Trip Start Sep 01, 2004
41Trip End Apr 25, 2005
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We are in Hong Kong for four days to get our China Visa and try to adapt to the changes from Africa to Asia. It was a two day process just to overcome the jet lag. I don't know if it was related to just being tired, the time our flight took, or just the radical change of culture, but this piece of travel took the greatest toll on us. We should be ready for Beijing by the time we arrive.
Hong Kong is an amazing place. Maybe not for everyone, but it has surprised us. We did the research before we left, but nothing that you read or anything people tell you, prepares you for the intensity, size, or pure energy that this place demonstrates wherever you go. We keep saying it's like a brand new San Francisco, only a hundred times larger
Shopping. Nothing I can write here would prepare you for the shopping in Hong Kong. When we think of a really nice mall in California, it's maybe three stories and has 5-6 really well known international type high end, designer stores. Here the malls have the flash of Las Vegas, 5-6 stories above ground and 2-3 stories underground. The individual stores inside are smaller, so there are probably three to five times the number you would find in America, in each mall. The amazing thing is that the malls are everywhere. Within a 15 minute walk of our Hotel we counted 15-20, and that is such an incredibly small piece of Kowloon, which is just one neighborhood in Hong Kong
We spent one day going to see the Big Buddah on the other side of the bay. It's about an hour on the subway and another hour by bus to the top of this remote mountain. After climbing a long stairway you arrive at the base of this really cool, bronze, Buddah. Its about 100 foot tall, and has a huge bell that hangs in the base. You can see it sitting on top of the mountain from about 15 minutes away. We wandered around and watched a serious number of people lighting incense and burning prayer type papers. I could hardly breath. They gave you a free meatless lunch that was very generic. (Diane, I don't know how you can eat that stuff :^))
We took this old style tram to the top of a mountain overlooking the entire city. Of course there are two malls at the top. The view was neat and it really showed you how incredibly large this city is.
One evening we visited the night market and JoAnn got here palm, and face, read. The old guy said that she is stubborn, and that she shouldn't marry anyone with eyes smaller than her own
Today was planning for the next phase of travel. We did find a Hotel restaurant that was making a real, honest to God, Thanksgiving dinner. We didn't have the whole family with us, bummer, and we didn't have to eat with chop sticks either, and the food was great, with normal sized portions. I still missed JoAnn's rolls though! Today is a travel day so we are at the airport where there is free Internet, as long as you can stand up. There are no chairs here. We are looking forward to the cool weather in Beijing and will try and meet George as he is leaving China, if possible. They tell us travel in China is a huge act of patience. We hope our Africa experience will help. Thanks to everyone that writes, we love to hear from you. Stay healthy and warm.
Don and JoAnn