Next Stop, Chek Lap Kok

Just a quick post with a couple of travel shots to say that I’m in the midst of the long way home.  After a very busy working week in Brisbane, I had seen trains, office meeting rooms, and the inside of my hotel.  I did get to see the sun rise one day, though, as I had to arise at 4:30 and get a 5:25 express train out to the suburbs to do a station stop survey, which predated the sun by at least a few minutes!  I had just one short day on Saturday to see a bit of Brisbane – more on that soon (hopefully) – before starting the tremendously long journey home.

The Airtrain in Brisbane took me to the International terminal – unfortunately we couldn’t use the train upon arrival because it only runs until 10pm.

As I write this, I’m somewhere over the Great Barrier Reef, heading for the equator.  While I thought that my flight south was pretty bumpy due largely to the typhoon hitting Taiwan, this flight is pretty bumpy too – so perhaps there is something about the air currents and winds and everything over this part of the world.  It is just under 9 hours to Hong Kong, where I’m sure it will be hot and steamy once more.

My Cathay Pacific A330 cabin. As you can see, no one could really actually see the Great Barrier Reef or anything because the seats all face the aisles, not the windows. But that is a minor complaint for having the special privilege of a more comfortable experience!  Incidentally, these seats are colloquially known as “coffins” because of the long and narrow configuration.  I will say that they are very private – while seated no one can really see you and vice versa.  

Fast forward to a smooth landing at HKG and a quick entrance into the Hong Kong SAR (special administrative region of China) and I headed to my hotel one stop away for the night, before I embark on the nearly 13-hour flight home to London tomorrow afternoon.  Oh, and in case the title of this post is throwing you off – Chek Lap Kok is another name for Hong Kong International Airport, because it is on island of that name (albeit land reclamation).  With over 53 million passengers, it rounds out the top ten in the world, and is frequently voted as one of the best.

The departures level of the Terminal 2 side of the Airport MTR Station – which is without a doubt the best-designed airport rail interface I’ve ever seen. Pretty late at night on the much less busy Terminal 2 side, there is no one around…quite a contrast from the usual MTR. A quick 3-minute train ride and a 10-minute walk in the steamy tropical air and I made it to my stopover hotel.

So, once again, my journey began at about 10:30 local time in Brisbane on Sunday (1:30 Sunday morning at home) and will end at probably about 45 hours later at 22:30 London time on Monday.  Then its up for work on Tuesday and a very long day with two big presentations up in Newcastle sandwiched by a 3-hour train journey on either side Wednesday.  Time-permitting, I hope to share some “Impressions of Australia” and “Brisbane by River” soon.


Posted on 02/09/2012, in Logistics, Transit, travel, Travel to Asia and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Holy smokes! Those are pretty amazing looking airline seats! Are there any dual seats for people traveling together?

    • Yeah – I was considerate enough to not tell my colleague until afterwards (well, after the first flight at least!) that the seats are called coffins. There are none together; three of my four long-haul flights had these seats, and on one there was a couple in the two next to me that kept reaching over/talking over the partition.

      My fourth flight (from HK home) was a refurbished 777 with CX’s new award-winning business class seat, which fixes the problems of the coffins – wider, more storage space, able to keep laptop set up on tray and still get out to stretch/use bathroom – but it was actually less comfortable in some way. These new seats are configured 1-2-1 instead of the old 1-1-1 (which is how they have managed to make each seat bigger), so the middle two go together nicely for a couple. Sorry, long answer to a short question!

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