Results tagged “Movies” 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).

Had an up and down day today. Literally. And figuratively.

Up at 7:30 to do photos and blogging. Breakfast downstairs then left some time after 10:00.

Breakfast bar at the Ambience Hotel
Breakfast bar at the Ambience Hotel

Gardens outside Taipei City Hall
Gardens outside Taipei City Hall

Walking along Songzhi Road
Walking along Songzhi Road

Our first stop was Taipei 101. And we had an amazing day for it. The view was spec-fricking-tacular. Totally amazing.

But.

The whole rigmarole of getting up there was a pain. Buying tickets was easy enough, but they give you allocated times that you can go up. We got there at 11:30 (after stopping at Starbucks for a coffee for Stu), but our ticket was for 12:00. So we had to sit around waiting for half an hour. And the mall underneath the tower is a brandname only mall, so there's nothing for normal people like us to look at. So we just sat for half an hour. Then you go queue to get through the time check, then queue again to get the lift. I think they want to restrict the numbers of people up there, but why they don't let you just queue as you get there I don't know. It was all pretty painful, but we got up around 12:15.

Entrance to Taipei 101
Entrance to Taipei 101

Stu with the 'Lucky Red' Damper Baby
Stu with the 'Lucky Red' Damper Baby

Boring shopping mall under Taipei 101
Boring shopping mall under Taipei 101

View north-west from Taipei 101
View north-west from Taipei 101

View north-west from Taipei 101
View north-west from Taipei 101

Looking north towards Songshan airport
Looking north towards Songshan airport

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Taipei Arena
Taipei Arena

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall and the Taipei Dome
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall and the Taipei Dome

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Taipei Dome
Taipei Dome

Songshan Airport
Songshan Airport

Taipei 101 sundial - taken on the iPhone
Taipei 101 sundial - taken on the iPhone

Looking north - taken on the iPhone
Looking north - taken on the iPhone

Looking north - taken on the iPhone
Looking north - taken on the iPhone

Taipei 101 Damper Ball
Taipei 101 Damper Ball

Taipei 101 Damper Ball and the 'Smart Silver' Damper Baby
Taipei 101 Damper Ball and the 'Smart Silver' Damper Baby

Outside viewing area at Taipei 101
Outside viewing area at Taipei 101

View west using random camera from outside
View west using random camera from outside

View north-west using random camera from outside
View north-west using random camera from outside

View north-west using random camera from outside
View north-west using random camera from outside

Top of the outside observation deck
Top of the outside observation deck

Top of Taipei 101
Top of Taipei 101

Model of World Trade Centre and Taipei 101
Model of World Trade Centre and Taipei 101

Looking dowwwwwwwn
Looking dowwwwwwwn

Came back down (more queuing for lifts) around 13:20.

Went to the food court for lunch but it was super crowded and we had to wait quite a while. Even at Mos Burger they gave me a flashing order thingie to wait for a single burger. Sheesh. So there goes another hour.

Then I went outside to get a photo of the building in the sun. And this is where I discovered my camera was still on night mode settings from last night. -1 exposure on all my photos up the tower. All ruined. So upsetting :(:(:(

Taipei 101 - -1 AV
Taipei 101 - -1 AV

Taipei 101 - normal AV
Taipei 101 - normal AV

Top of Taipei 101
Top of Taipei 101

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

I also discovered there was a station *right there*. This wasn't on the main two maps we had been using, because the line is so new. So we could have saved ourselves a fairly long walk in the heat (both directions - because Stu wanted to sit down and have a coffee at Starbucks near the first station so he'd gone back separately).

Election rally - this one for Candidate 6
Election rally - this one for Candidate 6

So eventually we got back to the station near our hotel, and it was like 15:30. So doing just one thing took up most of the day. And of course by this time we were running out of energy. So the thing that Stu wanted to do today (wander through the "creative park"), we didn't really have the energy for. So we were both feeling pretty bad at this point.

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Manhole cover
Manhole cover

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

We got back to the hotel and chilled briefly. I toyed with the idea of going up Elephant Mountain by myself, but Stu said we'd go another night. So I did a bit of a wander through the Guanghua Electronics plaza. But it wasn't too exciting.

Footpaths are for scooter parking
Footpaths are for scooter parking

Guanghua Electronics Plaza
Guanghua Electronics Plaza

Guanghua Electronics Plaza
Guanghua Electronics Plaza

Came back and Stu had put on some washing which was nice. But it took forever. And ever. And ever. We'd been planning to go to the night markets, but it just got too late. At 21:00 we gave up waiting for everything to dry and went out to get some dinner. We got beer and pizza. Because we're classy like that.

Dominos parmesan stuffed crust pizza
Dominos parmesan stuffed crust pizza

Dominos parmesan stuffed crust pizza
Dominos parmesan stuffed crust pizza

Finished watching The Matrix then went to bed completely frustrated with the day.

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.