Last Stop - Hong Kong
11.04.2016 - 17.06.2016
Our third and final stop on our trip took us to Hong Kong. This is somewhere that my sister and I have always wanted to visit so we were very excited to get here. Also, our Uncle Tony is from Hong Kong so it was extra special to visit here. We had it in our heads that this was going to be the best place on our trip, however, due to bad weather it was slightly ruined. From the moment we got there, it rained and there was thunder storms - it was never ending! Actually, it did get nice on the last day when we were leaving - typical!
The main thing we were wanting to do on our trip was Victoria Peak. Victoria Peak is the highest point of Hong Kong and it involves getting a steep train up a hill (it was a bit like being on Oblivion at Alton Towers!) and then getting several escalators up to the top of a building. Once at the top, the views are fantastic. Despite the bad weather, we decided to go up anyway and see if we could see any of it. Unfortunately, once we got to the top we realised we had made a bit of a bad choice as we could not see a single thing. It was completely misty and the whole view was obscured by it. It was such a shame as we were really looking forward to it. We did still manage to get a decent picture as there was a man working there who took our photo and then use Photoshop to put the background in!
Again, another thing that we wanted to do was the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Cars and Big Budha. This too was slightly dampened by the fact that it was raining and it was misty. The cable cars take you over to a little Island where the Budha is - we did get some views but it was still pretty much obscured by the mist. The Budha itself we were actually very lucky to see as when we went up we could see it (although it did not show in any photos it just looks like a photo of a cloud!) but once we got back down to the bottom the mist got very bad and you could no longer see it at all - so we picked the right time to go!
We had plans to go over to Macau for the day but because the weather was so bad we did not end up doing this. Instead, we went to the Ladies Market in Mong Kok which was great. It had everything you need or would want to buy and all at reasonable prices. Most stores have exactly the same things and we found that if you wait for what you want until right down the other end, you will get this a lot cheaper as people tend to buy it straight away and not wait so they offer it at lower prices to get the sales. It is well worth visiting any of the markets - just remember to barter!
We stayed in a boutique hotel called Butterfly on Waterfront right near the harbour. One thing that they did which was great was provide a smart phone which you can use during your trip. You can use this to book things or, as we did, use it for the maps. It has a function which allows you to enter where you want to go and it will tell you which line on the underground you need and where to change - it was extremely useful! The underground itself it brilliant and easy enough to use - you do not need to go any other way! As we were staying on the harbour we were hoping for some great views across to Kowloon, but we could not see anything again due to the weather.
All in all, Hong Kong was a slight disappointment but this was down to the weather. I fully believe that it would have been very good and a lot more fun if only the weather was better. The things we wanted to do and see all involved views and being outdoors, so the weather did put a damper on this - quite literally! I would not hesitate to go again and plan it for a time when the weather is due to be a lot better.
One last point - on the way home our flight was delayed by over 9 hours (absolute nightmare) and when we got back we put a claim in for it. Lufthansa tried to turn this down due to it being "out of their control" (the plane was faulty) but actually faults with airplanes now falls under the control so they had to pay out in the end. If this ever happens to you do push back as it is well worth it financially!
China was a great experience and I am so glad that I have finally visited. Time to plan next year's trip...