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This one took quite a bit of work to put together but I finally got it done.
Hope you enjoy the last post for this segment. We really had an amazing trip and are truly thankful for Uncle Elmond and Aunt Shermaine for allowing us to stay with them for as long as we did in Hong Kong. Also big thanks to the rest of Chantelle’s HK family for their hospitality and kindness.
More blog posts to come as I review the Conrad Maldives, present my top picks for places to eat in Hong Kong and much more!
Day 19 – Tuesday April 1, 2014
Most of my birthday was spent on the plane as we took a red eye from Male, Maldives to Singapore and then over to Hong Kong. Despite all that travel, Chantelle still managed to surprise me with a visit to the Peninsula Hotel for afternoon tea. To round out the day, we spent some time in HK and mainly in my favorite mall, Sim City and then meeting up with Chantelle’s friend Ronald in LKF.
Day 20 – Wednesday April 2, 2014
We didn’t have too much planned for Wednesday so we just kind of rolled with the punches. Since Coffee Alley was something we always wanted to try and knew about their infamous line ups, we tried to make it there early but didn’t get there until shortly after 11AM. The first seating was already full so we ended up waiting 45 minutes before getting in. My friend Caleb was able to join us for lunch so it was nice to catch up. From there, we took a walk around the convention center which I thought would be fancier but turned out to be just really a ginormous convention center. Facing the water though was a touristy area in the Golden Bauhinia Square and a nice lookout into Kowloon. It was 4PM at this point and ended up at Sheung Wan after to try out Sinmea Tea. With no real dinner plans, Chantelle called up some friends and one was able to meet up for drinks. Looking through Michelin’s HK list and OpenRice we eventually landed on 1968 – An Indonesia restaurant which had good food but at a price. After that we walked over to LKF and had drinks to Ronald at the Hong Kong Brew House.
Day 21 – Thursday April 3, 2014
Tim Ho Wan is not to be missed. Now that they have locations all around HK and Kowloon, there’s no excuse to NOT go. I was a little worried that I over-hyped the place to Chantelle but she’ll back me up in saying it was some of the best dim sum we had during the whole trip. We debated intensely whether we should go to Lamma Island or not since it was raining cats and dogs all morning but towards the end of dim sum, the rain seemed to be letting up. We could’ve pushed Lamma Island to another day but that would require some juggling and some cuts. So in the end we decided to take a gamble and head to Lamma as planned. With luck on our side, we actually didn’t get rained on at all. Lamma was a perfect half day trip as all we wanted to do was hike from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan. An already packed day right? Well we went even further, had some fish ball noodles in Causeway Bay before going up to the rooftop bar, Sugar, in Tai Koo. Boom!
Day 22 – Friday April 4, 2014
A super low key day for us. We spent lunch with Aunt Shermaine and then Chantelle and I went to do our own things. After going to Sim City the first time, I had my eyes sight on a hiking camera backpack by f-stop which I was surprised to see. I ran the calculations at home and converted to Canadian, it was actually cheaper in Hong Kong. So made my own trip after lunch to MK to make my purchase and a few other small accessories for the f-stop bag. After, I met up with Chantelle in Central to catch bus 15 up to the peak. Last time in Hong Kong, I didn’t have a tripod and since I brought one this time, I really wanted to shoot up there again. After a quick shoot up at the peak, we grabbed dinner at Tsui Wah. The original plan was to go clubbing in LKF on this night but Chantelle’s friend wasn’t really up for it so instead of having to go back home to change and head back out, this gave us time to head over to Kowloon to shoot the Hong Kong skyline and Causeway Bay.
Day 23 – Saturday April 5, 2014
Family tour day of the Wishing Tree and Sai Kung. After that we changed and headed over to LKF for clubbing at 7th Heaven.
Day 24 – Sunday April 6, 2014
Day 25 – Monday April 7, 2014
Macau day! One day was truly enough as Macau isn’t that big but since we got a late start, we didn’t quite have enough time to explore more casinos. Nevertheless we did get 1 hour of gambling in so it wasn’t too bad! 9:45AM ferry out and 12AM ferry back home.
Day 26 – Tuesday April 8, 2014
Last day in HK. Tsui Wah. Mong Kok. Dinner in Causeway Bay. Pack it up.
Day 27 – Wednesday April 9, 2014
I can’t even describe how long of a day this was but I’ll give it a shot.
- Hong Kong standby works a little different in that even with standby, you can’t go through security to the gate. Instead you have to wait last minute at the check in counter in order to get boarding passes.
- So we waited at check in counter until 2PM for the 3PM direct to Toronto.
- Just when the lady was going to hand out boarding cards and baggage tags (we were first in the standby queue), a man runs in with a lady and apparently buys one last minute ticket to Vancouver. So two last tickets that were supposed to be ours was now down to one and nobody travelling on standby was going to take just one ticket. Unbelievable right? Nobody got on standby with that flight.
- So with that we were left to wait at the terminal until 5pm when they would let us know whether we could get on the Vancouver flight or not.
- We then went to hunt for an area with plugs and eventually found an area on the left side of the terminal by the Starbucks with chairs and hidden plugs at the bottom of a wall divider.
- At 4:45 we thought we’d grab dinner first so we went up to Tsui Wah to eat our real last meal in HK.
- From there we went back to the check in counters by about 5:45PM. All the other standby folks were there too.
- At 6PM they started handing out boarding passes but for some reason we didn’t have any but when we went up the lady said there was two for us phew. No seats though but at least we’d be able to go to the gate. Looks like everyone on standby got tickets.
- Waited at gate and eventually got two J class tickets on the high density 777-300. Sweet!
- Smooth flight to Vancouver and arrived at around 4:30PM local time.
- Once in Vancouver we did the usual customs. We thought we might have a chance to connect to the 5:30PM flight but the bags took forever to come out due to the plane being high density. We didn’t get our bags until 5:10PM.
- At this point we weren’t even sure if we’d get on the 10:30pm flight because of the fluctuating loads and possibility of misconnects on the 5:30PM from our Hong Kong flight. Everything was up in the air.
- Chantelle then found out that her flight attendant (FA) friend Rebecca was in the terminal and heading to dinner with another FA couple visiting Vancouver. Lucky for us, we were invited to crash the party and ate dinner at a Taiwanese restaurant in Richmond.
- We got to airport at around 9PM and when we got to the gate, our chances looked good. Two other standby pairs we had met on our HKG -> YVR leg were there as well.
- Our last names got called first and were able to offer us one first class seat and another in economy. So we were indeed going to be able to go home!
- What made the situation interesting was that there was a girl and her grandma travelling together. By the time it got to them on standby, there were only jumpseats available which only staff can sit on. From the kindness of her heart, Chantelle had a feeling this would happen and offered to trade her economy seat with the grandma’s jumpseat in order for them to fly back home. First class woman!
- The only unfortunate thing was that there was an Indian mother and daughter who were not able to make it on standby.
- So that about sums up our ridiculously long day. Red eye from Hong Kong to Vancouver and then another red eye from Vancouver to Toronto.
- We landed in Toronto at about 5:30AM the following day and were tired as hell.
If you missed the other photo essays in this series, pop over to Part 1 to see how it all began.