After the long flights and my night at the W Hong Kong, I wanted to spend as much time as I could exploring Hong Kong. It’s one of my favorite cities, and although I had visited several times before, there is always more to see.
Central Government Complex, Tamar
Riding the Star Ferry
One classic Hong Kong activity I’ve not done before is the ride across Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry. On past trips, I had always taken the MTR (subway). The ferry is cheaper and significantly more scenic. I took a free shuttle from the W to the Gateway Mall which was a short distance to the Star Ferry pier on Kowloon. Since this was a Sunday I had to pay a premium ticket, which was HK$2.80 or about US$0.36. During the week the lower deck costs HK$2.
The view above shows the Kowloon skyline, the tall building on the left is the International Commerce Centre, which is the tallest building in Hong Kong, and one of the tallest in the world. The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is on the upper floors. Just behind that is the building containing the W Hong Kong where I stayed the previous night.
The tall building on the right of the frame is The Masterpiece, a mixture of apartments on upper floors, the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui on middle floors, and the K11 mall on lower levels. I used the free night from my Hyatt credit card to stay here on Sunday night. Oddly, both times I’ve stayed here, I paid this way. I figure it is a good use of that benefit, a nice Hyatt category 4 hotel in an expensive city. Rooms at the Hyatt were over US$300 per night, so that has more than made up for the $75 annual fee.
Hong Kong Central
Walking around Central/Admiralty
This photo shows central Hong Kong from the ferry. After getting off the Star Ferry, I explored this district by foot. The top photo on this post shows my perspective of the impressive Central Government Complex, which is in Admiralty, just east (left in the photo above) of the Central Ferry Pier. The tall building in the middle is 2 International Financial Centre. The Peak Tower is also visible to the left of ifc2. This is a very popular tourist attraction for its excellent views, but I did not visit on this trip.
I laughed too hard at this:
Apparently I have a 14 year old’s sense of humor despite being more than twice that age…
Walking around Hong Kong on Sunday is a bit different than during the work week. That is the typical off day for many foreign domestic workers, and many of them hang out together to eat, chat, et cetera all over Central and Admiralty districts. I’ve noticed this on past trips. It’s quite interesting to see and so large that even some streets are blocked. I also saw an outdoor church service in English. Eventually I headed back to the W to check out, then moved over to the Hyatt.
Regency Club at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
Like the W where I stayed the previous night, I won’t go into detail of my stay at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui, since I’ve reviewed my previous stay. This time, I was in a harbor view room, but not on a club floor. This is a nice hotel with easy access to activities on the Kowloon side of the harbor, with decent if obscured views. The Regency Club is nice and well stocked, especially for breakfast service.
The morning before I left, I went for an excellent run along the Promenade, from Avenue of Stars to a park near old Kai Tak airport. That was great to get a workout in before my long flight back to the US. It was easy to access the hotel from the large subwalk network connecting Tsim Sha Tsui MTR stations. Walking through that air conditioned space was a good way to cool down after the run.
I caught a shuttle back to Kowloon MTR station, then took the Airport Express to the airport. With a little time to relax before my flight, I visited the excellent United Club in Hong Kong. I was sort of dreading the long flight in economy, but thankfully the seat next to me was not occupied, so this helped significantly with comfort.
Hong Kong to Chicago in United Economy Plus
Legacy United 777 Economy Plus cabin
I again boarded somewhat early and was one of the first people seated in Economy. Compared with my 787 flight, obviously the cabin seemed a bit older, the IFE screen was smaller, but the interface and content was virtually identical. The seat seemed a bit more spacious, at least in terms of width. This was the first time I’d flown on a United 777 in the ‘new’ international configuration.
On this flight the special meals were loaded, so I had some somewhat tasty Hindu meals. Sure, this is airplane food, but I do like the spicier option that this special meal usually affords. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the naan that accompanied the first meal, but it did appear that a fellow traveler across the aisle was eating it. He had a special meal too. The flight attendant seemed to notice this, but it was too late to do anything. Oh well.
Main meal with Rajma, basmati rice and aloo gobi
Fuzzy photo of pre-arrival meal. Pongal and a mixed vegetable curry with chickpeas, okra and eggplant. Unknown item in the middle.
Open middle seat make such a difference
For a nearly 15 hour flight, it went surprisingly fast. I have flown this route before, but never in economy. This flight had channel 9 on which I really like especially around major international airports such as O’Hare and Hong Kong. I also read a bit and watched several movies and various TV shows. I even napped for a while (in an economy seat!). Some credit is due to my Eagle Creek travel pillow, and of course my ability to sleep most anywhere.
Thanks for following along on this quick tangent about my mileage running weekend. I didn’t get to explore new countries on this trip, but I did get some new experiences and I’m closer to United 1K this year, and to million miler hopefully next year. More fun travel reports to come, including more from my Singapore First Class trip.