- The low-cost part of the trip: Penang to Hong Kong
- Hong Kong “forced” layover
- 1st time in first class: Hong Kong United and Thai First Lounge
- 1st time in first class: Hong Kong to Bangkok
- The Thai F experience in Bangkok
- Bangkok to Dubai
- Dubai Layover
- Dubai to Istanbul
- Istanbul Layover
- Istanbul to Moscow
- Moscow to Frankfurt
- Frankfurt Layover
- Lufthansa First Class Terminal
- More 1st Class – Frankfurt to Cairo
- Cairo Layover
- Cairo to Istanbul
- RIP THY 1st class: Istanbul to Hong Kong
We got into Dubai around 10.30pm and our flight to Istanbul was at 7.40 am the next day. The plan was to hire a a taxi for 300 Dirham (~80 USD) for 6 hours where you could tell the taxi to take you to the major tourist attractions. (Thanks to tripadvisor for in the info!!)
We went to the taxi queue and after some confusion with what seems like the guy manning with taxi queue, he found us a taxi that was willing to do the 6 hour hire. The guy had to make sure the taxi we got on just got on duty and had enough time left on the job for the 6 hour hire. We hopped into a "pink" Innova taxi which was driven by a female driver. She spoke relatively good English and seemed to have done the "layover tour" before.
We visited Burj al-Khalifah, Burj al-Arab, Atlantis, the marina & Jumeriah beach area. It was still pretty lively when we got to the Jumeriah beach area at 2 am with restaurants and cafes still opened and relatively crowded. Dubai felt kind of "fake" for us with a lot of huge buildings and malls. We are definitely not in a rush to come back and visit Dubai again. At about 3 am, both of us were already exhausted and decided to return to the airport.
Calvin at fountains with Burj al-Khalifah (currently, the tallest building in the world) in the background:
When we got back to the airport, the check-in desk for our Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul was not opened yet. Thank god we had our boarding passes issued at Hong Kong and we could enter the departure area. We went to the Marhaba lounge which was listed as the Turkish lounge on its website. The lounge agent checked her list and Turkish wasn't on her list. She recommended we head over to the Star Alliance lounge that was opposite the Marhaba lounge. When we got to the Star Alliance lounge, the agent made a few phone calls and said Turkish uses the DCA lounge which was on the other side of the airport. This turned out to be a good thing as the DCA lounge has a shower, where both the Star Alliance and Marhaba lounge did not.
At this point, we were too tired to take pictures. The only pictures we had were of our attempts trying to sleep on the lounge chairs ;)