Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hello Taiwan, Hello Hong Kong

Taiwan Airport 5:30am
Posted by Zeus

The Taiwan airport was still pretty quiet at 5:30 am, so we followed the herd of transferring passengers and found our gate. We did a quick re-arranging of some of our carry on luggage and then I went on re-con to find a money exchange, a telephone & something to drink. I found the bank and traded $8 for $220 Taiwan stopped at a little store to grab a Coke Light (Chinese Diet Coke) and attempted to buy a card for the pay phones at 3 locations. No luck. Finally I noticed the signs for EVA's lounge, so I followed them and was rewarded with a phone card and a much nicer place to spend the remaining 3 hours in the airport. I went back to the gate and fetched Jeff, and the we settled into to EVA lounge.

The EVA Lounge in Taiwan is really nice, because that's their home base. This lounge had comfy chairs and tabels and big screen TVs, a phone room, buniness center, video game room, toilets, showers, baby room, and a buffet kitchen. We grabbed a snack and I made use of the phone room to call our hotel in Hong Kong and arrange an airport pick up. I also called my Mom to tell her we were there- the connection wasn't so great, but she seemed really surprised and happy to hear from us.

Our 3 hours flew by and it was time to get on another plane. This time we were in Laurel Class, and I really wish we had these seats on the international flight!! These were the ones you always see on Quantas and Virgin Atlantic commercials that lay out almost flat into a bed. Very Nice. Again they served a full 3 course meal (despite the fact that it was only a 1 hr 20 min flight) and I decided to recline the bed and get the most out of the last 30 min of the flight. I lucked out- the weather in Hong Kong was so bad that we had to circle for an hour, so I got a decent nap in!

After we landed, we saw an airline representative holding a sign with Jeff's name, so we picked up our message and map from her and went to fetch baggage and meet the car. We were admitted to HK with no problems, and didn't even have to stop at customs. We found our hotel desk, and the nice man informed us that our car was here, took the luggage trolley from me and whisked us off to our Mercedes. The driver informed us that the drive would take about 35 minutes. It was still raining, but Jeff got video as we drove into Kowloon.

The New World Renaisance is attatched to a mall (I think everything in Hong Kong is attatched to a mall), and is right on the water. We checked in and upgraded to a newly refurbished room on the Club Levels. The room is on the seventeenth floor with a view of other buildings! It has a king size bed (as hard as a rock- seriously- you sit on it and the mattress doesn't even give!), desk with fax, TV with DVD player, 3 phones, large bathroom, and comes with robes and slippers.

After we got settled and our luggage arrived, we went back downstairs to exchange money, and book our train tickets to Guangzhou on Saturday. We then popped into the little grocery store in the attatched mall and picked up some snacks and more bottled water.

At that point we were both beat and decided a shower and quick nap was in order so we could get up and have dinner, watch the buildings on Victoria Harbor do their nightly light show and maybe visit the night market before bed.

The alarm went off and I didn't move. Jeff got up because he had a splitting headache-the kind that makes you naucious. He took medicine and another shower. I slumbered on. We finally got up at 2 something am, and ordered room service, and we're thinking it's time to go back to bed so we can get up again in a few hours and see some of Hong Kong.

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