Happy Birthday Me!!

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Sep 12, 2008

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Monday, September 8, 2008

After being an overstayer in Cambodia for a week, I was really only given a couple of dirty looks, told to pay my fine, and asked when I would be returning to Cambodia..the flight was a short one and i slept which was fantastic after a couple of nights out with friends who were also leaving the same day as me..

It was wonderful being met at the airport, let alone by family!!  I have been missing cuddles lots! I occasionally find decent people for hugs but thety are few and far between, and no random travellers ever will match parental cuddles!!

We had a fantastic few days in Hong Kong, they went by far far far too quickly, and before I knew it, it was friday morning and we were at Hong Kong airport all over again saying goodbye.

For my birthday we went over to Hong Kong island and ventured to the top of 'The Peak'.  We took a cable car up (where in the terminus dad 'met' Jacky Chan) and this was the first time I really appreciated why people get so excited about taking the cable car at home..It was exactly the same as the one in Wellington -- well..maybe not exactly exactly, but similar enough that it had a red outside and wooden inside!!  The trip up the hill was pretty exciting - the tracks got us on a 45 degree angle, which, for those of you who dont frequent 45 degree cable cars on a regular basis, is freaking steep!!   And the view from the top was (although somewhat hazy with polklution I  imagine) fantastic.  Hong Kong is skyscraper central, but stunning to look at, with the harbour in the foreground and the hundreds of skyscrapers (both apartments and offices) in the background, as far as you can see.

We had a fairly action packed time here to be honest, we went to markets, had lots of yummy food, went to a theme (yet educational) park, the beach, and on a day trip to neighbouring (?) Lantau island.

Every night over the harbour was a synchronised light and sound show, which was fun -- I never heard the music we were synchronised with, but I enjoyed the lights immensely -- all different rainbow colours, flashing away on so many of these huge buildings, there were also spotlights and green lasers..very cool.. I just used my imagination for the song that may or may not have been playing!

We went to the museum of Hong Kongs history (free entry on wednesdays YEA!), which really was fantastic, I think dad said it was 7000 sq ft of exhibition?  Crazy, but so well done! The displays and information were all very interesting, And there was enough stuff in there that you could pick and choose what you wanted to look at (if the geology of the place didnt really do it for you , you could move on the prehistoric man and archaeology (as I did) or the more current history (as dad and liv did).  On the trip through the tunnel UNDER the harbour (!!!) we all exchanged info we had learnt, and came out the other side feeling (I think it took 3 minutes?) a bit more knowledgable.

After the museum, we went to Ocean Park (I am such a kid..). Ocean park is a theme park, with a few rollercoasters and other rides, but it is also educational, it had a huge aviary you could walk through, with some stunning birds, a coral reef lagoony kind of thing -- similar to kelly tarltons - full of all of these crazy exotic fish and turtles and sharks and other sea creatues, a dolphin show (like at marine land), and a giant panda enclosure.  Very very cool. Here we discovered creatures we never knew existed -- the garden eel, and the sea weed dragon amoungst other things.. these guys were utterly fantastic!!   

The beach here was a whole lot nicer than those in Cambodia (no random and somewhat disconcerting objects floating about or washed up to be seen) but was most defiantely the coolest water I have swum in in a while!

Our last day took us to Lantau island, an island which is bigger than Hong Kong island, but nowhere near as populated, with, at the top of 200 steps on a HUGE hill. a giant buddah statue -- very simialr to the giant one I saw in Japan!  The views from this hill were lovely aswell, and when we eventually descended the stairs, we walked the 'wisdom path' which I absolutely loved and want one for my garden, then on the longest gondala ride I have ever been on -- it lasted 25 minutes or so, and went from the top of this hill way way way down to the water.. I dont know how high the hill was, but 25 minutes was a decent amount of floating time to get down there!!

We checked out a wee fishing village called Tai O, where we went on a boat out into the china sea, and saw dolphins -- grey ones and PINK ONES!!  The pink ones were just gorgeous, a lovely baby pink colour..so so cool!!  I had been talking to someone in Cambodia, aparently you can see them off the coast in the high season, and only for about 2 months, so this was really special!

And all of a sudden, it was friday morning, and I was saying godbye to dad and Liv off as they wandered off to their flight.  Wat did I do next?  Bought a ticket and got myself a flight to China!!
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