Saturday, February 5, 2011


Monday, April 2, 2007 HONG KONG

The beds at the hotel in Wuhan were rock hard again….I’d gotten used to the softer beds and must have bruised a rib or something when I “hit the hay”….I’ve got pain on the right side of my chest that won’t go away and it started when I dove under the covers face down! Oh well…no pain no gain. The cold is staying under control with Nyquil at night and sud-a-fed during the day. Runny nose but not coughing. We woke up at 5 am and had plenty of time before breakfast and the departure at 7:15 am for the airport.

During our bus ride Jo talked to us about the importance of the evaluation form that would be in our mail boxes when we arrived home. The company puts a lot of emphasis on this report and we all assured her that she would get an “excellent” report from us. We all think that she’s done an outstanding job. Arrived at the International Terminal for our trip from Mainland China to Hong Kong; Hong Kong is still China but requires Jo to have special papers to travel there and is called a Special Administration Region. We needed Visas for China but not for Hong Kong. We passed through customs and then security without any problems. We were allowed to bring our water bottles on the flight with us. The timing was perfect; after a stop at the wash room we walked directly onto the airplane without stopping. The flight took less than two hours and we were met at the airport by our city guide Polly. She gave us a running narrative about her city during our ride to the hotel. There are seven million people living in Hong Kong. I was surprised by all the wild areas and the fact that there are so many islands that all together comprise the city of Hong Kong. Most people live in high rise buildings because of the value of the land. Kowloon is the oldest section of the city and that’s where Polly lives.

New words that Polly tried to teach us in Cantonese sound like:

Hello: Na Hoe

Good Morning: Josen

Thank you: Em Goin

The drive to the hotel took about an hour from the airport. We had a rough spot during the flight and I think that we flew through the storm from yesterday as it was heading towards Hong Kong. It arrived just as we unloaded the luggage at the hotel! Good timing as it continued to rain, sometimes very heavily, the rest of the day.

Jim and I went to the ATM in the subway station and obtained some HK Dollars. The value is about the same as the Yuan to the Dollar. The British influence is still very strong here; they drive on the right side of the road, more English signs, the languages are Cantonese and English as well as the official language of Mainland China: Manderin; plus we see the double decker buses!

We headed for the McDonald's and enjoyed Quarter Pounders and malts for lunch; then stopped by the grocery store for some drinks and snacks for the room. Arrived back at the hotel and found a group getting ready to take the bus to Stanley Market. Sounded like fun so we put our things in the room and headed out to the bus stop.

Norm was the tour director and determined which bus we were to take after a quick run back to the hotel for more directions. It took about half and hour before Bus 63 arrived. We were the only passengers for most of the forty-five minute ride.

We arrived just as it started to rain very hard again so we rushed into the first shop that we could find in the Market. Nancy found some things to purchase and Jim made one small purchase. Pat, Norm, Elisabeth and Deane did lots of window shopping but didn’t actually purchase anything. We took turns carrying the wet umbrella bag from shop to shop until we finally decided to eat something. Believe it or not we found a French restaurant by the name of Delifrance in the Yu Moon House that had fast food. We enjoyed sharing a Croque Monsieur, Pat had a Quiche Lorraine and the others had pizza. Some had ice cream for dessert but Nancy wanted to wait for a Shake from McDonalds across the street from our hotel where Jim and I had lunch.

We started for the bus stop, still raining, and spotted our bus arriving. We all took off running and made it to the stop before the driver left! By the way; we’re getting Senior Rates but always need to have the correct change before we get on. Settled in the back until Jim and Pat decided we should go upstairs as we’d gotten the double decker bus for the ride home. All but Norm and Nancy made the move upstairs and enjoyed the enhanced view of the bay as we headed back into the city. It was good that Norm and Nancy stayed downstairs; Jim had left his jacket on the seat and a very nice Chinese man who spoke perfect English picked up the jacket and handed it to Norm.

A fun day ending early enough to give us time to repack the large suitcases that we will be leaving behind when we go to our trip extension in Cambodia. We also sorted out the dirty laundry that we wanted for Cambodia. Jim washed the long pants in the bathroom and the rest we will take to the Chinese Laundry across the street in the morning.

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