The pressure now really kicks in and I must admit to even greater nerves than on the eve of the All Blacks match – and I was a shivering wreck then.
Chaps, like thousands of fellow Englishmen in Tokyo and back at home in the UK, was near delirious with happiness. And who can blame him?
The risk in describing Daxing is that you might run out of superlatives. It is an extraordinary testament to architectural genius; and a statement that airports can be beautiful as well as functional, soul-enriching as well as commercial and efficient.
When you look at the inflight screen flight path and you see the Antarctic looming up as next stop beyond your destination you know you’re a long way south.
Which airline could keep me connected for longest and with the best line speed? Cathay won hands down. I suspect I am not the only travel retail executive deciding that connectivity is key to choice of carrier.
As I step onto my hotel balcony, the view is as intoxicating as the Moutai aroma that fills the air. “The bouquet pervades across China and Moutai is still the best,” runs an old adage.
No time for movies or sleep then, though I may catch a nap at the Cathay Pacific lounge at HKIA. I get into Maotai in China’s Guizhou province late tonight, having flown back on myself. I might need a shot of Kweichow Moutai sooner than I had planned.
How long since you last visited a library? I recommend it wholeheartedly. It’s as restorative as a 90-minute spa, a walk in the forest, a plunge into cool alpine lake waters.
I may just have to hunker down in Chiang Mai for a while and have a few nice Scotches with my new equine friend.
A perfect storm has hit tourism here – intense competition from rival Asian tourist destinations, a high Thai Baht, the worsening US-China trade wars and the sustained adverse publicity from the Phuket boat tragedy in July 2018.
The headlines don’t come from a regular world trouble spot where the people are raging against the actions of some despot they wish to see toppled.
In both culinary and commercial terms there are plenty of exciting options on the menu.
What could have been a standard Q&A session turned into a warm, deep and revealing chat, which left me and the audience knowing a lot more about the how and why of these two contrasting companies’ success stories.