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A dash of London and a serving of Leeds, SIN-LHR and then on to Leeds

A dash of London and a serving of Leeds, SIN-LHR and then on to Leeds

Old Sep 14, 11, 2:05 pm
  #1  
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A dash of London and a serving of Leeds, SIN-LHR and then on to Leeds

Having enjoyed many trip reports here , I decided that I will do my maiden trip report on London and Leeds, where I am right now.

Background:

I am a Singaporean who is in Leeds now. I study at the University of Leeds, where I will be for the next five years.



This TR starts off in Changi Airport...

10th September 2011
SIN-LHR
SQ322
9V-SKC
2330




Took the redeye to London in order to reach Leeds before the sun set.
Arrived at the Airport at 0900... went inside the gate at 1020 after being sent off by relatives and friends. Being rushed for time and having a Priority Pass, I went to the nearest lounge which was the Ambassador Transit Lounge in T3, as I have a priority pass but no status with any airline. I did manage to get 30kg with SIA as I am a student and I sent in proof of my offer letter.





The food and drink selection was terrible. Alcohol is payable at $15 for 2 bottles of Tiger, food was limited to a measly fried rice, some paos and cold samosas. Didn't bother to take a picture of the food offering.

However, one could shower in this lounge.





Water pressure was good but they used one of those icky all in one soap shampoo and conditioner. Felt refreshed after the shower.


Then headed off to the gate. Long queue at security for there were flights leaving for Sydney, Paris and London at around the same time at gates A1, A3 and A2 respectively.



Took a few blurry photos of the A380 and a 773 on the way to the airplane. My apologies, I only had my iPhone.





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Old Sep 14, 11, 2:14 pm
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The Actual Flight

Took an upper deck seat. Upper Deck boards first but since I was showering at the lounge and only arrived at the gate at 11.10, they were already boarding main deck.




Legroom shot. I'm a pretty tall guy (1.83m) but it was comfortable.



A380 Config 1 upper deck

Take off was smooth and quiet!




Supper, Salmon Masala. Quite tasteless actually. The spices overpowered the salmon.


Watched Kung Fu Panda 2 before falling asleep.





Woke up somewhere over Ukraine/Russia.



A380 Main Deck Economy





Breakfast onboard
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Old Sep 14, 11, 2:20 pm
  #3  
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Heathrow Airport



arrived in London. Seems like there were no other arrival at T3 besides SQ322 where we disembarked at 0600 UK time.



Customs was smooth. There was a dedicated lane for first time students which was quite fast. I entered the queue at 6.15 and was cleared by the friendly (!) immigration officer (he wasn't so friendly to the PRC passport holder before me, holding him up for a health check (TB and chest X-ray) :eek3: ) at 6.45pm.

By the time I was out, my luggage was waiting for me at the carousel.







Then had a LONG walk to the central bus station for my coach to London Victoria.
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Old Sep 14, 11, 2:32 pm
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I'm from Yorkshire and know Leeds very well. Nice City, how are you finding it?
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Old Sep 14, 11, 3:44 pm
  #5  
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Central London

My original coach was scheduled for 0955 to leave London Heathrow and Arrive at London Victoria at 1040, then London Victoria to Leeds City Bus Station at 1130 to reach at 1550. Having reached the bus station at 0700, where the bus to Victoria was preparing to leave, I (and a Japanese couple who barely spoke English) was rudely brushed off by the coach driver, despite his colleague saying I could get on should there be empty seats, which there were in abundance. :angryfire:

Next bus to Central London was.... at 0830. :5eek:

So, I waited at the bus station for an hour and a half. Weather was pleasant and I used my UK SIM to speak to my parents and friends back home thru Skype and whatsapp. The hour and a half passed quickly, as did my iPhone battery. Thank God for SIA's USB cable and portable chargers.







Legroom shot of the National Express Salvador Caetano Levante bus



As you can see it's smaller than economy class. I also had to put on my seatbelt which was real tight, making the journey quite uncomfortable.









Had KFC for breakfast, mini full english breakfast for 2.99 pounds



Toured Victoria Station area



People stand on the right and not left as in Singapore. I only realized that when I was the only one on the left on the elevator....
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Old Sep 14, 11, 3:49 pm
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Coach Journey from London to Leeds

Set off at 11.30am for I was told that National Express is not as flexible with bus schedules not originating from airports.

Took the same model bus, equally uncomfortable but luckily I was quite jet lagged and slept most of the way. We basically went the length of the M1 motorway. Anyone knows what the speed limit is? I didn't see any posted speed limit anywhere.












Some pix i took on the way






Finally arrived in Leeds at 15.45pm.
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Old Sep 14, 11, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by paxx View Post
I'm from Yorkshire and know Leeds very well. Nice City, how are you finding it?
its very windy! I've walked almost the whole of the city center, it's a quaint small city! Favourite places include Leeds City Market, the fruits and meat there are really value for money!
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Old Sep 14, 11, 3:53 pm
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Leeds

I live about 15 mins from the city center in an area with alot of student housing. The weather is not much colder than an airconditioned room. The wind is extremely strong though.











My room
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Old Sep 14, 11, 3:57 pm
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Is that a small bowl of jalapeños with your noodle breakfast? Awesome!
And a Toblerone with dinner too
I wanna fly Singapore!

Enjoy the Knightsbridge of the North
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Old Sep 14, 11, 4:05 pm
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Exploring Leeds

Leeds is a small city of around 800,000 people. I have to admit I was in for abit of culture shock over here. There's quite abit of implicit racism, ignorant people who ask which part of China Singapore is in, people commenting that I speak good English for a Chinese person. Besides that, there are the little little things that take adjusting to. e.g, not all washrooms are foc. you pay 30p per entry to a toilet. Which I have already developed a habit of looking for any foc toilets and relieving myself even if I'm not too urgent whenever I come across them (in uni, mcdonalds, Marks and Spencer etc), Groceries have to be packed by yourself in supermarkets, having alot of coins is the norm here, the cold weather. Banks are inefficient, 50 pound notes are thoroughly checked whenever one uses them. I also notice that there are alot of young mothers here. I suspect it has to do with the fact that the government fully subsidises O&G services and gives subsidies to mothers. The people here also drink alot, smoke alot and many have tattoos. Unusual for someone from prim and proper Singapore. Or maybe I'm just ignorant as well.





my first proper Yorkshire meal. Roast beef with yorkshire pudding and vegetables.



no queue


















Last edited by iczs; Sep 14, 11 at 4:16 pm
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Old Sep 14, 11, 4:08 pm
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More Leeds








two punnets of strawberries for 1.50GBP. I later realized I got chopped as they were selling for three punnets for 1 pound today. :angryfire:










Beer is a way of life here




the building where I will be spending my first two years of University.




We are actually connected to the Leeds General Infirmary which is very convenient.
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Old Sep 14, 11, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by JohnnyColombia View Post
Is that a small bowl of jalapeños with your noodle breakfast? Awesome!
And a Toblerone with dinner too
I wanna fly Singapore!

Enjoy the Knightsbridge of the North
that's actually green chillies, a condiment given with chinese noodles.

Thanks, I will enjoy it!
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Old Sep 14, 11, 6:13 pm
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Welcome to the UK! I too am originally from Singapore but left at an early age to travel the world.. ending up in London.

Originally Posted by iczs View Post
Took the redeye to London in order to reach Leeds before the sun set.
Wouldn't call that a redeye, as it leaves at night and arrives in the afternoon S'pore time.. so you should be fully rested. Redeye is where you don't get enough sleep because you're travelling east.

Originally Posted by iczs View Post
The food and drink selection was terrible. Alcohol is payable at $15 for 2 bottles of Tiger, food was limited to a measly fried rice, some paos and cold samosas. Didn't bother to take a picture of the food offering.
Can't beat Comic Sans for your entrance sign!

Anyone knows what the speed limit is?
70 miles per hour for motorways

I entered the queue at 6.15 and was cleared by the friendly (!) immigration officer (he wasn't so friendly to the PRC passport holder before me, holding him up for a health check (TB and chest X-ray) :eek3: ) at 6.45pm.
pm? As in he had to wait for 12 hours, or was that a typo?

having alot of coins is the norm here....50 pound notes are thoroughly checked
Yeah, when your smallest note is £5 (=S$10), you'll end up with a fair few coins.
£50 notes aren't generally used in the UK, or at least England, but foreign cash exchangers seem to give them out (less bulk for the same value I guess) so tourists have a lot of them.

I also notice that there are alot of young mothers here. I suspect it has to do with the fact that the government fully subsidises O&G services and gives subsidies to mothers. The people here also drink alot, smoke alot and many have tattoos. Unusual for someone from prim and proper Singapore. Or maybe I'm just ignorant as well.
Well, you have 2 years to get used to it, then you're going to have to talk to these people to pass your exams! I'm assuming you are a guy - if you ever feel intimidated, just remember that you have held a gun for 2 years.

Good luck!
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Old Sep 14, 11, 6:23 pm
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Nice TR the economy seats on SQs A380s look lightyears ahead of LHs when I went to FRA from SFO...LH really needs an updated or new IFE system 18 movies in economy just doesn't cut it even 50 in F is rather lame
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Old Sep 14, 11, 8:41 pm
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The last time i flew SQ i was on the 322 in row 78. I almost missed it due to the crap train i was on from KL. Luckily i didn't have to go to Leeds afterwards though :P

I loved the seats where the base slides instead of the back reclining and charging my iPhone through the USB. SQ Y was one of the best experiences of my flying career. The service is simply amazing. Even BA F service is comparable to SQ Y. Enjoy your time in Leeds. I spent some of my formative years there and most of my family live there. It's OK i guess.
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