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Country #17: Hong Kong

June 6, 2011

First of all, I can’t believe we are in Asia.  That means we are in the last continent and coming up on the end of our trip!  Second of all, I am loving introducing Steven to Asia.  As most of you know, I have always had a thing for this region of the world, so it is very fun to be with Steven as he experiences it for the first time. 

Hong Kong Skyline seen from the top

We did not have too long to explore Hong Kong, just a mere four days and three nights, so we had to squeeze in as much as we could.  The only problem was that this was also the first time we have been jet lagged on our trip.  Every night in Hong Kong, we could not go to sleep until 5 or 6 am so then we would sleep until about 11 or 12 which really did not help our limited time frame!  Luckily, everyone in Hong Kong seemed to stay out pretty late so that made it much easier to see more.  We would do touristy things until midnight and not even realize it was that late.

After our first morning of sleeping in, we decided we should head over to the Peak Tram to take it to the top of Hong Kong Island to see the views.  What we did not expect was a huge line to get to the top.  And it was extremely hot and humid out!  So we waited in line for about an hour and a half, dripping sweat, and finally got on the tram for the ride to the top.  The tram was built over a hundred years ago by the British and is obviously used very frequently by locals and tourists.  At the top of the mountain we were finally rewarded for our wait with great views of Hong Kong’s amazing skyline.

Unfortunately, like most of the time we were in HK, the sky was pretty smoggy, and we were really hoping for a clear day but never got one while we were there.  We stayed at the top to watch the sunset and see all of the buildings light up.  While up there enjoying our time and the night, it kept getting more and more crowded.  We couldn’t figure out what was going on and then we realized that it was a Friday night and apparently it is pretty happening up there on the weekend.  After waiting in a huge line to get back to the bottom, we took the Star Ferry back from Hong Kong Island to the Kowloon side where we were staying.

View from the Star Ferry

The Star Ferry is an awesome mode of transportation.  It is really cheap and fast and you get to ride a boat while checking out the impressive skyline!  We took the ferry back and forth several times from the Kowloon side (the mainland) to Hong Kong Island and enjoyed the views every time.

The next day we decided to wander around the Kowloon side of Hong Kong.  Our first stop was the Avenue of the Stars.  Yes, you read that right, it is just like ours in Hollywood but with a bunch of Chinese actors and actresses.  We walked all the way through and I think we knew only two of the names – Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.  But it was interesting to see and I particularly enjoyed the ones that had “Chinese name, American name” such as “Ti Lung, Tommy” and the ones like “Sir Run Run Shaw” that just sounded special.  I searched everywhere for a Jennifer but never found one… I was pretty disappointed.

At that point we were pretty hot so we decided to check out the Hong Kong Museum of Art which was nice, air conditioned, and just around the corner.  There were a variety of exhibits from old Chinese blue and white pottery to very modern short films.  It was very interesting and we were glad we went for a couple of hours.

That night was our last night in Hong Kong and we got to see the demonstration in Victoria Park for Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989.  You can read more about that from Steven here.

We stayed in two nice little hostels while in Hong Kong.  This is because we had to change rooms for our last night since the city was so crowded for the demonstration.  Both places were in the Chung King Mansion and had tiny little rooms, but the location was good so we didn’t mind too much.  By the way, when I say little, I mean the room was about 6’ x 6’ and the bathroom combined toilet, sink, and shower in a 2’ x 3’ space.  Chung King Mansion is this huge building with a market on the first floor and has a bunch of hostels and restaurants above it.  The building is separated into 8 different sections with their own set of elevators.  One elevator is for even floors and one is for odd floors.  It was a crazy system and the elevators were so slow and small, that huge lines would form for each lift throughout the building.    

We had some amazing food while we were in Hong Kong.  Our first meal we chose by getting off of the main road and finding a restaurant that was crowded with locals, and it turned out to be a respectable place that served these great noodle bowls.  So good in fact, that we had to go back there for another meal before the demonstrations.  Another place we ate was a recommendation from the nice little man at our second hostel and it was just down the street but we never would have found it without him.  It was a great restaurant and very local (we were the only tourists there and the place was packed).  We had some great dim sum which was a first for Steven. 

But Steven’s favorite treat while we were in Hong Kong were the Slurpees.  Hong Kong has 7-11s everywhere and therefor Steven was able to have numerous coke Slurpees during our stay.  For those of you that don’t know this about Steven, he has somewhat of an obsession with coke Slurpees.  So much so that he often drove around to different 7-11s in Dallas if the coke Slurpee was not working or the right consistency.  I think the record number of different 7-11s we ventured to was five (thank you Randy and Morgan for joining us on that little adventure)!

Overall, Hong Kong was fun and a great little intro to Asia.  The only weird thing was that last time I was there I shopped a ton and this time we didn’t shop at all due to a lack of room in our bags!  Luckily, Josh is meeting us in Thailand so maybe I can shop there and send stuff home with him!

Jen

P.S.  I know we cannot technically call Hong Kong a country (such as we do in the title) but we did it anyway…


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. taylor permalink
    June 24, 2011 10:11

    yay jenny! asia!

  2. carol permalink
    June 24, 2011 11:48

    You’re making me want to go to Asia! I cut my travel teeth on
    Hong Kong…

  3. Morgan permalink
    June 27, 2011 09:18

    COKE SLURPEES. That was a good night.

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