Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Far East 2009

Settling in to Hong Kong

(Link to flight log in side panel)

Yep - it was one of those days that started some time during a flight.

Passage through the excellent Chek Lap Kok Airport was as effortless as ever and, in no time at all, I was aboard the super-efficient Airport Express heading for Kowloon. I then took the rather-less-than-efficient (but free!) hotel shuttle bus from the station to the Renaissance, which is a short walk from the InterContinental. I checked in and was shown to my room, having been duly upgraded to a junior suite. Even though I'd experienced it before, the harbour view was simply stunning, in the bright sunshine.

Bright and sunny it may have been, but I was already aware that I was experiencing a side to Hong Kong that I'd never seen before - decidedly temperate conditions. Chilly, even! Anyway, I had a shower and change of clothes to freshen up after the journey. Although I felt a little groggy due to the lack of proper sleep during my flight, I was determined to enjoy the time I had available. Although I thought about trying to do something different, I just couldn't resist the temptation to start the way I often do in Hong Kong, with a ride on the Star Ferry followed by an ascent of the Peak. In my opinion, both experiences offer the perfect (re-)introduction to the territory.

As I often do, I abandoned the touristy and expensive Peak Tram in favour of the hair-raising ride up the narrow and twisting road on the number 15 bus. The views on the way up really are incredible, if you force yourself to take your eyes off the next bend! I walked one of the footpaths and took quite a lot of photos in the reasonably clear conditions. I then had something to eat in one of my favourite restaurants, which was the quietest I'd ever seen it. Darkness fell quickly while I was eating, the scene through the panoramic windows being transformed accordingly.

I returned to the IC the way I'd come and quickly fell into a long, sound sleep.