I can’t count how many times I have visited Hong Kong International Airport, on arrival, departure, picking up and dropping off family members in the past couple years. With over 500 boarding gates and the airport continuing to expand to cater for more international visitors, it’s like a giant structured beehive full of busy bee workers coming in and out. The stunning modern architecture designed by British Architect legend Norman Foster continues to fascinate me when ever I come here, it’s definitely Hong Kong’s very own architectural gem.
I remember those times when I was a young child, my family travelled altogether and flew to Hong Kong, and we were seasonal flyers with Cathay Pacific. We conquered boredom, discomfort, battled for window seat, turbulence, sleep deprivation, the best part were the amazing in-flight food. It wasn’t easy for parents travelling with 5 young children on a long haul flight. Fast forward to present time, a lot has improved since then – flight journeys are getting shorter, more choices of in-flight entertainment, more legroom and wider seats, and of course, customer service. Have you heard the news that Cathay Pacific will launch a 4- times weekly service from Gatwick Airport on the 2nd September 2016? That’s certainly good news for people who are based outside of London.
As part of Cathay Pacific’s Life Well Travelled* campaign, I’ve partnered with Cathay Pacific to take you to a trip back to my second home, Hong Kong. An up-coming post will follow, capturing the city’s epicentre of greatness has to offer, the hidden gems, and my top 5’s. Visiting Macau for the first time and I chose to explore the city without a map.
Life Well Travelled is about travelling well and experiencing what Cathay Pacific has to offer, on arrival and departure, and reaching the final destination safely. Feeling stressed out, rushing to the airport with luggage and belongings hitting against your body, processing drop-in baggage, is stressful for some travellers and young families. It is important to prepare ahead of time. Just breathe, and don’t forget our passport too!
Flying back to London from Hong Kong on New Years Eve after spending 7 weeks there, in time to celebrate the New Year with my family. After check-in and had gone through to security check, I had hours to spare to do some shopping at the Duty Free, perfect for last minute souvenir shopping for friends and family, and then relax at Cathay Pacific’s newest Business Class Lounge,’The Bridge’. The Bridge is located at the level 5, South West concourse and near gate 35 of the Hong Kong International Airport, North terminal. The lounge has a beautiful interior design and floor space designed by Fosters + Partners, they also designed and built the airport – featuring its clean Japanese bronze, Italian copper, wood and warm colour carpets with Asian touch with calming effect, complete with marble and wooden table tops and various range of modern and contemporary seating. A pre-flight snack is a must-do before boarding the plane, The Bistro offers Asian and Western food selections including healthy salads, delicious desserts – grab a couple of freshly baked Portuguese tarts, they’re so addictive, and at The Loft, a cup of freshly brewed Jasmine tea.
Aboard the 3:30pm flight to London Heathrow Airport, I was greeted with warm welcome and smiles from the cabin crew, I headed down the Business Class cabin, once seated and got comfortable with the surrounding, I pulled out some necessities from my bag – some reading materials, light snacks, multipurpose lip balm (my skin get dehydrated easily), eye mask, and stored them in the storage compartment below the table. What is so great about the Business Class cabin are the angled seats with privacy screen; you won’t be able to see your neighbours’ faces, even when you lean forward. Drinks were served upon boarding; I asked for a bottle of mineral water as I don’t drink alcohol on the plane.
I had some time to do my usual in-flight facial routine before the plane take off, which is a must-do to prevent dehydration and dryness on the skin. Thankfully, Cathay Pacific provided an amenity kit for Business Class, inside containing 3 tubes of Jurlique products – hand cream, lip balm and day cream, also includes a pair of socks, eye mask, earplugs and dental kit.
Shortly after take off, I sit back and relax, watching a couple of movies whilst relaxing in my own comfort zone, my seat adjusted to a preferred position using the electronic seat controller, and a cup of Oolong tea, the warm feeling of being at home!
Travelling well is also about wellbeing and eating well. I’m slightly lactose intolerant meaning only eat small amount of dairy products. Given the dietary requirements, I always avoid having dessert and vegetarian dishes from their lunch and dinner menu, which has dairy in them. The food was served on an open trolley, for lunch I had the cajun spiced prawns and green mango salad, with mixed salad and Italian vinaigrette. Followed by pork spare ribs, Chinese tomato sauce, broccoli, steamed Jasmine rice, and fruit salad to finish it off. As for dinner before landing, I had fresh seasonal fruit for starter, followed by roasted chicken breast, stewed canneillini beans, spinach, and vine ripened tomato, and a cup of Jasmine tea. The dishes delightful, and well presented!
A 10 hour flight is gruelling enough, it’s common to feel tired and sleepy at 34,000 feet, all you do is snooze to beat the lingering hours, perfect to recoup lost sleep! Fiddling the electronic seat controller like an excited child, reclining my seat at 180 angle, I was able to curl up in a comfortable foetal position, wearing my lavender scented eye mask and snuggle up under a duvet, I slept soundly undisturbed for hours.
Arriving into London Heathrow Airport half an hour early, with New Year’s a few hours away, just in time to travel back home to my loved ones and stay up until the stroke of midnight. I want to say a very big thank you to the cabin crew for their great service; I had the best experience flying Business Class without any complaint, and one of the best long haul flights I have been on.
*As part of the Life Well Travelled campaign, Kit Lee flew from Hong Kong to London on Business Class courtesy of Cathay Pacific.
2 press release images by Cathay Pacific, the rest of the images were shot on an iPhone 6. All words and opinions were my own.