After departure we climbed out over Puget Sound under clear and sunny skies. From there we crossed the Olympic Mountain range as we set a northwesterly heading and traced the coast of British Columbia and then Alaska.
Due to the extremely favorable winds, we arrived over an 1hr and 20mins early – which meant we had a ton of extra time before our next flight. Instead of sitting around inside the airport, we decided to do a quick shuffle outside and back in again – allowing us to attain the coveted extra stamp in the passport from Japan. Here’s the welcome sign just prior to customs:
Speaking of interesting signs (and I promise you, we’re seeing a ton of hilarious ones so far), check out this one near the bathrooms. I’m trying to figure out what exactly the people in the lower left hand corner are doing. Cause it looks pretty sketchy…
After crossing back airside while waiting for the next flight we picked up a few bites of sushi.
After going through the most efficient customs and immigration process I’ve ever seen in some 40+ countries, we quickly found ourselves a cab – though regrettably without a knowledgeable cab driver. Thankfully with all those printed out confirmation sheets I did, it had the phone numbers of the hotel and he was able to call it and get everything straightened away.
About 30 minutes later we arrived at the hotel – the Hilton Wangfujing (the first of many withdrawals from frequent flyer/stay accounts). This brand new hotel was impressively swank. We apparently got upgraded to a suite – check it out (the logo below is in powdered cocoa):
So with that, at midnight China time – it’s time to head to bed. We’ll be up early in the morning to make the most of the 8 hours of daylight we’ll have in Beijing before heading onwards to another country. This was technically just a flight stopover. I try and take advantage of the free stopovers allowed on international itineraries (up to 24 hours) – why not check out a city for a day?