Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Beijing Traffic

15 years ago we wondered what would happen when this city of bicycles acquired cars.

All we need to do is look out our hotel room window.

When we tire of that, we can watch the giant lighted billboard on the adjacent high rise that changes every few seconds.

In Beijing at the Hilton

It seems to have changed a lot since our previous visit 15 years ago.

Our Hainan domestic flight from Haikou to Beijing was on a newer 787, surprising for a three-hour flight, other than the fact that HAK is on Hainan Island, and apparently the main hub for HU.

Breakfast was tasty.

The biggest walnuts we’ve ever seen...

Before long we landed. We made a surprisingly long walk, mainly with moving sidewalks, over to the next terminal to catch the Airport Express.

We followed the instructions of a Trip Advisor reviewer to reach the Beijing Hilton and they were flawless, involving transferring from the Airport Express to metro line 10, getting off st the first stop, taking exit B, and then walking in the opposite direction and turning right at the first intersection, then walking for 5-6 minutes. Easy when you know the way!

The Hilton is great and we’ve just finished our first breakfast after a good sleep. Kathy found the soup station.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Sydney to Haikou on Hainan

Another very nice flight, albeit on an older plane.

We relaxed in s decent SkyTeam lounge at SYD before boarding.

The cabin crew members were just as friendly as before. Kathy went to sleep immediately but Brian enjoyed some soup for a light dinner.

We both dined on “crepes” (more like pancakes) for breakfast.

The Haikou Transit was much better this time than our outbound experience. A VIP bus took us on another long drive to the terminal and we got through immigration and customs quickly.

Outside was the promised yellow bus that drove us to the domestic terminal.

We got our boarding passes at a Hainan counter without a problem. Kathy spotted a VIP security line which proved to be our least unpleasant experience so far.

We even had time for a cup of excellent coffee in the Hainan Business Lounge before boarding our flight.

SYD SkyTeam Lounge

Once we got through our immigration exit and security at Sydney International Airport, we found the SkyTeam Lounge easily.

We’re flying SYD-HAK-PEK. We learned at the checkin counter that we have to pick up the boarding pass for the second leg at Haikou Airport, by order of the Chinese government.

Given our three-hour layover time there, we’re hoping it’s less of a pain than it was on the way to Sydney.

In the meantime, we’re relaxing in this pleasant lounge.

Sydney: Lunch at Yayoi

The Sydney Hilton has a surprisingly early checkout time of 11:00AM, but they gave us 2:00PM.

We had plans of a ferry ride to Watson’s Bay, but instead walked over to the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre, which boasts a large variety of restaurants.

We learned our first choice, the wonderful Din Tai Fung, was closed for renovations. What to do?

We eventually settled on a Japanese restaurant, Yayoi, and it proved to be tasty and fun.

They offer set lunches as well as a la carte choices, but the most interesting part is their ordering system. Every table has an iPad-type tablet installed.

There are full printed menus as well, but when you want to order you punch it in on your tablet.

The screen shows the status, right up to and inclusive of notice that it was being delivered.

Brian actually preferred it because we could set our own pace for ordering a multi-course meal, but Kathy has her doubts about the lack of interaction with a human server.

For the restaurant owner, they don’t strike, call in sick at the last rminute, or pilfer inventory, so they have some distinct advantages.

A tasty meal!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sydney’s Circular Quay

We’re glad we walked down to Circular Quay this morning. It was sunny and quite windy at times.

We’re now back in our room and see the wind blew in some rain, with four days of it predicted. We were lucky.