First stop

Trip Start Nov 22, 2010
Trip End Jan 11, 2011

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Flag of China  ,
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Except for an hour delay, the flight from LAX to Hong Kong is excellent. I
manage to upgrade to an emergency exit/ bulkhead row for the flight, without
having to pay the extra $100 it usually costs, because my seat had a bit of a
"bump" in front of it from where the exit door protruded. I get my usual
"window" seat (no actual window this time due to the exit door), and make it
through the whole 15 hour flight without having to bug my neighbors or getting
bugged by anyone else.

I watch three movies on the flight: Get Him to the Greek, Chloe, and
Hurt Locker. The sound is barely loud enough over the engines, unfortunately.

Upon arrival in Hong Kong, I ask at the information booth for the best way to
get to my hotel. The kiosk staffer proceeds to look up the name on an address
sheet and tells me to get off at stop 6, Ngau something-a-rather road. I get on
the bus (which has free wi-fi--incredible!) and wait until I hear them announce
stop 6. Which is Chatham, not the name she told me. Uh, oh, decision time. I
decide to trust the street name over the stop number and stay on. Finally, at
stop 18, I hear my street and disembark.

Alas, I am in the wrong place. After wandering and looking lost for a brief
time, a nice woman approaches me and asks what I'm looking for. I tell her my
hotel address, and she says that it's rather far from here and that I should
take a cab. Sigh.

Into the cab, where the driver informs me that the Bridal Tea House is a chain,
which is probably how I ended up in the wrong part of town. As if to accentuate
his point about the possibility of confusion, he then proceeds to drop me off at
the wrong Bridal Tea House! Thankfully, this one is within walking distance of
my hotel. I make it there around 9:30 or so at night.

They certainly build high and skinny in Hong Kong. The hotel has over 20 stories
with only four microscopic rooms per floor!

I wake up at 7:30 the next morning feeling relatively refreshed despite my jetlag. I grab a cheap breakfast of noodles and chicken soup nearby. I try to walk to the ferry terminal but go northwest instead of southwest and instead end up on Nathan street. I wander around for an hour, but there's not much in the way of tourist attractions except for shopping. I eventually catch the subway to the pier and sign up for the hop-on/ hop-off Star Ferry tour. $11 or so for the tour, plus a free soda and piece of cake. What a deal!

At the Central stop I take the bus to the top of Victoria Peak. Some great views, but by now my feet are somewhat blistered and painful. I take the tram back down and board the ferry again for Wanchai where I see the monument dedicated to the British handover of Hong Kong back to China in 1997. But sadly, the golden bauhinia statue is closed for maintenance.

At around 5:30 I begin the trek back to my hotel despite my aching feet. Bad idea as I make a wrong turn near my hotel. Given the cheap cost of cabs in HK, I decide discretion is the better part of valor and opt for a taxi for the last mile or so.

The next morning, I awake at 3:30 (damn jetlag), and hit the streets around eight. The subway entrance is only about a block from my hotel, but it's like a half mile walk through the tunnel to the actual platform. I make it to the Sha Tin Station without a hitch to see the 10,000 Buddha Temple, which in addition to 10,000 Buddhas has over 500 steps.

I finish up my tourism in HK with a visit to the History Museum. Nice exhibits, but my blistered feet are in agony, so I go back early to the hotel (again, can't find it and need to catch a cab). End of my journey in HK, except for the cab ride to the ferry the next day, which goes off flawlessly.
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Tolarjev on

My hotel in Hong Kong, the Wi-fi Boutique hotel, had 20 floors or so too, & only 3 rooms per floor. Microscopic sized lobby.

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