Results tagged “Buses” from Hong Kong and Taipei 2014

The Ambience Hotel sometimes had *ambience* in the form of a violinist playing during breakfast!
The Ambience Hotel sometimes had *ambience* in the form of a violinist playing during breakfast!

After breakfast I walked up to the Regent Hotel so I could make a "been-there" out of the opening scene in Lucy.

Statue in Linsen Park
Statue in Linsen Park

The Regent Hotel
The Regent Hotel

Me standing where Scarlett Johansson did at the beginning of Lucy.  <br/>Forty years ago yesterday that Lucy was discovered.
Me standing where Scarlett Johansson did at the beginning of Lucy.
Forty years ago yesterday that Lucy was discovered.

Street down from the Regent Hotel, seen in Lucy
Street down from the Regent Hotel, seen in Lucy

Regent Hotel entrance, as seen in Lucy
Regent Hotel entrance, as seen in Lucy

Then came back and we packed and sorted ourselves out for coming home.

We went back to the Evergreen Hotel to catch the shuttle bus to the airport.

Elevated railway outside of Taipei
Elevated railway outside of Taipei

Arrived at the airport at around 12:20, and the lady checking us in said we only had an hour turnaround in Hong Kong, and normally our ticket wouldn't allow for an earlier flight but she got approval from her supervisor and put us on a flight two hours earlier. This turned out to be brilliant because our other plane ended up being an hour late and we'd likely have missed our plane back to Australia.

Taipei airport departures hall
Taipei airport departures hall

Orchids in Taipei airport
Orchids in Taipei airport

Had lunch at the airport in Taipei before boarding. Turns out the plane was quite empty - there were only like half a dozen people in the whole back section. I played (and won) a game of p0ker.

Our lunch at Taipei airport
Our lunch at Taipei airport

This, believe it or not, is an *airbag* !!
This, believe it or not, is an *airbag* !!

A very empty plane
A very empty plane

Leaving Taiwan
Leaving Taiwan

Lunch on the plane (the opened box looked quite *blah* for a photo)
Lunch on the plane (the opened box looked quite *blah* for a photo)

I loves me any plane that has power points in the seats!
I loves me any plane that has power points in the seats!

I think the air traffic controller was playing Flight Control for our approach into Hong Kong
I think the air traffic controller was playing Flight Control for our approach into Hong Kong

Park Island, approach into Hong Kong
Park Island, approach into Hong Kong

Looking towards Hong Kong Disneyland
Looking towards Hong Kong Disneyland

Forward cam view
Forward cam view

Hong Kong airport
Hong Kong airport

Our plane from Taipei to Hong Kong - Cathay Pacific A330-300 - B-HNI
Our plane from Taipei to Hong Kong - Cathay Pacific A330-300 - B-HNI

In Hong Kong we had time to go to the Qantas club for a couple of glasses of bubbly (after we found it - I don't know if they're in a temporary spot, but there's no signage whatsoever to welcome you)..

Don't look only at your mobile phone
Don't look only at your mobile phone

Hong Kong airport
Hong Kong airport

Sunset at Hong Kong airport
Sunset at Hong Kong airport

Sunset at Hong Kong airport
Sunset at Hong Kong airport

Our plane arriving at Hong Kong airport - Qantas A330-300 - VH-QPG
Our plane arriving at Hong Kong airport - Qantas A330-300 - VH-QPG

Christmas tree in Hong Kong airport
Christmas tree in Hong Kong airport

Then the tortuous trip home. Mum cursed me with restless legs, so couldn't even sit still, let alone get any sleep :(

Can you tell the sweetie is thrilled to be on another plane?
Can you tell the sweetie is thrilled to be on another plane?

I watched Lucy first up, because "been there!". Then Blended, which I liked a lot more than I thought I would, on account of it being an Adam Sandler movie and all.

Dinner on the plane
Dinner on the plane

Then just sat there miserably for a few hours.

We flew over Manilla and Darwin which was pretty cool.

Over Manilla
Over Manilla

They turned the lights on for breakfast at 2:50. Urggghh. I could barely stomach breakfast. Far too early to be eating a full meal.

Breakfast on the plane at 3:27am
Breakfast on the plane at 3:27am

Bendigo, Victoria
Bendigo, Victoria

Got to Melbourne and had some juice in the Qantas club.

A380 landing at Tullamarine
A380 landing at Tullamarine

Then our last plane home.

Calder Park, Melbourne
Calder Park, Melbourne

Lake Hume
Lake Hume

Talbingo Reservoir
Talbingo Reservoir

Approaching Canberra
Approaching Canberra

Our last plane - Qantas 717-200 - VH-YQW
Our last plane - Qantas 717-200 - VH-YQW

Got home and mostly unpacked, then crashed for a couple of hours.

Sorted out all the various paperwork from the trip, then we had pizza for dinner (on account of no food in the house).

So a pretty good trip. The weather was certainly fantastic, if a little hot sometimes. Saw lots of cool stuff and did some hot but good hikes. And towers, always towers :)

Better day today. After breakfast and photo stuff we headed out on the train to the end of the red line - to Tamsui. From there a short bus ride to Fort San Domingo, a fort that's been run by like half a dozen countries, including Australia! Interesting stuff.

Elevated road near our hotel
Elevated road near our hotel

Fort San Domingo
Fort San Domingo

The nine flags of Fort San Domingo - Spain, The Netherlands, Koxinga Era, Qing Dynasty, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, USA, Taiwan
The nine flags of Fort San Domingo - Spain, The Netherlands, Koxinga Era, Qing Dynasty, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, USA, Taiwan

View of Tamsui River from the fort
View of Tamsui River from the fort

One of the cells in the fort
One of the cells in the fort

Cells in the fort, added in 1863 when used by the British Consulate
Cells in the fort, added in 1863 when used by the British Consulate

Yard in the fort
Yard in the fort

Chinese kitchen in the fort, added in 1863 to cook for the constable and prisoners
Chinese kitchen in the fort, added in 1863 to cook for the constable and prisoners

Stu and the nine flags of the fort
Stu and the nine flags of the fort

Fort San Domingo
Fort San Domingo

And next door is the former residence for the British Consul, until they left Taiwan in 1972.

Canons outside the Consulate building
Canons outside the Consulate building

Stu and a canon
Stu and a canon

Fort San Domingo from the consulate building
Fort San Domingo from the consulate building

View of the Tamsui River from the consulate front steps
View of the Tamsui River from the consulate front steps

Drawing room in the consulate
Drawing room in the consulate

Reading room in the consulate
Reading room in the consulate

Stu in a room in the consulate
Stu in a room in the consulate

Kitchen in the consulate
Kitchen in the consulate

Dining room in the consulate
Dining room in the consulate

Front entrance of the consulate
Front entrance of the consulate

Consulate building
Consulate building

Had a drink and a bit of a picnic lunch at the bottom of the hill and had a look along the foreshore of the river.

Us at the entrance of the fort
Us at the entrance of the fort

Tamsui River
Tamsui River

Looking up to the fort from the river
Looking up to the fort from the river

Building by the river
Building by the river

Tamsui River
Tamsui River

Then bus and train back into Taipei.

Grand Hotel from the train
Grand Hotel from the train

Inside a Taipei train
Inside a Taipei train

The sweetie hopped off to go back to the hotel, while I stayed on the train until the complete opposite end of the red line - Xiangshan - to go climb Xiangshan - Elephant Mountain. Hoooooboy, what a climb. Around 750 steps (give or take a hundred, I kept losing count at the 50 markers I was doing on my fingers) up and up and up. Some steps quite easy, others quite steep.

Entrance sign to Xiangshan
Entrance sign to Xiangshan

The view from half way up
The view from half way up

The steps just keep on going and going
The steps just keep on going and going

But the view was totally worth it. Even if you do need to negotiate the crowds of people up there.

View at the top
View at the top

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

Taipei from Xiangshan
Taipei from Xiangshan

Taipei from Xiangshan
Taipei from Xiangshan

I was still very hot when I had someone take my photo
I was still very hot when I had someone take my photo

Top of Taipei 101
Top of Taipei 101

A lot of tourists on the climb. As I was going down it was a case of pick the language or accent.

The walk was very crowded
The walk was very crowded

Then train back to the hotel to have a shower and chillax.

Sculpture in Xiangshan station
Sculpture in Xiangshan station

Taipei's stop/go men
Taipei's stop/go men

Taipei's stop/go men
Taipei's stop/go men

The Ambience Hotel by day
The Ambience Hotel by day

Then we headed out to go the Shilin Night Markets. We had meat in a box (beef I think - very yummy), meat in a bag (deep fried ribs - nice but fiddly with the bones), meat on a stick (chicken - ok, not great) and meat in a bowl (squid, quite nice). And strawberries on a stick. With toffee. Sooo good :) Other than that just walked up and down the maze of streets and stalls. I did get some earrings, but didn't see much else that I was interested in.

Shilin Night Markets
Shilin Night Markets

Cooking meat on a stick at Shilin Night Markets
Cooking meat on a stick at Shilin Night Markets

Toffee strawberries!
Toffee strawberries!

Then back to the hotel. The sweetie put on Die Another Day on tv, which kept me up til very late (23:45).

Slept like crap. The pillow was too squishy, my spine kept hurting, the bowels decided to get upset, and it was either too hot or too cold depending on if I had the doona on or not.

And it turns out the bathroom *does* have an interior blind that you can close to the bedroom. But there's almost nowhere to hang anything and no spare toilet paper. And the Tripadvisor website is blocked here. Go figure.

The view from our hotel room by day
The view from our hotel room by day

We had a very slow morning. We went downstairs for the hotel breakfast which was ok, but then the sweetie wanted to take it easy because he was feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and he wanted to do some uni reading. I, on the other hand, was feeling anxious like a caged animal might.

The breakfast room in the hotel
The breakfast room in the hotel

Taipei currency
Taipei currency

Left the hotel around 11:30. We walked up to Songjiang Nanjing station and caught two trains to Shilin. Turns out passport stamps are just as big a thing here as in Japan. Really kicking myself I didn't bring a nice Field Notes notepad to put them in!

Station sign in Songjiang Nanjing
Station sign in Songjiang Nanjing

From Shilin we were meant to catch a R30 (or I30 on all the timetables) bus to the museum, but according to the timetables they only went every 30-60 minutes on weekdays. So we decided to jump on a 855 which said it was going there anyway. It went straight there so glad we did that.

Entrance to the National Palace Museum
Entrance to the National Palace Museum

Stu at the National Palace Museum
Stu at the National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum

We had to put our bags in a locker (10NT deposit) and I think it was 250NT entry each ($10). Except we went in before we realised we didn't have any sort of guide book or map. And Stu didn't really even know what was in there either. So we were kinda flying blind. We ended up in the pottery/porcelin section and took a good long while to walk through and look at all the beautiful porcelin. We stopped then and looked up the internet for what else was at the museum and where things were. Had a bit of a look at the calligraphy then split up to do things at our own pace. I had a quick walk through the paintings and the bronze work, then found the snuff box exhibition which was super cool.

Met up with the sweetie for a late lunch of steamed pork buns and dumplings in the tea house upstairs.

Dumplings in the museum cafe
Dumplings in the museum cafe

Steamed pork buns in the museum cafe
Steamed pork buns in the museum cafe

Continued on, having a look at all the Jade (this was super popular with the tourists) and the orientation room, and finally the stunning collection of "precious crafts" in a special collection downstairs. I've decided "openwork" was my favourite thing. Just amazing.

There's no photography which was a bit of a bummer, but you can kind of understand why. The place was *crawling* with people. Soooo many people. Many of them in tour groups that would all rush to a window, pushing you out of the way so they could all see, then they'd be off again to the next thing. I found it all to be super stressful. The sweetie was worn out by it all too, so instead of seeing what else there was to see around the place, we just headed back to the hotel.

The National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum

Entrance to the National Palace Museum
Entrance to the National Palace Museum

Traffic control at Songjiang Nanjing station
Traffic control at Songjiang Nanjing station

We picked up some snacks and a sandwich and a salad and some beer from a 7-Eleven on the way and then flopped in front of You've Got Mail before bed.

Dinner at the hotel (we didn't have all those beers at once!)
Dinner at the hotel (we didn't have all those beers at once!)

Grape flavoured beer
Grape flavoured beer

Woke up at 5:45 but got a bit more sleep.  Spine was annoying me. Up at 7:00. Had a very slow start. They got my order right at Maccas though which was useful (it helped that they were a lot less rushed). Didn't get out the door til 10:00.

Maccas brekky
Maccas brekky

First up, we dropped all our laundry off at the local laundry. $120HKD for the both of us - a bit pricey, but saved us having to do it ourselves in the hotel sink.

Then we went on a bit of a train adventure - three different trains to get to Kowloon Bay.

Stopped at a Starbucks so the sweetie could have a coffee.

Then we jumped on a #86 green bus down to Kai Tak. They've converted the old runway into a passenger terminal for cruise ships. But there's also a little park at the end of the runway, the approach checkerboard is still there, and there's a "remnant" of runway 13 - a stylised mosaic of the 13 that used to be there.

Model paper plane with history of Kai Tak airport
Model paper plane with history of Kai Tak airport

Buildings in Kwun Tong
Buildings in Kwun Tong

Stu reading about the airport history
Stu reading about the airport history

Oriental Dragon
Oriental Dragon

Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
Kai Tak Cruise Terminal

Checkerboard for the approach for runway 31
Checkerboard for the approach for runway 31

Looking north-west along the path of the old runway
Looking north-west along the path of the old runway

The 13 (which was actually located at the other end of the runway)
The 13 (which was actually located at the other end of the runway)

Pearl of Oriental dinner cruise ship
Pearl of Oriental dinner cruise ship

We stopped so Stu could do a drawing of the view
We stopped so Stu could do a drawing of the view

You can also go up on top of the passenger terminal where they have a rooftop garden. Sadly they don't let you get anywhere near the edge, so not great for unobstructed views of Hong Kong.

Control tower of the cruise terminal
Control tower of the cruise terminal

Looking down the length of the cruise terminal
Looking down the length of the cruise terminal

The garden prevents you getting close to the edge to take photos
The garden prevents you getting close to the edge to take photos

The garden and view
The garden and view

Looking towards the ICC
Looking towards the ICC

Hong Kong from the cruise terminal
Hong Kong from the cruise terminal

Back on a #86 minibus back to the station.

Took another train up to Lok Fu where we stopped and had some lunch at a Japanese place.

Then into Lok Fu Park to try and get to the top of Checkerboard Hill. This was where they had a checkerboard painted onto the side of a water reservoir which was part of the approach to the old Kai Tak airport. Pilots had to head for this hill and make a visual sighting of it before making the sharp right turn down to the runway. I'd hoped to be able to get on top of it and see down to the old runway, but there were too many fences and trees in the way for a good view. So that was a bit of a waste of a very steep climb up a lot of steps (sorry sweetie!).

Tin Hau Temple, Lok Fu Park
Tin Hau Temple, Lok Fu Park

Looking up towards Lion Rock
Looking up towards Lion Rock

The edge of the water reservoir - the checkboard is right below this
The edge of the water reservoir - the checkboard is right below this

This is the best view I could get looking towards the old airport, and you can't really see it
This is the best view I could get looking towards the old airport, and you can't really see it

We went down then to get some photos of the front of it. There's a lot of trees in the way and it hasn't been maintained in sixteen years so it's not as pretty as it used to be.

Checkerboard hill from below
Checkerboard hill from below

Checkerboard hill from below
Checkerboard hill from below

Checkerboard hill with Lion Rock in the background
Checkerboard hill with Lion Rock in the background

Then we walked down to Kowloon Walled City Park to have a wander around. There's some interesting photos and information boards about the place, and one of the original fortress buildings - the Yamen - is still there. Quite interesting.

Wall of Kowloon Walled City
Wall of Kowloon Walled City

Entrance gates to Kowloon Walled City
Entrance gates to Kowloon Walled City

Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Walled City Park

Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Walled City Park

Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Walled City Park

Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Walled City Park

Bonsai in Kowloon Walled City Park
Bonsai in Kowloon Walled City Park

Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Walled City Park

Model of Kowloon Walled City Park
Model of Kowloon Walled City Park

Yamen (Almshouse) in the model
Yamen (Almshouse) in the model

Yamen (Almshouse)
Yamen (Almshouse)

Yamen (Almshouse)
Yamen (Almshouse)

Yamen (Almshouse)
Yamen (Almshouse)

Yamen (Almshouse)
Yamen (Almshouse)

Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Walled City Park

Remants of the South Gate
Remants of the South Gate

South Gate plaque and Kowloon Walled City plaque
South Gate plaque and Kowloon Walled City plaque

Then another three trains back to the hotel (after we picked up our laundry).

We got back to the hotel a bit after 18:00 completely exhausted. Sat down for a while before going to get some supplies and meat on a stick for dinner.

Meat on a stick!
Meat on a stick!

Charging station - three phones and a battery
Charging station - three phones and a battery

In bed just after 20:00.

5am wakeup. 6:20 up. Slept fairly well I think.

Went and got takeaway maccas for breakfast.

Maccas breakfast
Maccas breakfast

At 10:00 we were out the door. We stopped in at 7-Eleven for some sandwiches and chocolate, then headed out on the train to Chai Wan.

In the corridors at Tin Hau station
In the corridors at Tin Hau station

From the train you walk up the hill and then through a cemetery on the side of a hill. A very steep hill. With a lot of stairs. A *lot* of stairs. A couple of hundred metres straight up. But the view was pretty good :)

The start of the big climb - in the cemetery up from Chai Wan station
The start of the big climb - in the cemetery up from Chai Wan station

We have to climb all the way to the top of this mountain!
We have to climb all the way to the top of this mountain!

Part way up, and already a great view
Part way up, and already a great view

Ossarium at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery
Ossarium at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery

Radio transmitters at the top of Mt Parker
Radio transmitters at the top of Mt Parker

Going up!
Going up!

Nearly there!
Nearly there!

At the top we stopped for a water break then we walked along the road for a while which was very flat and easy.

View along the road at the top of the hill
View along the road at the top of the hill

Zoomed in a bit
Zoomed in a bit

Then it was onto a track, which again was mostly flat and easy going. Except for the constant *stream* of people coming the other way. Busiest walk I've ever been on. I suppose it would have been quieter on a week day.

Marker indicating the way to the Dragon Back hike starting point
Marker indicating the way to the Dragon Back hike starting point

View south towards Red Hill
View south towards Red Hill

Then finally the start of the Dragon Back hike proper. You go up. And up :) But then you get to the ridge line, and that's where it gets really pretty. Spectacular views and a bit of up and downs as you go along the top. Just lovely and worth the effort. And we had an amazing day for it too which was great. And it was very windy on the ridge but we found a sheltered spot to eat our sandwiches.

Us at the start of the Dragon's Back hike
Us at the start of the Dragon's Back hike

Looking along the Dragon's Back
Looking along the Dragon's Back

View from the top of the Dragon's Back
View from the top of the Dragon's Back

Remote control glider
Remote control glider

Local dude with his remote control glider
Local dude with his remote control glider

Stu holding the remote control glider
Stu holding the remote control glider

Looking back along the Dragon's Back
Looking back along the Dragon's Back

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir
Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir

Looking across to Stanley
Looking across to Stanley

Shek O Country Club
Shek O Country Club

Stu at the top of the Dragon's Back
Stu at the top of the Dragon's Back

Dragon's Back peak marker
Dragon's Back peak marker

Us at the top of the Dragon's Back
Us at the top of the Dragon's Back

Starting to head back down.  We're on our way down there to Shek O
Starting to head back down. We're on our way down there to Shek O

Shek O village
Shek O village

Made it to the end of the Dragon's Back
Made it to the end of the Dragon's Back

Then we headed all the way back down. When we hit the road we caught a number 9 bus down into Shek O. We got changed and had a swim at the beach. I was a little (a lot) paranoid about all my stuff on the beach so didn't go out very far. But it was super refreshing.

Beach at Shek O
Beach at Shek O

Stu body surfing at Shek O beach
Stu body surfing at Shek O beach

After a swim we went had some very expensive beer at Copacabana and a fancy hot dog before catching a bus back to the train line.

Relaxing after our swim
Relaxing after our swim

Expensive hot dog
Expensive hot dog

Shek O beach
Shek O beach

Catching the bus back
Catching the bus back

Shek O from the bus
Shek O from the bus

Sunset over Stanley
Sunset over Stanley

On the train back we messaged @Chrispycon to see what they were up to. We met up with Chris and then later Anne and Bronte for a drink at Oaky bar.

Chris and Stu enjoying beers at Oaky Bar
Chris and Stu enjoying beers at Oaky Bar

Then we wandered down to find some dinner. We went to Saigon, a Vietnamese place. We ordered a bunch of dishes to share which were all delicious. A great evening, probably better than just going back to the hotel and going to bed ;)