Hong Kong was the best vacation. I've had a bit of beef with Hong Kong for more than a decade when my parents took ALL of my sisters there just after I got married but didn't invite me (so rude, right?!). Since then I've been a little grumpy when anybody mentions that vacation or even the city in general. Upon moving to Japan I realized this would be my chance to finally love Hong Kong. And now I can truly say- I love Hong Kong!!!
The flight was direct and wasn't long- plus tickets were very well priced on Japan's Vanilla Air. It's a discount airline whose mascot is spongebob!?! Oh, Japan.
We found a great apartment from airbnb on Lantau Island in Discovery Bay. This place felt like an Air Force Base! It's a mini oasis for ex-pats from around the world. There are American type grocery stores, restaurants, and other services and everybody spoke english. It was pretty amazing. Plus- at night we could see the Hong Kong skyline light show and Disneyland's fireworks!!! it was perfect.
Here was our daily morning view from the balcony!
In the mornings we'd take a quick ferry ride over to the other islands of Hong Kong. The entire city is situated on the water along coasts and small islands.
Just the rides over in the morning were so much fun.
Hong Kong felt a little more like Chicago than it did Tokyo.
but- once we started exploring side streets- the Asian feel returned quickly. I LOVE roaming back and side streets of large cities. Squished walkways with all sorts of strange shops and weird trinkets. You can't see in this pic- but the road was VERY steep. Much of Hong Kong is on steep coastline that goes straight into mountain.
there was one part of the steep incline that has a giant escalator running straight up the city!!! it was very strange to have a giant escalator running through a narrow big city alleyway. it was really long and quite the adventure to ride.
we had some misty days- but mostly perfect weather!
Mack learned a new word here. It was 'truck'. We had to stop at every construction site and large truck to see what what was going on. Truck is now his very favorite word.
Kent gave the kiddos a mini anatomy lesson at this shop.
At this market a lot of the fish were still flapping around erratically and our kids could not stop staring. Ike kept asking: "are those real?". metta could not believe they were still 'alive'.
I'd heard a lot about shopping in Hong Kong but we were rather disappointed. The markets were nothing like other great cheap markets we've been to in Asia. They were pretty expensive and people did not want to barter.
China is famous for their dim sum but I can't stomach it. Dim sum is steamed everything. Buns, meat, veggies, etc. But everything is so moist. and tastes moist. and really- who even likes the word moist?? let alone to describe all of their food!!! kent bit into a dim sum bun full of mystery meat and started dry heaving. I just stuck to egg rolls. I'll take my food baked or fried.
The temples in Hong Kong fascinated me!! they were full of very large coils of burning incense. I loved them. The smells and smoke were a bit overwhelming- but they looked so unique in comparison to other Asian temples we've visited.
I could have taken pictures for hours if my eyes hadn't been watering terribly after just a few minutes!
ALL of these coils are burning!!!
We were there prior to the Chinese New Year and the temples were making preparations for it all. I loved the ducks at all of the altars.
sometimes I'm so tempted to just grab a piece if fruit off these altars/offerings!!
and yet another picture of the coils :)
we got around the city mostly by ferry and subway. I love this picture of our family and a Chinese family squished onto one subway bench!! they were really friendly.
Somehow we lucked out that in the month of January (when we were there) all city museums were free entry!! It was perfect and the museums were great.
The arts and culture museum had exhibits on Bruce Lee and traditional children's clothing- along with a big hands on children's floor!
I think this one was calle the maritime museum. Mack was fascinated with all of the model boats.
this museum was out on one of the piers and the kids could look out onto the water,
The children's science museum was my favorite. There were so many exhibits and things to do.