The elevated life in Hong Kong.

Trip Start Oct 21, 2011
Trip End Jan 11, 2012

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Our visit to Hong Kong wasn't full of highlights like Koh Samui, Singapore or Siem Reap but it was a fitting end to our fantastic holiday through South East Asia. We where winding down and taking in the sights and scenery at a slow and steady pace.

Our first two nights where at the dubious but well located Kimberley Hotel. It gave us great access to Tsim Sha Tsui which one of the real happening districts in Hong Kong. Our first day was spent on Hong Kong Island where we where surprised at how orderly the streets are which makes it so easy to walk around which was refreshing after the chaos of Vietnam. There wasn't a lot of character in the Hong Kong and Causeway Bay central areas. It so Westernized with an absence of Chinese architecture and Asian street culture which has a unique flair and atmosphere. We headed to Pacific Place, a very large, stylish shopping mall near Hong Kong Park. Here we had a nice but expensive lunch at a classy contemporary restaurant named Zen. The Dim Sum where fantastic, particularly the Bak Pau. We followed this up with some supreme cocktails from the 49th floor of The Upper House in a bar named Cafe Gray Deluxe. I recommend the Earl 'Gray' Martini to take in the spectacular views of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon. We finished off the day with the movie: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol at the iMax in the iSquare shopping centre.

On the afternoon of New Years Eve we checked out of the Kimberley and moved over to The Harbour Grand Kowloon (Harbour Plaza) for our New Years accommodation. Our room was a harbour view club floor room. The views where extraordinary but not quite right for viewing the fireworks celebration that night. So after lounging around on the roof and some light shopping at iSquare we moved to join the thousands in Tsim Sha Tsui to ring in 2012. The atmosphere exceeded the fireworks display which lasted five minutes and was quite restrained. If I could describe cities by colour Bangkok would be fluorescent and Hong Kong would be neutral pastels. It sounds a bit harsh but I found that our four days in Hong Kong where so mellow and orderly in comparison to the cities we visited from Singapore to Hanoi. For this reason Hong Kong is probable not a place I will be rushing back to in the near future. It's beautiful and elegant which are some characteristics I am not too interested in at this stage of my life.

New Years day was spent in Tsim Sha Tsui after checking into our shoebox of a room in the Las Vegas guesthouse. I thought it would be fun to move from 5 star indulgence to 1 star dodginess and for me it was amusing but for Sam it was a nightmare! I bought my brother a watch from the Sino Centre in Mong Kok where we got to see the dull Ladies Market. I would recommend Mong Kok for shopping over Tsim Sha Tsui because of the trendier and more affordable range of merchandise. We met a cool Aussie in a small Chinese restaurant who informed me of the abundance of Australians in Hong Kong which wasn't too surprising given that there are numerous Australian style establishments throughout the city.

Our first sunset of 2012 was a beautiful sight over Victoria Harbour from the Art Centre on Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. As the sun setted on our epic journey through South East Asia we bid farewell to Hong Kong and began organizing ourselves to return to Bali.

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