Thursday, September 2, 2010

Northeast Asia Trip- Hong Kong

In March 2010, we had the opportunity to fly to Hong Kong and go on a Northeast Asia cruise onboard Azamara Quest. We had a wonderful time. I never, however posted any pictures of our trip. Over the course of the next week or so, I plan on posting those pictures. I will start with Hong Kong.

March 5, 2010- Hong Kong (Day 1)
We flew into Hong Kong around 8pm and took the train into Kowloon. We then took a shuttle to our hotel the Langham. After checking in, we walked around sightseeing. Hong Kong to me seemed very safe- even at night. The lights on all the buildings and restaurants are amazing and definitely a nighttime must-see.

This is the hotel where we stayed in Hong Kong. It was super nice and swanky. No complaints other than our specific room did not have a great view, but that wasn't a problem for us since we weren't there too long.

March 6, 2010- Hong Kong (Day 2)
After some much needed rest, the next morning we hopped on the Hong Kong Subway to Ngong Ping. Ngong Ping is a funicular ride that takes you to the top of a mountain to see the Giant Buddha.

 My gorgeous DH as we got on Ngong Ping.

 A storm was moving into the area as the funicular climbed the mountain. It made it super super foggy and windy which made for a quite "interesting" ride. You could not even see the car in front of you at times. I did a lot of praying during that time period...mostly that the ride would not stop with us suspended in midair and that I would quit freaking out. When we got to the top though, the view was worth it.

After taking Ngong Ping up the mountain and walking through the shops and little village, you can then walk up a tall, steep flight of stairs to get a bird's eye view of the Giant Buddha. Or you can just be lazy like me and take your favorite zoom lens to see him up close and personal (see photo below).
We then got back on the funicular (which is a 20 minute ride up the mountain versus like a 2 hour bus ride) to head back down the mountain to catch the subway. But first, remember how I prayed on the way up that we wouldn't get stuck? Heehee. Well, on the way down it came to a screeching (ok, maybe not screeching, but more like grinding) halt. So we sat suspended above the water for maybe 15 minutes before they got it going again....but no worries. At that point, we were much closer to land, so we just sat and enjoyed the view. After it ended we hopped back on the subway to go to the hotel to grab our bags and head to the ship. The hotel called us a taxi even though the port is SUPER close to the Langham, we didn't wanna drag all our bags around those crowded streets. The taxi picked us up, but really didn't have room for our bags so they literally were hanging out of the trunk. They made it though...without any incident. (The Ocean Cruise Terminal, in Kowloon, Hong Kong, is actually connected to the Ocean Centre and Harbour City Mall....WAY COOL and WAY big!) We then boarded our lovely ship, the Azamara Quest (more pics specifically on her later) for lunch and a nap. 

That night we watched the nightly laser light (@ 8pm ) show. It is spectacular!

This is a pic of the Quests outdoor deck at night...after the light show.

March 7, 2010- Hong Kong (Day 3)
After spending a wonderfully relaxing evening of fun and good food aboard the Quest, we headed out the next day for another journey around Hong Kong. We headed to Stanley Market which is pretty far away from where the ship was docked in Kowloon. Traffic, of course, was atrocious. Nonetheless, we made it to the market before the majority of the crowds.

I may look like I have no bags in my hand, but that's just because I hadn't bought anything. Actually though I did very well...I bought a chinese doggie dress (how could I not!?) and on a more serious not I bought a calligraphy piece that said faith hope love (which is now on my mantle).
After leaving the market, our group headed to the fishing village of Aberdeen. If you don't know much about the fishing villages there, I would suggest googling it and reading about it. It is quite fascinating! Also the famous floating restaurant, Jumbo, is there in the harbor. 
We hopped on one of the sampans (flatbottom boat with oars/motor in the rear) for a ride around the harbor. 

 This is a houseboat. Entire families lives entirely on boats like this. I can't fathom it.

2 pics up is the "entrance" to Jumbo. You board one of those brown, red, and gold ferries (in the pic directly above) to head over there. You can see just how big it is. We were there early in the day, so they didn't have much business going on. I can imagine how packed this thing must get at night. Imagine how pretty it is all lit up again the night sky too! It was gorgeous enough in the day though. After the sampan ride, we headed to Victoria's Peak. We rode the tram to the top and walked around a bit til it started completely pouring! It was already foggy though, so I really didn't take any pictures. Luckily, we did have jackets so we didn't get wet. 

to be continued....

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