Asia – Here come the Thompson’s …

A number of firsts for us. Even though the kids have ventured into Asia, it is the first time for Jenny and I. We have always flown Qantas for our overseas jaunts but this trip we have chosen Singapore Airlines over Qantas. The big reason for the change was 1/2 the price with $800 return to Tokyo and from Adelaide via Singapore, instead of $1600 with Qantas and a bit of a milk run.

The trip started out just being the two of us, then it expanded with some friends joining us for parts of the trip, then one by one the kids decided they would like to join (of course on Dad’s dime). So we have gone from 2 of us to 5 for the first week then up to 9 for the second week and 11 for the third week.

We managed to get a reasonable price for Rachael and Justin of $1200 for the same flights as Jenny and I but were unable to get the same for Bradley (Singapore Airlines wanted $2200 for his flights) so he ended up going over with Qantas for $1300.

It wasn’t much of a nights sleep before leaving as Bradley decided he would head out to party ensuring us that he would be home in time (4:30 am) to get to the airport for his red-eye Qantas flight to Melbourne. He got home just on 4:30 but Jenny decided that sleep was more important so the Uber that brought him home took him to the airport too.

Our flight was a more civilised 10:25am out of Adelaide which meant we would arrive some 7 hours after Bradley but as he was landing in Narita and us in Haneda, he had some time to kill finding his way to us.

Our friend Sam offered to be our taxi to the airport and it wasn’t long and our bags were checked in and we headed through security. As usual my backpack took a few runs through the x-ray machine due to all the gadgets I carry. As it happens, a couple of friends from the High Range Four Wheel Drive Club were on the same plane as us. They were headed back to Singapore for a family reunion to coincide with Chinese New Year. If I had known before we booked our flights, we would have organised a couple of days stay in Singapore at the start rather than the end.

It was a pretty uneventful flight to Singapore but Jenny managed to fill three sick bags. I think it may have been a lack of sleep and the plane was a bit warmer than we are used to. Also the new designed A350 doesn’t have individual air vents which may have made a difference.

It turns out that Bradley was going to have less time to kill as his plane was delayed 90 minutes before takeoff. I guess it is better to check things out on the ground instead of at 10000 metres.

Arriving at Singapore, we farewelled CJ and June and then headed out to explore Terminal 3 and in particular the Butterfly enclosure. One would think it was to look at the butterflies, which we did but there is also a geocache hidden there so that’s a find for me in Singapore now. It was then onto the plane for the next leg and we either had a strong tail wind or the pilot was keen to get there as we arrived 30 minutes before our scheduled time even though leaving 10 minutes late from Singapore.

Bradley was waiting for us having cleared Immigration and Customs. Despite getting in early it was still 1:15am and we had to wait for our hotel shuttle at 1:40am. The shuttle was full and when we arrived at the Beagle Hotel, the place was buzzing with the restaurant in the foyer packed to overflowing. It must be a good restaurant.

This was a capsule hotel and I chose this as it seemed more practical than a normal hotel given we were only going to be there for 6 or 7 hours. Plus it was another of those bucket list things to tick off.

Jenny and I had a twin capsule room with our own toilet while I could only get the kids into the dormitories where there were 16 capsules to a dorm segregated by sex. Bradley and Justin only had one or two others in theirs and Rachael was the same. I had a great sleep as did Bradley but the other 3 tossed and turned apparently.

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