My excursion trip to HK and Malaysia:
Today is 21/09, Saturday. I flew from Ningbo, China to Shenzhen. An hour and a half short hop by air. I am quite impressed with the travelling infrastructures that the state and private enterprises provide for the travelling public.
The service provider gives a pleasant in flight service, flights are on time, planes are new Air Bus 320’s, and passengers are generally cordial.
An interesting observation though, some of the travelling public like to be in the head of the queue all the time. The concept of your plane ticket is already bought and paid for by you, that the flight crew will have to get you to your pre assigned seat is a given, that there is no need to rush, this travelling etiquette hopefully will become norm at some point in the future.
What brought on this spill? I was lining up in front of the ticket counter in the departing level in Ningbo International, and the line was not overly long. A large group of about fifteen travelled together and they were chatting amongst each other. One additional counter opened up, and air line personnel were trying to direct some of the people in front of me to the new line up. And sure enough everyone wants to be the first one in the new line.
I use South China Airline this time, the Chinese travelling public have utilized air travel for a good many years now, and the service on board is pretty decent. From Ningbo to Shenzhen took about two hours, and the air line crew served a simple snack pack, it consists of a bun, a small pastry, and a hot or cold drink.
Because of the newness of this travelling mode, most cabin service crews are pretty young in age by North America standard.
The flight was uneventful, we arrived Shenzhen around noon. Shenzhen International Airport has two Terminals, A and B. within a short walk above ground, there is a subway terminal that travelers can purchase a RMB $ 9 one way ticket to Lo-Wu Boarder Entry point – the trip lasts one hour, as usual there is no shortage of traveler, the subway carriages are bright and clean, one hour sitting on a stainless hard seat provides plenty of opportunity for people to reflect on the fact that we humans are weak and fragile as compare to the hard seat underneath us!
Passing through the Customs is fast and painless, I use a Chinese Government issued ID to exit China, on it I have my thumb print and my photo record. If they match, an automated gate will swing open, and the process is done. The same process goes for the HK side.
After passing through Customs, we got on a surface train to a stop called Kowloon Tong, as always, the paces of passengers are fast and I am amaze at the efficiency of the transit system here, everyone has a Octopus Transit Pass, it is a pre pay debit card, seniors and children go by a special designated turnstile, they enjoy reduced fares. I am told; it is 2 HK dollars anywhere one way. Quite a deal as compare to regular fares other passengers pay.
The next day, a tropical storm named Sky Rabbit was brewing in the horizon a few hundred kilometers in the South China Sea, me and my buddy was going to camp out in Lamma Island, have a few beers and count the evening stars just like the old days. But it was not to be, so we stay in different places, I stay in my sister’s, and he stays with his daughter.
The weather in HK hovering between 28-35 C, humidity approaches the low 90%. For travelers who just come into town, one almost needs to shower 2 to 3 times a day just to rid of the sweat build up on your body.
The boys I graduated with organized a four day trip to a resort town called Saba – Saba is located in East Malaysia, neighboring Borneo, we waited anxiously for the tropical storm Sky Rabbit to pass HK by Sunday evening, the news we got from television were not encouraging, there are hundreds of flights either delayed or cancelled in the air port.
We kept our fingers crossed, as the airline we booked for this trip and the route we are going is not extremely popular at this time of the year, we plan our trip before what the Chinese travelling industry call the “Golden Week”. From October 1st to 7th, the country will have a week of holiday. Everyone will be on the road, and highways become parking lots, there is no way to escape from the crowds of tourists anywhere you want to go.
Anyways, comes Monday, the typhoon just glazed HK by 200 km, and we were told to be at the airport at the usual time. Hallelujah!
I got there in ample time, got my boarding pass and slide into a fast food outlet for breakfast, next leg, Saba – Malaysia.