Published: July 30th 2010December 3rd 2009
Gorgeous view from our room except for the smog!
I dont think I can begin to describe what it was like waking up that morning. Actually most mornings it was the same feeling, I am actually travelling the world! I'm sorry, I would probably sound like a total maniac, but seriously, how many mums of five children get that chance to take their eldest child at my age on a five week adventure? The fact I was actually going, still amazes me. Anyway ....
Looking out the window, oh pinch myself! Unlike the totally clear skys of the previous night, the morning looked all hazy. It could be the humidity thing? Anyway after a quick chat on skype to home, we were bouncing out the door bright and early. Probably our first mistake. Hong Kong doesn't bound in the mornings. It barely wakes up til well after 10am! From our hotel on the beautiful Kowloon side, I didn't realise how amazing a location our hotel really was until a couple of days later. A short walk to the right as you exit the hotel and you are at the Ferry station and I think it cost us around 20 cents Australian a turn zipping across the harbour. We would
just ride across it for fun half the time I think. On the way to the ferries, there is the most amazing shop with the most stunning of carved elephant tusks I think. I went back a few days later and got better photos, but wow, the artistry to produce the works in the store were out of this world! First call of the day however was to feed the starving monster that was Joel.
Actually our first port of call was to find the tourist office. They have a junk boat that I think only sails twice a week and for 50HK per person you could ride this boat, but it was first in first serve and I wanted to make sure we got our ticket when the office opened. The office didn't open early, so luckily for Joel there was a McDonalds just by the Ferries and Office, so he got his first international McDonalds and unfortunately it definitely wasn't his last.
Now I thought that Hong Kong was English speaking? Part of it definitely is, but alot isn't. In McDonalds I dont think any staff spoke English, however they must get alot of tourists and
have this flip chart where you point and grunt and get your meal. After having done the whole breakfast thing, and survived it was time to make our way to the Big Budha. We crossed the ferries to the Hong Kong station and caught the train out to Tung Chung, to catch the Ngong Ping Cable cars .
I was confused when we got there as you couldn't get up to the Cable car section. After a little while I worked out, it was only 9:30am, and nothing opens til 10am in Hong Kong :( It meant we got to walk around a little bit and look at the amazingly nasty apartment blocks. I call them nasty in that I like the fact I have my own backyard in Australia, and there is just no open space for kids to play. Around the corner from my house there is a big oval and my kids love running down there. These apartments just looked so cold and uniform, plus there were so many apartments to the one building, it was stunning.
When we finally got on the cable ride, Joel was somewhat freaked out. It was a slight shame
Yep fricken american mcdonalds!
the view was still hazy, but we could see the airport which was a buzz, and it was stunning to look down to note that people walked the length of the cable ride, which is fairly long, and up and down the hills, good on them!
Reaching the Buddha village, was kind of like walking through a little china town. I dont know, it just seemed in a way fake, like what you would see back home as 'china towns' type of thing. It was all made up very touristy as well. Reaching the Buddha there was like a million steps to climb, which joel zipped up! I was still feeling off colour and took a relaxing crawl up them all, to which I was dissed by my child. (you get that). The size of the structure was pretty amazing and the view was pretty cool looking down to the water. There wasn't really much else to do up there, so we headed down to take a squiz at the temple. Talk about incense heaven! It was everywhere!
For lunch we stopped off at the Starbucks in the little village, totally embracing the new culture we were experiencing
:) One thing I learnt, was their iced coffee is nothing like australias iced coffee, first of all they dont put milk in it, so it goes without saying you definitely dont get ice cream nor cream! just plain black coffee with ice in it! Thankfully if you scull the drink a portion, they have a counter with milk and actual cream to pour in, to make it drinkable!
We wanted to try something different, so instead of getting the cable ride back, we caught the bus. Now with an upset stomach and a proneness to hating hills and windy roads, it was hell to say the least! It was pretty cool seeing the "countryside" living, where people had back yards. Also seeing signs warning that cows might randomly cross the road was too cute. I just dont understand, maybe those houses cost a total fortune, but the little shack style homes looked so much better than those cold building blocks.
Getting back to the city, we had a little wander around the shops at the end of the street we were staying in by the harbour, then headed across for our Junk boat ride. When the boat
how cute is the soya milk container :)
came in, Joel wanted to sit up on the top. Um, it was just like sitting on a floor board. I made joel sit towards the middle of the boat, there was no way he was allowed to sit by the edge. I was freaked that we would fall off, which when you consider how still the water looked might have been over reacting, but I like my rails! The sunset was totally gorgeous!
After the ride, we headed back to Kowloon with the idea we would go and find some food. Knocking back the suggestion from Joel that we ate McDonalds again, we kept walking and walking, stumbling across the cutest little night markets that sold everything! There was a kind of grubby cafe on the side walk and being totally starving we decided to risk eating there. Was a case of point at the picture you want and hope for the best. I have to admit the food was amazing! Joel totally sucked at chop sticks which is pretty funny, and for once I managed (yah for me!).
Just wandering those streets, especially so late at night, was the best feeling. It made you feel so
alive, and everything was so very different. The smells the sounds, everything! Gosh we chose the best place to stay at location wise, and heading back home for that night, the following day was definitely going to be filled with so many more possibilities.
There are more photos below