At some point last year, I booked a super cheap deal on Delta — Toronto to Hong Kong and back for $400. That’s a good enough deal for me to fly outside of my beloved Star Alliance, especially since it was around Christmas. While I love Hong Kong and its incredibly delicious (and cheap!) food, a week in one place is a bit long for me. So I figured I’d turn the Hong Kong trip into an ASIA ADVENTURE. For a mere 30,000 Aeroplan miles, you can book a round-trip business class ticket in the Asia 1 category (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam), which I think is an excellent value. It’s only 10,000 more miles than flying economy and Asian airlines have lie-flat seats for two hour flights! And the MAIN reason I wanted to do it was to fly on the HELLO KITTY JET that EVA Air flies out of Taipei. So we included an overnight stop in Taipei on the way to Tokyo. When we were in Japan for six months, I’d looked into flying on one of EVA’s Hello Kitty flights but they were weirdly expensive so it’s a perfect use for Aeroplan miles.
Our flights included:
In the end, it was a lot of flying for one week. Mike ended up getting sick, so with 10 flights in seven days, everything started to blur together.
BUT I REGRET NOTHING.
Plus now I know what visiting a Taiwanese hospital is like. But more on that later.
First up on this adventure — Toronto to Hong Kong on Delta. We originally had a totally different booking that went through Tokyo Narita on the way to Hong Kong. Sometime earlier in 2014, Delta discontinued their Hong Kong to Narita flight so we rebooked ourselves on the Seattle to Hong Kong flight on the outbound.
Okay, you all know that my heart lies with United and Star Alliance, but I have to admit that Delta has a superior economy product. MENUS? IN ECONOMY ON A US AIRLINE? United doesn’t even have seatback entertainment on their 747s.
I didn’t eat any of these choices because I ordered a vegetarian meal. There was apparently a mid-flight snack, but I guess I was sleeping with my reading pillow because I don’t remember it happening. (A mid-flight snack is also something United doesn’t offer.)
And Delta even gives you a little amenity kit with a sleep mask and ear plugs. How cute!
I watched a bunch of Japanese movies, but my favourite was this stupid comedy called ジャッジ！ (Judge!). I found an English trailer here. I loved that there were so many Japanese movies available — way more than Air Canada. So thumbs up for that, Delta.
My VGML vegetarian meal. It was uh… fine.
And then we arrived in Hong Kong! I managed to sleep for awhile on the plane (I normally can’t sleep on planes, economy or not) so the 14 hour flight passed in no time. Sleeping on planes is basically teleportation.
Because we were leaving the next morning for Taiwan, we stayed in the nearby Novotel. It’s actually a really good choice for an airport layover because it’s directly attached to a mall. And the bathroom was nice.
It was late so we just ordered some room service and went to bed.
The attached Citygate mall.
In the morning, we went to a dim sim restaurant called Federal Palace 聯邦皇宮 in the mall for breakfast. The restaurant was huge (two levels) yet totally packed with people at 9am on a weekday. Here’s Mike rinsing our dishes. I don’t really know why you do this (I’ve never understood if it’s a sanitary thing or just a custom) but when in Hong Kong, do as the Hong Kongers do…
RICE ROLLS! Probably my favourite dim sum item.
More rice rolls.
Har gow, shrimp dumplings.
Turnip cake! Another one of my favourites. Nothing makes me happier than delicious food for no money. It’s probably the main reason that I will love travelling to Asia forever. You can always find a great meal for less than $10 per person. Even in a mall.
Dim sum Mike.
We wandered around the mall for awhile before heading to the airport. Citygate is an outlet mall but seemed mostly like a normal mall. For some reason, I took this photo in the grocery store. I have no idea why.
In the next entry: WE FLY TO TAIPEI! On… Cathay Pacific?