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CX405 Taipei - Hong Kong with a New Dinner Service

CX405 Taipei - Hong Kong with a New Dinner Service

Old Feb 1, 19, 6:24 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: HKG
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CX405 Taipei - Hong Kong with a New Dinner Service

Hong Kong - Taipei is one of the busiest air corridors in the world. The Cathay group flies over 15 flights on a typical day almost entirely on widebodies.

Taipei is an under-rated city overshadowed by powerful neighbours. This is starting to change as visitors find great value for money and an interesting food scene, and without the crowds.

















Departing mid-afternoon and avoiding early rush hour traffic, it only took about 40 minutes to get from Xinyi District to the airport. There was a short line at the Cathay counters to drop off my bags, and then I had almost 2 hours to roam around in a relaxing way around the airport.

Unlike my arrival, departing from Taoyuan was far more pleasant. The security check didn't take long, and all foreigners could use the automated kiosk that scans your passport and verifies your fingerprints in order to exit Taiwan. There were no lines for the many kiosks either. Hope they can bring this automation to the other side when entering Taiwan ...



Air-side, the renovated Terminal 1 remains well-kept, even the plant walls that line the hallways. If you are in dire need to juice up your mobile, use these boxes just outside the first set of duty free shops after immigration.



The retail selection here has gotten more plentiful and seemingly more upscale.



Terminal 1's structure is a bit odd, with the departure lounges located downstairs, so plane spotting becomes a tiring affair going up and down the stairs at each gate. It probably also costs a lot of money to equip each gate with an elevator for wheelchair accessibility.





Relations with China have soured since the Taiwanese elected a separatist party to power in the last election, so they are trying to entice more Southeast Asian tourists to come to make up for the drastic drop in mainland tourists. This "Go South" policy may explain the Halal menu.



Terminals 1 and 2 are physically connected, with 2 being newer. The gates over there are also more tastefully decorated with a different theme each.







I missed EVA's new Dreamliner in Hong Kong a few days earlier, but it was parked at the gate for as long as I wanted in Taipei today.







Despite the airport's changes, the Hello Kitty store in Terminal 2 remains.









Plane spotting is getting more decent here with special livery jets and more low-cost carriers.





I quite liked some of the artwork and museum pieces scattered around the various gates.



I recall visiting the postal museum in town many years ago. They brought some of the exhibits to the airport as well.





EVA's premium lounges sit upstairs above the busy shops and corridors. This airline is upgrading its hard product to give Cathay a strong nudge.




Satisifed with my long walk, I was soon out of time and needed to head back to my departure gate B4. A long and orderly line snaked from the entry anticipating boarding at the boarding pass time. Well, it didn't happen. Staff kept to the procedure announcing the different stages and directing passengers to the gate. They even asked for Marco Polo Green passengers to board before the general public was allowed in.



Despite the late boarding, we ended up pushing back just 2 minutes behind schedule. By now, it was too dark to photograph the coast and Taipei as we took off towards the north and made a 180-degree turn.



Disappointed with the meal on the inbound although this is more a First World problem, it was proper dinner time on this flight so I got the rice that I was longing for. There was still no drink cart service but a small bottle of water was included on the tray.







Cathay does a good job including Hong Kong content in its IFE. This includes the aviation series it sponsored some 10 years ago, with all episodes available to keep even the long-haul passenger sleepless. They didn't stock up part 2, which was sponsored by a rival mainland-backed airline.



The flight passed by quickly and the captain announced a 12 minute delay due to air traffic control. We made a big loop just east of Hong Kong before continuing a bumpy descent. The weather didn't seem too bad in the city but it was certainly very choppy up here.





Many Taiwanese use Hong Kong as a connecting point not just for China, but also points beyond such as Europe. Transfer information appeared on the IFE as we descended, and for us arriving passengers, the gate number and baggage carousel were already known also.





Despite the holding delay, we ended up arriving right on the dot at 7:45pm. My priority-tagged bag was out already when I reached the carousel after a long walk and train ride from the suburban gates. The efficiency I enjoyed in the early years after HKIA opened are back.

The full flight report : https://www.globalphotos.org/cx405.htm
More Taipei photos : https://www.globalphotos.org/taipei.htm
glennaa11 likes this.
hkskyline is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 9:15 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Looks like a great trip. I agree, Taipei (and Taiwan in general) is greatly underrated. I've loved both of my trips to Taipei. The food is fantastic, the people are great and it doesn't feel as busy some of the neighboring mega cities do.
ChiefNWA is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 8:38 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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I want to stay at the Grand Hotel Taipei.
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