The Talking Travel Golden Rule of Travel was in full effect on Wednesday's United flight 889 from San Francisco to Beijing: never trust an airline to entertain you or feed you. An airline is a transportation company, not a restaurant or a cinema. I don't know why, but every United Airlines flight I've been on for as far back as I can remember needed to restart the entertainment system after the flight began. I laugh every time I see the Turbolinux penguin pop up. In any case, said entertainment system was spotty at best, and the "breakfast" was inedible. Bring food, bring books or movies, and flying can be a joy.

That joy can now extend over Mount Everest, also known as Mount Qomolangma. Fly over the highest mountain in the world on a commercial flight with Sichuan Airlines from Chengdu to Kathmandu in Nepal, on their new service that begins April 1. That doesn't appear to be an April Fool's Day joke. However, we have one question: what side of the aircraft should you sit on in order to see it? How will the other side of the plane feel, or will everyone get up and run across to the other side to peer out?

In case you didn't know there was a Traders Hotel at Upper East Side on the northeast Fourth Ring Road, well, too late: now it's a Hotel Jen. Actually that's a good thing: Hotel Jen runs, clean, boutique-style hotels. They will still be more in the Traders Hotel price range (think RMB 1,000 per night and up), but if their Hong Kong hotel in Kennedy Town is indication, staff is pleasant, rooms are nice, and if there isn't enough room for guests in your Upper East Side apartment, they'll be just fine at Hotel Jen.

One road flat safe.


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