After recovering from such a tiring travel for a day, here I am back at the daily grind yet totally excited for the upcoming weekend. My trip to Beijing was short but nonetheless very interesting and inspiring. It was for work and what I love about being able to join work-related functions wherein I get to meet our fellow counterparts is the fact that I get to learn a lot from them. It always gives me that drive to do more for my brands..it keeps me inspired and motivated. That's always a good thing, right?
Well, as mentioned in my earlier post, this was the first time that I traveled on my own. I'm happy to report that I came back in one piece. Though, I sadly caught a bad case of cough and colds from the change in temperature and probably from those white cotton-like particles that were flying around Beijing all four days but I'll be okay hopefully in a few more days. Loading up on Vitamin C and H2O!!
Service was good as the plane a pretty small. Just about the same size as our local Cebu Pacific with most planes having just six seats in a row. It was only during the Guanzhou-Beijing leg wherein I rode the 747 and we had the 3-4-3 seat layout. Sadly, there was not much in-flight entertainment that's why I just made use of my iPod to keep me entertained all throughout the flight.
Let me share with you what I had during my flights with China Southern Airlines:
Our first meal (lunch) during the Manila - Guangzhou leg
Chicken with colored rice topped with Chinese Petchay
sidings: bread with unsalted butter, chicken veggie salad, trio of fruits
The chicken meat was tender while the rice was pretty *blah*. I tried a piece of bread which was too hard perhaps because it was already cold and the butter really didn't helped perk up the flavor as it was unsalted. I liked the Chicken Veggie Salad though which I added into my rice to make it more delicious.
Our second meal (dinner) during the Guangzhou - Beijing leg
Braised Beef with Radish with White Rice
sidings: round bread, spicy pickled radish, veggie with meatloaf salad and sliced dragon fruit and pineapple
I arrived at Beijing a little past 8PM and immediately found my 3 happy counterparts who warmly welcomed me to China. After going through the thorough security check and changing some of my dollars ($) to yuan (Y), we headed out to the carpark where my ride was waiting for me. I got to say, our host really took care of us by making sure our schedules were filled up and we were shuttled from one place to another.
I got to my hotel, the Xizhao Temple Hotel after our 45 minutes drive from the airport. Since I was too tired to go out and search for a place to eat, I decided to just have room service to pacify my growling tummy as I hardly had much beef and rice for the last airplane meal. More about the hotel on my next entry.
On my way back to Manila, little did I know that I would be in for an adventure. It was raining in Beijing that day and most flights were affected as a lot couldn't take off from their point of origin. My plane specifically couldn't leave Cheng Du province which means there's an uncertainty whether or not it would make it to Beijing on that day. I got to the airport a little past 2PM for my 415PM flight. As I got to the designated check-in counter, I was told that we couldn't check in yet as the plane is not there yet. I wanted to go back to Manila as soon as possible so thoughts of taking another plane to get home were considered. Finally, I found a fellow Filipino passenger and together, we waited until 4PM where we were finally given the go signal to check in. Our plane finally took off at 7PM but we were provided with a bento-like meal as part of their compensation for the delay. This was pretty yummy!
From Beijing, we got to Xiamen at 10PM and we were told to quickly head to the immigration and customs for our exit stamp. At 1030PM we were back at the plane excited for our final leg back to Manila! Boy, we were so excited! It took the plane forever to move and people were growing anxious. Finally, a voice came over the speakers announcing that the plane won't be able to fly to Manila as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be closed from 12 midnight to 5AM. What?!!??! I was in disbelief! How could that be possible as I always arrive past midnight. Could it just be Terminal 1? I don't think so. :(
People were tired, sleepy, hungry and frustrated. It was indeed a very gloomy environment at the Xiamen airport that evening. I pity the elders who were with us who had to sleep at the hard airport couch. I'm glad though that the ground stewardesses thought of covering them up with blanket.
Finally, a little past 3AM we were told to proceed back to the airplane. This is it! We're going home! I wasn't able to have my last meal as I was just so sleepy to eat. We got to Manila at 6AM and majority of the passengers, like me, were just so happy to finally be home.
Over-all, food was pretty forgettable but the service was okay. Still, I don't think China Southern will be my airline of choice should I find myself heading to China again next time.