Sunday, May 20, 2018

Lunch at Din Tai Fung in Hong Kong

Today we had a plan, supported by reasonably useful bus and subway (MTR) apps.

We rode the MTR from the Tung Chung station near the Gondola, with one transfer that deposited us at the Tsim Sha Tsui stop a couple of blocks from the Silvercord Mall, home to one of Hong Kong's Din Tai Fung restaurants.

We arrived not too long after its 11:30 AM opening, and they still had room for two.

The joint was bustling but the employees were friendly and didn't try to rush us. We studied the large  menu amidst the happy diners.

We ordered xaio long bao, spring rolls, beef and vegetables, and pork chop with fried rice.

It turns out we ordered well. Delicious!

Riding the Hong Kong Gondola

It's formal name is the Ngong Ping 360 Gondola and it turns a couple of corners while transporting riders 5.7 kilometers (a bit over 3 1/2 miles) from a spot near a subway stop not far from HKG (Hong Kong International Airport) up to a high vantage point on Lantau Island.

The views are spectacular as we watch the "toy" airplanes taking off and landing far below.

We beat the crowds Sunday morning, and took a quick walk through the very touristy shopping village at the top before climbing back in to a gondola that we had all to ourselves. We've visited the giant seated Buddha and nearby monastery previously, and were content to admire it from a distance on this hot and humid morning.

This is our third time riding this gondola and we'd gladly ride it again - the views are amazing.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Mid-Levels Escalators in Hot Hong Kong

Today we only rode up halfway before retreating to a little Italian joint for a light lunch and a cooling off.

We were a little confused about finding a bus back to the hotel and walked a little too far to enjoy it on this hot and humid day.

After showers back in our room, it's time to rehydrate and enjoy the view of the South China Sea and the freighters waiting their turn to dock.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hong Kong's T Hotel

It's pleasing to be back at the T Hotel, a training hotel run by Hong Kong's Hotel and Tourism Institute,

On our third visit, we're used to having an audience of students for every transaction, from checking in to opening a bottle of wine.

We enjoyed our dinner, our room is perfectly fine, and we slept well. It's breakfast time!

This is last night's dinner.

Omelets for breakfast...

Hong Kong Airport Flyer #110

It's hot in Hong Kong and it's a long walk from the plane to the exit, even with a plethora of moving sidewalks. We had only a short wait at Immigration and walked through Customs with our rollaboards without delay.

We haven't done their in awhile, so Brian extracted some HK dollars from an ATM before heading outside.

We'd read the instructions to get to the bus terminal.

We didn't see instructions there to take the lift downstairs from the arrival level to get there, but that only cost us five minutes.

Thanks to the information in the link, Brian did buy the unadvertised return trip for Bus 110 for 65 HK$ each, a bit over US $8. That's a deal.

We queued for 10-15 minutes until the next bus arrived.

It's a 60-90 minute ride to stop 26, and we enjoyed the views.

Here we are.

Air France #188 CDG-HKG: Our Best Flight Ever?

The AF Boeing 777 offers the best overall business class configuration of the many we've experienced. The suites are roomy, including in the foot area, all of the controls (seat, video) are logical, and the suites are angled in a way to offer a pleasing sense of privacy.

The service was very good. One of a number of small but nice touches was a coat hanger with seat number attached waiting for us at our seat when we boarded. 

The food and wine were superb for plane food.

The dinner plate served includes the appetizer, cheese, and dessert.

The flight attendant delivers the main course, sweet-and-sour shrimp for Brian, on a second run.

We both slept well - maybe five or six hours - and woke up in time for a lovely breakfast.

After some extended turbulence, we made it to the lavatories to change our of our sleeping shirts, we were watching islands below us on the plane's camera, and we were landing.

We may just have to burn some points someday to fly Air France somewhere, since it's sadly no longer an Alaska partner. This flight was a "Wow!"

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Aboard AF 188 CDG-HKG

12 hours of flying ahead of us...

The Business cabin layout and furnishings looks as great as we'd been led to believe. We're looking forward to this flight.

We're sitting right behind a rather empty First Class can. AF offered us an upgrade but we'll just take a photo, thanks, rather than forking out several thousand bucks.

Miles and Miles

We just noticed something. When we land in Hong Kong Friday evening, we'll have flown a total of 11,157 miles since departing Vancouver Tuesday evening...


No wonder we're ready for another nap.

CDG Terminal 2E Hall K Air France Lounge

This is a classy lounge. A friendly employee directed is to lounging couches upstairs, where we napped for at least an hour.

Now it's time to check out the other pleasures offered before boarding Air France 188 for an 11:35 PM departure to our 12-hour flight to Hong Kong.