HKG: The [temporary] Wing Business Class Lounge

Corridor to the Shower AreaMain Seating AreaMain Seating AreaMen's Restroom: CorridorPC Computer Work AreaMen's Restroom: Urinals
Men's Restroom: Commode, with Small & Big Flush ButtonsMen's Restroom: Basin

Cathay Pacific’s the Wing’s Business Class Lounge at the Hong Kong International Airport is gearing to close its lounge for a renovation. The Lounge, located on the 7th floor near the Immigration and Customs area, and adjacent to the Wing’s First Class Lounge will temporarily be located on the lower floor (6th floor), closer to the boarding gates 1-4.

For LAX and SFO-bound passengers, this temporary Lounge will be convenient, especially if Cathay Pacific continues to use Gates 2 & 3 for LAX and SFO.

The renovation is slated to run this early summer of 2011. Afterwards, the Wing’s First Class Lounge will have its turn. Why they decide not to take care of the First Class Lounge first, I am not sure; but let’s hope that the result will be a welcome change. After almost a decade of using the Wing’s FC facilities, some elements start to deteriorate. Plumbing on the shower at the Cabanas causes so much rattling noises that it almost feels as if there were an earthquake.

Surabaya Walk for Autism 2011

A great turnout for what is billed to be the first ever Surabaya Walk for Autism. The event took place on Saturday, April 2, 2011, with Live Performances at the Atrium of the newly opened Grand City Mall and Exhibition Center in Surabaya. Approximately 400 people were in attendance.

Despite the rain, the Walk for Autism itself commenced past 16:00 through the following route: Grand City Mall, toward Jalan Pemuda, Jalan Yos Sudarso, Walikota Mustajab (the Surabaya City Hall), and then back to the Grand City Surabaya. Many supporters brought banners and chanted throughout the walk. Participants included autistic children and their parents, families and friends, as well as supporters from as far as Europe and the United States. A wheelchair-bound, well-known, former ophthalmologist and stroke survivor Dr. J. Kadi was also seen joining the Walk, with a great spirit and a disregard for the drizzling Continue reading

HKG: Still One of the Friendliest Airports

HKG Frequent Visitor ChannelIf you travel a lot through Hong Kong (HKG), make sure to apply for the Hong Kong Frequent Visitor Card (HKG-FVC). The card, which allows you a separate (read SPEEDY) lane at immigration (both coming and going), is very easy and very quick to obtain. The initial requirement is for you to travel at least three times into HKG in the past 12 months. After approval and issuance of the card, you will have to travel at least 6 times within a two-year period. I have had the card for a while now, and when you see the serpentine lines at immigration at any time during the day, you will be grateful to have this Frequent Visitor Card in your possession. As mentioned earlier, the card allows you speedy lane both on the way out and on the way in.

Application can be done either online or submitted via regular mail. Your card will arrive through regular mail. In terms of card renewals, here is what the website says, “Qualified Continue reading

Bloompy Grieves with Japan

The Blogs of Bloompy was born on April 20, 2004 in Tokyo, Japan. Until 2008, it chronicled observations on life and experiences in that amazing metropolis and unforgettable country. It is therefore with much sadness that I witnessed, from afar, the unfolding tragedy in the forms of Earthquake and Tsunami that had recently befell on the Land of the Cherry Blossoms. I believe that the resilience and the determination of the Japanese people will rebuild those shattered lives.

Bloompy grieves with Japan and the Japanese People.

Bonjour, Bloompy!

Bloompy is launching a new home here at WordPress. Slowly, the old blog entries are being incorporated here, and the Bloompy Eats (culinary reviews) and Bloompy Sleeps (hotel reviews) will be integrated here as well, instead of being in different sites as they were used to be.

Sprinkles from Heaven

Tears from Heaven by bloompy
Tears from Heaven, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

En route to my hotel on the first day here, the chauffeur showed me some people who stood in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary, located directly in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. There was a miracle, he said. The statue was crying. For days now, believers and plain gawkers have been flocking to the area to witness the shedding of the tear by the stone icon. It would have been difficult on that night to discern the difference between Continue reading

Saigon, Have I Seen You Before?

Saigon by bloompy
Saigon, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

I just landed at the Tan Son Nhat Airport (Saigon Airport), an airport built by the US Army that used to witness the comings and goings of the US military aircrafts during the Vietnam War. The airport bore a quaint reminder of what Jakarta airport was like in the 70s (quick, quick, if you do not know how the Jakarta airport looked like in the 70s, come to Saigon now!). Lines at the immigration was long, but there were more than ten staff members working to process the entrants. The immigration workers had dour faces and worked very slowly, doing what Indonesian immigration used to do a lot: stamping, stapling, stamping, stapling, stamping, stamping, stamping. Then more stamping, stamping, looking at the photo in my passport, then at my face, then stamping, and stamping again. Finally, another Continue reading

Bridges, Creeks, and Maple Trees

Ukai Toriyama by bloompy
Ukai Toriyama, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

If I ever imagine a Japanese Eden it would be in the form of Ukai-Toriyama in Takao-san (Mt. Takao), a sprawling compound of lush greens and Japanese Maple trees, divided by creeks, united by bridges, and dotted with a multitude of pavilions, none of which has the same architectural design.

When my friend asked me out to eat lunch here -a mountainous area 50 minutes away from Tokyo’s Shinjuku station by an express train- I had no earthly idea that I would end up in such heavenly a place. From Shinjuku-eki, we took the Keio train to Takaosanguchi. A complimentary bus from the Ukai Toriyama company picked us up and delivered us to the Continue reading