Topic Wiki

Links to the actual TR

Part 1: Planning
Part 2: LAX-NRT
Part 3: Transiting NRT
Part 4: NRT-SIN
Part 5: Day 1 in Singapore
Part 6: Day 2 in SIN, Shabbos
Part 7: Day 3 in SIN
Part 8: Day 4 in SIN
Part 9: Day 1 in PEK
Part 10: Day 2 in PEK
Part 11: Day 1 in HKG
Part 12: Day 2 in HKG
Part 13: Day 3 in HKG, Shabbos
Part 14: Day 4 in HKG, flight to HND
Part 15: Tokyo; flight home

Author Topic: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo  (Read 47352 times)

Offline Ergel

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 12842
  • Total likes: 894
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 3
    • View Profile
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #200 on: February 11, 2016, 01:15:09 PM »
What's with all the working on vacation?
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #201 on: February 11, 2016, 01:17:30 PM »
What's with all the working on vacation?
Since I was by myself on this trip and want to take another trip this year with my wife, I figured I'd work on this trip so I would have enough time to take off 2 weeks in the summer as well (which is the current plan).

Offline Ergel

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 12842
  • Total likes: 894
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 3
    • View Profile
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #202 on: February 11, 2016, 01:24:42 PM »
Since I was by myself on this trip and want to take another trip this year with my wife, I figured I'd work on this trip so I would have enough time to take off 2 weeks in the summer as well (which is the current plan).
Do you work for yourself? Or you can get credit for half days while you're on vacation? Or you have a minimum billable?
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #203 on: February 11, 2016, 01:32:50 PM »
Do you work for yourself? Or you can get credit for half days while you're on vacation? Or you have a minimum billable?
I don't work for myself. I got credit for every hour I worked, 1:1. We don't bill hourly or by job. After I came back it was as if I never took any days off, despite being out of the office for 7 working days.

Online AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25566
  • Total likes: 521
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #204 on: February 11, 2016, 01:51:22 PM »
Yup. That right there is the secret sauce :)
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline EJB

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Posts: 5387
  • Total likes: 238
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
    • View Profile
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #205 on: February 11, 2016, 02:54:02 PM »
I don't work for myself. I got credit for every hour I worked, 1:1. We don't bill hourly or by job. After I came back it was as if I never took any days off, despite being out of the office for 7 working days.

If you work extra one day can you roll over to another day?

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #206 on: February 11, 2016, 03:02:17 PM »
If you work extra one day can you roll over to another day?
Yes. It was total hours. I didn't work all of them on the trip. Most of them were completed on weekends and holidays before the trip.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #207 on: February 11, 2016, 03:02:28 PM »
Yup. That right there is the secret sauce :)
:)

Offline MAJ

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 461
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #208 on: February 11, 2016, 03:03:35 PM »
As I said, the food was great, but the fact that there were couples my age in SIN made it more enjoyable. I'd go back though.

Never knew that about mussaf.
i once spent shabbos in KZ with my wife and randomly met two other couples plus business people that we knew and had a great time.
Next time  i was in Aisa (myself)i specifically wanted to spend shabbos there as i had such fond memories. was a complete disaster, pretty much the only guests besides for me was a large group of people from panama there on business who were very clicky and wouldn't even speak english.

the length of the davening and the amount of appeals they make, drives me insane. cant say i felt to comfortable taking an escalator on shabbos either.

i guess its hit or miss.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #209 on: February 11, 2016, 03:13:42 PM »
i once spent shabbos in KZ with my wife and randomly met two other couples plus business people that we knew and had a great time.
Next time  i was in Aisa (myself)i specifically wanted to spend shabbos there as i had such fond memories. was a complete disaster, pretty much the only guests besides for me was a large group of people from panama there on business who were very clicky and wouldn't even speak english.

the length of the davening and the amount of appeals they make, drives me insane. cant say i felt to comfortable taking an escalator on shabbos either.

i guess its hit or miss.
Seems to be. In terms of the escalator, I and many other people just took the stairs. It was easy totally problem-free. The food was good though.  :D I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that way though.

Offline MAJ

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 461
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #210 on: February 11, 2016, 03:17:09 PM »
Seems to be. In terms of the escalator, I and many other people just took the stairs. It was easy totally problem-free. The food was good though.  :D I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that way though.
wow i don't know how i missed seeing the stairs first time i was there, second time i didn't even bother looking or asking.
im also glad im not the only one!

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #211 on: February 11, 2016, 03:19:22 PM »
wow i don't know how i missed seeing the stairs first time i was there, second time i didn't even bother looking or asking.
im also glad im not the only one!
The stairs are quite hidden. I asked specifically and was shown how to do it. They're tucked around the corner, just past the bathrooms on the same floor as the shul.

Offline MAJ

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 461
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #212 on: February 11, 2016, 03:26:02 PM »
The stairs are quite hidden. I asked specifically and was shown how to do it. They're tucked around the corner, just past the bathrooms on the same floor as the shul.
the bathrooms that you (have to give a donation) need a key to get into?! lol
thanks if i go back ill be sure to look for them.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #213 on: February 11, 2016, 03:43:39 PM »
the bathrooms that you (have to give a donation) need a key to get into?! lol
thanks if i go back ill be sure to look for them.
I guess. I was never asked to donate, though the one time I used it it was open. :)

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #214 on: February 11, 2016, 05:08:14 PM »
Sunday, January 31, 2016: Day 4 in HKG, flight to HND
Sunday started out cloudy. Shachris was at 8am, but I skipped breakfast afterwards in favor of brunch. Thatís right, Seven Zero also has an all you can eat buffet on Sunday for brunch. It costs HKD200 at starts at 11am. I decided to just go there instead of paying for another mediocre breakfast at Mul Hayam and not having a lounge to supplement it with (Iím only lousy SPG Gold and donít have the Business SPG card so I donít have lounge access).

Right after davening (which was super quick I might add, 38 minutes!), I packed up and headed back across the harbor to the Peak Tram. I took the MTR to Central, exit J2, and walked the couple blocks to the peak tram. By this time, it was 9:25 and there werenít many people queueing to buy tickets. It costs HKD83, cash only (unless you buy the tickets online), and was on the tram up a few minutes later.





Lucky for me, there were no clouds at the top, but there was a lot of wind. It was still a cloudy day, so I couldnít see too much past Kowloon, but it was better than any other day on my trip. I went to the hop viewing deck, spent some time there, before going to the viewing deck in the Galleries mall across the plaza. Most of the stores werenít open yet, but I didnít really care either way.




Views of HKI (foreground) and Kowloon (background)




View of the south side from the peak (the sea)


Tram ride down

I took the tram down (again no lines) and walked 20 minutes to the JCC for brunch. There were a few other people already there. The food was plentiful and good. Iím the person at an all-you-can-eat buffet that the restaurant counts on to make money. Iím a light eater and usually can barely eat enough food to justify paying for such a thing in the first place. I also ordered a pizza to go for lunch the next day in Tokyo.


Someone didn't understand how English works












Seven Zero Sunday brunch buffet. There were many individual pans of seared salmon

After lunch I walked down the Central-Mid escalators (or more accurately the stairs next to them) and took the ferry back to Kowloon for HKD 2.80 (the upper deck is HKD3.40 FWIW).




Can someone please explain to me why people set up these little cardboard areas on the covered walkways on Sunday? They weren't there on Thursday.


And I thought Jews were the only ones who used the term hawkers

I walked backed to the hotel, checked out, and took a cab (HKD42) to Kowloon station to catch the Airport Express back to HKIA. The cab charges $5/bag, so of the $42 fare, $10 was for bags.

I got to the airport about 3 hours before my 4:20pm flight. I was flying CX F on a B744. After check-in, security (no priority line) and immigration (again no priority queue), I was off to The Wing to check it out.


CX First Class check-in

While I though the lounge was nice, I wasnít that much of a fan of the black marble everywhere. I did love the view from The Wing (HT: Gary) and the cabanas that are talked about. I didnít actually shower, but did check them out.




My View from The Wing

I then headed to The Pier to spend the next hour until my flight.



While the foot massages were all booked up for the duration of my stay, they did have a rest area open to relax in. The views from The Pier are not nearly as nice as The Wing, but the decor is nicer. As a kosher traveler, the only food they had that I could take advantage of was fresh fruit, so Iíd say the major selling points of the lounge were lost on me. Sure, they have a bar and an awesome looking restaurant, but I found myself bored after about 45 minute. It didnít help that the lounge was super crowded at the time (as was The Wing).

With 15 minutes to boarding I headed to my gate, 30, and boarded my first CX F flight.





While the suite was one of their old ones, the only real difference I could find was that the upholstery was older, but the size and shape appear the same. It was quite a bummer when our Scottish pilot announced that weíd only have a 3-hour flying time. However, the airport was quite busy at that time, so despite pushing back on schedule (shed-jewel), it was another 30 minutes or so before we took off.










CX F


The plane right in front of us for take-off. I may not have known were 99% of the other flights were headed, but I knew this one's destination :D


Our runway


HKIA

The service on CX was great. I was in seat 1A, and the guy in seat 1K decided to play his movies on his laptop without headphones the entire flight. The guy in 1K was hard of hearing (he had a cochlear implant) so Iím sure he didnít care. I didnít mind personally since I was busy typing up this TR, but I canít believe people actually think itís okay to blast your own entertainment without headphones on. /Rant




Dinner from Hermolis. Main was Ratatouille with turned vegetables. There was also a lamb dish which I passed on.


Personal note

We landed a few minutes behind schedule at Haneda and taxied for a few minutes to our gate. I was the first one off the plane and through immigration. After customs I found an ATM to take out some cash for the train to the city. Turns out the ATM I tried only had •10,000 bills. I was not in the mood of trying to find an ATM that had smaller denominations, so I just took one of those.

With cash in had I headed to the ticket machines to purchase my ticket. I was a bit confused about which train to select (even in English mode), but a helpful train employee who spoke English quite well was there to help. For •530 I was on my way to the city.


Train to Shimbashi station

The train station is right under the airport, so it was quite easy and quick. I took the Tokei line to Shinbashi station which was about a half mile from the hotel. Once outside the station my plan was to walk pretty directly down one street to the hotel, the Andaz Toronomen Hills. However, it was not so simple.

Streets in Japan do not have names. Blocks are numbered (blocks are the areas between 4 streets) but streets themselves have no signs. Even block numbers are in Japanese only. I was trying to use Google Maps to navigate, but due to some buildings in the area, the GPS was not super accurate. I tried walking one way, then another, then another to find my starting point, but it just wasnít working. At this point it was around 10:30pm and I was tired and just wanted to get to the hotel. I did ask some guys on the street if they knew where to go, but they didn't really speak English and were visitors to boot, so they didnít know the area.

I ended up walking back to the train station and just getting in a cab. I showed the cabbie the address (Iíd printed it before leaving home) and he took me on the 2-minute drive for about •730. Even after paying almost •1300 to get to the hotel, it was way cheaper than the ~•6500 Uber or a cab would have cost.

The hotel was just amazing. I was greeted at ground level by hotel staff who promptly took my bags and headed up with me to the 51st floor lobby.  I checked in and got assigned a room on the 48th floor (guest rooms are on floors 47-50) with a great view of the Tokyo Tower. I also confirmed my kosher breakfast for the next morning and asked for it to be delivered at 8am.

Here are pictures of the room:






















I settled down, showered and hopped into bed, excited about my day in Japan the next day.


Nighttime view of the Tokyo Tower from my room

Offline benjie1305

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 6144
  • Total likes: 15
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY Area
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #215 on: February 11, 2016, 05:15:26 PM »
Wow. If this was a longer flight I would have NOT been happy at all with 1K blasting his entertainment. I can't believe non of the FA's said anything. Just strikes me as weird. Yes, he might have an issue but still, there are others on the flight. Can't just do that.
Work hard, Play harder!

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #216 on: February 11, 2016, 05:20:29 PM »
Wow. If this was a longer flight I would have NOT been happy at all with 1K blasting his entertainment. I can't believe non of the FA's said anything. Just strikes me as weird. Yes, he might have an issue but still, there are others on the flight. Can't just do that.
I also wouldn't have been okay with it, but I was typing this TR so I really didn't notice it too much. It could be everyone else had noise cancelling headphones on. Also I can't imagine anyone besides me and 2K could have heard it anyway.

Online AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25566
  • Total likes: 521
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #217 on: February 11, 2016, 06:04:15 PM »
This looks like it was a great trip indeed.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9943
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #218 on: February 11, 2016, 06:05:41 PM »
This looks like it was a great trip indeed.
Yup! No (overall) complaints here!

Offline Work-for-ur-muny

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Posts: 3101
  • Total likes: 319
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #219 on: February 11, 2016, 07:08:22 PM »
Wow! Beautiful!!! Just wondering, you did so much in such a short time. Don't you feel like it's so stuffed together and you didn't really have a chance to enjoy it to its fullest? You didn't even give yourself the opportunity to digest it. Not a shame?

Right after davening (which was super quick I might add, 38 minutes!)

??? May not call it schleppy, but not quite super quick. I was a chiyuv not long ago with an average weekday shachris (excluding Monday and Thursday) at 28 minutes. (And I wouldn't necessarily call that super quick either.)