Results tagged “Coffee” from Hong Kong and Taipei 2014

Woke up first at 5:30 but got a bit more sleep til 6:30. Up at 7:00.

Maccas got my order correct hurrah.

Final Hong Kong Maccas breakfast
Final Hong Kong Maccas breakfast

Still took us a while to get out the door. After 10:30 by the time we got away.

Saying goodbye to our hotel
Saying goodbye to our hotel

The Butterfly Hotel
The Butterfly Hotel

Took the train to Hong Kong station and did the in-town checkin thing. Then got the sweetie a coffee at Starbucks. Had a quick stop in Dymocks before catching a train to the airport at 11:50. Goodbye Hong Kong! We'll be back one day very probably.

Hong Kong station.  At busy times this whole corridor is full of moving people
Hong Kong station. At busy times this whole corridor is full of moving people

Hong Kong station
Hong Kong station

Red velvet cake (I think) at Starbucks
Red velvet cake (I think) at Starbucks

Hong Kong from the Airport train
Hong Kong from the Airport train

At the airport it was the usual get through security and immigration then we had to take a train along to the fork of the big Y and our gate was in the right hand arm waaaaay out the end.

Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airport

World clocks in Hong Kong Airport
World clocks in Hong Kong Airport

Right at the very end - in the fork in the Y
Right at the very end - in the fork in the Y

We weren't rushing, but we weren't really dawdling either (other than stopping for coffee), so it was a bit of a shock that we arrived at the gate just as they started boarding. So it took nearly two and a half hours to get to the airport :(

When we booked our flights, we couldn't choose seats at the time, so I put a preference in for a window seat for me. On Tuesday morning I went online to see about selecting seats and saw that they'd put us at each end of a row of four. Above the wings. Almost the worst seats on the plane. So I chose some seats for us up the back. As it turned out, the flight was only half full, and most of the back of the plane was emtpy. So seating preference requests don't mean a thing, and they'll just pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey to allocate you a seat. Fail Cathay Pacific, fail. Anyway, Stu could have had his own window seat but chose not to.

Our plane to Taipei - Cathay Pacific A330-300 - B-HLW
Our plane to Taipei - Cathay Pacific A330-300 - B-HLW

Us on the plane to Taipei
Us on the plane to Taipei

There were plenty of seats free
There were plenty of seats free

We actually pushed back right on time at 13:30. The flight was pretty boring. We took off to the west so no views of Hong Kong. I played p0ker on the in-flight entertainment system and was doing well until they turned it off for landing. Lunch was a very small wrap and some oolong tea (no choice in drinks and we were quite thirsty :( ).

Saying goodbye to Hong Kong
Saying goodbye to Hong Kong

Food on the plane
Food on the plane

Mailiao Power Station
Mailiao Power Station

Air traffic control tower at Taipei airport
Air traffic control tower at Taipei airport

Once in Taipei it took *ages* to get through immigration. Don't know why it was so slow. Maybe it just felt slow because each agent had its own queue, rather than how they do it at other airports where it's one long line that's always moving. Finally got through and went and got our bags.

Arrivals hall, Taipei airport
Arrivals hall, Taipei airport

Arrivals hall, Taipei airport
Arrivals hall, Taipei airport

From there we went down the side of the arrivals hall to get our local sims. That was really quick and easy. Then we went downstairs to find the ticketing counters for the buses into town. We took an Evergreen bus because that went fairly close to our hotel. Only 140NT each too (~$6 each). The bus left at 16:45 and we were off it in town at 17:55. Then a five-ten minute walk to the hotel.

So all up it took eight and a half hours to travel 1000km :(

First view of Taipei 101
First view of Taipei 101

The hotel is nice. It's got a pretty funky bathroom with a Japanese style toilet and a huge bath/shower area. But there's a see-through curtain between the shower and the bedroom - weird!

Our room at the Ambience Hotel
Our room at the Ambience Hotel

Our room at the Ambience Hotel
Our room at the Ambience Hotel

The bathroom had a window for a wall between it and the bedroom
The bathroom had a window for a wall between it and the bedroom

View from our hotel room
View from our hotel room

After we'd settled in briefly we went out to find some dinner. Wandered up and down and eventually stopped in a fairly popular restaurant because they stopped us and said they had an English menu heh. Stu chose some.. interesting.. dishes... There was one of vegetables and these little fish. I wasn't a fan of the fish, but it did have some interesting little fruits that we thought might have been pickled unripened plums. Then there was a stirfry squid dish that didn't have much squid but had a big black chunk of *something* that reminded me a bit of black pudding. Then some "stinky tofu" which was ok but again a bit too spicy (*everything* was spicy which was challenging for me). And finally a "little fish" dish which was actually two whole small fish. This was actually quite nice, but super fiddly to get the meat off without taking bones.

The first 'little fish' dish
The first 'little fish' dish

Stir fry squid dish
Stir fry squid dish

Stinky tofu
Stinky tofu

The second 'little fish' dish - this was actually my favourite dish of the night
The second 'little fish' dish - this was actually my favourite dish of the night

Stopped in a 7-Eleven for some supplies then back to the hotel. I watched the last two thirds of the Corpse Bride before going to bed.

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.