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On Walkabout In: Hong Kong, China

One of the greatest cities I have ever visited in the beautiful and historic port city of Hong Kong in southern China. However, when my wife and I traveled to Hong Kong we had probably one of the worst travel nightmares we had ever experienced due to a typhoon that hit the city on the day we were to fly to Hong Kong. We were delayed at our departure airport for 12 hours before the flight finally took off. The flight ended up landing in a driving rain storm with many bumps and accompanying nervousness from the passengers,  but fortunately we landed safely.  However, my wife got sick on the plane because of the poor weather causing turbulence during the flight. When we got to the airport she actually had to vomit and I asked one of the airport security guards if my wife could get expedited through customs because she wasn’t feeling well so I could get her to the hotel to rest. My wife and I ended up being surrounded by about 10 security guards all waiting to make a decision on what to do. Eventually a Cathay-Pacific woman came over and said that an airport woman would be over in 15 minutes to take my wife through customs. Of course no one ever showed up and my wife had to stand through the custom line holding a bag to vomit in.

Picture from Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong has a very nice airport, but needless to say I was not impressed by the people working there. Anyway we got on our shuttle bus provided by the hotel we booked and headed towards Hong Kong. The Hong Kong International Airport is located on the large island of Lantau which requires about a 45-60 minute bus ride to reach Hong Kong Island where we were staying at.  The bus drove through the driving rain storm and the first thing that jumped out at me was how similar the green hills of Hong Kong looked to some of the rolling hills in Korea from when I lived there.  Due to the rainstorm these hills had a series of waterfalls cascading down them which was actually kind of cool to see. As we crossed a massive bridge from Lantau Island to Kowloon I could see another impressive bridge off in the distance:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

Also as the bus crossed the bridge I could see the first of many apartments that are the primary residences for the people of Hong Kong:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

As the bus drove deeper onto the Kowloon peninsula the amount of apartments continued to increase and gave Hong Kong almost the feeling of being in Seoul with its endless amount of apartment buildings:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

Eventually the bus entered the city and was engulfed with apartments. Some of the apartments I found to be surprisingly rundown like the smaller apartments you see in between these newer larger ones:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

The bus eventually began to drive through the business district of Kowloon before driving through one of the tunnels underneath Victoria Harbor to reach Hong Kong Island:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

It was here that I would see my first of many of the British style double decker buses:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

While driving along the harbor I could see a number of luxury yachts parked in the harbor:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

It was interesting to see these luxury yachts literally parked right next to these old Chinese junks that can be seen sailing around the harbor for centuries:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

Eventually the bus reached the Wan Chai neighborhood of Hong Kong Island which was the neighborhood where my hotel is located. Once again I saw a number of buildings that appeared to be on the verge of collapse right next to newer modern buildings:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

Also in Wan Chai I saw my first of the famous Hong Kong trams:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

I would later go on to use these trams quite frequently to get around Hong Kong and are great and inexpensive way of exploring the island.

As the bus drove deeper into Wan Chai I was hoping my hotel was not located in one of the buildings on the verge of collapse and to my relief The Charterhouse Hotel I booked was a newer modern building:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

The people at the hotel were super nice and the service was excellent. We got to our room and found the rooms to be quite nice as well:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

The view from the room of the Wan Chai neighborhood wasn’t much of a sight but overall I was quite satisfied with the hotel:

Picture from Hong Kong, China

My wife was just happy to get to the hotel and get some sleep after feeling sick for so long and dealing with the fiasco at the airport. I was pretty tired myself considering the long delay and then the flight to get to Hong Kong. However, by the end of our trip we found the hassle to get to Hong Kong worth it because it is a fabulous city.

Next Posting: Wan Chai

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