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Published: March 3rd 2009
Honk Kong (noun) - ......
How can I describe Hong Kong? A few ideas come to mind...
A friend of Lauren's described Hong Kong by saying, "If your eyes are open, you're shopping." True statement.
Another way I could describe it was by the drinking game Lauren and I jokingly made up. Don't worry we didn't play. This game would have been suicide...
Everytime someone offers you a "Rolex-copy-watch."
Everytime someone hands you a flyer for a massage or foot reflexology.
Everytime you are approached about a custom tailored suit.
Everytime you see the word "SONY"
Give out 5 sips to any participant if you can beat a salesman to what they're selling. Example: You make eye contact with a man on the street and he begins approaching you. You can beat him to what he's IF you can mention "tailored suit" or "copy watch" before he does. Doing so allows you to grant any other participant 5 sips of their drink. Take 2 sips for incorrectly guessing what he's selling.
Bottom line...there's not enough Tsingtao in Hong Kong to play that game for even 1 square block.
The real story
We had a pretty empty plane to HK from Kota Kinabalu. After landing and baggage claim, we met Joyce, our tour guide. She took us to the hotel and told us what we'd be doing the next few days. We checked in and in true Boulier fashion uncorked the Jimmy B we brought along. When in Rome... stop at the airport duty free shop and buy some bourbon (did I get that right?). Don't worry it was after noon. We found a good place for dinner that night and had a great meal. After that it was time to get some sleep.
We woke the next morning and took off with Joyce and her driver, "Wylon?" We got to check out the area and rode through downtown on a double-decker cable car. She took us to Aberdeen where the fishermen and their families live on the water. We drove around and even got some food from a tiny restaurant-boat. Yummmm cold chicken wings served off a super clean boat!
This event was followed by more praying for our digestive systems. Joyce too us to a local jewelery maker and they gave us a preview of their shop. They
wanted us to buy some jewelery afterward but I was distracted by the free beer in the showroom. Being on a college budget, my motto was "I'm just here for the bud light." After some "tim sum" and tea for lunch, we headed back into the shopping world. There's no shopping district...its all shopping...everywhere! The same thing over and over and over too. Ridiculous! But fun!
The next day, we headed toward the ferry terminal. We boarded our ferry destined for Macau. Macau is a former Portuguese trading post and, like Hong Kong, is a special administrative region of China (mostly autonomous and capitalistic). We arrived and found a driver, Johnny, that would take us around to all the tourist sights in Macau. We saw some pretty cool things there. There were awesome casinos (the Gran Lisboa is the one shaped like a lotus flower). We went to a Buddhist temple that was hundreds of years old (and still receiving a lot of use). The twirly things in the pictures are incense that take up to 1 month to burn. Johnny took us by some former gangster's house. It was extremely nice and had been converted in a museum
and opened to the public. We saw the ruins of St. Paul's cathedral in another part of town. It was amazing how European the city looked. The Portuguese influence showed quite a bit. The streets were narrow and the buildings seemed to close in on top of you at times. Motorcyclists dominated the roads with their wild driving. Apparently, there are about 100,000 of them on the small island. After some great Portugese seabass at Henri's resuarant, we headed to gamble at the Gran Lisboa. I really enjoyed out visit to Macau...it probably helped that I won HK$400 from the slot machines. I would definitely head back for a day trip if I'm ever in the area again. Its sure to be dominated more and more by casinos in the future, but I'd like to go back and check it out anyway.
The next day, we decided to head back to Hong Kong Island (we were staying across the harbour in Kowloon). We took the bus up to the highest point on HK Island and grabbed a snack at McDonald's. We were amazed that even after a 30 minute bus ride away from the town and up a winding
mountain road, we found ourselves in a shopping mall at the island's peak. After a rest, we took the cable train down toward downtown. At one point, the track was at a 45 degree angle! Back in town, we took some more photos and walked around for a few hours. It was getting to be time to head back toward the hotel so we got back on the ferry. Dad and I went to see the "awesome laser show" that occurs nightly at 8:00. More like LAME-ser show... Anyway, it was happy hour -- 2-for-1 of the biggest beers I've seen in 2 months! Then we got some sushi at the local sushi bar and wrapped up our long day with a few more cold ones. I had a great time with the family on our adventures. Thanks for the great trip y'all!
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