Our Monday was supposed to consist of flying to Tokyo at lunchtime and enjoying our first night in a new city. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be – at around 8am we woke up to see the dreaded “Flight Delay” email from Jetstar. Instead of a 1:55PM (Monday lunchtime) flight we had been pushed back to 1:45AM (Tuesday early hours). After making a few calls, we realised there wasn’t anything we could really do about it, so decided to use this as as a “Free Day” in HK.
We checked out of our hotel at around 1pm and left our bags with the concierge. We made our way to a restaurant Jane had been eying up for a long time now: Tim Ho Wan at IFC in Central.
After a 10-minute queue, we were seated and the food started rolling in.
- BBQ Pork Bun
- Turnip Cake
- Spare Ribs in Black Bean Sauce (pictured)
- Steamed Beef Ball with Bean Curd
- Rice Noodle Roll With Shrimp and Chives
I could eat the Pork Buns all day long!
After lunch, we wandered around IFC and opted to head to the cinema to see Dr. Strange (3D). Ticket prices here are really high ($150HKD = ~$25CAD each) and we had to pay for our own 3D glasses too ($10HKD each).
Without launching into a film review, I will say this: Excellent film and well-worth paying the extra fee to see in 3D.
By late afternoon we made our way back down to LKF to be first in line at Jane’s second food choice of the day: Little Bao.
Another exceptional decision! We sat right in front of the chef’s workstation, eyeing up all of the food!
- Truffle Fries
- Drunken Fried Chicken
- Pork Belly Bao
- Fried Chicken Bao (pictured)
The pièce de résistance was the dessert, as we both tucked into salted caramel mini ice cream baos.
Filled to the brim we jumped on the MTR and ventured back to Victoria Harbour to watch “A Symphony of Lights”. With the show starting at 8pm, I was a little surprised by the masses of people already crowding at 7pm.
I have to say that I was really underwhelmed by the Light Show. A few lazers and some building flashing for 10 minutes… This experience was number 2 on my Top 5, but it won’t be anymore. Sorry HK Victoria Harbour, you need to take a leaf out of Disney’s book.
At 8:30pm we headed back to the Novotel to grab our bags and jumped on the Express Bus to the airport. We checked in with Jetstar at 10pm and walked through Exit Immigration and security with plenty of time to spare.
Sitting around HK airport at midnight on a Monday isn’t much fun, and it got surprisingly cold. The plane eventually boarded at 1:25am and actually took off shortly after 2:15am, some 12 and a half hours behind schedule…
It’s a 4-hour flight, and the clocks go forward an hour too. We tried to sleep but it was tough – they didn’t even turn the lights off in the plane! I think we each had about an hour or two of restless napping.
We landed at local-time 7:30am Tuesday, looking like hell probably. Immigration was fine, but I did get my bag checked by the most polite customs officer – nothing but clothes in my suitcase.
Here came the fun part – trying to find the right train to our Air BnB and buy the correct ticket!
Travel day that started 36 hours ago and now ending with us in bed listening to the Tokyo rain. | @cbgtoyyz . . . . . . . #travel #travels #traveler #travelers #travellers #traveller #travelpics #travelphotography #travelphoto #narita #naritaairport #tokyo #japan #kensei #trainstation #cbgtoyyz #djasia2016
The ticket machines weren’t particularly helpful… so I just picked a station that I knew was near(ish) to our apartment: Ueno. We walked to the airport train station and I confirmed with an attendant the ticket I had, so she pointed us in the right direction and told us we needed to change at Aoto.
We promptly boarded our train (8:50am) and hoped for the best. After about 20 minutes I started to worry (Jane was asleep at this point) as I still hadn’t seen or heard the Aoto stop. Some 3 or 4 more stops went by, and just before deciding to ask someone, I hear the best news of the morning – Next Stop: Aoto.
We transferred trains and later landed at Ueno at around 10:30am. By this point we had decided to not even try to tackle the subway system and instead just take a taxi the 10-minute ride to our place.
Our taxi-driver didn’t speak a word of English – we knew this would happen in taxis around here. Despite having map printouts and GoogleMaps, she didn’t understand our destination. I opted to ask for her to take us to nearest subway station (to the AirBnB) “Shin-okachimachi” and we guided her from there. She kept saying “Shin-okachimachi”over and over again.
Somehow this worked out okay and we were dropped off at our door. I paid the 1000¥ fare (~$12CAD) and she gave us 500¥ back – maybe because we spent quite a long time figuring out where to go, trying to find a balance between English and Japanese.
So it’s 11:15am by now and we jump into bed, set an alarm and try and rest up for this afternoon to start our journey of Tokyo!
Better late than never.