Day 2: Flying and Beijing Airport/Hotel (July 26)
Toronto to Beijing Airport/Hotel
With China being 12 hours ahead most of the day was spent on our 12.5 hour plane ride which surprisingly wasn’t so bad. We got so lucky checking in for our flight when the staff offered to move us to seats without someone in between us.
Knowing we had a lot of time to pass we both decided to watch a movie. I opted for “The Commuter’ with Liam Neeson which has him playing an ex-cop turned businessman that gets caught up in a criminal conspiracy. Most of it took place in the train which was interesting. It wasn’t winning any awards, but was enjoyable enough.Kim watched” Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” which she said was good.
Our airplane dinner while not being too exciting wasn’t so bad after covering it in hot sauce. It feature a lentil/sweet potatoes/brussel sprouts dish, fruit cup, and potatoe salad which I couldn’t eat. Kim’s dinner also included fish despite her requesting a vegetarian meal. It made me pleased vegan meals was listed as an option when we booked.
After this meal Kim attempted to sleep for the rest of the flight. I opted to watch another movie (Blockers) which was in my opinion pretty disappointing. I barely stayed awake for it all. Afterwards I did my best to sleep and managed to do so until about 3 hours before landing. Kim also woke up around the same time which worked out well as breakfast (served at 7pm Beijing time and 7am our time) was being served shortly afterwards. It included a chickpeas and rice dish, fruit cup, and muffin I could not eat. Fortunately for me Kim wasn’t too hungry and I had snacks as well.
Once we got off the plane we wandered through the airport where scanned our finger prints, passed through security and picked up our luggage without issue. From here we found out way to the Hainan airport customer service where we were directed to visit in Toronto to get the shuttle bus to the hotel that was being provided to us free since our flight to Kunming was rescheduled for tomorrow morning.
I tried with limited success to use the free wifi at the airport to let folks know we arrived safely. It was quite surprising to see how may websites were blocked. Fortunately I had a few good tips from friends about downloading a VPN before coming and was able to get some limited access to the websites I was hoping to use.
Between the long wait for the shuttle and 40 minute drive to the airport we didn’t get into our room until nearly midnight. We were fortunate enough to meet Mare while waiting. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina she had moved with her family to Canada a long time ago and was now teaching English in China. Despite having a lot of experience traveling through Asia she seemed just as confused as were were as we waited for the shuttle bus. Eventually we were all directed to walk through the airport, across a parking lot and crammed into a small shuttle bus. It was quite packed so Kim and I ended up with our luggage on our lap for the ride.
Once we arrived at the airport someone from the airline assisted us with setting up the shuttle for 5:30am the next morning. Kim and I then found our room and got settled in. They had a cool feature in the room that made you keep your hotel card into a slot to have power in the room. The wifi of course wasn’t working in the room so after quickly brushing our teeth we went to “bed”. I put bed in quotes because it was so hard that when I sat done I actually wondered if the floor was softer. Fortunately, we were both pretty tired from the long day of traveling that we still managed to get some sleep (even if it took half hour for me to find a comfortable position).