Hong Kong Airport Review

Airport Link = Arrival Hall

Well, my first experience coming to Hong Kong Airport was forgettable, but this experience was stellar.

When I got off the train, I literally walked 15 meters and I was greeted by an open-air arrivals terminal.  I thought it was spectacular to connect the train and even passenger drop-off (vehicles) directly to the arrival hall.  There were literally buses and vehicles just above the train, which is unbelievably efficient.  Not to mention that I got to the airport taking two trains across four islands in 30 minutes.  HK has the most efficient train system (that I’ve personally been in) in the world.

In Bangkok, check-in would have about 3 people.  With lines of 75 people, there would still be only 3 check-in queues, which is repulsive.  However, Cathay Pacific and HK Airport had 12…speeding up the lines and never being a problem.

Immigration

After going to Malaysia and being in line for 45 minutes, I realized how pathetic it was.  Hey, Los Angeles Airport, for visitors outside of America, is an absolute DISASTER! The lines are sickening! However, for American citizens, it’s a breeze.

Well, HK Airport was also a breeze.  The lines for “visitors” was a bit long, but only about 10 minutes.  When I came here, they didn’t have 2 officers per 75 people like KL Airport has.  They had 12-15 officers…speeding up lines considerably.

So real big props to immigration in HK!

Hot Place To Eat – Beef & liberty

Hands down, the best place I’ve ever eaten at since the taco house at San Francisco Airport.  Delicious beef burger (but without the fries) and a freshly squeezed juice.  This was just after immigration (on the same level).  I was a bit worried, because the worst experienced I ever had was at Vientiane Airport.  Luckily I had eaten at a family-owned soup shop before heading to the airport because there wasn’t a single eatery inside the airport.  Always do a little research before checking in.  At Bangkok Airport, I always get the usual pepperoni pizza (ridiculously delicious) at Dean and Deluca.  That’s another must have.  If you’re not a meat eater, these shops have a great variety of vege dishes.

FYI – If you go there, make sure you get someone who’s “non” foreign.  Apparently the foreign waiters and waitresses have terrible attitudes. LOL

Scenery

As I sit here, I’m looking at clouds blanketing the gorgeous green hills that are off at a very-close distance.  Skyscrapers, and I mean a many of them, are just before the mountains, some of them even on the mountains.  Cathay Pacific jets are coming in and out of the gates with yet again, a very efficient ground-working crew at the bottom.  This restaurant, which has a spectacular view, has great jazz music playing and wonderful decor.  What fascinated me the most was the girl who was sitting across from me.  She’s absolutely American (with a Chinese heritage) because she didn’t pull out her phone once and had only a book.  I miss those days.  Just to the left of me is a businessman making a powerpoint and another guy on his phone.

All in all, this is my second favorite airport.  I still think Bangkok Airport is quick with checking in, security and immigration (at times).  However, there’s a massive separation between 3 and 2/ 2 and 1 — 1 being Singapore Airport.

Nonetheless, I’m so grateful for having gone on this trip and I hope you guys enjoyed all the content I put out.  What’s next? Not exactly sure.  Have to handle some documents and get a new visa, and if I do, I might take some time off until October/November.

Traveling Pod: Episode 7 – Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Impressions & Hotel

After writing blogs, posting videos, running into a student, and so many other things….including a big, succulent slice of pizza, I went to my gate and they were already boarding.  Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 5-star airline they call Cathay Pacific.  The efficiency was magnificent getting on and we left right on time.

Aircraft A330-300 – an aircraft that flies middle-distance flights, was on hand today.  2-4-2 seat configuration with a fair amount of space was decent.  This was a bit different from the previous once I’ve flown before on Singapore Airlines.  Flight attendants were attentive and cooperative.  What was really fascinating was the Thai flight attendants for Cathay are very proficient-speaking compared to others.

Immigration — Racial Profiling Hell

Yikes.  This was definitely the worst I’ve ever been profiled since maybe America.  Sure, some instances had risen in Thailand where immigration profiled me, but it was just a dirty look.  When they got the information, they couldn’t do a damn thing but give me back my precious, American embedded document.

However, Hong Kong has its own share of racial profiling.  Upon leaving the airplane, I past two immigration officers before one asked me some dumb ass questions while I was walking in about a 15-second “wtf-are-you-serious” walk.  So, that was the beginning. They went to an Asian and a few others, too…so I felt better.

Boom, got to the long immigration line and was standing before an Indian man with a Chinese passport.  Didn’t really know what that was about, but then I got to the immigration counter, just before the Indian guy who was standing there for some time…and just like that, the immigration officer signaled a girl over and I guess they had to do a thorough background check on him.

The immigration officer then asked, “are you with him?”  Ummm….fuck no? Wtf? No…bitch.  I’m America. You’re going to put some respek on my name.  He cleared everything quickly and then I left to get my baggage.

This was the ugly part.  At the “do not declare” zone — a green zone where people go not declaring any goods — an immigration officer picked me out of the entire crowd, looked at my luggage and gave me passport to another filthy officer who then asked me to put my luggage through the scan.  No one else around.  I was trying to fester up the words at that moment to sarcastically destroy such a repugnant human being, but I kept my cool and said, “ok, you guys win this time.  Those were two quick, idiotic profiles….I’m coming with an insurmountable amount of heat, sarcasm and smiles next time.”

I know, “Arsenio, you will never win an argument.”  Completely agree.  That sense of peace and standing up for all colored people by telling white-media driven hooligans at immigration that what they’re doing is wrong — priceless.  That’s true fulfillment.

Critical Stage

Do two, racist, vehement government enforced monsters represent an entire nation of people? Absolutely NOT.  Can’t allow dumb shit like that control your mind, people.  This stage is very important because I know a lot of us, including myself, hold an entire country accountable for a pair of jackasses.  That’s unfair.  I’ve met some amazing Thai people….should they be held accountable for others’ actions?  Nope.  Completely unfair.  Now, of course the media demonizes the hell out of black people saying “one bad apple spoils everything.” Just because they do doesn’t mean everyone else should.

Let it go.  Let ridiculous situations go and never take it so personal because it’s not about YOU! It’s about what the media has made it, twisted it, and impressed on the minds of those who are completely weak and unwilling of having their own opinions.

Hotel – Lackadaisical Staff

The reviews were a whopping 8.7, but very sub-standard.  Hotel staff were unhelpful and the wait was ridiculous.  However, there was one lady who was friendly, so I’ll point that out.  No amenities, pools, bars, or ANYTHING.  So there’s no way I can give this place anything above a 6-6.5 because they lack everything.

As the days progress, it will get better. I’m sure of it.

Stay tuned!

Podcast

Next Trip: Hong Kong & Macau! Pre-Bookings & Efficiency!

Oh, how unbelievably elated I am to announce my first ever trip to HK.  I was suppose to go there last year on a layover, but I cancelled my trip back home to America (for so many different reasons).  So, discussion ran rampant in class one day and I was trying to tell my students to list the pros and cons of going to specific countries and it went a little something like this.

First, when deciding a flight, always look at multiple sites.  I’m telling you this because I almost paid $450 USD for a flight that was jut under $300 USD on another website — a whopping 33% difference.

After searching for flights, and with along some other students at another location, it came down to the Philippines and Hong Kong for my August travel (and again, hopefully this is the last travel until October/November).  After reviewing the metrics and figuring out what Manila had to offer, of course I went with Hong Kong, a city that has so much more to offer and a ferry ride to Macau.

So, here I am on the cusp of going to Hong Kong, a country I never thought I’d go to while highlighting one of my goals on my 101 goals list (flying 5 ***** Cathay Pacific) and I’m just amazed how I’ve kept at my goals and aspirations.

Tim Ferris: Questions & Actions: Monday

1. What would you do if there were no way you could fail? If you were 10 times smarter than the rest of the world?

Create two timelines—6 months and 12 months—and list up to five things you dream of having (including houses, cars, clothing), being fluent in Spanish, visiting Samoa, in that order. If you have difficulty identifying what you want in some categories, as most will, consider what you hate or fear in each and write down the opposite. Do not limit yourself, and do not concern yourself with how these things will be accomplished. For now, it’s unimportant. This is an exercise in reversing repression.

2. Drawing a blank?

No excuses to why you’re being held back from your dream. NONE!

If this is the case, even if you’ve ran into a mental roadblock, consider these questions:

a. What would you do, day to day, if you had $100 million in the bank?

b. What would make you most excited to wake up in the morning to another day?

Don’t rush—think about it for a few minutes. If still blocked, fill in the five “doing” spots with the following:

one place to visit
one thing to do before you die (a memory of a lifetime)
one thing to do daily
one thing to do weekly
one thing you’ve always wanted to learn”

3. What does “being” entail doing?

Convert each “being” into a “doing” to make it actionable. Identify an action that would characterize this state of being or a task that would mean you had achieved it. People find it easier to brainstorm “being” first, but this column is just a temporary holding spot for “doing” actions.

Great cook —->make Christmas dinner without help
Fluent in Spanish——> have a five-minute conversation with a Spanish speaking co-worker”

4. What are the four dreams that could change it all….

I’m talking about myself coming here to Thailand.  If it wasn’t for coming here, I wouldn’t be in a remarkably primed position where I’m at today (because the story of teaching here and hardships I’ve overcome).  Pick four dreams that could reshape your life forever.  Period.

5. Target Monthly Income

Read carefully since I actually made it much more complicated in my podcast.  Target Monthly Income is how much you’re going to need to finance your goal (car, plane ticket, train ticket around Europe, etc).   With that being said, take a Hawaiian Airlines RT ticket from Los Angeles for example.

Hawaii Airlines ticket July 3rd, 2017 = 682.10$

I’ve found the ticket for you, although there are other tickets 50$ cheaper but involve you doing multiple stops (makes no sense doing multiple stops when you’re already at LAX).

So, look at your finances.  Another example would be if you make 1500$ USD a month, how much are your monthly expenses and utilities?  How much can you actually save? Ok…lets say you can save a hundred a month.  In 7 months, you have a plane ticket.  Cut back a little bit and you might possibly have a plane ticket in 6 months.

Get the drift?

So, in 6 months…you have money for the plane ticket and hotel per night is probably around 100$ (could pay much cheaper for hostels but wouldn’t recommend it).  In one year, you have the hotel and plane ticket money for that absolute dream trip to the most gorgeous state and America and one of the most beautiful islands on the planet.

No excuses.  Start calculating!

Here’s an example from Tim Ferris’ book which he had written down.

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Podcast:  https://www.spreaker.com/episode/10945267