Hong Kong - Many Firsts

I have wanted to go to Hong Kong for a very long time.  There are so many reasons why it is amazing, but for those of you that are less familiar, here are some key things that make it stand out:

- Under lease from Britain until 1997, they speak English and Cantonese.

- Two Systems/One Government, that was the tagline at the time of the handover and still is today, a mostly free democracy and capitalist region (Hong Kong) governed by Communist Beijing, excellently covered in this book.

- Hong Kong uses it's own currency, the Hong Kong Dollar, and was recently named the freest economy in the world.

- Kai Tak airport, this has been shut down since the opening of the new Hong Kong International, but I still want to make it there, try and find some old landing light or souvenir.  Here is a particularly excellent Kai Tak landing.

The list could go on and on, but I won't bore you, I will just fill out an extensive trip report.  This is a weird trip because it is a holiday from our holiday.  The Sherpa and the sherpstress are here in Thailand on a sabbatical until September but as required by our extended tourist visas, we must "checkout" of the country every 60 days.  Some people make visa runs to the nearby Cambodian border, walk into Cambodia and then back to Thailand a minute later but that is no fun at all.  So we are taking a holiday from our holiday, which sounds (and is) ridiculous to Hong Kong.

We are also not flying Air Asia for once because the ticket was only £10 ($15) more on Kenya Airways, a SkyTeam partner.  We usually do not fly SkyTeam, but because of this checking account bonus, and this itinerary home, we thought we would add some MQMs and increase our balance a whole 2,000 miles. Since the difference in price was so small, it was better for us to make our SkyMiles accounts larger by crediting partner Kenya Airways flights to our Delta account (more on crediting to an airline partner here).

We are also staying at a Hyatt Regency as newly minted Platinum (Diamond members are rolling their eyes). For my beginner travelers, being an elite means that you have stayed with a hotel chain a number of times or for an extended amount of days in a given year.  To make sure you keep staying with their hotel chain they give you perks and benefits like late checkouts, complimentary internet access, maybe free breakfast, etc.  This does not necessarily mean that you have to live on the road though, even as few as 10 stays throughout the whole year can qualify you on many hotel chains.

To add to the excitement, we are also staying at the Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit a day before the departure, the last possible day to credit to the Radisson Big Night Giveaway, and on the way back, we are staying at Le Méridien so that we can sort our Myanmar visas and the Sherpstress can take a dance class.

Lots of posts and pictures to come.