In 2009 we made a trip across the southern part of China, exploring famous sights like Shanghai, Tongli, The Yellow Mountains at Huangshan, Karst mountains near Guilin , the rice terraces at Ping An and the famous giant panda’s at Chengdu. And most of all, experiencing the real China.
Along the way we checked out some airfields, like Nanchang, Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Beijing focusing on civil aviation.
Shanghai - 3 April
We started our trip in the wonderful city of Shanghai. The colonial influence along the waterfront (The Bund) still gives this city an exciting atmosphere. Shanghai has two major airports, Hongqiao International and Pudong International. We visited the last and the Maglev ride to and from the city is an exciting trip as well. We did 431 km/h in this floating magnet train. The airfield is massive and the weather wasn’t that good, so we stayed in the terminal. From the terminal you have limited views on four aprons. You can walk outsize on all sides. (spot 1), (spot 2) Try not to be too conspicuous. It also gives a view on the main connecting taxiway between the parallel runways (lots of mm needed).
Nanchang - 8 April
Nanchang’s regional airport called Changbei is located 30 minutes north of the town. During our visit the airfield had one terminal with five gates. To the left of the terminal you can walk along the fence, and although the fence maze is tight, photos can be made off the apron, as we did. (Photospot) Now a days (2011) a massive extension is built with a new terminal and an enlargement of the apron by two times. The runway will also be extended to service larger types.
Hong Kong - 10 April
It’s always a joy to spot at Hong Kong. A large variety of airlines and aircraft types and lots of cargo. There are several spots around the island, we stayed in the two best stops. The aircraft maintenance area and the Skydeck on the HKIA tower.
To reach this spot, drive with your car to the end of South Perimeter Road, or go by public transport. Start at Tung Chung MTR Station. This is the same station when using the Tung Chung cable car to visit the giant Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery in Ngong Ping. By the way: The cable car gives an aerial view over the cargo ramps. From the bus station take the S52 bus to the maintenance area. Get out at the terminus beside HAECO building. The spot is ideal for landings on 07L and R. You need lots off mm’s. After three PM the sun is against you and you can better move to the Skydeck.
Views from the cable car.
More on Hong Kong, from the Skydeck , in our next part. Also shots from Macau, Guangzhou, Guilin and Beijing.