It's 7:30 pm, and I'm at the Salisbury Road YMCA in Hong Kong, where I checked in this afternoon.
THIS IS A YMCA?!!? My god, it's probably the most luxurious place I've stayed in during my entire trip.
I'm checked into 15th floor room facing Victoria Harbour -- yes, I paid extra for the harbour view, just because -- and I'm heading out at oh-dark-thirty tomorrow morning to catch my 0850 NW flight outta here. I'm about to dash out to catch a ferry cross-harbour and maybe get a glimpse of Hong Kong Island before I turn in for the night.
See you in Tokyo.
UPDATE: This was the view out of my window when I checked in that afternoon.
Checking in from Guilin, about which I'll have plenty more to report when I collect my notes. But I'm leaving China in just a few days.
I went to the Guilin train station this morning and tried to buy a ticket on the K38, which my train guide had as the only train to Guangzhou. No dice. Instead, the woman at the window sold me a soft-berth ticket on the L108, which leaves tomorrow night at 8 and gets in the next day at 8:50.
The problem is, I can't find any such train in my rail guide -- or even any that starts with "L". A Google search turns up one English-language mention, in a tour company's itinerary for a guided tour of the region -- the only reason I don't pull the plug on this and see about getting a flight direct to Hong Kong.
Wish me luck, because I HAVE to be in Hong Kong by oh-dark-thirty Thursday at the latest to make my morning flight. But best case, I'll have only half-a-day in Hong Kong anyways.
I'm checked into another luxury hotel, this time in Changsha, a Singapore-managed place called the Royal Seal Hotel. I realize that this is the off-season, but man, it's Amateur Night In Dixie when it comes to service around here. Okay, I'm acting spoiled, but I have a full-blown cold, and I'm not in a very forgiving mood right now. My body aches, I have cold shivers in the night, and my head is killing me. Tomorrow, we push on for Guilin, but today, I will spend in bed.