Hong Kong

May 3, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Posted in Hong Kong | Leave a comment

March 18 – March 21

Our three days in Hong Kong were short and sweet. It was so impressive. The airport was so modern and gleaming and organized had every offering you could want. Bright color-coded taxis were neatly queued up and we were whisked across this other-worldly landscape to our hotel that we booked online while in New Zealand.

Seemingly brand new highways wound their way around lush, misty hills with a smattering of beautifully crafted bridges strewn across the interconnected bays like Christmas lights. Everything was so neat and perfect and colorful it was as we had been miniaturized and were driving on a brand new children’s road set. All of the dramatic hills were full of trees and untouched by development while paradoxically soaring mega-apartment complexes were carefully inserted into the scene without disrupting the beauty of the surrounding landscape. There were tens of thousands of apartments – stunning apartment buildings. The whole place was an engineering marvel as giant buildings were stacked higher, higher and higher.

The boys were concerned about the language. They felt that the language would be more foreign than anywhere else they had been. They thought that we would not be able to communicate with anyone. That has never been the case and certainly wasn’t in Hong Kong. It is incredible how prolific the english language is even among the older generation. We are so lucky that we speak English! After a rest in our hotel (oh yes, we forgot how nice a hotel was compared to motels), we ventured out. We had our Lonely Planet guidebook in hand and, as usual, tried to read it as fast as we could before arriving in the next destination. We went to Hong Kong because it was the only way we could get from New Zealand to India and it seemed like a great place for a long weekend. We made our way to the main part of the city by jumping on a city bus and stopped in to see the bird market. This was a market just like any other market except that they sold beautiful, tiny singing birds in carved wooden cages. Hong Kong loves its birds. Next was a visit to the flower market where all of the orchids and bonsai trees where being primped and trimmed.

The bustling streets were very exciting as they were full of signs and stores with everything imaginable for sale including cosmetics, freshly killed ducks, electronics, prickly fruit, pokemon-style toys, shark-fin soup and, as always, Coca-Cola. We made our way to the jade market and bought trinkets. We bought fresh fruit from the outdoor market and had a picnic in the main park next to the aviary containing fantastic large birds. After walking for miles, we finally made our way to the waterfront where all of the action was. Skyscrapers lined the bay and despite their blatant commercialism, it was an incredible sight. Each building was iced in neon piping with colors racing up and down each horizontal and vertical beam and changing colors as they moved. There was something very artistic about Samsung, Panasonic and Sanyo in this venue believe it or not.

We dined on noodles and dim-sum. The boys ate blueberries and sliced bananas and peanut butter sandwiches when the chinese food required too much bravery. We ventured to the highest point in the city by taking a bus, then a ferry, then a double-decker street car, then the longest escalator in the world and then a funicular. We saw most of Hong Kong along the way. It was a great day. We watched the skyline light up for its nightly light and laser show where the already spectacular buildings light up in sync with music.

The next day, we surprised the boys with a trip to Disneyland Hong Kong. It was great fun and we went on all of our favorite rides several times. We headed to the airport straight from Disneyland for late night flight to India.

(click pic for slideshow)

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