Having just been to Thailand for a week we travelled to Hong Kong for the second part of our holiday. Often Hong Kong is used as a stopover but there is so much to do there, we didn’t stop for one minute for two weeks and we could have stopped longer, there was so much we didn’t have time to do.
Our travelogue – or how to spend two weeks in this glorious city.
July 3rd 2019
Hong Kong bound! We left Hong Kong in turbulent times 16 years ago and we arrived back, with HK firmly in the headlines as the people are protesting against an extradition treaty that China wants to impose. The HK people see this as the end of democracy.
Got to our friend Lia’s apartment mid afternoon. Went to the Cricket Club for a spectacular Chinese dinner with friend Sarah and her two daughters Claudia and Sophie.
July 4th 2019
Breakfast at MacDonalds before meeting another friend Pamela who organised temporary memberships at the Hong Kong Football Club, very handy because of the wonderful facilities (not to mention wifi).
Took MTR and star ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon Side) where we visited tourist information to update our knowledge and collect maps. We then split up. Joe started his training with Harry Wright Swim club so I went with him to find the South China Athletic Association (SCAA).
July 5th 2019
Trip to Hong Kong Park (Central) sampling the hothouses, waterfalls, and seeing the massive Koi and 100s of turtles before meeting Jenny and Simon in a traditional Chinese teahouse for vegetarian Dim Sum. Went to see Brian Tilbrook’s paintings before going back into the park to see the bird houses and new SARS memorial.
We then took the midlevels escalator to Robinson Road where we used to live. The block of flats hasn’t changed a bit and we were very lucky that the doorman let us in so that the children could see the lobby and playground.
In the evening we went out with one of our old Hong Kong friends Ben at a curry house in Causeway Bay.
July 6th 2019
Feeling a little more organised now and so took a trip to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. I went by bus but the family opted for the new cable car. Once very serene it has turned into a major tourist spot now with a tourist village that looks like Disney. It was a long climb to thee buddha and then we had a (vegetarian) meal in the monastery (lots of mosquitos around so not pleasant).
Took a bus to Tai O, a stilted fishing village and took a short boat ride to see the houses (didn’t see any of the HK pink dolphins though which were also promised).
Another bus to Mui Wo and a ferry home.
In the evening we met old friends Kellie and Paul for a meal in Happy Valley. Delish……
July 7th 2019
Sunday – a chance to take the children to mass at the cathedral where they were all baptised, except when we get there it is under renovation and mass is held in the church hall – not quite as impressive.
Brunch in a crepe restaurant (Lan Kwai Fong and Wyndham Street were all closed and held nothing of interest). Zoological garden (Urangutans) and through Central again and saw lots of Filipinas (but not in the number they once were).
Up the escalator to Hollywood Road (closed) and the Man Wo temple. No sign of Charlie’s old kindergarten. Back down the hill and to the fabric market in Western Market.
Split up – Joe and I went training and Terry, Dominic and Charlie went to join one of the many HK protests that are happening at the moment (peaceful).
Had dinner at the football club with Alison, Malcolm and Lewis, when we were leaving we ran into old antenatal friends Andy and Lisa.
July 8th 2019
We had a wonderful day today at Ocean Park, which has changed beyond recognition since the 1990s.
Far more rides and attractions and sadly middle kingdom (the museum part) has all gone.
Our highlights were definitely the Pandas and the huge aquarium, the rides were good but the queues were too long and we have the same if not better in the UK.
We had a fabulous day and on this day I managed to tick off at least two of my 101 challenges. To a: visit a theme park and b: the terrifying cable car means I ticked of my challenge with heights too.
July 9th 2019
Starting to think about shopping and souvenirs. So the natural thing to do is to head to Stanley Market. This popular tourist attraction has shrunk dramatically in size and was filled with much more commercially made goods rather than traditional items. I was hoping to get a couple of new pieces of calligraphy for the wall but was unsuccessful. We did but a few odd pieces though.
The Smugglers Inn is still there and we had a refreshing drink before signing the obligatory banknote for the wall. We had lunch by the waterside.
Following our trip to Stanly we went to Aberdeen Harbour and took a sampan ride around the harbour driving past the luxury yachts and the local fishing boats. The best time!
July 10th 2019
City Hall for a delicious Dim Sum lunch – oh my goodness, just what I remembered.
Ferry to Cheung Chau and a wander round the island discovering HK village life.
With still some time to kill we took the MTR to Taikoo Shing shopping centre. We then climbed the hill to Kornhill where we spend 6years of our lives. We even met a parent of one of the children I used to teach which was a bizarre experience.
Split again – Terry took the boys to see the new marvel film and Charlie and I went to the races at Happy Valley. We lost of course! After which we then headed into Wanchai to have a drink – at non other than Joe Bananas one of our old stomping grounds.
July 11th 2019
Our first trip up the Peak!!! Cannot believe we have been here over a week already. No tram which was a pity (being renovated) so we took the bus – I had forgotten what a ‘ride’ it was. At the top of the Peak many of the shops and attractions were closed which wasn’t a problem as we have intended doing the Lugard Road walk anyway. It was still lovely with a great view over Blessing Gardens.
In the afternoon we went over to Jordon / Prince Edwards area and visited Ladies Market and the Jade Market. Great to really haggle! The old habits were still there.
The heavens opened and the kids experienced HK rain! Tis proper rain.
In the Evening we met my old school colleagues for a Chinese Banquet, the food was interesting to say the least and really took the kids out of their comfort zone.
July 12th 2019
A day without Joe today as he was recharging. I took Charlie and Dominic to the day time markets. Starting with Pet Market (YUK YUK YUK), Bird Market and the flower market – my! today was HOT and we really struggled.
MTR to Wong Tai Sin – a huge shopping centre now towers over the temple (which by ‘surprise’ is being renovated) We contemplated having out fortunes told but when literally a verbal fight ensued between the tellers we decided against.
A KFC lunch.
Met Terry (who had been on a business meeting in the city and went to the Hong Kong Museum, so big and detailed we forgot the time and were still there as it closed.
Met Joe in Tsim Sha Tsui and we had a meal in Delaneys which is a pub that we frequented on a regular basis 20years ago. Very happy memories.
Saw the festival of lights which were all new to Terry and I. A spectacular way to show off the Hong Kong skyline.
July 13th 2019
Today we split up, Terry, Charlie and Nic met up with Ben and walked the last part of the dragon’s back walk in the blistering heat.
Joe and I mooched along to the end point Shek O to meet them.
We had a lovely Thai meal (but all agreed it wasn’t as nice as Thailand’s own. We heading back into town and went to Victoria Park and visited the avaries and mooched around a little bit. It occurred to us that we hadn’t eaten an authentic Chinese meal for a while and found a Michelin starred restaurant Pang’s Kitchen just a stone’s throw away from our flat #winwin
July 14th 2019
Terry went to church in the morning and we got ready to go to Paul and Kellie’s for a Burger. Paul is a chef and it was the best damn burger ever! He had even organised a birthday cake for me, the star!
The kids love Paul and Kellie’s dogs, Bailey, Tali and Teddy. Joe nipped out to go swimming but otherwise we stayed quite late watching Wimbledon and playing cards against humanity.
July 15th 2019
My actual birthday! The entire holiday has been a huge celebration but today we had a meal in Staunton Street, then we went to see Lisa (from my old antenatal group) for coffee and cake before A SEAFOOD DINNER ON LAMMA Island – absolutely awesome. We arrived back on Hong Kong Island reasonable early so decided to go up to the Peak to look at the nightime view (you must ALWAYS do the Peak in the daytime and at night).
July 16th 2019
Bubble is bursting. Terry was working all day so I sent the kids to the football club while I packed (definitely needed as much space as I could get).
The kids (without my nagging) got sunburned.
Took the hold cases to the intown check in, so that it is a lighter journey tomorrow morning.
I take Joe swimming one last time while Terry, Charlotte and Dominic take a last jaunt to the markets for souvenirs.
Our last meal in HK was a bit of a disappointment, it was in a fusion restaurant in Times Square. It is lucky that we have had so many glorious meals during our time here.
July 17th 2019
Up at stupid o’clock to travel to the airport and home. A perfect holiday and a wonderful way to spend my birthday. I am so happy that I returned and I am optimistic Terry and I shall return again. It was fantastic to take the children and show them their roots at last. It was very important to me that Terry and I should be the ones to show them Hong Kong,
It is a place where my heart will always belong.