Hong Kong, China
Welcome to Hong Kong! Oh, the joys of an 11 hour flight with no sleep! We left Milan at 1pm yesterday and got into Honkers at 7am, 3 movies & 2 TV doco’s later! Customs was a breeze, unbelievably quick, then straight to the taxi and off to our hotel, the Intercontinental Grand Stanford. Waiting there was Cards, ready to go after two days on her own. Luckily, we were able to check in straight away, so off to our room to freshen up before heading out into the city. Cards had done wonders on the itinerary with us readily handing over the organisational duties. First we headed off to get Cards bags from her hotel, and while she checked out Rachael and I wandered along Nathan Road, one of the busiest shopping streets in Kowloon. If I had a dollar for every person who asked if I’d like a tailored shirt or suit, or a cheap knock off watch, we would have funded the whole trip! Every 5 paces I’d be asked the same question, give the same reply, question/answer, question/answer…..exhausting! Luckily Cards rescued us from the Indian spruikers, and we headed off to explore. First stop the Chi Lin Nunnery which is a large temple complex of elegant wooden architecture, treasured Buddhist relics and soul-soothing lotus ponds. Adjacent is the tranquil Nan Lian Garden, a public park built in the style of the Tang dynasty. Its scenic garden is meticulously landscaped over an area of 3.5 hectares, in which every hill, rock, body of water, plant and timber structure has been placed according to specific rules and methods. Very relaxing, maybe a little too relaxing as lack of sleep started to grow heavy, and the next visit thru the flower, bird and fish markets was almost the end of us. A coffee hit gave both of us renewed energy….for 20 minutes, so it was decided to retire to the hotel for siesta, and to reconvene at 6.30. We headed off to the Intercontinental Hotel ( as distinct from our hotel the “grand stanford”) to have a drink and watch the night light show across to Hong Kong Island, as this hotel has the best vantage point. The symphony of lights is a famous laser lights and music show held nightly at 8pm. The night view along the beaches of Victoria Harbor is a famous attraction. Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula are full of high-rise buildings so at night, the lights blaze so magnificently and so beautifully around the harbour. While waiting for the show to start we had the most expensive beer of our visit, about $15 for a Asahi! Rachael & I went outside to get a photo or two, and in the five minutes we were gone Cards had already moved seats, chatting up two blokes….fast mover is our Cards! Still got it, Cards! As it so happens the two blokes, Kody & Bo, were here on business, both married with kids. In Bo’s case, 6….. SIX marriages! Quite the character, Bo. Jet lagged, slightly hammered, currently married to a Chinese lass, living in Stockholm, a Danish/Swede by nationality. Wealthy. I mean, he must have been to order the three of us a round of drinks….a round of PIÑA COLADA’S Who the hell orders these anymore? Bloody Cards spent the rest of the night singing that stupid song, ” if you like Piña Colada, gettin’ caught in the rain…” We spent an entertaining hour or two with these two blokes, then headed off for a quick feed in a restaurant called Crystal Jade. We must have been late, as the waitress dumped down the bill and asked for payment while we were still eating. So much for the early night, getting back home at about 11.30. 48 hours with 2 hours sleep……goodnight!