Bangkok to Hong Kong via Shenzhen

Trip Start Jun 12, 2012
Trip End Jul 20, 2012

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Flag of China  , Hong Kong,
Sunday, July 15, 2012

We slept in this morning and just enjoyed the view from our room.  We leave for Hong Kong today and we've got a long row to hoe (so to speak).  I woke up this morning and I decided that I must have the hand painted tea set that I discovered last night.  The colors were so perfect and I just know I'll never find anything like it again.  So, that is top on my mind.  We get dressed and ready to go. We pack the bags and leave them in the room.  Major and  went on down to check out while Mickell did his customary check of the room.  Check-out was a breeze and they sent a bellboy up to collect the bags and hold them for us until we are ready to leave for the airport.

We don't have much time before we need to leave for the airport, so we head to a local Thai restaurant that one of the concierge attendants indicated that they eat at for lunch.  We told them that we just want some more Tom Kha Gai!  The restaurant was good, not great and we walked back over to the hotel to claim our bags and load up the cab for the airport.  We're all breathing easy since we logged onto Air Asia and bought extra luggage allowance for a really reasonable $20 or so USD.  Again, I really like Air Asia.  So, Mickell had arranged for our cabbie to come pick us up today at 3, but he didn't show so we took a different cab.  We got the airport in good time and made it through check-in, immigration, and customs.  

Before we left for the airport, I went back to my store and bought the tea pot set I wanted it.  It was 2800 Bhat, but well worth it.  While I was buying that, Major bought 2 toy animal snakes to join the zoo that he is carrying in his backpack.  So, we'd not had any issue throughout the entire trip with security, but Bangkok was the first time.  They stopped us and wanted to look inside Major's backpack.  They asked if we were carrying live snakes!  Mickell and I just looked at each other and laughed.  Major opened the bag for them and they were relieved that they were only toy snakes.  Anyway, the flight to Shenzhen from Bangkok took around 2 hours and we set our watches ahead an hour along the way.  We landed around 10:30, but we had a lot more traveling to do!  We picked up our bags and then we had to catch a taxi to the border.  Border you might be saying?  Everyone knows that Hong Kong is now part of China after being handed over from British control in 1997.  Being part of China now, one would think that they would use the Yuan and that the Chinese border would extend to include Hong Kong such that no border control would be necessary between Hong Kong and China.  Well, that is most certainly not the case.  So, we needed a taxi to the border.  There's only one border crossing that's open 24 hours per day and it's called GuangDong.  So, I gave the taxi driver my iPhone where I cut and pasted the chinese characters that indicate GuangDong.  We loaded our bags and we were at the border in roughly 20 minutes.  Luckily I still had a lot of Yuan left so the 140 Yuan taxi fare wasn't a problem.  We unloaded all of our bags from the cab and then figured out what to do.  We had the usual solicitors offering to taxi us, etc., but we're way to savvy to fall for an unmetered fare.  Besides, we still had to get across the border and these people are in mainland china and probably can't get into Hong Kong.  We dragged all of our bags downstairs and waited in a line to go through mainland china customs and passport control.  After we make it through that (and load our bags on the xray machine), we then get to do it all over again 50 feet later as we entered Hong Kong.  After we exited the border control, we then had to get a cab to the hotel.  One big problem, THERE WERE NO CABS!  

There were only busses and we had no idea which one, if any, we should take.  So, I called the hotel and after much work, they told us to take the Tsun Tsui bus.  We bought tickets for the bus, loaded up our bags, and off we went.  But, we still weren't done!  The bus stopped and then we pulled into a station and everyone got out.  We followed the crowd and deduced that we had to get our bags off the bus, take them through Hong Kong immigration.  So, off we went again.  Once we made it through Hong Kong immigration, we did find that there were cabs on that side of the border, but e had already bought the bus ride so we found the bus stop and boarded the bus that took us near to our hotel.  Ultimately, 3 stops later (we tried getting of at each stop, but the bus driver took pity on us and told us when we were there) we were let off essentially in a bus alley.  We unloaded our bags AGAIN and flagged a cab that took us to the Intercontinental Grandstanford hotel.  By the time we arrived it was well past midnight and nearly 1am.  The hotel was very nice, but they did indicated that they were under construction and that there may be construction noise past 9AM.  I opted to pay a little extra to get a room that had already been renovated thinking that we wouldn't have to hear the noise on that floor.  

The bellman showed us to our room and we were completely underwhelmed!  Terrible view and the room was so ordinary.  I knew immediately that we wouldn't be spending our Hong Kong leg here, so I started researching for better hotels.  We decided that we'd check out in the morning and drop our bags off at the new hotel on our way to Disneyland tomorrow.   I got us some reservations at the Langham Place Hotel which was just a little north of this hotel.  After we were settled on that, we quickly got to bed so we could rest for the big day at Disneyland tomorrow!  
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