Day 37 - 10/11/09 - Guangzhou & Hong Kong (China)
A new guide, Phillip, met us at the train station to transfer us to Guangzhou East train station for the 1hr 45min train to Hong Kong. He gave us the run down about city of Guangzhou like all the other guides have done (population, size, etc.), even though we were only going to be there a couple of hours... Still it was nice and we would consider a longer stay at another time. We found some lunch at the station while we waited for the train.
After lunch, it was a short wait until the doors to customs opened for us. This was an easy straightforward procedure. It was then another short wait before we could board our train. We were delighted to see that the train awaiting us was a double decker train and that our seats were on the top level. The train was very comfortable and better than the sleeper trains that we had been on.
We arrived in Hong Kong at 5:30pm and found a taxi to our new hotel on Hong Kong Island. We settled in before having a very yummy dinner at the hotel restaurant, and planning our day tomorrow.
Day 38 - 11/11/09 - Hong Kong (China)
After a minute silence this morning (close to 11am Melb time), we went for a walk through the Zoological and Botanical Gardens next to our hotel. These are amazingly beautiful and free! gardens with lots of zoo animals in them including many monkeys, many birds, turtles, tortoises, a crocodile and a snake.
We then walked to the streets of Hong Kong and found our way to the train station we can catch tomorrow to the airport. We were excited to find that we can check in our bags at the train station which is in the city, not at the airport and just board the plane when we get to the airport!
It was then time to try out the Guinness Book of Record's longest covered escalator (about 800mtrs long). There are opportunities to hop off the escalator to shop or eat. We stopped to get some lunch at Bamboo Dim Sum Tea House (Yum Cha). It was then back on the escalator to the end, before walking back through the gardens to our hotel.
This afternoon, we took a taxi to another hotel where we were picked up for our night's activities. First up was a visit to Temple Street for some market shopping. This was much like other markets, but less "grabby". After shopping we jumped on an open roof bus and cruised around the city for an hour, seeing and learning about all the sights.
We were dropped off at a port in Kowloon for our Victoria Harbour cruise with buffet dinner. We ate a quick first course, before heading to the top deck to see the city's famous permanent light show. Hong Kong has hundreds of buildings that line the harbour and they all go crazy with their lights for about 15 minutes, while some contribute with a small laser show. It was good, but we were expecting something more structured. We continued to cruise (and enjoy some desert) for a while, before disembarking, making our way back to the hotel and getting to sleep.
Tomorrow we leave Hong Kong, but before we do, there are some more sights to see.
Take care - Jess & Scotty