The Back Story…
The plan in 2018 was to visit Japan for a couple reasons:
- Everyone we knew who had ever been there had only great things to say about it.
- We already had the Japanese encephalitis shot, so why not go before we had to get it again? Especially since I got sick from it the last time.
- We love sushi.
- We love temples.
Then Sal found out about a conference he could speak at in Sydney, and he had a work meeting a few weeks later also in Sydney, so we switched our plans and went to Australia instead because:
- Work would pay for the Sydney portion and Sal’s flight.
- See #1. That was the only reason. It’s really expensive flying Business Class that far and there was no way I was going in Coach!
That took care of the big trip of 2018, but since Japan was still #1 on our list of places we wanted to go we made it top priority for 2019. Someone suggested combining Hong Kong with Japan, so that’s what we did because we could get a direct flight there, too, and we’d arrive at night, which is better than having to stay awake all day.
A Week Before The Trip…
So one of my two bonehead planning moves I pulled this trip was not remembering correctly, or possibly forgetting, how long the flight was going to be. I thought that the flight to Hong Kong was about the same length of time as the flight to Japan. Wrong! It’s 13.5 hours to get to Japan and 16 hours to get to Hong Kong. You might be thinking that 2.5 hours doesn’t seem like that must extra time when you are flying Business, but since we weren’t, it seemed like forever to me! I started looking at any possible reasonable options we had, and one was to use our miles and pay $600 per person to get put on the wait list for a seat in Business. It was totally worth it for a lay flat seat on a 16 hour flight, and there were over twenty available seats. We liked our chances! We would watch every few days with fingers crossed. Then all of the sudden some ridiculous number of seats got bought up or upgraded for those that have high status. I don’t know what it was, but it was a crazy amount and got to the point where we started getting a little worried that the upgrade wouldn’t go through.
The Day Of The Flight…
We packed a day earlier than normal and checked our luggage weight and items on our lists. It worked out quite well. Did you know if you don’t wait until the last second to pack you have a better chance not forgetting something? Who knew?? That gave us time the morning we left to add anything else we’d forgotten. Of course we were watching the upgrades and as luck would have it, there was only one seat available and there were two of us. We couldn’t believe it. Crap! What were we going to do? Sal sleeps on planes. I don’t really, unless there is a flat bed. So for that reason, me getting the seat would be nice so I’d at least have a chance to get some sort of sleep. Now Sal is quite grumpy when he is jet lagged (can’t blame him – low grade headache, etc.), so for that reason I wanted him to keep the seat. Sal knew I would remind him of it the rest of his life, so he wanted me to have the seat. We were in a conundrum. We sat in the United lounge (free access when gold and flying internationally!) and debated what to do. The only good thing to come from that time was someone in the lounge thought they saw Catherine O’Hare at a restaurant in the main terminal, so I went to spy and see if it was her. I pretended to read the departures board and listened to her very distinctive voice. I love her! Sorta cool.
That was the only good news, because we soon discovered that someone bought a Business Class ticket an hour before a 16 hour flight. Amazing. So all that excitement for Business Class upgrades and then debating on who would get the seat? Pointless. Just goes to show you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch.
The only good news re: seats was we were sitting in bulkhead and there was nobody between us. Normally if there is nobody between you then you can push up the arm rests and spread out, but bulkhead arm rests don’t move. Oh well. We still had a ton of leg room, as shown in this picture:
The only other draw back of that seat was we were right by the bathrooms. So there were occasionally times like this:
The food was not good. The flight went on and on. And on. When I’d start getting tired of flying I’d make the mistake of looking at how far we had to go and realize we had another 8 hours. Yikes. Sal slept a bit. I didn’t. Eventually we made it! Our first look at Hong Kong:
We were so happy to be off the plane. Weary, but glad to be off the plane.
The airport was cleaner and bigger than I thought it would be. No idea why I had any expectations about it, but I did and I was wrong.
We had already bought our Hong Kong Express tickets (subway/train from the airport to central HK) on Klook. Pro Tip: You can get discounts on transportation and entertainment on Klook, so we saved time and money buying our tickets that way before the trip. We just scanned our code and got on the train. Our stop was about 23 minutes from the airport, which isn’t bad at all. We got off at our station then had to find the free shuttle to the hotel. We sat on the bus and waited a little bit and then off we went. I don’t think the bus driver ever said a thing, but I knew ahead of tie what stop our hotel would be at, which is good because as you can imagine we were in a deep fog at that point. Eventually we found ourselves right in the middle of a bunch of high rise buildings, and in the heart of Kowloon. Our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui, was above a mall! The hotel was large, but at the same time compact. I don’t know how else to describe it. Check in was painless and we even got an upgrade. Pro Tip: we got the World Of Hyatt credit card about six months before our trip and used miles from it so all four nights were free at the hotel. It cost $85 yearly fee, but you also get a free night every year. It’s a great deal.
The view from our room
Since I barely ate on the plane, I was ready for some sort of snack. The main thing I researched re: Hong Kong was food. I knew there would be good stuff, and it certainly did not disappoint. I knew our hotel was just down the block from an egg waffle place that I had seen on some YouTube videos. We decided to go for a snack…
As you can see from the pic above, other people had the same idea. There was always a wait at this place. Egg waffles are sort of a mix between a cake and a muffin top? I guess? Anyway, there are lightly sweet or savory, and there are lots of different flavors to choose from. We tried them almost every night we were in Hong Kong. In fact, one of the big things I miss are those freakin’ waffles of goodness. So delicious.
So that’s my long story on how we finally got to Hong Kong and what led up to it. The posts coming up probably won’t be as long, but I’ll be sure to include plenty of pictures so you feel like you were there with us!