It’s been about a week since I returned from Hong Kong and is probably about time I posted some holiday snaps.
Unfortunately at least half of the photos are actually on my mother’s camera so I won’t be able to post them now. I’ll be visiting her in a couple of weeks, though, so I may update this post then with some more pics.
I was so excited about the holiday that I couldn’t sleep well for the last three nights before we left! On top of that our departure flight was so early that we had to be at the airport at 5am.
Even though I was ridiculously tired I think you can tell from the photo that I’m really excited. I kept trying to be calm and sensible but I couldn’t get over the fact that I was actually waiting for my very first overseas flight.
Bouquet was a lot more composed than I ;-)
Getting my stamp at customs made the whole situation feel a bit more real to me.
It was at this point that I realised Bouquet already had her own Hong Kong stamp.
Our flight arrived in the late afternoon and it was early evening when we arrived at our hotel. I fell in love with the place as soon as I walked in the door. We stayed at the Langham and as soon as we walked in to that opulent foyer I literally whimpered. I’d never been to a 5 star hotel before and first impressions exceeded my expectations.
My mother and I were both pretty tired from our flight (and the lack of sleep the previous night) and we really didn’t feel up to going out so we decided to just get room service. Just something simple. A hamburger for me and a club sandwich for Mum…
The fanciest burger and sandwich I had ever seen. With coke in glass bottles served with lemon wedges. And free desserts. On a silver tray. Adorned with fresh orchids. :-O
All the food at the hotel was wonderful. As part of the package be bought we had breakfast included every day in the sumptuous Palm Court lounge area. Breakfast was a buffet of almost every type of breakfast food you could imagine…and then some! I think I had these barbeque pork buns almost every day.
My favourite part of the whole trip was simply looking around. Hong Kong was unlike anything I had experienced – the crowds, the signage, the huge buildings, the harbour views. There was so much competing for my attention that I often forgot to actually stop staring and take a photo! I did manage to take a photo of this weird window decal…
…as well as this awesome ad that really caught my eye.
Apparently this product was originally designed for horses, but is now marketed as a shampoo and conditioner for human hair as well ( and I do mean “as well”. The bottles have instuctions for both human and animal use). I was so taken by this ad that I became determined to purchase some Mane and Tail for myself. After much hunting my mother and I managed to find a bottle of the shampoo and the conditioner on our very last day. I think Bouquet approved.
In terms of general atmosphere, though, Hong Kong is definitely at it’s best at night time.
We didn’t spend the entire time in Hong Kong, though. One day of our holiday was spent on a guided bus tour of Macau. Despite my initial uncertainty about whether I would enjoy a guided tour, this actually turned out to be one of my favourite days of the entire trip! Our tour guide, Cisco, was amazing. He was informative, entertaining and very polite (he always offered his hand to tour members as we were disembarking from the bus).
Our first stop was this amazing statue. I believe it depicts some sort of sea goddess? Cisco stated that it is actually not a very good statue from a Feng Shui perspective because the lotus flower that the goddess is standing on should be open rather than closed and because she should be facing towards the sea with her back to the mountains (she is actually facing the other way)
We also drove past a lot of Casinos, including the irresistibly ostentatious Grand Lisbon, owned by Dr Ho – the wealthiest man in Macau.
We didn’t really visit any of the casino’s though, with the exception of the tour group all meeting up in the foyer of Jacki Chan casino before with left to get the ferry back to Hong Kong.
Most of our time in Macau was spent looking at architecture and statues, eating Portugese egg tarts, visiting churches and shrines and exploring the streets.
Unfortunately my camera batteries died early in the day in Macau, so I won’t be able to post any more photos until I get my mother’s camera.
If visiting Macau was one of my favourite days on my trip, visiting the Giant Buddha was my ABSOLUTE favourite day!
This was probably the hottest day we spent in Hong Kong, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment! We look a glass-bottomed cable car up to Ngong Ping village. It was delightful…but probably not so much if you don’t like heights.
The Buddha itself was impressive, although the 250 steps or so to get up to it weren’t so fun given this was the hottest day of our entire trip!
I thought the views from the top were spectacular. Nothing anyone told me before my trip prepared me for how beautiful Hong Kong was. So many green hills and misty skies. *sigh*
We also celebrated a couple of special occasions while we were in Hong Kong. The first of these was Mothers’ Day. The funny thing about Mothers’ Day was that this was the day out of our entire stay where Mum and I spent the most money…and we didn’t even leave the hotel! We had a day full of pampering, with full-body Swedish massages and facials. We topped it all off with a traditional English High Tea at the Langham’s Palm Court Lounge. High Tea consisted of…well, tea…and a three-tiered cake tray with sandwiches and savouries at the bottom and cakes and sweets on the other two layers. About half way through the proceedings a waitress came out with freshly-baked scones (plan and fruit), cream and home-made jam. In the end we couldn’t finish everything and we had our leftovers boxed up so we could take them back to our room.
The best thing about the whole trip was that I spent it with my mother. We had tossed the idea of taking an overseas holiday together for literally 10 years and it was exciting to finally go ahead and do it. My mother and I have always had a really close relationship. Sure, we fight from time to time (mostly it comes from being too similar!) but I’ve always been able to talk to my Mum about anything – both the bad things and the good. Thanks, Mum, for being so awesome.
The other special occasion that coincided with our trip was Mum’s birthday! We celebrated this with dinner at the T’ang Court restaurant. A two Michelin-starred restaurant conveniently located in, you guesses it, the Langham hotel! Dad one himself the title of greatest husband/father ever that night by calling ahead to the hotel and buying us each some cocktails to go with our meals – A lychee martini for starters (you have to try this! It’s the perfect accompaniment for a Chinese meal) and a peach and champagne cocktail at the end of the meal.
The meal itself was magnificent. We shared four small courses, which consisted of sautéed prawns and crab roe with golden-fried pork and crab meat puffs, crispy salty chicken, roast suckling pig and baked stuffed crab shell. The service was nothing short of spectacular. The waitress took time to help us select our meals and to explain to us what everything was. When she brought the meals out she always asked if I wanted to take a photo first (she saw me taking photos when we were first seated). Even the restaurant Manager came out a few times to wish Mum Happy Birthday and see if we were enjoying our meal. At the end of the meal the restaurant staff surprised us with a small birthday cake for Mum, courtesy of the Hotel, and some sweet lotus-paste buns.
Our final day in Hong Kong we had set aside for our visit to Hong Kong Disneyland…and when we got up in the morning it was pelting down! I was pretty miffed at first, as everyone kept coming up and telling us that it would be a miserable day to visit Disneyland and we shouldn’t go. As such we headed off to what was purportedly “The Happiest Place on Earth” with me in one of the biggest grumps imaginable.
It didn’t take very long after we arrived for my mood to improve, however. In fact, I started to get excited as soon as we got on the Disney Resort train line. How could I not get excited? The train had Mickey-Mouse shaped windows and overhead straps and was full of statues of Disney characters. We had a fun-filled day at Disneyland. In the end the rain worked to our advantage because the lines were much shorter than they would normally be. We got to have photos taken with a number of characters including Chip and Dale, Mickey and Minnie, and a very dashing Prince Philip (when I walked up to him I curtseyed and he tipped his cap to me *swoon*). We also saw some neat shows and went on a number of the rides. My Mum just about killed me after I dragged her onto Space Mountain. I think the Dumbo ride was probably more the right speed for the both of us.
By the end of our visit we were both exhausted and ready to go home…but now that we’ve been back for two weeks I’m ready to go back! Time to start saving again, I guess.