Hong Kong, August 2017
We took a Cathay Pacific daytime flight from Auckland to Hong Kong on Saturday 26th August. CX have recently purchased some new Airbus A350 aircraft and they are now using these aircraft on the HKG AKL route, They have replaced the older 4 engine Airbus A340 planes which have always been one of my favourite aircraft to fly in. The new A350 is very quiet and spacious and because it is built from carbon fibre, can have a cabin atmosphere pressure which makes for a more comfortable and less tiring flight.
Last week HKG had experienced a typhoon, and as luck would have it another was on the way. We flew through it between Manila and Hong Kong, and although a bit bumpy, we arrived in Hong Kong on time at 9.00pm. Immigration and baggage was as fast as ever and by 10pm we had taken the Airport Express train and then a taxi and were at the Novotel on Nathan Road in Kowloon
Awoke Sunday morning to a note under our door to say that the typhoon had hit Hong Kong, that all shops and public transport was closed, and that we should stay in our Hotel until the warnings were lifted. There was very heavy rain and strong winds all morning so we stayed put and ate lunch in the hotel restaurant apart from a quick dash across the road to a 7Eleven to by an umbrella.
The weather forecast looked like this:
Fortunately the typhoon changed direction and by 3pm the warnings had lifted and we were able to venture out.
First stop, Jackson Optical for Heathers new specs. Mr Jackson (who is 90) and his son Dennis are the best people; amazingly helpful and new glasses sorted on Sunday delivered to our hotel room on Tuesday.Plus they repaired 2 pairs of mine with new nose grips and gave me some spares.
Monday was wet and windy, but we took the MTR to Hong Kong Island and wandered the shops and the malls. Expensive designer shops everywhere in HKG now; it has certainly changed a lot since I came here first back in May 1977. Younger people in particular seem quite affluent spending up at the designer shops and upmarket cafes.
Monday night we had arranged to meet my ex boss from Motorola Drina Yue, and her husband Toh, for dinner. Drina had booked a Cantonese restaurant close to our hotel “Xin Dau Ji”. It was a very good choice; we had crispy skinned suckling pig, the best ever crispy skinned roaast duck I've ever had, together with salt and chilli squid, some fish balls, and steamed vegetables. And many glasses of Pu Er tea. Excellent;
Drina and her husband are always great to catch up with. They are doing some aid work in the eastern part of China & Tibet with children from very poor villages and with donations from themselves and a group of friends are putting children through college and university. Amazing stories of how children from the poorest families become Doctors, Engineers and business people and lead very successful lives.
Tuesday was a beautiful day; clear blue sky. The hazy and often polluted skies typical of Hong Kong had cleared which was quite unusual. We took the Star Ferry across to Kowloon, and then got the Number 15 bus up to the top of Victoria Peak. I wanted to get a photo so that I could compare it to a photo I took from the same place in 1977. Amazing the changes; only a few of the buildings are recognizable.
In the afternoon, we took the MTR to MongKok and went to the flower market and the YuenPo street bird garden/market. The flower market is well worth a visit just to see the shops full of orchids and roses. There are numerous shops selling amazingly authentic looking synthetic flowers; a great pity we have such limited choice in NZ.
Wednesday morning; the haze had returned. Off to the airport for our 12.15pm flight CX239 to London.