Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hong Kong

K: This is officially the final long China post. I have a couple videos to share, but those'll be quickie posts.

Ahhh Hong Kong, how can I even do it justice! Easily my favorite leg of the trip, there were so many things we experienced and saw in such a short amount of time. One afternoon/evening and one morning was not nearly enough time. There's no doubt about it, we'll be visiting this great city again... and for at least a week.

Hong Kong and China could not be more different. It was made all the more clear when we had to exchange our Chinese Yuans for Hong Kong dollars. 

It was kind of nice visiting a place where one of the primary languages is English. Everywhere we looked, we saw English. What a change understanding and being understood by nearly everyone. I'd kind of forgotten what that felt like!

We checked into a Korean guest house that SangKwun found. It was a great deal! Only about $60/night right in the middle of the action. This was a view from our window.

In the morning, the guest house served a traditional Korean breakfast. While I'm not wild about grilled fish and kimchi when I first wake up, it was nice to have breakfast provided. Here we are waiting for it to be served.

After we dropped off our things, we decided to go shopping. When we visited, there were some huge sales so the stores were completely packed. There was even a roped off line (one person in, one person out) to Ralph Lauren. You'd think they were giving stuff away!

As we were heading to the mall, in the middle of the street, this guy ran out with a boom box and started up an impromptu dance to Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' broke out. People were randomly jumping in and everyone just seemed to know what to do. One of the most entertaining things I've EVER seen.

Here are Mark and SangKwun in front of Hong Kong's Times Square. You can see the sign in silver up on the building.

Here's a shot of one of the store signs at the mall. I've never seen malls like this - they contained every designer I've ever heard of, seen, or read about. Now I understand why Hong Kong is considered such a shopping mecca. There seemed to be a Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Chanel, D&G store everywhere I turned, including in the airport!

After we shopped our hearts (and wallets) out, we walked along the Hong Kong riverwalk. The skyline is incredible.

To one side, were these palm tree groupings to relax under.

And to the other side was the view of the river and the skyline. I love the fluorescent reflections on the water. I have a video of the skyline that I will post later. I think it does a better job showing how incredible the view is.

Later, we stopped by this Irish pub. They had these huge beers and beer pretzels! Also, the waitress spoke English, so it was fun getting to take charge with SangKwun and taking care of the ordering.

The Hong Kong subway system is very nice and has very British sayings such as, "Mind the gap." We saw this sign near the entrance -- perfect photo op, and good advice for Mark in general.

The next morning after a quick drink at Starbucks, we were off to the airport. Here we are riding in one of the double decker airport buses. I'm not sure about the rest of Asia, but Hong Kong and Seoul have these shuttle busses that take people to and from the airports for less than $10. There are various pickup points around the city and the buses normally come every 30 minutes. I don't know why we don't have these types of services available in the States!

It truly was an unforgettable, wonderful trip. Though I was kind of sad for my vacation to end, I was looking forward to getting back "home" to my familiar, daily routine. Isn't it kind of funny that I would ever consider an apartment in Seoul, Korea home?!?!?!

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