Friday, February 24, 2017

Around the World in 80 Hours Part 4: Hello Hong Kong, My Old Friend

On approach after a 15 hr flight
The story so far:
And now, the next chapter:
A 'short' 15 hour flight, 7 hours of sleep, some TV re-runs, 3 meals & great service by the flight crew later...We made it to Hong Kong! Since this flight touches down at 8am local time, and our onward flight to Kuala Lumpur doesn't leave for another 12 hours, we spent the day in the city (well about half of it.)  Luckily for us there’s a reasonably price luggage storage facility at the airport, and a fast train into town. 

Let me just take a moment here to say that it did take all 4 of us frequent flyers to collectively sort out where all we needed to go to take care of the luggage, get a shower, and catch the train.  Plus, we'd all been there before.  This is to say that HKG airport is big, and if you're not as familiar with the domestic terminal, its easy to get turned around.  First off, there’s no arrivals lounge available for Oneworld emeralds unless you’re on CX in Business or First.  However, there is a Priority Pass lounge past immigration between terminals one and two, in ‘the tunnel.’  It's a basic Plaza Premium lounge, not nearly up to par with Cathay's real lounges on the departures side, but for this brand of lounge it was sufficient for a quick stop.  It's also close…ish…to where the luggage storage is. 

Just so you know, if you’re looking for the storage place, follow signs for “left luggage.” Yes, this will be slightly hilarious to the jetlagged.  “Left luggage….not right luggage….get it??”  Come on, that’s funny…right?  The prices are pretty reasonable, about US $8 for our 5 hours for each bag, and the process was easy.  They take cards and you pay when you pick up your things.  Totally worth it not to have to drag a rollaboard each around the city.

Airport Express
Anyhow…. We did eventually make it to the airport express train.  I’ve said again and again in other posts how much I appreciate how accessible Hong Kong is from the airport.  It’s nearly impossible to get lost, and only takes 20 minutes.  We bought round trip tickets to Hong Kong (Central) station to save a few bucks.

Dim Sum Square
Upon landing, none of us exactly had a firm plan of what we wanted to get up to in the city, so we just played it by ear.  As tends to be the case with mileage running, leaving yourself open to new experiences and suggestions is the name of the game.  We had an impromptu meetup with yet another traveler doing a short trip to HKG.  On her good suggestion, we had lunch at Dim Sum Square, and a drink at Cottage off the Island Line MTR.  You always know you're in the right place when as you leave, there's a line out the door and down the street.
We'll take one of each.  Um, maybe two.
Dim Sum Square
 After that, and a little walking around the city on our way back to Central station, we headed back to HKG early to have some lounge time. This is about the point at which I’m willing to admit that this whole circling the world thing puts you in line for some punishing jet lag.  Since we didn’t get a day room at a hotel while we had our 12 hour layover, we essentially pulled an all-nighter as far as our internal clocks were concerned.

Hong Kong Central
I’ve often mentioned how it’s best to try to stay on your home timezone, more or less.  However, this run just isn’t making that entirely possible.  I’m anticipating some long naps on the upcoming flights as we circle back around through Sri Lanka and Doha.  Granted, probably not the best nap on the first flight, which is an economy award ticket on Malaysia, but I’m sure I’ll survive.  

If you’re going to travel around the world in a weekend, you might as well not sleep it away!

Read Next: Lounging Like There's No Tomorrow

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