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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back to the Motherland: Adventures in Hong Kong

The "Back to the Motherland" series continues!! You didn't think I would forget.. did you? Well I'm back and ready to continue my series. My goal from now on will be to reduce my number of entries and jam pack as much as humanly possible. Enjoy!

Previously I had just landed in Hong Kong and enjoying my sweet hotel room. After a peaceful night of rest I was ready to discover the city. It was quite difficult to figure out our way through the city at first, but my parents know how to ask around. Of course I can just read the signs just as well as them, but I let them lead the way.

After going every which way possible we took a ferry to Kowloon and got on the HK subway for the first time using my Octopus card. It was reallllllly clean and advanced. By advanced, I mean ten times better than any other subway system on the east coast of the US.

We met up with my mother's friend, ate dim sum for lunch (inside a mall!), and he entertained me with the most amazing mall ever. At one point I did figure out the name of the mall, but my latest research has yielded no results. With limited space in the city, it's all about building up. This mall could possibly be one of the tallest malls around with escalators connecting each floor. It's pretty amazing.

I am a kid. No joke. I was immediately drawn to everything amazing, awesome, and cute. I had to ask my dad for money (like a little kid) to buy something from the toy machine. Being the awesome dad that he is, he bought me quite a few toys and even encouraged me to buy more. Hehe.

We took a break from shopping to meet up with some more of my parent's friends while enjoying discounted dim sum. This was also my second meal of dim sum for the day, and boy was I stuffed. I love dim sum, but I was not prepared for the amount of it I would consume on my trip. Also my parents have older friends, much older than your parent's friends I'm sure. For my mom and dad it's very important to visit every year to ensure that they don't miss any opportunities.

After another yummy meal of dim sum we walked around Avenue of the Stars and saw the Hong Kong city skyline from Kowloon. It was pretty spectacular. I had always known of Hong Kong through pictures of my sisters' childhood (they went 3 summers in a row as teens) and through my Hong Kong movies & dramas. Never did I imagine it to be so amazing in person.

After enjoying the view it was time to head back on the ferry. Since not everyone had recovered from jet lag, we ended the day fairly early. It was time to rest up for another day in the city.

Fast forward to the next day, and we meet up with my parent's friend. We get lost. We walked around. We asked for directions. We walked past our destination. We walked back. It was fun.

Our destination was the Peak Tower where I was able to pose with orchids, Jackie Chan, and enjoy a very steep ride to the top of the Sky Terrace to see the skyline of the city from high above.

I have something call Hello Kitty radar. I can sense it from a mile away (give or take a couple thousand feet). Right after getting off the tram I immediately spotted this cute store. Unfortunately it was still really early, and the store was not opened yet. =(

We took the elevator up a few stories and walked out to this view of the city. It was kind of windy and cloudy that day, but we were still able to take it all in and enjoy our view. It's really amazing how many buildings can fit into such a small amount of space. With limited space, that just means bigger and taller buildings all around.

The cloudy weather did put a damper in our schedule later in the day when it poured like cats and dogs for about 20 minutes. Luckily the rain went away, but the clouds still lingered.

We spent most of our morning and afternoon at the Peak Tower, and we were hungry, hungry hippos. Being cheap and always looking for a good deal, we waiting until the special discounted dim sum hours to eat (after the typical lunch hours). This restaurant in particular was located in a mall (almost all of them are), and it was definitely super fancy. The dishes were even fancy. The food was not all that great, and it was pretty expensive. I did enjoy watching this skinny girl pick at her food and look pretentious from afar. I can't remember how we ended the day. I'm going to assume that I ate dinner that night.

After two full days in the city, it was time to pack my bags and leave the next day. I was getting so adjusted to the city, and I was sad to have to say goodbye. We checked out of the hotel before noon and took the public bus to our bus station. There were a lot of people all waiting for the bus to China, and I was dreading my departure. What will happen to Yin after spending 7 hours on the bus with way too many other Chinese people and a grumpy mother? Will she survive (well that's pretty obvious now)?

Back to the Motherland: Leaving on a Jet Plane
Back to the Motherland: Arriving in Hong Kong


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