The travel agencies naturally increase the cost of Christmas vacations to unreasonable levels. To counter their price gouging, I picked a cheaper regional destination that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg even after a 30% holiday premium. Xiamen was the answer. Not only was it a nice coastal city, Fujian province also has a new UNESCO World Heritage site - the tulou.
Hong Kong International Airport was already decorated for the season.
Not so busy ...
Perhaps it was due to the lunch-time departure, I thought most of the holiday crowds had already left the night before or during the morning.
Since it was a package tour, the early assembly time left ample room for plane spotting air-side.
Today's equipment will be a small 757 - my first time on this type of jet.
I got my window seat as requested. But too bad it was right at the wing, so my view of the outside was not the best.
I was surprised they served a hot lunch even though the flight was 40 minutes long. The rice was meant to fill up the stomach, and it did its job effectively. We had to eat fast. Not long after lunch was served, the plane started the descent into Xiamen.
It was a cloudy day in Xiamen as well, and the airport was fairly quiet. The terminal's design is old, despite being a new construction, but they've maintained it reasonably well.
People choose Xiamen Airlines because it is cheap and can get you from point A to B. The service was decent and the crew tried hard to serve a hot lunch despite such a short flying time. Given the package tour costed less than a round-trip flight had I booked on my own, I was very satisfied with what I got on board.
Xiamen is a very nice seaside city, and historic relics await in the countryside beyond.
For more photos, visit the Xiamen Photo Gallery .
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