Life is Better When Shared: Showing Friends Around Hong Kong During a Layover

I love traveling.  Obviously.  I mean it’s called Andy’s Travel Blog right?  Ok, terrible introductions aside, what I meant to say is I love going to far away places and seeing amazing things.

Here’s the thing though: I usually end up traveling alone.  Which isn’t nearly as fun.  Thankfully I’m a part of quite a few traveling groups on Facebook and have made some awesome connections through there, but it’s usually just a quick hello at an airport.

So a month or so ago I was in Singapore on a really quick work trip, and by quick I mean I landed on Sunday night at midnight and left Thursday evening.  My routing back to the states was on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong and then Hong Kong to Dallas nonstop.  In coach.  Blergh.  But I digress.

That Thursday in the office I saw a Facebook post from a college buddy (also named Andy) saying that he and his girlfriend Callie were at JFK and randomly heading to Hong Kong, “because why not?” (you can see why we’re friends)

I immediately asked him when they were landing in Hong Kong because I had a pretty lengthy layover before my flight back to the USA.

He said “5:30am”.

I checked my itinerary and saw great news: my flight landed at 5:20am.

Like schoolgirls at a Beiber concert we e-squealed at each other and said we’d meet outside of customs.  They then took off on a Cathay Pacific nonstop to HKG and I got to work in Singapore.  Eventually I made my way to Singapore’s lovely airport, stopping at the butterfly garden while I was there (because butterfly garden).

I eventually landed at Hong Kong and made my way to the customs area.  My new e-channel bar code on my passport got me into the country in about 4 seconds and I casually waited for Andy and Callie to arrive.  Not 20 minutes later they walked out of the customs area looking equal parts excited about being in Hong Kong and jetlagged as all get out.

What I’ve failed to mention thus far is that both Andy and Callie are incredibly innovative and cool people, Andy is one of the most startup people I know and Callie is an expert in cryptocurrencies and the nascent coin offering industry.  They’re both super smart and an absolute blast to be around.

While we were syncing up travel plans they said they had never been to Hong Kong before so I decided to give them my Tourist Tour to help them get their bearings.

“My spot” at Lugard Road is one of the best views of Hong Kong.  My little guide on how to get there is one of the most popular videos on my YouTube channel also, in case you want to go:

I wanted to show them this spot for two reasons: 1) I wanted to visit and take some pictures and 2) it’s a great place for a walk to get some blood moving after a super long flight

We hopped into a taxi and made our way to the Peak Tram while I shared some history with them about Hong Kong, no doubt boring them mercilessly.  But we eventually got to the top of the Peak Tram and found our way to Lugard Road and began the arduous enjoyable little hike of about 3km.

I had heard rumours (spelled Britishly since this is about Hong Kong) that there was a new photo spot that opened up after a typhoon passed through Hong Kong, and indeed there was, but nothing compared to my usual spot.

We got to the spot and their breath was taken away.  So was mine #outofshape.  But the spot was as good as ever.

Andy and Callie enjoyed it too.  And me being a photographer I made them pose for a cute “candid” awww shot.

While I usually turn back to the Peak Mall at this point, we decided to go ahead and complete the circuit around Lugard Road, since the scenery is so pretty (although a lot had been impacted by the typhoon).

After Lugard Road we took the Peak Tram back down.  We walked through one of the many random parks they have in the middle of the city and eventually made our way to a taxi stand.  We hopped in and headed for the Airport Express station.  I needed to get to the airport and they needed to get to Macau for a conference (the reason for their sudden visit), but before that we needed to do something amazing.

The taxi dropped us off at the Airport Express station and we took the escalator down one level.  We turned to our left, walked towards the Subway, and saw a restaurant with some line barriers in front of it.

Tim. Ho. Wan.

Yes I know it’s touristy but BBQ PORK BUNS.  I may or may not eat there every time I go to Hong Kong (and may or may not have ensured that Andy and Callie liked it so much they waited two hours to go to the new NYC location the other day).  I thought Tim Ho Wan would be the perfect occasion to relax a little before we had to go our separate ways.

Oh, and BBQ PORK BUNS.

Such a fun couple of hours

After Tim Ho Wan I made my way to the airport, my favorite lounge in the world (The Pier), and eventually my super long and turbulent flight home.

It was so fun getting to briefly share a place I love with good friends.  It’s one of the few reasons I’m thankful for things like Facebook, otherwise I may have never known they were going to be in town at the same time and missed seeing them by literally minutes.  What a delight to be able to break the silence of solo travel with such great people.

Life is better when shared.  Hoping for more spontaneous meetups during my next big trip (which starts tomorrow)!

Also, BBQ PORK BUNS!

 

What is your favorite random travel meetup story?  Tell me in the comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Are the bbq buns baked?

    Reply

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