Hong Kong - Well, well, well!
An absolutely amazing holiday which i will always remember. I've never been anywhere in Asia, and it was definitely worth the wait!
My parents visited Hong Kong before me and my sister were born (so, 15 years ago), but they almost didn't recognize it when we arrived. So we were basically treating it as our first time - We went to most of the landmarks and did all the touristy things. By coincidence the owner of our local Chinese takeaway was visiting her family in Hong Kong for a month while we were there, so we'd arranged to meet up.
To start, as my dad travels a lot we had very comfortable seats on the plane, which eased the 14 hour flight. It was Edinburgh to Heathrow, then overnight (British time) to arrive in Hong Kong the following evening (Hong Kong time)... i think. The landing wasn't as spectacular as the previous old Hong Kong airport would've been, gliding a 747 through narrow Chinese streets (http://www.dvo.com/newsletter/monthly/2005/june/jest.html
), but we got a spectacular view or the whole of Hong Kong, and the surrounding islands, which the pilot insisted were the "best views he'd seen in 21 years of flying". He was still talking about them while collecting his luggage.
We were a bit confused when we arrived and walked around Kowloon in the dark for about two hours to find somewhere to eat, before bailing out and paying the extortionate hotel food prices. We quickly settled in with help from the hotel staff and found our way around. Our room has a stunning view of the harbor. So stunning, i had to make sure it wasn't a poster. (http://twitpic.com/2fm3y9
We visited a number of tourist attractions including getting the tram to The Peak, to spend some time at one of the highest points in Hong Kong. We have plenty of brilliant photos of the spectacular view in the gallery. We then visited Madame Tussuad's, within The Peak building, and later sent a birthday message to my gran from The (wax) Queen.
We visited The Big Buddha on Lantau Island, by the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Cars from Tung Chung. Mum wasn't very keen on them at all and kept her eyes shut and sunglasses on for the entire duration. We would have opted for the glass bottomed cable car, but we though that would be pushing it. Again, plenty of photos of The Big Buddha, our (not so) Lucky Vegetarian Meal and the surrounding temples. That evening we researched the gondola lifts to find that they have previously collided and, well, dropped off, to mums devastation. We got the bus from Ngong Ping to Tai O, and old fishing village with stilt-houses. A fascinating place, and a glimpse of the real Hong Kong.
With our Chinese friends we went to Wetland Park. It's just like the botanic gardens, but more Chinese and bigger bugs. Quite interesting, and we arranged to meet again for a Seafood dinner in Hong Kongs local seafood market - Lei Yue Mun...
...We were the only tourists there, and felt a bit out of place, but what an experience it was! The idea was, you walk round a few tanks full of different types of fish, choose what you would like and your waiter in wellies cooks and serves it to you in the restaurant behind the the tanks. To start we had a Chinese quisene, "Century Egg". It's really exlained in the name. It's duck or quail egg which has been "preserved" for several months in a mixture of clay and salt, long enough for the yolk to turn into a green liquid and and white, to turn to a brown, tasteless jelly. It's served with ginger - and i'm proud to say i tried one!
Being with the owner of a Chinese restaurant we had the biggest selection possible including the usual, but larger than normal fish - squid, crabs, and scallops, but also some specials including "rasor clams", "abalone", "geo-duck" and a giant monkfish, the head of which was given to the eldest at the table, luckily not one of us!
It was some experience! I'm fussy about supermarket chicken, so i don't know how i did it, but i'm very proud and a small part of me though some of the fish tasted quite nice. After all you can't get more fresh!
We spent a day at Ocean Park, a mixture between a zoo and a theme/water park. Here we saw Hong Kongs famous captive pandas (which were very cute!) and dolphin shows etc. The had a water park area which was very much needed by midday, and i spent a while on the worlds biggest inflatable water slide, and the Foam Rave, which i found quite amusing. (http://twitpic.com/2ci1od
We went to several famous markets in Hong Kong and Kowloon; Namely Ladies Market, Stanley Market and The Golden Computer arcade.
We also witnessed Hong Kong's world famous permanent outdoor light show - A Syphony Of Lights. It incorporates lasers, moving fixtures and architectural LED lighting into a light show in time with a soundtrack which is played every night in Victoria Harbor at 8:00pm. Over 40 buildings participate on both sides of the harbor, with pyrotechnics and fireworks being added on special occasions like New Year. Amazing!
Other attractions included the worlds longest outdoor escilator, which passes directly through the narrow streets of central HK. The Start Ferry, a historical ferry which connects surrounding areas to different parts of Hong Kong island. Avenue Of The Stars, Hong Kongs alternative to Hollywood Boulevards Walk Of Fame.
It was a sensational holiday which i could go on about forever. Take a look at the photo gallery to get more of a feel for it, but bear in mind it includes only 200 of the 1700 photos i took! I will always remember Hong Kong 2010, and hope to one day, go back.
(The gallery link probably won't work in school).