We got up late – 7:30 for DH and 9:30 for me. Now that we are no longer on our China Spree tour, it’s getting harder to “get up and at ’em.” Once awake, I went to breakfast right away with DH, as he was famished, waiting for me. After a nice breakfast buffet in the dining room at the Shangri-La, he went for a stroll to Nathan Road. Lots of approaches by fake Rolex watch salesmen and Indian tailors to make him a suit or shirts. I showered and packed. Barely made it out of the hotel by noon (because of me). We took a cab to the Conrad Hilton, which is on the other side of Victoria Bay, on the Hong Kong Island side. Another traffic jam getting through the tunnel – will it ever end? Cost HK $107.
Nice surprise when we got to the Conrad – we got upgraded to the Executive Floor room. Two large twin beds and Executive Lounge access – no problem. Love this Diamond status – just have to figure out how to keep it! The view was fabulous. Although we looked directly at the Shangri-La hotel (not the one we had stayed at earlier, but the other one in town), on one side we could see Kowloon and the Harbor, and on the other side we looked up towards Victoria Peak. Doesn’t get too much better than this. As time went on, I became fascinated by the various reflections that would appear on the façade of the Shangri-La. If I got too close to the window though, I started to get vertigo.
Conrad Hilton Room
Looking Out our Window
We got up a little late today – about 8:00 and then it seemed to take us a while to get organized. We had breakfast about 9:30 and ran into our China Spree group there – guess they were getting a late start as well. We said our good-byes again. We didn’t head out to the subway until almost 10:30. Now that we know how it works, it’s not as intimidating, although it’s still a long walk to get to our train in Tsim She Tsui. We bought an “octopus” card to avoid buying individual tickets each time. This multi-use card requires a HK $50 deposit for each card (we need two) and we put HK $70 on each card. What you don’t use, you get back, along with your deposit. We both qualified as seniors.
We had to change trains once, but it went smoothly. Unfortunately it was another long walk to the Turbojet ferry terminal. We bought our tickets for the Turbojet (hydrofoil) to Macau, but they told us we could not have confirmed seats until 1:30 – it was now only 11:20. We were not too happy! However, she told us we could “stand-by” for an earlier sailing and maybe get on. We went to the departure area and, as luck would have it, we got on the next ferry that was leaving. Only had to wait about 15 minutes – much better than 1:30!
We slept in a little this morning before leaving for the Shanghai airport to fly to Hong Kong. Pam and Sandra went shopping – man, they are energetic! We used to the time to repack and get a little organized. We all met Rocky at 11:30 for the ride to the airport. Got there in jig time, but took forever at the ticket counter, as line was miles long. Going through security, Pam was stopped with fingernail polish in her carry-on. Even though less than 2 oz I guess this is a no-no. She elected to have them retrieve her checked bag, rather than throw it out. Our flight ended up being delayed and so she had no problem getting there in time. We didn’t land in Hong Kong until 4:30.
William was our Hong Kong guide. The van (more like a small bus) ride ended up being another traffic jam nightmare. Apparently, a neon sign was going up on a high-rise building in downtown Hong Kong when the workmen dropped one end. The police then cordoned off the street, which just happens to be the main thoroughfare into town and where we have to go. We arrived at the Kowloon Shangri-La around 7:00. Two and a half hours!
After an uninspiring long drive from Guilin, we just barely made it to the ship, literally minutes before it left. The ship is fairly rough, but we got good seats on the top deck, and they were right next to a small forward open deck where the views were good. This small deck was far less crowded than the “sun deck” up above. Of course, still very, very smoggy, or “misty” depending on your perspective, and we could only see the close-in mountains, but still very pretty.
Limestone karsts are beautiful one-of-a-kind formations.
Each bend around the river was prettier than the last. My pics of the scenery don’t do it justice – all are pretty disappointing because of the “mist”. Continue reading