Hong Kong!

So here I am at last. Hong Kong! I’ll keep this brief as I need to get my head down for some sleep because I’m off to Guangzhou tomorrow and I have a 6am alarm set. The 12-hour flight over here was great. Better than most of the flights I’ve had to holiday destinations that lasted half the time.

I’m not sure whether this is a Virgin Atlantic thing or just long-haul, but after getting airborne and eating some food the lights were turned off and the cabin crew closed all the window blinds. The cabin stayed dark and quiet for a good six or seven hours, and I think I probably managed five or fix hours sleep during that time, albeit in chunks of half an hour or an hour or so. Not perfect. But pretty damned good.

The photo above was taken with my phone. I think this was about an hour after we flew over the Russian/China border at about 7am UK time, 3pm Hong Kong time.

Arrival, immigration and baggage reclaim was all very efficient. I didn’t get to see much of Hong Airport itself as it was dark by the time we were out of the terminal. The various Chinese staff are all incredibly helpful–very sensitive to the slightly startled Westerners all around me.

Here’s a couple of shots from the airport. First of all, the arrivals hall. You have to take a train from here to the Baggage Reclaim area, which is slightly strange…

And here’s a photo I grabbed of the MTR network. Several people have recommended I use this to zip around the island and Kowloon, which I think I’ll do on Wednesday. I can buy a tourist ticket for HKD$55 that will take me pretty anywhere I want to short to, short of the border with mainland China…

The hotel, the Excelsior, is pretty amazing. I was lucky to get a hotel as posh as this for the price. I arrived here at about 8pm and there was a little confusion about whether my room was ready, so I was invited to enjoy a quick beer in the Executive Suite. I’d barely started my beer when I was told my room was now ready. After dropping my stuff in my room and grabbing a quick shower, I popped out armed with map and camera (looking very much the clichéd tourist) to get my bearings.

Well the Excelsior is probably a little further east than I imagined, so I’ll certainly have to get used to using the MTR. It feels a little humid and warm, even at 9pm at night. I saw blue skies as we landed earlier this afternoon, so it could be pretty hot tomorrow. Need to take plenty of water tomorrow and my trusty Tilley.

Here’s a couple of photos I grabbed as I was wandering around before I headed back to the hotel tonight. The photo on the right was taken in Times Square, a busy commercial centre…


Tomorrow: Guangzhou!

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