Hong Kong 25th – 29th January 2017
Our flight to Hong Kong was delayed so we arrived about 40 minutes late but we soon got through passport control and collected our cases. Tom was waiting for us as we entered the arrivals hall with oyster cards loaded ready to catch the airport express train. When we got to the airport express station the last shuttle bus to the hotel had unfortunately departed so we had to catch the MTR. This took some time as we had to transfer from one line to another several times and with the suitcases this wasn’t easy. We eventually arrived in Kwun Tong and Tom has found out where the hotel was and so took us straight there. We checked in and Tom went home, it was about 11.30.pm (2.30. am Sydney time) by now and we were shattered.
Next morning (26th January) we met Tom along the promenade front to go for a run. It was a lovely warm, sunny morning and Tom took us out to the old airport and we had a look around there and then headed back to his apartment. We ran back to the hotel, had some breakfast and showers before heading out to meet Tom again.
We caught the MTR to Diamond Hill (Tom joined us at Kowloon Bay station) and had a walk around the beautiful and peaceful Nan Lian Garden. There was a temple in the middle and a lake full of huge coy carp. Then we took the MTR to the next station to visit the Wong Tai Sin Temple, where we took part in ‘shaking the sticks’ – fortune telling sticks but we didn’t do the fortune telling part! There was a huge amount of Chinese New Year decoration; the New Year is the year of the rooster so there were a lot of those about too.
After this we went for lunch to a restaurant in a mall, which specialized in pork dumplings. Tom ordered the dumplings, noodles and beans, which we shared and were delicious along with hot Chinese tea. We then walked to a park where there was a huge Chinese New Year market with a lot of flower and plant stalls. Tom had to go to work at 5pm so he left us after this and we went for a coffee before taking the MTR back to our hotel.
After a rest and showers we left the hotel about 6pm and found ourselves amongst everybody in Kwun Tong leaving work, it was very busy. We met Ellen at the MTR and went back to their apartment before catching a taxi to an area called Jordan to meet Ellen’s family and Tom for a meal in a restaurant there. We had a lovely time with them eating very nice Chinese food and cakes, a very enjoyable evening.
The next morning (Friday 27th January) Mel went for a run with Tom and I stayed at the hotel; it was a lovely sunny day again. Afterwards we met up with Tom again at the MTR station and then we travelled to the Hong Kong Science Museum. A 22-metre-high Energy Machine is the Science Museum’s tallest and biggest exhibit. It is also the largest machine of its kind in the world. Occupying four-storeys of space, it stands prominently in the centre of various exhibition halls. This exhibit demonstrates energy conversion through the movement of balls down the towers. When set in motion, a continuous stream of balls will roll along tracks within and between the two towers like a roller coaster, producing dramatic sounds and visual effects. We watched the machine in action, which was quite impressive. Ellen came to meet us and we had a look round some of the exhibitions most of which were interactive and very good particularly for the children.
We had lunch in a café called ‘Passion’ specializing in very tasty salads and sandwiches, made with very nice bread. Afterwards we walked to the Space Museum and the Kowloon harbour front where Tom & Ellen left us to go to work. At 5.30.pm we boarded the Aqua Luna, a red sail Chinese junk boat and sailed across Victoria Harbour as the sun was setting. There were excellent views of Hong Kong as the lights began to come on and the Chinese New Year displays were illuminated. After this we met Tom again and travelled back to his apartment by bus. We had a lovely meal of steak, chips and asparagus in ‘Tom’s kitchen’.
On Saturday 28th January (first day of the Chinese New Year) we met Tom & Ellen and took the MTR to Central Station on HK Island. From there we caught a ferry to one of the outer islands, Cheung Chau. It was a bit cloudy this morning but not cold so we had a walk round part of the island and had a coffee at a beach where a lone windsurfer was out on the water. Then we went back to the port and had lunch in one of the cafes before deciding to go back to HK Island as it had started to rain. We were all a bit tired so Tom & Ellen went back to their apartment and we went to our hotel to pack and have a rest. We watched the Chinese New Year parade, sponsored by Cathay Pacific on the TV.
We had a lie in on Sunday 29th January before finishing packing and checking out. We left our suitcases at the hotel and went to Tom & Ellen’s apartment where we attempted some calligraphy, a traditional activity for Chinese New Year. Afterwards we went on the bus to Kowloon City and Tom & Ellen took us to a Thai restaurant for lunch, which was very nice. It started to rain whilst we were in the restaurant but it soon stopped and we walked to the Kowloon Walled City Park. This exhibition consists of outdoor display areas rooms inside the former Yamen. It demonstrates the old days of the Kowloon Walled City through models, images and sound effects. It was very interesting and the rain didn’t start again although the sky remained quite overcast.
Ellen had to leave us, unfortunately to go and visit her sick uncle. So Tom took us back on the bus to his apartment where we got changed and then he came with us back to the hotel. We said our thanks and goodbyes and caught the hotel shuttle bus to the Airport Express Station in Kowloon. We have really enjoyed spending time with Tom & Ellen and seeing some different sights in Hong Kong.
We checked in at the station for our flight with Emirates to Dubai and then caught the train to the airport.