Travel Notes: The Scramble for tickets in Hong Kong
Apparently Easter is a somewhat serious holiday in Hong Kong because when we arrived at Hung Hom station at 7am Tuesday morning, the travel agency reconfirmed what I already knew – the train which goes every other day from HK to Shanghai was sold out. It was sold out for the day we wanted, and the trip before and after it. We could leave next Monday if we wanted…. too bad our flight from Shanghai to Osaka leaves that day! We tried another railway but same story from them. We had one last option, but they didn’t open for another 45 minutes, so we found some breakfast and tried to hack some wifi but no luck on that. Breakfast for us was a tasty rice-soup of some sort (yum!) and Joe ended up with some sort of lettuce wrapped stuff that tasted like Peanut Butter & Jelly, according to him.
At last, 8am came and we were the first ones at the ticket desk. We somehow successfully found tickets (the last sleeper compartments) from Shenzhen to Shanghai on Friday, which would put us in Shanghai about 24 hours later than we wanted, but the train was more adventurous and about $215 cheaper each than a flight. The train from Shenzhen to Shanghai goes every day. It’s slightly less desirable since Shenzhen is mainland China and we must cross the border on our own instead of on the train. But we were happy to have that settled finally and we simply will have an extra day in Hong Kong. We went back to the hotel to workout and get ready for the day and I scoured the internet for somewhere to stay on Thursday night and adjust some other things in our itinerary. We decided to book the other Hyatt in the New Territories on Hong Kong… too bad no comps for that night, but it could have been worse… like $400+ for the flight and then having to fly instead of ride the train overnight! We considered a hostel, but figured the good rate we got wouldn’t be much more than a hostel and it would be way more comfortable before our 17.5 hour train ride the next day. The train will depart at 15:15 Friday afternoon, so we plan to head to Shenzhen early in the day (to avoid the holiday rush) and we’ll have lunch there.
OH YEAH! Almost forgot, we got our OCTOPUS cards today! They are for transit, and you can use them to pay for everything at 7-11 and many other restaurants! So easy to use! It’s great – we should definitely have these in the states!