Trip Report: 2018 Hong Kong, Nepal & Tibet

Discussion in 'Trip Reports and Trip Photos' started by coyote25, Oct 11, 2018.

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  1. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

    Aug 14, 2004
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    Well tomorrow is the start of a 19 day trip to Hong Kong, Nepal and Tibet.

    This trip is centred around the G Adventures tour High Road to Tibet.

    However like any self respecting AFFer I’ll be sampling Qantas and Cathay Pacific lounges in Melbourne and Hong Kong using my about to expire Platinum membership to experience First Class lounges. First up tomorrow is Melbourne QF First Class Lounge and with luck a spa treatment as well.

    Then its my first long haul economy flight in a number of years on QF029 MEL-HGK. Right now 16 hours out my window seat 28K has a vacant aisle seat next to it. Maybe a platinum shadow in action? I’ll see tomorrow.

    They Saturday it’s a day in Hong Kong before Cathay Dragon J flight KA104 at 7.10 pm. I expect with an early checkin in the city I’ll use most of this time to explore all Hong Kong lounges and compare and drink. As I’m not usually a drinker I might end up rolling onto KA104 hopefully that doesn’t impact getting visa at Kathmandu airport that night.

    Then the real trip starts in this remote country.

    I’ll post reviews on all lounges and flights on AFF and a brief summary of my Nepal and Tibet experiences. Fuller travel experiences I’ll post on my (daily) travel blog.

    With the road calling me again I’m getting very excited :)
     
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  2. tgh

    tgh Established Member

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    Ticketed and on board
     
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  3. Major

    Major Established Member

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    Wow...Nepal and Tibet, I am very jealous. Looking forward to your TR
     
  4. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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    Well it has started well with QF MEL First Check In gate allowing me to check in 3 hours 25 minutes before flight and being informed economy seat next to me is still empty.

    On arrive at F lounge I wa told there was on spa spot available and it finishes just as boarding starts so lookin good so far :)
     
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  5. Jacques Vert

    Jacques Vert Established Member

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    In row 17 as usual.
     
  6. drron

    drron Enthusiast

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    Have to experience this through your eyes.High altitude travel is out for us.Enjoy.
     
  7. OATEK

    OATEK Established Member

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    I'm up for a bit of adventure by proxy!!
     
  8. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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    #8 coyote25, Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    Well the Qantas Melbourne First Class Lounge experience was excellent once again starting with F Check In Lounge. This time I think I might have actually enjoyed the entire experience even more when past ones in SYD and MEL.

    It might have been having a little longer in the lounge (having checked in 3 hours 25 minutes) or the heavenly facial treatment in the spa. Maybe it was being on a cheap as economy ticket and getting this kind of service (last time access gained due to Emirates F Flight).

    I’ve reviewed this lounge before back in November 2017 (afternoon) and now in October 2018 (morning) and both were 5 out of 5 but this time a little better if that is possible. The morning time has more people in the lounge but still enough room to find a good spot (although maybe not a power outlet).

    Staff were great and the pancakes very much appreciated.

    I’m still a little unclear of Spa hours but morning flights you are covered. Appeared to be a lot of LAX bound passengers in the lounge. Very happy I got to experience this one more time before clashing form WP to LTSG :)
     
  9. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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  10. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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    Flight QF29 MEL-HKG was my first economy long haul flight in a long time.

    I booked this positioning flight to Hong Kong on a very cheap one way ticket (around $420 AUD). This allowed me to book J awards on Cathay Dragon between Hong Kong and Nepal (HKG - KTM) and J flight back from HKG - MEL on Cathay A350.

    The flight was delayed by about 45 minutes after late arrival from Japan. People squeezed into Gate 14A area but not line cutting that I could see. In fact the priority boarding line worked great as very few people got in it so I’m assuming on eligible people lined up there, although surprise not more SG & WP / WP1s going to HKG.

    This flight was on A330-300. The CSM Greg introduced himself to me and thanked me for being a valued customer both before AND after the flight (never had the after flight experience). I did make use of the face mask Greg offered to me later in the flight for a power nap.

    Was selected seat 28K which Seat Guru advised against due to no window. There is a window just not totally aligned. I selected this seat to maximise getting aisle seat 28J empty and the strategy worked. I only saw 3 other window seats with a vacancy aisle seat next to them, probably WP or WP1 members I guess.

    Entertainment system worked well with good selection of movies and TV shows. I aimed for movie I hadn’t seen previously (The Merger, Battle of the Sexes, and Adrift). Seat was comfortable for economy. Meal service offer three options:
    1. Honey soy chicken with jasminerice, choy sum and toasted sesame seeds.
    2. Stir fried noodles with Asian vegetables, blackbean, tofu and chilli
    3. Beef blade steak with red wine sauce, potato mash, zucchini and sugar snaps.
    I had the chicken which tasted great. I also later select mid flight snack of ice cream (passion fruit) and arrival hot food snack of pork bun (which I didn’t like for some reason).

    No air turbulence. Flight attendants did a good job and plane was clean. Occasion crying baby after take off and near landing but that’s to be expected. With the food, movies and tv shows the 9 hour + flight seemed to go fairly quick. Last time I was in economy on long haul was overnight flight which seemed to go on forever, maybe day long haul is better??

    Overall very good experience especially for since a cheap price. Full review is located on my travel blog here.
     
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  11. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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  12. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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    Good news was that I could check for my 19.10 KA104 HKG-KTM flight at 10.30 at the airport meaning lots of time to start exploring the various Oneworld Lounges a WP gets access to in Hong Kong.
     
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  13. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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    The Hong Kong Oneworld Lounge Crawl (Part 1 Of 3)
    Qantas Hong Kong Lounge

    This was my first stop off on lounge crawl and the only business class lounge I visited today. I had been in this lounge back in 2006 and I have to say it was much better than my memories recalled. When I visited in the late morning there were very few passengers only in the early afternoon did the lounge start to get guest but near over 30% full.

    The breakfast food options were more than adequate but when they switched over to lunch I felt it was only adequate. Best thing about this lounge is close to were you exit security control and lots of natural light. Wasn’t impressed by the lack of power outlets which would be a problem with the lounge got over 50% full. I used most of my time in this lounge to book activities for later in the trip and write blogs entries and reviews.

    This is definitely a very good business class lounge but the main game today was Cathay First Class Lounges! Full review is located here.

    Next Stop First Class Lounge The Wing!
     
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  14. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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  15. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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    The Hong Kong Oneworld Lounge Crawl (Part 2 Of 3)
    Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge - The Wing


    My first ever Cathay Pacific Lounge and I’m just blown away by The Wing. It started off poorly walking around the airport to get to Gates 1-4 not realising that I could have just turned left once past security and I would have been there. I’m sure to remember next time in 2 weeks :). This time I entered via Business Class Lounge on Level 6 and went up the stairs to Level 7.

    What made this lounge so impressive? The Cabanas! On arrival I asked if there was one available and I was in luck. What a great private area to relax in. The centerpiece of the private caban room is the bathtub (which I used) and shower (which I only sampled - the water comes down like a waterfall!). The room is laid out in a small studio like format (minus a bed) there is a couch (which I used like a bed) and a work desk within the same room, complete with a sink and a separate toilet. The facial and other associated creams got put to good use.

    The bath somehow felt decadent and was lovely to experience as I submerged myself in the hot water. You can also use the cabana to get a press service (I didn’t use it given I was wearing backpacker style clothes). After the bath I sat in the room and reads news article, listened to music and just relaxed. You are only suppose to stay for a maximum of 1.5 hours to allow others to get access. What a great concept.

    I also ate at the Haven which had a good range a la carte menu plus small buffet area (great for deserts). Inretrospective I should have skipped this and gone to The Pier Dining Room which has more extensive menu. I still ate at both but next time saving room for The Pier.

    Just a stunning lounge. Loved it. Full review here.

    Next up First Class Lounge “The Pier”
     
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  16. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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  17. JohnM

    JohnM Senior Member

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    Easing into 1A.
     
  18. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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    The Hong Kong Oneworld Lounge Crawl (Part 3 Of 3)
    Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge - The Pier


    My second ever Cathay Pacific Lounge experience (and both First Class Lounges) and I remained impressed with their product and service. The Pier is very different different from The Wing and not just because it is further out on the Northwest Concourse (near gate 64). The lounge feels more like an upscale residence, the lighting is smoother (only some natural lighting) and lots of plants and wooden benches.

    The main five features are the: Bar area, Day Suites, Relaxation Zone, Showers, and Dining Room. I only got to use the Day Suites and Dining Room during this visit (Like Annie I’ll be back!). The Day Suites is a curtained of minim room overlooking the tarmac (you can close the window view), its a good chance to relax with some privacy in a comfortable couch type chair.

    The Dining Room offers a large range to a la carte options then The Wing. I only had time for one main meal (damn I wish I had tried the ice cream) which was a wagyu cheeseburger which was nice size and lovely. For my overnight flight back to Melbourne which starts at midnight I’m thinking a meal here and skipping Cathay Pacific supper service.

    I did find myself somewhat away from my Cathay Dragon flight gate so had to cut the visit a little shorter than desired.

    A great lounge and worth a visit if you have access although I liked The Wing with the Cabana a little more. Full review is here.
     
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  19. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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  20. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

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