Technically this trip started on Wednesday evening as I flew to Dallas and spent the night before continuing on to Hong Kong on Thursday morning. I am glad I did this because the middle seat was open next to me due to a lady who missed her connection from Houston that morning. Plus, I overheard another guy who realized he forgot his passport and was wondering if they would let him board without it? Not likely, I’m guessing.
After a relatively uneventful but long flight from DFW to HKG – I arrived at the airport to a thankfully short immigration line and a quick connection via the airport train to Central Station. One strange thing — I received no entry stamp in my passport for this visit; I had a small slip of loose paper (that I couldn’t lose) instead.
And here’s where things got fun (not really).
Hong Kong is a multi-level city that is very compact, so the GPS on my phone was having a difficult time pin-pointing me which, in turn, made it very hard for me to figure out what direction to take. After a few false starts I finally managed to make it out of the gigantic IFC mall area and after thirty minutes of walking (in mostly the correct direction) I found my hotel. Whew! (Probably didn’t help that I was tired and disoriented after being on an airplane for 18+ hours!)
My queen room at the Holiday Inn Express Soho was fine. The bed was a bit firm for my tastes and there was only a large container of body wash / shampoo in the shower but overall it was a pretty good value with the included breakfast and short walk to the MTR. They also had a choice of soft and firm pillows on the bed and two bottles of water for free each day. There was a warning not to drink the tap water without boiling it first so the bottled water was necessary for teeth brushing.
At this point I had only eaten airport lounge and airplane food for 24 hours (meh.) and while I wasn’t super hungry I knew I had to get something solid in me or else I would wake up grouchy. The dim sum place next to the hotel was closed by the time I checked in and headed out again, then I attempted to locate a pub we had been to before but couldn’t find it, so I settled on a wine bar instead. I ordered a glass of rose and a curry roti appetizer and found a comfy corner seat. While my dinner was reasonably priced and good, the place was very loud and I only lasted as long as my first glass.
Of course, I found the first pub I was looking for as I wandered back to the hotel. Sigh.