Lounge Breakfast, Airport Express, and CX Flight to Taipei
August 21, 2016 (Sunday)
Our last morning before heading over to Taiwan. I woke up a little early and was able to wait for the sun rise out from our hotel window. Still a cloudy day but the sun tried to break through anyway.
Sun breaking out through the clouds.
Sunrise from the Lei Yue Mun side of the harbor.
Breakfast at the Club Lounge, Hyatt Regency
Being in a club room with lounge access, we went for the complimentary breakfast served in the lounge. It was early and not that many people were there yet. Food looked good with various western and Chinese offerings. They also came by to take our orders if we wanted breakfast sets on top of the buffet selections.
Normally I would not have breakfast like this at home. Congee, fried noodles, sautee green beans and 'pineapple' bun.
Selections on cereal and yogurt
Baked goods, all very fresh.
Breakfast set that can be ordered
My poached eggs set
Cappuccino from the coffee machine
Airport Express Kowloon Station and HKIA
We checked out of the hotel at around 8:45am and went down to the basement (B3) where there is a free shuttle pick-up for the Airport Express Kowloon Station. B3 is the parking level of the hotel and Hyatt had a staff member working right by the door to assist their guests arriving or departing. We waited for less than 10 minutes and an empty shuttle bus came. We were the first on this shuttle run. Then it went to several other hotels in the Tsim Sha Tsui East area and picked up more passengers. By the time we left the last hotel, the shuttle was full, with passengers and luggage.
It was a short ride to the Kowloon Station and we were dropped off right at the curb near the entrance. After purchasing our train tickets we went to check our luggage in for our flight out at the Cathay counter. Everything just worked like a clock. Now we have our boarding passes in hand, and we won't see our luggage until we reach Taipei.
Airport Express Kowloon Station
Entrance to the platform
Airport Express to Check Lap Kok. Such an efficient and comfortable way of traveling!
Passed through a 'river'?
Once we got off the train we headed right to the security/immigration area to air side. It took me just a couple of minutes to get through using my Hong Kong ID. So glad that I got that ID replacement after so many years without it. Our boarding gate was not assigned yet, so we just found a quiet area and waited for the gate number. It was fun taking time to walk around the airport also.
CX 564 Hong Kong to Taipei in Economy
They finally posted our gate number and we had to move a little further up to gate 27. There was no plane in sight when we reached the gate so we figured that our flight would be delayed. Sure enough, we had a delay of 1 1/2 hour including the wait after pushing back from the gate for take off. Having even the 'green' Marco Polo status really helped when boarding. Instead of staying in the long economy line, we were able to go to the short line with Premium Economy. Way to go!
Got on the still-empty plane.
Route shown on the screen
Lunch was served on this short flight.
This was it!
A hot-pocket type of sandwich, a drink, and a cookie all packed inside a cute little paper bag.
ChC really enjoyed this, but not I...
Arriving at Taoyuan, Taiwan.
MOR's best friend, Lin, met us right at the arrival hall and he took us to Taipei in his car. It was very nice of him to sacrifice his day off on a Sunday to pick us up. It was like an hour in heavy traffic from Taoyuan to Taipei which is not a fun thing to do. He also helped us book our hotel room which we received a good discount.
Hotel Flora (Formerly Hotel Flowers)
This is our fourth time staying at this hotel in Taipei. This is not your Hyatt, Hilton, or Holiday Inn. It's just a very basic but clean 2 to 3-star hotel that is near the Taipei station. I understand that it is now acquired by a Japanese company and there were quite a few Japanese travelers staying at this hotel. We like it here because of the location being so close to the train and subway stations. There are all kind of restaurants and stores nearby which makes this a convenient place to be for a few days. Once again, we requested for our favorite room on the 8th floor, 881, a very spacious room that came with a huge balcony. We would be staying here for the next six nights while in Taipei.
After we settled and cleaned up a little, we were taken to dinner by Lin. They had made reservations at this fancy restaurant for dinner with his family. He had taken us to the same restaurant in Shenzhen, China a few years back and that was quite a memory experience. This restaurant is called Wangsteak, for a detailed introduction you may go to their website here: http://www.wangsteak.com.tw/en/about.html. One thing to remember, if you are ordering the Wangsteak, you do not get to choose how you cook it like any other normal restaurants. They only come in one way, cooked for 1 1/2 hour. The menu was quite interesting though, with enough items to choose from. The wait staff was very polite, but they all spoke in a fast pace mono-tone like which I couldn't understand half of what was said. Robotic was the word that came to mind.
The bilingual menu
My choice of salad--Romaine Lettuce and Salmon with Beef Gratin. But...that's not romaine lettuce!
Nice presentation though.
I think this is MOR's choice--Sauteed Scallop and King Oyster Mushroom.
MOR's Truffle Mushroom Bisque
My Shrimp Bisque.
Wang steak and Prawn
The steak was delicious and surprisingly tender.
I think that was the plum syrup drink that came with the meal.
garlic and dipping sauce for the steak
Dessert--Creme Brulee and Apple Rose Tart
That's half of a fresh passion fruit in the foreground.
The set meal that came with everything including a glass of champagne and drinks was NTD $1,350.00 per set.
Definitely, an amazing dinner to start our stay in Taipei. I guess I was so busy eating that I did not have any pictures of our host family.
After dinner, we took a little walk in the neighborhood and then headed back to the hotel for the night.