So the next few entries are from when I went to Honk Kong and are all grouped together since I just got back from yet another trip. Sorry if it's long, but I had a great time and hope everyone else can get a taste of it as well. : )
So when I said yes to Anna about meeting them in Hong Kong, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to get there let alone when I was going. Thankfully, once I did make my decision two Guangzhou sisters really took me by the hand and helped through getting a ticket step by step. They took the time and money to meet me and take me to the train station, helped me buy a ticket that would deliver me straight into HK instead of Schengen, and then waited until it was time for me to board. They really me above themselves and I hope I get to pay back the favor to them in Nanchang once day.
I sadly had to leave them to board and then spent the next 3 hours riding into HK. Once I arrived I should have then had the easy
Night market. Boo ya. : )
task of getting to the hotel where Anna and Len were staying. It should have been easy, but of course it being me and my desire to never learn from my screw ups, I had to slowly throw myself into what could have been a panic attack.
First off I found out my phone didn’t work in HK. It caused me grief all through my trip, but never more than when I first arrived and tried to call Anna to let her know I was there. Since I couldn’t call her I decided to just follow the directions and try and find the room. She had sent me simple and very detailed directions from the train station to the hotel through QQ, but I accidently chose an option that erased all of that, and me being me of course I hadn’t thought to write it down. Boo. Thankfully, despite my HORRIBLE memory I actually had picked up a few key words in the directions and was able to ask a travel guide in the train station if she knew where the hotel was. She did and was able to provide me simple instructions on how to get there. Twice.
Because of course I had to lose the first one. >_<
So I took the metro one station over to where the hotel was and then proceeded to try and find the said hotel. All I really remembered was that it had the name ‘mansions’ in it and proceeded to find out there are several HK hotels and hostels that have that in its main name. I did get close though. Some Indians on the street were handing out cards and I they had a hostel with the mansion name in it so I went with one of the workers to see if they had a guest registry to look up Anna and Len. I tried telling this to the guy, that I was looking for my friends, but he proceeded up to the hostel and put my bag in a room and was ready to check me in all without even telling me how much the room was. I then told him to stop. Slow down. Give me back my bag and then we went to the lobby where I he let me access the internet where I thankfully found Anna on QQ and begged her to help
Actually meeting up with Anna involved a bit more misunderstanding and waiting around on a crowded street, but finally we were reunited and I then hugged the living daylights out of both the Filipinas and went up to the room to drop off my stuff. The rest of the night thankfully wasn’t that exciting and we even got to explore a nearby night market where I fell in love with HK souvenirs. I know it was all mass produced and overpriced, but a lot of it I genuinely liked and I found quite a few presents for people back home. ; )
On this day we went right at it and decided to go to the Peak. I had no clue what the Peak was, but it turns out back in day in HK, the wealthy would hire people to carry them up the mountain where they could look down on HK bay. It even got to the point where some of the people who could afford it would build houses up on the top and some of them even still exist. I have to say, half the fun of the Peak was getting there.
Filipino fast food.
Anna showed how fearless she is by asking anyone and everyone if we were heading in the right direction. We went up and down hills and weren’t disappointed in the end. We got to ride a trolley up the mountain and at some points it felt like we were almost vertical.
When we reached the top of course we had to face hordes of potential shopping and tourist traps, but once we got to the top top, it took my breath away. I’ve seen lots of views in different countries, but on this day it was a perfect opportunity to see all of HK bay. I may have felt differently if there were clouds or different conditions, but it was literally picture perfect and I loved just taking photo after photo.
There really wasn’t much else to do once we took our photos so we soon headed back down with a small side trip to a candy store in the mall and made our way back to our hotel. That could have been the end of the day, but Anna was nice enough to take me later to the sidewalk of the stars that night. We were trying
to make it to the light show, but ended up being too late for that. Just seeing the night lights and the side walk (Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan were there ^_^) were worth the trip there for me.
Today it was just Anna and me. Len, her daughter and her sister’s family all went to Disney Land and didn’t plan to be back for a while. Anna and I too the chance to do some walking since Len wasn’t feeling well and she knew her husband wouldn’t want to when he came that night.
We pretty much just went up and down the roads, followed her map’s suggested tourist sites and saw the more back roads of Hong Kong. It was a lot of fun just exploring and seeing things other people might not take the time to see. We went and explored a medical museum, a museum dedicated solely to Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a temple, the western market, and ate in a Subway. It was fun just going back and forth until Anna had to leave to get her husband from the airport. After that I just chilled in the room for a bit
and visited the night market on my own.
This was definitely a spontaneous day. We were hoping to catch a tour bus, but we couldn’t find the cheaper one so we just took a trolley from one end of the island to the other. It was still fun and we really got to see a lot of cool buildings and just hang out. A highlight of the day for me was that I ended up having to get a new purse because my old one broke while we were in the subway. It was inconvenient, but I really like my new one as well.
I also got to try my hand at asking for directions. The Filipinos wanted to eat in a fast food joint from their home, but it was super crowded. I told them I was going to bow out and find breakfast elsewhere. I thought I had a handle on where I was going, but I got a little turned around so I asked a couple of women I knew to be from the Philippines and asked if they could point me to Jollibees. They did better than that. They decided to go
have food there and then proceeded to escort me all the way there. A lot of people tend to be friendly to foreigners if they’re friendly first. : )
This was my last full day in Hong Kong. Anna had left that morning and Len’s sister had left the previous day, so it was just Len, Ivy and me. Len hadn’t been feeling well the whole trip so I told her I was going to go off on my own and explore some of the local museums. There were several to choose from, but I only had so much money left, so I chose the art museum and the history museum.
The art museum was quite the treasure. Its featuring exhibit was Any Warhol and I’m honestly glad I paid the extra money to get in. I hadn’t really heard too much of his art beforehand, but of course I was familiar with some of it without even knowing who the artist was. It was fun seeing his work and reading his quotes while seeing the Chinese tourists do the same. The other long term exhibits were interesting too and I really appreciated the calligraphy area.
There were tons of wall scrolls and historical writings written from generations ago and it was so cool to see it up close and personal. The animal exhibit was cool as well to understand how certain animals fit in culturally with China and how they were used in different focuses of art.
The history museum was a bit of a hike away, but it’s not like I had anything better to do, so I made the trip and found myself wandering through several floors of Hong Kong history. They really got back to the basics and started with prehistoric HK and worked their way up to the present, where HK was reunited with China. There were some especially moving areas with the Opium Wars and the Japanese invasion and some lighthearted viewings of their introduction of pop culture and some traditional dances/festivals. It was also surprising to see Len and Ivy there! I met up with them for a short while on the bottom level and then we parted ways. Ivy had wanted to go take some pictures, but she was able to convince her mom of one last side trip before we left.
Leaving was a journey
of its own with us getting up at 3 and getting back to Nanchang around 3 and me not going to bed till 12, but I won’t bore you with the details. It thankfully did involve some coffee and us finding the right busses at the right times. : )
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