Day 14 Guilin (Con't) and Travel to Hong Kong
Trip Start Aug 01, 2011
34Trip End Aug 25, 2011
Today is Friday, 19 August 2011 and you guessed it, another moving day. This time it's from Guilin to Hong Kong. So far, we have traveled 11,200 miles. Today is nice and cool; probably the coolest thus far. Our itinerary for today is to visit Fu Bo Hill, Reed Flute Cave, and then to the airport for our flight. Luggage had to be outside our door by 0930; we are scheduled to depart at 1000. Our first stop after the boarding the bus was to an ATM. Everyone was running low on funds and we had to tip Jeff today because he wasn’t going with us to Hong Kong. So he was all for the stop.
After the money stop it was on to Fu Bo Hill, a mountain right smack in the middle of town that has fantastic views of the city as well as some unique rock formations. The only problem, to get to the top, you had to climb approximately 365 steps; and don’t forget the return
Our next stop was the Reed Flute Cave; another strenuous event. I saw pictures of it in a souvenir book; it looked beautiful. It was very picturesque with big stalactites and stalagmites with shallow flowing water. I didn’t want to leave Rosalind alone (although it would be safe), so we decided to stay put. Local vendors had set up stands near the entrance; they almost attacked the bus
The drive to the pearl factory took only about 10 minutes. Once inside, Rosalind and I got a one-on-one briefing on pearls (from cultivation to finished product) from a staff member. We were then escorted to the showroom for shopping. It was funny seeing all the husbands sitting at a small bar area drinking while the spouses shopped. This trip wasn’t too painful wallet wise. After about an hour and a half, the bus picked us up and we headed to the airport.
The bus trip to the airport took approximately 40 minutes. As I mentioned earlier, Jeff (who has been with us since Day 1) was not going with us to Hong Kong. The reason was the requirement to possess a VISA, and Pacific Delight Tours didn’t get him one. So, we were going to be on our own for the move. I was given a sheet of paper with all of our flight and identification information written in Chinese that I was supposed to give the ticket agent
We were traveling on yet another new airline; this time China Southern Airlines. Our plane was a Boeing 737-800 (3-3 seat configuration). We departed five minutes early; impressive. Our flight was a little over an hour; again we were served a meal. After landing and retrieving our bags, we exited the customs area and were met by Albert (he had a welcome). We immediately noticed the difference between the mainland China airports and Hong Kong airport. It was cleaner, more western looking and people friendlier. It was a very short walk to the bus.
During our drive from the airport to the hotel, Albert briefed us on the upcoming activities and information about Hong Kong. Some of the key facts include: 1) Hong Kong is comprised of 264 islands; most of which are uninhabited; 2) The three main cities or districts are Kowloon (cow-loon), Hong Kong Island and New Territories; 3) Britain turned over control of Hong Kong to China in 1997; 4) China and Hong Kong agreed to leave everything in place (government, money, laws, etc…) for 50 years; and 5) Hong Kong is now the world’s largest shipping port in the world
Tomorrow will be our only scheduled tour day. Albert advised that he could arrange any optional tour(s) if requested the remainder of the days we’re here. I was kind of dumbstruck with that! We had such full days of activities in mainland China, but almost nothing scheduled here. And there is just as much to see here too. We never got an answer as to why it was like that. This will definitely be a feedback survey item.
We arrived at our hotel after riding through a part of downtown Kowloon, street markets and residential areas. Our hotel, Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees actually had things and some areas slanted 8 degrees (check-in counter, door frames to the elevators, glasses and tea pots, plates, etc… Walking into the lobby and seeing the counter slanted kind of freaked me out initially; standing at it was also strange
We ate dinner in one of the hotel restaurant. Sit down for the next sentence. We are “TIRED OF CHINESE FOOD!” I didn’t think I would ever say that in my life. We didn’t even look at any Chinese food items on the menu. I ended up having some great spaghetti and garlic bread; Rosalind had a burger and fries. We were back in the room I think about 2100. Big tour day tomorrow.
Lionel and Rosalind