27
Jul 08

Hong Kong to Taipei

We are boarding our flight (China Airlines 642) as we type.

We got to the airport in time for a leisurely beer and were able to watch some of a soccer match in the bar.

We will post from Taipei if we get service and if we have time between our flights – our connection may be speedy.

Our flight from Taipei to Seattle is also China Airlines, flight #22.

And we’re now in our seats!

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27
Jul 08

Hong Kong Day 4

Sunday, July 27, 2008 Today we got up early and unpacked absolutely everything.  We jettisoned all unnecessary items:  travel sized shampoo, bug spray, sun screen…  We have to fit everything in our pack and small roller luggage case. Somehow, losing those little, mostly empty bottles really helped!  Now only our carry-on feels super heavy (it has the tea set and… it’s full of rocks for Jeannette – what’s new?).  We checked out just before noon then asked the Y to watch all our bags for the day while we went and explored Kowloon.  There’s a ton of shopping to be done there, but we weren’t much interested in real shopping today.  We visited Tin Hau temple in Yau Ma Tei, then realized we were famished. Not much was open yet, but we found a Nepalese and Indian restaurant open and Jeannette was super excited.  She loves to eat Indian on Sundays.  It’s a great weekend routine.  The service was super slow for Asia and they were really into the CSI marathon on their TV (that was funny) but after waiting almost 45 minutes for the prefixe lunch special, it was good food and fit the bill.  We then hit … (drum roll please) … one of Jeannette’s favorite markets EVER! The Jade Market. Its not so much jade as it is rocks! We had so much fun and were able to buy plain old uncarved rocks for *super* cheap.. The sellers must think its a little silly to want them before they are “pretty” or they “become” anything or any of their talented and hard work has been put in to the rock.  But it was a highlight of the trip for Jeannette on the very last day.  We were there for a couple hours then headed back to the Y as lightning and thunder (but no rain) started, got our luggage and took the subway to the airport.

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26
Jul 08

Hong Kong Day 3

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Saturday, July 26, 2008 Today we decided to hit China’s other SAR (Special Administrative Region), Macau. China has two of these SARs and uses the statement “One country, two systems.” to describe the governing principle. It works quite well for everybody involved and we got more stamps in our passport… But that was about the highlight of our Macau time. We didn’t like it so much – not our style maybe? It was SUPER tourist filled in a bad way. WAY too crowed in the old Portuguese parts of town we could have enjoyed. Too many people, shoulder-to-shoulder, in blazing, over-the-top-heat, all WITH umbrellas at our eyeball height, all withOUT any sense of self awareness or unilateral direction. They cut you off then walk *backwards* into your eyeballs with an umbrella prong. They are nuts. We are not into casinos so those were of no use to us. The heat was heavy you couldn’t force even a slight breeze no matter how you fanned your guidebook. It was not our favorite day. We did finally find a yummy “cake shop” that sold tasty lunch rolls after searching for an hour or so for suitable food in a not great for eating (we found out) part of town. The one other place we found was so ridiculously scuzzy and dirty! And needlessly so! There was a store selling toilets, of all things, next door that was spotless! But here is the list of fun things we saw on Macau that we will soon post pictures of: the odd Fisherman’s Wharf, a huge statue of Kun Iam, Hotel Lisboa, the new Grand Lisboa, the finest Portuguese building on Macau – Leal Senado, Senado Square, Sao Domingos, the remaining facade of the grand Sao Paulo, the ramparts of Fortaleza do Monte, the classical (and gorgeous) Chinese garden Jardim Lou Lim Ieoc, the botanical gardens of Guia Hill (where we rode the cable cars up to the top), the Guia fortress (and chapel and lighthouse), and of course a myriad of city views from different hills and many random buildings. We know many people have loved Macau. We do not belittle your fondness for your Macau. We may have missed something, gone at a wrong time, or it may just not be for us.

Pictures and more follow the jump.

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25
Jul 08

Hong Kong Day 2



Friday, July 25th, 2008 Today, the camera was full. Josh spent some time this morning transferring photos and Jeannette brought back coffee and pastries. Then we headed via subway to Lantau Island to see the world’s largest Buddha. Well, the largest seated, bronze Buddha. But it was HUGE! And the day was hot. We got to take a cable car up to the monastery where the Buddha sits. It afforded some pretty sweet views. But the Buddha itself was definitely the highlight. After the cable car ride back down and subway ride back to Hong Kong Central, we went to a Chinese noodle shop Josh had visited before and had super yummy noodles and sandwiches. We did a little school clothes shopping for Josh at Shanghai Tang‘s sale then headed for jaunt on a double decker trolley out to the Wan Chai neighborhood and back. Then we rushed to the Star Ferry to get back to Kowloon and the Y for one of our Tsingtaos we stuffed into the minibar fridge and the skyline night city light show. It was spectacular from our harbor view windows.

Tomorrow… we’ll see what the day holds.

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Pictures after the jump.

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24
Jul 08

Hong Kong Day 1



Thursday, July 24th After we checked into the YMCA, it was still too early to get into our room, so we left our weighty luggage behind and headed out for coffee, pastries, and skyline viewings from the Harbor. After about an hour or so we headed back to the Y and got to see our awesome room! You would not believe how nice our room is. No joke. Our room is sweet and our view is incredible. If you are so inclined, you should google it. We are at the YMCA Hong Kong, Salisbury. We have a Harbor View Room.  Incredible.

Pictures and our very long day exploring Hong Kong and introducing the city to Jeannette after the jump…

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