Hong Kong: We left the Manila Hotel
this afternoon to catch our flight to Hong Kong and did not arrive to our hotel
until the wee hours. We had a very long day...
But first, our morning in Manila:
The USS Paul Hamilton docked below our hotel window this
morning. It was interesting watching the tug boats carefully push her up to
the dock - especially since we had binocs (used during the track meet) to
get a better view.
For our farewell lunch, we took a taxi to the nearby
Restaurant. In the evening this place can be a bit touristy (and maybe a
few tour buses will be outside) as they have a Filipino cultural show
(dancing and singing) from 8-9p. We arrived before noon and found only a few
tables already taken. This was a pretty regular stop for us while we lived
in Manila, especially if we had visitors who might enjoy the show.
Breakfast Lunch of Champions
Dave had Tanguigue Steak (a Spanish mackerel). The green lime-looking fruit
is a calamansi, and the vegetables are sayote and green papaya (and green
I ordered my old favorite - Inihaw na Manok (grilled chicken). The chicken
is marinated with calamansi juice and garlic and grilled over charcoal. So
And you knew we would order garlic rice, right?
Our meal was so perfect, DT is sad we didn't come here on the
first day - or maybe every day? - of our visit to Manila. I reminded him each
evening we suffered through torrential downpours and horrible thunder and
lightning storms and he didn't want to go out. Even if we did want to go out, we
would have never found a taxi. Best to have this memorable meal in our belly as
we flew off to Hong Kong.
We returned to the hotel, finished packing and the hotel
provided a car and driver to the airport. After clearing security and
immigration, we proceeded to the Cathay Pacific executive lounge to peacefully
await our 6p departure to Hong Kong.
This executive lounge was one of the nicest we have seen in a while. Quiet,
with separate bar and dining area, tons of comfy seating, a view over the
runway and power-ports for cell phones and laptops everywhere. In the dining
area, a chef prepared your meals to-order! In the bar, champagne was
First we heard our flight was delayed, but nothing was posted on the
official message board. Rumors stated the plane was low on fuel, so was
diverted to the landing strip on the old (nearby) Clark Air Base. We knew
the plane was only coming from Hong Kong (95 minute flight), so were curious
that it would be low on fuel. Rumors said the plane would fly back to Manila
and we would all load and board.
This happened though:
Vegetable dumplings and Chicken Adobo (my
We waited. Cathay has three flights leaving Manila bound for
Hong Kong each evening
- about two hours apart. Of course, this is a terrible time to fly in the tropics this
time of year. Remember the nightly thunder and lightning storms?
At the "help" desk inside the lounge, concern rose for the passengers catching
connecting flights in Hong Kong. Dave kindly offered we would take the latest
flight, giving our seats to anyone in jeopardy of missing a connection. By now,
not everyone approaching the help desk was as sweet as My Husband. There was
yelling, with a very strong German accent, coming from a very large and very
drunk German. (Oh, those poor girls must deal with this every evening! Didn't
his Mutter teach him he can trap more flies with honig than
All three flights were hopelessly delayed, but we were finally placed on the
9:30p (the last) flight that eventually left Manila at 11p, seven hours after
arriving to Manila International Airport. There were five people seating in
business class and no one in first class.
After clearing immigration in Hong Kong, we found our hotel still had a car and
driver waiting for us and were virtually whisked away in quiet comfort through
the near-empty streets of wee-hour Hong Kong. We checked-in and bet we were
asleep less than an hour after touching down.
In case you are curious - we never lived in Hong Kong, but traveled here
constantly from Manila as we had to leave The Philippines every twelve weeks to
get our visas renewed (don't ask - but it will be a good blog post one day). We
thought we would give Hong Kong another look.
Since we were in the neighborhood.
Until my next update, I remain, your Hong Kong correspondent.
Sign Up is NOT required! Anyone may comment. Sign
up only if you would like to add an avatar, or if you wish to be emailed when someone responds to your comment.
(Sign-up will take you to my safe and secure comment server, Shadow-Pnyxe.)