April 14, 2014

Trip Report: XieXie, Shanghai - Fun & Funny Shanghai Signs

Here's a quick post to get out of the way from my current Shanghai trip report -- fun and funny Chinese signs in Shanghai....

If not being able to read Chinese characters isn't hard enough. Hehe....

A recurring reminder all around the city....

...with this one found in the Shanghai Metro...

This one was posted in a major intersection -- "The Seven Dont's".....

I wonder if there is a "Seven Do's" :-)

Not necessarily a sign but fun/ny nonetheless.....

#murica. Hehe.

Speaking of USA -- Papa John's anyone?

I wonder if this is a direct translation because there seems to be an exclamation point in the logo's first part, which in the original English logo is "Papa". If it is then this logo can be translated back to "Papa! John's". Hehe.

Lastly, this one was spotted outside the gates of Jing'an Temple.....

Party Time! Yeah! :-)

April 10, 2014

Hotel Review: The Langham, Chicago

I recently stayed at The Langham Chicago for a very special event in my life. It was an easy choice considering it is the newest property to open in the city, it had great reviews on TripAdvisor, the hotel looked stunning, I had an "elite" membership with their 1865 loyalty program that's supposed to have afforded me a few benefits (key phrase: supposed to), and because we were able to book it with United miles and didn't have to (directly) pay for it in cash :-)

That crane just totally ruined my otherwise great photo of the Mies building :-)
For FYI purposes, we booked this for 23,150 miles for room only and no breakfast at the basic level room category, Grand Room. If we booked the room directly with the hotel, it would cost around USD340 for that weekend.


From the cab, we were assisted with our luggage by a doorman and was quickly turned over to a "Jackie O"-garbed greeter/bell service lady who was waiting in the receiving area of the hotel. We didn't really bring huge bags but it was still awkward how she wanted to assist us with one of them given her petite size. And it's not as if our bags were sent up separately, she was actually rolling it along with us as she ushered us to the second floor lobby. I guess I'm just not used to women assisting with the bags. Especially when I am an able man ;-)

Anyway, this was all I was able to take of the first floor area in the morning, unfortunately....

...,as it was a really nice space. Here are the "fail" night photos....

This first-floor area set a good tone to the rest of the amazing physical aspects of the property. This was followed by the formal lobby and check-in area on the second floor....

It was beautiful.

Cutesy Travel-Related App, Postale, Free on Starbucks this week.....

Having been out of the US for almost three years, I was surprised to see that they still have actual "tangible" Pick of the Week cards. You know the ones where they give out a free App or Song or what-have-you? I thought all of those have now been converted to "mobile". I actually did manage to get some free stuff still even when I was not in the US through the Starbucks app.

Anyway, after a couple of free songs, I saw that they were now giving away codes to this cutesy travel-related (it is, I'm not stretching it just to have something to post about ;-)) app called Postale, where you can send virtual postcards over social media or have one actually printed and sent out.

Image from iTunes

Image from iTunes
I think this App would appeal more to my female readers (read: my mom and sisters. Hehe) but who knows when they might be of use to everyone else. Cutesy apps have no gender ;-) 

The App retails for $1.99 and you can get it for free with the redemption code so why not right? 

Here are the codes that I got:


I know most of my readers are "accidental" and "transient" but, please, for the benefit of everyone who might be interested with the app, just leave a note in the comments section when you have actually redeemed a code from the list.

Please note that this is only available on US iTunes and the code expires on June 24, 2014.

March 29, 2014

Trip Report: Going Full Circle - Japan Airlines' New (First Class) Suite

Let me jump to this post so I can claim that I am the first one to do a full review of Japan Airlines' New (First Class) Suite :-)

With that said :-).....

I spent a night in Narita before my flight to Chicago so I got to experience the "check-in process" for JAL First Class passengers at the airport. I already had my boarding pass issued from Manila and I just passed by the check-in counters in Narita to make sure that my luggage (from the previous day's trip) were loaded on this flight. Well, that and I wanted to see if there was anything special with this part of the journey.

Narita Airport Terminal 2 entrance from the JR train....

First Class Check-In area....

After the ground staff checks the boarding pass, you will then be allowed to enter and check-in to your flight....

Nothing special happened here except that there were no lines, there are decent lounge chairs in case there is a wait, and the staff are pretty friendly.

After checking-in, the staff will direct you to a dedicated security lane (just off the check-in counters) for First Class passengers and their top-tier elite members...

And that was the check-in experience. I thought it would be more special considering I am in their home airport. Oh well.

I'll do a separate post on the JAL (and OneWorld) lounges in Narita later on so let me jump straight to the flight.

Flight#/Route: JL010/NRT-ORD
Date: March 5, 2014
Depart: 11:00am
Arrive: 7:45am
Duration: 11h 45m
Seat: 2K
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Website: www.jal.com

Boarding wasn't effectively announced (if they actually did at all) in the lounge and wasn't very accurate in the departure boards because as soon as I decided to go to the gate, having neither heard an announcement or saw a "boarding" status, boarding was already well under its way.

Here was my plane.....

Another thing worth noting is that there was no additional security in the gate. I know I haven't flown back to the US in the last three years but in all of my recent travel around Asia, whenever I would see a flight to the US (like in HKIA, Shanghai International, etc etc), there would always be another security check right before boarding. Had I known this would be the case this time, I would've scoured the airport stores for this "Asian fabric softener" that a friend from Chicago really wanted. Oh well.

Finally, after almost for years, I get to turn left again to board the front of the plane :-) ......

As soon as I got to the plane, I was directed to my seat, 2K.......

March 17, 2014

Trip Report: XieXie, Shanghai - Yuyuan Garden in Pictures

After the French Concession, and The Bund - here is a quick Yuyuan Garden photo post.

I am not sure but I think when someone says" Yuyuan" nowadays, it often refers more to the area and the tourist mart, more than the actual garden inside. It is my second time in Shanghai but it is only now that I visited the "garden"......

Yuyuan area....

March 12, 2014

Langham Hotels International's 1865 Program - Mid-Tier (Voyager) Elite Welcome Kit

Please indulge me with this post. This is the first time I've received an elite welcome kit of any kind and I am just impressed. Sorry for gushing :-) 

Here is Langham Hotels' welcome kit for their Voyager (mid-tier elite) members. Enjoy :-) .....

Benefits include: 6pm late checkout, internet, room upgrade, and a welcome amenity. Not bad. Especially since I got it for free :-)

Incidentally, Langham just opened their Chicago property recently and I am seriously considering checking it out (despite the expensive rates) just to be able to try out the elite benefits :-)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...