Auckland to Hong Kong


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September 14th 2015
Published: September 15th 2015
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Kowloon Park comic book heroes sculptures
After a fun time with the Auckland family connection including seeing Matt and Sam for dinner last night, superbly prepared by Stu, we plonked ourselves at Auckland Airport earlyish and relaxed in the Koru Lounge for an hour,

Our flight was on time and the nice man at check-in took pity on me and moved my seat to one with lots of legroom and a seat in between me and my unknown fellow traveler.

Lyn was ensconced in Premium Economy but she visited me several time to see how the other half lives.

So, an uneventful 11 hours across the Tasman, Coral, South China Seas to a landing at Chek Lap Kok Airport in 26 degrees of warm air. Very good Air New Zealand service pretty much as we've come to expect. The All Black safety rap video? Well.........

We arrived at 7.00am, got the Airport Express train to Kowloon and a hotel shuttle bus to the Nathan Hotel, eventually. It seemed to be gridlock Monday, or maybe it's always like that but anyway we got a slow, circuitous sight-seeing tour of Kowloon for 40 minutes before ending up at our place on Nathan Road at 9.30.
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In the local eatery
I made a hash of getting our bags off the bus, dropping them and generally acting like a geriatric unco, holding the bus up. I looked up and all the passengers, all seemingly Chinese were looking at me so I straightened up, scanned them all for a second and said, "Have a great day!". They all laughed so I felt I had done my bit for Sino/Kiwi relations.

Couldn't check in so we dropped our bags and toddled off to see, smell, hear the sights of Kowloon on foot. For all the traffic snarls there was an absence of horns or impatient fist shaking, fist clenching or any signs of road rage that I could see. The inscrutable Orient? And where else would you stop for a coffee and a snack? McCafe - but we wanted something safe and known right then and that's what we got. Culinary adventures will come later.

It's interesting watching Lyn interacting with locals. For seem reason she seems to arouse good humour in most of them. I'm not sure if it's her smile (she smiles at everyone) or her hair but this morning she said something to an old gentleman in the
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Many needed - hot!
street with missing teeth, bent over and worn-out looking. He burst into chuckles and gesticulated at her while laughing and appearing to have a great time. A smile works more often than not to get some interaction going.

Lyn has an appointment at 2.00pm so we're in the hotel room now getting organised.

Taxied to Canton Road for Lyn's appointment. I went walkabout while she did her thing. Canton Road is the place for, unlike me, people with lots of money. High end brands litter the shop fronts - Gucci, Hermes, Prada, Cartier, Omega, Dior etc. I got off the street into a maze of shops, floors of them, and wandered looking at the sights. Met Lyn after an hour and we took our time exploring some of the back streets on the way back to the Nathan Hotel. I have to change my note about the lack of car horns. They were at full bore. Later in the day maybe drivers had become more impatient at being in gridlock for 8 hours already. Off the main drags the old Kowloon is in your face. I read a piece this morning that said the back streets are not
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Concrete and traffic zoo.
where east meets west. It's where the east swallows the west up. Good description. We were pooped! RnR.

The hotel has a happy hour which runs from 5.00pm to 9.00pm. We lasted an hour. The deal was buy one get one free. Four beers for HK$145 (about NZ$29) - Lyn was thirsty. Then we explored for some dinner. Ended up in a local eatery populated by Hong Kongese only. We were conspicuous. Ok meal.

We felt it was too early to hit the sack even though it was 11.00pm NZ time and we'd flown out 24hrs prior so we did a quick tour of the Temple Street night market which apparently used to have a reputation as a 'must see' but recent reviews have suggested not. The reviews were right. Tacky junk. We were in bed at 8.00pm, light off, snore.

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