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Home for the Holidays: Conclusion and Cathay Pacific Pajamas Giveaway

We had a great trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong with our toddler M in tow. Things weren't always smooth, but we learned a lot and were glad to give her the chance to meet family. Jess refused to let us add too much to our airline pajamas and amenity kit collection so I have some stuff to give away at the end of this post - but first, a few paragraphs on our last flight. M's First Mile Earning Flight The only reason why this flight was notable in any way shape or form was that it was the first flight where M ever earned any miles! An exciting day for any father, haha. We spent about an hour in the Admirals Club in ORD (which sadly I am [...]

Home for the Holidays: Cathay Pacific First Class with a Toddler

I was excited about our entire trip back to Asia – but I was most excited about flying Cathay Pacific first class. I managed to snag two seats using British Airways Avios due to some persistence and obsessiveness. We were booked on CX 806 from Hong Kong to Chicago O’Hare, a 14 hour flight. So how’d it go with a two year old in tow? In-town Check in and Security The Airport Express is possibly my favorite method of getting to the airport that I’ve ever used. We didn’t want to risk the free shuttle being a mess again so we took a short taxi ride from the Hyatt Regency to Kowloon Station. At Kowloon Station we used the in-town check in services. Having in-town check in is something unique [...]

Home for the Holidays: Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui Regency Suite Review

Like in Taiwan, I booked a cash and points room at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui and confirmed a suite upgrade using my Diamond suite upgrades. As a Category 4 hotel, this cost 7500 points and $100 per night. Here are my impressions of the hotel. Lobby and Surrounding Area The Hyatt Regency TST is very well located in the same building as the K11 mall (where we went to eat a few times.)  As Trevor noted in his review, it's a little weird that you need to take two elevators up to your room but you kind of get used to it. In general the hotel is very centrally located - it's close to a lot of public transportation options including the MTR and Star Ferry.   The decor [...]

Home for the Holidays: Eating in Hong Kong

Obviously, one of the main draws of Hong Kong is the food. For me, it’s always a matter of balancing good food with nostalgic food from when I was a kid that…might not be as good. Luckily we managed to do a little bit of both on this trip. I’ll just hit our culinary experiences in chronological order. Spaghetti House Our first night in Hong Kong, we were still recovering from a pretty tough flight with M. We were looking for some place quick to eat so I suggested one of my favorites from childhood: Spaghetti House! Having moved to Hong Kong when I was 10, I missed Western food all the time. Spaghetti House was one of the restaurants we would go to after I complained too much. Like [...]

Home for the Holidays: Finding Peace and Quiet in Hong Kong

As you may have gathered, Hong Kong can be very crowded. But there is definitely peace and quiet to be had, if you’re willing to look. On this trip (and in the past), we’ve sought out locations of peace and solitude. Here’s what we’ve found. Discovery Bay My cousin mentioned to me that he had visited Discovery Bay with his wife and son on one of his off days during the break. We needed to find some space so we decided to pay it a visit. We grabbed a ferry from the Central Piers (Pier 3) and took a short twenty-five minute ride to Discovery Bay. It turns out Discovery Bay is home to a ton of expats. It’s also very beautiful and very empty. There are restaurants, a nice [...]

Home for the Holidays: Hong Kong Disneyland with a Toddler

I’ve read reports that Hong Kong Disneyland can be pretty empty compared to the theme parks in the States. I totally believed that to be true, but I also knew we’d be visiting on a holiday (day after New Year’s) so I expected crowds. My cousin gave me some pretty good advice, Hong Kong advice really since he has never been to Disneyland: “Get in when the park opens and leave before 3 PM”. So with toddler in tow, we struck out on our last day in Asia to go see the little mouse. Getting to Disneyland Disneyland is incredibly easy to get to in Hong Kong. You just hop on the Tung Chung line (or Airport Express) and alight at Sunny Bay. From there, there is a MTR line [...]

Home for the Holidays: Typical Hong Kong Tourist Activities

I thought I'd take a brief break in the trip report to hit on some of the typical tourist destinations in Hong Kong. As I've mentioned, Hong Kong is difficult to navigate with a toddler due to the crowds - most of our visits to these places were on past trips. These sites are definitely doable with toddlers but try to avoid peak times and be ready to take it slow. Avenue of the Stars One of the few sites we managed to hit was the Avenue of the Stars. Basically, the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront is really nice - covering a long stretch starting at the Star Ferry terminal. Hong Kong has a pretty famous movie industry, and the Avenue of the Star's is Hong Kong's answer to Hollywood's [...]