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Greetings from Hong Kong. The Talking Travel correspondent likes it when he can take his own advice on a good fare, and this Hong Kong trip is a result of that. Who would have thought that Hong Kong in late August would be cooler than Beijing?
I'm staying at the Jinhai Hotel in Mongkok, certainly not one of Hong Kong's more prestigious locations. But for the business traveler, solo traveler, or even adventurous couple, it makes for an affordable option. It's clean (not sparkling, but clean nonetheless), about USD 50 per night, has air conditioning, private bathroom, TV, and free, fast Wi-Fi. It's a five-minute walk from the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), Hong Kong's extraordinary subway system, and is in the heart of one of the former colony's shopping areas. It's certainly a low-cost option for people who have had their fill of Chungking Mansions.
Between now and June 30, 2015, Hong Kong's Airport Express is offering a 50 percent fare reduction for anyone taking a taxi fare of over HKD 60 to either Kowloon or Tsing Yi stations, and then the Airport Express to the airport. It's win-win for both the city and its taxi drivers: it reduces the carbon footprint of anyone who would otherwise take a taxi to the airport, but also makes taxi drivers feel that they're not shut out by airport business. Present your receipt for the taxi fare and an Octopus card to get credit for the ride.
In other travel news, Iran's Mahan Air will begin thrice-weekly service to Beijing from Tehran on October 28, flying on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. The airline already serves Shanghai and Guangzhou.
And finally, as if the delays that have beset air travel on China's east coast this summer (which should now be over) weren't enough, now comes the tale of the China Eastern Airlines flight to Wuhan that couldn't land because air traffic controllers there had fallen asleep. Please. Please take the train.
This is the first of a series of Talking Travel columns that will be written from the road. Hopefully the next segment won't be quite so exciting. 'Til Tuesday, one road flat safe.
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