Hong Kong, what a place, on first arrival after a 1hr and half delay on the plane. long hot sticky plane journey, luckily we were on an overnight flight so by the time we were on the plane I was pretty tired so i managed to sleep for a lot of the journey, admittedly not particuarly comfortably. When eventually out I got my first sights of hong kong, the sky scrapers towered up in to what seemed never ending, the buildings were lit in bright coloured lights and the whole city was illuminated. our hotel was on causeway bay with gorgeous views onto the harbour and we were right in the centre of the hussle and bussle.
Later in the evening after checking into the hotel we decided to explore the local streets, sunday night, 10pm and the streets were alive with activity, the atmosphere was amazing, i couldnt believe how many people were out and about at this time, the streets were actually heaving with people!
On monday, our first full day here,We went to Nathan Road- the main road through a majoy part of Hong Kong called Kowloon on the mainland. We headed off early for my dad to get himself fitted for a suit in the taylors, the one we went to has a global reputation, and looking around on the walls of "Sam's Taylors" there were photographs of these suit fitters with Michael Jackson, Elton John, Bill Clinton, cheques from Buckingham Palace, Cliff Richard and more. The little chinese men doing the fittings were the funniest little people I've ever seen and they were so quick with the fittings.
After this we headed to the famous bird market, Thousands and thousands of tiny little birds were stacked up in mini cages, birds of every colour and variety. As fascinating as it was I couldnt help but think it was quite cruel. Also sold there were gorgeous traditional chinese round bird cages which looked beautiful and if I could I would have bought one! Also the not so nice maggots, crickets, cockcroaches were sold there which made me cringe. Next to the bird market was a flower market which was definately worth a look at. but not a lot I know about flowers!
We then made our way to The Pennisula hotel, just off Nathan Road, Hong Kong's equilvalent of The Ritz- wow! Made of marble the place we ultra grand and oozed in class and sophistication. I had a slice on their 80th anniversary cake which was made of rich moouse and was delicious.
By now my feet were hurting from all the walking round, but this didnt deter us, We went to Times Square, an enormous shopping centre made up for about 20 floors only half of which are over ground. Managed to pick up a new memory card there so I can take lots more photos.
By now we had got the hang of the mtr, Hong Kong's underground but 100 times better than that of London. clean, safe, simple the tubes are one continuous carriage and fit a lot more people in them. London could learn A LOT from it.
For dinner we headed out to a chinese restuarant with some friends who live here and who we will be going to stay with a bit later in the week. We tried a selection of different chinese dishes, some I'd never seen before. By the end of the meal, feeling very jetlagged we went back to the hotel and I slept like a log.
Early start this morning. Headed to a place called Ngong Ping to see the Big Budda, (in photograph) An enormous bronze statue situated on a the peak in the mountains. to get to this we took a bumpy coach journey up through the mountains. Well worth the vist to see. We had an interesting lunch, traditional of the buddist monks that live there in the monstery there, All I can say is that it was an experience. vegetarian very wierd flavours..
Next we headed down the peak on the cable car with beautiful view of hong kong although it has been the whole time very misty. Next we went back to the island and when up a peak tram which is a diagonal tram line that takes you to the peak of hong kong, offering spectacular views on a clear day, unfortunately not for us but worth a visit anyway.
By now was dark so we went to the top floor of our hotel (34th!) and looked out over the harbour at all the lights. Dad and I headed to the night market and ladies market. Thje sounds, the hussle and bussle of the crowds the smells from the food stalls were fascinating. We managed to buy a few souvenirs and then went back to our hotel and packed to leave the hotel the next day.
Macau- situated further down the coast from Hong Kong and is a set of a few islands. One hour ferry ride to get there- is like an aeroplane on water!
Once portugese owned Macau is home to Macau formula one circuit and is now built up to be Asia's Las Vegas and is said to have a larger gambling population than Las Vegas itself.
The place itself is heavily influenced by portugese architecture as well as the chinese understanding of religion- prime example being st Paulos, only the front remains from the catherdral.
Through the blend of european and chinese mix of streets were many decorations, chinese lanting and giant floats of gold rats- for chinese new year which goes on for several weeks, this year being the year of the rat.
For lunch we headed to a beach which literally translates as Black Sand Bay, which funnily enough has black sand. Hear I tried garlic prawns, sardines, ribs and chicken all of which were very tasty. From here we headed to a place find the famous egg tarts which are only available in one shop in Macau and more to the point, anywhere.
The Vienitian- i dont think thats how you spell it but the copy of the famous las vegas casino designed around Venice. Including canals INSIDE the building with gondalers! The gaming room was ENORMOUS! as far as the eye could see there were fruit machines and game tables, i cannot even begin to describe its size. This is not including the giant shopping centre and the 370 hotel rooms.
Back to Hong Kong on the ferry and we now are staying on the south side of Hong Kong Island called Repulse Bay with our friends that live here, Relaxing night tonight ready for tomorrows plans