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.
my view of Victoria Peak from the 26th floor
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.