Saturday - May 26 - After breakfast we walk a
few blocks to Catholic Church, since we won't be able to attend Mass on Sunday.
The Chinese priest conducts a standard service in a large but plain church.
There are several dozen worshipers. It is so hot already I am soaked just from
the walk. On the way back to the hotel I buy a nice leather wallet at a
temporary stand on a street full of similar stands selling leather goods. After
a morning rest we pack the bags and weigh them for first time on a scale
provided by the hotel. This is necessary since we are about to fly to Hong Kong
under different weight rules. We shift some items to hand luggage to meet the
weight limitations. We depart the hotel for another Chinese luncheon with 7
main courses at another hotel restaurant. Then we visit the Seven Star Park
across the Li River. The park has limestone caverns, but we don't have time to
visit. We take photos with Miao girls dressed in traditionaly finery. Then we
drive to the Reed Flute Cave. The entrance is up 250 steps through a throng of
local sellers. There is the usual huge crowd. The cavern itself is well lit
with colored lights that bring out the beauty of the limestone formations. The
path down has been built of concrete with many steps. The whole is well worth
its advertising. Then we drive back to the airport. Again, we don't have to
handle the checked luggage and our guide, Kelly, has all the boarding passes in
hand. Other Americans and Europeans are standing in long lines at the check-in
counters. The flight departs at 1840 on Hong Kong Airline Boeing737-800. The
seats are narrow but not impossible. Service provides one cup cake and one cup
of Coke. The Hong Kong airport is
fantastic. Here we do have to find our own bags but Vantage then takes them
directly to our hotel rooms. This is another incredible modern hotel - The
Royal Pacific Hotel and Towers, 33 Canton Road, Tsim shat sui, Kowloon, Hong
Kong. It may be the most spectacular hotel of all we visit. The lobby has 3
clerks at one desk and 6 at another. There are 2 doormen plus porters all over.
A distinguished gentleman in an expensive looking suit is standing and watching
discretely all that is going on. It is on top of the harbor ferry building. Our
room on the 18th floor overlooks the harbor and downtown Hong Kong opposite.
The highway from airport is long but a super highway. It is overcast and
raining so we don't venture out to explore.