Sunday, July 11, 2010

WE in Hong Kong

After a serie of trips to Europe, it was time to re-start our tour of Asia. So last WE, we were on our way to hong kong. It is now part of China, but there is no need for a visa and it is only 3h30 flight from singapore and for once we were flying with a proper airlines (Cathay pacific, miles on BA) so we got food, tv screens, blanket and no need to pay to check in baggage!!!!
So at 22.30 on Friday evening, we are landing in HK but not on HK island. The territory is indeed made of the main island, plus some smaller other island and also a part on the continent. After 23 minutes in the airport express we are downtown where we get a taxi to our hotel. So, taxis in HK: there are cheaper than in Sg, there are millions of them and the drivers all think they are on a formula 1 track!
We do make it to our hotel, Jia, a fantastic boutique hotel with a very generous collection of weird armchairs.
We drop our bags and we are out again for a drink.
The streets are full of people but no bar to be seen! Finally we find something, not amazing but ok for a pint.
After a good night of sleep and a great breakfast we are ready to deal with a very hot touristy day (hk is north of sg and the weather is more comparable to Thailand: blue sky and burning sun)
So first we go for a tour of the business district. The number of highrise is impressive and the architects seem to have great fun in this city!

We have a look at the birds of the HK park and the museum of tea pots. It's quite interesting, tea used to be served in tiny cups (smaller than expresso) it looks like starbuck has really increased the mug size ! :-)
We then take the cablecar to victoria peak. HK is incredibly hilly which explains why they need to build highrises, because there is very little flat land! It's hard to escape the tourists at the top, but we do manage when we go for a 3 km walk around the peak giving us a 360 degrees view of all the islands.

We enjoy a real wanton meal in a Michelin recommended restaurant and head down to the bar area of HK. That's where we should have gone yesterday! After looking for a Market for a while which seems to have disapeared a while ago. We then take the longest mecanical dtair in the world (it's cheating to be honest because it's formed of plenty of small ones). We go through lovely streets with antics and a lot of bars and restaurants. On the way down, we visit a temple and we head back to the hotel for a glass of wine (or 2) and to get changed for dinner.
R is taking me out! We have dinner in a fantastic Chinese restaurant looking over the harbour. And as I was too busy looking at the view, I completly forgot to take pictures of every single plates!
Lung King Heen is the only chinese 3 michelin stars in the world so we were in for a treat! First taste of wagyu beef, some fantastic food and wine combinaisons, discovery of seafood unheard of and the first really hood Asian dessert! it was a real experience!
Sunday morning, we head to Aberdeen, yes there seem to be one everywhere I go! There are floating restaurants and boats of all shape and size randomnly parked in the middle of the skyscrappers! We take a short cruise in between these floating elements. Going back to town, we take a walk in Victoria park. It's like all HK has decided to have lunch here, any bench, any spot under the trees is covered by women sitting down on plastic sheets. I don't know where are the men (R recons they are betting somewhere). It's hard to walk anywhere. We discover a few interesting points: there is a jogging track with policemey at each crosspoint making sure you have the proper speed, shoes direction, very funny! HK inhabitants seem to have a particular think for mini speed boats as well, they were tuning engines,making sure it was turning properly in the curve (which are protected by plexi-glass)
After picking up our bag at the hotel, we take the ferry accross to Kowloon (new territories,mainland), the esplanade is very impressive with a fantastic view of HK island.

Then we hit Nathan road, the Orchard (Sg), Oxford (London), Republique (Lyon) street of HK. We get a chance of seeing a dragon show in a park next to all the shopping malls.

and after a final ice cream, it is time to head to the airport to get our supply of alcool before boarding the plane.
HK was very different from what I expected,all this green and mountains and it was really a fantastic WE ;-)

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