The second day of my vacation, which was supposed to be the only day of my vacation, was very different from our day in Macau. With only 12 hours of daylight, it had been carefully planned–with attractions designated by area in the most efficient route, subway timetables, hour by hour estimations, and a hotel reservation, all organized in a word document titled “Hong Kong Tryst”.
The whirlwind Macau adventure was the opposite. We had literally none of those things. Which made it all quite interesting.
But, we did end up staying in a nice hotel in Macau and got on the ferry to Hong Kong that morning. The only thing that had changed was the hour by hour time table, which was just shifted a few hours later since we got a late start.
Hong Kong is in a weird situation where it is kind of under Chinese control, yet not. China claims it as theirs, and Hong Kong students have protests against it frequently. Let’s be honest–everything and everyone involved with China is in a weird situation.
Hong Kong Pros:
-Just about everyone speaks English. We asked a woman for directions to our hotel and her elementary daughter answered in perfect unaccented English.
-The exception being taxi drivers, but they at least tried. And no one kicked us out. However watch out–they will try to swindle you. A taxi to airport should be no more than 200 HK dollars don’t let them tell you otherwise.
-The Money: Hong Kong Dollars are really cool. They’re pink and purple and plastic with a little see through section. I almost didn’t want to spend them.
-Disneyland: any country with a Disneyland is automatically higher on the Mallory’s Favorite Places list. We were only there for a few hours, and we were able to hit all of the big rides. The longest line being Space Mountain. 10 minutes. I’m not sure if it was the time of year or if it is always so slow, but it was a nice change from the 90 minute lines I’m used to.
-The Peak: There’s a mountain in the middle of the city with a slightly sketchy train car to the top. I felt safer on Grizzly Gulch than on this cable car. And Grizzly Gulch breaks and you fall backwards. But at the top is a beautiful view of the city. They even have wifi!
The Food: “I’m going to order so much dim sum they think we are a large family” –Jessica. I ate a lot of dim sum. Pork, vegetable, shrimp, beef, rice, all of the above, wrapped in rice wraps or buns or something else. We went to this famous place in Central where we had to wait 40 minutes for a seat but it was so worth it. The lady would bring back our order and we’d be like, “actually can we order more?” and she gave us this ‘you are going to gain 400 pounds’ look and we gave her back an ‘I don’t care’ look. I just kept eating.
-No convenience stores anywhere. But in actuality, there are probably just as many convenience stores as anywhere else in the world. I’m just spoiled by Korea.
-I was looking for a convenience store because I wanted to try their ice cream. I judge a country by it’s convenience store ice cream and for Hong Kong I was, well, underwhelmed. Or maybe I’m just spoiled by Korea
-So I tried again at the top of the Peak where I paid $10 for a scoop of gelato. USD, not HKD. The sign was misleading because it said $4, which is still a ridiculous amount, but I allowed it because it’s imported from Italy, it has to get up the mountain somehow, and the sign said half of the price was donated to homeless dogs!
But then he rung me up at $10 and I was a little sensitive and he looked at me like it was my fault. I even pointed to the sign and he pretended like he didn’t understand English. But I teach English to children. I know when they understand me.
Anyway. Don’t buy gelato at the top of the Peak.
There were other things in Hong Kong that I wanted to do that I just didn’t have time for. So like Jeju, I will just have to return to Hong Kong some day. Perhaps for 3 days this time.