MH69 TPE-BKI, 15-Mar
Boeing 737-400 Seat 14K

First old 737 in a while but got the pick of the seats – 14A/K have meters of legroom as the two exit rows in front have no window seats. Despite its age, cabin was in looking OK, although unsure about Malaysian random colour system that mixes red, green, Orange and aqua blue seats. Loads around 90% but I had a spare next to me.


Decent meal served – choice of chicken noodles or an omlette.

More Lounge Taipei

More Lounge Taipei

Paid a visit to this Priority Pass lounge. Lounge sits in the middle of the passage connecting the two wings with a view from the outside to immigration. Design and seating is very old wordly (Somewhat different to the Cathay lounge down the hall). Food is fairly local but a good selection of soups and buns, and some toast. Plenty of packaged tea/coffee, a soda fountain, ice cream and small selection of spirits. Lots of computers to use and quick wifi.


Amba Hotel Ximending Taipei

Amba Hotel Ximending

This is a brand new hotel in Ximending, the area described as Taipei’s Shibuya. A number of streets are closed to traffic in the afternoon and evening including the street in front of the Amba, but only a 50m walk from the main road. Hotel sits above a multi-level department store with a bakery and Starbucks at Ground Level and McD’s across the road. Hotel reception on Level 5, with rooms on Level 6 to 10. Opened in Feb 2012 so very new. Reception area is very funky and open and the level also contains a large bar and restaurant with some cool modern artwork.


Rooms are very clean and modern. All white bed but with an antique coke chest and metal drum as side tables. Closet looks like it is from ikea. Separate shower and toilet and a central sink, fridge etc near the entrance. Overall very nice hotel, a bit like an aloft I guess. No minibar but a decent sized fridge. Free wifi in the rooms with good speed.


Spent the night exploring Ximending


Then over to City Hall to checkout Taipei 101 (a surprisingly longish walk from the MTR).


Only downside to the hotel for me was being on the main road side (room 823) there was a lot of external noise including motorcycles and trucks. Windows on that side do not appear to be double glazed. Perhaps rooms on the other side or the internal ones would be quieter.

Alarm set for 530 but bodyclock got me at 520. Out of hotel by 535 and onto a bus by 545 (taxi and bus cost 100+125twd and far more comfortable than the 1200twd taxi fare). Bus makes a few short stops along the way but at airport by 630. No queue for Malaysian checkin (800 departure) so through to airside.


CX472 HKG-TPE 16-Mar
Airbus A340-300 B-HXK (Jul-98), Seat 16K, Gate 71

Menu (400/408/464/470/472 F-A/12)

Fresh seasonal fruit

Main Courses
Braised minced pork patty, steamed jasmine rice with pak choy and Chinese vegetables
Roasted chicken breast in port wine sauce, creamy Parmesan polenta, roasted carrot, turnip and parsnip
Braised e-fu noodle with deep-fried shrimp shiu gow

Chocolate mousse brownie with raspberry

Tea and Coffee

Wines (same menu)
Champagne – Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne
White – Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (NZ); Domaine des Malandes Chablis 2009 (France)
Red – Moonvine McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2009 (SA Australia); Château Taffard de Blaignan Médoc 2009
Port – Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2006


Arrived at TPE T1 (which is undergoing wholesale renovation) and managed to find the single ATM Machine then downstairs for the bus into the city (a high speed rail connection is under construction but still seems some way off). I took the Cheung Kwa bus to Taipei Main Station then a short taxi to Ximending.

The Arrival and Conrad Hong Kong

One of the first into The Arrival (after waiting half an hour into the empty terminal) and secured a shower and got changed.

Quick breakfast, first train then shuttle to Conrad Hong Kong. Arriving at 7am on a free stay I wasn’t expecting a room – but no – 58th floor Executive Club room was mine. HHonors Diamond status works again. Usual impeccable Conrad service throughout the stay, although I was only briefly able to utilise the Evening Drinks.

So a quick snooze and use of the internet in lounge then off to a few meetings and lunches including my first visit to the ICC, Ritz Carlton and massive shopping mall beneath. Some evening drinks at the misspelled Wooloomooloo in LKF Then a solely Californian wine bar Californian Vintage (had over 80 wines by the glass using a vacuum system) and a cool ipad menu/ info system.

Next day I actually checked baggage in the morning and just roamed about with a day pack before working my way back to the Airport. CX Wing First is now closed with a sign and staff member standing at the entrance but doesn’t appear to be much happening yet.

But with a Gate 71 departure, it was off to The Pier First. Food area was very busy and food selection was the usual good stuff. Walked out via Business lounge to get closer to my gate.


CX138 SYD-HKG 12-Mar
Airbus A330, B-HLR (Sep-01), Seat 19D

Checkin for CX at Sydney was in Row A which has seen better days. Only three serving the business queue with three other passengers waiting. Check in appeared very slow in the economy queue was quite large. Anyhow through to the Qantas First Lounge by 1930 when I was one of no more than five there (unfortunately spa was closed). Sat down and ordered and the lounge gradually filled up.

Lounge had just changed to the new spring menu so I took part in some of the new dishes, and then went back for the new wagyu sandwich (brilliant but messy given the salad).


Plane was old style lie flat coffins, I think this is the only HKG-SYD flight yet to change over to the new style and completely full. I had changed flights two weeks before and was only able to get an aisle seat. Watched j.edgar on the plane, got changed into my QF First pj’s (byo as cx doesn’t provide – two other pax were in QF Business), got a do not disturb sticker and to bed. Plane arrived at gate early and was through the airport by 430! So half an hour till CX Arrival opened and over an hour till the first train service

Menu (138-1137J-A/12)

Mixed salad with gravlax and French dressing

Main Courses
Braised lamb shank with creamy polenta, green beans and carrots
Deep-fried cod with hot bean sauce, steamed rice, pak choy and carrot

Light Choice
Roasted duck in noodle soup

Cheese and Dessert
Camembert, Maffra Fargo Walnut, Roaring Forties Blue
Fresh seasonal fruit
Chocolate orange mousse and strawberry cream cake with raspberry coulis

Tea and Coffee

Roasted duck in noodle soup
Maggie Beer ice cream

Orange or Apple juice
Mixed berry & soya milk smoothie
Fresh seasonal fruit
Fruit yoghurt
Butcher muesli

Main Courses
Spanish omlette with Mushrooms, chorizo, beans and corn cakes
Braised e-fu noodles with dim sum and Chilli sauce
Congee with chicken and ginko nuts

Bread Basket
Assorted breakfast bread served with preserves, honey and butter

Tea and Coffee

Wines (100,102,104,110,134,136,138,156,162,170,174,178,194 1-3-2012)
Champagne – Champagne Deutz, Brut Classic
White – Mountadam Vineyard Eden Valley Riesling 2009 (SA, Australia); Domaine des Malandes Chablis 2009 ( France )
Red – Château de Maison Neuve Montage Saint-Emilion 2009 (France); Moonvine McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2009 ( SA, Australia )
Special leaflet – Dilection Chinon 2010 (Grand Château, Loire Valley, France )