It was long flight of six hours by night in a crowded economy section of a flight operated by Jet Airways. The flight landed at the Chek Lap Kok Airport at 10 am. The Chek Lap Kok Airport which is better known as Hong Kong International Airport is a beautiful sight in itself. It's made on an reclaimed site on the Chek Lap Kok island near Lantau Island. The runway was surrounded by water and the beautiful scenery alleviated our fatigue from the six hour long journey.
It was a huge airport and the one thing that shocked us was that it had high speed subway like trains to travel to your gates and vice versa. I had never experienced such a ride inside an Airport, normally it's a long walk to your gates or the exit in the arrivals section but here it was a pleasant surprise.
We had booked an harbour view hotel named as Kowloon Harbour Front Hotel and getting there was a task in itself. Our mistake was that we didn't do our research well on getting there. We knew about the Hong Kong MTR line and the nearest station on the dedicated Airport line was Kowloon. We had bought the Airport Express pass which was expensive but had the option of unlimited trips on the other lines and two trips on Airport line which had expensive ticket and we had the option of getting $50 as refund for returning the card back when we were done. It wasn't a bad deal at all.
The MTR train was nice, comfortable and fast. The view on both sides was as we had expected, tall buildings everywhere. Hills and tall buildings are a distinct feature of Hong Kong. It took some time for us to reach our station.
Upon reaching our station we had tried to inquire about buses or other ways to reach our hotel. Surprisingly people there were not able to communicate. I didn't understand whether they really didn't understood English or they didn't understand our accent or they were simply acting. We got on to a bus from the station and then after a while we sensed that we were going somewhere else in the wrong direction. We tried to speak to the driver and after looking at the paper we had he steered the bus in opposite direction and took us to a hotel. It was a Kowloon Hotel but not our hotel nevertheless he went out of his way to turn back and drop us. There was a Sikh Guard at the gate of the Hotel and we felt a sigh of relief. He called a Taxi and explained him in their local language about our Hotel and he also told us about where it is. Finally we managed to get to our hotel but the Taxi driver insisted on paying extra for luggage. It was $6 for each bag and the cost of luggage turned out to be more than the cost of actual fare.
The Hotel was good but the view was awesome, It had an excellent view of the harbour and there was a jogging track right in front of the Hotel. Due to the Hotel's policies we had checked in late and subsequently had to leave for sightseeing later than anticipated.
We decided to go to the The Big Buddha in Lantau Island. Our Hotel had shuttle buses till Tsim Sha Tsui, a shopping and nightlife hub in Kowloon. We had got a Map of Hong Kong along the MTR lines and worked our way to catch up our subway train. It was a pleasant experience on the Hong Kong MTR. It was crowded but comfortable and importantly quick so we had to hold onto something all the time. We had to change our line at Lai King station and boarded a train towards Tung Chung on the orange line.
Upon reaching Tung Chung we had some task again to find the cable car that would take us to the Buddha statue. Tung Chung was like a crowded suburb with big buildings around the complex. Upon reaching the ticket counter of the Ngong Ping 360 we were informed that the entry to the statue would be closed by the time we get there. We had travelled so far and it would be really disappointing if we go back straight away hence we decided to take the cable car and see whatever we could.