Hong Kongland / United Kongdom / Britasia

After the relaxing beaches & paradyxical (see definition) nature of the ‘Ppines, it was time to explore Hong Kong. We had two nights and three days to soak up the city so we did it at a blistering pace. We stayed with my family (whom I had never met); Louise and Ray and their son Jesse. What fantastic hosts they were! Both were as busy as you expect people to be in Hong Kong but they found the time to show us around and take us out to dinner. I know they are family but the hospitality of (near) strangers was still astounding – thanks again Ray & Louise.

Hong Kong centre is connected by an 800m escalator, which makes moving from place to place easier.
Before 10am, they go down.
After 10am, they go up.
We don’t know if it was because we were staying in an expat home, or what, but Hong Kong really had a British feel to it – more so than anywhere else in Asia. Between the same font on license plates, familiar road signs and markings, and English (not American) spelling, it really felt like the UK. We know this is due to HK being an ex-colony but it was still nice to see after 14 months away from the motherland. This feeling resulted in the coining of a new SobCoe term:

Oasian: adj – A place in Asia that serves as a welcome, homely oasis for western travellers by reminding them of home in one way or another.
The same red man as at home.
Anyway, we visited HK park; a beautiful sculpted & maintained garden in the heart of the city centre.

The HSBC building is very cool and has become a victim of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement – the first time we had seen any of this in person.

Around central were lots of tall, well designed buildings and an impressively large number of parks. It may surprise you to learn that over 60% of HK is in fact park or forest.
Another park...

Our first day ended with Louise taking us on a hike up Victoria Peak, during which we all saw a firefly (Katie’s first!).

The Peak was overloaded with tourism but cool nonetheless and we got some lovely views of the city. The weirdest bit was the noise emanating from the city combined with the sounds of nature buzzing from the trees.
Massive tourist trap at the Peak.

The next day started with a visit to the fairly decent history and science museums (free on Wednesdays!) where we learnt about the harsh British colonial rule and the even harsher Japanese rule during WWII.
Steamed bun tower.
If you could climb up and grab a bun,
you would have good luck all year.
We then went to Goldfish Street – a long street specialising in the sale of aquatic pets.
Go Fish.
Next up was another market called Ladies market – perfect for buying clothes and tat! We very much enjoyed this market.
Another nearby market selling Jade products.

The Avenue of Stars afforded a smoggy view of the city and was a fun area of town.
Ray and Louise then took us out for an amazing meal, which will be detailed in the food post!
After dinner we took the Star Ferry, which is a sightseeing must at night. It was really cool and showed off the bright lights of this Asian tiger, but we both agree that the night view in Shanghai was better.

Our final day was spent window shopping, eating, and visiting the Nan Lian park and neighbouring nunnery.
There's a restaurant in there!

Hong Kong was a fantastic city break that we think everybody would love!