Hong Kong Trip, Part 2: Arriving in Hong Kong

In February 2012, we flew to Hong Kong for about a week. This was our first (non-business) trip to Asia. You can read Part 1 here to start from the beginning.

Regensburg to Hong KongIt took over 25 hours get from our apartment in Regensburg to the hotel in Hong Kong. Several of those hours wasted away groggily in the Dubai Airport in the middle of the night. After walking (what seemed like) a couple of miles, we made it to the departure hall. I was kind of surprised at how dead it looked; only one fast-food restaurant was open. I guess all the rest of the passengers were upstairs in the business lounge (I know that’s where I’d be). We scarfed some pita sandwiches and made our way deeper into the departure hall, and that’s where we found life again: duty-free store upon duty-free store, jewelry counters and trinket souvenir hawkers. Only at 2:30 in the morning, local time, nobody seemed too enthusiastic about anything. We felt like zombies, too, but the alarming turbulence around Ahmedabad did us a favor by keeping us up even longer, thereby ensuring that we’d crash zonk out for the remainder of the flight.

Exiting the plane and claiming our baggage was trouble-free. Immediately upon exiting the baggage claim, the friendly staff from Airport Express was there to inform us about the packages available. Our Frommer’s Hong Kong guide was right on the money. We snagged a few maps and brochures for later use and made our way down to the Airport Express station, boarded a train (most hours of the day they run every ten minutes), and one of us zonked out some more until arriving at Hong Kong station.

A note on the terminology here: “Hong Kong” is one of the Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of the PRC — just like Macau. It’s comprised of many islands in the region, one of which is called “Hong Kong.” One of the stops on the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system is “Hong Kong” (and thankfully, it’s also on the island of Hong Kong).

We’d almost forgotten to clarify our hotel’s shuttle pickup in advance, but just before getting into our taxi to Regensburg’s Hauptbahnhof, Sarah called and got the instructions from the hotel (working that 7-time-zone offset to our advantage). We met the schedule right on time, took in the Central, Sheung Wah and Kennedy Town neighborhoods at street level, and checked into our hotel, the Dorsett Regency Hong Kong.

The staff there was happy to upgrade our reservation from a standard double to a king-sized room on the 28th floor (why? not sure). We were impressed with the staff’s efficiency and welcoming demeanor. We tried to admire the view of the harbor from our vantage point, but due to the fog we could hardly see it at all. The night views from our hotel room proved a little more attractive.

The front desk was kind enough to make us a recommendation for dinner that same evening, but in the end we fell back to our Frommer’s book, since they recommended a place right at the end of our street. It was just slightly hidden around the corner, and it was a good thing it wasn’t harder to find — we’d have given up on it quickly. After watching us struggle with chopsticks and bok choi a bit, someone in charge offered us a spoon. We used it for serving, but remained stubborn about eating with the chopsticks. And we got better over time.