The rest of my flight went really well. On our final approach, it was tough to see the Hong Kong skyline due to the fog and glumless of the inclement weather. That was a little disappointing because I wanted to see the Kowloon and Hong Kong high rises on our way in. I’m sure I will see them again, though.
Clearing passport control was a breeze, but then I stood around the baggage claim waiting for my bag to come around. It never came. The United Airlines associate told me to wait in Hong Kong for the night (I was scheduled to be in Shenzhen) and my bag will eventually show up. As we are filling out the paperwork, his radio goes off — they’ve found my luggage. Time for the bus ride. Did I mention that’s just what I wanted to do?
I met up with Joe, my guide who lives in Shenzhen, just outside the customs declaration area. Surprisingly, I found him instantly amonst the throng of people and we made our way towards the bus station. As soon as we arrived, a doubler decker bus showed up and we jumped on. I felt a little uneasy leaving my bag on the first deck while sitting on the second deck but I decided to let it be and just enjoy whatever overcast view we would get.
Despite the low clouds and fog, it was possible to see some of skyline and the sea when we were crossing the bridges. It was beautiful and I can’t wait to see it during a clear day. Before long we were at the train station — time to head up to Shenzhen. The subway cars are really clean and have instructions in English and Catonese. One of the first differences I noticed was how the subway cars weren’t separated like a rail car in London or New York would be.
Of course there’s multiple cars per train but from the inside it looks like a long moving hallway. I’ll annotate with a photo when I get a better Internet connection. I suppose this allows for more people to be on the train at one time.
Leaving Hong Kong and entering the mainland was a cinch. There were no problems whatsoever and the next stop was the taxi queue. After a $3 ride we arrived at my hotel — The Grand Skylight Hotel. I checked in and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the room. Nice hangers in the closet, a fully stocked (and free) minibar, a good view of the street, robes, and a nice bed.
Joe then took me to a Shanghai restaurant where we had too much food and the wine tasted like warm cognac (they warm it on purpose). It was interesting to try the new cuisine but I don’t like bony fish, but the dumplings and peas were excellent.