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Throwback Thursday: Hong Kong (July 2010)

June 20, 2013

I’ve appropriated the recent social media rage #throwbackthursday to start a new weekly series!  Throwback Thursdays share pictures and information from some of my earlier travels between 2007 and 2010 that have yet to make it onto this site.  After a long blogging hiatus, this series is to catch you, my readers, up on these past travels, while using the rest of the blog to recount my more recent trips.

WWW and I have been talking a lot about Hong Kong lately.  He lived there for a summer several years ago and raves about the island.  Also, most all of our flights between China and Southeast Asia connect there, and, though I’ve been to the Hong Kong airport half a dozen times on my way to Malaysia and Thailand, I have only stepped foot outside once…and for less than 8 hours.  Please don’t tell anyone my dirty little secret!

Amazing juxtaposition of the city and nature.

Amazing juxtaposition of the city’s skyscrapers and dense vegetation.

My one and only time strolling around Hong Kong happened as part of a two-week trip through southwest China in 2010 when a friend and I did a whirlwind day tour of the city.  Needless to say, after the first hour I was smitten and cursing the onward train ticket in my purse.

At the top of the observation deck at Victoria Peak.

At the top of the observation deck at Victoria Peak.

Since we were staying at a hotel in Guangzhou, we took an early morning train (about 2 hours) from there to Hong Kong’s Hung Hom Station.  There we were met by our guide for the day, Mrs. Fong (yes, Mandopop star Khalil Fong‘s mother for any fans out there), who we’d met through our boss in Shanghai.  Mrs. Fong quickly swept us off for a huge buffet brunch at one of the fancy-pants hotels in the area.  Then, it was time for some accelerated sightseeing.

Victoria Harbor

View of Central from the Star Ferry.

View of Central from the Star Ferry.

Our first stop of the day was the Victoria Harbor to take a ride from Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon) to Central (Hong Kong Island) on the Star Ferry.  The double-decker ferries used today are recreations of boats from the 1920s when Hong Kong was under British rule.  Riding across the harbor, we had an ideal view of both the island and peninsula’s skylines.

Victoria Peak

View of Central, the Harbor, and Kowloon from the Peak.

View of Central, the Harbor, and Kowloon from the Peak.

Next, we hopped on the Peak Tram to travel 552 m up to the observation deck at Victoria Peak.  The viewpoint delivers 360-degree views of Victoria Harbor, the skyscrapers of Central Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and the lush vegetation of many of Hong Kong’s surrounding islands.

Nan Lian Gardens

Hong Kong (33)Hong Kong (41)

After lunch at The Peak, we headed to Nan Lian Gardens.  Located in the middle of the city near the Diamond Hill MTR station, the gardens are an oasis from the busy streets.  Inside the gardens is a large koi pond with pavilions and bridges, as well as many water features and ornamental flora. The Tang Gallery with exhibitions of Chinese art and a souvenir shop are also housed here.

Beside the gardens is the Chi Lin Nunnery which partnered with the local government for Nan Lian’s creation.  The Chi Lin vegetarian restaurant has afternoon tea, and though we were too late on this particular day, we were able to get some delicious deserts to-go for our ride back to Guangzhou that evening.

All too soon, it was time to head back to the train station.  Needless to say, a day in Hong Kong wasn’t nearly enough and I’ve been itching to go back ever since.  Hopefully, WWW and I will be able to take a weekend trip there sometime in the next month…until then I’ll be itching my feet with wanderlust.

Have you ever been to Hong Kong?  What did you think?  Also, what cities are you itching to get back to?

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