Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Xian Trip 2016 - Day 1 - Making out way from Xian International Airport to City

Landed safely in Xian, now we had to make our way to our hotel in the city. Our hotel is located inside the wall.

The fortifications of Xi'an (Chinese: 西安城墙), also known as Xi'an City Wall, in Xi'an, an ancient capital of China, represent one of the oldest, largest and best preserved Chinese city walls. It was built under the rule of the Hongwu Emperor (i.e., Zhu Yuanzhang) as a military defense system. The Xi'an Wall is rectangular in shape and has a total length of 14 kilometres. Read more from wikipedia.

Our hotel, Citadines Central Xi'an is located at 36 Zhubashi, 碑林区 Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, 710002.

After clearing custom and collecting our luggages, we exit and turn to the right and proceed to EXIT 314. We intended to take the airport bus to the city. See more about the airport buses in the official website of Xian Xianyang Internatonal Airport. We should take Line 2 Xian Railway Station, the airport bus will terminated next to Longhai Hotel.

After exiting from EXIT 314, we crossed over to the next building where the airport buses were located.

There's a counter where they sell the tickets for the airport buses. On query, they asked us to take Line 1 to our hotel, the bus will stop at Xi Xiao Men Gate for CNY25 and from there take a cab to our hotel about CNY20. (So total is 2 of us CNY25x2=CNY50 + CNY20 =CNY70). Originally I planned to take Line 2 where the airport bus stop next to Longhai Hotel and from there I could take the Metro at Wulukou Station and change at Beidajie Station and finally to Zhonglou Station for CNY2 and from Zhonglou we need to EXIT C and walked about 10 mins to our hotel. As we had a long flight, taking Line 2 was too tiring for us.

At this time, the counter staff recommended us to take their airport car at CNY200(I guess it will costs more if is midnight) and we can share with another 2 passengers (total 4 in one car). Luckily there's two passengers staying near our hotel , so we split the CNY200 to 2 family, so each family paid only CNY100, the car fetch us direct to our hotel. Best option and not too tiring for us.

The staff will fetch us to the waiting area for the car after we made payment.

These are the name cards of the airport car company. They also recommended their car rental at CNY350(for 4 in one car) for about 8 hours use with driver and can bring us where we wanted to go. This rate is rather reasonable. The rates I saw at our hotel is so much more expensive. So if you have a family of four can make use of this car rental. If there's more than four, they have bigger cars and of course the rate is more.

The rates of car rental with driver offered by the tour desk in our hotel, way too expensive.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Xian Trip 2016 - Day 1 Cathay Pacific Airline and Dragonair Airline

Finally, it's time for us to depart for Xian but the flight was so early at 6.45 am, need to be at airport 2 hours ahead, so sleepy.

We checked in our luggages all the way to Xian, transit in HongKong but we dont have to collect our luggages in Hongkong, as we booked our ticket all the way from Singapore to Xian in one booking.

48 hours before departing, we need to check in online so as to be able to select our seats on both Cathay Pacific and Dragonair Airlines. Our returning booking, we cannot select seats first cause can only do that 48 hours before departing, so plan to do it in China.

Please note that in China, we cannot access Google, Yahoo, Facebook, You Tube cause they were banned by China. Luckily, wats apps was not banned. If you need any information on the trip, best do before departing unless you know how to use the chinese search engine. "Baidu" (China's equivalent of Google).

So I got my son in Singapore to do the online check in and select seats two days before our end of trip, just incase I cant do it in China.

On checking in at the counter at Changi Airport, best double check they tagged your luggage to Xian and not Hong Kong. Need collect two boarding passes, one for Singapore to Hong kong and the other is Hong Kong to Xian. The boarding pass for Hong Kong to Xian sector does not have the Gate No yet. So on arrival at Hong Kong Airport, staff will be stationed just outside the plane with a board to indicate which Gate to go. So remember to check the board or ask the staff.

Was really a smooth plane ride and time passes fast when all I had to do was watch movie and eat in the plane lol.

I had Chicken Cognee but no ice cream but yoghurt.

Hubby had some bacon with eggs and potato.

We had more than one and half hour to do the transfer in Hongkong, is more than enough unless there's delay.

After exiting the plane, and getting our Gate Number from the staff outside the plane's exit, we proceed to transfer gate. Just look for the direction sign "TRANSFER. Our Gate is E16. If unsure where the TRANSFER gate is, ask airport staff or airport sales staff. Enter the TRANSFER gate and get your handcarry bags to be scanned and security check. After clearing security check, take the lift to Level 6 for the boarding gates.

There's water station at the departing hall, so no worry.

Everything goes smoothly, we have plenty of time before boarding Dragonair at Gate E16.

Dragonair also have individual monitor to watch movie.

They too served lunch, Chicken and rice and Haagen Dazs Ice Cream.

Baked fish and ice cream

Surprised the airline food was tasty, first time I finished all my airline meal hahaha.

The ride was smooth, the whole journey from Hong Kong to Xian was 2 hours and 20 mins.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Xian Trip 2016 - How to book Cathay Pacific Airfare and Hotel Package

How to book Cathay Pacific Airfare and Hotel Package.

Make sure to book your airfare (whether package or not) all in one booking and not two bookings otherwise your luggage will not be checked all the way to Xian. By booking in one booking, we dont need to collect our luggage in HongKong Airport when we are in transit, the luggage will automatically transfer from Cathay Pacific Airline to Dragonair. If you booked on two bookings either same airline or different airlines, you will have to clear custom (i.e. chop your passport) , collect luggage and go to airline counter to check in your luggage again and go through custom to chop you passport again.

As we booked ours in one booking, we just need to go to the boarding gate of Dragonair once we alighted from Cathay Pacific, we dont have to go to the immigration to chop our passport or collect our luggage.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Xian Trip 2016 - My flight and hotel itinerary

My flight itinerary for my Xian Trip. I booked my airfare and hotel via a package deal with Cathay Pacific. It was really worth, cost only S$1314 for two adults for airfare both ways and 4 nights hotel stay, which mean only S$657 per adult.

There's a direct flight via Tiger Airways from Singapore to Xian but the timing was real bad, reaching Xian around midnight and leaving Xian around 7 plus in the morning which means I need to leave Xian city around 4 plus am (1 hour ride from city to airport and at least 2 hours before departure for security check). Dont feel safe for two old folks (hubby 60 yrs old, me 56 years old), to travel from airport to Xian city in the middle of the night.

Our flight itinerary was taking Cathay Pacific from Singapore to HongKong, then transfer to Dragonair from Hongkong to Xian with a 2 hours in transit. We dont have problem taking connecting flights, but for those who are not used to take connecting flights best fly direct to Xian via Tigerair from Singapore.

Everything went smoothly for our onward flight but when we returned from Xian to Singapore, there's a delay in flight cause of bad weather, we were so afraid of missing our connecting flight and the next flight was 8 hours in transit, luckily we managed to catch our connecting flight just 5 mins before the plane was supposed to fly. As we were very late, there's staff waiting for us once we leave the plane, she quickly bring us via express lane to reach our boarding gate.(will come to this when I post the details in later post.)

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Upcoming Trips - China

Upcoming Trip No. 1

Singapore to Xian via Hongkong, Xian to Singapore via Hongkong

Upcoming Trip No. 2

Singapore to Suzhou/Wuxi (Direct), Suzhou/Wuxi to Singapore (Direct)