Monday, February 10, 2014

Leaving Vancouver, Hong Kong Day 1 and Day 2

Finally I have found some time to write about our Hong Kong Trip. I will also write about our last morning in Vancouver, a very sad morning.
As expected our last night in Vancouver was restless. Sleep didn't come easily due to excitement and a mixed bag of emotions. Our last night in an apartment that has provided us with so many amazing memories.
I watched the clock count up until I could safely get up and walk to Melriches Coffee house and land myself there as the shop opened so that I could get my last Flat White in Canada. The fog was thick and made for an eerie morning. It suited my melancholy mood well. I sat at the window, overlooking Davie St and savored my flat white. I personally think this place makes the best flat white in Vancouver. I pondeder the last 3 years, read the news and then pondered the future and what it would hold for Kate and myself.

I reentered our apartment a hour or so later. It was really just final touches, last bits of packing and then gone. It was a strange feeling dropping our keys through the letter slot for the last time. No way to re-enter what was our home for the last 3 years.
Getting to the airport and checking in our huge amount of baggage went relatively smoothly. Now the waiting game began. Counting down our last three hours on Canadian soil.

Boarding the plane was super exciting. We got bad ass seats. Row 39, right behind the petition to premium economy, and therefore so much legroom to kick out. I know which seats I'll be shooting for next time we fly. We departed Vancouver at 1:30pm on the 27th of January 2013. 11.5 hours later, two delicious airplane meals and a lot of movies later we landed in Hong Kong at about 7:30pm on the 28th. Customs was easy, our bags all arrived and we were whisked off to the Hyatt by our chauffeured mini van.

This night was a bit of a whirlwind due to jet lag. We crashed out pretty early. My sleep was restless, I mean we just came from the other side of the world and my body expected to be up doing things, so at 5 in the morning I got up and hit 45mins on the treadmill watching Australian news. I returned to the room to find Kate stirring, so we slowly got going and ventured out into the new world of Hong Kong.
Day 1
Day one was epic. We walked so far and saw so much. I am going to try and make it as succinct as possible. After leaving the Hyatt a coffee was #1 priority. I have been operating on a few coffees daily for the last 3 years, it is not right to expect me to start the day without one. I was devistated to discover that at that time of the morning there is nothing open, except Starbucks. So I had to swallow my pride and settled for brewed coffee after a lot of bitching and complaining. I promise I won't do it again. To be honest, the brewed coffee was OK.
We then found a little Chinese restaurant to get brekky at. It was about the only place open so it kinda was chosen by default. Over breakfast we decided to head to Hong Kong Island for the day. It was nice and clear so we figured it would be a great day to see the Peak.

We caught a Star Ferry to the Central pier, and from here walked up through the financial district, the Botanic Gardens where we saw a super cute Orangutan baby, and the suburbs until we got to the Peak Tram. The view from the Peak was exactly what you would expect it to be from the millions of photos online. It was good to see, but full of annoying tourists so we bailed pretty quickly.

Next stop was a massive walk from the Peak tram over to Wan Chi to check out a bunch of cool streets, have lunch and check the crazy Wan Chi wet markets. This was eye opening. I think if you eat meat in Hong Kong, you don't really want to think about where your meat came from, as I'm sure they don't follow any animal ethics guidelines. It was amazing to spectate and not feel like I had to do my weekly shopping here. Funniest thing was Kate seeing an eel escape from a bucket and proceed to slide across a freaking busy side walk, then try to bite someone just as it was caught and whisked back into the same bucket.

The rest of the afternoon was a lot of walking down to Causeway bay, by which point we were totally pooched, so we chilled in Victoria Park for a brief while, then bailed to the MTR subway system that whisked us right home for about $1 CAD. Dinner was at this rad little noodle joint right over from the Hyatt. Dinner for two for less than $10 CAD. Right on!
Day 2
Day 2 started with a nice run along the Victoria Harbour running trail followed by some fresh fruit for brekky. Today we decided to head out to the Mong Kok flower markets, goldfish markets, bird garden and Temple ST Night Market. This involved a lot of walking, but we got to see a lot of amazing stuff along the way. However we started with another Starbucks Kowloon Park.
I could not believe how populated Mong Kok was. Those shitty high rise apartment buildings. Washing hanging out the window. Cables going everywhere. It must be so hot and cramped living there with so many other people around.

Anyways, the flower markets were the first stop, and with Lunar New Year coming up, they were full of people and flowers. Apparently the days before Lunar New Year are the markets busiest of the year, so it was awesome to see all the colours. Following this we headed to the Bird Garden which was interesting. Pretty much a bunch of bird enthusiasts hang out to compare and buy birds. Kinda like a comic card convention for birds. Not my idea of a fun filled weekend, but it was cool to see.

Following this we found a mad Dim Sum place, ate till we were full and only spent $15 each. Favs on the menu were these snow buns. A sweet fried bun, with the most delicious pork filling. A crazy mix of flavours like I had never had before.
We departed this zone of Mong Kok, fuelled and ready to deal with the hordes of people. The rest of the day comprised of markets which were pretty cool, but no need to explain them all here. We arrived back in Kowloon later in the afternoon, totally thrashed and laughing as today was meant to be a "take it easy day".
The day ended with a healthy meal made from random salad ingredients bought from a supermarket. I was so sick of greasy asian food by this point and needed something green. be cont. This is taking a while.

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