Chicago to Hong Kong

We started the day a bit too causally, sleeping in for a bit and then working on our laptops until after noon.

View from our hotel window, with the airport off to the left

After convincing the driver that we needed to go on this shuttle (which supposedly wasn’t going to the international terminal), we caught the 12:15pm shuttle to the airport.

Waiting for the shuttle in below-freezing temperatures wearing short-sleeve shirts

We finally ended up reaching Cathay Pacific check-in at 12:45pm for our 2:05pm flight. Between long security and no TSA Pre clearance (since Cathay Pacific has not joined the TSA Pre program), it made it a bit tight to get to the gate early to take flight review photos.

No line at the check-in counter, but it still took a while

We did take time to stop by the Terminal 5 British Airways business terrace lounge. It took the desk agent a while to confirm Katie was AA platinum, but once she did we entered and got some quick snacks.

Stuffing down some snacks and drinks before running to catch our flight

They boarded the plane from front to back. We were lucky enough to get two nearby seats in the two back two-seat rows, and JT switched with my original seatmate so we were together.

Our seats on the 16-hour Cathay Pacific flight

Cathay Pacific Flight 807 – Chicago to Hong Kong
Chicago O’Hare (ORD): Terminal 5; Runway 28; Scheduled: 2:05p; Pushback: 2:40p; Takeoff: 3:02p
Hong Kong International (HKG): Terminal 1; Runway 07L; Scheduled: 7:55p; Landing: 7:59p; Gate Arrival: 8:02p
Flight Time: 14h 56m; Actual miles: 8,078
B-KPO; Boeing 777-300ER; First Flight: Jan 9, 2010; 275 seats (6 FC / 53 J / 34 E+ / 182 E)
Seat: JT: 71C (aisle), Katie: 71A (window), Economy

The flight was long, but we spent the time working and watching movies. We were impressed by the flight attendant service for the first half of the flight, but it went downhill towards the end of the flight. Full write-up of the flight to be published at soon.
The airport was well-marked with English signs

Once in Hong Kong customs was quick. We got our bags, bought cheap paired Airport Express tickets to Tsing Yi (HKD90 for special two pack, paid by MasterCard), withdrew cash, bought Octopus cards (HKD50 deposit each and HKD200 load each), and then took the Airport Express train and two MTR lines to Mong Kok.

Nice, comfortable and very fast Airport Express train
At the Tsing Yi Station – where we transferred from the Airport Express train to the MTR – we saw a shop selling discount bento boxes and sushi. So, we stopped for dinner (HKD50, paid with cash).
Our first – but certainly not last – sushi meal in Hong Kong
Once at Mong Kok station, exit E2, we met our Airbnb/Panda Hostel host, who guided us to our room.

Katie on the clean and not crowded Hong Kong MTR
The crazy streets of Mong Kok
Our Airbnb/Panda Hostel host walking us through the streets to the hostel
Headed up a few floors to the hostel

Panda Boutique Hostel (2/F, No 69, Tung Choi Street. Mong Kok station exit E2 or D3) was very small but clean. We struggled to unpack in tiny space, but finally settled in and headed to sleep. We both slept incredibly well, despite the time change.

Our bed touched three of the four walls of our room!

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