Asia 2005 Journey Day Twenty-Three
                                   Koh Sumai, Thailand to Hong Kong, China
                                            May 26, 2005:  From dry heat to muggy heat.  From "island time" to metropolitan time.  Left the narrow
                                            roads of Sumai island for Hong Kong.  The flight connection was from Koh Sumai back to Bangkok and 
                                            on to Hong Kong.  
                                            The last flight on Bangkok Airways was an enjoyable as ever.  They describe themselves as a "boutique
                                            airline".  Service was impeccable.  All coach service; however, they strive to provide a meal on almost
                                            every flight.  The 45 minute flight from Sumai included a hot meal.  Additionally, their departure counters
                                            always have small snacks and cold tangerine juice.  Quite the contrast for $5.00 snack box flights in the
                                            Departure tax is the popular way to pay for airport improvements.  Koh Sumai charge was $7.50 USD
                                            and Bangkok was $12.50.  The Bangkok airport is a city onto itself.  Post office, day rooms, massage 
                                            stores or kiosks, and endless shopping continued for almost 80 gates.  A new international airport will 
                                            accompany the city in the near future.
                                            Our connection to Hong Kong was on Finn Air.  The flight arrived from Helsinki, Finland, and was
                                            continuing to Hong Kong.  A travel magazine had provided this tip to look for international flights
                                            with a connecting stop.  It turned out the fare was much lower than other Thai or China based
                                            airlines.  Also, the MD-11 wide body had only a few passengers and allowed for a high comfort
                                            zone for seating.  
                                            Of all the cities visited for pleasure of business, the new Hong Kong airport has it's "act together".
                                            Extensive amount of information is available upon arrival.  Well laid out and easy to locate local
                                            transport.  After baggage pick up, the airport express train ticket counter was conveniently located
                                            for a quick purchase.  An attendant creates order slips for individuals in line and allows the counter
                                            person to process efficiently.   One of the check boxes included language.  Their express train was 
                                            very comfortable and provided a smooth ride.  Each car has a horizontal display of blue lights showing
                                            the train's current location and next stop.  The views of the various bays was a plus.  After a quick 23 
                                            minute ride, the station provided a shuttle bus direct to our hotel.  One of the most effortless airport to 
                                            hotel transports to date.
                                            Walked down to the bay to watch the building "show" of lights on the Hong Kong island skyscrapers.
                                            The Kowloon side was built an Avenue of Stars that creates a promenade along the water.  Only
                                            recognized a few of the stars' names.  Yes, located the hand prints for Jackie Chan and Jet Li.  A
                                            star for Bruce Lee had been included.  Returned to the hotel through the gauntlet of street hawkers
                                            for the hotel's late buffet service.


                                           Travel specs:  Boeing 717, Boeing MD-11, Express Airport train, and shuttle mini bus.
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