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Meeting in HK airport; Tips for Shanghai; HK and Shanghai hotels?

Meeting in HK airport; Tips for Shanghai; HK and Shanghai hotels?

Nov 28th, 2005, 03:42 PM
  #1  
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Meeting in HK airport; Tips for Shanghai; HK and Shanghai hotels?

Hi, I usually hang out on the Europe board.

I just booked my HK/Shanghai/Taipei ticket.

Two questions:

1. I'm flying from JFK to HK first. My mom is flying to Taipei to HK. We're taking the same flight from Taipei to HK, but I've about 75 minutes to do my connection. If my flight from NYC is delayed, I'll be on a later flight to HK.

Is there a standard meeting spot in the HK airport that'll be easy to find for my mom and me in that event?

2. Any tips for Shanghai? I've not done any research. I've never been to the mainland. I'm fluent with Mandarin. A friend suggested Suzhou to me.

I'll arrive on a Sunday midday. I'll leave on Thursday at 5 pm. I'd imagine that this is enough time.

I'm spending the rest of my time in Taipei (leaving the following Tuesday afternoon for NYC).

3. What are the main websites for Shanghai and HK hotels? I've not booked anything.

Thanks very much.

111op is offline  
Nov 28th, 2005, 06:32 PM
  #2  
 
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If I understand your message correctly, you are NOT connecting in HK to another flight, but are actually going to stay in Hong Kong. Your plan is to meet your mother in Taipei, but in case your fight from NYC is delayed, you will take a flight that goes directly from NYC to HK and skip Taipei, is that correct? I ask because if you are connecting in HK to another flight, then you will be in transit and I would suggest that you meet her at the gate for the connecting flight, rather than in the places I am going to suggest below.

Assuming you are not connecting in HK, I have some suggestions:

1. If your flights do not arrive within an hour or so of one another, the first to arrive can go through Immigration, get a luggage cart if necessary, collect luggage, go through Customs (very perfunctory, they never check in my experience) and go out into the main arrivals hall. There are several restaurants here where you can wait. The most obvious, IMO, is the McDonalds, which is on the opposite side of the Customs exit doors, look for the signs. Depending on what exit door you go out from Customs (A or B), it will be to the right or to the left, respectively. You can have a coffee and wait. You can keep your luggage in the cart and sit by it if you want.

There are also several other restaurants where you could wait. For a basic map of the arrivals hall, go to the website for the airport at hongkongairport.com, click on Passenger Guide, then Terminal Map. There is a juice bar at the far right end of the arrivals hall that would work as well. (Right as you are entering the main arrivals hall.)

2. If your flights arrive within less than 60 minutes of each other, then what I would suggest is that the first to arrive goes through Immigration, and then goes to baggage claim to get baggage, BUT then WAITS in the baggage claim area until the other flight arrives and meets the other at the carousel for that arriving flight. The baggage claim area is one huge hall, so you can get from one carousel to the other easily. There are seats in the baggage claim area. You can see arriving flights and their assigned carousel areas on posted TV monitors.

3. Alternately, if your flights arrive less than 60 minutes of each other, before going through Immigration and on to baggage claim, you could wait in the "Pre-Immigration Area" which is a small area about 20 feet before Immigration divides into two sections, there is a small Starbucks here. This however is easy to miss IMO. You can see this area on the map of the terminal mentioned above.

For hotels in HK and Shanghai, a good place to start might be asia-hotels.com, or this board, click on Hotels above. Frommers.com is also a good source. It's hard to give reccos without a budget. Speaking Mandarin will help with reading signs of course (assuming you can read characters as well as speak), but may not help too much in Shanghai and of course won't help at all in Hong Kong. . . .but English is widely spoken in Hong Kong and in tourist areas of Shanghai.

I Have not been to Suzhou but have heard good things. With only 3 full and 2 half days in total for 3 places you will be pressed for time, IMO, also taking into account jet lag and travel time between HK and Shanghai, and getting to and from Suzhou. Plan carefully, you may have to give up something to really do justice to them (i.e., while not strictly comparable, would you do Milan and Rome with a day trip to Florence in that same amount of time flying from the west coast of the US). Personally, if you have never been to the mainland, and you speak Mandarin, why wouldn't you go to Beijing which has a lot more of cultural and historical interest than Shanghai IMO? You could spend 5 days in Beijing and not see everything. Much as I like Hong Kong, it can't offer the same in terms of history and culture that Beijing can, esp to a Mandarin speaker.

Assume you have already looked into visas for the PRC.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 28th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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meet outside customs...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 28th, 2005, 08:08 PM
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Re visas -- yes, a travel agent is getting this done for me.

Your understanding is correct, Cicerone. Thanks for the detailed response. I'll read it and digest it more later (I noticed a much shorter one from rhkkmk -- outside customs ).

Basically my mom will book herself on the Taipei to HK flight that I'd be on, but as I've a tight connection, I'm concerned that I may miss it. Why not book a later one, you ask? Well, I think that it's better to risk it to have more time. So I'm just planning a backup contingency plan right now.

We'll stay in HK for one day since I've friends to see. We visited very briefly in 1998, and we don't have much of an interest to see it again. I need to stop in Taipei on the way back, and there're no direct flights between Taipei and the mainland anyway.

I never really considered Beijing much. I guess I'm more of a city person, and Shanghai seems much more cosmopolitan. I'm sure that Beijing is changing equally rapidly, but I seem to hear so much more about Shanghai that I'm more interested in it. In any case, I've booked my ticket, but I guess if there're compelling reasons to change, I can try to see if I can change the bookings.
111op is offline  
Nov 28th, 2005, 08:15 PM
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By the way, re your Milan-Rome-Florence analogy, over a 3.5 day period, I went to Siena-Florence-Padova-Venice-Bologna. So anything is possible. Granted, my mom will slow me down.
111op is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 02:14 AM
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WE have recently spent 5 days [not enough] at the Rui Jin Guest House in Shanghai. Only two stories high, Mao stayed there, beautiful gardens, great bar in grounds where we sat in large wicker chairs on the lawn for happy hour. Lots to do and see in the French concession/Bund area if you are interested in history.
Stevan is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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I'm leaving on Thursday, so I'm back to thinking about the question of where to meet in HK Airport in case I'm delayed and I take a later flight to HK from Taipei.

I've the hotel reservation for Hong Kong. My mom has our ongoing plane tickets to China (we're spending the night in HK).

So I'm inclined to think that it's best for us to go through immigration together. (Sometimes they may want to see hotel reservations, plane tickets, etc.)

So it sounds like preimmigration area is best? There're a Starbuck's (thanks Cicerone, for the map) and some duty-free shops.

Anyone sees any trouble with this approach?

In the worst case scenario, I assume that I can ask the airport to make an annoucement for me if I can't find my mom?

Thanks.

If my mom clears immigration for some reason, I'll tell her that we'll wait at the McD's as a second backup.

111op is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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The HK immigration/customs will not give you trouble at all. I have not even seen any of them open their mouth once in 30+ years and hundreds of times in and out of HK.

I've never noticed that Starbucks before immigration, so I agree that it's easy to miss. Also, it'd be awkward to be waiting in that area, I'm afraid, when everbody just walks by you to get to the immigration.

I think it's much easier and more flexible to wait at McD or Cafe de Coral. You won't feel weird sitting for as long as you want. And if one flight is delayed, you can wander all the shops in the airport and not tied to one single Starbucks.
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 10:21 AM
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Well, that's what you say. And you know what happens when you say that -- they'll be asking me all sorts of questions -- like where's your plane ticket, etc. etc.

But still I'll take your word and suggest that we both go through Immigration and Customs separately if necessary and meet outside then.

I'll look at the map again. But I assume there's only one McD's and one Cafe de Coral?

I guess the absolutely worst case is that we head to our hotels separately, now that I think about it. I'll be sure to tell my mom where we're staying.

111op is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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There's only one McD. It's in the arrivals hall (Level 5 in the official map). There are two Cafe de Coral - but you'll only see the one in the arrivals hall. The other is in the departure level, after security and immigration - you will not see that one.

If you mom can answer the simple questions like "how long are you staying" and "where are you staying", she cannot have any problem. Unless she dresses like Korean farmers or other anti-trade demonstrators. Does she look like one?
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 10:55 AM
  #11  
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Not that I know of. But maybe you should ask yk since the two of them met half a year ago.
111op is offline  
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