12th Jul 2012 - 20th Jul 2012
London, Hong Kong & Macau
We left Istanbul at lunchtime and arrived in Heathrow that same evening. We were in transit but it lasted 17 hours so we had booked into Heathrow Lodge in Longford, only 15 minutes from the airport. A delightful village with beautiful English gardens and thatched roof houses. We enjoyed a pint or two and a meal at the White Horse old English pub where we had to go back to for breakfast. We lost a day on the flight to Hong Kong for an early morning arrival.
Saturday, 14 july
Reached our L'Hotel Causeway Bay, Hong Kong by 8.30am and went for breakfast while the room was being prepared. It is terribly hot and humid, just like being in Bangkok or Singapore. Spent the day touring the local area, riding on the double decker trams and wandering through the shopping centres.
Sunday, 15 July.
Our second day in Hong Kong and we are off up to the peak.. A long ride in the double-decker tram, a walk up to the peak tram station, then the tram to the top. The view over the city is wonderful. The peak observation decks high above the tallest skyscrapers. We enjoyed a terrific lunch; garlic prawns and a ‘monterey jack’ pasta. Down below again on a bus to the ferry terminal and a stroll through town. The Sunday routine for people of Hong Kong seems to be to come out of the apartment and picnic with friends on the footpath. Every bit of space on the paths, in the squares, in the gardens is occupied by groups, nearly all women, chatting, eating, playing cards, etc. Ab) Great views huge crowds posh restraunt beautiful lunch
Monday, 16 July
First tailor day in Kowloon
Ab)Walked through the streets of Kowloon aimlessly having people coming up saying You come to my tailor and pushing their business cards under your nose. They all have a terrific deal $1980 Hkdollar for 1 pure wool suit 1 extra pair of trousers 1 sports jacket 2 shirts and fries with that BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. Blah blah blah. At the end of the day fed up and no tailor. At one tailor we were told to F off when we asked for time to think about the deal.
Tuesday 17th July
Caught the turbojet ferry across the South China Sea to Macau. Took a tour with a guide to see the main sights around the centre of the city, then wandered about the historic old part of the city before checking out a casino, (one of 35 in Macau!) before catching the ferry back to HK
Wednesday, 18th July
Over to Kowloon again to find the tourist information place and ended up shopping for a suitcase before trying to fill it at the Jade Market and the Temple Street Night Market .
Thursday, 19 July
Day spent on Lantau Island, We trained it to Tung Chung, jumped on the cable car (after queuing for about 90 minutes) for a 5.7 kilometre trip to Ngong Ping, This was really huge, high up over the mountain, the airport in the distance behind us,. This was to the location of the Big Buddha, a huge statue, almost as impressive as Christo Redentor in Rio, only instead of a bus and escalator to get to the top we had to walk up 256 steps.. Not far away was the Po Lin Monastery, quite a sacred temple, lots of devotees and incense. We wandered back to the bus terminal and caught the bus to Tai O, a little fishing village where the old houses are on stilts. The most amazing thing was the dried fish, whole sting rays, huge puffers and bloaters, shark fins and tails, all dried. To say the aroma was delicate would be an understatement. Bus from Tai O to Silver Mine Bay where we caught the ferry to Central and jumped on the Star Ferry to the tailor for the first fitting.
Ab) Every time you go to a new city to see the city sights you need to climb steps. This town was no exception, the smells of Asia in 39degree heat and the 256 steps to go to the Budda really makes a really tiring day of it. We would walk most days from 10am until 7pm. We have not been back to the hotel until 10ish at night. Last night I bought some milk and made an iced coffee and crashed by 10.30.
Seeing the Big Buddha was really good. It was huge and a lot of Buddist people were there to pray and burn incense. To me it was a tourist attraction not to be missed when visiting Hong kong. My feelings were completely different when we went to see Christ the Redeemer, when we went there I was completely blown away by the sheer size and magnificence of the statue. Also having the strong emotional link to Christ the Redeemer that made it all the more special.
Friday: Annette went for a manuicure and pedicure this morning and later we went off to see the Man Mo Temple, no particular reason, we just read about it, but it was not out of the ordinary. It was in Hollywood Road which is also called 'Antique Street" so we went browsing through some shops - saw some beautiful things there. Down to the ferry place to catch a Junk but found a better deal - Junk to and from Stanley with time at the market included so that is now tomorrows plan.
Saturday, our last full day in Hong Kong. After breakfast it was in to town on the double decker tram to central and down to pier 9. The Junk arrived as expected and we boarded for the 90 minute trip around to Stanley on the bottom of the island, It was a pleasant relaxing journey although the atmosphere was very hazy, visibility only 400 metres or so. That made it difficult to appreciate the city skyline.