Delightful Days in Hong Kong

After returning from Halong Bay we spent a quick overnight in Hanoi and left on a flight the following morning for Hong Kong. Love it or hate it, Hong Kong is impressive. The most vertical city in the world is an amazing sight. The skyline is truly unbelievable and the luxury cars cruising the streets kept Ross in awe (something like 2 Lamborginis, a handful of Bentleys and countless high-end germans, according to Ross).

After checking into our matchbox hotel room we made our way down to the Avenue of The Stars on our first night in the city to watch the skyline light up with the nightly light show that is put on.

Spotlessly clean Hong Kong hosts a very impressive MTR (mass transit railway) and we were able to cruise around the city easily, although a bit crammed at times. You can't forget you are in one of the most densely populated areas of the world when riding the subway at rush hour. We stayed in the Kowloon area, across from Hong Kong Island and on our first full day in the city we took the MTR over to HK Island and then took the Peak Tram up to catch the vistas from Victoria Peak. After checking out the views from the Peak we enjoyed a traditional lunch of hot noodle wanton soup and milk tea and then took a hike on the Peak Trail that circles the mountain. One of the greatest things we found about Hong Kong was that although it has the big city feel, the outdoors and hiking trails are all close by.

Back down from the Peak we took a walk through Hong Kong Park and the bird aviary there, cruised around Central and then hit up the Hong Kong Brewery for a beer and some peanuts. Rounding off a great day we made are way north in Kowloon so Ross could find a part for his tripod (I think he was as excited just wandering through the electronics and camera shops as when he actually found what he was looking for) and stumbled upon a delicious Chinese dinner of dumplings, fried rice, and cup after cup of hot tea. It was truly a delightful day!


Hong Kong really has the East meets West feel and we enjoyed a few luxuries, clean drinking water, great coffee shops, and every kind of restaurant you can imagine. We have been staying in mostly guesthouses that prepare food for you so I was very excited to go grocery shopping and get a few staples we have been missing, mostly oatmeal and peanut butter.

On our second full day we decided to head out of the city to Lantau Island by ferry and hike up some of those hiking trails I mentioned earlier. We were planning on doing two stages of the Lantau trail and hiking up both Sunset and Lantau Peak but the weather had something else in mind for us. We got to the trailhead early and started walking with a little fog, but after about an hour of climbing the fog got so thick you couldn't see more than a few feet in front of you. We got to the top of Sunset Peak and then with the rain starting to fall made the decision to turn back. We ended up hiking back to the ferry pier and cruised back to Kowloon. Without a view it was still a nice walk and gives Hong Kong extra points in my book as a city. Just a stones throw away it seems hard to imagine that you could find trails like we were on in such a big city. Cold and tired we made it back to our room to shower up and then hit up a great little coffee shop famous for their lattes (see the swan below) and enjoyed an afternoon of catching up on the computer and reading. In an attempt to repeat our delicious meal the night before we found a great dumpling noodle restaurant and dined on more steamed dumplings and noodles. I think I am going to like eating out in China.

Lantau Pano


Chili Dumplings, Bok Choy, Chow Mein

We had a great stay, but short since we were bound for mainland China. We booked an overnight train to Shanghai. Enjoying the Western amenities I even had a Starbucks (in their Christmas cups) at the HK train station since our train was delayed for a few hours. It felt quite luxurious and it's one of the most Christmas like things I have done.

Christmas Cup

I am sitting now on board our Shanghai bound train and I am excited to say that snow is on the ground and we have officially reached a winter climate, looks like we will get a white Christmas in China!

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