Review of EVA Air flight Bangkok Taipei in Economy

Airline EVA Air
Flight BR76
Class Economy
Seat 45K
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 03:35
Take-off 26 Jan 18, 15:50
Arrival at 26 Jan 18, 20:25
BR   #13 out of 138 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 117 reviews
marathon
By GOLD 2131
Published on 19th February 2018
This is the first segment of the return to CDG in this itinerary:

CDG-TPE: BR88 (B777-300ER)
TPE-SIN: SQ877 (A330-300)
SIN- BKK: SQ982 (B777-200ER)
BKK-TPE: BR76 (B777-300ER) you are here
TPE-CDG: BR87 (B777-300ER)

The need to go to BKK came once I was already in TPE. Since I already had a TPE-CDG flight departing at 23:50 from TPE, I requested Flight BR76 (landing in TPE at 20:25) to my company’s travel agency, unless they could link both PNRs, in which case the later Flight BR68 (landing in TPE at 21:45) would do.

I received a reservation on Flight BR68, but I was suspicious and asked confirmation that both flights were linked.

The travel agency answered this:
No, we would have had to issue a new BKK-TPE-CDG ticket, costing as much as the initial CDG-TPE round trip ticket. To check in all the way to CDG, request it at the check in counter showing both tickets. If the check-in agent refuses to do it, you will still have time to check-in in Taipei. The recommended connecting time is 40 minutes and you have 2h05’

This travel agency staff confused the MCT and the time needed in TPE to go through immigration, recover my checked luggage and check in landside on the next flight ! I swore, sent a strongly worded to the travel agency with copy to my company’s Travel Manager who understood very well that there were thousands of euros at stake in case of a delay of the BKK-TPE flight if I could not be checked in to CDG. The reservation was modified in no time to Flight BR76.

But when you change travel plans late and book a flight in Economy on a Friday early evening, you cannot expect to find an aircraft which is as empty as on the previous segments which were in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day. Not a single window seat was available: my best choice was 64D, one of the few remaining aisle seats.
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On D Day, the traffic is somewhat heavy at noon towards the airport, but is not a disaster either. The dashboard seems to show that the driver liked planes.
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Arrival in BKK
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The taxi driver spontaneously fetches a luggage cart for me, and after loading the luggage has me check that there is nothing left over in the trunk or at my seat. It is not much, but I do not remember this level of service in any other city.
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There is no dearth of luggage carts
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A policeman riding a Segway
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One of the wings of the terminal
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Even if Flight BR76, I prefer spending three hours in TPE’s lounge rather than landside. I had been careful not to check in on line on these two separate reservations, but there is no manual check-in counter in BKK.
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It was not crowded at the luggage drop either, which made things easier
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The absence of manual check-in counters did not change much, since there was an employee per self-check-in machine, and I subcontracted the whole process to one of them, handing her my passport and the printouts of both tickets. She would presumably do it better than I if there was a trick needed to check my luggage all the way to CDG.
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A staff at the Business class counter waved at me when my turn came, and not only she checked my luggage all the way to TPE, but made a very decent proposal:

You are in Economy on this flight, but in Business on the connecting one to Paris. If you want, I can give you a seat in Emergency row on this flight.

It was a nice gesture to improve the comfort during the approach flight (in Economy) of a passenger flying long haul in Business onward. My readers know that I do not care much for exit row seats (because they have little or no window view, and the requirement to place all hand luggage in the overhead bins during take-off and landing reduces my laptop use time, especially if the flight’s departure is delayed). But there, it was a matter of changing an aisle seat with no advantage other than an aisle access for a seat with an even better aisle access : I could not refuse the deal.
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There was no nitpicking about the weight of my checked luggage which was slightly above the 30 kg limit applicable to the BKK-TPE segment in Economy, and they were duly checked all the way to CDG with a priority tag since the TPE-CDG flight would be in J.
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One of the twelve giant demons located after the check-in counters – they used to be at the Arrivals level initially, but the airport personnel protested because these statues brought them bad luck.
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The escalator behind this one leads to an observation platform. I had time; it would have been a shame to not go up and have a look.

Panoramic view of the check-in area
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The escalator, and then stairs reached an empty space at the top, where it was very warm, because hot air rises and there was presumably no air conditioning at that level.
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It was so quiet that a man was sleeping there, oblivious to the view that I had come to see through the windows.
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Tiger Air A320
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Sri Lankan A321, El Al 767-300ER, Etihad Airways and Philippines Airlines777
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HS-JAK, a 767-200ER belonging to Jet Asia Airways, a Thai airline whose fleet is made up of three aircraft like this one.
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Sri Lankan A321
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Qatar Airways 777-300ER
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Korean Air 747-400 and Ethiopian 787-8
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It took me 18 minutes to be airside from the last picture at the observation platform, going through hassle-free security check and passport control : not a completely fluid process, but nothing to complain about. No passenger can avoid the famous sculpture representing the churning of the sea of milk, when arriving airside.
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Next, I had to walk past endless (and useless to me) luxury duty-free shops.
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… before reaching Gate G3. Good news; the crew for my flight was on time.
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This was the overall view of this wing of the terminal, taken from stairs (reaching lounges or restaurants ? I forgot). As long as pre-boarding has not begun, the passengers are limited to the area down these stairs; it is wide but much too far from the windows far left for taking decent pictures of the planes on the tarmac. Even worse, these windows are covered with their dreaded black dots which blur mercilessly any picture.
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It was somewhat frustrating to see this Mahan Air A340 so poorly.
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Air China 738
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Japan Airlines 787
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Ural Airlines A319
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In such conditions, I could not do any better when the Star Alliance livery Eva Air 777 arrived
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A 737 of Regent Airways (Bangladesh), made difficult to identify by the black dots on the windows.
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There was a single set of power ports for passengers in this wing of the terminal
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All the AC power ports, on both sides, are for decoration purposes only: I could not get a single electron from any of them.
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When the time for boarding approaches, the passengers can go down to a pre-boarding room downstairs
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We were then much closer to the windows than from the general airside area (right, below), but the surface of the windows remained out of reach, which meant that the window frames and reflections were still a nuisance. The distinct advantage compared to SIN was that these windows were not tinted.
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Free internet access screens and a bi-level water fountain.
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Another set of highly decorative unpowered power ports.
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There was no electric current, but there was water current photo img_3706a
Since the view was limited to very small part of the apron, plane spotting was limited to three aircraft.
Finnair A330
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Oman Air 787
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And the Eva Air 77W which will operate my flight, but it is masked by the catering loading truck.
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Three priority seats
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Like about everywhere in this country, Buddhist monks are added to the usual categories of people who can use these seats.
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Boarding was per zone
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Using signs recycled from the boarding of an unrelated flight.
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A Royal Jordanian 787 seen from the jetbridge
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Plane door shot
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Want Daily belongs to the Want Want Group, rated as leaning towards the Kuomintang party and to the tightening of the relationships with Mainland China.
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However, it could not avoid the hot topic of the unilateral setting by Beijing of a new air route, called M503, skirting the unofficial border between Taiwan and Mainland China. This was another example among so many of China’s continuous harassment of Taiwan, which increased significantly after two new leaders much less inclined to compromise arrived to power on both sides of the Straits. In this issue, Taipei had the support of its public opinion, despite the impact on the family reunions during Chinese New year, and warned that it would reduce the number of landing slots to any airline using M503. (This kind of conflict between two countries is usually settled at the OACI, but Mainland China blocks the adhesion of Taiwan.)
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Going through the business class cabin which would be for next flight.
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The Economy Premium cabin : it won’t be for me this time.
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And the three exit row seats of the Economy cabin, where mine was far left, a more or less a window seat.
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It was actually essentially “less a window seat”, because I had to hold my camera at arm’s length to take pictures through the window during the phases when my seat belt had be worn, and this window was overwing too.
In this regard, it was better than an aisle seat, but only slightly so.
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I consequently took these pictures without seeing the scenes myself – I could not even see the screen of my compact camera : a Japan Airlines 787 in front of the Air Mahan A340.
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And the condensation due to the pressure drop in the air saturated with humidity passing above the wing at take-off.
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I liked the design of the cloth of these seats
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The leg space was of course so gigantic that it was not worth measuring it.
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The width between armrests is very satisfactory too : it is all the difference between a 3-3-3 layout like this one and the 3-4-3 layout of many other airlines.
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The passengers in exit row received the standard prep talk. This FA asked if she could talk in but my neighbors spoke Chinese only and this FA made no mystery of her displeasure at doing the same tiny piece of work twice. A half demerit for.

(I voluntarily took this picture precisely in the axis of a partition wall facing the center three seat set; trolleys were stored in flight during the meal service in the space in front of the partition, which was not very eye-pleasing)
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And like in any other aircraft, the standard safety card is completed with a specific exit row one (it was bilingual, English on one side, Chinese on the other)
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The pictogram for child care in female like in all aircraft in BR’s fleet, including for Economy Premium passengers whose toilets I could see when the curtain was not drawn.
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A FA deployed the screens of the passengers in exit row, without a word.
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The table tray was stored in the width of this partition between the seats
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The FAs had put on an apron to protect their uniform.
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The meal is served like this
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I addressed "my" FA, the one who baulked at doing her work in a bilingual version.

- 請給我水 Give me water, please
- ??

then:
- 有沒有咖啡? Is there coffee?
- ??

No way, this FA did not understand me. This was a phenomenon which happens to me from time to time in the Far East, in Chinese and in Japanese: her brain switched off automatically the Mandarin channel when facing a Westerner because her brain had registered that no Westerner can speak her language.

It happens very seldom though ; actually, another FA who came to propose my white wine understood me very well :

可不可以拍教? Can I take a picture?
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And so did a third one, who reassured me on my level in Chinese, if I needed that after spending three weeks in Taipei.

- 您書要咖啡嗎? Do you want coffee ? (to all three exit row passengers)
- 請給我咖啡阿! Sure, please give me coffee, please!
- 請停一下,您沒有杯子呢? Wait, you don’t have a coffee cup ? (she had not seen my tray on the floor at my feet)
- 有! Yes I do !
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And this is the coffee (she also understood very well that I wanted to take a picture of it).
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“My” FA received therefore one more demerit, to which another half point would be added for her visual expression which gave me the impression of being completely transparent when she was sitting in front of me on her jumpseat, with a bland stare expressing at best utmost boredom.
The only time when she was expressive there was when passengers rose too soon after take-off and landing, efficiently yelling “Remain seated!” to the offender - I don’t blame her for doing that.

Let’s go back to the lunch after unwrapping it
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I don’t have all that much memory about it, other than it was good and plentiful.
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The sun set
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Since I was in exit row and could move around, I did.
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The offering of magazines in the back of the cabin
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It is very unusual to find The Economist in such a selection in Economy.
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The rather subdued uniform of the female FAs
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Door shot – inside version
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A floral decoration in the toilets, duplicated by the mirror
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It is artificial and not the most artfully made, but it is better than nothing, and worth noting.
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The supplies in the toilets
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The floor is made of a fake wood material which I find much more eye-pleasing than the dark grey plastic dots usually found there.
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To the health of amateurs of exit row fans !
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The plane flew along the west coast of Taiwan, but it would require flying on daytime to see any landscape.
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The Economy Premium cabin seen during landing
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But as soon as the plane had touched down, the FA who was there closed the curtain to stop commoners like me from intruding into the space of the higher classes.
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Arrival at the gate alongside a BR A330
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Going through the Premium Economy cabin while deplaning.
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Next would be BR’s Infinity Lounge and the flight to Paris in a Hello Kitty jet, to be found here.

Meanwhile, although TPE is somewhat far from Taipei, I offer you a bonus on this city, or rather on what changed in this city in the past five years.

Bonus : Click here display
See more

Verdict

EVA Air

7.8/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering9.5

Bangkok - BKK

8.1/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness10.0

Taipei - TPE

9.3/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

I do not like much the seats in exit rows because of their constraints (no hand luggage during take-off and landing, no or nearly no window), but this time, it was that or an aisle seat with even less of a window.
Bad luck for Eva Air: the only Taiwanese who did not understand my Mandarin after three weeks in Taipei was the FA assigned to my area on this flight, and she did not try to compensate her linguistic handicap either.
The meal was good and copious, and overall above usual expectations in Economy on a flight of that duration.

Fluidity was nearly OK at the security and passport check in BKK. Even though I value an exit row seat less than most passengers do, proposing it was appreciated and worth highlighting.

Much like when I landed in TPE, the walk after deplaning was longish ; on the other hand, there was no waiting at all at the security check.

Information on the route Bangkok (BKK) Taipei (TPE)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 10 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Bangkok (BKK) → Taipei (TPE).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is China Airlines with 8.3/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 35 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

  • Comment 432764 by
    Eric V P SILVER 123 Comments

    Thank you for sharing!

    ... Even worse, these windows are covered with their dreaded black dots which blur mercilessly any picture. 
    - I once thought BKK's windows were made of plastic and had therefore heavily scratched - thanks for noticing!

    Want Daily belongs to the Want Want Group, rated as leaning towards the Kuomintang party and to the tightening of the relationships with Mainland China. 
    - Do you know if they offer any Thai/English newspapers/magazines besides The Economist? Except if most passengers were (or looked like) Taiwanese that doesn't seem to bode well.

    The width between armrests is very satisfactory too : it is all the difference between a 3-3-3 layout like this one and the 3-4-2 layout of many other airlines.
    - Is it 3-4-2 or 3-4-3? I remember JL has that 3-4-2 in some of their 772 :p

    A FA deployed the screens of the passengers in exit row, without a word.
    - Was it after or before take-off (ex.: to show the safety video)? Seems strange, though.

    the impression of being completely transparent when she was sitting in front of me on her jumpseat, with a bland stare expressing at best utmost boredom.
    - BKK - TPE is just ~3 hrs, so chances are she needs to do a lot of work as she's TPE-based (i.e. TPE - BKK - TPE, plus turning around the plane)? I remembered on another report a KL FA complained about short flights with full services (think of SIN - DPS), hence the possible boredom on your case.

    Anyway, nice report as usual! I've always enjoyed your reports, so naturally I expect to see the next ones.

    • Comment 432776 by
      marathon GOLD AUTHOR 9566 Comments

      “Thank you for sharing!”
      - My pleasure :)

      “I once thought BKK's windows were made of plastic and had therefore heavily scratched - thanks for noticing!”
      - One of my pictures was so degraded that not noticing it was impossible.

      “Do you know if they offer any Thai/English newspapers/magazines besides The Economist? Except if most passengers were (or looked like) Taiwanese that doesn't seem to bode well.”
      - I did not pay much attention to the looks of the other passengers, but it struck me that The Economist was actually the only English language title available. I guess that the copy of Vorsten (a Dutch magazine focusing on royals) had been abandoned there by a passenger.

      “Is it 3-4-2 or 3-4-3? I remember JL has that 3-4-2 in some of their 772 :p”
      - Oops, this was a typo, it was indeed 3-4-3. I corrected that.

      “Was (the deployment of the screens of Row seats) after or before take-off (ex.: to show the safety video)? Seems strange, though.”
      - It was after take-off; exit row passengers could follow the safety video on overhead screens (see the picture taken from the rear of the cabin).

      “BKK - TPE is just ~3 hrs, so chances are she needs to do a lot of work as she's TPE-based (i.e. TPE - BKK - TPE, plus turning around the plane)? I remembered on another report a KL FA complained about short flights with full services (think of SIN - DPS), hence the possible boredom on your case.”
      - I usually avoid exit row seats, so I don’t have much experience and can’t really compare with a “typical jumpseat FA attitude”.

      Anyway, nice report as usual! I've always enjoyed your reports, so naturally I expect to see the next ones.
      - Thanks for your appreciation ! The report of the continuation TPE-CDG flight is already posted !

  • Comment 433095 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    “the traffic is somewhat heavy”
    For STO’s standards that would have been classified as extremely heavy traffic (judging from the activity on the picture), but of course it is not STO but Bangkok instead :).

    Nice spotting shots.

    “This was the overall view of this wing of the terminal”
    Nice reflections to the right.

    “I consequently took these pictures without seeing the scenes myself”
    Not bad at all, I would most likely snap worse shots even while looking through the viewfinder.

    “Fifty-seven centimeters at the narrowest spot”
    Wow, that is extremely narrow.

    “It was not the best place to watch the sunset”
    Nonetheless a cool shot IMO.

    “This is the best spot for a free panorama of Taipei by night”
    Spectacular shot!

    Intriguing bonus pictures, thank you very much for sharing.

    Have a good one, see you.

    • Comment 433240 by
      marathon GOLD AUTHOR 9566 Comments

      “For STO’s standards the traffic would have been classified as extremely heavy traffic, but of course it is not STO but Bangkok instead :).”
      - I had heard so many horror stories about the traffic in Bangkok that I was relieved to have only the STO version :)

      “Nice spotting shots.”
      - Frustrating ones, though, because you can see correctly only a very limited portion of the tarmac.

      “Nice reflections to the right of this wing of the terminal”.
      - I had completely forgotten about this mirrored partition completing the tubular architecture. Or maybe I had not even noticed it at the time I took the picture ?

      “I would most likely snap worse shots even while looking through the viewfinder.”
      - Probably not as bad as the shots I discarded ;)

      “Fifty-seven centimeters at the narrowest spot : Wow, that is extremely narrow.”
      - That’s still 12 cm wider than your average seat in Economy.

      “Nonetheless a cool shot of the sunset IMO.”
      - I was a couple minutes too late. The sun sets very fast at this latitude.

      “This is the best spot for a free panorama of Taipei by night : Spectacular shot!”
      - All you need is a small tripod, I had bought one for less than 10 EUR in Hankou Street, aptly nicknamed “Camera Street” in central Taipei.

      “Intriguing bonus pictures, thank you very much for sharing.”
      - Taipei is much more than TPE and Taipei 101 !

      Thanks as usual for your detailed comments !

  • Comment 433235 by
    dreamweaver888 76 Comments

    What a wonderfully thorough report! Thanks also for the bonus section!

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