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Part 1: Planning
Part 2: LAX-NRT
Part 3: Transiting NRT
Part 4: NRT-SIN
Part 5: Day 1 in Singapore
Part 6: Day 2 in SIN, Shabbos
Part 7: Day 3 in SIN
Part 8: Day 4 in SIN
Part 9: Day 1 in PEK
Part 10: Day 2 in PEK
Part 11: Day 1 in HKG
Part 12: Day 2 in HKG
Part 13: Day 3 in HKG, Shabbos
Part 14: Day 4 in HKG, flight to HND
Part 15: Tokyo; flight home

Author Topic: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo  (Read 47203 times)

Offline Super Speed

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #180 on: February 07, 2016, 10:10:26 AM »
My gf and I (Now fiancťe after a successful suite proposal  ;D) had the double bed in Row 2.

The staff video'd my proposal and congratulated us with 2 bears and a cake!

We had a nice shower in ANA Lounge!

Now we are sitting in Lounge waiting for TPR to open.

It's raining outside.. Any recommendations for ways to kill time before our flight to KBV in 8 hours??
Cool idea for a proposal! Congratulations!!!

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #181 on: February 07, 2016, 10:52:30 AM »
Cool idea for a proposal! Congratulations!!!
+1 Congrats!

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #182 on: February 08, 2016, 11:09:33 PM »
Thursday, January 29, 2016: Day 1 in HKG
The day started with shachris and breakfast at Kehilat Zion (KZ), a 4-minute walk from the HR TST. Breakfast was HKD100 and wasnít that good. It consisted of scrambled eggs, shakshuka, toast with zaíatar, bread, and some fresh vegetables. After breakfast I walked back to the HR and supplemented breakfast with some fruit from the lounge.


Kehilat Zion is basically in a mall


Mul Hayam


HR TST Lounge


HR TST Lounge view


HR TST Lounge kosher food selection (just fruit)

Unfortunately, the weather was quite rainy in HKG. My first order of business was to get some custom clothing, a suit and a blazer to be exact. I did some research before the trip and decided on Samís Tailor for a few reasons: 1) it was super close to the hotels and 2)I had a few personal recommendations. I walked to Samís in about 5 minutes and spent about 1 hour there picking fabrics and getting measured. The shop wasnít that crowded, but they were in a rush. Chinese New Year was a few days away and the tailors were going on vacation. Many had left already, so they said it was urgent that I come back at 3pm for the first fitting.


Sam's


It's very easy to find Sam's from Nathan Rd thanks to these great signs


Rainy Nathan Rd, Kowloon

After finishing up at Samís, I headed out in the rain to Seven Zero, the dairy restaurant in the JCC on Hong Kong Island (HKI). I took the ferry for HKD2.50 which connected really nicely to covered walkways that lead directly to the Mid-Central Escalators. I took the escalators all the way up to Robinson Rd, where the JCC was a 3-minute walk to the right.


Star Ferry




Cool covered walkways






Central-Mid Escalators


Getting ready for Chinese New Year (which is actually today!)

After some questions from JCC security as to why I want to eat at the restaurant (ummm, itís kosher?) and showing my passport, I was through security and off to eat.


Seven-Zero, level 5 in JCC




Lunch at Seven-Zero

I ordered some pasta for lunch, which was not served with anything and was on the pricy side. The salad bar on offer was also quite expensive, so I skipped it. I also ordered a Mediterranean sandwitch for lunch on Friday. After about an hour I left and walked back down to take the MTR from Central back to TST (it costs HKD10, cash only).

I dropped the food off at the hotel and then headed back to Samís for the fist fitting. The suit at this point was just a rough mockup, but it was enough for me to put on and for them to measure and adjust. The store was quite crowded at this point, with everyone rushing around to get as many people served as possible before the new year holiday. When the fitting was done, they said I should come back the next day, Friday, at 5pm for the 2nd (1st real) fitting. I marked my calendar.

After about 30 minutes there, I headed out to the Ladies Market on the MTR. I know some visit at night, but I didnít really find anything of interest there so Iím glad I didnít wait until night to figure that out. I walked up and down the street for a while, noting all the junk for sale, with stalls repeating every few feet. I guess itís not my cup of tea.








Alrighty then!

Since my goal was to be back in time for mincha at 5:45p, I had some time to walk around. I walked back to the hotel from there.  By the time mincha came around it was not raining heavily anymore, but it was still quite cloudy. I ate dinner at Mul Hayam and was disappointed. It is extremely overpriced (~$33 for a piece of fish and some rice?!), but the fish was cooked well. I got the Vietnamese rice, which was also not bad, but I donít think itís anything super special, and definitely not worth going making a special trip to Mul Hayam for.  The service was also quite slow.




Dinner at Mul Hayam: Fish and sticky rice

Since I was still hungry after ďdinnerĒ and since I didnít want to pay ~$20 for a plain salad, I just went back to the hotel lounge. They have happy hour every day between 6-8pm, so I was able to catch the tale end of it and load up on some fresh vegetables to supplement my meal.

Once again it was raining, so once once again I decided to stay in for the night.


Nigh time view from my room at HR TST

Some pictures of my room at the HR TST:















Offline CS91

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #183 on: February 09, 2016, 02:03:57 AM »
Great TR! Did you happen to have your passport on you when you went to the JCC or did you carry it everywhere with you? Is that something that people do when in a foreign country?

Offline rediplus

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #184 on: February 09, 2016, 05:16:04 AM »
Great TR. Brings back memories. Spent a week each in HKG and SIN for work a few years back. Luckily work paid for dinner. I just remember what a pleasure it was to go to the JCC or mul hayam after a long day and have food an company. I stayed at a hotel next to the JCC so I could make davening in the morning and have a quick breakfast. Really nice friendly community.

Offline D93

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #185 on: February 09, 2016, 05:29:20 AM »
Great stuff!

Seems like the Hyatt TST didn't upgrade you even though you were GOH?

Offline benjie1305

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #186 on: February 09, 2016, 07:29:44 AM »
Great read!
Work hard, Play harder!

Offline Denverite

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #187 on: February 09, 2016, 09:09:07 AM »
Do you mind saying how much a custom suit generally costs?  It would be cool to get one but I have no idea how much they are.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #188 on: February 09, 2016, 10:37:37 AM »
Great TR! Did you happen to have your passport on you when you went to the JCC or did you carry it everywhere with you? Is that something that people do when in a foreign country?
I did carry my passport on my the whole time. FWIW they only asked for my ID, not a passport, but I had it so just gave them that. I assume a DL would be good based on how he asked the question. I usually don't always carry a passport on my when traveling abroad, but it definitely comes in handy at times.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #189 on: February 09, 2016, 10:39:19 AM »
Great stuff!

Seems like the Hyatt TST didn't upgrade you even though you were GOH?
I was not GOH at this property. I used 2 free nights, so I was a lousy Platinum. They upgraded me to a harbor view room, but that's all you get a platinum.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #190 on: February 09, 2016, 10:42:30 AM »
Great read!
Thanks!

Do you mind saying how much a custom suit generally costs?  It would be cool to get one but I have no idea how much they are.
It's near impossible to say how much custom suits cost. In HKG you can get polyester/rayon suits from some shady tailor probably for ~$200, or you can go to a well respected tailor, get top quality fabric and pay ~$15,000. Other cities like CNX are know to also have tailors who make custom suits for cheaper than tailors in HKG.

Figure a mid-range wool suit for a decent tailor in HKG will run you between $300-600.

Offline enwhycee

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #191 on: February 10, 2016, 09:38:24 AM »
Congrats!!! I'm glad the bed worked out in row 2.
Did you make it in to TPR in the end? If you did you'd be the 2nd exception here in 2 weeks. Maybe they changed their policy?  Sounds like a fun trip. Enjoy Thailand!

Thanks everyone!!

Yeah I got in to TPR with zero issue at all. Was one of the first to walk in and have a meal in the restaurant.

I agree there was nothing too impressive.

Currently at the Conrad Centennial. No go on getting an upgrade and the room is nothing special.

Enjoyed some Laurent Perrier in the executive Lounge, though.

Pardon for invading your TR. Keep it comin!!

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #192 on: February 10, 2016, 10:35:24 AM »
Thanks everyone!!

Yeah I got in to TPR with zero issue at all. Was one of the first to walk in and have a meal in the restaurant.

I agree there was nothing too impressive.

Currently at the Conrad Centennial. No go on getting an upgrade and the room is nothing special.

Enjoyed some Laurent Perrier in the executive Lounge, though.

Pardon for invading your TR. Keep it comin!!
No worries at all! There have been bigger tangents in this TR alone.  ;)

Maybe TPR and the whole SilverKris lounge in general has an unofficial policy about arriving passengers? Good to know. At least you were able to enjoy a meal in the restaurant.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #193 on: February 11, 2016, 12:25:14 AM »
Friday, January 29, 2016: Day 2 in HKG
The rain on Friday morning was much heavier than it had been the day before. After shachris and another okay breakfast (once again supplement in the lounge), decided to work some more until the rain stopped.  After a couple hours, I took advantage of a small break in the rain to switch hotels.

Since the HR TST isnít very Shabbos friendly for those who donít take elevators operated by a non Jew on Shabbos, I planned to stay the next two nights, Friday and Saturday, at the Sheraton a few blocks away.  I checked out of the HR, walked to the Sheraton and checked in. There was quite a wait at the check-in counters at noon, but I suppose most of those people were checking out.


Sheraton exterior

Once I dropped by things in the room (I asked for the lowest floor to avoid having to walk up too many flights on Shabbos) I walked to Harbour City mall. Being as it was just a really large shopping mall, I was once again quite bored. After all, most of the stores are the same that Iím used to at the malls in LA. I donít like malls in general, so I just walked through quickly.


Sheraton hallway












My room




Views from the room


Cool outdoor mall


Harbour City mall

By this point the rain had stopped.  I then went to eat the sandwich Iíd brought for lunch from Seven Zero on a bench outside near the ferry building. The sandwich was amazing; Iíd highly recommend it.


Mediterranean sandwich from Seven Zero

I then decided to go to Kowloon Park. I walked back through the mall and all the way to the top side of the park so I could walk through. It was quite a nice park. There were some gardens, quite a few ponds and streams with lots of animals, and even an aviary. It even felt like a zoo of sorts with all the signs explaining what the animals were and other facts, much like youíd find in a zoo.










Kowloon Park

I walked back to the Sheraton, got ready for Shabbos, and then walked back to Samís for the fitting. This went surprisingly well. Both jackets fit perfectly and I was able to take them back to the hotel (on the way to mincha). The pants still needed some work, so they promised to deliver them to the hotel either that night or Shabbos day. I told them I didnít need them until Saturday night but left it up to them.

I dropped the jackets off at the hotel and made it to shul with time to spare.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #194 on: February 11, 2016, 12:26:36 AM »
Shabbos, January 30, 2016: Day 3 in HKG
Shabbos was nice. Let me offer my opinion on Shabbos in HKG versus SIN. First of all, I preferred the food in HKG over the food in SIN. Itís not that the food in SIN was bad, on the contrary, it was quite good, but there was just a lot more to chose from at KZ.

In terms on davening, I much preferred the davening in SIN. At KZ, it took us 1:30 for davening Friday night. Yes, that included a speech, but it was just really drawn out. Shabbos day davening took 3 hours like in SIN, but it was moving in SIN. The davening in HKG was super schleppy, slow, and drawn out. I don't know if itís their usual minhag, but they didnít even do a full chazaras hashatz for musaf (much like yeshivos do for weekday mincha). This was the first time Iíd ever seen such a thing done on Shabbos, let alone for musaf. If they hadnít done that weíd have been there 3.5 hours.

The company at the meals in SIN was also a lot better than at KZ. True, I was in HKG before Chinese New Year so there were extremely few business travelers. We had 50 people Friday night and around 25 for lunch. Most of the visitors were single girls travelling together. There was once father with his teenage son from LA (no, I didnít know them) but they were both not very talkative. I tried talking to the boy, and while he did answer my questions he was clearly not engaging in the conversation, so I just gave up.

KZ also usually has guys that come from Israel to help out, kind of like Chabad does, but 3 of the 4 of them were back in Israel. The one guy who was there, Chaim, was very nice and I ate most of the meals with him.

It could be it was low season, it could be HKG isnít as much of a tourist destination as SIN was (hence the lack of honeymooners), or it could have been my experience, but I was not as impressed with the overall experience. Donít get me wrong, I did enjoy myself and wouldnít hesitate to visit for Shabbos again, but it wasnít as much fun as SIN.

I spent Shabbos afternoon, the only partly sunny day I had in HKG, walking around the Stars Park (Avenue of the Stars was closed for renovations) enjoying the nice weather. We ended Shabbos late (like 15 minutes after we should have) and I just went back to the hotel to finish up some work an call it a night. Can you see a trend here? Iím not a big night person.

With one last day in HKG on Sunday, I was hoping the weather would cooperate so I could at least go to Victoria Peak. Weíll see about that.

Offline CS91

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #195 on: February 11, 2016, 12:31:39 AM »
Sorry to hear you didn't really enjoy KZ on Shabbos. My Dad used to spend 6-7 Shabbosim a year there and absolutely loved it. Like you said, could be because it was down season and not a lot of businessmen.

As for half Shemonah Esrei for Mussaf on Shabbos, that's fairly common in Sephardi minyanim.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #196 on: February 11, 2016, 12:33:57 AM »
Sorry to hear you didn't really enjoy KZ on Shabbos. My Dad used to spend 6-7 Shabbosim a year there and absolutely loved it. Like you said, could be because it was down season and not a lot of businessmen.

As for half Shemonah Esrei for Mussaf on Shabbos, that's fairly common in Sephardi minyanim.
As I said, the food was great, but the fact that there were couples my age in SIN made it more enjoyable. I'd go back though.

Never knew that about mussaf.

Offline yakrot

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #197 on: February 11, 2016, 01:48:28 AM »
Are there ppl that lchatchila use an elevator as long as a goy pushes the buttons?

Offline benjie1305

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #198 on: February 11, 2016, 07:43:12 AM »
Sorry about the bad weather. Seems like aside from some parks there just isn't THAT much to do. As people recommend, spend 1-2 days in HKG and you can - pretty much - get it all done. Agree?
Work hard, Play harder!

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo TR: Flying Solo
« Reply #199 on: February 11, 2016, 10:37:21 AM »
Sorry about the bad weather. Seems like aside from some parks there just isn't THAT much to do. As people recommend, spend 1-2 days in HKG and you can - pretty much - get it all done. Agree?
Eh, weather is unpredictable. Not much you can do. Pretty much. I had other plans if the weather had been cooperative, so landing Thur, leaving Mon would be good, unless you wanted a suit made (which requires more week days).