Tag Archives: Guangzhou airport

Our one night stay in Guangzhou, China

This is the continuation of the post I wrote while I was in Nepal.

Once we were told that our flight had been cancelled due to bad weather and that we were going to spend the night in China, there was some confusion. It looked like the airline staff also didn’t know what was going to happen next. They just gave us visas to exit the airport and asked us to wait in a room. Thankfully, the staff member who was dealing us spoke good English so we could direct our queries and get some answers.

The waiting room had some chairs and snacks. They had some drinks, biscuits, and chocolate. I was kind of hungry and cold so ate one biscuit and drank a bottle of water.

Guangzhou (1)

Luckily AS had his thick jumper in his carry on while I had only a thin one. I was a bit cold when we were waiting while I could see all the airport staff was wearing puff jackets. I didn’t put anything in my hand carry because I didn’t think about that the flight could be cancelled. I expected few hours delay but not 14 hours.

We were in the waiting room for almost an hour when they finally asked us to follow them. We were going to a hotel. We all followed this guy all the way to the exit and as soon the door opened, I want to go and hide somewhere. It was freezing and the wind was not helping either.

As soon as we got out, I saw a hotel across the street. I was happy thinking that we were going there as we start crossing the road; but to my disappointment, we were told to wait for a bus to take us to our hotel. In a few minutes, the bus arrived and we all jumped inside. The staff member told us that we are going to some hotel but I didn’t catch the name.

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At least it was warm inside the bus and we stared our 45 minutes ride to the hotel. Because we were not given a time frame, every hotel we saw on the way, we expect the bust to stop but it kept moving until it came to the Jiaerdeng Hotel Guangzhou.

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The entrance of the hotel looked nice and we were all happy that it is a decent hotel. Most of us hadn’t slept for the last 24 hours so all we wanted was some warm food and bed for the night before we woke up the next morning to go back to the airport. I felt like a zombie and was looking forward to a hot shower as well.

As we queue behind the other passengers from the plane, we suddenly realised that there was no one from the airport with us. In addition, though not surprisingly, no one at the front desk spoke or understood any English. They had no clue why we were there so they were not giving us any rooms. We all spent next half hour trying to make them understand that we needed a room but it was of no use. No matter how slowly we spoke, they didn’t know what to do. We were stranded in the hotel lobby of a hotel in China with no clue what was going to happen next.

Luckily one of the bellboys of the hotel took his phone out and used Google translate to tell us that they had no idea what to do with us as they have no instruction from the airlines or the hotel management. Finally some communication! Then when we asked about the internet, he showed a plaque on the wall that had some number on it. No one had noticed that before but finally we saw a ray of hope in the dark tunnel. We all connected to the internet and used Google translate to talk with them.

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Finally, after a real good effort by a few people, they manage to talk get someone form the airline and allocated the rooms. It was such a relief to get the key to our room. We got a nice big room on the 7th floor. Me and AS literally ran to the room to drop our stuffs and rest. It was after midnight in Sydney by then and we were so tired.

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While we were getting ready to sleep, we realised that we hadn’t had a proper meal for a while so decided to see if they had anything to eat at all. When we went downstairs, there was a hotel staff handing a takeaway container to everyone and that was our dinner. When we opened it in our room, I was but disappointed as it had rice, cabbage and some chicken only, not very appetizing. As AS was hungry he had some of it and I did eat a few spoons and it was enough for me.

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I was still freezing so AS decided to give me his jumper. The room had air conditioning but as everything was in Chinese we had no clue what to do. Still with some trial and error AS managed to turn off the air conditioning. In around 6 hours we had to wake up again as we need to be at the airport 3 hours before our flight to Kathmandu so we set an alarm and went to bed.

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It was so difficult to wake up the next morning but I dragged myself out of bed and had a shower. I knew if I didn’t, I would be a zombie for the rest of the day. Once we got ready, we went to the lobby and there were lot more people in the lobby than the night before. They were going to airport to catch their flight to Kathmandu as well.

Guangzhou (1)

With half an hour for the bus to come pick us up, me and AS had enough time to go around the area and see the place. We saw lots of older people doing their morning exercising. When the bus arrived there was not enough room for everyone in that bus and we had to wait longer for next bus. Finally, it did and we were all happy to be on the road to the airport.

After 25 minutes, we were back doing the check-ins for our flight. The flight was on time and we were relieved when we finally boarded plane to Kathmandu. The flight from Guangzhou to Kathmandu was smooth and without any dramas and we landed in Kathmandu in the afternoon, 14 hours later than scheduled.

My FIL and BIL were at the airport to pick us up and we were on our way home.

So, this was my experience with China Southern Airlines. I am sure no one could do anything about the weather but the airlines did try their best to look after us. Being in China, it is expected that they don’t speak English. While our experience could have been a bit better, I have no problems flying with them the next time though I will certainly pray for good weather.

My China Southern Airlines trip from Sydney to Nepal

This time for our trip to Nepal, against everyone’s advice, we booked China Southern Airlines to Guangzhou and then to Kathmandu, Nepal.

Few months ago, before our decision, I had put the question in my Facebook if anyone had any experience with the airlines before. The response appalled me because everyone was complaining about how awful it was. Everyone suggested not going ahead with them. Their exactly words were, “Nightmare”, “Flight from hell.”, “Do not fly with them.

Me and AS has never flown the airline and I was shocked to read a few of the reviews and I definitely don’t want to be in their shoes. I was not too keen to book the flight.

But while doing my research, we found out that even though many people were not happy about the airlines some time ago, since October 2013, they introduced A380’s from Sydney to Guangzhou and the reviews were saying it is better now.  The fare for the airlines came to be cheaper than others by $150 per person return with only 2 hours for transit compared to above 6 hours in other airlines. The other thing was on certain routes the airlines allowed 2 pieces 20 kg luggage which was a big bonus.

As you can imagine it was a tough decision for us but finally we decided to give China Southern airlines a try. I was not expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised from the start. The check in was smooth and the flight was not too full. Apart from 45 minutes delay before take-off which was announced, things seemed to be going fine. At that time I was a bit worried what would happen with our connecting flight.

As we boarded and took our seats, the passenger in the seat in front of me called the flight attendant as something was leaking from above. It seemed like water from the air conditioning. The matter was dealt smoothly and he was allocated another window seat.

Thus our 9 hours flight started.

I am very happy with the plane as there was enough leg room but I am not very tall :). We settled down well and I spent the next 2 hours watching a movie, The Job. Great movie btw and very intriguing, made me want to go ahead and do what I believe in instead of living an ordinary life to just die one day.

Anyway, the first meal was served and we had a choice of seafood or beef. As we don’t eat beef (why not can be another post for later), we had seafood. This reminded me of getting the meal order beforehand next time.

Anyway it was an ordinary meal like in any other plane, so no complaints. I was hungry so I ate some. No matter how many times I travel; sometimes it is so hard to kill the time in flight.

I was glad that I was not travelling alone. I talked to AS from time to time and then watched more movies followed by another meal and I was delighted when the pilot announced we were going to land in Guangzhou soon.

Once we landed in Guangzhou airport, we ran to find our connecting flight to Kathmandu as it was only an hour before boarding. We ran pass the security check and were breathing with relief when we located the sign that said flight to Kathmandu Nepal. We stood in the queue and were happy that in next 6 hours we would be in Kathmandu. This would be the first time that I will be landing in Kathmandu in less than 24 hours so I was feeling very happy. So far our experience with China Southern was great and I prayed that we didn’t miss the connecting flight as there were many people in the queue.

As we were waiting, an airport staff came and asked all the people who were travelling to Kathmandu to come to the side. It was a great relief for us as it meant we would be in an express line to the gate. As we stared to gather at the designated area, the staff gave all of us a sticker with our flight number and explained the following.

As the weather in Kathmandu is really bad right now, planes cannot land there which means there will be no flight tonight. The next fight will be tomorrow morning at 9 am (14 hours later) so please follow me so I can sort things out for you. I am really sorry but you have to spend the night in Guangzhou. We will be providing you with accommodation for tonight

There were around 15 of us and all of us were not pleased with the announcement. We had all booked the flight because it was the quickest but now it turned into be the longest. I looked at AS and just laughed and said, “Let the adventure begin.” with my luck it should be a great one too 🙂 .

It’s time for me to go upstairs and help my MIL with breakfast so I will continue my adventure in the next post.

Till then take care everyone. Nepal holiday is going great, more updates soon 🙂

M from nepaliaustralian