Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oh Hong Kong, one day is not enough

OK, so technically we had nearly 48hrs, but subtracting for travel to and fro the airport and this nasty thing called jet lag (is it better to fly west or east?), we really didn't seem to have that much time here.

Julie and I kicked off our travels with the first debate of the trip - how to get to town from the airport. For future reference the train and an Octopus card are the best bet. The train includes a free shuttle to your hotel once you arrive at Kowloon Station.
We used the last of my Holiday Inn points to get a nice room at the Holiday Inn [sing it] right on Nathan Rd in the heart of Kowloon. Primo location next to MTR stations and loads of action. However our plans of watching the fireworks from the rooftop pool were dashed when Julie went up there and found you couldn't see a thing besides the walls of neighbouring buildings.
In a strange twist of east meets west, HK puts on Winterfest, where they pretend to be in the north. Just like we saw in Singapore last time round, the city was ablaze in Christmas lights and decorations and carols jingling from every loudspeaker. It's certainly a pretty sight and for us Winnipeggers it's a treat to walk around a festive atmosphere with only a sweater on. (I'm guessing temps have dropped to more normal levels back home?)  There are decorations EVERYWHERE; Tiffany’s sponsors giant Christmas trees and a carousel in Statue Square and we even found a skating rink that had real ice!

 Julie poses in front of the Tiffany's carousel

Due to our time restraints we didn’t get to see too much. I had hoped to go on a walking tour after downloading an app onto our tablet and we didn’t even get back to Julie’s favourite global party place of Lan Kwai Fong. But we did happen upon what may be a serious contender to our magical little bar further up the harbour.  Pier7 has a prime spot right below IFC, which is the tallest structure on the island. The view from here completely made up for the long flight and jet lag – I’d do it again and again just to see this skyline.

We did some investigating to find ourselves a party for NYE, and we found numerous options: HKD380 for a rooftop party @ the Harbour Plaza hotel, HKD500 for a party at the Intercontinental on the waterfront or HKD2400 for an extravagant 8-course meal with harbour view. By the time we made a decision we missed getting in on the cheap option - typical!


<<original draft written Dec.31. finished in Winnipeg Feb.19>>

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