Day 1 - Tues 3rd April
We arrived mid-afternoon in Hong Kong tired but excited, after an uneventful 11.5 hour flight.
After checking in the the hotel, we wandered over to Victoria Park - a welcome slice of green amongst the high-rise, shops and busy roads.
The park is very luscious, and we spent half an hour or so taking in the plants and unfamiliar bird-song. Ended the evening with a welcome meal in a local Vietnamese restaurant.
Day 2 - Weds 4th
Caught the Star Ferry (Morning Star) to Kowloon to meet the Densleys at Kowloon Park. Took a while to explore the park then ate at a very plush Chinese restaurant nearby.
Our plan was to take the tram up to "The Peak", but we arrived to find the ticket queue about an hour and a half long, so took a taxi instead after a bit of haggling to get the driver to take 6 passengers. Amazing views from the observation deck, but not great visibility. Met up with Yuk-Han's sister, her husband and one year old son, Ollie, who decided my knee needed hugging and slobbering on. After an hour or so we made our way back down and headed to Victoria Park again to wear Michael and Jasmine out! Afterwards found a super-cheap but delicious eatery in Causeway Bay.
Day 3 - Thurs 5th
Headed to Sai Kung via Choi Hung where we met Dan and completed the journey on a "green bus". Yuk-Han's parents house is tucked into a very green valley surrounded by jungle. Loads of huge butterflys around. Air full of cicada chirruping and toots and whistles from the local birdlife. Made very welcome by Mrs Cheung. Went for a walk to the local garden center which was really interesting, then headed into Sai Kung to eat at the harbour.
At the harbour Mrs C took us to a seafood restaurant where we tucked into a feast. A downpour started part way through which turned into a thunderstorm. From here we went back into Kowloon to the Cho-Lin Nunnery which has an amazing temple garden.
More thunder during the night, so I spent half the night on the windowsill trying to photograph it.
Day 4 - Fri 6th
Met the Densleys and headed to the Hong Kong Art Museum. Full of interesting artefacts, notably their ceramics.
Then on the Science Museum which is a hands-on exploratory. Some very odd displays about Industrial Safety with dead bodies at the bottom of scaffolding. All for kids. Favourite exhibit was a water curtain lit by a strobe which made it look frozen in mid-air.
Day 5 - Sat 7th
Andy and I had a late start and headed over to the Botanical/Zoological gardens. They are high up , overlooking much of the city with some nice big enclosures and not too many animals crammed in. Highlights were the gibbons and the aviaries - where the Scarlet Ibis were positively glowing.
Onwards to Hong Kong park, which although mainly concrete was actually very tranquil. Slightly disappointed since the main reason we went was to visit the walk-through aviary, which was shut for renovation.
Took our first dip in the hotel pool. We should have taken the advice of the girl who shouted to us as she passed - "don't go in there, it's bloody freezing!". It was.
Day 6 - Sunday 8th
Met Chukka and Dan and took a taxi up the mountains of Kowloon. Lots of low cloud obscuring the upper views but further down we had great sweeping vistas over the city.
On to Sai Kung harbour where after a meal by the waterside, we took a boat-trip out aruond the local islands. Amazing scenery. Saw lots of sea eagles.
Returned to wander around Sai Kun market which was fascinating. Lots of fish for sale as well as a huge array of Asian fruit and veg. Ended the afternoon with a trip to Honeymoon Dessert, which is a chain of restaurants selling only puddings. Yum.