Thursday, May 24, 2018

Kathy's Birthday Dinner at Noosa RACV Resort

The Arcuri Restaurant is in the main reception area just a two-minute walk from our apartment. We chose their three-course special, as the choices included two of the birthday girl's favorites, pork belly and duck.

A lovely Shiraz...

Pork Belly for Kathy...

Brian's Hiramasa Kingfish appetizer...

Duck breast for the main...


Not cheap (hardly anything in Oz is cheap), but good value and a beautiful meal...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Miles and More Miles

We just noticed that the miles on this trip are adding up since we flew out of YVR May 15.

YVR-LHR-AMS-CDG-HKG-BKK-BNE totals 16,747 flown miles.

That's a fair amount of flying by most standards, but nothing we'd brag about to the Flyertalk friends we'll be seeing soon at Oz Fest. 

We like to think it places us at least in the "average range" of frequent flyers.

Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast Australia

We picked up our SIXT rental car,  a badly scratched and dented Toyota Corolla with 110,000 km. on the odometer.
That's great, because now we won't have to worry about parking lot scratches.

We made the drive from the airport to the RACV Noosa resort in 90 minutes or so, with only a few roundabouts to keep Brian on his toes.

We have a nice little apartment here with all the comforts of home for next five nights, complete with a bottle of duty-free Beefeaters on the counter to share with our Aussie friends.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Brisbane Airport

We slept hard and landed a bit ahead of schedule, taxiing up to a jet bridge, thank goodness.

The Thai 787 and its flatbeds were just fine, and the flight attendants were characteristically friendly and attentive.

Brisbane Airport (BNE) is very quiet this morning, as this shot of the uninspiring arrivals area shows.

We don't pick up our rental car for another 50 minutes, giving us time to stop for a cup of good Australian coffee.

Thai's Annoying Boarding at BKK

We walked a mile from the lounge to our gate, then had our luggage gone through by employees wearing gloves.

We then walked down a long switchback ramp to the gate.

Once we were allowed through, we realized we had three flights of stairs to walk down to board the buses for the remote gate.

Kind young Australians offered Kathy and her aching knees a seat, and also talked an employee into carrying her rollaboard up the stairs to the 787.

It was no fun but we made it. Is that the best Thai can do at their home airport?

Eight hours and 45 minutes to Brisbane.

HKG Thai Royal Orchid Lounge

It's warmer than the Singapore Lounge on this very hot day, and they're not pouring Mo√ęt Chandon here.

Still, the views are great, as it's an open design one floor above the departure gates.

There are some terrific Thai dishes here, including Tom Yum soup, Larb, and chicken curry.

Yes, this will do just fine until we board downstairs in less than 40 minutes.

Monday, May 21, 2018

HKG Terminals 1 and 2

Hong Kong Airport's Terminal 2 is used only for checking in by some airlines - it has no actual departure gates, despite its impressive entrance.

Thai is among the airlines that use it, so we picked up our boarding passes, went through pleasantly relaxed exit Immigration and security, and rode a couple of trains to Terminal 2, still the world's third biggest terminal (after Dubai and Beijing).

Our first flight (to Bangkok) doesn't depart until around 7 PM, so we rode the moving sidewalks in a completely different direction to spend some time in Singapore's Silver Kris Lounge, which we're allowed to access as Star Alliance Golds.

We plan on a couple of hours here before moving to the Thai Royal Orchid Lounge that's closer to our boarding gate. It's a pleasant way to pass some time before the flight.

Hong Kong's Airport Flyer Bus A10

When we mentioned to the T Hotel supervisor on checkout Edgar we were returning to HKG on theAirport Flyer, she consulted a website or app and told us the next one was due at our Pok Fu Lam Village stop within the next three minutes.

We hustled down to the bus stop and arrived with a couple of minutes to spare. All we had to do was to enjoy the scenery on the 60-minute drive.

We crossed a couple of big bridges along the way.  HKG is of course located on a largely reclaimed island.

It's one of the best transportation bargains among the airports we've visited, at about US$8.25 round trip per person.

We arrived at Terminal 2 almost before we knew it.

Checkout Time at the T Hotel, Hong Kong

Enjoying the Tuesday morning view in Room 611 from our window one last time before heading to the airport and our onward flights on Thai to Brisbane via Bangkok...

Last Evening in Hong Kong

Ar the T Hotel, Pok Fu Lam Village, Hong Kong Island...

A Quick Visit to Stanley, Hong Kong

It remains hot on our next-to-last day in Hong Kong, so we decide see to take it easy with a 30-minute bus ride (#973) to Stanley, the original administrative center when the British annexed Hong Kong in 1842. 

It was later named after Lord Stanley, the British politician who at one point was Canada's Governor General, amd whose name also adorns the Stanley Cup and Stanley Park in Vancouver.

The coast-hugging bus route is scenic and twisty, and the Hong Kong bus drivers turn roads like this into carnival rides.

It proved to be a quiet Monday at Stanley, which includes a small public market, some restaurants, and a beachfront promenade.

Note the bamboo scaffolding, common here as in other Asian locales.

It was already close to 90 degrees F (31 C), sonee retreated fairly quickly to an air conditioned restaurant,
Cia Fei, a Shanghai-style joint.

The food was more than satisfactory and we left full and happy.

We slowly made our way back up the hill to the bus terminus.

We caught #973 back without much trouble, and enjoyed the views on the ride back, including additional examples of bamboo scaffolding.