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Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong

RooFlyer

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Nov 12, 2012
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The Hotel Vic looks interesting. I've been a bit of a hotel harlot in HKG over the years - I must have used over a dozen in the past decade, wanting certain locations for certain visits, sometimes company paying, sometimes I'm on a tighter budget. My favorite was the Mira in Kowloon, but it got a bit too hip and expensive :(

I might give the Vic a try next time. Was it on the MTR hotel minibus route?

Kowloon isn't all bad ... sure, high impact with tourists and touts near the ferry and a bit away, but some good places to get immersed and 'local'. Kowloon Park a great green space to walk and get away from the madding crowds.
 

henleybeach

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Mar 7, 2015
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The Hotel Vic looks interesting. I've been a bit of a hotel harlot in HKG over the years - I must have used over a dozen in the past decade, wanting certain locations for certain visits, sometimes company paying, sometimes I'm on a tighter budget. My favorite was the Mira in Kowloon, but it got a bit too hip and expensive :(

I might give the Vic a try next time. Was it on the MTR hotel minibus route?

Kowloon isn't all bad ... sure, high impact with tourists and touts near the ferry and a bit away, but some good places to get immersed and 'local'. Kowloon Park a great green space to walk and get away from the madding crowds.
The MTR. Stop north point is literally one minute away , and the hotel does shuttles to airport, quarry bay , causeway bay and central. Just got back from some dim sum and duck with the locals. Beautiful and cost $9
 

henleybeach

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We got to the airport nice and early, around fours before departure.

We didn’t have a gate number at this stage so we headed to the “deck” lounge.
It was nice and quiet and I ordered some noddles and dumplings along with a Mumm champagne.

I must say the lounge directions and lack of signage in the airport was surprising.
After about a hour and a half , we had a gate number change and it was 71. So we headed off for the long hike and train ride to go to the “pier”

This was Mrs HB favourite as they have espresso martini’s and aperol spritz at the bar. We chilled out on the nice big green sofas over looking the runway before another gate change to 31.
3B803EE0-2B51-4102-9C31-DBE5219DA555.jpeg
Our lovely lady taking us to Melbourne
 

henleybeach

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Mar 7, 2015
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Cathay Pacific
A350-900
735pm dep HKG-MEL

Boarding was very efficient, and we were quickly on board and in our seats 18G & D
The cabin look very nice , clean and fresh and before you know it we had a glass of champagne in our hands. We had a delay of about 45 minutes due to ATC and late arrival of our aircraft.

We were given nice amenity kits, and menus and each time we were addressed Mr and Mrs.

Once airborne the drinks Trolley came around and drinks and warm nuts were served. This was our first flight with CX and Mrs HB has already approved!

The entree cart came down and the pork noodle salad served, 10/10. Nice fresh noodles and pork was not fatty, and it was full of flavour.
Next up was the Main course. we both went the Thai red curry and this was very nice. Maybe not as nice as my Thai red curry I make at home but hey this 36000ft in the air.
I declined the cheese cart and waited for the dessert, something had to give and it I decided it was the cheese. My 64kg frame was starting to burst.

I went the salted caramel praline mousse and it was very moorish, smooth texture and lovely flavour. Warm hand towels were handed out shortly after , overall I cannot fault a thing , delicious food , great service. Full marks to Cathay Pacific and I can see why they are one of the best.

After about four hours sleep we woken for breakfast, i skipped the hot meal and just had the fruit , granola and coffee.

We landed in Melbourne about 30 min late, all up a very good flight and I would definitely fly CX again. The only annoying part was the luggage, we waited what felt like a eternity, our bags were one of the last out. Now for our domestic connection back to Adelaide
FA4E82DC-1B5B-4079-BF52-1F6B067BADEF.jpegD956872F-7FD8-4DF3-ADB1-04125546723E.jpegA7AB5219-EF52-4386-BC58-435E6187247D.jpeg17D65D92-E470-43FD-A009-B063EC8FE5A3.jpeg
 

henleybeach

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Mar 7, 2015
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Qantas
737-800
0940am Dep MEL-ADL

I don’t usually fly qantas but I got to experience the priority boarding situation. I can see why the Qantas FFs get annoyed , half the plane had boarded before we got on.

Pre departure sparkling or still water was offered.
Morning tea was offered and it was a choice of frittata or fruit salad, we were seated in row 3 and the there was no fruit salad left. I didn’t feel like the frittata with bacon and sausages so I had a warm raspberry macadamia friand which was very nice and a Bloody Mary. The FA was really good , engaging and polite, He was definitely one of the best.

All done and dusted, trip over and back to reality and now to unpack!
It’s good to be home to our furbaby kranksy, we have missed his licks and cuddles. Thanks all for following on and hope it has given some people some new ideas. It was a lot easier getting around Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan then I expected.
2C46EB93-C5AB-4EE4-9DCE-83FF3600FC54.jpeg
 

ellen10

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Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
2,027
A great trip report of some places that I had never considered visiting before.
Definitely opened my eyes. Loved all the photos and also the comprehensive reports and photos of your flights.
Thank you
 

drron

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Joined
Jul 4, 2002
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19,152
Yes a very good TR.Unfortunately running out of time for such adventures but enjoy riding along with others.
 

Mattg

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Aug 21, 2011
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Thanks for the wonderful trip report! Some really amazing photos in here.

Of the Asian cities I've visited so far, Almaty is easily my favourite. Amazing scenery, good food, friendly people and it's extremely affordable. I also find the contrast between the old Soviet and modern architecture really interesting.

Will have to try to get to Uzbekistan now that it's visa-free.

I don't know why more people don't visit this part of the world. It's safe and totally underrated.
 

henleybeach

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Mar 7, 2015
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Thanks for the wonderful trip report! Some really amazing photos in here.

Of the Asian cities I've visited so far, Almaty is easily my favourite. Amazing scenery, good food, friendly people and it's extremely affordable. I also find the contrast between the old Soviet and modern architecture really interesting.

Will have to try to get to Uzbekistan now that it's visa-free.

I don't know why more people don't visit this part of the world. It's safe and totally underrated.
Thanks Mattg, totally agree about Almaty, hidden gem at the moment.
Start planning Uzbekistan , that’s even more affordable and a great train service to get between towns
 

egoode

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
37
Funnily enough this aligns with a question I have, slighty OT but will post it here. Planning a BIG TRIP next year, the Stans plus Caucusus (up to 2 months off), Normally I'm an independent traveller kind of guy but the wife is quite keen having read that people don't speak that much English to take a tour for some of it. Anyone who has been to this region can recommend a smallish group tour operator for people who are normally very independent (i.e plenty of engagement with the locals, local food and accommodation etc.)? We'll probably do mostly independent but she's a culture/history buff so quite keen to have someone who can explain the history as we go so maybe the big cultural sights of Uzbekistan are the bits I should target.
I travelled with G Adventures (‘Stans) and Intrepid (Georgia and Azerbaijan) both are great tour companies and usually have no more than 15-16 people on each tour. For G Adventures their tours were all completely full in 2018 I know they added more tours due to the demand for this year.
I usually prefer intrepid as they generally will attempt to book you on local transport if possible so you can travel with the locals but I was disappointed in their Georgia and Azerbaijan tour that this never happened. Unsure if they are better at this in the ‘Stan countries. However both companies aim to support local businesses and local families and intrepid in particular try to encourage less plastic waste etc. Although it does vary depending on the country you are in and the local agencies they work with.
The thing I like best about intrepid and G Adventures is there is usually a fair amount of free time included in the itinerary so you can go and explore by yourself.
 

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