I am not afriad of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today~William Allen White

Archive for the ‘infrastructure’ Category

The beauty that is Venetian Macau

The inside of Venetian Macau gives off a grand and majestic Victorian feel with grand paintings and picturesque architecture and design of the various shops, exhibition halls, and casino layout.   I went to the Venetian just to look at gorgeous architectural designs and the attention to details displayed at its construction, I gambled a little bit at the MGM grand instead, more slot machines for me to play with.

the grand hallway from the lobby to the casino

from the top looking down to the casino

each ride is accompanied with live singing

Shenzhen through a car’s window

Since the reason I headed to Shenzhen is to pick up by cousin flying in from Europe, of course I brought along my grandpa’s driver, or else I’ll be completely lost!  I cannot miss opportunities to take some pictures of Shenzhen and feel impressed by how thriving and booming the city has become.  The indicator I used to measure is by the amount of high rises springing up all over town, and of course, because Shenzhen is building MTR to connect its airport located in a rural part of town to city center. 

As much of the time is spent sitting inside the car, I think it’s good to title this piece “Shenzhen through a car’s window”.

shenzhen airport

hawkers selling fruits by the side of streets

 

shenzhen has developed so fast, it really resembles central of HK

this is so cool, a statue hanging in the middle of a high rise building

city center of shenzhen

the heineken of china

cyclist crossing in front of our car

a panhandler in the middle of busy traffic

a police van vs a police bike

Checklist on what makes a good airport

Why travellers from the US, Europe, or the UK will most certainly be envious of the HK airport; two extremely good reasons are that there are rarely long line ups at check-in counters or moody looking immigration officers to dampen your trip.

 One of the features of the HK airport I really like is the “in-town” check-in service that is available at 3 different parts of towns that are connected by the airport express train.  Rather than having only one check-in station at the airport, passengers could choose to check in at any one of the three airport express train stops; this drastically divert the number of passengers that do check-ins at the airport, drastically reducing congestion and human traffic jams at the airport.  I love the in-town check in service because after the airline checked you in, you also drop off your luggage; therefore, when you’re on the airport express train, all you will have are the carry-on luggage.   

obvious customer service booth to help passengers

in-town check in counters is another option for passengers to check in outside of the airport

minimal human traffic at airline counters unless the flight is about to take off for last minute passengers

airlines that are doing tour group packages will see heavy human traffic because the tourists travel in a group and must check in together at the airport

the HK airport express train makes 3 stops in town along the way to the airport; it takes less than 20 minutes for passengers to get to town from the airport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

trolleys have been thoughtfully lined up for use when passengers arrive, preventing made dash by everyone to grab a trolley

Checklist of what makes a tourist friendly airport

  • A subway train station connecting the airport to town
  • No long lines or hassles checking yourself in at the airline counter
  • Speedy immigration process
  • Plenty of user friendly signs to direct
  • Visible and easy to find customer service counters
  • Fast baggage claims at landing
  • Many selections of retail and eateries to pass the time
  • No military-like policemen standing muted with pistols
  • Free internet access 

At the end of the day, I believe what makes a good airport is one that doesn’t cause passengers stress and give them a bad experience through long line ups and lack of help and assistance when they’re desperately needed.

The impossible flight of stairs

 I have decided to move the warehouse arm of the operation to Yau Tong Industrial district, which is very close to the office, about 15 minutes and 5 MTR stops from office to warehouse. What I really like about the warehouse is that from the MTR platform, I could see the building I am supposed to walk to, which amounts to approximately 5 minutes of brisk walking. Another thing I like about the warehouse location is that it’s just a few buildings down from the fire station; it seems like a very safe location for people and products alike. I also like looking into the fire station every time I walk pass, to see if any firemen are training in their uniforms.

view of warehouse from mtr station

view of mtr station from warehouse

Unfortunately, these happy feelings fade when I have to walk from the warehouse to the MTR station. I have come to realize that the longer I stay at the warehouse, the lower my energy level beomes. This is especially true if I help move cartons and products around the warehouse and work up a sweat. By the time I leave the warehouse, I would be feeling quite exhausted, and the walk to the MTR station would take a little while longer. Why I say bad infrastructure planning? Because in order to get up to the MTR platform, you would have to walk up a giant flight of stairs separated into 5 flights of 13 steps each. This is an incline climb to the top, which I believe is very tiring for everyone that needs to climb this flight of stairs to leave the industrial district!

a preview of the flight of steps

I don’t understand why they haven’t install a set of escalators instead, clearly that solves the problem for tiring souls from the industrial district and all the uncles and aunties over 40s that need to climb that flight of stairs every time they need to take public transportation! There is an elevator that lead up to the platform, so the first time I saw the sign and the arrow pointing to the elevator, I thought it’s just a few steps away, and OMG, was I ever wrong! The elevator is all the way on the other side of the platform, and it took a good 10 minutes to walk to! This is really horrible planning, why can’t there be 2 elevators on both sides of the platforms?

There was this auntie in her fifties heaving and puffing up the 5 flights of steps, and by the 3rd flight, she had to rest, and there I was with my colleague ready to climb those steps. So sad, by the time I finished two flights, I was so tired, I have to rest like the auntie, which I think is very embarrassing and not cool! But my colleague is trailing way behind me and could hardly walk up the first flight before huffing and puffing. Believe me, I usually climb up all 5 flights in one go without resting (when I don’t have to heave cartons and just direct), though I would usually feel the burn on my thighs by the 4th flight.

5 flights of 13 steps each = 65 steps (very exhausting when temp is over 30 and you'v been lifting cartons that are 8.8kg each!!)

In general, people would be tired after climbing the 5 flights of stairs, and would usually be breathing a bit heavier and wiping sweat off their faces; so what really irked me about this whole infrastructure planning is that once you reach the platform, you would see this sitting/resting area that you could rest your poor limbs on, but you cannot! Why you couldn’t is because the government has decided to place giant statues of people sitting and wiping their faces with handkerchief and eating snacks! You too, would see the annoying irony in this situation!!?!?!!

you could understand why this piece of art irks me right?

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