Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Hong Kong, Macau & China Visit, October 2011 - Part I

In October we finally got to our annual holiday. We needed to be on Lang Fang in China by the third week in October for my brothers wedding so we decided to work our holiday around this visit. After much deliberation and with the help of the itinerary that a friend of mine had used some years we decided that we'd fly in to Hong Kong for 3 nights, visit Macau for 2 nights before getting a flight up to Guilin in China. Once in China it would be one night in Guilin, 3 nights Yanghsuo, one night back in Guilin and then another flight up to Xi'An where we would stay 2 nights. From Xi'An we would head on to Beijing via an overnight train, one night in Beijing and then on to Lang Fang for 3 nights before back to Beijing for another 3 nights before heading home!

We flew with KLM to Hong Kong via Amsterdam. We had a five hours lay over in Amsterdam so we decided to head in to Amsterdam itself for a few hours. Unlike Dublin, we know that this was something we could safely do and still make it back to the airport on time for our flight! It was a gorgeous sunny warm day where we saw lots of canals, bikes and ate some yummy ice cream :)

Coke and Bikes

Amsterdam Canals

The flight itself was fine except for the fact that I have never, ever, sat had so little leg room on a long haul flight (~11hrs). We were so tight for space that I actually put the magazines in the front pockets up in the overhead locker in an attempt to free up an extra centimetre of space (and that was before the seat in front went in to recline mode!). But other than that it was all fine!

We got a train on to Kong Kong Island before transferring to the subway/metre. I was a little surprised at how busy it was considering it was a Sunday afternoon but hey, I soon realised that what we were experiencing that afternoon was soooo not busy! I guess I'd forgotten that I was on one, if not the, most densely populated island in the world!

While we were walking from the metro station to our hotel (this involved trying to find the hotel as opposed to walking purposely!) I was busy keeping an eye open for a Starbucks where we could have our breakfast the next morning. I am so happy to try local cuisine when on holidays but I reckoned that on our first morning it would be handy to just have somewhere easy to find for breakfast in the morning (i.e. coffee!).

Our hotel, the Lanson Place Hong Kong, was absolutely gorgeous!! I think the only door I opened in the 3 nights that we were was the door to our bedroom! I also want that bed! It was so one of the most comfortable beds I've slept in - wonderfully firm and no annoying ripples when Dave moved (and no doubt he was thinking the same thing!)

That first evening in Hong Kong I discovered that I needn't have worried about not liking Hong Kong... I loved it!! Talk about a buzz!!! I loved it :) Our first meal was bought from a little stall where I took a good guess that what I was buying didn't contain anything other than vegetables and fish. They had no English, we had no Chinese (of any dialect) but we managed to buy our dinners in the end (there was some reluctance to sell me my dish... Dave's was fine as it was about 4 times as expensive and was made up in the little cafe behind the stall). We ate dinner standing on the street, much it would appear, to the amusement to the locals! I thought that some of the passing girls would take our photos :) I guess that not many European tourists buy 15 HKD (~€1.50) meals and eat them on the street. But that's what we were there for... to experience the local feeling. I loved it.

There were many interesting places to visit in Hong Kong, temples, museums, night markets and the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island. If you ever get the opportunity to visit I suggest you take it. I loved it :)

Fruit Shop

Pak Temple at Night

The Tian Tan Buddha Statue


So, on the third morning we headed off to the ferry to head across to Macau for the next two nights. I'd had a great time in Hong Kong and discovered that i have a real love for simple vegetable noodle dishes! Hopefully I'll get to briefly blog about that before too long :)

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I am so glad you blogged about your trip I have been looking forward to hearing all about it and seeing the photo's. More photo's please !!