When we staggered bleary eyed into the hotel breakfast room at 5am, we were greeted by Charlie's smiling face. He had driven the van on the bike tour and had a vehicle large enough to take us all and our bulging suitcases to the airport at the same time. He had arrived half an hour early to make sure that we would not worry that he had forgotten us. The new Bangkok airport is a huge improvement on the old one, but quite a trek out of town. We were booked on Thai Air and Keith and Susan on Cathay Pacific twenty minutes later so we parted, aiming to find one another again at the hotel in Hong Kong.
Our huge plane was almost totally full and we were amazed to be served a hot meal during the two hour flight. That's not going to happen on a US carrier any more... By the time we finished queueing for immigration our bags arrived and we were in a cab zooming toward Kowloon. The Hong Kong airport used to be in Kowloon and the landing strip right on the water between the mountains, made for an exciting arrival. This airport has also been replaced by a new one on Lantau Island. It is very nice, but another lengthy cab ride into town. On the way we passed the container port where we had docked while on the Sapphire Princess.
Lo and behold, there she was! We resolved to go downtown in the evening to watch her sail past the lit up high rises, an experience we had enjoyed tremendously.
At the hotel we waited and waited and waited for Keith and Susan to arrive. What could have happened to them? Our imaginations started spinning. Finally, I logged on to the Cathay Pacific web site and was surprised to notice that their flight had not left Bangkok.
Late afternoon when I checked again, they finally had departed, but it was time for us to go downtown for the sunset building illumination show. The free shuttle from the hotel dropped us at the perfect spot and we shot photo after photo
as the sun set and the neon lights on the buildings put on a show. As expected the Sapphire Princess turned into the harbor and we shot photo after photo again.
The timing was perfect. At 8pm music came through nearby speakers and a synchronized light show began. The buildings changed color, lights came on and off and chased one another, search lights swept the sky and lasers flashed from building to building in time to the music.
If you like outdoor holiday lights, you would have loved the Hong Kong Symphony of Lights show.
Back at the
hotel we finally rendezvoused with Keith and Susan once again. Their plane had mechanical difficulties and they had had an exciting day confined to the plane for five hours and in the transit lounge for three more when they were allowed to get off. They were so glad to be here, but had lost the entire day. That's travel...