Results tagged “Hotels” 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 :)

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 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.

Monday night I slept like crap. Only about four hours sleep. Every time I closed my eyes all I could see was Ingress portals in Hong Kong or Candy Crush. Very frustrating. So fortunately I slept really well on Tuesday night. For Wednesday we departed.

We were up at 6am to get ready, and our taxi arrived right on time at 7am for an uneventful trip to the airport.

Fountain at Canberra Airport
Fountain at Canberra Airport

I grabbed a couple of pancakes and a banana from the Qantas club for breakfast and then we were off.

Our first plane - a Boeing 717-200 - VH-YQT
Our first plane - a Boeing 717-200 - VH-YQT

We had a 717, and I'd chosen the same row as my last 717 flight (I couldn't choose anything further forward of the wings - I tried), so got the same view of the engine and wings, just on the other side this time. Canberra was cloudy, so the view got boring slightly after takeoff. But then the clouds cleared and was able to see a bit of snow around on the snowy mountains.

A grey morning in Canberra
A grey morning in Canberra

Lake Eucumbene
Lake Eucumbene

I watched some of Frozen on the iPad minis (although it kept crashing on the same spot near the beginning, so the third time I skipped past that bit and then it was fine).

iPad Minis!
iPad Minis!

Snackages on the plane
Snackages on the plane

In Melbourne we were off the plane, through security and immigration, and to the next gate as they were boarding. So no time to grab any more food in the Qantas club or do any duty free shopping.

Our next flight was on an A330-300. Up the back on the left.

Our second plane - an Airbus A330-500 - VH-QPE
Our second plane - an Airbus A330-500 - VH-QPE

Us getting ready to head out of the country again!
Us getting ready to head out of the country again!

The interior of the A330
The interior of the A330

Departure from Melbourne would have had us a nice view of Melbourne CBD, but it was too hazy and polluted for a decent view.

Looking towards Bacchus Marsh
Looking towards Bacchus Marsh

Manangatang, rural Victoria
Manangatang, rural Victoria

I watched the rest of Frozen, but missed the iPad which had a much bigger and clearer screen than the screens in the back of the seats.

Lunch was more like a proper dinner, which included the option of wine so I took it. Quite enjoyed have some wine and cheese and crackers actually.

Lunch on the plane
Lunch on the plane

Wine and cheese and crackers
Wine and cheese and crackers

Next I watched How to Train Your Dragon 2, which was ok but it probably a lost a little in not having seen the first one.

At the end of that movie, four hours after departure from the gate and we were *still* over Australia. Stoopid big country :)

The red heart of Australia - the Simpson Desert
The red heart of Australia - the Simpson Desert

That's Darwin down there in the haze
That's Darwin down there in the haze

Next I put on A Most Wanted Man, but I struggled - planes are not good for that sort of movie because it's just hard to follow on such a small screen with such bad sound quality. And I felt a little dozey after the wine, so gave up on that and dozed for a while. Then watched a couple of episodes of Sherlock (The Empty Hearse and The Sign of Three). And finally a documentary on Stories of Survival.

I loved these clouds over Indonesia
I loved these clouds over Indonesia

Pulled beef sliders
Pulled beef sliders

Pretty clouds near Hong Kong
Pretty clouds near Hong Kong

Landed in Hong Kong and drove *all the way around* the terminals - a much longer taxi than last time.

Air traffic control tower at Hong Kong
Air traffic control tower at Hong Kong

As we were getting off (we're always nearly last), I noticed the cockpit door open and asked if I could go say hi. So I did :) The Qantas guys are always so lovely, and they insisted I go sit in the pilots seat, and even put a captain's hat on me and photographed me (I shoulda given them my real camera heh). So that was all super exciting. I still think it's weird that planes don't have the old flight yokes anymore, just little joysticks on the left. The poor sweetie was waiting outside for me :)

Cockpit of the A330
Cockpit of the A330

Me in the pilot's seat :)
Me in the pilot's seat :)

At the airport we got out some money then went to find sim cards. Except we got given the wrong thing, so don't know if they'll work as nicely as the sim we got last time. We haven't opened them yet, might make an attempt to swap them over.

Then hopped on the airport express into Hong Kong, and an Island Line train to Tin Hau to our hotel, which we found pretty easily.

The hotel room is nice enough, although not much of a view. We were soooo spoilt by our last hotel! The left side of the bed is a bit of a dead zone though - there's no space, no bed side table, no power point. But they do have a power adapter built into the power board on the desk, so we have plenty of options for power.

Our room at the Butterfly Hotel, Tin Hau
Our room at the Butterfly Hotel, Tin Hau

These cute little butterflies labelled the pillows as soft or firm
These cute little butterflies labelled the pillows as soft or firm

Went out to grab something for dinner (dinner on the plane wasn't very much at all). It was like 8pm here, but 11pm our time, so we were super super tired, so we just ended up getting Maccas because it would have taken too much energy to find anything else.

And then back to the hotel to crash. I plugged in a bunch of devices to charge, but didn't blog or do any photo downloading.