Getting from Tokyo to Hong Kong was the most stressful travel leg I’ve had yet!
Getting out of Tokyo was actually just fine! The day before my departure I talked to the front desk of my hotel to see if there was a shuttle. Unfortunately, my flight was a little too early to take a shuttle, so the hotel arranged to have a taxi pick me up instead. I still had to pay for the taxi, of course, but it was much easier to have them set it all up.
I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare, and chance to check out the awesome lounge chairs.
One cute thing about the Haneda airport is that the passenger assistance vehicles play a little song as they drive. Usually in airports it’s up to the driver to yell at the crowds to move, but this method seems simple, effective, and adorable! Very Japan!
My flight loaded at the listed time and seemed to be right on track! I even got this picture of the tunnel bridge on Tokyo Bay. That’s right, it’s a bridge that becomes a tunnel to let ships pass over it, and then pops up to a bridge again. We have one in Virginia as well.
For some reason we landed in Shanghai about an hour late. Which means I had a half hour to get through the airport, go through security again, and find the next gate. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. And it was a mad house in there! It seems like everyone in my line was running late for their next flight. At one point, some guys tried to skip the line thinking they had an earlier flight to catch then the rest of us. When they realized we were all in the same predicament they moved to the back of the line.
I finally got to my gate, only to find out that my connecting flight was also late. But let me tell you, this airport was chaos! They had three flights loading from one gate, and the workers kept making announcements over each other. It took me several minutes to figure out that although my flight should be boarding, they were actually boarding a flight bound for Paris that was scheduled to leave ten minutes after my flight. And keep in mind, the gate was stuffed full of people trying to get onto three different flights. It was insanity!
I did finally get onto my flight, and they gave us ice cream, so that was nice.
We actually made good time on the flight to Hong Kong. Once we got here however, we had to circle for about a half hour before we could land. All told, we landed in Hong Kong about an hour and a half late.
I headed into the airport, and a worker took my temperature with a laser gun thing. I think I got chosen out of the crowd because, well, I was sweaty. It was just the cold sweat of ankle pain, but they assume fever. It was no big deal, and my temperature was fine, so I headed on my way.
At passport control a worker pulled me out of the regular line, and into a shorter courtesy line. I think this might have been pure kindness on the part of a worker who saw me limping along. Very cool of her!
Once through passport control, I went to get my bags. Which turned into getting my bag. Because they had lost the other. Well, what happened was that because my first flight was so late they didn’t have time to load all the bags to the connecting flights. I talked to the lost baggage office, and they told me the bag would come on the next flight, and they would have it delivered sometime before 1:00am.
With that it was time to get an Uber and head to my Airbnb. I had a little trouble with Uber loading the driver information, so I had to cancel my first attempt and put it through again. The Uber getting process ended up taking about a half hour, usually it’s, like, seven minutes.
The drive into Hong Kong is beautiful. The city wraps around a large bay and is surrounded by mountains. The drive in was really stunning! Sure, the Uber drive almost crashed that one time, but he didn’t, so that was good. Always buckle up for safety, kids!
I finally made it to my Airbnb, and here’s the point where I have to admit something. I feel very uneasy here. I knew it would be small, which is fine, I live in a small place, but I find the building sketchy. There is a very study metal gate on the front door of the apartment, which I imagine could be installed so that they can leave the door open for a breeze on hot summer days, but it does still lend to feeling of maybe not being a safe building. The building itself is pretty dirty, and seems unkempt all around.
Plus, there are these two guys that just stare at me from the top of a cupboard. The triceratops seems friendly enough, but the polar bear looks ready to pounce!
It’s in a very active neighborhood, and I find that I’m not super comfortable here. I know that some people would love to be around this kind of energy, but it is not my vibe. I mean, the red-light district is like two streets over. There is a lot of shopping around this area, including the well-known Ladies Market (not red-light related), so it is always bustling with people. It is only about a two-minute walk to the metro station, and that awesome! But given the choice, I don’t think I’d stay in the Mong Kok area on my next visit.
My bag did arrive pretty late into the night, but not 1:00am, which I’m thankful for.
So, getting to Hong Kong might have given me a grey hair or two, but that’s nothing a box of Natural Instincts in medium dark brown can’t fix of when I get home.