Arrival in China/ Wed morning

I lucked out and got upgraded to FIRST CLASS from San Francisco to Hong Kong (so abandon any sympathy you might have had left for me for the 15-hr flight and think personal pod with entertainment, flat-folding seat and five course meals!).

Saw two movies, had two meals and two naps, got in Tue night at 7 pm at Hong Kong airport.  Customs and baggage claim at the airport went very smooth, but there was a loong wait to get processed at the China mainland checkpoint with the two vans, 10 people and all our luggage.  Some of us also got scanned for a high fever.   The drive in to the aptments where we are staying was interesting, we made our way through several high-rise buildings with gaudy neon signs, and several tunnels.   The area is very hilly.

At San Francisco airport

Everything going smooth so far – I was at Seattle airport so early that United put me on the 6am flight (original schedule was for 7.40am). My bags are stuffed with Starbucks coffee and decadent Western snacks such as M&Ms, hopefully they won’t confiscate it in Hong Kong !

My bags are packed ..

.. so I should try to get some sleep.   The taxi will show up at 4 am !  I want to be at the airport early, so that I miss the Monday morning business crowd.    I will add another post as soon as I have access in China, but it will probably not be until Wednesday.

Oh, a little correction is in order : China time is 15 hrs ahead of Seattle, not 9 hrs ‘earlier’ as I stated in my previous post !

Preparing for my first trip to China

I’m gearing up for my first trip to China for work.   I think I all have the important stuff all done and ready : my shots for tetanus, typhoid fever and diphtheria, my passport with visa, Visa card, wallet, business-casual clothes, computer, mouse, cord and China adapter, medicines, multivitaimins, Starbucks coffee, South African tea, iPod, Blackberry, camera, batteries and chargers, and extra business cards.

I leave Seattle on Mon Jan 4 at 7.30 am .. so that is going to make for getting up very early.   Plenty of time to snooze on the aircraft though!

Scheduled to arrive at 6 pm on Tue Jan 5 at Hong Kong airport where a van will collect all of us arriving from the USA and drive us to Daya Bay.

Seattle to San Francisco is 678 mi and will take 2 hours.  San Francisco to Hong Kong is 6,913 mi and will take 15 hrs (oof).  En route the plane crosses the International Date Line (meaning the date changes as one flies across it east to west, or west to east).  Crossing the IDL travelling east results in a day or 24 hours being subtracted (so the traveler repeats the date where he came from!), and crossing west results in a day being added. The exact number of hours depends on the departure and arrival time zones.  China time is 9 hrs earlier than Seattle (and the entire China squats in ONE time zone even though its territories extend far beyond 15° of longitude!).

Seattle-San Francisco-Hong Kong on United Airlines (click map to enlarge).

Welcome !

Welcome to my blog.  (Many thanks to Bryan for creating the header for me).  I will use it to keep my family and friends posted about my whereabouts, and other things I find interesting.  I hope you will find it interesting as well !  You are welcome to comment on any posts.