Disneyland deserved its own post, but there was quite a bit more to this second trip to Hong Kong. The nice thing was that I didn’t repeat too much from my first visit. This is what I love about Hong Kong: there’s sooo much to do.
For the first five nights, I stayed with Jamie & Co. in an apartment in Discovery Bay on Lantau Island. This neighborhood is probably the closest thing to the suburbs that you can get around Hong Kong, and it was very convenient because of 1) its proximity to Disneyland, which is also on Lantau, 2) its central shopping area with a grocery store and restaurants, and 3) its ferry, which runs 2-4 times an hour to the Central piers on Hong Kong Island. A huge thank you to Jamie and Peter for arranging everything, as I was having a major case of what they call “decision fatigue” with all of my logistical planning over the last nine months!
Our non-Disney days were spent in the apartment relaxing.
Or climbing furniture.
Or playing with trains.
I was also introduced to Elf on the Shelf, whose name is Anthony (according to Theo, who named him). Anthony found some pretty funny hiding spots.
On our last night together, the five of us took the ferry to Central in Hong Kong for dinner. Theo was fascinated by the boats – we had spent some time in the afternoon watching the ferries depart at the Discovery Bay pier- and it was a beautiful ride arriving after dark to see all of Hong Kong Island lit up.
After my friends departed for Shanghai the next day, I moved my things to a hotel in Kowloon on the mainland for one night. I had stayed in this place back in September, but I didn’t think that it was possible to get a room smaller than the one I had before. I was wrong. Tiny rooms are the norm for Hong Kong, and I can’t complain because I got a great price. But this was just too funny.
In the early evening, I met up with Urvi and Nick for drinks and appetizers at a Thai place near Central. Urvi is the sister of my former boss in Boston. She and her husband had graciously hosted me at their house on the island for a few days in September. I am glad that I finally got a photo of the three of us together!
I wandered around Central until I came across a sight that looked somewhat unfamiliar: the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. I had seen this near the piers during my earlier visit, but somehow it looked different now, more… purple than I remembered. I learned that it had just officially opened on Friday, the day that I had arrived in Hong Kong. What a welcome! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be one of its first visitors.
I spent my last morning in Hong Kong finishing up some Christmas shopping before heading to the airport. The bus ride there was an event in and of itself. I love buses in Hong Kong. A reminder of former British influence, there are double-decker buses and proper queues for each bus line at the roadside. It is the most organized system of public transportation I have ever seen. If you luck out and are able to sit in the front seat of the second deck, you can get some awesome views, too!
I heart HK :).
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So this will be my last “current” post. Now that I have a reliable wifi connection, it’s time to rewind WAY back to where I originally stopped writing, which was (gulp) Albania. I have my work cut out for me!