Hong Kong Highlights!
We arrived in Hong Kong at 7am. After going through customs and picking up our luggage, my sister and I had our own bus to our hotel on Hong Kong Island. We checked in, and as our room was already ready for us, we showered and were on our way. First order of business: dim sum! We went to dim sum in City Hall at Maxim's Palace. There, we experienced for the first time (but not the last time), Hong Kong's version of cleanliness. We were given a pot of hot water and a bowl to clean our eating instruments. We also noticed that dim sum in Hong Kong was a time for locals to relax. Many of them came in with reading material and would just sit there with tea and read. After our dim sum, we started our walk through Central towards Victoria Peak. We took the Peak Tram up to the Peak, and it was actually quite a fun steep ride. The views up on top were amazing, and we took a walk around the hill. Afterwards, we went into Kowloon to the Temple Street Market. Tania didn't see anything she liked there, so we went to Ladies' Market. Again, Tania didn't see anything there, so we decided just to go see the Avenue of the Stars and wait for the Symphony of Lights.
The Symphony of Lights in the Guinness world record holding longest light show in the world, and it was neat how for over 15 minutes, the buildings in Hong Kong danced. After the light show, we took the ferry back to Hong Kong. We went to dinner at a hole in the wall noodle joint near our hotel.
The next day we went to Luk Yu Tea House. As much as Maxim's Palace the first day was the dim sum with the dim sum carts that we were used to, Luk Yu looked like what dim sum must have looked like mid century. Women carried the dim sum selections in tin trays, and everything had an old world feel to it. After breakfast, we wandered around Hong Kong Island some more until we came upon Hollywood Road and Man Mo Temple. Then we hopped on the subway for Lantau Island to see the biggest outdoor Buddha in the world. Now, I had already seen the second biggest outdoor Buddha in the world in Japan, so I was interested to see the biggest. The stop before ours was the transfer stop for the Disneyland line, and we smiled when we saw the Disneyland train, all dolled up Disney style.
Now, we knew that at the end of the subway line, there would be a cable car. What we didn't realize was how long the cable car ride was -- over 5 miles long. It was quite lovely, having a bird's eye view. We got up there and walked through the little shopping village to the Buddha. Unlike the one in Japan, one can see this Buddha sitting on top of the hill from many vantage points, and it was a very popular tourist site. We saw the temple nearby. At night, we went to check out the Causeway Bay shopping area. In the morning, before our flight, we had our last dim sum at a restaurant near our hotel. If Luk Yu was "old school," Viking was "new school" with no carts, only menus (kind of like sushi bar menus) to mark. After our dim sum, we went back to the hotel to check out and catch our ride to the airport.