Post Title: Visiting Hong Kong with a touch of fireworks

Getting to Hong Kong

We were supposed to leave on December 26 with a routing of SFO -> LAX (overnight layover) -> HKG but at the last minute, I found a non-stop flight and changed the routing. I didn't expect to be calling American Airlines on Christmas Eve to do this, but when lightning strikes...

Instead of landing at 7pm, we'd now land at 6am giving us a full additional day. At least that was the idea, but our bodies clearly didn't get the memo as we passed out by 3pm and didn't wake up until 3am the next morning!

The fact that our flight had to make a pit stop in Taiwan due to crew rest and mechanical problems did not help with the jetlag! Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the flight as you can see below.

Cathay Pacific Business: SFO-HKG

  • SFO airport was lit up for the holidays as we drove up.
  • A quick stop by the Cathay Pacific lounge at SFO. Those semi-circle single seaters were pretty cool.
  • The business class cabin featured fully lie-flat reverse herringbone seats.
  • The seats were spacious with plenty of legroom. Not a bad way to spend 15 hours on a plane.
  • Shortly after takeoff, the crew came by and handed out menus, amenity kits and bottled water.
  • For supper, we had a choice between prawns and beef for our mains, I chose the prawns which were tasty. One of the nice things about flying in a premium cabin is actual silverware. Small things like this enhance the overall experience.
  • After dinner, I opened the amenity kit and prepped for bed. The kit contained an eye mask, toothbrush, mouthwash, lotions, etc.
  • About 4 hours into the flight, I placed my seat into its lie flat position and attempted to get some sleep.
  • I woke up after about 4 hours and requested some noodles and tea.
  • About an hour before we landed in Taipei, the crew served (a very sleepy) me breakfast.
  • Upon landing in Taipei, the plane didn't go to a gate as we didn't need to deplane. A new crew boarded from the runway.
  • After about an hour, we took off again for our final destination: HKG. It was nice to be finally looking at the plane from the outside! It's a Boeing 777-300ER, commonly known as the 77W.

The Mira Moon Hotel

For this trip, the initial plan was to stay at the W Hong Kong. I had stayed there during my previous trip and absolutely loved it. This time around however, given that it would be around New Year's, we wanted to be closer to the action and instead stayed at the boutique Mira Moon hotel in Causeway Bay.

As you can see from the pics below, it really was a bit of an unexpected gem with gorgeous decor and furnishings. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

Mira Moon Hotel

  • The lobby and reception area on the 5th floor was decorated for the holidays, including a holiday rabbit by the tree, the mascot of the hotel.
  • Everything was so intricate, even the door to our room on the 31st floor.
  • Right outside our door was a window which provided great city and mountain views.
  • Right outside our door was a window which provided great city and mountain views.
  • The bed was absolutely huge!
  • The walls of the room were stunning. I'm also a sucker for a tub with a view.
  • Free breakfast at the hotel restaurant was included in our rate. We had both a buffet and a-la-carte options.
  • On day 2, after being being out and about, a gift of sparkling wine was waiting in the room with a nice welcome note.
  • One last pic, here's the note from the hotel team on yet another intricate item in the room, the side table.

New Year's Eve

In Hong Kong, fireworks for New Year's are set off around Victoria Harbour. Initially our plan was to head down to the harbour front to view them.

I'm generally not a big fan of large crowds, so when our hotel mentioned that they had an offer where they provided dinner at their restaurant and would then escort us to the rooftop of a nearby building with unobstructed views just in time for the fireworks, we jumped at the opportunity.

We weren't quite sure what views we would get at midnight but as you can see below, they underpromised and overdelivered, plus we had unlimited champagne!

The final few hours of 2016

  • The drink of the evening was Moet and the restaurant had this interesting prop around for a few days coming up to New Year.
  • At dinner, there were props at each table, like this hat, which I promptly forgot to bring up to the roof.
  • Once on the roof, we had to switch to plastic cups but worth it for the amazing view. You can see some of the barges that would be setting off fireworks in the back.
  • Thankfully, the Mira Moon crew continued to ensure that we were frequently topped up!
  • The skyline view over to Kowloon was great and you could see some of the barges that would be setting off the fireworks.

The Fireworks

As the clock struck midnight, Hong Kong Harbour let off 15 minutes of fireworks. Below is a video from the first few seconds of 2017!

Warning: Video has sound!

Wrapping Up

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Hong Kong. I did so much more than I've shown in this post. Hong Kong is also full of incredible natural beauty if you go a bit #offTheBeatenPath but that's the subject of another post.

Also on this trip, my first time in Bangkok, Thailand!