Hong Kong

This “Administratively distinct” region of China was really fun and interesting. Well, except for our feeble attempts at finding a reasonable hotel of course! We expected that before arriving, but we were still shocked to be paying CAN $300/night for only three beds, but downtown. Crazy! We stayed on the Kowloon side, across Victoria Harbor from Hong King Island. It was pretty cool, but we later discovered that we were in the slightly ritzier district for shops and hotels. Traffic was solidly busy everywhere we could see as well, so NOBODY jaywalked here. Hong Kong reminded both Claudette and I of Singapore in a lot of ways. After watching the discovery channel Extreme Engineering show on building the Hong Kong airport, tunnels, bridges and high speed train system it was pretty cool to see it all and ride it.

Sadly, a few days before while looking up activities to do in HK we found out about the gondola car dropping from the cable thus closing down the entire ride to the big Buhda that we had also watched an episode about on Extreme Engineering. We had seen quite enough Buhda’s in all shapes, sizes and mannerisms (believe me!) in Thailand and Laos, but we had been looking forward to this billion dollar gondola ride. We still managed to take the street cable car up the side of very steep hills on Hong Kong Island though. That was certainly a big highlight, even with heavy smaug obscuring the other side of the harbor, (At least, I thought I saw a dragon flying around???). Madam Tusseau (sp?) had a wax museum up there too, but we didn’t bother buying tickets since Claudette only wants to see the original (apparently?) in France. From the top we could see down to the ocean on both sides of the mountain. There were some pretty spectacular homes up here too! I can’t even imagine the price…

We looked for a venue to watch the (Guinness Book of of World records approved) world’s largest permanent light show, and caught most of it for fifteen minutes at 8:00 PM. It was OK, but not near as spectacular as we had heard and read about from so many different sources. We assumed that there was music, but it wasn’t played at our location and we didn’t have a radio. The next night though, after watching a great show on Black holes at the Science Center, we watched the light show from the opposite side. The whole area alongside the harbor was developed and had speakers to play music matching the light show. This was clearly the place to be to see it, and we went to the second floor balcony of the Art Museum to get an uncrowded view. There were scads of people crowding and elbowing in the other areas, but apparently none had thought hard enough to look for the obscured stairway coming up where we were, with only five or six other people along a huge 200m long deck area. On some of the video we captured, it can clearly be heard two and a half of us saying:

“WOW!!! Halifax doesn’t have ANYTHING like this!”

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