Hong Kong bound

Trip Start Sep 03, 2013
Trip End Mar 25, 2014

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Where I stayed
City Garden Hotel Hong Kong
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of China  ,
Monday, November 25, 2013

Up with the alarm at 2:45 and at about 3:15 we are checking out.  Reception wants to get us a taxi at 560Bht but we walk about 25m to the main road and flag one down ourselves which takes us to the old Don Muang airport in 20mins for 164Bht - not that I'm tight as I'm sure you all know !
The airport still looks pretty much the same as last time I was here which must be 7 years ago now.  The only real change that strikes me is that nearly all of the desks here now are Air Asia which seems to have almost exclusive use of the airport.
We stop for a cappucino to wake us up and eat a 7/11 croissant for breakfast. 
Having completed an on-line check-in we go to the bag drop desk to lose our big case and it takes just about as long as a normal check-in which makes me wonder why bother ?  We go through to departures by 4:30 and have a couple of hours  to wait before we leave.
Flight leaves on time and is comfortable which I guess is all that you can ask of it.  We overfly Roi Et province where we live but cant identify anything familiar from the air.  The flight doesnt include food but very quickly they are coming round with a trolley selling hot food and at around 100Bht a time they are much cheaper than I expected them to be.  Find it hard to believe that they dont even provide passengers with a drink of water though.  Fortunately we had 'self-catered' for the flight.  I doze for a while then waking to look out the window can clearly see what I guess must be the Korean coastline.  Before we know it the Captain is announcing our descent into Hong Kong.  Wish all flights could be this quick.
We collect our baggae clear immigration and easily find the hotel shuttle bus desk.  About 20mins later we are leaving Chek Lap Kok airport behind us and passing over the Tring Ma Bridge (at 2.2km one of the longest suspension bridges in the world).  Hong Kong container port looms up on one side of the road and it is absolutely huge.  We drop through the harbour tuneel and are soon at the City Garden Hotel, North Point, Hong Kong Island.
The check-in area is slow moving to the extreme and some kind chap takes us up to the 25th floor business lounge where we can check-in and are told that our room would be ready before 14:00.  It is only just after 12:00 so we go out for a walk around North Point looking at all of the restaurant menus which are almost exclusively in Chinese.  We end up at a small noodle shop with a small English menu as well, and eat Taiwanese noodles and beef which was both filling and quite good.
We get back to the hotel just before 14:00 but apparently the room would be just a little bit longer.  There are no chaors in reception for us to sit and wait so we visit a Hong Kong Jockey Club shop on an opposite corner to make sure that there was racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday night as I believed.  Shop turned out to be a bookies but still managed to confirm that Wednesday was a race night.
Back to the hotel, still not ready, go for a walk around the block.  Room is ready on the dot of 15:00 which is actually the time they advertise for check-ins.  If they could just have told us that in the first place there wouldnt have been any bad feeling and we could have gone off and done something else instead of hanging around waiting.
The room is fine if not quite as grand as I was expecting.  We shower, unpack and change and are back out on the streets by 15:30.  We take a tram west and get off when I think that we may have gone a little bit past the stop I was looking for.  I check a map to find that we still hadnt got there.  Whilst stopped I note that Jai is strugling to keep her eyes open and I am pretty sleepy myself so we get on another tram and head back to the hotel and our room.
Just after 18:00 we get a knock at the door and someone is standing there with a large plate of fruit.  I tell him we havent ordered anything but he tells us it is a present from the hotel for keeping us waiting.  It is free so I thank him and take it.
The arrival of the fruit reminds us that we are hungry so we stay at North Point and eat beef, peppers. onions and boiled rice at another small Chinese language place where we point the food in pictures on the wall. Seems to work and was really nice again washed down with the obligatory cups of tea that you are constantly plied with between walking through the door and walking back out again.
En-route back to the hotel I pick up a couple of cans of Tsingtao beer - when in Rome or something like that.
About 21:00 the manager himself phones the room to apologise for our being messed around earlier on.  He tells us that he has arranged for us to have complimentary breakfasts during our stay.  The fruit was nice but this is a much more acceptable gesture.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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