Tsim Sha Tsui with Ben and again with Coralie.

Ben is a buddy of mine from my university days and thanks to facebook, one of the many connections that I’m able to randomly message and say, hey I’ll be in Hong Kong, let’s meet up :) So in the morning, I walked down to the train station to meet up with Ben. We didn’t really have an agenda other than to meet up and walk around. And that we did. We walked all over Hong Kong island catching up together and finding our way through the streets of Hong Kong while talking about what we’ve been doing since University.

We went over to the Kowloon side for lunch and had an amazing buffet lunch, and then continued walking around the Kowloon side. By early evening, he needed to get back and we parted ways and I wandered around more before heading back to my place to rest from a full day of walking and looking around.

The next day, I went by ferry across to the Kowloon side to meet another old friend from university, Coralie. She was a French exchange student at UT during my senior year and again, thanks to Facebook were able to stay in contact for when an opportunity like this comes up! I got to meet a couple of her friends, and her beautiful family. It was a happy reminder of my niece, Olivia. When her daughter walked up to be introduced to me, I went to shake her little hand, but being French, she was expecting to go for my cheek for a kiss. She was so well mannered, fluent in French and English, and learning Chinese in school. Now that’s the new age of children prepping for a global workforce.

Spending time catching up with Coralie was great as we went through each of our careers. I felt so happy for her success in her career path, as whenever I see truly successful people and see their career paths, I love and automatically become impressed and happy for their work getting recognized. After an amazing lunch looking out to the Hong Kong cityline across the harbor, we headed for a drive to drop me off at a place that isn’t normally seen by tourists to Hong Kong. It was a little fishing village in the New Territories, and it was really fun to walk along the water and see the lively fisherman offering their fish to onlookers above on the piers. Once an order was received, they would use a pole to reach it up to the purchaser. After the rest of the afternoon, I headed back by minibus to Hong Kong, and stopped by the Jordan street markets for some browsing before heading back to Hong Kong.

At night, I used the tram to get all the way up to the top of Victoria’s Peak for another great view of Hong Kong from above. Hong Kong is a great city, with great restaurants, night life, and people!

Off to Macau!

MacauMACAU is a really interesting place, being that it just went back to China as well. However, instead of being a colony of England, like Hong Kong, it was a colony of Portugal. So, interestingly, the architecture of Macau was all in the style of Portugal. Different money system, and, practically a different country from China, still set it apart as it tries to be unified with China. There is still a strict immigration control point, that divided Macau from China.

We decided to travel to Macau when we found out how close it actually was to Hong Kong . All you have to do is get on a fast jet foil boat, that is exactly like a plane on the inside, and you’re there in an hour! It was really funny, because we had to go through customs and everything right when you got off the boat. When we arrived, we took a taxi to St. Paul ‘s old ruins of a church. Passing McDonald’s with Chinese characters along the way. Seeing the ruins of this old church was really cool, since only the front is still standing. From there we wandered around to find a nice place to eat. We found a great little outdoor restaurant, and had a filling lunch while watching the passer-byers.

MACAU3We also went to an old fortress that still had the cannons, along with a great view of China across the river, and the city. We made the rounds of the local temples and such, and then took a taxi to the border control between Macau and China . There is a window (outdoor) that lets you see China on the other side. After the control point, we went to a Casino. Casino’s are illegal in Hong Kong, but Macau allowed them, so we went in. Of course, being warm, I was wearing shorts, so I was denied entry. So, we went across the street to buy some pants–for $3– Macau is very cheap! We went in, and I spent just $10 on doing different stuff. It was a cool experience because I had never gambled before. We then spent the evening there, and ate at the McDonalds (just to add to my list of eating at a McDonald’s in every country). We then boarded the boat for a quick trip back to Hong Kong . The next day we were flying to Singapore.

Victoria’s Peak


We decided to take another look over Victoria’s Peak during the day, so we headed for it again. After some pictures and a breathtaking view, we went on a boat trip to Aberdeen, the fishing market. On a boat, we weaved through the fishermen selling their catches for the day. After the boat ride, we went to Stanley Beach, the most popular area for Silks, and Hong Kong’s beach. We then went around shopping and spent the day there. After returning to Kowloon, we shopped at all the famous places. I bought lots of clothes–coming from Tokyo, clothes were so cheap!

Out and about in Hong Kong


The next morning we were awakened to the bells of the school that was located right in front of our hotel. We were pretty high up in the building, so we could look down at the students changing classes or breaking for lunch. We decided to take the train to Hong Kong island–the real business district of Hong Kong. We rode the train, and then a bus (which would only accept EXACT change) to the city centre. The maze of the streets and tall buildings made Hong Kong a never-ending struggle to get around. That night we took a tour to Victoria’s Peak for a night view of the city below. We also ate on the Jumbo, a boat with a restaurant, one of Asia’s finest and most famous. After seeing the night view, we returned to our hotel to plan our next day.

Hong Kong Bound!

Hong Kong has been a place that I have wanted to visit for quite a long time. Due to its awesome architecture right on the Victoria Harbor , a cityscape I will definitely never forget. My friend Keiko and I had decided to do a tour during our spring break in March. We left Tokyo on a flight directly to Hong Kong . We arrived in the evening and went straight to our hotel. Connecting us from the airport to the main part of Hong Kong was a new train system which whisked us to Kowloon , where our hotel was located. Our hotel room was quite small, and was located in walking distance to a train station. That night we walked the streets seeing the liveliness of the street stalls, restaurants and lights. I called home to Tennessee from a payphone out on the street, and my mom could not believe the sounds she heard of Hong Kong.