I was a little nervous about traveling on my own, but everyone I speak with that’s done it has had such wonderful things to say about that aspect so I’m ready to go. To ease the transition I’m staying in a hostel in Hong Kong and I’ve met such wonderful people at every turn.
Update: That experience in Hong Kong turned out to be the rule, not the exception. I quickly learned how easy it is to make friends when you’re traveling -shared experiences, cultural interests, intellectual curiosity, diverse perspectives from around the world. Sign me up!
Victoria Peak, (traditional Chinese: 太平山), which locals just refer to as The Peak, is a mountain in Hong Kong with outstanding views of the Hong Kong skyline.
The view from 1800 feet above sea level at Victoria Peak, the highest point in Hong Kong.
To get to Victoria Peak, most tourists take the Peak Tram, a scenic ride in a 100 year old train as they ascend up the mountain. At the top is a building that looks like a ship with all kinds of tourist traps – Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Odditorium, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the Peak Explorer Motion Simulator. I’d head straight to the many viewing areas – they’re spectacular!
The Lion Pavilion offers a panoramic vista of the Hong Kong skyline, which was really impressive at night.
I tried all kinds of new fruits in Hong Kong, including these wax apples. Wax apples do not taste like apples – they’re juicy like a watermelon.
Official name of wax apples: Syzygium samarangense
In Taiwan and China, they are known as lianwu (simplified Chinese: 莲雾; traditional Chinese: 蓮霧; pinyin: lián wù). Other names include love apple, java apple, bellfruit. water apple, mountain apple and rose apple.
These wax apples were red like typical apples but I read that some have colors ranging from white, pale green, green, red, purple, to deep purple or even black. The reddest fruits are the sweetest.
Roasted Chestnuts were among the many street snacks I had in Hong Kong, along with Fish Balls, Cart Noodles, Wonton Noodles, and Put Chai Ko.
Most interesting street snack tried in HK: deep fried pig intestine, skewered on a stick
I did NOT attempt to have stinky tofu again (fermented tofu are cut, skewered on a stick, and then deep fried. It’s revolting!). That remains a black eye from my Taiwan night market experience. My nostrils are still recovering.
Look what arrived at the airport in Hong Kong – happy new year to me! It’s my Lowe Alpine backpack. Apparently my luggage was chilling in Vancouver. I was soooooo happy to finally see my backpack. Thanks Air Canada.
I wish it had arrived by New Year’s Eve but better late than never! Time to start my trip. Now, to get compensated for not having my luggage for a few days…
Happy New Year from Hong Kong! Last night I watched the countdown from Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade (everyone just refers to it as the Harbour) in southern Kowloon – saw a light show and fireworks.
The crowd was stoked for New Year’s Eve! Coming from New York City, I used to take this as a given, but it’s really not. Many countries celebrate NYE, but don’t really care about the actual countdown to the precise moment that it’s the new year. The countdown is such a silly tradition but I love it! HK definitely made it a big deal, following their daily light show over the skyline with fireworks (which were very cool but brief).
It was the 2nd time I’ve seen New Year’s Eve fireworks come from the sides of a building (last year’s NYE celebration from Taiwan’s Tapei 101 being the first). Both were impressive.