Hong Kong

If a picture paints a thousand words, how many is a photograph worth? Or does that count as a picture, too? Truth be told, I only need one word: “Busy”. That’s what Hong Kong is.

Times Square

Now admittedly, this was taken near Times Square, but it could realistically have easily been pretty much any random Hong Kong street, at any time of the day. There are people everywhere, and for the most part, they’re very… assertive. I say “assertive” here instead of “rude”, because even though they tend to bustle and shove you around – and they could certainly learn a thing or two about queueing from the English – I think they’re actually quite polite at heart. For example, people absolutely leapt up on the subway system to offer Kristy a seat the moment she boarded, which was a stark contrast to the tube in London.

This trip was a bit different to my last trip to Hong Kong – last time I was here by myself, and only for one day! This time, we had a three night stop-over to do a better job of breaking up the long haul back to Brisbane home. One thing that didn’t change though was that we once again met up with John and his family – including baby Susanna who is only 1.5 months old!

John and Crystal, Rebecca, Susanna

Similarly, John’s brother Quentin met us for a delicious Dim Sum lunch. I’m very pleased to report that Dim Sum (“Yum Cha”) is pretty much the same here in Hong Kong as what it is in Australia!

Dim Sum

Finally, the other constant for both trips was I found it incredibly difficult to find anything “local” for breakfast. On advice from some locals, we sought out some congee one morning, but we couldn’t find any places that served it before 11:30 AM! One other day we once again resorted to Maccas, and once again I somehow ended up with two sausage and egg muffin meals instead of the muffins by themselves. Still, bonus OJ – no complaints!

The weather looked threatening since the moment we got here; thankfully though, the storms held off for most of our trip – except for Saturday night when we got a huge thunderstorm, but we were safely back at the hotel before it hit. We were exceptionally lucky with the weather on Saturday morning, when John took us on the “I can’t believe the angle this thing runs at” tram car up to The Peak, where we had exceptional views over Hong Kong and Kowloon.

The Peak

We really were blazing the tourist trail, doing both the tram up to The Peak, as well as the cable car to Ngong Ping to see the giant Budda. He’s big. Real big. High five!

Giant Budda

We were a little discouraged when we got to the base station this morning and found a giant queue, but it turns out you can pay an extra HKD$50 (or so) and get “upgraded” to a Crystal Cabin (i.e. clear-bottomed) cable car. It’s totally worth the money, simply because there’s practically no queue on the Crystal Cabins – it’s like the Ngong Ping version of a Fast Pass! The clear bottom on the cable car doesn’t really add much value otherwise, though I guess it’s a bit of a novelty.

Crystal Cabin

I didn’t find the shopping quite as compelling on this trip, though this is probably due to a number of factors. Firstly, it’s hot. Really, really hot. I don’t know how it compares to Brisbane heat these days (forgiving the summer/winter difference) but the humidity makes the prospect of wading through crowds, fairly unattractive. Secondly, our baggage was already overweight when we left the UK; thankfully the girl at the “I’m upgrading you to Premium Economy” desk (thanks again Dave!) waved the £30 extra charge for us, though it made us fairly reluctant to buy anything extra in HK.

As it turns out though, we’re now sitting in the Qantas club lounge in Hong Kong airport, because we’ve once again been upgraded – this time to Business class! Admittedly, I requested this upgrade on Frequent Flyer points, but this is the first time I’ve actually landed it as well! Anyway – this means that we each get 10kg extra luggage allowance, but since we only found out that our upgrade had been approved on the day of the flight, it didn’t leave much time for shopping, so we’re flying out with (roughly) what we came in with. Still, the shopping here is certainly plentiful, and I’m thinking that perhaps we should plan another trip to tidy up our wardrobes sometime next year! Not sure how I’m going to fit that one into the budget, though…

Anyway – they’ve just called our flight, so I guess it’s time to board! Photos to come once we’re home in Brisbane. Hear that? “Home”. In Brisbane. What a trip.

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2 comments on “Hong Kong
  1. jason says:

    Wow you were lucky with the weather – the day we went up in the Crystal Cabin it was so foggy we couldn’t see anything through any windows, let alone the floor!

  2. John Woo says:

    Hi both Thomas, I haven’t been to any Ngong Ping cable cars before. Guess what? I pass them every morning when I go to work.

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    […] spent three (or was it four?) days in Hong Kong as a “stopover” for our move back to Australia. And, we flew in Business class for the […]

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