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Hans does stupid Routings: Japan with some Detours

Hans does stupid Routings: Japan with some Detours

Old Aug 19, 18, 3:28 pm
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Hans does stupid Routings: Japan with some Detours

Hey Flyertalk,

after just coming back from my very relaxed trip to Cambodia & Hong Kong with 11 flights in 8 days (HERE), it was time for another chill trip to Asia in May: earlier this year I found an awesome business class fare to Japan that could easily be routed via Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. As I have a weakness for completely insane (or dumb? I honestly can't tell...) routings, I built myself the following trip:

21.5. CDG → MXP // Easyjet // Y
22.5. MXP → FRA // Lufthansa // C
22.5. FRA → SIN // Singapore Air // C
23.5. SIN → KUL // Malaysia Air // Y
25.5. KUL → SIN // Malaysia Air // Y
26.5. SIN → BNE // Singapore Air // C
28.5. BNE → AKL // Air New Zealand // C
29.5. AKL → NRT // Air New Zealand // C
29.5. NRT → KIX // JetStar // Y
05.6. NRT → DUS // All Nippon Airways // C
05.6. DUS → TXL // EuroWings // Y

The flights in C were the core of the routing, and I additionally booked SIN-KUL-SIN and NRT-KIX in Eco (as well as the positioning flights). This way I was able to finally visit Osaka and Kyoto, try out some new business classes and get my feet wet on the beaches of Surfers Paradise. As I now finally worked my way through 6,580 photos (144 gigabyte...oof), I wanted to share some of them in my 2nd trip report on Flyertalk!
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Old Aug 20, 18, 3:24 am
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Monday, 21.5.2018:

Let's go! Before indulging myself with business class champagne for 2 weeks, there were 2 things I had to get done:

1. A weekend of work in Paris
2. A positioning flight with the Orange Armada of Easyjet

My actual routing started in Milan, which is super easy to get to from Paris. My Uber took me to Charles-de-Gaulles Airport, where an Alitalia (aren't they supposed to be bankrupt?) plane gave me a first taste of Italy...

...before I headed towards my gate. The Easyjet terminal isn't that bad in CDG, I've seen worse:

After a couple of gate changes this Oranje plane was waiting for me:

The flight in Easyjet's Eco was like every other flight in a European Y, so nothing to write home about. In the late afternoon I arrived in the concrete bunker that is Milan's Terminal 2, grabbed my huge suitcase and walked to my hotel. Yes, walked – I chose the Hotel Moxy right across the street, as my flight to Frankfurt (and onwards to Singapore) would leave super early the next day. The rooms are definitely OK, especially for that price:

(no, that's not me in the mirror – that's part of the hotel's 'design' or smthn )

I even got a view of the Easyjet armada from my room, as if I haven't had enough orange planes in my life this day already.

The only disadvantage of the Moxy? There's nothing around it – no restaurant, supermarket or anything. At least I made the front desk order me a pizza from a good restaurant nearby (even though the supervisor tried to veto it):

As I needed to get up super early (4 AM, oof!) the next day for MXP-FRA, FRA-SIN and SIN-KUL, I went to bed as soon as I was done with my pizza (and my Heineken).
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Old Aug 21, 18, 5:09 am
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Tuesday, 22.5.2018:

Today was the day, tons of the infamous Lufthansa lounge potato salad were waiting for me!

These were the flights ahead of me:

22.5.: MXP → FRA (LH C)
22.5.: FRA → SIN (SQ C)
23.5.: SIN → KUL (MH Y)

I normally go to the office at around 11, so getting up at 4 was quite a challenge. I still was able to pull it off, and stand in front of the Moxy freshly showered at 4AM:

The airport shuttle bus station was directly across the street, and it brought me to MXP's terminal 1.

I flew out of Milan's terminal 1 quite often in the past due to all the crazy Alitalia error fares, so it was like a trip down memory lane. I checked in at the LH desk...

…all the way to Singapore. Lufthansa has a new lounge in Milan, and I obviously had to check it out:

There weren't that many guests early in the morning, so I could take some photos without looking like an annoying travel blogger:

No potato salad just yet, but tasty espresso and pizza. All in all a nice little lounge, here are some more photos if you're interested: Lufthansa Lounge Milan-Malpensa: Review & Photo Report | The Mileonaire

The 5*-Hansa should then bring me to Frankfurt that morning. I got seat 4A with lots of premium-blue, but also (mild shock!) lots of non-premium-yellow (if you've followed their brand color discussion):

The breakfast on board was rather on the smaller end, but at least the ham was good:

Real 5 stars appeared when looking out the window though, awesome views of the alps can't be beaten:

After arrival in Frankfurt it was time for an involuntary airport tour with the COBUS express, but at least a good chance for some plane spotting:

My #1 goal in Frankfurt? Carsten Spohr's potato salad paradise, the Business Class Lounge at B44! Up the stairs...

...and into the joys of tons of bucket salads:

While functional, the LH lounges sometimes feel super sterile to me. At least I could take a shower:

Afterwards it was time though for the wet dream of every German Junior Consultant, travelling on a day trip with a Senior Associate:

Here are more photos of the lounge: Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt: Review & Photo Report (Gate B44)

Sorry for the potato salad obsession, but it has just become a great meme At some point every 5* experience had to end, but luckily the wonderful SQ Business Class was waiting for me at the gate (in the next post, otherwise there would be too many pics).
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Old Aug 24, 18, 2:11 am
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Enjoying this TR so far!! Looking forward to another installment.
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Old Aug 24, 18, 6:27 am
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Mmmm. Potato’s....
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Old Aug 24, 18, 7:54 am
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Thanks a lot! Writing took a bit longer due to work, but always appreciate it if Flyertalkers read (and hopefully enjoy) my trip reports
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Old Aug 24, 18, 8:06 am
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Tuesday, 22.5.2018 & Wednesday, 23.5.2018

The big one was already waiting for me at the gate:

Priority boarding was super efficient (as always with SQ) and I could finally board my beautiful seat 14A:

I know that nearly everyone in here knows the Singapore Business Class, but for me it was the first time on SQ. And wow – these seats are WIDE.

The load factor was pretty low, so I could take a few photos without annoying others. I still like the cabin, way less bling-bling compared to other carriers – a nice change after my Emirates flights last month.

Headphones were waiting for me at the seat (with a bonus grumpy Hans mirrored in the TV screen)…

…as well as socks and slippers…

…and the menu for the upcoming flight:

After a first glass of champagne (Charles Heidsieck) we were blasting off to Singapore (and another grumpy Hans in the TV screen)!

As soon as we hit our cruising altitude, the wonderful lunch service began – of course with the infamous satay skewers:

Followed by a really good appetizer with serrano ham and honey/goat cheese mousse:

I then had the seafood noodles as my main (simple but good)…

…and the lime cheesecake as dessert…

...plus a small cheese plate:

Afterwards I converted my seat into a bed, I’m really not used to getting up at 4AM. The old SQ seat is still a bit weird as you basically sleep diagonally on top of your back rest. Sounds weird, feels a bit odd but I still was able to get some solid hours of sleep. Once I got up again I watched the newest Star Wars movie (Last Jedi) and immediately regretted it. I really dislike what Disney is doing to that franchise, to put it mildly.

At least the breakfast service made up for it with a croissant, fresh fruit and some nice noodles:

After a long flight the lights in the Strait of Malacca were getting closer on the horizon…

…and a wonderful flight in SQ’s C came to its conclusion. Sorry again if you’re bored at this point if you’ve already seen so many photos of the Singapore Business Class.

At Changi Airport I had to get my luggage first, go through immigration, check in at Malaysia Airlines and go through Security again. I just booked a quick connection to Kuala Lumpur with MH’s 737 as I can’t be bothered to spend more for such a short hop. I killed some time in the SATS Premier Lounge first that I already knew from my Etihad flight last year:

The lounge is OK, but nothing super special. This beautiful 737 brought me to KUL that day:

The short hop to Kuala Lumpur was as uneventful as it could be, but at least I had Priority Boarding thanks to my old Iberia Gold status. After 5 years I was finally back in Malaysia!

I grabbed some cash at the airport and took a cab to my hotel downtown. I decided to go for the Shangri-La as it had some great rates during that time (115€ incl. breakfast). As a sign of welcoming me, it rained like piss in Kuala Lumpur:

Despite some roads that looked rather like rivers we made it to the Shangri-La in 40 minutes, and I checked in at the beautiful lobby. I got a room looking towards the street:

As it was still raining I grabbed some snacks from the 7/11 across the street (why don’t we have these in Germay?!) and napped for a bit. Luckily the rain stopped in the evening, and I could at least take some photos to close out the day (photography at night is always better). The Petronas Towers are just a 10-minute walk from the Shangri-La, so I just got there to take some shots.

I had my new ultrawide-angle lens with me, so I couldn’t even be bothered by all the crowds. With a lens like that, you just stand a few feet in front of the building and get everything on your photo anyway (real life hack right there).

I crossed through the mall to see the towers from the other side, with quite a good perspective as well:

At this point I was really tired, carrying around my camera backpack is quite strenuous. I walked back to the mall as I wanted to get some food, and also check out if the same food stall is still there where I ate 5 years ago. And tadaaa - it was still there and the hot clay pot tasted exactly as good as back then!

I was still hungry, so I had another small udon soup with tonkatsu:

Afterwards I went back to the hotel and slept for 10 hours straight
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Old Aug 24, 18, 2:46 pm
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Great report and pictures, thank you!

[...]I had my new ultrawide-angle lens with me[...]
Would you mind sharing some details about your camera gear?
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Old Aug 25, 18, 8:55 am
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Tolle Fotos von den towers, danke!
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Old Aug 25, 18, 9:50 am
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Thanks a lot! My photo gear for this trip was:
  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon 11-24mm (my favorite for wide angles, super good)
  • Canon 24-70mm
  • Tamron 70-300mm
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Old Aug 25, 18, 6:50 pm
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Great pictures and very good text. It's always nicer to read trips with detours than straight ones, it would be boring reading a direct MXP-TYO flight.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 3:42 am
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Thursday, 24.5.2018:

After 4 flights I finally had a more relaxed day ahead of me. Before exploring Kuala Lumpur again I tried the Shangri-La's breakfast which was amazing. Lots of different culinary flavors from all over the world, and additional staff that prepared omelets or noodle soups:

My personal highlights were the Peking Duck bites, the Currys and the chocolate fountains (yes – there were multiple ones).

Afterwards I packed my camera bag again but went for the lighter option (only two lenses, no tripod) as it was super hot that morning already. I took a cab to Central Market where I started my sightseeing day, and I explored the colonial heritage of Kuala Lumpur around the Sultan Abdul Samad Building:

There are various walking tours in the city center, each of them with lots of info signs. I started out with the 'Colonial Walk':

The heat was starting to become insane (ooof) and I went back to Central Market, starting another walking tour to Sri Maha Mariamman Temple and the Guan Yu Temple:

After walking for a few blocks I came across the Jalan Petaling, where lots of fake merchandise could be bought (no thx):

After crossing through Petaling Street I had enough sightseeing for the time, and I took the next cab back to the hotel. It was early afternoon already, and my own lazyness drove me to the Shangri-La hotel pool. To be honest though – swimming in that small paradiese in KUL's concrete jungle was awesome, especially as you could look at the KL Tower and the Petronas Towers from the water.

I hardly relax when I'm flying around (I could never do beach vacations at the moment), so I showered and went out with my camera again. There was another thunderstorm coming according to Google Weather, and I wanted to visit KL Tower before that hit. KL Tower has two major advantages for photographers compared to the Petronas Towers:
  1. You have the Petronas Towers on your photos
  2. KL Tower has an outside observation deck

There was no line to go up, even better!

Once I was at the observation desk I started taking a ton of photos (as always), including some from the new(?) skyboxes:

The thunderstorm was getting closer, so I went down and ran back to my hotel – and exactly when I arrived there, hell broke loose and the rain started. Some trees near the hotel were even uprooted:

I sat through the thunderstorm with some snacks and drinks in my room, while editing some first photos in Lightroom / Photoshop. The rain eventually stopped in the evening, so I went out to Pavilion Mall to get something to eat. I just walked there from the Shangri-La, and the atmosphere after the storm was super relaxing (and finally less hot!). As always when I have the chance, I went to the Din Tai Fung branch in the mall to get some Xiao Long Bao, Wontons and Peanut Noodles:

At 9:30PM it was time for the "Last Order" and I headed out and walked back to the hotel. After all the walking and all the heat, I just fell into the bed and had another awesome night of sleep.
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The_Mileonaire is offline  
Old Aug 29, 18, 12:09 am
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I freakin’ love all the ultrawide shots, especially Petronas. I’m taking my new Nikon 14-24 to Europe this fall, and you’ve really raised the bar for how I need to shoot that trip

edit: and I seriously want to take my Nikon 200-500 as well, but I’m struggling to get my kit down to 20# or whatever the lower carryon allowance is on two of my flights.

Unless UA/SK won’t care about weight as long as my 22L bag fits under the seat in front? (which it does)
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Last edited by omahajim; Aug 29, 18 at 12:16 am
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Old Aug 29, 18, 8:15 am
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Thanks a ton, and gratz on the 14-24! I used my 16-35mm a lot in the past, but the step below that to the 11-24mm completely blew my mind I struggle to get it downsized as a carry-on though, especially when going for longer trips with my full gear (and I don't want to put it into the overhead bin as some passengers just ram their stuff in there without taking care of other people's bags).
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Old Aug 29, 18, 2:27 pm
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Some great photos of KL; I spend a lot of time for work there and really enjoy the food culture, including the night markets. Pavilion is definitely a cool mall - I was amazed at how decked out it gets during Christmas time.
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