Welcome to the return flight on board TK. This is my second flight report showcasing a premium product; I'm not so lucky to do it often so I am happy when I Can :)
I am going to include a tourist bonus at the beginning of this FR on Hong Kong because I loved the city so much, if you want to skip to the Flight Report directly, feel free to do so.
When we arrived at our hotel the night prior we asked for late checkout as our flight wasn't until close to midnight, sadly this was denied as our room would be occupied the next day… so at 11 AM the next day the hotel reception kind of haggled us to hurry up and check out… Not the best way to end our time on holidays, so we hurried about and were out by noon.
They allowed us to store our luggage at reception, we would be using TK's in town check in which only opens at 14:30. The night before, exactly 24 hours before departure I tried checking in online to row 11 but the row was already taken :( I don't understand how since I was probably the first to check in. So I will try my luck at the in town check in.
Since it was alittle past 12 we decided to have lunch directly. It was starting to rain which wasn't going to motivate us to go very far, so in the end we decided upon an indian restaurant we had eaten at 3 weeks prior which was quite good (not very creative I know, but hey I love Indian food :)
I can highly recommend this place, for about 50 HKD per person you get a great meal as pictured below a Byriani and a lamb rogan josh. Samosa's and plenty of dipping sauces.
After lunch it was raining even harder… But we had to get to the in town check in because we still wanted to visit HK before our flight, so we fetched our bags from the hotel and took the fun double decker trams to Central. It took us a while to find the In town check in as I didn't know it was inside a mall
TK shares a check in counter with other Star Alliance carriers, namely 'Late Canada' and 'United'. I was the first in line for check in and I saw the agent come to open it so there could not have been anyone before me. So I tried my luck again at row 11 and no dice, the lady, an Asian woman whose nose was as annoying as the 3 ladies on our previous Air Asia flight said the seats were already taken. I was really frustrated because I wanted those seats so bad :(
So 12A/B were our final seats for now and that was that.
After checking in, we had about 9 hours before our flight. I was happy to be able to stay in HK abit before taking the fast train to the airport. It stopped raining by then so we walked around. Our first stop was the HK Apple store which is quite big and full of people.
view from the Apple store
Actual Apple store
Beautiful green areas populate Hong Kong
It is hard to describe what makes HK such an appealing city. for me the food is definitely a huge factor, the city is a shrine of delicate foods and as 007 has said in his previous reports, HK has more starred restaurants than Paris!
I also love the fact that there are people everywhere 24 hours a day, somehow it makes you feel part of something bigger, it makes you want to roam around the streets and live as much of the local culture as you possibly can
Every type of land vehicle roaming this city can be seen here, from the buses to the taxis to the trucks, the SUVs and the cars
these trams are so atypical
Slovak girl in Asian city
Every brand name imaginable has large billboards here
The skyscrapers in HK are really a landmark in the city, really beautiful buildings, not sure what this one is
Bank of China Tower, 367 meters tall with the masts
Lippo centre, 172 meters tall
Citi bank tower
We found out that it was possible to go up the Bank of China tower for free before 5 PM (closed after) so we seized the chance to get a great view of HK as we hadn't been able to go to Victoria Peak. the weather wasn't great but still worth it
The imposing international finance center, 412 meters tall
View from the top
After a while we went back down and saw these cool fish swimming around
Lippo Centre close up, I find the architecture of this building very interesting
Victoria Peak tram, we noticed the queue was quite short so we decided to go and spend the last dollars on our Octopus card to go up one way. We would then be walking down :-D
Quite a few people in line. A young Chinese family with kids did not hesitate to walk in front of us in line for their benefit, bless their hearts :)
Our chariot arrives!
Inside the chariot, we had to fight to get these seats even though we were close to first in line
For those interested I filmed the ascension :)
Beautiful skyline from the top
Who said Hobbits were from New Zealand?
In this picture you can see both international finance centers, and the commerce center at a whopping 484 meters!
I love this view, it really shows how unique the HK skyline is, sometimes I wonder how these tall residential towers can sustain structural strength being dug up from the ground in their foundations, I suppose HK doesn't get earthquakes alot?
The Bay from the South side
the top of Victoria peak is like a mini village with shops, restaurants, etc. I wonder if there is even a hotel up there!
Causeway Bay (I think)
It got dark after a while and I was able to photograph the view at night which is all the more magical with all the lights.
International Finance center close up
International Commerce Center
I could never get tired of this view
Here's a video I took of the Victoria peak night experience
We stayed up until about 20;30 and then we started making our way down. I didn't think the way down would be so difficult, it is quite steep and I was wearing just flip flops so it made things more difficult. But it was interesting to come closer to the residential buildings as we came down and imagine how their residents live each day, close to the mountain, must be nice exercise every day but in this heat? Not sure I could do it!
Bank of China Tower from the bottom
The streets at night
That's where we are going!
Thanks to my GPS we didn't really get lost and before long we were on the train to the airport.
It certainly is a very fast way to get to the airport.
Arrival at Chek Lap kok
Beautiful Hong-Kong airport
Seems like our flight is 10 mins early!
Check in area for SQ
Emirates counters, it seems they need more ;)
Security went rather quickly and we had to take the people mover to our gate, our flight is still showing 10 mins early.
Our 77W patiently waiting to take us back to the land of Ottomans and Hazelnuts. I was however disappointed to discover that this will be the same 77W than the one I flew to get here, TC-JJJ Erzurum :/ I was kind of hoping for the FC Barcelona scheme or at least a different reg.
I tried to speak to the counter to change my seat but the appropriate personal still hadn't arrived. Eventually they did, Asian women with a full nose :( they could do nothing for me, the seats were taken.
At the final call we decided to board
100% full cabin again on this flight. TK, if you're reading this I hope you reconsider the withdrawal of your comfort class product.
46 inches of legroom.
the Misses already prepared for a long nap.
The seats in front of us were occupied by a couple in their late 50's and the guy was telling his wife how these are the best seats in the house, and it's probably wrong of me, but I was wondering to myself how this lucky bastard snagged those seats lol. It makes no sense to me…
Hey there, good lookin'!
Push back on time next to a Dragonnair A320
Aaan another CX 77W!
We were going to take off behind an Air France 77W. If you enjoy takeoff videos, I was pretty happy with this one, you can hear the huge GE 90's really well and there's a good view of the airport upon takeoff.
View of HK after takeoff, my last glimpse of this wonderful and sleepless city…
About 20 minutes after takeoff service began with a pipping hot Osihori
And the menu
No welcome drink and no loukhoum, so far this flight is not as good as TK70 from 3 weeks ago.
As you can imagine this is a night flight so there isn't much to photograph outside, I therefore went abit crazy on the catering pics, sorry :-P
Service by the trolley
Our route (which will look nothing like this in the end)
Amuse bouche with hazelnuts and that oh so divine mint lemonade. This combo alone, is 10/10. the hazelnuts are delicious, the amuse bouche was super fresh, salmon with a cucumber wrap and hummus cake, and the lemonade.. I could eat just these and be happy :-D
Please if you would do the honors and try this :-D
Buffalo Mozzarella tomato salad. It was good but not exceptional. The mozzarella was kind of dry, but thr tomatoes were fresh and crunchy on the outside, tangy on the inside.
Mediterenean salad with Zuchini
I chose the fish
It is worth noting that ex HKG, catering is done in 4 phases, amuse bouche, appetizers and main dish, then fruits, cheese and dessert, and then coffee with digestives and chocolates.
The salad again
Grilled filer of Sole, cafe de Paris butter, broccoli and cherry tomato saffron rice
Second salad. You won't go hungry on board TK!
Oven fresh bread selection
Real cutlery, and lots of it!
My signature, still fork in the food :-)
Everything was tasty. The fish was fresh and moist, very well cooked. I have to say that I was hoping for a meat selection, had there been one I would not have chosen the fish so I was abit disappointed but the fish was nonetheless very tasty.
I was already feeling really full after the fish, here's what came nect :)
Selection of cheese (My wife gave me her portions as she was already wanting to sleep)
For dessert, I switched to the sour cherry juice. Both the lemonade and the sour cherry juice were the only drinks I asked for and with an unlimited supply I think I had 4 glasses of each throughout the entire flight ^^
Ok I had some water too sorry :-D
After this feast I forced myself up to pay a visit to the bathroom
Overall the bathrooms are very nice and clean and I believe the J pax have to share them with the W pax
Back to my seat was waiting a bottle of water for the night as well as chocolates. Here's where we were after dinner service
Let's take a look at the comfort class amenity kit which I find to be very complete
The lemonade is not part of the amenity kit ^^
Mid flight experience: The flight was uneventful for the most part. The charge ports were all working perfectly and I was able to charge my phone, the internet worked flawlessly once we left China and it even worked while we were straddling the border by the south, kudos to TK for this, high speed internet for free, when you think of what other carriers charge… Though I understand this is temporary, but it's been temporary for more than a year now! Whatsapp worked, so did Facebook, gmail, all the applications I usually use were working.
Around 4 AM Istanbul time breakfast was served which is the standard on board TK, the tray with my coffee (only black spot of this catering ensemble), and mint lemonade again :-D
Omelette with Turkish pastry, mushrooms and tomatoes, this was delicious, the eggs were moist and savory.
More oven fresh bread. Not the greatest bread, more like buns, but it was alright.
cheese and fruit
Still fork in the omelette
More cutlery. they must spend alot on dish-washing!
GE-90 (This was not part of my breakfast)
Our flight path:
Soon enough it was time to land in a dark Istanbul, Landing video here:
Taxiing in IST, TK A321
A 5 star A310 :) Probably the only one in existence?
We docked at the gate 20 minutes ahead of schedule, and for deplaning the curtains were shut to let the J pax deplane first. We were in o hurry so we waited for everyone else to clear the aisles
The so coveted seats I failed to snag
One last look at the comfort class cabin, not sure I'll get to see it again before it disappears
Thanks TC-JJJ, you were a good ride
Thanks for reading, see you in Part 9 for the final trek home.
Hong Kong - HKG
Istanbul - ISX
TK: There isn't much to say. TK's comfort class product is a winner. The competition is not even worth mentioning. The service was excellent, the food great, the seat is like an old style business class seat, the IFE is great, free internet, the only disappointments were the absence of loukhoum at the beginning and the lack of meat as a main dish. Everything else was spot on. Luxurious flight for the price of an economy ticket...
HKG: Perfect airport, nothing else to add there
IST: Could be improved, no complimentary internet, long corridors, immigration/transfer could be more efficient, but overall it's an k import to transit through.
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