After my summer trip to the Azores island of Sao Miguel, my middle aged wanderlust still wasn't satisfied! So over the weekend of 14-15 of November I escaped the onset of winter in the UK, settling for the heat and humidity of the far-east. I toyed with the idea of visiting somewhere like Hong Kong but ticket prices when I looked earlier in the year were, to be blunt -outrageous. After giving up on the idea and putting any travel plans on the backburner, the end of the year was closing in and I still had plenty of holiday time owed from work which needed to be used. This meant a long weekend of Thursday/Friday and Monday/Tuesday was booked off work but still with no plans set in stone. While browsing through the usual travel websites looking for some kind of long weekend/city break type of holiday, some good deals were popping up for Hong Kong. The seed was planted...
With 6 days off, there were plenty of choices of places to visit but it occurred to me that I had not done a long haul trip since 2000. That was it, no European trip this time - a long flight was in order to somewhere distinctly different.
The usual flight time to Hong Kong is around 12hrs, would this be too long for what was essentially a long weekend? and with the battle of west to east jet-lag (which is usually the worst direction!) to contend with. As usual for me and my life, the temptation of adventure overrode my common sense, and after a bit of reading on the TripAdvisor forums my tickets were booked. I had the idea that with a night flight each way this would just allow me to fit a probably too-long journey into just 6 days total.
With a late evening departure with British Airways on the Thursday, and the returning departure late on the Monday night, a plan was beginning to form.
- Departure from Heathrow at 18.30 on Thursday 12th, arriving at Chep Lap Kok airport on Friday 13th at around 2pm
- Get to the hotel and check-in by around 4pm, dump bag and head straight back out giving Friday evening free to explore
- Saturday and Sunday - 2 full days to discover the sights, sounds and smells of the city
- Monday - check out of the hotel and hopefully find somewhere to store my checked-in bag until I need to be at the airport for the return flight (Approx 8pm) this would give me almost 1 more full day to do stuff and putting off any sleep until the flight back
So on a gloomy thursday evening in November, I parked at one of the long-stay car parks at LHR and made my way over to T5.