From Melbourne to Beijing

By Cubie - April 22, 2013

My flight to Beijing was the first time I travelled with China Southern Airlines, being the cheapest option at the time of travel. I know, I know it's probably more advantageous to stick to one airline and earn the reward points. However it is hard to ignore if a cheaper flight came up.

The flight was pretty alright, economy class were even allowed 2 checked in luggages up to 23 kg respectively. I would really like those individual inflight entertainment unit though considering it was a nine hour flight to Guangzhou for transit. Those travelling business class and first class (of course) had their own individual entertainment unit but if you are sitting amongst the rest in the economy class - tough luck, we were all sharing a couple of units hanging from the top of the plane and pre-selected movies.

The flight took off from Melbourne on time and I find the inflight food selection were rather different but not in a bad way. One of the food option for dinner was 糯米饭 (nuo mi fan, glutinous rice). I had a blonde moment and picked the other option which was spaghetti bolognaise. I wished I had pick the glutinous rice because it was wrapped in lotus leaf and sure smelt delicious.

The flight attendants spoke to me in Mandarin, and I assume to every Chinese passenger as well though I know that vocabulary used would vary. Just like one of the food selection, chicken with potato. Potato is called 土豆 (tu dou) in China but 马铃薯 (ma ling shu) in Malaysia. Another interesting difference with China Southern Airlines was that they aired a series of exercise/stretching routine, said to aid with fatigue/tiredness from flying. Grin, I followed along, not sure if it helped but at least it was good to have a stretch.

Overlooking the baggage collecting area from transit lounge
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport was huge. There were free shuttles carts to connect between Area A and Area B. It certainly looked modern and new, but strangely enough the toilets in the transit lounge was rather out of place. It was two squat toilets, side by side with each other, completed with metal doors. No flashy entrance or anything of that sort, just two metal doors at one corner of the transit lounge. -_-

The connecting flight from Guangzhou to Beijing unfortunately was delayed by fifty minutes. We were boarded on time but grounded in flight, said they were pending for air traffic clearance. The crew was doing a good job, they even offered to serve the food before take off if anyone was hungry. I think it was very thoughtful for the crew to remind everybody to wear their coat before leaving the plane as Beijing was significantly cold as compared to Guangzhou.

It was not fun sitting in the flight that was stationary for close to an hour but all ends well, I touched down almost the same time as sis. After meeting up with her, we proceeded to the taxi (chūzūchē, 出租车) rank and we sure had a 'warm' welcome by the first taxi driver we encoutered in Beijing. Despite queuing at the designated taxi rank, the taxi driver decided that our destination was not far enough to be profitable to him, he parked his taxi about 100 metres from the taxi rank, left our luggages in the trunk and both of us at the back seat, he went down to look for other customer(s) to share the taxi. = =""

After about 5-10 minutes, we decided to abandon this cab and made our way back to the taxi rank again. We were ok this round and eventually arrived the hostel we made reservation before departing.

Side note: It's so hard to progress in this 'project' :(

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  1. What an experience with the cabs.

    Kinda reminds you of Malaysia cab drivers or not? ;p

    1. yup, it does but I avoid taking cabs in Malaysia if I can.
      This encounter in Beijing, unfortunately was about 1 am, there wasn't much alternative left.

  2. That taxi story made me laugh! You can't take a taxi in Africa without sharing it with at least 30 other people (in a minibus meant for 15). ^^

    PS: I've twice had the experience of a taxi driver in Japan refusing to pick me up. One in Tokyo, one in Kyoto. Both were old men, and both probably thought I couldn't speak Japanese.

    1. Are taxis in Africa usually in the size of minibus?

      P/S: Ah.. that first driver was older, but the second one much younger and even tried to call the hostel to check on the location.