Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Coming Home

Well the smog was wreaking havoc on Ken's allergies and we felt like 6 days in H.K. was too long anyway so Ken and I are coming home 2 days early. We had a great time in Hong Kong and I wouldn't mind coming back for a day or two someday. Kay was a great guide and we had a lot of fun hanging out with her. She's a vegetarian aand doesn't drink alcohol, two feats that I've tried to accomplish many times but always failed. I'm far too lazy to find Vegetarian food all the time and the alcohol thing...well...I just like it, OK?

The hike was really cool. We started at the school where Kay works and made our way around the Tam Tai Reservoir(or Tom Toi or something). We had a chance to take a wicked mountain trail but the humidity was stifling and we had a good enough view from where we were so we stayed on the level for the most part. It was a very clear day but the smog made it so that you could hardly see the mountains just across the water. I really can't get over how polluted Hong Kong is but I guess that's what happens when you cram so many people into such a small space. After the hike we went back to Kay's place to watch Doraemon, a funny Japanese cartoon, and unwind. We left after a few hours then went home to wait for John to arrive. He got in around midnight and we strolled the empty streets for a while before turning in.

The next day we made our way out to Lantow(sp?) Island and saw the tallest outdoor sitting Buddha in the world. It was a really spectaclar sight and a real must see if you go to Hong Kong. There's also a Wisdom Path that just opened and it's very cool in it's own right. It's about a 10 minute walk from the buddha and most of the seemed unaware that it even existed. The whole trip is fun, ferry ride, bus to the top of the island, hike up to the buddha: we had a lot of fun. The best thing too is that the entrance was only 23 HKD(about 3 USD) and it included a free meal at their vegetarian restaurant. Give me free food and I'll love you forever.

We met Kay at the ferry terminal back on Hong Kong island and caught the ferry to Kowloon. The ferry is only 10 or 15 minutes long and cost 1.6 HKD. Kowloon is pretty big and bustling in its own right but the view of Hong Kong island across the water spectacular. There is a must see on Kowloon as well. The Peninsula Hotel is one of the nicest hotels in the world and has a great restaurant on the top floor named Felix. The view from the women's bathroom at Felix is absolutely unreal. The women's bathroom is directed across the water and offers the best view of Hong Kong's skyline anywhere. It's a good thing that Kay was with us because she was able to apologize to the shocked woman who came to see 3 young males with their noses pressed to the window. The view from the men's bathroom is nice as well but it looks out over the city of Kowloon, not quite as nice as the HK skyline over the water. Make sure you head to this female bathroom if you're ever in Hong Kong, no matter what your gender. Every night they have alightshow on the Hong Kong skyline that you can watch from Kowloon but it's very overrated. Each building on the Hong Kong skyline has a few lights on it and they flash in time to some music. I guess it was worth seeing but I'm not going to call it a must see.

Yesterday we went to Victoria Peak, or The Peak as they call it. It was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, but we still could barely see across to Kowloon. Have I mentioned how smoggy Hong kong is? We had a guide that told us about a nice trail around Victoria Peak and Tom san seconded the recommendation so we checked it out. It's funny because most of the tourists head to an observation point on the left, an overcrowded and overrated viewing point, and never even look at the loop trail on the right. The trail was about 2.5 km and offered much better views of the skyline and waterfront. I will label tis trail a must see, I think it's called the peak loop or something like that. Just turn to your right once you get off the funicular railway, to opposite way that most people are going, and look for the signs. We had dinner with Kay one last time and called it an early night.

We are at the HK ariport now and I just wanted to crank this puppy out before I lost my motivation. Hong Kong is an extremely interesting place and we had a really good time. I would recommend 2-4 days and you'll be ready to hit the road. My next blog will be live from beautiful San Diego. I love traveling, obviously, but it's always nice to return home. I can't wait.

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