Fw: Hong Kong
Laura & Alan Grayson
Mon 3 Mar 2008 03:17
Well we hopped on our midnight flight from Dubai on board Cathay Pacific. These guys are based out off Hong Kong and you can tell. The seats are definitely sized for the average small Asian and my big fat arse was a bit cramped. Regardless of this we both managed a small amount of sleep which is a bit of a rarity but mightily appreciated. We were picked up from the airport and dropped off at the hotel. We were surprised at the efficiency of the people at the airport, had us all organized and whipped out of there in no time. We got to the hotel around 2.30pm and after a small siesta went for our usual walk around, only problem was it was colder than buggery and blowing up a storm. Seeing as how we are as tough as a wet paper bag we didn't last very long but we had a good view of the Hong Kong Skyline across the harbor. Our hotel was on the Kowloon peninsula. A lot of the buildings still had all their Chinese New Year decorations up which were really impressive.
Next day we were picked up from the hotel to do a tour of Hong Kong. We started off with a drive up to Victoria Peak for a spectacular view of the city unfortunately it was drizzling and we were in the cloud base so there was not spectacular view but we did get really cold, never mind we decided to come back up if the weather improved. Next it was off to Stanley market. We bought a Chinese chop. This was used in the olden days when a lot of people couldn't read or write but they had to put their mark or sign some documents. The Chop is made out of stone with your name engraved on it and you use it like a stamp so now I need never sign my name again.... all I have to do is teach everyone to read Chinese. Doesn't sound all that hard!! Laura got a little hooked on all the silk outfits sold by the vendors and picked out a great little number which I think should not be seen out side the bedroom. Next stop Aberdeen fishing village. This was the place where all the fishermen and families stay on their boats. I was kind of picturing a bunch of half derelict sampans all stacked up row upon row but I guess civilization catches up with everyone and now they have built a brand new marina which takes up half the space that the old fishing village used and they have been pushed around the corner so that they can't be seen from the marina. I think the days of the fishing village are all but gone.
After the tour we walked around all the shops and had a look at all the wares that were up for grabs. This place is full of stuff and guess what.. all of it is made in China. Doesn't seem such a big deal when you are here.
Next day after a big sleep in ( seems to be the thing to do if you travel around the world in 60 days) we wanted to go and see the biggest seated bronze Buddha statue but after an hour on the train we discovered that it was all clouded in so we went to the movies instead. When we got out the weather had cleared a bit so we took a gamble and headed up the cable car to check this fella out. Boo Hoo the clouds were thick as pea soup and all we got was a great outline of his Buddha Butt and one hand. Bit of a shame really as judging from the postcards it is pretty impressive. There was also a monastery up there which was also pretty impressive but also very clogged in. We picked up a little Buddha statue which had been blessed by the monks. This is to insure good luck and a long life so it will have pride of place on the boat. We do need all the help we can get after all.
Next day the weather was perfect with clear blues all around. and after we got up at the crack of noon we decided another trip up the cable car to Victoria Peak. What a great view this time with the whole of Hong Kong laid out before us. There are a whole lot of skyscrapers in this small area, mind you they do have to fit 7 million people into 400 square miles. We took a walk around the peak to get the full perspective and more photos. We met an old fella who was selling photos of Hong Kong that he took in 1952 and in 2005 to show the difference between then and now. Man what a difference. He was a real friendly guy and we had a good old chat with him. We had a few beers at the top of the hill before coming back down the cable car and taking the ferry across the harbor back to Kowloon.
All round, Hong Kong is a great place to visit but I couldn't live there, way too many people in a small area. Saying that tho the place is really clean and so very well organized.