A place we’d wanted to visit in a while was Hong Kong. The blend of cultures, the old and the new. So in the middle of 2013 we popped over for a quick visit.
was smooth, through Sydney, boarding a Qantas 747. We spent some time in the
first lounge before heading off on the seven hour flight.
Hong Kong was amazing, the tall buildings lining the hilly countryside was a sight
to see. We landed at the new airport, basically a manufactured island off the
cost of Hong King island. Moving through the airport was a breeze, new airports
built in one go are much more efficient than those airports that have evolved
over decades. The train trip and busy trip to our hotel was well organised and
at our hotel, the Icon, mid-afternoon and unpacked and got settled in. The
weather was hot and steamy. We were staying in Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon, with a
view of Victoria Harbour across to the Hong Kong Island. The hotel was attached
to the school of hospitality at the nearby university and was a learning hotel
for students wishing to enter the industry. Not that you’d notice. Everyone was
skilled and professional.
That first night we spent some time in the executive
lounge overlooking the harbour. The hotel offered sweeping views of Kowloon and
the island. The nighttime light display was in full swing every night.
lazy breakfast in the hotel we headed out. But first breakfast. The Icon has
one of those dining rooms that offers just about anything and everything. Breakfast
was a lavish and expansive experience. Traditional Asian cuisine, western delights,
and everything in between. We sampled dumplings, donuts, cereals, eggs (every way),
meats, noodles, croissants, yogurts, freshly squeezed juices and some delicious
When we headed
out we walked the local area and looked around the shops and markets nearby. We
then caught the ferry across to the island and looked around Central, the main centre
of town. We visited an Apple store, mainly to use the WiFi, so we could work
out where to go and what to do next. We were looking for the Peak – a tram ride
would take you to the top for a great view.
the tram ride after walking around for a while. It’s hot and steamy again. The
tram, a funicular type of tram, hauls us to the top in a slow and steady
manner. Although you are standing level, you are inclining at a descent rate.
We reach the
top and wander around the shops and explore the view from all angles. Its
impressive to see the number of buildings, mostly high rise, built against and
into the mountainous terrain. We locate our hotel back on the other side of the
harbor and take some photos.
After our visit,
we make our way back to our hotel and enjoy dinner at the restaurant.
in touch with. He’s a vet and later today he has arranged for us to meet the SPCA.
But first, breakfast,
another marathon and we fuel ourselves for a big day. Stephen has planned a
visit to the Giant Buddha. We meet Stephen at our hotel and start the journey,
trek, to the giant Buddha.
We ride in
his car to the start of the trip, a very long cable car ride. We start at Tung
Chung cable car station. The cable car takes us across a Tan Chung Bay in the
new territories to the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island. Its quite a long
journey on the cable car, but worth it when we get there. We look around the village
and then walk the hundreds of steps up to the Buddha. At the top we can certainly
feel the heat, humidity and it is taking its toll on us. We rest for a while,
Stephen introduces us to a delicious fruit drink, which cools us.
We make the
return journey, which takes in a wonderful view of the new airport.
visit the SPCA. Stephen arranges introductions as we tour the facility. We discuss
cat and dog welfare and the different social conventions and attitudes towards cats
and dog here and in Australia. They certainly have a complex role to play.
the evening with Stephen as he shows us around and we enjoy dinner in a traditional
Chinese restaurant. Stephen does all of the ordering.
We spend a
bit of time in the hotel pool, relaxing. Me swimming and mucking about, Mardi
reads and relaxes. It a nice lazy morning after another wonderful breakfast.
We then walk
the promenade along Vitoria Harbour. It runs for round six kilometres from our hotel
all the way west to the heart of Kowloon. It’s a wonderful walk as we explore
sculptures, sights and the activity in the harbor. We pass the Avenue of the
Stars, a tribute to China’s film industry, an old English clock tower and
We turn around
and make the return journey, but head into some shops on the way back to cool
off. The fresh cool air of the inside give us goosepimple as we move from the
heat to the cool.
through the grounds of the Hong Kong Museum and Science Museum, they’re both
closed today. But we explore the gardens and grounds around the buildings.
dinner in, enjoying the view from the Executive Lounge of the hotel.
We have a
lazy morning, packing and enjoying our last breakfast before heading out to the
The return journey is as easy as getting here, with
our bags being dropped off well before we get to the airport proper. er enjoy
some time in the lounge before heading home.