Friday, November 14, 2008

Hong Kong

We arrived in Hong Kong on Weds. afternoon. Our hotel is in Kowloon, just off of the Harbor. After walking around the neighborhood and having drinks at the bar across the street, we walked along Victoria Harbor to the old clock tower to watch the Hong Kong at Night Light Show. Every night at 8PM, the city has a neat light show that it puts on to music for 15 minutes. It was definitely different. Afterwards, I grabbed some Indonesian food w/ folks and then went to the Temple Night Market. This night market was full of trinkets and other bad knockoffs for sale. Still, it was some great local flavor.

Thursday, we had a half-day tour of Hong Kong, starting w/ Victoria's Peak. I loved it up there and wish we had had more time to spend there. There was a great 1 hour and 20 minute walk around the peak that I wish I had time to do. Instead, we had an amazing bird's eye view of Hong Kong, Kowloon and Victoria Harbor. You can just imagine the number of pictures I took. Next, we drove down the winding streets to Aberdeen on the southern side of Hong Kong Island. Here we boarded these boats and took a ride through the fishing village which consisted of lots of house boats. These aren't the house boats you would normally see in the states. It really was amazing that this is how people live. Afterwards we headed to a jewelry factory to learn how jewelry is made and to shop. At this point, I was all shopped out, especially for jewelry. I'm done w/ that! Of course, we left the jewelry factory and headed to Stanley Market, an open air market also on the southern side of the island. I was not impressed. It was basically a bunch of the same old trinkets and even more junk.

When we got back from the tour, I was itching to go off on my own. I walked along the promenade to the Star Ferry. There, I took the ferry back to Hong Kong island and explored the worlds longest/steepest (?) escalator. I really liked the neighborhood it was in. I then took the subway back in time to grab dinner with friends. We had a great Italian dinner in the Shangri-La Hotel (beautiful) and then had one of the worst foot massages I've ever had. I would call it more like a shin massage. The guy barely rubbed my feet. There were many other things wrong w/ it but I'm too tired to go into it.

Today (Friday), I woke up at the crack of dawn to go see the biggest Buddha in the world, the Tian Tan Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery. Instead of taking the quick way over, we took an hour-long ferry ride over to Lantau Island. It was a beautiful morning and a great harbor cruise of sorts. We then hopped in a cab and climbed the winding roads over 1,000 feet in elevation to see the Buddha that is over 1200 tons of bronze. The Buddha is also associated with a beautiful monastery. We timed it perfectly and were mostly finished by the time the tour buses started unloading folks. We took the quicker way home which is a tram or gondola over the mountains and down by the airport. It was definitely nerve-wracking at times b/c of the height.
We then hopped the subway and made it back in time for high tea at the famous Peninsula Hotel. I then walked around for a bit before heading back to pack.

Tonight we grabbed dinner with folks at this great eating area off of Nathan Road. A number of us wanted one last Chinese meal before heading home. It was a yummy Asian Fusion restaurant and now I think I've had my fill of Chinese for a very, very, very long time.

We leave for the airport at 6:45 in the morning. This will be a very long day as I leave on Saturday at 9:45AM and arrive in NY at 12:10PM on Saturday. There's no way I'm going to drive back to Philly that day. I figure I'll crash at my parents', do some laundry, have a huge salad for dinner, and then drive back the next day. Let's just say that we are all dying to have salad since we've been following the rule that if it isn't cooked or boiled, then don't eat it. Oh, and brushing my teeth w/ water from the tap will be a nice luxury as well.

I'm sad it is all coming to an end, but now it's time to start planning the next vacation. Japan? Peru? African Safari? :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Robin your posts and photos have been a wonderful treat! It sounds like you had a great adventure. See you soon. Have a safe trip!