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Published: October 9th 2012
And so we come to the last blog entry for this trip. Because flying to Hong Kong is, in our opinion, very expensive, we decided to take a flight to Shenzhen and get a bus the rest of the way. Only problem was there was only an early morning flight and then no other flight until 10:30 at night. So we chose the early morning flight and left Yangshuo in the dark at 5:30 a.m. I was sort of gratified to see that it was still raining when we left. When we got to Shenzhen, there were long lines for immigration. Up until the very last minutes of our trip to China, we had avoided this type of thing, but now here we were, one last taste of China. We were there for about an hour, a long time for standing and waiting in line. But not a long time to process so many people. The Chinese are really very efficient.
Hong Kong is very different to the rest of China. I am not a big city lover and didn’t visit many cities in China but I really liked Hong Kong. A city of skyscrapers, on the harbor
and against the backdrop of green hills, takes the edge off all the concrete. Modern buildings stand side by side with colonial churches and buildings. Too hot for me, stepping out of the door was like being in a sauna. Went up to the top of Victoria peak and spent a lot of time by the water or on the water to catch some relief, always a breeze.
I booked a harbor view room and that’s exactly what we got. Wow! A small room, stylishly designed with good space optimization and one of the most amazing views I have ever seen – from my bed – once again, wow! I couldn’t get enough of it. I also ate my share (actually more than my share) of dim sums from the breakfast buffet.
When we arrived in Hong Kong the weather was quite gloomy and getting worse by the minute. After our experience in Yangshuo we decided to not waste another minute and we rushed right up to Victoria’s Peak to see the view. It wasn’t great but still exciting to look down on Hong Kong. As it happens, the weather for the rest of
our stay was very nice so it would have been better to wait – but you never know and we weren’t taking any chances.
We started our day at 5:30 a.m. in Yangshuo in mainland China and it was now 3:30 in the afternoon and we were in Hong Kong and absolutely starving. And what a great place to be hungry in! Absolutely famished and suddenly craving Western food, I ended up eating a meal that included a great deal of French fries and a blueberry and strawberry ice cream smoothie (for goodness sake). I couldn’t even finish my meal and I ended up with a stomach ache and couldn’t eat anything else until the next day. But what can I say? It was quite delicious.
So with a full stomach, it was time to go for a walk. But Hong Kong is hot, real hot. Not so much the temperature – humidity. So we headed down to the harbor and took the ferry over to Kowloon and then took it back and after that I wanted to take it again – not for the night view, for the breeze. But just being by
the harbor was also quite nice – we watched the Impressions light show from the Kowloon side. I thought it was a bit overrated – after finding good spots by the harbor and sitting there for nearly an hour, it started to rain, so we ran for cover and ended up standing behind some very tall people – I guess I can’t really judge but I thought it was a bit lame.
On our last day we headed down to the harbor again, took a ferry over to Kowloon and as we had just missed the ferry tour of the harbor, enquired if there was anything else. There was – a junk was just about to leave. The ferry takes over 200 people and the junk can only accommodate 30 people and doesn’t seem to be so popular. They don’t really advertise it, maybe they think that it’s not safe. At any rate, there were only about 20 tourists on board and we cruised the harbor on the Duk Ling admiring the Hong Kong skyline and with the breeze in our faces.
We visited a few shopping malls – mainly for the air conditioning.
We were amazed at the crowds at the Apple shop, marveled at the views from the top floors, and did some window shopping at the luxury stores but didn’t consider buying. Even though Hong Kong is an international financial center and there is a lot of money about (you can almost smell it in the air) some of the best things in Hong Kong are free – or at least fairly cheap. You can see wonderful views of the harbor from practically everywhere, the ride up to Victoria Peak costs about $10, the star ferry is only $2.50. As well as the Michelin starred restaurants there are also plenty of cheap eats and you can get a taxi where they turn on their air conditioning and meters and fares are very reasonable. Did I mention that just about everybody speaks English?
We met some friends, Yefei and Hetian, for dinner in the evening. It was good to see them again and a nice way to finish our trip to China. We had one more (dim sum) breakfast and then it was time to leave for the airport. How quickly three weeks passed. Too quickly for me –
I could easily have continued for another week or two, even another month or two. There’s so many places that I want to visit – I haven’t had nearly enough of China … who knows what the future will bring?
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