>(posted Day 44)
Got into Saigon at about 8:00 last night…had to take the only flight out in the early morning to Bangkok, then sit at the Bangkok airport for the only flight to Saigon at about 5:30pm. But I got into the lounge at Bangkok, so it wasn’t so bad. I had to return to Saigon, as that is where I had to pick up my RTW airline trip. I had separately booked my excursions to SaPa and Myanmar, so couldn’t change the RTW ticket to go straight from Myanmar to Hong Kong, but had to instead back track to Saigon.
Anyway, Duc picked me up in the military jeep, and I got to Sue’s by about 9:00. Because of my change of plans (of going to Hong Kong instead of Tokyo), I had to leave at 11:00am this morning rather than 11:00pm, so didn’t have much time to enjoy the Saigon oasis. Just time to repack my bags (I had left about half of my stuff at Sue’s when I left for SaPa and Myanmar).
This morning Thanh brought me a nice plate of fresh fruit and some yogurt to eat by the pool, and then it was off to the airport.
The last time I was in Hong Kong was November (Thanksgiving weekend) in 1991, at the end of my first trip to mainland China. Wow, has it really been 20 years ago? I am staying on the Kowloon side of the harbor, and I don’t remember so many high rises on the Hong Kong side as there are now (will have to do another photo comparison–if it even clears up enough for me to take photos…quite overcast here). In 1991, I had stayed in the Regent, which now seems to be called the Intercontinental. It was right in the middle of the action, next to the ferry station to Hong Kong island, and across from the famous Peninsula Hotel….it actually has a better location than the Peninsula, as it sits right on the water. On this trip, I am staying at the Harbour Grand Hotel, which is on e Kowloon side again, and right on the harbor, but a bit off the main track. I chose it because it has a pool, health club and wifi access (although the wifi didn’t work for my first day and a half here) and was at least $100 less per night than the hotels in the main district area. Plus they have a free shuttle bus that drops you off right next to the Peninsula Hotel. It was also easy to get here from the new airport (new since I was here….I think they were building it at the time–my recollection is that it was controversial at the time, as I think they were building it on a reef)…anyway, they have a train like the Heathrow Express in London, and then they have a free shuttle bus that drops you off at the various hotels. The train was about $12. Since I’m not feeling great, the easiness of transport helped.
I’m hoping for a sunny day while I’m here to get a good photo from Victoria Peak…it was overcast when I was here previously. For now, need to settle in and get to bed early to fight this little cold I feel coming on…
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