It was an incredibly rushed trip let’s start with that, I was only in Hong Kong for 1 night and not even 2 full days. The thing was that I didn’t find out I was going to the tournament until just 4 days before the tournament was to start. So that didn’t leave me much time to book my flight and hotel and let’s say that it wasn’t that easy seeing how little time and how expensive everything was working out to be. Lucky I found a flight directly from Beijing to Hong Kong for around $400 with air china so thankfully it was a star alliance airline. The hardest part was the hotel though, the official hotel was the Harbour Plaza Metropolis Hotel in Kowloon and it was crazy expensive at about $204 US a night which was even more Canadian around $260 for one night which is super hard to justify for a struggling athlete but at the same time it was such a unique experience to play in the event so was justified that way.
|Hotel room doesn't look to bad
Now that all that was taken care of it was just time to prepare, the tournament started on Tuesday morning with the qualifications draws at 9am. My flight was Monday morning and I would get there Monday afternoon just in time to attend the team managers meeting at the hotel. Thankfully nothing was delayed and I made the connection to the bus to get to the hotel in time and was able to attend the managers meeting at 6pm on the Monday. I got to the hotel and lots of players were arriving and around so I checked in and got to my room which for the price was incredibly small but then again it’s the location and the hotel that made it so expensive for such a small room.
|Until you realize exactly how small it is foe what it costs
|Some of the food from the buffet, there was so much
|So many desserts they were amazing
|Live orchestra and singers
|We got a nice invasion to dinner and my player tag and program
|Tournament venue, very cool set up
|Harbour front on a slightly gloomy day
|I do love me some panoramas
After walking around that area I headed down to the harbour front and spent some time there getting pictures during the day this time as well as enjoying the view and avoiding the rain. I have been to Hong Kong quite a few time before but always ended up at the harbour front in the night, not really the day. That killed a decent amount of time so I headed back to the tournament hall to get through the rest of the time before leaving to the airport and to eat as well. I had already packed up everything and left my bag at the hotel storage. Since this trip was so last minute and so expensive already I didn’t bring or take out any Hong Kong currency and was actually able to get away with not spending any money on food or anything else.
|Outside the Tournament venue
|Outside the tournament venue
Back at the venue spent my time in the players’ lounge which was outfitted with players’ Wi-Fi and of course the most important part food. After spending some time eating and browsing through the web it was getting close to head to the airport or well more so I was ready to head there early and spend some time in the lounge before my flight. I was happy to be heading back to Beijing even if just for a day as my flight home was the next day but that meant since I would arrive back to Beijing after midnight and my flight home was not for another day so I booked a cheap hotel for the rest of the night. The flight leaving Hong Kong was delayed a little but what happened when we landed in Beijing wasn’t the most fun experience. When we landed the hydraulics on the airplane failed and the front landing gear gave out. We ended up stopped on the runway just waiting there to be towed into the gate, but this took a long time and was slightly nerve-wracking. Eventually we did get towed in be in very slowly but got through custom and claimed my bag then got a taxi to the hotel which was very close to the airport.
|Gotta love lounge food
|Security and all coming to our rescue while stranded on the runway in Beijing
This would mark the end of the super series tour and at this point it had been about 2 weeks and a bit that I was away from home so it would definitely be nice to get home for a little while. I was happy to go on the trip and finally play my first super series tournaments, they are the highest in the world and it was an honour to collect some player’s badges from them to add to the ever-growing collection. I just had to sit through the 12 hour flight back home and that would be it for this long trip. One last tournament for the year and that was the 2016 USA international challenge down in Orange County at OCBC. A tournament I had played many times and also a venue I have played at even more times.