SARS Check in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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View from my room at the Mandarin Oriental

On arrival on Hong Kong, Ted and I walked Francoise to the transfer area so she could catch her flight to Australia to meet her son and new grandchild.  Before we got to the transfer desk, we had to pass infra-red sensors (SARS detection devices), as there was a big scare in Asia relating to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).  Ted had not been feeling well, and was quite red in the face -- and sure enough, as we passed through the sensors, his head lit up on the screen like a red ball of fire!  They stopped him and took his temperature (he was 38.1c -- somewhere over 101 Fahrenheit).  I went with him to the medical quarantine area where he underwent lots of questions.  They wanted to know where he had been, how long he had been sick, where he sat on the plane, did he use the restroom, etc.

View of Hong Kong at night
  They made him wear a surgical mask and were pleased that he was leaving Hong Kong the next day.  They did not require any further measures.

It took us about 2 hours to finally get out of the airport!  I rode the train with Ted into the Hong Kong Station, and from there we took separate cabs.  I made him promise to call me the next day to let me know how he was feeling.

My cab ride from the station to my hotel was an interesting experience.  Ted took the first cab in the queue, and I was getting ready to take the second one, when the driver of the second cab tried to skip me.  The cab supervisor yelled at him to reverse and pick me up, and I got in.  He did not know where the Mandarin Oriental was (one of the most famous hotels in Hong Kong), nor did he know where Connaught Street was (another famous landmark).

My room at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
  The supervisor who yelled at him earlier came over to see what the problem was, got my hotel information -- and then yelled at the cabbie again.  As we took off, he hit the curbs on both sides of the driveway!  What a driver!!  When the fare got to $30 HK, I saw the hotel, but the access street was closed.  I tried to get him to drop me at the curb and let me walk -- but he refused to let me out.  He drove around the streets again for another $10HK -- and I discovered we had already done this loop twice!  The entire loop de loop was unnecessary!!  When he finally dropped me at the hotel, the bill was $40HK!  I gave him $20HK and told him that was all he got.  What a mess!

I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental -- had a great room on the 22nd floor with an amazing view of Hong Kong.  I drank a split of chardonnay from the mini-bar, and crashed!

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View from my room at the Mandarin …
View from my room at the Mandarin…
View of Hong Kong at night
View of Hong Kong at night
My room at the Mandarin Oriental H…
My room at the Mandarin Oriental …