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Old 8th January 2017, 08:18 PM   #1
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Default Taipei Countdown 2017 via Singapore Airlines Business Class

Following my trip to Bangkok over Xmas, I made another trip over the New Year holidays, to Taipei to witness the Taipei 101 New Year Fireworks. This was of course coupled with some shopping as well as eating.

Having checked-in online earlier, we proceeded to Terminal 3 to drop off our bags and obtain boarding passes. The terminal was rather quiet during the mid-morning period after the morning rush.




Proceeded to the Silver Kris Lounge. This was my first visit to the T3 SKL even though I have visited the T2 side a couple of times prior.




Xmas deco in the lounge.




At this time of the day with few departing flights, the lounge felt vast, empty and quiet.








Buffet and beverage areas. Breakfast items were being served at the time. Selection seems to be more than the T2 SKL.












My late-breakfast selection of Nasi Lemak, dim sum, fried carrot cake and tau suan dessert.

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Old 8th January 2017, 08:50 PM   #2
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Desserts, fruits and a TWG green tea to wrap up my lounge visit.




Off to the gate at A12, where boarding has already commenced. Surprisingly, the flight was not full at all considering the upcoming New Year holidays.




Boarding another SQ A330, barely 38hrs after getting off one.





29 December 2016
Singapore Airlines
SQ 878
Singapore (SIN) - Taipei Taoyuan (TPE)
A330-300
9V-STY
Business Class
Flight Time: 4H16M



Boarding the aircraft and was welcomed at the door.




Proceeded to my seat at 16K. As per previous flight, this was the Regional Business Class angled lie-flat seats which has been reviewed many times before. A Lionair aircraft parked beside.




Aircraft was updated with the January selection of inflight mag and entertainmant.




Headsets




Welcome drinks and hot towels were offered. I chose a Charles Heidsieck to start.




Boarding completed and we pushed back early.




Safety video played. The Business cabin was less than half full.




Jet Airways has started sending their B773ERs to Singapore.




It was a rather long taxi to the departure Rwy02C. Passing the new Terminal 4.




Video of the taxi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8iQ4JdpC_U
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Old 8th January 2017, 09:16 PM   #3
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Taxi and takeoff from Rwy02C.














Video of takeoff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stVetK8c3nY


Continued with the movie which I did not complete on the previous flight. Also browsed through the menu.




Lunch and dinner menu for SQ878/879.






Beverage selection. The selection is slightly different from the offerings on my previous BKK flight.





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Old 8th January 2017, 09:34 PM   #4
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Slippers, socks and eyeshades were distributed.




Quick visit to the lavatory.






View of the cabin and seats.






After takeoff drinks and warm nuts were served. I had ordered the Silver Kris Sling for my beverage of choice. Unlike my trip to TPE 2 years back, SQ's signature satay service has been discontinued on the TPE flights. Lunch choices were also taken.




Soon, lunch service started.




Meal tray with starter and breads.




Marinated prawns in lemon thyme dressing, herb feta cheese and grilled red peppers.

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Old 8th January 2017, 09:54 PM   #5
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Cheese and garlic breads.




For the mains, we had Booked-the-Cook. My travel partner had the Chinese Style Cod with Fried Rice, served with seasonal oriental vegetables, Chinese black mushrooms and egg fried rice. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Zhu Jun. It tasted rather good.




I had selected the Chargrilled Soya-Flavoured Beef: Japanese-style beef, vegetables simmered in mirin, and shimeiji mushroom rice. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Yoshihiro Murata. This was one of the best beef dish I had onboard a flight, with the beef still being red in the middle and very tender.






Dessert was a Movenpick Pistachio ice-cream, which was heavenly!




Or a Lemon Curd Cream Cake. The cake was a bit too tarty for my liking.




1.5hrs into the flight.




Cheeses and fruits. I had a melon and some longans. Cheeses were on the strong side.




Started on a second movie.




Pralines offered and I ordered a mocha after a bout of turbulence to end the meal.






Seat in almost full recline mode.

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Old 8th January 2017, 10:25 PM   #6
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After a short snooze, we were approaching Taiwan and starting the descend soon.




Descending through the clouds and overflying the city of Taichung.










Hugging the coast during the descend.




Landing announcements.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi6kkD5dvHo


Video of descent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWAMX297zV4


Approach and landing into Taipei Taoyuan Rwy05L slightly ahead of schedule.












Video of landing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuK91_9uoZo


A whole row of CI aircraft at the terminal.

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Old 8th January 2017, 10:46 PM   #7
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Parked beside a CI A330 in special livery.




View of my seat during disembarkation.




Disembarked.




This was again, a very good flight on Singapore Airlines, with the high standards maintained. Service was generally pretty good, with the Leading stewardess serving in Business Class providing excellent service. Catering was not bad and the seats were comfortable enough for the mid-haul flight. Good flight overall.


There was a queue at immigration due to an earlier arrival flight ahead but it was cleared within 15min. Luggage wa already circulating the belt.




We took the airport bus for an hour long bus ride direct to the hotel near Minquan West Road, K Hotel Taipei II. This is a business-styled hotel with comfortable-enough rooms (though not the most comfortable beds) and large bathroom. The rates were very reasonable for this peak period.






After check-in and dropping our luggage, we proceeded to the Ximending area, straight to our must-go local food joint for our fill of braised meat over rice, a very taiwanese dish. This joint near Ximending offers one of the best example of the dish.




Drinking a rather popular milk tea, which was actually banned in Singapore, claimed due to some addictive ingredients found, after it was selling like wildfire for a short period. Well, I did not find myself sddicted to it though. Did a bit of exploring the Ximending area for the evening.




The next day, we went to the Maokong cable car. Having been to Taipei a few times, I have yet to try and visit this attraction.






The almost 30min cable car up the hill offers sweeping view of Taipei city.



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Old 9th January 2017, 09:41 PM   #8
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Beautiful views on the way up and down Maokong.






Right after exiting the Maokong station at the peak, there are some local street food eateries.








Spot Taipei 101 in the distance.




We walked 15min to this rather popular restaurant for a tea-inspired lunch. Maokong is famous for eateries with tea-inspired cuisine and this the better one of the many, judging by the many locals.




The food was really very good and set-meal was very value-for-money as well, considering the quality and quantity.









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Old 9th January 2017, 09:54 PM   #9
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Lunch with a view.




Went to the Taipei 101 area in the evening, a day before the countdown.




More taiwanese cuisine for late dinner at a popular local chain.




Skipped the hotel breakfast on the second morning and went for some local taiwanese breakfast instead.






Went to Tamshui after. Temperatures rose to a fiery 28 degrees celcius on a winter afternoon! Off came the jackets. Locals said that this was the hottest winter ever!








Checked out a new and popular seafood place, Addiction Aquatic Development. It offers a range of live seafood, sashimi, sushi, cooked seafood and more, but was very crowded on the day I went.



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Old 9th January 2017, 11:02 PM   #10
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For the countdown on New Year's eve, we decided to proceed to Rainbow Bridge park, which was very near the bustling RaoHe night market.





This site by the Keelung river offers a quite unobstructed view of Taipei 101 in the distance. It was a pretty popular place for locals to countdown as well, with various small fireworks ignited along the river banks throughout the night.




And the clock strikes 12! The fireworks display from Taipei 101 was amazing!




Back to Raohe night market for some supper in the first hour of 2017.





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Old 10th January 2017, 08:59 PM   #11
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More eating on our last 2 days in Taipei. Tried a popular stall selling braised meat buns in Gongguan.






More Taiwanese cuisine at another eatery at Ximending area.




Brunch on the final day.






The trip back to Taoyuan airport was via a direct airport bus right from the bus stop beside the hotel. It was almost an hour's ride to the airport. SQ's check-in counters were at the far end of Terminal 2 and with the expected full flight, the economy queue was snaking.




Luckily there was barely a queue at the Business Class /*G counters.




A very busy afternoon, with again snaking queues to enter immigration and security. Luckily it moved fast.




Look at the check-in queues at other counters!




As it was early, we checked out some duty-free shopping. Also grabbed a tarmac shot.




Then it was lounging time. Having visited the Taipei Silver Kris Lounge twice, we decided to check out EVA Air's Lounges instead. Presented our SQ boarding passes at the lounge reception and were invited to visit either The Infinity or The Star. Having heard about the funky interior of The Infinity, we chose to visit it. Surprisingly, the lounge was not crowded at all.



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Old 10th January 2017, 09:12 PM   #12
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The funky interior of The Infinity.






With an extensive buffet selection. Loved the Movenpick ice-cream offered!












Food selection. The best was the Movenpick ice-cream!






Also took a peek at The Star, which has a more traditional lounge design.




Next was a hop into the Silver Kris lounge to check out the food offerings. Even though the lounge looks dark and dated, the food offerings were actually quite good, though not as much variety as EVA lounge. However having filled my stomach at the EVA lounge, I only had a cake and a coffee.



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Old 10th January 2017, 09:42 PM   #13
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Boarding was called in the lounge and we proceeded to the gate. Boarding was already in progress.







02 January 2017
Singapore Airlines
SQ 879
Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) - Singapore (SIN)
A330-300
9V-STZ
Business Class
Flight Time: 4H20M



Again, was welcomed aboard and proceeded to my seat at 14A. The usual "ritual" of welcome drink, hot towels, nespapers and magazines were offered. Interestingly, there were 2 choices of welcome cocktail drink, Mimosa or Royal Sparkle. I had the Royal Sparkle.




SQ is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.




Menu was similar to the previous flight, which you can refer to for the meal choices on this sector.




Business Class was rather full this evening. Pushed back right on schedule.






Safety video played.




Video of taxi and safety demo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBJQX1USXhI


After a bit of queue, we departed Rwy05L into the dusk.




Video of the departure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHM_6rglZjc
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Old 11th January 2017, 10:36 PM   #14
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Into the sunset.






Cabin view. Socks, slippers and eyeshades were distributed as per routine.




Decided to watch a more entertaining movie, Storks.




Warm nuts and post-takeoff drinks were delivered. I had a peppermint tea. Similarly, satay was now not available during dinner service on this flight as well.






Dinner service started.




Meal tray with starter and breads were delivered.




Smoked pepper salmon and crabmeat salad.




Garlic bread and breadsticks.




Steamed cod fillet in superior soy sauce, with brown rice noodles and vegetables. The cod was fresh and tasty, but noodles were a tad too salty.




Vinegared pork ribs with vegetables and fried rice. Ribs were tender and would consider this dish a 'safe' choice, though not outstanding.

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Old 11th January 2017, 10:58 PM   #15
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The inflight supervisor serving cheeses and fruits.




Haagen Daz rum and raisin ice cream and fruits.




Cheese selection.




Vanilla bourbon tea and pralines to end.




Cabin lights were then dimmed and I took a short nap for the rest of the flight.




Soon, we began our descend into Singapore, and the inflight supervisor came around with a specially decorated tray to offer sweets. Nice gesture!




Approaching Singapore.








Video of landing on Changi Rwy02L, slightly ahead of schedule.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WHTh77E-rY


Disembarking and last look at the cabin.








Again, it was a very good flight on SQ Business Class. Despite the rather full cabin, service was still professional, prompt and responsive with the high standards maintained. Catering was good but not outstanding. Overall, a very pleasant way to fly mid-haul.

Thanks for viewing and your comments are much welcomed!
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