Daily Archives: January 10, 2009

Asia – Day 2 – Hong Kong

We had a very full day in Hong Kong… they whipped us all over the place…
 
  1. Dim sum.  The dim sum was delicious but as with all other meals on this trip since I guess it was prepaid for they just brought specific dishes.  The whole fun of dim sum is being able to point and pull things off a cart.  Well, that’s the fun for me anyhow. 
  2. After Dim Sum we headed to the Waterfront Promenade and Avenue of the Stars.  The Avenue of the Stars is sort of the equivalent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Chinese Grauman’s Theatre with the footprints — except it has chinese stars like Andy Lau, Jacky Chan and Bruce Lee to name a few.  It has both a star and the actor’s hand print.  I of course sought out Andy Lau’s square; he’s got respectably manly hands.  Jet Li has pretty stubby small hands that are about the size of mine.
  3. We were supposed to visit a temple but when we got there it was too crowded, so we changed plans and instead went to Victoria Peak.  We traversed pretty windy switchbacks up a mountain (all paved roads so nothing too dangerous or scary except we’re in a big tour bus with other big tour buses careening towards us).  At the top, there was a nice 360 view of Hong Kong and a huge mall.  =)
  4. Next was lunch on a floating boat at Jumbo Restaurant.  The food was eh and supposedly the view and experience was what made this a cool spot but honestly this wouldn’t have been something I would have sought out to do myself if I was visiting on my own.
  5. For the ladies in the group, the next stop was a gem/jewelry factory.  I learned of a new hot gem called – Chalcedony.  I’ll have to do some googling to see what’s so great about it (or if you beat me to it, send me email and let me know if it’s as special as they make it out to be).
  6. After that was a stroll around Repulse Bay Beach.  This was timed perfectly at sunset so there were lots of beautiful pictures of the beach but the main attraction was the numerous statues of Buddha of all varieties — Thai, Indian, Chinese, etc.  It was awesome.  If I were on my own, I would have easily spent 2-4 hours here.
  7. Then it was off to dinner for an all-you-can eat Korean/Japanese BBQ.  This was pretty yummy.  We were in a bit of a rush to get to our next spot, which wasn’t so much a problem for me but I think my brother could have spent 2-4 hours here.  =)
  8. After dinner, we rushed to catch the Hong Kong Harbour Light Show.  In fact, they had to hold the ferry for us because we couldn’t get there in time (really, you can’t rush an all-you-can-eat bbq dinner — did they really think they could get us out of there within an hour??).  The light show was pretty cool but it could have been designed a bit better.  I didn’t have the emotional reaction to it I expected and I for sure thought the end would be marked by something truly spectacular.  But instead it just ended.  Just lke that.  No fanfare.
  9. Last stop of the evening was the Ladies Market, which really is just an outdoor flea market like place where there’s blocks and blocks of small stalls and alleyways with vendors selling all sorts of goods.  Here is a place I could have easily spent 4-5 hours.  With the 1 hour we had, my mom and I barely made it through 2 alleyways.  You really need time at these places so you can haggle and bargain your way around.  The beauty of these places is that you’ll find the same thing 2 stalls down so if one vendor won’t give you the price you’re looking for, the next one might.

And that was our day!  Phew!  They certainly do pack in a lot.  I knew before even going on this trip that the whole guided tour thing wasn’t my cup of tea and now going on one for the first time just confirms my issues with these tours.  You spend 30 minutes here, 1 hour there and everything just goes by in a blur.  I like to sit, soak things in, close my eyes and let the place I’m at just envelope me.  I remember just sitting on the Great Wall just gazing over the mountains and standing in the Forbidden City with my eyes closed and imagining what it would have been like when Chinese royalty walked those halls.  Here, we’re herded like cattle and I barely have time to take in one place before we’re herded to the next spot.

I can say one thing though, we’re covering a LOT of ground.  Because we had to shift things around a little, we’ve actually accomplished the iterinary for both days in HK.  I think they’re cooking up other stuff to do tomorrow that wasn’t on the original itinerary.

More photos to come (probably when I get back to the US).