Hong Kong --- (Bus) --- (Ferry)
--- (MRT) --- (Taxi) --- (Bus) --- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Thoughts:
We’ve both been here before and
because of our One World ticket were having to come here again
and again because this is the main hub for Cathay Pacific to fly
you around the Far East. Bit of a nightmare we had from the
start! Read on…
Well we should have left
Bangkok at 11:30 getting us into HK at a reasonable time even
with the clocks going forward an hour. The plane from Bangkok
was coming from somewhere else and was delayed. We finally
boarded at 14:00, so by the time it took off, waited for a space
at HK airport to park it was late before we came through with
HK airport is absolutely huge
and was very busy with lots of people around. We found out
there was a couple of big conferences on in town so that was a
reason for all the people. Then we heard lots of girls
screaming and running in a certain direction. What’s going on!
We later found out it was due to a local boy band pop star
flying in from somewhere.
Being a very high-tech airport
once you are through the gate the only information desk to
really greet you is an electronic one. After a few minutes of
that computer generated voice telling you this and that and
nothing of any importance you really want to put your foot
There was only one hotel desk
at the airport, and they informed us that most of the hotels
were already full, and the cheapest price room they had (for one
night only) was £200! So for the next couple of hours we
decided to use the internet and call hotel numbers from the
tourist map and out of the rough guide, even the ones in the
guide book they say you should call as a last resort. We also
found out most of the places were full and what few that were
available were charging sky high rates with the prices hiked up
due to the conferences.
There aren’t many if any mid
range places, just seems your 4star and above. As it was now
late it was very tempting to just stay at the airport but we
needed to get to the main island to sort out our China plans.
Anyhow we found a place that was expensive for what we wanted
but it was a room. Also being a new airport it is miles away
from the main island so by the time we got a transfer and got to
our room it was midnight!
Travelling in general gives you
a real feeling that big hotels are really quite faceless and
really suit the faceless corporate types that tend to stay there
spending the company’s money. Most of the staff can only
operate within their role and God forbid you ask them anything
out of the ordinary.
When we initially called them
for a price they said they only had a twin room available. When
we called back just 2 minutes later we were told they were
actually now all full, but after insisting to speak to the
original receptionist they did actually seem to have a room…very
bizarre. When we arrived I asked if they had a double room on
the off chance only for them to surprisingly now say yes and we
needed to collect our room key on the exec floor. On the exec
floor we were then told we had breakfast included in the
price…great news or so we thought.
Finally in our room working out
at over HK$100 per hour, we slept. Next day we got up early for
breaky now only to be told breakfast wasn’t included and we had
to pay for it… Aaaarrrggghhh what a service!
We needed to do some quick
planning and thinking as hanging around HK would be a real waste
of money. As 2 nights in HK would work out the same price as 26
nights in the hotel we stayed at in Bangkok. You do the maths!
The big plan was to arrive in the afternoon (if the flight was
on time) so we could go and sort out some visa’s straight away
for China and get over to China.
Now being Friday morning time
wasn’t on our side with the weekend coming. So we did some more
phoning around to see if there were any more places available at
cheaper rates and searched the internet for more China tours.
Either way, there was still no more accommodation to be found;
getting the visa probably wouldn’t happen until Monday with
potentially a trip leaving to China on the Tuesday. So with all
that bad news and not wanting to waste tons of cash on a room in
HK as we had both been here before we phoned up Cathay Pacific
to pull in our next flight to Bali for Sunday. With all this
done before room check out of 12pm we told the hotel we would be
staying for a second night.
Rachel’s brother Matt was in HK
with work, so we left him a message about meeting up later then
headed off to walk around the madness of the HK shopping areas
and markets. Even within a couple of hours, Rachel had bought a
new handbag, purse and shoes ready for her brother to take home…
We got a message Matt was tied
up until 10:30pm so in the evening we caught the ferry across to
HK island to see the amazing city skyline and grab something to
HK is a bit like Singapore, all
a bit safe and structured with lots of westerners around having
to stop there for connecting flights etc…
We finally meet up with Matt
who had some work people and expense accounts in tow and quickly
headed onto the MRT (Tube) back over to HK island to a steep
street with bar after bar and not surprisingly full of western
people all drinking in the streets.
So with lots to chat about and
a few beers later we left him to it as we needed to get back
across the island, pack and up early for our flight to
next day. So with getting to bed at 02:30 and on the transfer
bus at 07:00 we where a wee bit tired but glad to be leaving the
expense of HK, but a bit pissed off with not being able to make
it to China.