Hong Kong

on Sunday, December 28, 2008

December 26, 2008
Well, I here at the Kaohsiung International Airport yet again. I’m off to Hong Kong for three days. I’m fairly excited about it too.
I cannot honestly say that I am all too thrilled to be sitting in an airport again, and I’m even less excited about getting on another plane, but I suppose I’ll survive.
The hotel I’m going to stay at is near or part of the YWCA on Hong Kong Island, I can’t remember which. I picked it because of the location; it’s right near the bottom of Victoria Peak, which is rated as having the best night view in the world. Unfortunately, when I read the weather forecast for Hong Kong, it said that it’s going to be cloudy and rainy all weekend. I just hope that the weather folks were wrong.
I’m sitting in the waiting area by the terminal and there is an old guy sitting next to me that is full out brushing and flossing his teeth, toothpaste and all… the people you come across in airports.

** Arrival*** 7:15 pm

I took the Airport Express to the Hong Kong Central Station (about a 25 minute trip) and then a taxi from there to the Garden View YWCA Hotel (about 5 minutes).
The hotel is much, much nicer than I expected. My room is on the 17th floor and has ceiling-to-floor windows that look out over the city. It’s got a very modern design, and unlike the place I stayed at in Macau, it’s got heat.
I walked down Garden Street to the Peak Tram and took that up to the top of Victoria Peak. I must say that it really does live up to its reputation of being the world’s best night view; pictures just cannot do it justice. I met and kind of hung out with a family on my little trip up to the Peak. The husband is from Birmingham, England, and his wife is Taiwanese, and they have a 3 year old daughter. He’s an engineer in Taichung, Taiwan. After that I walked around Central Hong Kong until about 12 and then I made my way back here, and it’s 12:45 right now.
Hong Kong is extremely westernized, everyone speaks English. Even the Chinese people here speak English to each other. Also, there are a ton of British people here, it’s like little England. Honestly, while I was downtown I’ll bet I saw almost as many British as I did Chinese.

December 27, 2008
I woke up this morning and walked through the Botanical Gardens, across the street. It’s a very pretty little spot, nothing too fancy or too exciting, but it’s a nice place to sit if your legs are tired. The Botanical Gardens has a large variety of birds, and some other animals as well (it’s like a small zoo).
Then I walked down to St. Johns Cathedral. It’s a very beautiful building, and it’s old. Sadly, it almost seems out of place now, because of al the ultra modern surrounding it. I walked around downtown again while I was down there to look at the cathedral.
Hong Kong is very hilly, so it takes a lot of energy and time to walk around. So, after I walked back up to my hotel I really didn’t feel like going anywhere for a bit.
I talked to people on Skype for a couple of hours, took a short nap, and then went back out for the evening. I walked down to the MTR station and took the train to Kowloon and went to the Temple Street Market. It was pretty crowded, I went there specifically for the fake stuff, but their fake stuff isn’t cheap. It was pretty much like every other big night market I’ve been too. Some good stuff, but mostly junk that you wouldn’t ever want to pay to lug back home.
I walked around Kowloon for a bit and ran into some senior missionaries from Snowflake, AZ.
Then I went to a big store called H&M and got a sweatshirt and a regular shirt. I walked around some more and then came back here. I’m freaking tired.
Hong Kong would be a lot cooler if I had about $1,000 spending money. Hong Kong seems to be best for shopping.

December 28, 2008
I planned on going down to the pier and taking the Star Ferry this morning, but it’s been raining all day, so I just went down and walked around downtown again and used the skyways to get from building to building. I don’t feel like it was a wasted day at all. I saw some pretty interesting things. The cable cars that go around downtown are pretty cool. They look (and move) exactly like the crazy bus on Harry Potter II. Also, the Pilipino people that live here congregate in large groups , just about wherever they can find room and set up little makeshift cardboard living rooms, and just chill there with their families, eat dinner, and play cards; very strange. At first I thought they were homeless, but after observing them for awhile, it became obvious that wasn’t the case.
I walked back up to the hotel, got my bags and took a taxi down to the airport express railway. There I fell asleep in my chair waiting for my train for about 2 hours and almost missed my flight.


sinead said...

I'm glad you got to see Hong Kong but I think I'll be happy with Macau. Your photos are really good!

"Ashley Anne" said...

A) What is up with the cardboard box fort

B) I really like the picture of you and the city at night

C) I miss you!

The Bruce and Maria Wellers said...

Great pictures of Hong Kong Arthur! I really love the photo's of the Yongs at Christmas too. It is so great to get to see the food, and the apartment as well as the people. It really gives us insight to life in Tiawan.