Our First Night in Hong Kong. #HIasia #FB (@RoyalPacificHTL)
Here are some photos from our first night in Hong Kong.
We arrived at Hong Kong International Airport at around 830pm and got to our hotel somewhere around 930pm. The transportation over to the hotel was on a private coach bus and it was a very scenic ride to the Royal Pacific Hotel and Towers. The guest service associate was very nice and provided us with an upgraded room. (HTTP://Twitter.com/RoyalPacificHTL) I've included a couple shots of the view that we have from our room. It is an amazing view! I also took a video, but I will upload and post that later when I have a more stable internet connection (I'm very frustrated and suffering from foursquare.com check in withdrawals!).
After settling in, Kelli and I went for a stroll around the area to find something to eat, buy some bottled water and a prepaid SIM card.
We ended up eating at McDonald's. Not the one in the hotel's mall area, but one about a 1/4 mile away near a subway terminal because the mall one was already closed. Check out the menu prices! I just couldn't believe I was going to eat a Big 'n Tasty meal for $30! Of course that is in Hong Kong Dollars equivalent to a little under $8 US, but I'm finding it difficult to buy things that look so expensive because they're priced in dollars and I cannot get used to it in such a short time. It's different from my experience in Japan because everything there is priced in Yen and is not labeled with a $ sign. I've included at photo of the Hong Kong Dollars I received in exchange for $100 USD.
Another note about McDonald's is that they provide "20 minutes of free wifi". My experience with the wifi at this visit was not good as you can look back at my tweets and I did not get to check in on foursquare! I was able to connect and accept the user agreement through the browser to gain access to the web on my Android phone, but the connection was not stable enough to use any other apps like foursquare, Fring, Nimbuzz or Seesmic. I was able to get Seesmic to refresh my Twitter stream a couple times, but was unable to load a Twitpic. Also foursquare wasn't able to find a connection preventing me from checking in at this Hong Kong first meal at McDonald's (and most likely the last - it was just late and conveniently open). The browser appeared to be working much better. I'm finding that the browser can handle unstable and slow connections much better that the apps. For example the Gmail app will not sync and download the new emails, but if you visit Gmail through the browser, you will find a dozen new emails waiting in your inbox. Out of the free 20 minutes, I was able to refresh my Seesmic Twitter stream twice and get the browser to check some of my new emails.
Along the walk, we also stopped at 7-11 to buy bottled water and prepaid SIM cards for GSM phones. We bought a couple liters of water for around $23 HK, but I didn't buy the SIM card. The SIM cards were not on display in this 7-11 so I asked the cashier if they had them and she said yes. I asked to see it prior to purchase and decided not to buy them because they are for voice calls a SMS (text message) only. I don't have any use for that because I have no one to call or text here. All I really need is data!
The area around the hotel has a lot of the designer stores like LV, Ferragamo, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., etc. Very similar to the Ala Moana Shopping Center or the Western end of Kalakaua Boulevard in Waikiki. We stopped in this beautiful courtyard area and took a few photos. I don't know what it's called, but it's a great place for photos and looks like a spot where many young couples visit for some romantic ambience. Check out the giant banyan tree in a giant above ground planter! We walked up those stairs to the area under the tree and took a few photos. It is a spectacular place in the evening. I'm not sure what it looks like in the daytime, but I bet photos at dusk here would look fabulous!
Well our hotel doesn't provide free internet access of any kind. It is available at $40 HK an hour and I don't feel like splurging for that. I'm sure you're wondering when and where am I finding the time to write and post all these blogs. I'll do a post on that later. For now let's just hope I can find some decent free hotspots!
Sent via Nexus One Mobile.