Lufthansa A330 Old First Class DFW-FRA
Driving the Nurburgring Nordschleife
Lufthansa First Class Terminal
Oslo to celebrate Chris Guillebeau
Singapore A380 Suites Class FRA-SIN
Singapore Airlines Private Room and Singapore 777-300ER First Class SIN-HKG
Hong Kong and the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
Cathay Pacific’s The Wing Lounge and 747 First Class HKG-SFO
[witty and interesting introduction]
Having been to Hong Kong last year, I was an experienced veteran at getting from the airport to Hong Kong proper. That’s because I’m an expert travel veteran and not at all because Hong Kong International Airport is incredibly easy, I promise. I hopped on the Airport Express train for the easy 30 minute ride into Hong Kong.
I was excited to see Hong Kong at night. My trip last year was a long layover during the morning, and I immediately got lost upon leaving Kowloon station and wandered for about 2 hours before finding anything (since I didn’t bother to consult a map or anything before arriving, dumb). I had my bearings better this time and knew exactly what I wanted to see: the Hong Kong skyline at night. I strategically chose the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui for my stay, based upon the stringent criteria of them having availability and that I could use Hyatt points.
The hotel was just off Nathan Road in a massive complex called K11. After two trips, I’ve decided everything on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong is basically one big shopping centre. All I could deduce from the map on Hyatt’s site is that I needed to walk into the K11 mall and then I’d find the entrance to the lobby. I hopped in a cab at Kowloon station (the cabs are reasonably priced in Hong Kong) and through my expert Cantonese (I pointed at a map I had pulled up on my iPhone), we took off for: a big traffic jam. But after that, he found a place pretty close to where the K11 mall entrance was, and I told him I’d go the rest of the way on foot. I entered the scrum of an evening in Hong Kong and promptly heard the dulcet tones echoing after me: “Hey man, you want a fake watch?” No, I did not.
I eventually found my way to the massive complex I was looking for, at the bottom of a really nice building.
Now, most of you will notice that I’m a decidedly amateur photographer. Like all amateur photographers, I’m stuck in the Everything Looks Better In HDR Especially At Night phase of my knowledge. So, get ready for HDR and heavy tonemapping (like the above), because it’s going to come at you strong.
I found my way to the lobby of the Hyatt and told the guy at the desk that I’d like to check in. He very courteously invited me to proceed to actual lobby on the 3rd floor to check in. Oh. So I went to the 3rd floor lobby and was promptly helped by a very nice lady, who informed me that I’d been upgraded to a suite (yes!) and she would like to invite me to check in at the Regency Club on the 24th floor. Oh. When we got to the club, I asked, rather concernedly, if I was actually going to be able to check in, or if we needed to go anywhere else. Nope, I had found the golden ticket it turned out. I was checked in and given the key to my suite. Which was on the 15th floor. So again to the elevators. But a small price to pay for an AMAZING room.
The Hyatt was an excellent hotel. The staff were friendly and went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. There was one glaring event that left me pretty upset, but to their credit they sincerely apologized when I was checking out and I received numerous emails from them when I returned home informing me of the results of their investigation. I’m confident that should any of you go to Hong Kong, you’ll have an excellent stay at this Hyatt, which I thought was a great value for 18,000 Hyatt points.
The humidity wasn’t too bad (only about 138%) when I went out for an evening stroll. And by evening stroll, I mean “get asked over and over if I’d like to buy a fake watch, custom suit, custom shoes”. A trick I learned from a stand-up comedian: if you can pull off a good Russian accent, reply to the street hawkers in a Russian accent and act all offended and they will never bug you again (yes, this actually worked: “Are you calling my watch fake? [Russianly]” “OH NO NO NO IT’S A NICE WATCH [Hong Kongishly scampers away]”).
I’m very glad I added an overnight in Hong Kong, loved grabbing the following pictures.
The following is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken, outside of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
My photo bug and Russian accent getting a little tired, I made my way back towards the hotel. It’s easy to find any place in Hong Kong: remember what the top of your building looks like and, when lost, just look up.
I took a nice long bath in the tub (for some reason whenever I travel I take baths) (and now you know the bath habits of some random blogging guy you’ve probably never met) and recounted my blessings and gave thanks for the ability to go on such an amazing trip. Even though I was excited about the next day, I didn’t want to go home. Usually, when I’m on the road I miss being at home and when I’m home I miss being on the road, but for the first time I was on the road and missed being on the road.
My head barely hit the very soft and nice pillow before I was out like a light.
Up next: the end of my trip. The Wing, Cathay Pacific First Class, and American First Class