon.

Tsim Sha Tsui Station
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Some Interesting stories about this place
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Getting closer to Victoria Harbour
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The Peninsula
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Victoria Harbour – Breathtaking
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Fishing near the pier
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The Star Ferry

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On the way to the Star Ferry

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On the Star Ferry heading to the Hong Kong Island from Kowloon

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Approaching the Pier
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On the Hong Kong Island side
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View from the Pier Bridge
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No idea what this reads – One of those things that show you are in a foreign city
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Was so fascinated with the fishing from this Hong Kong resident
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Quick Snack
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Didn’t really try a taxi out
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A sign I should have paid careful attention to
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Some views on Hong Kong Island
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Back in Kowloon and the temporary location of the figures of the Avenue of the Stars, which had been moved from their location due to renovations

Bruce Lee – The most iconic figure in Hong Kong. You will see him appear later in other locations

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To be continued……
 
Flightsimboy
Topic Author
Posts: 1629
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Tue May 22, 2018 12:19 am

Continuation of Day 2

I had no idea about the trip to Lantau Island all I knew the Tian Tan Buddha was there and it was accessible from the Hong Kong MTR stop to Tung Chung stop some five stops away. I managed to get to Hong Kong station and got off at Tung Chung followed the signs to the Tian Tan Buddha and bought my ticket from the Ngong Ping Cable car company. I did not intend having a glass floor bottom to look down at the scene so got a regular cable car. The cable car left and then got to a temporary stop where no one alighted or doors open, and after a few pause continued on. I was pleasantly surprised when as we climbed higher Chek Lap Kok was visible with jets taking off and landing to complete the scene. Another stop and I was there thinking okay we are there, but no it just kept going and at one time we were over a large expanse of water. I haven’t really been on cable cars and this 25 mins ride was just majestic. See the photos where even the Skyscrapers are so low below, where these cable cars actually little chariots to heaven!! Oh my, breathtaking.

Ngong Ping Cable Car booking
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On the Cable Car –
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Getting ready to cross that body of water. Yikes
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Amazing view of Chep Kok Lap
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Are we really so high up
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25 minutes later the view of the Tian Tan Buddha from the cable car
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I got there around late afternoon and there were announcements that the last cable cars were leaving about 2 hours later. I had to rush to get to the Tian Tan Buddha who I got a glimpse of from the car which seemed like a distance away from wher we all finally lighted. There was a little village to pass through where cows seemed to walk around aimlessly and there were stores selling stuff and incense filled the air, which was damp and slightly cold.

The main entry way
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One of the Twelve Generals guarding the path
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Got to the main area and then the gargantuan task lay ahead as I stood at the foot of the stairs to the top where the world’s largest Buddha statue was visible in all it’s mammoth size a total of 112ft tall. There were a total of 268 steps to climb.

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I was just so out of breath when I got to the top, and was not embarrassed to exhibit deep sighs of breath as most of the others around me were doing the same! The time spent there though short was nothing short of magical.

Taking pics of the Tian Tan Buddha
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The view from the top of the stairs looking down
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The statue was itself shrouded in mist, just visible at times and then shrouded again. The views from the top had the mountainous region around us shrouded in mist too and all this just added to the very magical feeling of the entire ambiance of the place. I would not want any sunny day to ruin what this misty atmosphere was displaying. However the mist lifted and the statue was visible when the camera went into full action

The statue still shrouded in mist
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Starting to clear up
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Views with the Devas
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Around the statue at the bottom are six other smaller figures or “The offering of the Six Devas” that offer flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit and music. No book or research could have prepared me for this experience. In the distance the boom of departing jets from Chek Lap Kok is the only disturbance to this otherwise serene place, even with it’s crowds of people around.

The view in the background was amazing
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Zoomed in view
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The six Devas, three on either side of the steps, offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha.
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The rain that started was my cue to leave not until I managed to get some more shots. Even the photos here do no justice to this place. One of the highlights of Hong Kong. I guess it was the unexpected cable car ride that made it all so magical. However the ride back was anything but good, it was raining, misty and you could not even see the cable car until it passed you on the side.

Back on ground level
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The miserable cable car ride back down
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The weather starting to improve slightly
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I was exhausted by now and could only wait to get back to my hotel room, shower and be in bed. A quick purchase from what was like a big grocery chain of packed noodles and a stir fry was dinner that night.


Day 3
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without the Peak Tram. During my ambling around on foot the day before I had noticed a bus stop that said Peak Tram, and it is right near Tsim Sha Tsui. However I prefer to walk around as much as I can as my dear cousin and her husband in Amsterdam always told me the best way to experience a city is by foot like a local! You can miss out so much by being on a hop on and hop off bus I think! Well this time paying a little attention to that sign would have helped immensely as I lost a lot of time trying to find the Peak Tram location. A sign could be like 30 mins away which actually gives you a sense it is close by. Finally there it was time to buy the ticket and I decided to take the roof top option too.


Views along the path to trying to find the Peak Tram.
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Getting closer
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Finally there
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What it would have been in it’s time
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Awaiting our turn
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On the Peak Tram
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The tram ride is quite nice and you go up a very steep incline and unlike the Katoomba NSW Scenic Railway in Australia this one climbs between buildings trees and our group had the unfortunate experience to be caught in a torrential downpour which had the rain coming in through some open windows. I lost no time getting to the top and the views again were great. However this being on the Hong Kong Island side the views of Kowloon were okay.

At the top
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Mist again
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Camera on Camera
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The rain that had passed earlier had left the roof top wet and slippery but fortunately the mist started to lift and the sun danced in through helping with an even spectacular view

Starting to clear up
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View of the Peak Tram making it’s way to the top
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However dark clouds start to loom in and before long there was another downpour.

Clouds starting to roll in again
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The rain passes
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Safety First
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On the way back down I stopped to eat at a MacDonald’s (or some fast food joint) and to my surprise the entire view though from a lower level was now shrouded in mist. You could not tell that there is a myriad of skyscrapers just in full view otherwise. As my empty stomach started to fill with nourishment from all the walking the view started to take the opposite effect outside and the mist started to dissipate. My stomach full and the sun was back in full swing.

Hogan Aircraft – No trace of rival Risesoon anywhere!
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And other items available for sale if not planes
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Bruce Lee again
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Back at Tsim Sha Tsui
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In Singapore there is the Symphony of Lights a spectacular last show light beamed from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel (I think) and in Hong Kong they have the Symphony of Lights but nothing in comparison to the Singapore one. The only difference here is the Bank of China has lights that dance up and down the length of it, and maybe the general mist did not add to the beaming lights. Anyway the distracting view of the Hong Kong Skyline at night, even more magical than the day time made up of the lacklustre show.

Night views of Hong Kong and the Symphony of Lights
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Heading back to the Hotel
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Another day had ended and it was time to head back to the hotel. I had so wanted to roam around Mong Kok just some walking distance away from my hotel when I got back, but I was in mood at all. It was going to be lights out as soon as I got back.

Back in my hotel room

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You can view my tour of the city in this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZkR81j9NL0

This is my longest trip report!!

To be continued. The final day in Hong Kong and the time spent in Vancouver
 
767747
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Tue May 22, 2018 2:24 am

Great report! I'd love to visit Hong Kong sometime - my wife has been there and loved it. Turkish Airlines also looks really nice - I've never flown them, but seen lots of great pictures and reports about them.

Thank you for sharing.
I love to fly!
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1791
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Thu May 24, 2018 1:07 am

I loved Hong Kong this time. The most beautiful malls / stores. When I went in 1977 I did not like it. Also better to go in winter when it's spring weather. Avoid the hot months.
 
Kent350787
Posts: 939
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Fri May 25, 2018 5:59 am

Thank you for the detailed trip report!
 
Flightsimboy
Topic Author
Posts: 1629
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Sat May 26, 2018 4:56 am

Day 4
I had to check out at noon and my flight to Vancouver was at 1930. I had plans to drop off my luggage at the Kowloon MTR which is a baggage drop off in the city which I think is available 24 hours before your flight leaves. I did not want to take my luggage all the way to the airport and then have it with me till three hours before check in at 1630. So this worked well all I had to do was drop it off and then head to the airport. I was also thinking of dropping if off early morning, then touring a bit, come to the hotel, shower, check out and then head to the airport. But it all got out of whack when it started to rain very heavily in the morning. So I just lay in bed and then checked out around noon, dropping the bags at the Kowloon check in and then heading to Chep Lap Kok for a half day of spotting.

Heading back to the Airport on the Airport Express
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Chep Lap Kok airport

Everything about Hong Kong had wowed me till now. Even though I had not seen much and had not experienced the food which is what Hong Kong is also known for, the fact that what I had experienced was in itself wonderful, Chep Lap Kok was going to be that icing on the cake. I got some lunch and then headed airside to finally get some spotting in place. Ceiling to floor unobstructed glass windows, which give Dubai and Bangkok minus points for airside spotting. Bruce Lee on the way which really got my attention.

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Bruce Lee again at Hong Kong Airport to bid me adieu

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First up were the familiar tails. Then the A350s, I had spotted the Finnair A350 land in Bangkok when I landed there from KHI from the aircraft. Seeing the Cathay Pacific A350 was nice too. But it will take me sometime to like this aircraft. It just doesn’t have the beauty of the A330s and A340s. And then there was the line up of the A380s. Hong Kong Airport is a mega hub for all types of jets. Somewhere was the SWISS Boeing 777-300ER which I hoped was close by. However just to be surrounded by all the Cathay Pacific tails at their home base was like actually being in all those photos and videos I had seen before.

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Cathay A350
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Two Whales
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Hello, how are you doing today
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The three whales up close
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Cathay Pacific jets around the airport
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The Queen is no more
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An Air India Dreamliner closer to my gate
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I finally made my way to the gate where our Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER was waiting to take us all the way to Vancouver. I had seen her land earlier all caught on video. There was a line up at the gate however I was in a priority line, which I hoped would lead to a business class lol. One of the first one on board and it was good to be able to take some pics both inside and outside the aircraft.


My ride to Vancouver
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On board AC 8

The armrests of the Air Canada Boeing 777-300ERs have the controls of the inflight system, call button and lights built into it. OMG, how is it that someone would choose to design them in the armrest. Needless to say the call button was going off whenever someone’s elbow or part of their hand touched it and set it off. And then if your neighbour decided to cover it with his hand you had no control of the device. This was the drawback to an otherwise regular Air Canada overseas flight.

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The aircraft started to fill and before long we were going to be fully loaded. In my section was a typical senior Air Canada female FA who already looked tired like she had already arrived in Vancouver after the 11 hour stretch. To compensate there was a male Chinese FA with dark rimmed glasses and shiny thick hair with a smile and attitude to be there to help.

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At the active runway waiting to line up
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Priority given to a Cathay Pacific jet
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Soon we pushed back and by now I was already hoping we had arrived in Vancouver. Dinner was nothing special but the main course was delicious, the salad and dessert were wiped out too.
I settled in for a movie with Bradley Cooper but finishing movies on planes don’t work with the distracting seat map lol.

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My seat mates were Indonesians (who I later found out by the look at their passports) and before we could leave the female FA came through with Immigration forms, right at the start of the flight. “Are you both together?” she asked as looked at me and my neighbour to the side of me. “Er nooo” I replied while he just shook his head my answer compensating for both of us. Whatever made her think we were together?

The cabin lights out and everyone asleep it was time to go to sleep. The past two days had drained me out and my smartphone would later reveal to me the number of steps I had taken. I think one day was about 32,000 steps. I had to recheck my phone to see there was nothing wrong. This would help later in the flight as I was out cold somewhere over the Pacific.

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When I woke up again we were some 2:30 hours out of Vancouver. The breakfast service had begun and it looked similar to Turkish’s. Eggs, bread, fruit something to keep you going. Earlier in the flight there was a small sandwhich and cookies served with a juice. Somewhere between by deep sleep and perhaps waking up for a bit.

Almost at Vancouver
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Always fascinated with these ice crystals. It must feel like an Arctic winter out there

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Approach into Vancouver was beautiful, though arriving over Vancouver Island would have been better. We soon touched down and before long I was on my way out to the city to spend a few days, or so I thought.

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Can’t believe I have not flown the Airbus A340-600 as yet. My favourite aircraft!!!
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At the gate
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I called my friend and decided to surprise him but to my surprise they were heading out for the long Labour day weekend. I wasn’t too concerned with this as I would get myself a hotel in the city. I managed to ask a Vancouver Airport volunteer person if there were any cities close by. She first pointed me to the Vancouver Fairmount hotel but I declined lol. Made my way to the city but cannot remember what station I got off at. There was a large Canada Post building close by. Anyway got to the city and then started to look for hotels. Found a few and they all said they were booked up for the long weekend. OMG! I then found a cab and asked him if he knew of any and he drove me to one about ten minutes away. They had a room for just that night, but not the next. I’ll take it I said and booked the room. With the fear of not having a place to stay the next night I quickly called Air Canada and explained the situation and asked if I could be put on any flight the next day but there were none available till later in the week. My downtown hotel room was not cheap at all and I had to make a quick decision to book a flight out. Yes, I had to pay CAD 320 one way to make sure I got out of Vancouver the next day. There were options to stay out in the suburbs but commuting back and forth on transit I was not used to would not be a good idea. So with the flight booked I got to bed and then the next morning decided to see a little of Vancouver till I had to leave at 2pm for my 5pm departure to Toronto.

Here are pics of Vancouver the next morning before my flight at 2pm

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CANADA PLACE
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The Maple Leaf
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Coral Princess Cruise Ship
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Gastown and the Steam Whistle

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Steam and whistling at the midday noon
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Indigenous handicrafts
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Other souvenirs
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Heading to the Waterfront

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Water Taxis – How cool!!

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Heading back

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Next time for sure – Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

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Some street TV shoot

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Ride back to my Hotel via the Waterfront station

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At the airport

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Wish they would come to Toronto

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Some other random shots
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Lunch before the flight. Not buying the on-board food

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Some more art work
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The only pic I have of our jet at the gate

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The flight was uneventful. The crew though were just amazing. Even better than the crew on the Hong Kong to Toronto flight. What I saw for the first time was a female Sikh FA. She had her hair in the traditional Sikh turban but the way the woman wear it.

Fortunately I had my headphones from the previous flight so I could use those on this flight.

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Around 40 mins outside of Toronto

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Thank you for reading

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Flightsimboy
Topic Author
Posts: 1629
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Sat May 26, 2018 6:06 am

Forgot to link the video of Spotting at Hong Kong Airport and flight on AC 8

Spotting at Chep Lap Kok
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PrHLBCYn0k

AC 8 - Hong Kong to Vancouver
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvIM2QfrYwU
 
bigmo747
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2000 3:33 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Sat May 26, 2018 3:40 pm

Fantastic trip report - enjoyed all parts!!

Any more KHI airport/city pics?

Best Regards!
 
User avatar
eastafspot
Posts: 1084
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:19 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Tue May 29, 2018 1:40 pm

Excellent TR, as usual, including your fav carrier!
Out of curiosity, what did you expect more from TG?
Really loved Hong Kong too, especially during Tuen Ng Festival, despite being a bit pricey and very hot/humid...
Interesting bonus of Vancouver, why not one day, if it's not far from mountain resorts !

Flightsimboy wrote:
The armrests of the Air Canada Boeing 777-300ERs have the controls of the inflight system, call button and lights built into it. OMG, how is it that someone would choose to design them in the armrest. Needless to say the call button was going off whenever someone’s elbow or part of their hand touched it and set it off. And then if your neighbour decided to cover it with his hand you had no control of the device. This was the drawback to an otherwise regular Air Canada overseas flight.

Exactly, happened to me on a ET 789! Throughout the flight, quite a few of these blue leds lightened the ceiling...
Therefore, how do cabin crew know when a pax intentionally pushes the call button?

Flightsimboy wrote:
My seat mates were Indonesians (who I later found out by the look at their passports) and before we could leave the female FA came through with Immigration forms, right at the start of the flight. “Are you both together?” she asked as looked at me and my neighbour to the side of me. “Er nooo” I replied while he just shook his head my answer compensating for both of us. Whatever made her think we were together?

Both of your skin tone maybe? :scratchchin:

bigmo747 wrote:
Any more KHI airport/city pics?

Yup, I'll definitely second that (even though his health conditions were not ideal )


Many thanks for putting it all together
Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
 
LMFNINJA
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:11 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Wed May 30, 2018 7:21 pm

Excellent report. Thank you for taking the time to prepare your report. Cheers.
 
bgboiflyer
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:11 am

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Thu May 31, 2018 3:14 am

Thanks, I'm about to head to Hong Kong next week, and hopefully I will see most of those sites, despite the fact that it's going to rain all next week :(
 
igtrader88
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:52 am

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Thu May 31, 2018 9:53 am

Great TR and I am glad you had a fantastic trip! HK is definitely one of the most amazing cities for everyone.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 1015
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Thu May 31, 2018 11:08 pm

Nice to see you enjoyed Hong Kong. It's definitely a great city to visit (Not the greatest place to live in, though, too crowded and insanely expensive :cry2: ), and there's no other places like it in the world (The closest it get is NYC, but NYC doesn't have the mountains).

25R/25L approach is definitely VERY amazing. I still remembered all those Japanese tourists repeating "ohh"/"ahh" and "Sugoi" (Amazing) and "Kirei" (Beautiful) when me and my spouse were flying back from Japan to HK (On a NH flight...local HKer usually fly CX/HX/UO) with the approach from the east.

But yes, you definitely need to try way more food in HK. When it comes to food HK is truly "Asia's World City".

Flightsimboy wrote:
No idea what this reads – One of those things that show you are in a foreign city


It's some random gibberish ramblings (I'm from HK, and seriously can't make sense of what in the world it's saying).

Flightsimboy wrote:
First up were the familiar tails. Then the A350s, I had spotted the Finnair A350 land in Bangkok when I landed there from KHI from the aircraft. Seeing the Cathay Pacific A350 was nice too. But it will take me sometime to like this aircraft. It just doesn’t have the beauty of the A330s and A340s. And then there was the line up of the A380s. Hong Kong Airport is a mega hub for all types of jets. Somewhere was the SWISS Boeing 777-300ER which I hoped was close by. However just to be surrounded by all the Cathay Pacific tails at their home base was like actually being in all those photos and videos I had seen before


Meh, HKG has too many widebodies. Not enough varieties when it's either A330s, or 777s, with a few 359s mixed in here and there (and the whales, of course...not just EK/BA/AF but also short haul flights from KE or OZ once every so often). :rotfl:
 
Flightsimboy
Topic Author
Posts: 1629
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:57 am

Sorry with the delay in replying. On a side note, happy to see the post just reached the 4000th mark :)

bigmo747 wrote:
Any more KHI airport/city pics?


eastafspot wrote:
Yup, I'll definitely second that


As this was a request, I am putting this up first there. I do have a couple of pictures from over the years. They are a mix of the usual street scenes to the more modern malls. And pictures of some of the churches in Karachi. Hope you all enjoy them and I hope they are visible. Too many to post on here lol

https://www.flickr.com/gp/marcopolovoyager_2001/59hP24

767747 wrote:
Great report! Thank you for sharing.


Kent350787 wrote:
Thank you for the detailed trip report!


bigmo747 wrote:
Fantastic trip report - enjoyed all parts!!


eastafspot wrote:
Excellent TR, as usual, Many thanks for putting it all together


LMFNINJA wrote:
Excellent report. Thank you for taking the time to prepare your report. Cheers.


igtrader88 wrote:
Great TR and I am glad you had a fantastic trip!


bgboiflyer wrote:
Thanks,


Thank you all for your kind comments. I am glad the trip report was enjoyable. I appreciate taking the time to comment.

767747 wrote:
I'd love to visit Hong Kong sometime - my wife has been there and loved it.


lychemsa wrote:
I loved Hong Kong this time. The most beautiful malls / stores. When I went in 1977 I did not like it. Also better to go in winter when it's spring weather. Avoid the hot months.


igtrader88 wrote:
HK is definitely one of the most amazing cities for everyone.


zakuivcustom wrote:
Nice to see you enjoyed Hong Kong. It's definitely a great city to visit...But yes, you definitely need to try way more food in HK. When it comes to food HK is truly "Asia's World City".


eastafspot wrote:
Really loved Hong Kong too, especially during Tuen Ng Festival, despite being a bit pricey and very hot/humid...


bgboiflyer wrote:
Thanks, I'm about to head to Hong Kong next week, and hopefully I will see most of those sites, despite the fact that it's going to rain all next week :(


Hong Kong truly is wonderful. Glad to read there is no other like it. Next on my list is Shanghai and Istanbul. Maybe it might be another Turkish Airlines report in the making lol

767747 wrote:
Turkish Airlines also looks really nice - I've never flown them, but seen lots of great pictures and reports about them.


Turkish Airlines is good. However I do hope the seating improves but then all airlines are 3-4-3 with the 777s. Hoping to switch to A380s on flights where available.

eastafspot wrote:
Exactly, happened to me on a ET 789! Throughout the flight, quite a few of these blue leds lightened the ceiling...
Therefore, how do cabin crew know when a pax intentionally pushes the call button?


Must be very frustrating for the crews.

eastafspot wrote:
Out of curiosity, what did you expect more from TG?


Nothing really lol.

eastafspot wrote:
Both of your skin tone maybe? :scratchchin:


Maybe :)

zakuivcustom wrote:
It's some random gibberish ramblings (I'm from HK, and seriously can't make sense of what in the world it's saying).


Interesting.
 
User avatar
eastafspot
Posts: 1084
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:19 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:33 pm

Flightsimboy wrote:
bigmo747 wrote:
Any more KHI airport/city pics?

eastafspot wrote:
Yup, I'll definitely second that


As this was a request, I am putting this up first there. I do have a couple of pictures from over the years. They are a mix of the usual street scenes to the more modern malls. And pictures of some of the churches in Karachi. Hope you all enjoy them and I hope they are visible. Too many to post on here lol

https://www.flickr.com/gp/marcopolovoyager_2001/59hP24


Many thanks for the link to great pictures, much appreciated! :smile:
Funny to see the Hyperstar supermarket in Pakistan, instead of the Carrefour brand here in France...

Flightsimboy wrote:
Must be very frustrating for the crews.

They did not seem bothered by any of this!
Looked like they had to reset the panel every now and then though.
Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
 
Flightsimboy
Topic Author
Posts: 1629
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

Re: 2nd Around the World Aeroplan Redemption - Turkish (YYZ-IST-KHI), Thai Airways (KHI-BKK-HKG) & Air Canada (HKG-YVR-Y

Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:29 pm

eastafspot wrote:

Many thanks for the link to great pictures, much appreciated! :smile:
Funny to see the Hyperstar supermarket in Pakistan, instead of the Carrefour brand here in France....


I am happy to hear you liked the pics :).

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