Big Question Marks

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hooray for Hong Kong!

Hello everyone from sunny Brisbane, where we've returned to after our crazy 10-day whirl in Hong Kong! I guess we were a little too ambitious in planning to blog daily-- first our free "hotel" internet stopped working for days, and there was just too much to do to have time to write about it!

To our HK-born friends: we now understand why you love the place so much. And to everyone else, go visit! (We're going back the first chance we get). We saw tons in our time there: took in some legitimate culture at the massive art and history museums, oohed and ahead at the skyline from The Peak, cruised around Victoria Harbour in the Duk Ling junk boat for free (thanks to the tourist board), and got our photos taken in crazy Japanese photo booths (so much fun we did it 3x! we'll try to scan them for you at home). We ate as much authentic food as we could, but treated ourselves to frequent Starbucks frappuccinos too (hey, we had to make up for all our time in the boonies of Australia). Best coffee spot-- Pacific Coffee Company on the Avenue of the Stars, where you could sit and sip for hours and gaze at the lit-up skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island.

And then there was the shopping (Adrian rolls his eyes here, but he loved shopping as much as me)! Every day, a new neighbourhood to shop in. We cruised around Causeway Bay a bit, though it was too designer for our tastes. There seemed to be a Louis Vuitton on every corner-- all of them with had roped-off queue areas, sheesh! We stayed right by Granville Road, which was full (and I mean 6 storeys stacked) of trendy clothing shops, many with awesome sales (and one day we'll go back and get our hair cut at "Hair Potato"). My personal favourite was the market on Fa Yuen St in Mong Kok, where I got the best boots in the world.... they made me feel like a million bucks but also stopped my limping. One thing no none warns you about is the terrible foot-aches and blisters you get about two days into a HK trip. Yeowch! I broke a pair of shoes on the first day :( Oh yeah.... and there's H&M! (none yet in Oz, I don't think) We were in there about an hour when I thought, "Gee, I've sure taken quite a while in the changeroom. Oh, poor Adrian must be bored to tears".... well, guess who I found with an arm-shattering heap of clothes. It's hard to tell who's the biggest shopper out of us!

If we went back (when we go back!) we'll have to explore a bit more of the nature side of things-- we took a day trip out to Lantau Island to climb a boatload of stairs to see the big Buddha on a hill. It was gorgeous countryside, mountains and temples, and hard to believe it was still Hong Kong! It also happened to be a full-moon evening, and our bus back to the city passed a lively-looking jail, bulls locking horns and wrestling in the road, and then after all that, our bus broke down to a literal GRINDING halt on its way uphill--on a 45 degree angle--on a winding road... scariest thing ever. But, we made it out OK, quelled our worries in more shopping and ice cream, and really, it made us feel even more like yay, we're really in Asia!

On the flight back (thanks again Graeme for making sure we got out!), we stopped off in Taiwan and with our 7-hour layover, HAD to go visit the tallest building in the world, the Taipei 101 (which may soon be dwarfed by the Burj Dubai. Honestly, from the ground, it didn't look THAT high, and then we got up to the observatory, and we were promptly corrected. And the elevator took just over 30 seconds to get from floors 5 to 89! (and felt nothing at all like the death-elevator we rode to our "hotel" room every day in HK)

Now that we're back in Oz, we've been sleeping a lot. The adjustment was pretty extreme-- from hellish smog and no birds to trees everywhere and big bites and camping. All we smelled was TREES (yay!) when we left the airport. But then we got depressed because Brisbane's not half as exciting as HK. Soon, it's back to work on some farm (ugh), but for now we're easing ourselves in gently with a little city livin' in Brizzie and some partying with our good Scottish buddy Stu (you may remember him from our pear-picking photos). Hey, Brisbane's not so bad, really... we've designated our new all-day breakfast hangout today, and the weather's pretty good. Maybe we'll be back here in a few weeks!
Thx for the comments and for reading. There's "heaps" of new photos online, if you're bored...
PS. Daisy was fine and happy to see us. Aside from a dent (that maybe was there in the first place) and some mouldy hummus in our fridge (oops), everything was all good and she forgave us for leaving :)