02
Oct
15

West Coast Chronicles: MNL⇢HKG⇢LAX

After about a year and a half, I found myself again on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, this time exploring more of the US West Coast.  While this trip wasn’t really expected, it turned out to be a memorable one and would be the longest vacation of my adult life.  Join me as I recall this trip and save it for posterity.  Let’s go!

Here we go again!

This adventure starts with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Metro Manila (MNL).  I’m quite fortunate that my airline for this trip, Cathay Pacific, had moved to the newer Terminal 3 which is much more convenient in terms of location than the previous Terminal 1.  It had been a while since I last saw this terminal and I’m glad to see that it looks like a “real” airport now (it used to look like an unfinished mall with all the empty spaces).  And there’s even a pay lounge now!

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NAIA T3 looking more functional now

The next stop on this long journey is Hong Kong (HKG).  I’ve been to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), also known as Chek Lap Kok Airport (赤鱲角機場), several times before in the past and it’s still as overwhelming as before.  It’s like a big mall with an airport!  As I’m only travelling as a mere mortal in Economy Class, I didn’t have the privilege of enjoying any of Cathay Pacific’s wonderful lounges, but I got to see more of the airport than before.  It was only about an hour before the next and longest part of my trip: crossing the vastness of the Pacific Ocean from Hong Kong to Los Angeles (LAX).

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The screen console of our plane from MNL to HKG

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The legroom of Cathay Pacific Economy Class

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Snacks: a sandwich and mango juice

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Arriving in HKG

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One of the gates in HKIA

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Waiting for boarding…

Travel Tip: HKIA has a mobile app named HKG My Flight (available for iOS and Android) that provides you real-time flight status along with a map to the airport’s facilities.  They also have high-speed free public Wi-Fi so you can stay updated anywhere inside the airport.
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Power outlets are available throughout HKIA albeit your plug should be HK type.  USB outlets are also available for your gadgets and there are computer terminals as well.

The flight from HKG to LAX is long.  About 13 and a half hours long.  Interestingly enough, I’m still arriving at my destination on the same day.  I left HKG 9:30AM and arrived in LAX 7:30AM on the same date!  Sounds like time travel right? 😀

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The screen console of our flight from HKG to LAX with a USB port and a small area to place your gadgets

Most of my flight time was spent sleeping.  I didn’t get any sleep before I departed in MNL so sleeping wasn’t so difficult despite the chairs that you can’t recline so much without disturbing the person behind you.  For the times I’m awake, it was spent on eating (we get dinner and lunch and snacks in between) and watching movies I’ve not seen before.  Seen four recent movies on this flight alone!

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Our lunch: Coronation chicken salad, a bread, braised chicken with mashed potatoes (inside the foiled container), and apple juice.  We also had ice cream (Häagen-Dazs, not shown) for dessert.

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For dinner: pan-fried fish, carrots, broccoli, spinach tagliatelle, fennel, dill and red pepper cream sauce as the main course with a bread, seasonal fruits, blueberry cheesecake, and some white wine.

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Menu for our flight from HKG to LAX

By the time I arrived in Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) in Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and got through Immigration, I was pretty tired despite getting some shut eyes on the flight.  My body is telling me it’s time to bet yet my eyes are telling me it’s early morning.  I practically just zoomed out of the airport as fast as my body can while dragging my luggage, forgetting to take even a single picture at the airport.  Oh well, I’ll be back in about two weeks!

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West Coast Chronicles:


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