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Stopping in Guangzhou before heading home

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After a couple months away, cruising the Mediterranean and reuniting with friends in New York City, it was time to head back to the Philippines. On this trip, flew with China Southern Airlines – a first. On the flight out, had an 11-hour layover and got the opportunity to explore Guangzhou, the airline’s hub. Passengers with a minimum eight-hour layover and eligible to receive an entry visa for the day, along with hotel accommodations; for me, I used the entire time to wander.

The return leg wasn’t as exciting, it was a shorter time period, so it was just wandering the departure hall at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. To be honest, it doesn’t have the amenities of Seoul’s Incheon International Airport or Hong Kong International Airport, especially getting in early in the morning.

After arriving from New York City and getting through security, prepared for a few hours in the departure hall. With most of the places still closed, took the time to explore and see what they would have available once everything opened. There really wasn’t very much, unfortunately. One would need to leave the departure area to see more of what the airport had to offer, noticed a lot more amenities after getting through customs on the flight coming in

There was, however, one restaurant open. Looked over the menu and they served a variety of basic Chinese dishes; went with an old favorite, noodle soup with beef. It’s become an odd tradition at this point, when visiting Shanghai, had noodle soup at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, had noodle soup when leaving Guangzhou for NYC, and now before the flight home.

It was one would expect; delicious, chewy noodles served in a rich broth. The experience was one of those “people watching at the airport” moments, seeing the restaurant fill up and empty out while enjoying the meal; watching people rush back and forth, while, with the security of a couple hours (and eventual delay), having the chance to savor the dish. In addition, the pickles served on the side were exceptional.


Written by Paulo Loreto

May 27, 2018 at 8:40 AM


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Flying from New Bern, North Carolina to Newark, New Jersey, the first scheduled stop was a two-hour layover in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having stopped over at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) on a previous occasion, remembered there being a Bojangles franchise in one of the terminals; was looking forward to stopping by for breakfast.

Arrived in Terminal E, with a connection in Terminal D, kept an eye out for the famed chicken spot – but, unfortunately, failed to spot it (if it’s still there). Still looking for a place to eat, the Rum Bar and Grill was right outside the boarding gate. Perused the breakfast menu and went right to their breakfast cubano sandwich.

The meal was served pretty quickly – a good thing for travelers on the go – and it was beautiful. It was a large sandwich with the traditional ingredients of a cubano sandwich, but with the addition of eggs. Everything was so flavorful, along with a side of really well-cooked potato wedges – it was a great substitute for the initial plans for the two-hour stop.

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT), a great food stop on a layover.

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT), a great food stop on a layover.

Written by Paulo Loreto

November 3, 2015 at 9:17 PM