Upon boarding, I get offered yet another round of Laurent Perrier:
Legroom shot. Not bad for a short flight:
The headsets were nicer than the LH F headsets, but I never got to use them. Reason: wanted to sleep. Didn't try out the IFE at all.
The dinner menu. Wanted to keep it, but I figure they took it back when I was asleep. How sneaky!
Had spicy prawns and green tea. Lovely.
Dozed off until the plane was going to land. Oh well. Flying too much can be too tiring too.
My friend picks me up at TPE and we go off to his place to dump my luggage for the night. Interestingly, it appears as if my bags weren't checked through to SIN because LH could only check them all the way to TPE. One bag came out with a missing lock, oh goodness. I'll just blame the TSA, like everyone else does Oh well, at least nothing was missing, and I'll just have to lug them back to TPE tomorrow for checking in again at the SQ counters. At least they were still "HOT" and they were still honorary HON bags.
We get back to his place, and he changes his mode of transport to a scooter.
Scootering around was pretty fun, but when I got back that night I found out that my shorts were ripped at the butt - and it was my favourite pair too! Ugh.
We had dinner with his girlfriend - of course, no girlfriend pics here - those are paparazzi worthy shots - besides, this trip report is more about the food! And stuff me with Taiwanese cuisine he did, oh dear.
Don't ask me what these are - he ordered them and I just ate. Heh heh!
After all this food, we go back to his place and crash for the night. Not before polishing off a dish of mangoes & strawberries on ice, topped off with condensed milk.
I sleep from midnight to 6am, hopefully in the process clearing off a ton of jet lag.
We set off at 9am for another round of gluttony. Somebody save my soul. Or my stomach. It doesn't want to expand quickly enough!
All that for breakfast. Oh dear. We then stop by a lottery shop, where he asks me for some "lucky numbers". The prize for that drawing was 1 billion Taiwan dollars, which is about 30 million US dollars equivalent. According to him, if my numbers win the big prize, we'll split it 50-50; but if his numbers win the big prize, he'll treat me to an all-expenses paid vacation in Taiwan. What are friends for, anyway?
We scoot by Taipei 101, which at one point was the tallest building in the world until it got overshadowed by some skyscraper in the Middle East.
Yes, very tall. And the shopping mall in there sells nothing but designer goods, which is not a good place for poor graduate students to be. Our only purchase is a small plate of oyster omelette:
Oh yeah, where is the love?
Before we end off with roast duck, char siew and roast chicken...
Truly too much to eat. (Shouldn't have eaten that much in first class!)
At 3pm he drops me off at the SQ counters at TPE, marking almost the end of my whirlwind halfway-round-the-world trip courtesy of UA miles. The counter staff member processing my check in nearly thought I had excess baggage. Good thing for LH being the most significant carrier on this trip! Before he leaves we end up binging on fried chicken at the airport. Oh dear.
Immigration was a breeze and I make my way to the Silver Kris Lounge, badly in need of a shower after having scootered around all the dust and dirt in Taipei. The shower was very welcome, even though it took some time for the water to get hot and the pressure wasn't that good.
The food area looked pretty decent, but my extremely full tummy prevented me from eating anything else I only managed a can of Pocari.
Soon, it was time to board the plane. Went to Gate D7 and saw 9V-STC:
Upon boarding, was greeted with the sight of a smiling SQ Girl:
Wow, the screen on a regional business class flight in SQ is way larger than the longhaul first class flights on the LH A340s based in Frankfurt/Dusseldorf! Can't say that about the A340s based in Munich, because I know they are undergoing reconfigurations to their first class cabins Want to try that one day too!
And more champagne:
Legroom wasn't that shabby, and the seat was more comfortable than the TG A330 business class seat.
But the flight was pretty full in business class today, which was so unlike TG635 from ICN-TPE. Didn't know the load from TPE-BKK though. Preferred the more empty cabin in TG635 where there was no one seated beside me, unlike today's full flight.
Menus are already in the seat pockets, and departure takes place promptly at 5.45pm.
For dinner today, the well-known satay is served. Unfortunately, with my tummy being pretty full still, one serving is just about enough Could've gone for more!
The appetiser wasn't too bad either:
Had a glass of iced Milo and some beef noodles. The iced Milo was a little too diluted. Didn't really like the beef noodles, though my dad said (when he saw the picture) that he would've gone for seconds. I guess it was because of my full tummy once again.
Finally finishing off the meal with ice cream and vanilla sauce, as well as some pralines.
Picked up some chocolates onboard using an SGD75 KrisShop voucher that was mailed to me after I wrote in to SQ mentioning that my IFE system kept continually crashing on SQ2 from SIN-HKG-SFO in January 2012. Paid SGD 10 for the chocolates after throwing in the voucher, not a bad deal.
Captain announced that we were going to land in SIN 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.55pm. Upon landing, we park at the furthest gate in Terminal 3, A21. #($*#@)$*)*)#*)$*! However, the perks of being in business class is that one gets off the plane really quick, which I do, and I manage to catch the departing SkyTrain to Immigration just before the doors close. Whew. End result, I go through Immigration, pick up some duty free alcohol for the parents, and have to wait at Belt 44 for all my bags to come out. (Now, why can't US immigrations be like that too I wonder )
I would have loved to sample LH F on the 747-400 (newer version), the A380, and the 747-8i. However, there just wasn't the availability on the dates I had to fly, ugh. I could've flown out of FRA in F on the 25th of July instead of the 24th on LH 710, the A380 service bound for NRT, but there was no SQ availability out of TPE on the 27th of July, which was a bummer. Never mind, there's always next times! If I can get my hands on more frequent flyer miles
Flying LH in F was extremely nice even if the seats were old F. The FCT provides such a good experience that I wouldn't have minded staying there until the last LH flight of the day departs FRA, and the flight attendants, though older than the SQ Girls, provide an excellent and unique brand of LH service. Unfortunately, too, the ducks in the FCT at the moment aren't of the Olympics kind (they were only rolled out on 27th July for the Olympics), so I didn't have the chance to grab some special-themed ducks to start up a collection rivalling that of LufthansaFlyer's
TG in C was pretty good, though it wasn't a longhaul service on their B777-300ERs or their soon-to-arrive A380s. I don't mind booking an hour long massage service at their spa in the BKK lounges in future too, just to try it out
SQ C was at its good ol' levels of service standards, as usual. Unfortunately, after the "F-Gate" issues with the UA MileagePlus booking engine, I don't figure I'll be flying longhaul C or F with SQ any time soon.
In the end, I just didn't want to get off the planes!! I have a PhD application in process with the University of Melbourne, and I'll know the results in 2 months. I still have enough MileagePlus miles to fly in C one way SIN-SGN-AKL-MEL, with a <24h connection in SGN to get out and meet another friend for dinner, and hopefully find my way from SGN-AKL via PVG so that I can try out the NZ 777-200 business class seats. Unfortunately the Richard Simmons safety videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWhHpjZfTik won't be playing anymore, but well... Win some, lose some eh?
Do let me know how I can improve on writing trip reports, so that my next one (hopefully) to MEL can be much better!
Thank you for a very enjoyable read. I read the report of your Etihad flight to Brisbane yesterday and now, this afternoon, I-ve caught up with this trip report courtesy of the previous poster, who-s put it on the front page again.