A Travellerspoint blog

Hong Kong

Hong Kong - our last day

We commenced our last day in Hong Kong with, surprise, breakfast. Not much to add except Les tried a turnip pudding. The figure this was a pureed pudding. We met Alfred and Sylvia and uncle Nigel's driver, Elmer. Our first task was to meet Amanda, Rob and Ella at their apartment. Unfortunately Robert was unable to join us for the rest of the day as he was unwell. Karen and Les were over the moon because we were soon part of the "Ella club" when she readily took our hands during the day. Ben's cousin Marcus was able to join us and it was a pleasure to meet him. Not only is he a cool guy, but smart too as he understood Macs.


After a tour of the block we headed off to Nigel's condo in the new Territories. This place has a vineyard and we were a stone's throw from the border with China. The condo has only been recently built and after entering the restaurant with a view of the pool, the resident lifeguards, and some green hills nearby we felt compelled to commence our dim sum, which was indeed yummy. Elmer treated us to a 2004 red from France. I would not have expected this wine to go with dim sum but it actually did. I suspect so because of the many and varied tastes and textures in the dim sum. Ella totally enjoyed the pool and cooling down.

It was at this point that our bodies realised they had left work behind and we began to feel quite relaxed. It was soon time to go and unfortunately Amanda and Ella were unable to continue our adventure. We then headed off and somehow managed to arrange getting to the old markets in Hong Kong. This was an eye opener when we saw more of the range of the population and it was like having a huge and long street full of trash and treasure stalls. Some streets were full of stalls devoted to single items such as remote controls, or another store or shop devoted to second-hand power tools and so on. It was there I purchased a treasured item thanks to Marcus is keen powers of observation and memory which I'll use in my workshops.

Although for a brief period only we got to meet uncle Nigel and picked him up and was soon dropped off to continue some walking in the city. Thank you Nigel for the use of your car and condo.

Spontaneously Alfred and Sylvia and we decided to walk to a destination going through some markets which were rather crowded. We got to see several stalls selling fish in the Asian fashion with fish still live. Along with other stalls we wandered around before eventually having a drink, a quick detour to Marks and Spencer, and then to a food court where Les enjoyed a mango and pomellen sago soup, delightfully cool and mango in flavour.




Then it was time a fond farewell to Alfred and Sylvia. You looked after us well and we are most appreciative and our experience of Hong Kong would have been so much the less. Les thinks he should start up a business, perhaps you could use the name "Sze-See Personalised Touring" or something far better. There will be no commission if you use that name.

We took the hotel shuttle to the airport, check-in, killed time and reacquainted ourselves with the ordeal of attempting to sleep upright in chairs designed not to allow sleep.

Posted by lesnkaren 11:48 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (1)

Hong Kong gets us

Day 1

After a very early arrival at Melbourne Airport (thank you Heidi) we boarded and enjoyed the quarter-full aircraft. Kind of wished we'd afforded business class where one can lie and really sleep. One day perhaps.

Good flight and we arrived on time with a forecast of sunny skies and 29 °C but with a reality of heavy rain, a lightning warning and a wait by the baggage carousel for some 90 minutes. Our patience was outstanding. Finally we went through customs easily. Very easy in fact.

Due to the rain there was a delay in taxis for some 5 minutes. However at Hong Kong Airport the organisation was efficient. Four doorways to catch taxis, a queuing system (like when obtaining your ticket), a curly black haired Hong Kong fellow efficiently channeling taxis so no queue missed their turn. His gestures and professional attitude would have made any British Bobby proud. The train to the Hong Kong station was clean, oh so clean!

Bravely defying the rain we finally boarded our taxi and slowly made the way to our hotel looking forward to refreshing and napping before dinner. (The taxi driver had turned his taxi into a shrine for trinkets). Alas the rain had caused the very new hotel to lose power and water in many rooms so they let us know offering an upgrade to a 5 star Regal Hotel down elsewhere in Hong Kong. So into the Regal Mercedes we went.

Traffic was busy yet not chaotic. We soon learned the rule of the nose: you just edge your car forward enough and then you'll likely be admitted to the flow. It is the city of the assertive on the roads; not aggressive and not anarchic.

We learned there are rain warnings in Hong Kong and levels such as orange, then red which means kindergartens are closed and black when all transport stops. People stay in their offices, buses and cars stop there and then when black until the level is reduced.

We noticed so many people and so many cars; wondered where they keep them all. In the sky perhaps, all those buildings? They use the sky in public transport too: double decker buses and double decker trams.

So four hours later we settled into our new hotel. The flight took nine hours in the air.

After a shower and a power nap we met Alfred and Sylvia and we ferried across the harbour to Kowloon. As we had dragged the rain with us from Red Hill we had cleaned the air of smog and stuff and the light show along the harbour walk was brilliant. Pulsing lasers and various buildings lit in individual ways added to the atmosphere. Hong Kong in striking as the city and suburbs are made of hundreds of tall buildings which seem pencil thin. These stand in the foreground against the steep green mountains and have a compelling look to them.

Alfred and Sylvia treated us to a Vietnamese meal across the harbour after the light show at 8pm. This was deliciously bright as was our meal. (Sorry Heidi and Ben, we were not prepared for the food-photos). Soft crab in shell, poached chicken, braised pork belly in coconut juice, all subtly flavoured.

It was lovely to catch up with the Sze's and we parted ways with plans for an adventure with Alfred and Sylvia the next day.

Posted by lesnkaren 04:15 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

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