Since our flight to Hong Kong did not leave until the afternoon, we managed to have a nice breakfast and visit another tourist attraction in Xiamen which is the Nanputuo Temple 南普陀寺 or the South Putuo Temple located in the southwestern part of the city just beside the Xiamen University. Xiamen University is famous by being an educational institution founded by Tan Kah Kee, a well known overseas Chinese philanthropist who also help found several institutions of higher learning in Singapore.
Nanputuo Temple, meanwhile is a well-known place of worship for Buddhist and it was crowded in the morning we visited. We had a nice walk around the temple and made some offerings before heading to the SM City Mall near the Westin Hotel for lunch. We made our way back to the hotel to retrieve our luggage before hailing 2 cabs to the airport.
KA603 Xiamen Gaoqi XMN – Hong Kong HKG
Airbus A320-200 B-HSG
With all the travelling, we were cutting it a bit close for our check-in at the airport and we were amongst the last to check-in for our flight. At the check-in counter, the agent was having some difficulty in checking us in for the whole flight due to seat assignments and we had to wait around 20 minutes before boarding passes were issued including those for our connecting flights to Singapore. Lounge passes were also given to all 4 of us, and for my brother because he will actually be connecting to Singapore on Business Class.
The queue for the security and immigration was light fortunately and we were soon airside in the relatively small international terminal. As we still had time to spare before boarding commences, we head to the so-called ‘First Class Lounge’, which was odd since there doesn’t seem to be true international First Class departing from Xiamen. Dragonair uses this lounge for its premium passengers and it was a comfortable space to have some snacks while enjoying the views of the tarmac.
I was able to spot Dragonair’s A320 from the lounge as well as an All Nippon Airways Boeing 767 beside it. Other airlines seen that afternoon was a Xiamen Airlines 737. Inside the lounge, there was a variety of snacks and some pastries for guests to enjoy. Since we had lunch earlier on, I just picked some snacks from the counter and enjoyed it while catching up on news using the wifi in the lounge.
We only enjoyed the lounge for a while before boarding was called and it was a short walk to the gate. There was a long queue in the aero-bridge and this allowed me the opportunity to take a panoramic photo of the jet we will be boarding to Hong Kong.
This afternoon flight would also be nearly full and Dragonair operates a twice daily service to Xiamen which seems to be a profitable route for them. Similar to the previous flight, the take-off was fast and the crew went to work after the seat belt signs came off to distribute the meal tray. Today’s flight will have a meat-filled sandwich, with a small container of apple juice and a small pastry. There was also a pack of wet towels inside the tray.
After the inflight snack, I pass the time by reading the inflight magazine which has an article on Myanmar. It seems that the liberalization of Myanmar has led to many keen interests in travelling to the country for business and leisure. It was also interesting that Dragonair has a separate inflight magazine considering it is after all part of Cathay Pacific.
Shortly thereafter the flight started its descent into Hong Kong and it was a nice afternoon flight. This would also be one of the first time in a long while that we were parked in a separate concourse from the main terminal. This meant we had to board a people mover bus that took around 5 minutes to take us to the main terminal. Apparently this separate concourse is mainly used for connections to China during the afternoon/evening departures time-slot which is a busy period for HKIA. There was a few China-based airlines occupying this terminal along with Dragonair and Hong Kong Express jets.