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Choice of stopovers on return flight?

Choice of stopovers on return flight?

Old Apr 24th 2004, 5:45 pm
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Default Choice of stopovers on return flight?

Hi folks, me again. :-)

I'm booking my return flight in the next day or two, I've already been into the Flight Centre to look at my options, and I'm basically choosing between:-

Emirates (via Singapore and Dubai, 3 legs of 7 or so hours each)

and

Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong, two longer legs)

I've decided, having suffered that flight three times already, to either get a business class ticket on Emirates, or stop over for a day or two after each leg.

So, for an enterprising and adventurous English city bloke, which of Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai would you recommend as the best stopover. What would I be best to do if I only had a day or two at any of them?

Or would the money be better off spent on the business class upgrade? I've never travelled business class on a long haul flight before, but I suspect it would make the whole experience a lot less traumatic. The business class upgrade is about an extra 2500 Australian dollars, not sure how much hotels and things in the three cities I've mentioned would be.

Thanks for any help, as ever! I owe you guys a pint when I get back!
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Old Apr 24th 2004, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: Choice of stopovers on return flight?

Originally posted by estarriol
Hi folks, me again. :-)

I'm booking my return flight in the next day or two, I've already been into the Flight Centre to look at my options, and I'm basically choosing between:-

Emirates (via Singapore and Dubai, 3 legs of 7 or so hours each)

and

Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong, two longer legs)

I've decided, having suffered that flight three times already, to either get a business class ticket on Emirates, or stop over for a day or two after each leg.

So, for an enterprising and adventurous English city bloke, which of Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai would you recommend as the best stopover. What would I be best to do if I only had a day or two at any of them?

Or would the money be better off spent on the business class upgrade? I've never travelled business class on a long haul flight before, but I suspect it would make the whole experience a lot less traumatic. The business class upgrade is about an extra 2500 Australian dollars, not sure how much hotels and things in the three cities I've mentioned would be.

Thanks for any help, as ever! I owe you guys a pint when I get back!

Tough choice really!

For me it would have to be Hong Kong, and not just cos I live here!

If you only have 2 days, HK is the place to get it all!

You can do some shopping, (be careful though), see a bit of culture and see this wonderful city.

Singapore would be my second choice, great town and all that but a bit 'Asia for Begginers'.

If I can ffer any specific information about HK please just ask.

Cheers.

BTW......why are you leaving Oz?
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Old Apr 24th 2004, 5:54 pm
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2 days will let you see most of Singapore, 4 days for HK. From HK you can venture to China and from Singapore you can go to Malaysia. From Singapore you can also fly to Phuket or Koh Samui for some serious relaxing.

Next trip I will be looking into stopping at Kinabalu (Malaysian Borneo) or Sri Lanka.
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Old Apr 24th 2004, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Choice of stopovers on return flight?

"If you only have 2 days, HK is the place to get it all!

You can do some shopping, (be careful though), see a bit of culture and see this wonderful city."

Sounds good, I would love to see Hong Kong (that goes for Dubai too, admittedly...). Why do I have to be careful whilst shopping? What will I get the best bargains on compared to the UK?

"BTW......why are you leaving Oz?"

There's a long list, it's all very subjective, but it comes down to loving the UK and having more there than I do here. I thought I was unhappy in the UK but I was wrong, I love the UK and I was just unhappy full stop at the time. That, and I split up with my gf, which is the main reason I was here in the first place.

Here's the list though, since you asked. I'd ask those who find this offensive to remember that this is just a personal opinion, and I really do know that Australia is great for many people:-

Mostly, I'm bored in Australia. I find it to be very bland in a cultural sense. It's sport-obsessed, and I don't like team sports. Any hobby other than sport is marginal. I love culture and history, and there's not much here, variations in geography is not culture. I love travel, and it's actually very expensive here, even internally, Europe is a goldmine of culture and it's so cheap to see it from the UK.

I find the attitudes to be extremely parochial, self-absorbed without being self-analytical (a terrible mixture IMO), and unwelcoming to foreigners. Here as an Englishman, I am a foreigner and somehow deserve less, in the UK my Australian girlfriend was not considered 'foreign' at all. I would hate to be non-caucasian here.

It's too hot, too sunny, too humid, not windy enough and has too little variation in weather. In my experience, the most enjoyable weather is when the weather is changing - cool nights on a hot summer's day, the beautiful days in spring and autumn when it is sunny, but with a cool breeze. They are rare here.

There is a quality to the air on a spring morning in the UK that is wonderful beyond my capacity to express in words. It does not exist here. I like being properly cold sometimes. I like huddling inside a warm coat, trudging through snow. It's a beautiful experience to me.

I have never understood why people are happy when it's 38 degrees and sweating from every pore. I am not. I like to be able to breathe without difficulty, to not have to stay indoors because it's too hot. It's never too cold to keep me indoors in England, I just put a coat on. I don't like being beseiged by flies in the summer, I hate having to wave them away from my face all the time.

The TV is awful, and reception is terrible in some areas. Internet access is expensive and unreliable, and most of it is metered!

The small specialised shops here are good, as good as any in the UK, but the supermarkets and other generalised stores are awful. I never thought I'd long for Sainsbury's and Tesco's, but I do.

I resent being treated like a criminal when I pop into a shop on my way home from work, carrying a rucksack. It will be nice to be able to shop without being suspected of being a thief every time I walk out carrying any sort of bag. Saying "Hi how are you" at the checkout is the most superficial form of manners. Don't accuse me of being a thief and I'll feel much better, thank you.

The quality of driving here is terrible, and driving manners here are worse. Only about half of drivers out there seem to think using indicators when turning is a good idea, and almost nobody will let you into a lane in front of them. I've almost crashed because of that stubbornness.

I am bored of being told how much better than England Australia is, and how it's never warm in England, by people who have never been there. I dislike getting funny looks when I try to tell people that actually we have really great summers, or that there is actually anything good about England at all, or how something somewhere else is done in a way that may be better than how it's done in Aus.

I find the humour in the main to be too aggressive and very crude. I miss self-deprecating humour, or any humour that doesn't involve taking the piss out of someone. Taking the piss definitely has it's place, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all of humour and sometimes people feel sensitive about something and taking the piss out of them about it is not the best way to do things.

The rest of the world has value. Australia is not the best place in the world by default. Your flag does not have to be everywhere. You don't have to use the word "Australians" when you could have just said "people". Australian products are not necessarily better. It's OK to be a part of the rest of the world, or know something about it.

There are things that I like about Australia, things that I will miss, but as you can see, there aren't many and there are many, many things I love about England. Some English people would and do love Australia, some can't stand it.

Sorry for the rant!

Last edited by estarriol; Apr 24th 2004 at 6:50 pm.
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Old Apr 24th 2004, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Choice of stopovers on return flight?

Originally posted by paddythepilot
Tough choice really!

For me it would have to be Hong Kong, and not just cos I live here!

If you only have 2 days, HK is the place to get it all!

You can do some shopping, (be careful though), see a bit of culture and see this wonderful city.

Singapore would be my second choice, great town and all that but a bit 'Asia for Begginers'.

If I can ffer any specific information about HK please just ask.

Cheers.

BTW......why are you leaving Oz?
It would seem a shame that having travelled so far - to Oz - that you don't spend some time visiting real Asian cities.

I'm with the view that HK is at the top of the places to see. I liked the comment that 'Singapore is Asia for beginners!'

Business class is great - I found it reduces the time taken to get over jet-lag. But, if asked to choose between a more comfortable seat and better food, and stopping over - I'd go for the stop over
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Old Apr 24th 2004, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Choice of stopovers on return flight?

Originally posted by estarriol
"If you only have 2 days, HK is the place to get it all!

You can do some shopping, (be careful though), see a bit of culture and see this wonderful city."

Sounds good, I would love to see Hong Kong (that goes for Dubai too, admittedly...). Why do I have to be careful whilst shopping? What will I get the best bargains on compared to the UK?

"BTW......why are you leaving Oz?"

There's a long list, it's all very subjective, but it comes down to loving the UK and having more there than I do here. I thought I was unhappy in the UK but I was wrong, I love the UK and I was just unhappy full stop at the time...
Excellent! Sheer poetry,...mate!

You have managed to cover every key point that drives people to leave Oz.
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Old Apr 24th 2004, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Choice of stopovers on return flight?

Where did you live in Oz and how long have you been there?

Edit: sorry, just seen your other thread - you're in Melbourne for ~a year. Normally, it takes other people longer to get to the same conclusions as you!

Last edited by MikeStanton; Apr 24th 2004 at 7:16 pm.
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Old Apr 24th 2004, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Choice of stopovers on return flight?

Originally posted by estarriol
"If you only have 2 days, HK is the place to get it all!

You can do some shopping, (be careful though), see a bit of culture and see this wonderful city."

Sounds good, I would love to see Hong Kong (that goes for Dubai too, admittedly...). Why do I have to be careful whilst shopping? What will I get the best bargains on compared to the UK?

"BTW......why are you leaving Oz?"

There's a long list, it's all very subjective, but it comes down to loving the UK and having more there than I do here. I thought I was unhappy in the UK but I was wrong, I love the UK and I was just unhappy full stop at the time. That, and I split up with my gf, which is the main reason I was here in the first place.

Here's the list though, since you asked. I'd ask those who find this offensive to remember that this is just a personal opinion, and I really do know that Australia is great for many people:-

Mostly, I'm bored in Australia. I find it to be very bland in a cultural sense. It's sport-obsessed, and I don't like team sports. Any hobby other than sport is marginal. I love culture and history, and there's not much here, variations in geography is not culture. I love travel, and it's actually very expensive here, even internally, Europe is a goldmine of culture and it's so cheap to see it from the UK.

I find the attitudes to be extremely parochial, self-absorbed without being self-analytical (a terrible mixture IMO), and unwelcoming to foreigners. Here as an Englishman, I am a foreigner and somehow deserve less, in the UK my Australian girlfriend was not considered 'foreign' at all. I would hate to be non-caucasian here.

It's too hot, too sunny, too humid, not windy enough and has too little variation in weather. In my experience, the most enjoyable weather is when the weather is changing - cool nights on a hot summer's day, the beautiful days in spring and autumn when it is sunny, but with a cool breeze. They are rare here.

There is a quality to the air on a spring morning in the UK that is wonderful beyond my capacity to express in words. It does not exist here. I like being properly cold sometimes. I like huddling inside a warm coat, trudging through snow. It's a beautiful experience to me.

I have never understood why people are happy when it's 38 degrees and sweating from every pore. I am not. I like to be able to breathe without difficulty, to not have to stay indoors because it's too hot. It's never too cold to keep me indoors in England, I just put a coat on. I don't like being beseiged by flies in the summer, I hate having to wave them away from my face all the time.

The TV is awful, and reception is terrible in some areas. Internet access is expensive and unreliable, and most of it is metered!

The small specialised shops here are good, as good as any in the UK, but the supermarkets and other generalised stores are awful. I never thought I'd long for Sainsbury's and Tesco's, but I do.

I resent being treated like a criminal when I pop into a shop on my way home from work, carrying a rucksack. It will be nice to be able to shop without being suspected of being a thief every time I walk out carrying any sort of bag. Saying "Hi how are you" at the checkout is the most superficial form of manners. Don't accuse me of being a thief and I'll feel much better, thank you.

The quality of driving here is terrible, and driving manners here are worse. Only about half of drivers out there seem to think using indicators when turning is a good idea, and almost nobody will let you into a lane in front of them. I've almost crashed because of that stubbornness.

I am bored of being told how much better than England Australia is, and how it's never warm in England, by people who have never been there. I dislike getting funny looks when I try to tell people that actually we have really great summers, or that there is actually anything good about England at all, or how something somewhere else is done in a way that may be better than how it's done in Aus.

I find the humour in the main to be too aggressive and very crude. I miss self-deprecating humour, or any humour that doesn't involve taking the piss out of someone. Taking the piss definitely has it's place, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all of humour and sometimes people feel sensitive about something and taking the piss out of them about it is not the best way to do things.

The rest of the world has value. Australia is not the best place in the world by default. Your flag does not have to be everywhere. You don't have to use the word "Australians" when you could have just said "people". Australian products are not necessarily better. It's OK to be a part of the rest of the world, or know something about it.

There are things that I like about Australia, things that I will miss, but as you can see, there aren't many and there are many, many things I love about England. Some English people would and do love Australia, some can't stand it.

Sorry for the rant!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well..........time for a change eh?, Oz is obviously not for you!

I live in Brisbane for a year, so I can see where your coming from!

On the other hand, I found living in the UK very difficult, but there are some wonderful things about the UK which I love:

1) The wonderful countryside

2). Those lovely long summer days

3). The change of the seasons (real seasons!)

4). The pubs!

5). Even the BBC is pretty damn good.

However, cos I can't quite face living in the UK, I think 'eventually' I'll end up in the Republic of Ireland.......its' similar enough to all the things I love about the UK (above) and yet it is different!

OK, why be careful about shopping in Hong Kong? Basically, if you go up and down Nathan Road with all the other tourists.......buying cameras, computer stuf etc......you are going to get over charged!

There are some real bargains here, and I would be delighted to point you in the right direction if you decide to make HK your stop over city.

Anyway, sorry for the 'hard sell' on Ireland.......but I just love it!

Cheers
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Old Apr 24th 2004, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: Choice of stopovers on return flight?

However, cos I can't quite face living in the UK, I think 'eventually' I'll end up in the Republic of Ireland.......its' similar enough to all the things I love about the UK (above) and yet it is different!
Yeah, I can see that, and when I was trying to persuade my gf to come back with me, we were thinking about Ireland. I should definitely visit it, I have a friend who went there on holiday and loved it so much that he never came back...

OK, why be careful about shopping in Hong Kong? Basically, if you go up and down Nathan Road with all the other tourists.......buying cameras, computer stuf etc......you are going to get over charged!

There are some real bargains here, and I would be delighted to point you in the right direction if you decide to make HK your stop over city.
Cheers mate, I might just take you up on that! Thanks for the warning.
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Old Apr 25th 2004, 2:23 am
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Hi

I totally agree with Mike Stanton's post.

I lived in Singapore for more than 5 years - and your post stated that you hate the humidity and heat in Oz. Well, as Singapore is just 85 miles North of the Equator it's very, very hot and sticky 24/7, 365 days of the year!

Actually Singapore is very bland, clean and 'sterile'. I would go for Hong Kong for sure........I don't know when you are going to travel but Dubai is just going to be far too hot in the Summer months and you wouldn't even be able to go on a jeep safari.

It's wonderful to go on the very steep cliffside train/tram up to "The Peak" in Hong Kong and to see one of the most fabulous views in the world - go at dusk to see it by daylight and as the lights come on as it gets dark. There are some lovely walking tracks along there too, like a nature trail. Take the 'Star Ferry' between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon and maybe a ferry to Lamma or/and Lantau islands (I think Lamma island is the one I went to which has the huge Buddha and Chinese temple; Paddy will know). Go for a walk in Victoria Park and see the locals doing their Tai-chee.

Go to 'Stanley' (fabulous bus ride on a double decker bus to see all the scenery on the way) and a great marketplace in little streets to buy all of those T shirts, prints and nick-nacks. Some good places to eat in Stanley (which is like a village). In the evenings of course there are so many places to go (even floating restaurants)...again I guess Paddy will advise... :lecture:

These websites may help:

http://www.timeouthk.com

http://www.timeoutdubai.com

...er, there isn't one for Singapore! It's not exciting enough, but if you decide to stopover there I can give you a few ideas.

As for your choice of biz class or economy, maybe you should check on the airline's own websites to see if they're offering 'mid-class' on certain routes or aircraft configuration which is halfway between economy and business class ie. you get a lot more legroom but not quite all the frills as business class. (For example, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have mid-class, I don't know if the Asian airlines offer this option).
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Old Apr 25th 2004, 2:26 am
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Correction for the Time Out Hong Kong website:

http://www.timeout.com/hongkong


The one for Dubai is correct.
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Old Apr 25th 2004, 12:25 pm
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i flew with emirates last year to london... i didnt have a stop over but i flew melbourne to singapore - with an hour stop.. then 7 hours to dubai with 3 hours stop - had shower etc when there - then 7 hours to london - so basically it was short flights all the way and i really noticed the difference of flying that to 12 hours flights...

i swore i would never fly economy again but i did and emirates were fantastic and i wouldnt have a problem flying economy again...

im flying with emirates from perth - stopping over in dubai for 5 nights
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Old Apr 25th 2004, 1:01 pm
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Originally posted by Englishmum
Hi

I totally agree with Mike Stanton's post.

I lived in Singapore for more than 5 years - and your post stated that you hate the humidity and heat in Oz. Well, as Singapore is just 85 miles North of the Equator it's very, very hot and sticky 24/7, 365 days of the year!

Actually Singapore is very bland, clean and 'sterile'. I would go for Hong Kong for sure........I don't know when you are going to travel but Dubai is just going to be far too hot in the Summer months and you wouldn't even be able to go on a jeep safari.

It's wonderful to go on the very steep cliffside train/tram up to "The Peak" in Hong Kong and to see one of the most fabulous views in the world - go at dusk to see it by daylight and as the lights come on as it gets dark. There are some lovely walking tracks along there too, like a nature trail. Take the 'Star Ferry' between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon and maybe a ferry to Lamma or/and Lantau islands (I think Lamma island is the one I went to which has the huge Buddha and Chinese temple; Paddy will know). Go for a walk in Victoria Park and see the locals doing their Tai-chee.

Go to 'Stanley' (fabulous bus ride on a double decker bus to see all the scenery on the way) and a great marketplace in little streets to buy all of those T shirts, prints and nick-nacks. Some good places to eat in Stanley (which is like a village). In the evenings of course there are so many places to go (even floating restaurants)...again I guess Paddy will advise... :lecture:

These websites may help:

http://www.timeouthk.com

http://www.timeoutdubai.com

...er, there isn't one for Singapore! It's not exciting enough, but if you decide to stopover there I can give you a few ideas.

As for your choice of biz class or economy, maybe you should check on the airline's own websites to see if they're offering 'mid-class' on certain routes or aircraft configuration which is halfway between economy and business class ie. you get a lot more legroom but not quite all the frills as business class. (For example, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have mid-class, I don't know if the Asian airlines offer this option).
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Englishmum,

Sounds like you Hong Kong quite well.

Yep! I'll tell you the standard tour I take people on when they come to visit for the first time:

The Peak is a good start, you can take the 'Peak Tram' from Central and it is really is good value for money. It is good to do the Peak twice, once in the morning and again at dusk, (in that order). Lovely views, well breathtaking actually!

Then I normally take the bus from the Peak down to Stanley Market, for a bit of shopping in the.........quite a few bargains there of everyone! Then something to eat in Stanley, there are loads of lovely little pubs along the waterfront which are reasonably priced.

Then take another bus to Central, (from stanley), where we can jump on the 'Star Ferry'......which is a quick boat trip to Kowloon where we can look at the views across the harbour, (the one you see on all the post cards).

Then a bit of wandering around 'Tsimshatsui', maybe a quick pop into the 'Peninsula Hotel', (the 'Felix Bar' on the top floor is highly recommended......make sure you go to the toilets, gentlemen you'll smile for sure!).

You can then spend the rest of the evening in Tsimshatsui and enjoy the atmosphere and excitment of Hong Kong, becareful shopping in Tsimshatsui! (avoid electrical shops in this area-rip off of sure).

For a bit of 'the real Hong Kong", take the MTR (Tube) to 'Yau Ma Tei' station, where you will find 'Temple Street' and some pretty down to earth streets you have never seen before! (safe enough so don't worry).

I could go on and on........but I'd better go to a meeting!

Cheers
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Old Apr 26th 2004, 12:35 am
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Paddy - I just *love* Hong Kong!

I've only been there about three times, but one of those trips was when we did a 'holiday exchange' between our apartment in Singapore and some good friends (my husband's colleague and his family) who had an apartment a couple of miles away on the coast road from Stanley.

We had the best time at the Hong Kong Sevens...my
husband's company always has a private box and lays on food and drink.

I remember walking down Nathan Road with our son who was then aged about 9 or 10. He was horrified to be walking past an eating house as the cook pulled a lobster out of a tank, put it on a chopping board and chopped it in half whilst it was still alive.

I'd never seen that happen in Singers!

Another good place to visit is (Shanghai) Tang's dept store, and to go up all of those escalators at Mid-Levels.


He he, I still have my Hong Kong 1997 Handover T-Shirt - I'll have to dig it out and wear it to aerobics.
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Old Apr 26th 2004, 4:42 pm
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I just booked my flight, and decided to spend 3 days in Hong Kong on the way back - I'm really looking forward to that. Many thanks for the help and recommendations, folks.

I need to book somewhere to stay on the nights of 8th - 10th May (I'm leaving late on 11th). Can anyone recommend a hotel that is in an interesting area, decent and not too expensive?
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