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Friday, 21 April 2017

A big honk for Hong Kong

(Lloyd) Took off just before 1 am and got into Hong Kong around 8.20 with a few more hours sleep than we got between Singapore and Brisbane.  Thinking we are becoming adept at getting sleep when we need it.  Cathay were ok, but did change our prebooked seats for no obvious reason and meant we weren't in a block of 4 as we hoped.  No biggie on the basis we all wanted to sleep, and the in flight service still better than stuffy, stingy BA.  Started to watch the Independence Day sequel.  In an ironic twist I fell asleep halfway through, just as I did in the original back in 1996 in a cinema in guess where... Australia!!

Our journey today

(Carys) Flight went okay. After small debate on seating arrangements I got to sit by the window next to my mum. It was amazing seeing Perth at night, completely lit up. I watched some of 'Moana' with my mum and then fell asleep as it was a very late flight. I slept on and off for ages, and after waking up properly in the morning and having a mediocre breakfast of yoghurt, cereal bars, fruit and whatnot, I watched the beginning of Toy Story 3. I forgot to mention I shoveled down some pasta for dinner but It wasn't very appetizing to me. Overall it was a good flight, but not anything special.

We collected our baggage and got through the boring airport rituals. Then we caught a bus into Hong Kong and got to see the beautiful buildings of the city. Then we arrived at our hotel - Eaton Hotel. It looked a lot nicer than I had imagined, and was actually rather glamorous on the inside. Very modern and pretty. Luckily, our room was ready, and our room was simply wonderful! Me and Bryn even have bunk beds! I've ended up on bottom bunk, though I'd rather be up on top.

We settled in and connected to WiFi and stuff, and then decided to go for a walk around. We saw how lovely the city actually is, and how it's rather similar to back home in Cardiff or London, with the selection of shops and  restaurants and cafes. By the time we got  back to the hotel, my feet were killing. We hung around for a while, and then my parents went down to the bar for 'a cheeky drink' whilst me and my brother stayed in the room.

When they came back, we walked the long trek back to the bay - I was exhausted by then - and saw the beautiful evening light show. The advertisements and lasers and lights and color's on all the large buildings overlooking the bay created a lovely show, though I preferred the Singapore one!

Then, guess what< Instead of getting a cab back to the hotel we walked back! Except we didn't go to the hotel, we went to a Indian cuisine restaurant nearby! That was very tasty, but I was to tired to enjoy it properly.

(Lloyd) Caught the A21 bus from airport to Nathan Road which felt a little adventurous, and was a nice way to absorb some of the outlying sights of the City.  Very fortunate that our room was ready so we could dump our stuff and avail ourselves of the rooftop pool and sunbeds.  Weather quite oppressive in terms of heat, but threatening a storm all day.

We then went out and about, and sort of wandered up and in to some Chinese tea rooms where we appeared to be the only westerners there, and very little English was spoken.  Ordered an assortment of foods including garlic squid, shrimps, sweet eggs (not Cadbury style), mango, crab/pork balls and other stuff I can't remember. Dipped in and  out of all that, trying to recall how to use chopsticks and making a good fist of it, or using our fists if all else failed.

A further stroll down Nathan Road, in and out of shops, and then then storm truly broke as we reached the harbor.  Quite an impressive introduction for those who haven't been there before!  I have visited Hong Kong twice in the past, but mainly as part of work conferences and tended to wander in and out of bars, and not soak up the scenery as much as I should.

Back to the hotel to change, taking in Kowloon Park (no parkrun this week) and having a G&T before returning to the harbor to see its nighttime glory.  Seen 2 of the 4 best harbours in the world on this trip, Hong Kong by night and Sydney by day gets my vote.  The light show they run at 8pm doesn't add a whole lot to an already impressive skyline.

A lot of Indian restaurants in Hong Kong and we found one near the hotel to see the night through.  A Madras that didn't have the sting of the Indian Cottage in Magor and all the better for it.  Our last night out on tour spent thinking how we can rekindle this spirit of adventure sooner rather than later.  The old home improvements versus travel only has one winner in my book, but I am not the sole author of course.