This is where I will be posting updates on my everyday adventures on this journey called life.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

SE Asia: Week 4 - Hong Kong & China

We left Hanoi and headed for Hong Kong for the last week of our journey.  We checked into our accommodation in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Hong Kong.  If I could do it over, I would definitely have spent more and stayed in better accommodations.  We had decided to invest in an Octopus card, which made getting in/around the city an absolute breeze.

On our first day, we met up with my friend Jasmine for #jalex2016.  We walked around the botanical gardens (and got eaten alive by mosquitoes) and made our way up to Victoria Peak.  We had our first meal in Hong Kong up at the peak and it was delicious!  We took many pictures, shared news and memories, and made new ones until the next time we see each other!

The following day was our first full day in Hong Kong.  We started the morning by trekking to a famous restaurant which served one of my favourite foods - however, we didn't realize it was supposedly a holiday and the restaurant would not be open that day.  Though we were disappointed, we were also not the only ones in line so we didn't feel as bad.  We ended up walking around and grabbing a bite in a nearby neighbourhood.  I had planned to take the Star Ferry and visit the other side of the island, and a walk through the Ladies Market.  We ended up catching a movie at a mall near Central, and then had an amazing hot pot dinner at Nabe One.  Highly recommend!  We decided to go with the Australian Wagyu Beef (middle option) and it did not disappoint!

The next day, we caught up with my friend Andy who was kind enough to show us around Hong Kong.  We went for dim sum, and then out and about in the city.  We made a stop on the other side of the island (near Stanley) and were able to witness a dragon boat race.  Walked around the beach area, and the adjacent market.  Even stopped by a bakery for some snacks.  It was a great tour and I'm so grateful he was able to take time to accommodate us.

The initial plan was for my sister Wendy to fly from Germany to Hong Kong, and we would take the train together to visit our family in Guangzhou, however there were several mishaps regarding her flight.  It ended up being severely delayed, however it worked out in the end because they were able to fly her to Guangzhou without routing through Hong Kong.  We checked out a day early and bought train tickets the next morning to meet her in Guangzhou.

Luckily, my family was able to meet us at the train station (my sister had already been picked up from the airport earlier that morning and was already at the house).  After a near fiasco, we were all finally together in Guangzhou!  It was the first time my sister and my aunts/uncles had met so it was quite a joyous occasion.

My family spent the next few days taking turns spending the day with us and showing us around Guangzhou.  Highlights include Yuexiu Park where we saw the Five Rams Statue, stopped by one of the beautiful gardens, and even spent a day at the zoo about an hour outside the city.  It was great spending time with my sister and extended family exploring the town our family is from, and I'm so glad we had the opportunity.  After a few days in Guangzhou, we said our goodbyes and made our way back towards Hong Kong where we would be spending some time before our journey came to an end.

We made our way to the hotel in Hong Kong, and then went in search of lunch.  We had a quick bite at a Korean restaurant nearby, and then ended up exploring a market or two before having a lovely dinner nearby.  Afterwards, we set out to see the light show at the harbour.  Unfortunately for us, it was raining but it was the only night we would be in town so we had to make it work.  Afterwards, we went in search of the Bruce Lee statue on the Avenue of Stars - the Avenue was under renovations at the time and the statues had been temporarily moved elsewhere.  After a bit of a walk, we managed to find him and some other stars on a semi-private outdoor terrace.  We then retired for the night and prepared to depart for home the next morning.

My sister had an earlier flight and so she set out first.  We spent a bit more time walking around the neighbourhood (and eating!) before finishing packing and heading out ourselves.  The flight was long but uneventful, and before we knew it, our month-long trip had come to an end.  It was quite a trip, and I'm glad I was able to have all the experiences that I did.  Glad I was able to check so many things off my list of things to do, and I'm excited for the next adventure to come!

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