Review: Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao

Introduction: Too Low for a Tulou
Cathay Dragon 602 A320 Economy Class Hong Kong to Xiamen
Barkla Concept Hotel Xiamen
Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao
Hakka Capital Hot Springs Resort
Cathay Dragon 603 A320 Economy Class Xiamen to Hong Kong


A tulou is a type of dwelling that the Hakka people have used for a couple of millennia, so it was an honor to be able to stay in one. We made the three-hour drive from Xiamen to Yunshuiyao on Monday afternoon, and made it there right before the sun started to set.

The exterior of the hotel looks like a tulou – the windows are purposely designed to be small in order to block out gun attacks in the past,

img_3465Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Exterior

Continue reading Review: Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao”

Review: Touring the Hotel Schynige Platte

Introduction
Virgin Atlantic 207 787-9 Economy Class Hong Kong to London Heathrow
Swissport Lounge London Heathrow
Virgin Atlantic 206 787-9 Premium Economy Class London Heathrow to Hong Kong
Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong
United Club Hong Kong
Swiss 139 777-300ER Business Class Hong Kong to Zurich
Swiss Arrivals Lounge Zurich
Glacier Express 902 Zermatt to Andermatt
Hotel Victoria Jungfraujoch
Touring the Hotel Schynige Platte
Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich
Swiss Senator Lounge Terminal A
Swiss Panorama Business Class Lounge Terminal E
Swiss 138 777-300ER Business Class Zurich to Hong Kong


Schynige Platte is a 50-minute ride from Wilderswil Village (around 5 minutes from central Interlaken) in a non-air conditioned tram, so suffice to say that it’s always nice to have some accommodation up there.

img_1402Train to Schynige Platte

Our guide Beat (who was phenomenal throughout our few days there)¬†gladly arranged a hotel tour at the Hotel Schynige Platte, and contacted the hotel manager during the process. The Schynige Platte hotel is rather modern on the outside, and there’s a rather popular restaurant that serves rather nice Bratwurst.

Continue reading Review: Touring the Hotel Schynige Platte”

Review: Glacier Express 902 Zermatt to Andermatt

Introduction
Virgin Atlantic 207 787-9 Economy Class Hong Kong to London Heathrow
Swissport Lounge London Heathrow
Virgin Atlantic 206 787-9 Premium Economy Class London Heathrow to Hong Kong
Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong
United Club Hong Kong
Swiss 139 777-300ER Business Class Hong Kong to Zurich
Swiss Arrivals Lounge Zurich
Glacier Express 902 Zermatt to Andermatt
Hotel Victoria Jungfraujoch
Touring the Hotel Schynige Platte
Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich
Swiss Senator Lounge Terminal A
Swiss Panorama Business Class Lounge Terminal E
Swiss 138 777-300ER Business Class Zurich to Hong Kong


While I took lots of train and boat rides on the trip, I feel like this is the only report worth reviewing, so I won’t go beating a dead horse about the other train rides. There are bloggers who would probably get 600+ readers on a report on a five-minute MTR ride, though I’m not one of them – given that you guys are my few valuable readers, I might as well give you valuable content. The Glacier Express was the method that my parents chose to take from Zermatt to Andermatt, for a two-hour car ride to Interlaken. They also chose to book first class for ~HK$436 more, bringing a first class ticket price to ~HK$1,000.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 14.14.43Glacier Express First Class Prices

I played along – there’d be views, and I would be in first class – what’s not to love? ūüėČ

Continue reading Review: Glacier Express 902 Zermatt to Andermatt”

Review: Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort: My Thoughts

Introduction
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport Midfield Terminal
Korean Air 604 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air 71 777-200 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Vancouver: Part 1
Korean Air 71 777-200 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Vancouver: Part 2
Our Whistler Apartment: Pinnacle Ridge
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort: My Thoughts
Westin Wall Center Vancouver Airport
Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver
Korean Air 72 777-200 Business Class Vancouver to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air 607 747-400 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific 723 A330-300 Economy Class Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur
The Boulevard by St. Giles Kuala Lumpur
Cathay Pacific 720 A330-300 Economy Class Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong


Whistler Blackcomb is one of the world’s most prominent ski resorts, so I was fully expecting it to not live up to the hype. I was still sure I’d have a pretty good time, so I showed up the next day in gear, ready to ski.

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Whistler Blackcomb Base

Continue reading Review: Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort: My Thoughts”

Review: Pinnacle Ridge, our Whistler Apartment

Introduction
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport Midfield Terminal
Korean Air 604 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air 71 777-200 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Vancouver: Part 1
Korean Air 71 777-200 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Vancouver: Part 2
Our Whistler Apartment: Pinnacle Ridge
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort: My Thoughts
Westin Wall Center Vancouver Airport
Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver
Korean Air 72 777-200 Business Class Vancouver to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air 607 747-400 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific 723 A330-300 Economy Class Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur
The Boulevard by St. Giles Kuala Lumpur
Cathay Pacific 720 A330-300 Economy Class Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong


This is more just of a walkthrough of Pinnacle Ridge. No service given, so I’m just going to talk about the place. That said, it was an amazing way to spend a few days – stay tuned.

These two installments are kind of pointless – I’m not a slope expert, nor am I a chalet expert, keep me in the flights department, please. That said, I thought that both were worth rambling about.


While finding the flights were on my playing field, the hotel was out of my hands this time. While there were some cheap rates, we had eleven people with us, so we decided to just go with an apartment/condo, which I was fine with. After my friends had a look they went with Pinnacle Ridge, a rather popular ski condo near Blackcomb – while it wasn’t cheap at HK$6,000 a night, technically we were paying HK$2,000 for two bedrooms per family, which wasn’t bad at all.

The property is located on Glacier Drive, which is basically “condo road” in Whistler.

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Pinnacle Ridge Whistler Exterior

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Pinnacle Ridge Whistler Hallway/Road to Ski-in

Continue reading Review: Pinnacle Ridge, our Whistler Apartment”

Review: Hong Kong Airport Midfield Terminal

Introduction
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport Midfield Terminal
Korean Air 604 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air 71 777-200 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Vancouver: Part 1
Korean Air 71 777-200 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Vancouver: Part 2
Our Whistler Apartment: Pinnacle Ridge
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort: My Thoughts
Westin Wall Center Vancouver Airport
Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver
Korean Air 72 777-200 Business Class Vancouver to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air 607 747-400 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific 723 A330-300 Economy Class Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur
The Boulevard by St. Giles Kuala Lumpur
Cathay Pacific 720 A330-300 Economy Class Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong


I’d always wanted a flight out of the new midfield terminal since I first saw the signage last November, so with some airport time alone I decided, finally, to check it out. For those who aren’t familiar, not long ago Hong Kong Airport opened a long-overdue project, the Midfield Terminal, which opened up more slots to Hong Kong Airlines and smaller aircraft. I was first intrigued by the terminal when I saw a Cathay Pacific A330 parked by the gate last January, so decided to pay it a visit.

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Midfield Terminal Hong Kong Airport Exterior

Continue reading Review: Hong Kong Airport Midfield Terminal”

Review: Engaging Myanmar – Teaching in Myanmar

Introduction
Dragonair 252 A321 Economy Class Hong Kong to Yangon
Inya Lake Hotel Yangon
Yangon Airways 917 ATR 72-212 Yangon to Bagan Nyaung-U
Hotel Umbra Bagan
Teaching in Myanmar
Yangon Airways 910 ATR 72-212 Bagan Nyaung-U to Yangon
Myanmar Life Hotel Yangon
Dragonair 251 A321 Economy Class Yangon to Hong Kong


I was very excited for my first teaching experience outside Hong Kong – pretty giddy for it, too, as that kept me awake the night before.

After getting off the flight to Bagan, we visited the Nyaung-U market for a while, which was…an interesting experience. People were so keen to sell stuff to us – handing stuff to us, spreading stuff on our cheeks – that I actually had to be pretty hostile to keep them away.

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Bagan Nyaung-U Market

Continue reading Review: Engaging Myanmar – Teaching in Myanmar”

Review: To London and Paris – Eurostar 9018 London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord E300 Standard Premier

Introduction
The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Wing Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific 239 777-300ER Business Class Hong Kong to London Heathrow
Hotel Indigo London Kensington
Eurostar 9018 E300/British Rail Class 373 Standard Premier London St. Pancras to Paris Gares du Nord
L’Empire Paris
Cathay Pacific Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle
Cathay Pacific 260 777-300ER Business Class Paris Charles de Gaulle to Hong Kong


While British Airways didn’t post fares that were that bad, we decided trains were the way to go from London to Paris. Not only was Eurostar cheaper, but it would also have been more comfortable for a journey just as long, and didn’t require going to an airport (neither of London¬†or Paris’s airports have a good reputation…I think). We decided to go with Standard Premier because it was only ~¬£30-40 more than a Standard seat, and I’d heard that Standard Premier and Business Premier share a same hard product. Steal!

After four days in and around London, I was ready to get to a new country again. After hauling our luggages on the Piccadilly line to St. Pancras, my newfound guns were more than ready to deflate themselves.

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London St. Pancras Station Entrance

Continue reading Review: To London and Paris – Eurostar 9018 London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord E300 Standard Premier”

Review: Biking in an Ancient City – Transiting Kunming Airport: Domestic to International

Introduction
China Eastern 734 737-700 Economy Class Hong Kong to Kunming
Transiting Kunming Airport – International to Domestic
China Eastern 734 737-700 Economy Class Kunming to Lijiang
Jin Hong Garden Villa Lijiang
Biking in Lijiang, Day 1: Baisha Village
Biking in Lijiang, Day 2: Down to Lashi Lake
Biking in Lijiang, Day 3: Into Dali Villages
China Eastern 733 737-700 Economy Class Lijiang to Kunming
Transiting Kunming Airport – Domestic to International
China Eastern 733 737-700 Economy Class Kunming to Hong Kong


We got off the plane at about 11:50AM, and made our way onto one of the buses heading to the domestic terminal.

IMG_6610

China Eastern Boeing 737-700 Kunming Airport

We got off, and followed the “International Transfers” sign to the international terminal, to the baggage claim area (okay, to sum it up, we were bussed to the domestic terminal and walked back to the international terminal).

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Baggage Carousel Kunming Airport

We walked along the left side of the baggage carousel, and reached the door where it said “International Transfers”. We turned in, where there were a bunch of check-in counters, but we had our boarding passes printed to Hong Kong already.

The tunnel brought us to the departures hall, which was bright and spacious.

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Departures Hall Kunming Airport

Continue reading Review: Biking in an Ancient City – Transiting Kunming Airport: Domestic to International”

Review: Biking in an Ancient City – Day 3, Into Dali Villages

Introduction
China Eastern 734 737-700 Economy Class Hong Kong to Kunming
Transiting Kunming Airport – International to Domestic
China Eastern 734 737-700 Economy Class Kunming to Lijiang
Jin Hong Garden Villa Lijiang
Biking in Lijiang, Day 1: Baisha Village
Biking in Lijiang, Day 2: Down to Lashi Lake
Biking in Lijiang, Day 3: Into Dali Villages
China Eastern 733 737-700 Economy Class Lijiang to Kunming
Transiting Kunming Airport – Domestic to International
China Eastern 733 737-700 Economy Class Kunming to Hong Kong


After two days of fun riding, I was looking forward to Day 3.

We made our way up to a little hut, where we started our biking.

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It was a dirtier, though stunning, path.

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Everything was dainty and cute down to the toilets.

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After that, we made our last haul on a road towards the snow mountains. Seriously, it was stunning.

Continue reading Review: Biking in an Ancient City – Day 3, Into Dali Villages”