Sunday, February 28, 2010

Trip to Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea - Jan 28th 2010

Big rush this morning. Up at 5:50am to finish packing. We left the room at 6:50 and checked out. Walked over to Hung Hom Station and caught the MTR to Tsing Yi Station. From Tsing Yi we took the Airport Express which cost HK$42/adult and HK$36/child. Arrived at the airport at 8am which was one hour and forty minutes prior to take off. We were asked to do a self check-in by Cathay Pacific staff. After entering passport details, some of them manually as the scanner was unable to pick up all details, there was a problem and we would have to go through the normal check-in. It turned out that the problem was caused because we had a child in our group. Why did the attendant ask us to self check-in then? Idiot.

Raced upstairs to a restaurant for a quick meal. Very quick. Left at 8:55 and we had to be at the gat for boarding at 9:15 or risk not being accepted for the flight. Immigration still to go through remember. They always check my face at least twice and it must have been because of my beard. Went as quickly as we could to our gate and then found out that we had to take a train to get there! Then we discovered that gate 46 was right down the end and so had to run down the travellator. It was the final boarding call already. Just made it in time. Just. Nearly everybody had boarded already. Phew. Bit tight for comfort.

Thirty minutes into the flight the captain announced that there was a technical problem and we would have to turn around and return to Hong Kong where, "Hopefully the company has a plane available for us to change to." I blame the missus for pointing out that the on-board entertainment system had crashed (ok, I noticed that) and after informing one of the stewardesses the captain made his announcement. I like the fact that once we landed our screen informed us "Thank you for flying Cathay Pacific". We didn't go anywhere! Landed at 11:10. So much for all of the rushing about. Captain announced that there may be a quick fix or we may still have to change planes.

Entertainment system crash.

Hong Kong round trip.

Thank you for flying Cathay Pacific. Surely you can't be serious?

What's the problem.

And so we had to change planes. Luckily the company had a spare Airbus just lying around. We waited in another lounge and they provided a bottle of drink and chocolate butter cake. So much for compensation. Headed off again at about 12:50. Only three hours later than planned. Watched District 9 on the flight. Interesting movie but not suitable for kids [It's R-rated]. Don't think much of the toilets on board as they are still tiny and a somewhat odd shape and positioned strangely.

Waiting lounge for turn-arounds. Obviously.

Bus out to plane on the tarmac.

Boarding the plane on the tarmac.

Busy boarding.

First view of Korea.

Densely populated Korea.

Bit cold as you can see.

Coming into land at Incheon International Airport.


Flight was too long for this girl.

Arrived at Incheon just after 4:30pm local time. Miky had an easy time at immigration but we picked the slowest line. Of course. The immigration guy asked me if I'd been to North Korea when he saw my Doosan stamp in my passport. It was a bit embarrasing to inform him that it was the last station in South Korea. I'd been to the DMZ previously and he should have known that. By the time we'd finished Miky had collected our luggage.

Miky hired a mobile phone and I exchanged pretty much the last of our cash. Could be a problem later on. Grabbed a limosine bus to Anguk Station which was just down the road from our hotel, Somerset Palace.

Catching flies on the bus.

Checked in - marvellous room with two TV sets. Left as soon as we could and took an expensive (W4500) taxi to the Lotte Department Store. Arrived at 7:45pm which was only 15 minutes prior to closing time. Had to buy some gloves for The Boy but they didn't have what we were looking for. Went outside to the street market stalls and checked. It took a while to find gloves and then we wanted a price check. My question is why were there so many stalls selling socks in winter but almost nobody selling gloves. Surely they should be as plentiful as umbrellas in the rainy season. A further 20 minutes were used looking for another stall that sold gloves before we realised that we'd have to return to the first stall. Then the problem was finding it as we had been weaving around the streets without taking notice of where we were. It took some time, and frustration, before I saw a stall selling Dolce & Gabbana wares that I recognised and Miky thought that she had seen the glove stall before that. Sure enough, that's how we found it. Returned to the department store for the restaurant level, which was still open, and had W10000 bibimbap. The kimchi side dish was so good that we had to have another one. Caught a W2400 taxi back to the hotel. It was an international taxi, the driver spoke English also, so it was quite amusing when he sneezed and said, "Excuse me", and I responded with "Shillye haseyo".

Street decorations in Seoul.

More street decorations in Seoul.

Lovely decorations on trees.

Beautifully decorated streets.

I went shopping at Family Mart for saewoogang (shrimp-flavoured snack) and ice creams. Boy, the footpaths were slippery where they were covered in ice. The Boy watched Cartoon Connection whilst we viewed Korean TV.


Anonymous said...

Wow great views. What fun. Annette

Hammy said...

Fun? It was starting to resemble a nightmare. Certainly put a bit of a dampner on the holiday. Don't want to spend all of your time rushing around trying to get things done.

Anonymous said...

Ya fun better than doing hard labor or something like that. Don't you agree? Cool photos too.

Iris Flavia said...

Wow. You´re holidaying a lot! Great!