Saturday, 27 December 2008

HONG KONG TRIP - DECEMBER 2008

My father and I had a most enjoyable short break of five days in Hong Kong just prior to Christmas. The weather was perfect, with blue cloudless sky throughout and a very comfortable 21 to 23 degrees centigrade each day. As this was my father's first trip to the former colony, we did the usual tourist things - firstly a ride on the Peak Tramway up to Victoria Peak to see the view over the harbour, by day:-

and also by night (although this time we cheated, beating the queues for the Tramway by taking a taxi both ways):-
(Picture since removed)
One day we did a full day excursion onto Lantau Island to visit the largest Buddha in the world. This involved a quite spectacular 4.7km cablecar ride:-

The monastery was surrounded by a very colourful display of flowers. It was easy to forget with the colours and the weather that this was the week before Christmas.
(Picture since removed)
The Buddha itself is set on the top of a small hill giving a excellent viewpoint over the island. It is one big buddha (to paraphrase my father).

We had another full day out at Ocean Park. This amusement park combines fun rides, excellent aquariums and shows. My 78 year old father went on the triple looping roller coaster. He was easy to pick out on the ride as everyone else had dark hair and they were at least half his age! He's on the back row of the third car.

We spent a pleasant hour or more, every morning sitting by the hotel swimming pool getting a bit of winter sun and having a daily swim. My aim was to combine the sightseeing with a bit of rest and relaxation each day. This is a view of the pool from the hotel bedroom window.
(Picture since removed)
The next photo shows my father relaxing by the harbourside near the Exhibition Centre that was used in the 1997 Handover Ceremony. The office buildings of Central are in the background. The tallest tower is "IFC Two" which at 1,350feet tall and 88storeys dwarves the other buildings.

The view of the Hong Kong Island skyline at night from Kowloon is quite unique. We sailed over on the Star Ferry but we also used the MTR underground system extensively to get around. The MTR is cheap, efficient and air-conditioned. If only London's was half as good.

Overall we had a most enjoyable and relaxing break whilst fitting in an active daily amount of sightseeing. Despite the eight hour time difference we had minimal jet-lag thanks to Virgin's flatbed seats. We can thoroughly recommend Hong Kong as long-distance city break destination or, perhaps more sensibly, as a stop-over to break one's journey on the way to the Antipodes.

15 comments:

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I've been waiting on a report and it sounds like you both had a wonderful time. Great piccies of somewhere I have heard is really fascinating.

Kitty said...

Welcome home! So glad you both had a great time. x

Debs said...

What amazing photos. So glad to hear you both had such a fab time together on holiday.

I would have loved to visit the buddha but would never have coped with that cable car ride!

DJ Kirkby said...

Wow, I think these photos are fantastic. Thank you so much for posting them here. your dad is very handsome and youthful looking. Impressive genes at work there.

East Anglian Troy said...

Sarah - yes we had a great time. There really is no other place like it.

Kitty - thanks for calling by and leaving a comment.

Debs - that cable car ride was the smoothest I've ever experienced. There were amazing views although it was a little hazy.

DJ - I will pass on your comments to my father. Looks-wise I take after my mother (hence Mrs Troy's concern re the Altzheimers).

Ladybird World Mother said...

I have always wanted to go to HK... nice to see it through your pics and description. How wonderful too to get some winter sun in someone else's summer.
Welcome home again. Here's to a Blogging New Year, and start to that book.
X

DJ Kirkby said...

I've just noticed the photos in your sidebar. Did you take them all? They are all so good, is a talent for photography something new? Have you hooked up with any of the photo blogs? try Gerald England's (in my sidebar on Chez Aspie) as he is part of an imense photo blog network. I had no idea Mrs Troy was worried about you getting Altzheimers because you looked like your mom (though I guess she would be worried anyway) but is there some research proving that there is a genetic link between parental/offspring looks and mental capacity?

East Anglian Troy said...

LWM - yes I'm looking forward to 2009 now.

DJ - the photos have been there since the start of my blog! I've always been interested in photography since about the age of 9. I'll take a look at those photo blogs. Hopefully the concern re the Alzheimers is needless but it is so nasty for the carer that I can understand Mrs Troy's worry.

Trixie said...

Sounds fab! I see the smog hasn't lifted much there since I visited it 13 years ago!

Ladybird World Mother said...

Troy - have an award for you over at my blog. X

Carol and Chris said...

Ooohh your trip sounds wonderful....what an amazing time you two had!! I just love the fact that your Dad went on the roller coaster....fab!!

C x

East Anglian Troy said...

Trixie - there is definitely smog and pollution which makes the views hazy but strangely I couldn't smell it or otherwise sense it at ground level.

LWM - thanks for the award, I've already got it displayed proudly on the blog.

Carol - yes it impressive at 78. The young lady supervising the ride was concerned as to whether he had a heart problem or back problem. My dad replied "not yet".

Arthur Clewley said...

looks like scarborough with more chinese restaurants and different colour fog to me troy, but anyway, happy new year to you

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Troy, glad you and your father had a good trip. The photos are very sharp and interesting. What seems like a million years ago now...I was invited to HK by a friend's mum who was living out there. This was before the handover. Friend's parents were in advertising so it would a been one hell of a swell joint (so to speak)...ah well. Don't have many regrets but that is one of them. Might get out there yet if I do get to see some Oz cricket!

ed said...

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