Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our latest adventure... Hong Kong!

Since Chris has been home unexpectedly during the summer we decided to take a fun, spur-of-the-moment trip to Hong Kong!  We planned and left for our trip in two days... talk about spontaneous, but those are the best kinds of trips!

We thought that it would take no time at all to get to since we live in Japan, but it ended up being 14 hours of travel... so when we got there Thursday night, we went straight to bed in our hotel on Hong Kong Island.

We woke up early on Friday morning and set out for our first destination, "Victoria Peak." We decided to walk to the tram station from our hotel.  Along the way we stopped for pastries at a fun bakery and some ice coffees.  When we got to the tram line, it was incredibly long and hot.  In the midst of complaining, we noticed that the family in front of us that probably adopted their two boys.  Chris and I were curious, but we didn't want to annoy them by talking to them. Finally, we got up enough nerve and Chris struck up a conversation with them and told them that we were in the process of adopting, too, hopefully from China. It turns out they had just picked up their two-year-old son, Ben, from Beijing, and they were sight-seeing in Hong Kong before they headed home.  It was an amazing conversation and she answered many questions we had.  I think during the whole conversation Chris and I had tears in our eyes... we knew God placed us and this amazing family in this long, hot line for a reason! It was an amazing blessing and we talked about our visit with this family for the remainder of our trip.  God is so good!!

We rode the tram up to the top of the peak to see the amazing skyline on both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The views were incredible.

 Our next touristy activity was to ride the "Duk Ling Boat."  I loved the huge red Chinese-looking sails.  Of course I didn't feel good after the first 15 minutes, but Chris had a great time taking pictures! We sailed around the Hong Kong Harbor for about an hour (I napped the majority of the time, but I can tell from the pictures that it was a nice boat ride).

Saturday was our "walk around town" day.  We toured the town mainly on the double-decker trams and on the Star Ferry that went between the two islands.  The transportation in Hong Kong is incredibly cheap and easy to figure out.  We also took the subways and taxis if we were in a hurry!
Double-Decker Trams

Star Ferry
While we were walking around we saw several fresh seafood markets and we even found a street called the, "Goldfish Market." This street was lined with small pet shops selling bags and bags of fish.  It was quite a sight. Some shops even sold turtles and shrimp.
Fresh seafood market

One of the shops in the Goldfish Market

 One of the most incredible sights in Hong Kong happens every night at 8 o'clock.  The lights on the buildings do a laser light show to music.  It is was pretty spectacular!

On Saturday we switched hotels so we could experience the Kowloon side of Hong Kong... and boy are we glad we did.  Chris is great at many things, and one of those things is finding amazing hotels!  We stayed in Hotel Icon.  It just opened a few months ago so they are offering several "perks." We were able to get a night free and every day we enjoyed a complimentary breakfast (which was delicious), tea time, and evening cocktails and snacks.  The best part was the super friendly staff.  I think we ended up leaving three "Thank You" notes in our room for them because we were so impressed with their service!

Our hotel on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong

A view from our pool... my favorite place!

While I love to sightsee on our trips, Chris loves to experience fancy restaurants.  This time we went to two delicious places and had their set meals at each place. A set meal is usually the chef's best meals and you get to sample quite a few because each dish is about two bites. The first place was called "Bo Innovation."  Our favorite dishes were the cod and scallops. We also had lunch at a place called "Amber."  The whole meal was yummy, but we especially enjoyed the the crab and cucumber salad and raspberry dessert.
Saffron Cod

Scallops and potatoes

Crab meat rolled in cucumber over a lime sauce

Raspberry dessert

Sunday was our trip to Stanley Market.  After an hour bus ride, we ended up in this fun area that was very European.  It was lined with markets and fun places to eat.  We bargained for some fun souvenirs, but the best thing we saw was the Blueberry Ice Cream Flavored Oreo Cookies!  I just had to get some for Cade and Ella!  We also found a yummy place to eat along the water and had the best pizza we have had since living in Asia. Needless to say, we left Stanley quite satisfied!

Stanley Market

Crazy Oreo cookies I found!

A view of the market place along the water

Our yummy pizza!

Our trip to Hong Kong would not have been complete if Chris didn't visit the local tailor to have some clothes made.  It is by far his favorite thing to do in Asian countries because they do such great work in about 24 hours for a pretty inexpensive price. This time he decided he wanted some dress shirts made to go with the suit he had made in Thailand.
Chris trying on his shirts with the tailor.

His finished products.
Even though we were there for only four days, we had a fantastic time and we were able to see and do so much in Hong Kong!  We can't wait to see where our next adventure takes us... we love filling up our passport book!!