With my passport woes behind me and Owen back from the UK, it was time to get excited about our trip to Hong Kong and Vietnam.
As Owen had just arrived back from the UK early morning on Saturday feb 9th, it was a mad rush to get him unpacked and repacked for our CNY (Chinese New Year) break away. We made it to the airport for a relaxing check in and drink before taking off to Hong Kong. We did this trip with John and Jenny Horsfield and their 2 boys, Dan who is 13 and Luke who is 9.
We actually took off on time (rare for China Eastern!) and landed in HK at around 8.30. I made it through immigration here (I was nervous because of the emergency passport situation). We dumped bags in our room and immediately went to the hotel restaurant to enjoy the buffet selection. It was very late by the time we all got to bed, but we needed to get up early in the morning so we could take advantage of our only full day in HK. The Horsfields headed off to a theme park, while we decided to do a junk boat tour of the harbour. Except, it is CNY and everything is closed! So, we had to come up with a plan B really quickly. We decided to do a tram ride and got on a west bound tram to the Western Market. After 30-40 mins on this we had reached the end.
We took the MTR train from Western Market to City Gate. We then decided to take the cable car up to the top of the mountain. Ngong Ping 360 is a stunning 5.7km cable car journey with a cultural themed village and easy access to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, the world’s largest, seated, outdoor, bronze Buddha statue. We made the wise decision to buy the “crystal” car tickets – glass bottom! I say wise, because when we got to the cable car station the queue for the normal cars was very long compared to our 10 minute wait for the crystal car. In between buying tickets and our travel time we took a walk around the shopping mall and grabbed a quick bite to eat for lunch. The cable car ride was fantastic! Much longer than we thought it would be with a couple of 90 degree turns and climbs over water. We all loved being able to see below us!
When we got off, we saw that there was about to be a show of some sort, so we waited a few minutes. It was a spectacular dragon dance to both traditional Chinese music (with drums) and modern – gangnam style!! Unfortunately, it was an overcast day so the views were not as good as I expect they are on a clear day. Still, much warmer than Shanghai! We had a walk around the village at the top – and admired the huge Buddha on the top. And bought a Starbucks! (Is there a place left on the planet where there is no Starbucks!) And, of course, had to buy our obligatory fridge magnets…..
The cable car ride back down was interesting with several stops and even a backwards stint. We took the MTR all the way back to hotel and as we had got back so late, we decided to eat in the restaurant again (we had planned to try one of HK fabulous eateries….).
I was so proud of my 2 children who tried all sorts of different food at the buffet – very adventurous. Oliver even tried octopus:
Up very early the next morning to our flight to Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam. (Separate post on Vietnam portion!)
After our fantastic Vietnam holiday, we spent another 24 hours in Hong Kong. We arrived early afternoon at the Mini Hotel at Causeway Bay. Owen had found this lovely boutique hotel on line. It described itself as a family hotel and indeed, the room had 3 proper beds – so absolutely perfect for a family of 4! The bathroom was small – bit of a squeeze, but the rest of the room was spacious, clean and nicely decorated. I wish more hotel rooms were set up like this. It was ideal for a family on vacation. Owen had also booked us a table at Nobu at the Intercontinental Hotel across the bay in Kowloon.
This was a fantastic ending to a brilliant holiday. Nobu is located in a fabulous place with spectacular views. The food was delicious, pricy, expensive, but delicious! We enjoyed a variety of dishes of this Japanese fusion menu and nothing disappointed! The chef uses fresh ingredients in innovative combinations and all the dishes complimented each other.
The next day we flew back to Shanghai and back to the real world! More memories locked away.