We arrive in Hong Kong and are whisked to our hotel in Kowloon. The hotel has a mall attached but is about 20 min walk from the ferry terminal. We had been given an upgrade to a 'Harbour View', very nice you may think? Well, the harbour was a dockyard and the room was so small you had to side-step around the bed. Some discussion a lesson on the various 'harbours' in Hong Kong and one credit card later we have a huge suite with a Victoria Harbour view - THE harbour view Hong Kong is famous for.
What to do in Hong Kong? Well, as seasoned tourists, you can't really go wrong with the hop-on hop-off bus which drives past all the highlights and includes a star ferry and peak tram tickets. We are staying in Kowloon which is actually on main land China. The Hong Kong we all know is actually situated on a small island, so the Star Ferry is our first stop to get over to the island, it is an iconic landmark in Hong Kong. It runs to lots of locations but importantly from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. The ferry now runs from a new wharf but you can visit the original that dates back many years. The crossing gives you amazing views of both Hong Kong Island and the modern hotel Kowloon skyline. Getting on the bus we do a loop of the city in Hong Kong everything is up - it puts New York to shame. Skyscrapers dominate the skyline but there are a few gems of old buildings mingled in. We had all you can eat dim sum for lunch but I'm not too impressed other than the pork buns. Next we took Keith to electronics heaven in the Wan Chai centre. It consists of a maze of shops on numerous floors, all selling electronics at a cheaper rate than the high street. Keith loves it [KB -I only bought one thing, a set of awesome Bluetooth speakers].
Dragging Keith away we go to the Peak Tram which is another iconic landmark in Hong Kong. It is a steep tram taking people up to Peak point over looking the city. Our bus ticket includes a tram ride too but we still have to queue for about 30 mins. The tram arrives and you have no idea how steep the track will be, then the tram rises from the station and you can see the track. It is very steep and the glimpses of the city as we rise through the trees are amazing. At the top there is a viewing platform and a shopping centre. The viewing platform gives you 360 views of Hong Kong, it is really beautiful sight and perfect to end the day on.
Today we explored Kowloon, we started in the Kowloon park. It is full of people relaxing and enjoying the sculpted gardens. The gardens run along side the famous shopping area of Nathan Road but you feel like you are no where near the city. Coming back on to Nathan Street you can buy numerous designer brands and fakes. The street has more brand name shops than you could name - each shop however has a couple of shady characters outside offering imitations of the extortionate bling you have just see in the shop. We fight past the amazing extravagance as the other end of this street is where we are heading. At the bottom of Nathan Street is the famous Jade and Temple Street markets. Not sure how much of the Jade is real here but it is interesting walking around. This ram shackled looking indoor market is jam packed with jade stalls. Keith buys me a light green jade bangle and himself a necklace.
We also venture around Hong Kong Island on the old tram system, $2.40 no matter how far you go.
Hong Kong is famous for one more thing the world's biggest sound and light show. So before leaving we headed down to the avenue of stars to watch this spectacle. The Avenue of Stars is the Asia version of Hollywood Stars, we did manage to find Bruce Lee! We got here early to get seats and whilst waiting try the snack food of shredded squid. It's okay but can't eat all of it, as it is quiet dry. Then the show starts, the whole city seems to be involved, with each building trying to out do each other. Lasers, lights and dramatic music, it is well worth going to see.
Bye to Hong Kong and hello Sydney via Qantas Business class. Actually Qantas Business class on this route is not great [KB - It's an old A330 and I'm not sure which is older - the cabin crew or the aircraft!]. The seat layout is pretty poor as you must climb over your neighbour if they have the seat down. As the start of the flight sees the first few minutes of my birthday, Keith gets the crew to sing me happy birthday with sticky toffee pudding as cake! I get some Qantas pyjamas, flatten the seat- back and have a good sleep, looking forward to a second birthday when we land!