In March 2013, Elan and I decided to visit Hong Kong. We board the 747 Delta jet from New York to Narita and enjoy the 14 hour flight with comfort. Board a second flight from Narita to Hong Kong and arrive 4 hours later to start our adventure. We waste no time and visit the Peak Tower in Victoria Gap area. The tower is a display of modern architecture offering spectacular views of the city.
We find our way down to the river and take a local boat ride and clearly see the different lifestyles on either side. One side shows expensive yachts lined up while the other side displaying a much different picture.
Along the boat ride, we see the huge Jumbo Floating restaurant that has been featured in many movies and frequented by top celebrities; one of which their local hero, Bruce Lee. The boat docks near a channel and we walk around the affluent area with restaurants and cafés.
We later take a larger ferry to the other side of the river to witness the famous light and laser displays from all buildings. The ferry is full of people and the water causeway is busy with cruise ships, water taxis and private boats. The night was very foggy and made the whole skyline look very mysterious. The laser light show was enhanced with the dense fog creating a spectacular panoramic display of visual beauty.
Amongst the crowd, this one gentlemen asks if we would be interested in watches and as Elan was in the market for one, we followed him into his shop. Although it wasn’t one on the main strip of the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, we followed him with extreme caution looking for quick escapes should it be necessary. Elan purchased a watch and we continued to the Heritage 1881 to see the largest Teddy Bear that we’ve ever seen in a beautiful affluent shopping complex.
We take the ferry back and walk the city center in an area that was packed with locals and tourists alike. Corner fast food cabins offering various dishes that made one look twice for the origin of such animal. Not being sure what it was, we refrained from venturing into certain culinary delights. It was great being amongst the hustle and bustle of the evening with bright lights at every few feet.
The evening fog carried over to the next morning as we visited the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. The Big Buddha was nestled at the very top of the mountain overlooking the area and its facial expression seemed to provide comfort to all those worshipping it. A true inspiring “King” overlooking the city. We slowly climbed the steps to the very top which itself proved challenging. As every step was taken, the fog would intensify. Several other statues around the perimeter seemed to be alive as they protruded through the thick mountain fog.
The return proved very challenging and with time running out, we had to act quickly. The Hong Kong flight filled up forcing us to take China Airlines to Shanghai. That seems simple enough but what we weren’t aware of was that customs and immigration were obliging us in having confirmed tickets from Shanghai back to North America. Little set back, but adrenaline kicks in and quickly connect online, book tickets, head back to customs, get cleared, arrive at gate, board plane, arrive in Shanghai, cancel our ticket and breathe a sigh of relief. NOT so fast! As our Delta flight was scheduled to depart the following morning, we booked a hotel close by. So we thought. The taxi driver, whom had no knowledge of English, takes the address and despite the hotel site indicating a short 10 minute drive, the taxi was driving us around on some dark road that was lit up by only its headlights. To make it more suspicious, a motorcycle follows us for some time in which we were convinced this would be some sort of heist. We had enough and demanded to be brought back to the airport. As he took a last turn, the motorcycle disappeared and miraculously our hotel was in sight. Hotel was sub par, breakfast was horrible but made the flight back home.