Arriving in Hong Kong
September 15, 2007
Why can't we be millionaires? That was our thought during our 15 hour flight to Hong Kong. To roll up to the airport, board a plane and be served mouthwatering meals and champagne would be the life. But alas, we are poor, coach class travelers. Sure we could fork out the money for first class but the backpacker in us won't allow for such splurges even though they might make our lives much more pleasant in the interim. As expected our flight was full and while it wasn't the worst experience in our lives it wasn't noteworthy. Since we can be easily motivated by a deal we flew United which, as you will recall, was our LEAST favorite airline we flew during our around the world journey. They lived up to their ranking during this flight as well. Cramped quarters, messed up special meal requests and a general indifference by the crew seemed like deja vu. We wish we could feel differently but the sooner we get on and off an United flight the happier we are. So needless to say after 15 hours we were ecstatic to see Hong Kong appear below the clouds as we came in for our landing. The landscape was lush, boats were sailing this way and that and we were ready for our next adventure.
Here are some tips/hints upon arrival to Hong Kong.
No visas are necessary for travelers from the US which made planning a trip to Hong Kong very easy. The customs process was very quick and easy..lines actually moved quite, do I dare say, rapidly? As we found out later in the trip this wasn't the norm-at least for the lines Tina chose.
Travel to/from the airport:
After leaving customs we were greeted by the Hong Kong visitors center and the Airport Express ticket counter. This covered two of our bases. First, the Airport Express is an excellent way to reach Kowloon or Hong Kong Island so we booked our one-way ticket. For the two of us the cost was $140 HK-close to $19 US. The trains are located right outside the customs area and were clean, modern and comfortable. From the Kowloon stop we grabbed a taxi to the Royal Plaza hotel which cost about $5 US. All said and done it probably took us 45 minutes from the airport.
The airport has three small visitor information centers throughout the airport. This is a great opportunity to grab a couple of brochures and maps and to book your complimentary junk ride. The junk ride fills up quick so it's best to book once you arrive. The customer service was prompt and extremely friendly-all of our questions were answered in a friendly and thorough manner. Not a hint of "hurry up, there are more people in line" attitude whatsoever.
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