Tour Report - China Revisited Tour 2005
1st of October 2005
We all met up at Heathrow Airports Terminal 2 for our Air France flight to Beijing via Paris Charles De Gaulle. After an hour delay we were finally airbourne aboard A.319 F-GRHY. Luckily with a good stopover there was still plenty of time left to spot. Seven hours later and another delay and aircraft change we were off again on F-GSPF B.777-200. This had resulted in quite a few of the group being upgraded much to our delight.
2nd of October 2005
Touch down at Beijing's Capital Airport was around lunch time where we were greeted with the sight of much building work and the new terminal now fully operational since our last visit. The afternoon needless to say was spent back up at the airport. Noteworthy were B-3991 BAe.125, B-3999 G.IV, B-3988 LJ.45, HL7722 A.321 ASIANA, B-MAO A.319 AIR MACAU, JA612A B.767 ANA, HL7565 B.738 KOREAN, B-HYJ A.330 DRAGONAIR, B-HTI A.321 DRAGONAIR, B-HLV A.330 CATHAY PACIFIC + various Chinese Airlines.
3rd of October 2005
This morning it was off to Nan Yuan to see the stored aircraft and then onto one of the highlights of the tour for some - the fabulous Datan Shan Museum. Mid afternoon it was time to have some exercise on The Great Wall before returning back to our hotel or for some back up the airport.
4th of October 2005
Today was a free day which was spent in various spots around the airport.
5th of October 2005
An early start for our 09:10 China Southern flight to Harbin by MD-90 B-2260 in China Northern scheme. About Ninety minutes later we touched down at China Northern's base, where quality not quantity was the order of the day. Just a few seen here were B-3079 CRJ.700 SDA, B-8722 / 8708 / 8721 An.2s, B-3488 / 3486 / 3468 Y-7s, B-7814 / 7812 / 7806 Mil.8s China Northern.
Very few people here speak English as it's not a " touristy " destination so it was quite interesting trying to make ourselves understood.
6th of October 2005
Breakfast was typically Chinese with no sign of bacon and eggs ! ! We were glad to be moving on 24 hours later this time on board MD-90 B-2255 of China Northern back to Beijing on our connecting flight to Xian. By the time we arrived here on China Eastern A.320 B-2359 it was dark nevertheless it was straight up to the rooms to get some more numbers in the book. Amongst the goodies were B-3707 / 3708 Y-7s, B-6211 A.319 Chang An Airlines, B-6018 A.319, B-2405 A.320 China Southern.
7th of October 2005
The morning was spent spotting from the hotel rooms, then at about 13:00 it was off to see " The famous Terra Cotta Army " and to shake hands with the " lucky farmer " who discovered these treasures. Everyone agreed it was a good afternoon well spent.
8th of October 2005
Departure mid afternoon by Air China B.737-300 B-2519 to Tianjin, highlight here being OK Air B.737-900 B-5110 which came in just before our departure three hours later to Shanghai on board Shanghai Airlines B.737-700 B-2631. Fortunately our hotel here was adjoining the terminal so after the usual " meet and greet " we were escorted on foot with our baggage. Our rooms were overlooking the ramp so there was no need for a visit back to the terminal.
9th of October 2005
Most of us decided to leave early to visit Pu Dong, to sample some of the international arrivals.
We spent the evening viewing the city with all its neon lights from Asia's tallest building.
10th of October 2005
A day trip to Wuhan on board China Southern B.737-700 B-5070, Wuhan has some very interesting aircraft namely B-3430 / 3431 / 3432 / 3442 / 3443 / 3471 / 3472 / 3490 / 3491 Y-7s, N543H G.V, B-3070 CRJ China Eastern. The return flight was by B.737-700 B-5068.
11th of October 2005
Todays it was off to Xiamen on Shanghai Airlines B.757-200 B-2857 and then onward to Guangzhou on China Southern A.320 B-2408. The hotel was at the new airport so not far to travel. Half the groups rooms overlooked the main ramps and the two main runways, one used for take-offs and the other for landings.
12th of October 2005
A full day here to spot or sightsee. some of us made a quick trip to now the defunct old airport to see the stored tridents.
13th of October 2005
A very early departure this time for Chengdu - consequently only one of the group bothered with breakfast. Air China B.737-600 B-2155 was our steed via here to Beijing . After a delayed arrival at Capital Airport aboard Air China B.757 B-2840 it was straight to bed.
14th of October 2005
An early breakfast on our last day. We checked in for Air France 129 to Paris Charles De Gaulle on A.330 F-GZCJ. On arrival at Paris it was a short hop from Terminal 2C to 2F for the connecting flight almost immediately for Heathrow aboard A.320 F-GJVB.
**Lots of changes have taken place since our last visit. Most airports had almost brand new terminals in operation and new roads had sprung up everywhere around Beijing and Shanghai in particular. The bicycle is not so much in evidence now and a truly western culture is beginning to appear. This will become more apparent as they work towards the Olympics in 2008. **