Random recalls from SE Asia trip

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Established Member
Mar 16, 2005
Not exactly a TR, but some random memories from my recent trip to SE Asia. Apologies if the 'formatting' or lack thereof looks dreadful.

Another trip to the SYD F lounge reinforces to me that while it is very good the MEL one is better. Food and ambiance shines
in MEL, though the maitre d' at SYD was very good, in what was a packed house due to school holidays.
Left my phone charger there...rang a week or so later and no record of it in the lost and found register. Ah well!
QF5 was a pleasant flight, CSM introduced himself by (full) name to every pax in J, including a handshake.
Surprisingly my MRT card had ~SGD10 left on it, so train into Royal Plaza on Scotts, where a few friends and I were staying for our reunion.
Stayed here 2 years ago and would have recommended it then, but not now. Rooms a little tired and 2 x Tiger beer no longer
included in the complimentary mini-bar. Our favourite 2nd floor hideaway bar has been enhanced into a restaurant. Staff very pleasant
but will be looking elsewhere next time.
Next week or so was a fantastic reunion with 'kids' I either went to school with or knew socially at the time. Anything that can keep a number of us old codgers out drinking and reminiscing in bars filled with hookers until 5 or 6AM three nights running has to have something going for it!
Decided to jaunt around SE Asia on my return to MEL (cheap J fares out of SIN and CMB). Emphatic note to self: double and triple check all possible issues and consequences. I have the nice transfer desk people at CMB to thank for getting ongoing BPs. The MH checkin agent at SIN somehow managed to check my bag through to HKG (SIN-KUL-CMB-BKK-HKG) but could only get me as far as CMB. Not sure how he did that, and it confused the hell out of the CX 1st class checkin staff at HKG a day or two later.
MH crew actually very efficient and friendly. 738 on both legs SIN-KUL-CMB, AVOD on 2nd leg.
MH lounge at SIN adequate, not great. MH lounge(s) at KUL OK. KUL itself seemed kind of 'cramped'.
Lotus lounge at CMB adequate. CX lounge at BKK quite pokey and no toilets, let alone showers.
Whoever determined that at KUL, CMB and BKK one needs to remove belt, shoes, and watch at security should be
forced to go through their own process repeatedly (or alternately smeared with honey and tied to an anthill). SIN and HKG are not among the world's best airports for nothing and they do not enforce any of the above.
BKK is rather large and takes some working out. CX FAs did not give me a HKG arrivals card, had to ask after landing when it twigged.
Caught HKIA Express, then MTR to Tin Hau in HKG to Metropark Causeway Bay, where I had booked one night, harbourview room.
Peoples' ignorance and/or rudeness never cease to amaze. Arrived, rather hot and sweaty, and at check find one person checking
a guest. Taking some time - I planted myself a few feet behind and waited. Another checkin person emerged and three youngish
Asians bolted past me to that person and the first of them began the checkin process. I considered saying something but if you
don't do it quick enough the moment has passed, so I let it go and just steamed a little. Then another (lady) checkin person appears and the two Asians with the first one did a sideways dash and buttonholed her. Wasn't going to let this one go. Moved over and said pointedly, quite loudly, and not a little narkily, words to the effect of "get back and wait your f#$%^& turn!"(I did not swear). So out of character for meek and mild me! :)
Anyway, shocked looks from queue-jumpers, immediate apologies from checkin lady (not your fault, I assured her), and above all, acquiescence from the offenders. I got an upgrade to an exec parlour room (high floor, twice as big) - no idea if the queue jumping had anything to do with it - which was nice, along with some comp drink vouchers for the bar.
This hotel is not 5-star but is nice (minimum 4-star) and has a lounge, and some great views from the higher floors (and the rooftop pool).
The CX Wing is like a little rabbit warren - do not like the layout at all. Found my way to F section (I think) and had what turned out to be a nice meal in the Haven, though was confused when the lady handed me an a la carte menu, then pointed and said, enjoy the buffet. Anyway ordered off a la carte (limited choice, I had soup and a steak)) and it was good.
It was at this stage I decided not to fly SIN-CMB-KUL-SIN, but to just fly HKG-SIN, and have an extra night in SIN, before catching my points flights SIN-BKK (SQ),followed by BKK-MEL (TG). My problem was no BPs for ex-CMB and my only way to get them was get a visa simply to go landside to do so. I reckon I could have managed this in the limited time i had but given the flight delays and other issues I had experienced, I figured the potential for stuff-ups was more than what I wanted,so a bonus night in SIN beckoned.
Booked at RPoS (for location), and the bonus of staying in SIN another 20 hours or so was that I got to catch up again with those of my old friends who were still there.
Another session in Harry's Bar at Orchard Towers (aka Four Floors of coughs, doubtless known to many here ;) ) listening to Zul and the band Tania rock the joint, then brekkie and lunch with a few others next day before heading to Changi.
Wish I didn't have the headphones on when pax next me got served his steak on the SIN-BKK leg, so I would have known what was going on. Something wasn't right, three crew (including the boss) were fawning about. Discussion ensued. A replacement steak was brought out, possibly with different sides. This did not fit the bill either, and more apologies and discussions ensued and a third steak eventually arrived. No idea if SQ stuffed up or we had a DYKWIA fuss cough pax.
TG lounge (royal silk) at BKK would be the first lounge I recall not to stock wine. Not a drop, sparkling, red, white, brown or brindle. Very odd, but I was happy with a few generous scotches. Plenty of food available.
TG 772 had very wide aisles in J and quite generous pitch, giving a very roomy feel. You won't starve either. Four choices of main and generous serves, along with all the other courses. Ditto for breakfast.
Only sour note was my IFE did not work, even after a reboot. 1st FA (male) was like "we tried, stiff ****" but 2nd one (female) was quite concerned and empathetic and offered me an ipad instead. I took this but fell asleep 40 minutes later (just could not keep eyes open), and when I woke later my AVOD was working! Go figure.
All smooth at MEL. Great trip (reunion an absolute highlight) with the odd hiccup - lessons learned, plan for every conceivable cough-up (and make no cough-ups of your own), and try to keep it as simple as possible.
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