HONG KONG: A COOL RECEPTION

 

Hong Kong hills, valleys, rain and haze

For years Joy has longed see Hong Kong. She’d heard it’s a Mecca for shoppers. I thought we had doused that dream when we gave up our home. After all, why buy things when you have no place to put them? I’d been to Hong Kong a couple of times and found it yet another large city with confusing currency and daunting language barriers. Besides,  since I have never had any interest in shopping as a recreational sport, you will understand that we spent three days here only because I’m a dutiful husband who likes pleasing the wife.

Hong Kong skyscrapers. Tall and mighty (and skinny).

I even gave her an additional day. We planned on two. They became three when I discovered I had booked our hotel for the night after our cruise ended the day before. I caught my mistake in time to correct it, then carefully explained the generous impulse that extended our stay by another 24 hours. She expressed surprise and gratitude. Unfortunately, she reads our blog, so now she knows the rest of the story!

We didn’t shop but majored in photography.  We had hoped to have some stunning pictures to show you. Hong Kong is a remarkable visual feast–when the sun shines. It didn’t. The cold caught us  unprepared.  for the cold. Hotel rooms here, at least those I’ve stayed in, are unheated—unless you ask for a space heater, which we did. We had left our winter coats behind in Australia, thinking the remaining 2017-2018 itinerary would be in warmer climes, so we layered up each day before venturing out.

Hong Kong Cosmo Hotel, our home for three days. We’re on the 27th floor. It would be the penthouse suite if the hotel had a penthouse and our home had more than one room..

The warmth of the hotel staff compensated for the coolness (literally) of our accommodations. They met our every request with dispatch, carefully helped us plan our itinerary and city bus jaunts, and made us feel at home. In spite of their helpfulness we still managed to see more of Hong Kong Island than we anticipated. We knew we’d gone too far when the bus stopped with us as the only remaining passengers. The driver was another really helpful guy, though. He led us to the right bus, which departed just before we could get on it. He flagged it down and explained our plight. The new driver in the new bus made certain we arrived at our destination and got off on time.

“The Peak” is Hong Kong Island’s vista. Chinese entrepreneurs take full advantage of this tourist attraction. A giant mall covers the hilltop. I enjoyed this once-threatening outing, because we can’t buy anything! It turned into a photo opportunity. Not a long one, though, because it was chilly up there.

 

The Peak boasts of its beautiful city view. The Hat agrees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We met this chap while trying to get warm at The Peak. He is  a Harvard PhD , 27 years old, had just given  a speech in China and  was now in Hong Kong to see the sights. His doctorate is in nuclear physics. In this conversation, I did the listening!

 

 

Vanessa from England and Alany from California met in Paris a few years ago and now travel on holiday together every year. We met them on the bus descending from The Peak

 

Our Hong Kong days were quietly spent. The weather didn’t entice us to put in long days touristing. We caught up on a backlog of email and writing, took in an art gallery, checked out St. John’s Church (Anglican), sampled a variety of Chinese restaurants (including a Mexican one), tried our hand at bus and Uber transportation, went to The Peak, and strolled the Promenade, and marveled at the energy of this unique semi-independent city-state perched on the border of mainland China.

Hong Kong “Soundscape,” an artistic addition to the shoreline Promenade.
The description of Soundscape captures the marriage of art and politics in this place.

JOY’S PICK OF THE PICS

Tai Chi whenever and wherever the moment calls for it.
Hong Kong City Center Park: a place to stop for a moment
Hong Kong takes disease control seriously.
Flight from Hong Kong to Chiang Mai. This elderly gent is praying, of course. [Warning: Never travel with a photographer.}
This elderly gent isn’t The Hat but a Hong Kong resident who has found warmth and serenity in St. Johns.

7 thoughts on “HONG KONG: A COOL RECEPTION”

  1. ytour post makes me realize how little i know about asian cultures…never thought about the many skyscrapers…and had never thought about the climate…or the fact that hotel rooms could be without heat.

    also have never thought about the shopping and no where to put the shopping. i am not a big shopper, but when the urge strikes!

  2. Thanks for this tour of one of the world’s most fascinating cities. We delight in (and applaud) your ability to make friends wherever you go and the skill of your photographer!

  3. Sorry you didn’t get to meet a missionary friend in Hong Kong, Benjamin Rees and his wife Karen. His missionary parents were in South Africa but relocated to Hong Kong and Ben and Karen minister to a Philipino congregation in HK. Karen recently wrote a novel about the times surrounding Tyndell’s translation of the Bible that is a joy to read. It is called The Ruby Ring. Loved your pictures, and that is the way to do shopping when you have no place to store–you can even keep the pictures on the cloud!

    1. This is a little embarrassing, Lester. We didn’t contact any missionaries there, as we’ve been majoring in CMF missionaries and don’t have the contact information of others. I know of the Reeses. Met his parents in an earlier HK visit. And…even read Karen’s book The Ruby Ring! I should have remembered. Hope you two are doing well.

  4. Did anyone else notice that the caption that said Dad did the listening in a conversation with a nuclear physics PhD from Harvard was below a picture of Dad talking?

    1. Picky, picky. Mom caught the moment when I asked the opening question. He had eaten his meal by himself. I just wanted him not to feel lonely. I had no idea he was so smart. When I learned that, I stopped talking. Almost.

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