This was my first trip to Asia! I was lucky enough to stay with a family friend whose apartment has an incredible view of the Hong Kong skyline. Watching the light shows at night was definitely a highlight! I met my grandparents for the first time and got to see my silly aunt lots too!
Hong Kong Museum of History was interesting, engaging, and very informative. I liked going on the replica of a Chinese junk and watching the videos about entertainment in the past. Did you know that people would go to dim sum cafés with their birds in cages and hang the cages on a rail by their heads while they ate? I didn't! I also liked the history about how Hong Kong island was formed and the rock specimens they had. Learning about bun tower racing was really fun too! Something I didn't enjoy all that much was the Chinese opera music in the arts and theatre section...
Ocean Park was incredibly fun! I went on a roller coaster for the first time - a small one at first and then a crazy one with three upside-down loops! I also went on a water ride that was very fun but unknown to my unsuspecting dad and I, there were streams of water that shot at you from every direction! I also had fun taking ridiculous tourist photos, riding the ferris wheel, and going on the gondola which, surprisingly, my dad fared pretty well on. My favourite part was seeing my favourite animal on the planet - the red panda! People were flocking around the cage of the giant panda who was sleeping while only one or two people glanced at the poor red panda! The red panda was scampering around happily and my aunt got a few good photos.
Tai O is a wonderful little seaside village with incredible seafood and houses on stilts! I tried a tasty malt flavoured Vita Soy drink that's hot and perfect for a cold day.
We went to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island after visiting Tai O. I climbed many many stairs up to reach the very big Big Budda. The air was clear and the view was great. I noticed some trees there that I have never seen before which reminded me of a pangolin's skin. I still have a branch in my jacket pocket!
I went to the "Ladies Market", many blocks of street vendors selling trinkets and clothes. I bartered at the Jade Market and bargained my way down to less than half the price of a ball of jade. I bought it for HK$100 instead of HK$250!
I went to my aunt's muay thai boxing gym and played around with some of her crazy exercise tools. I met my "cousin" Gwai-Gwai - she is a turtle who loves bananas and grapes and enjoys hiding under the couch when she's let out of her tank.
I also got to see my step-grandfather's old fire station, Shek O Fire Hall. I tried on fire gear that weighed 25 pounds and that was the really light one! When my step-grandfather was a fireman, they would carry gear twice that heavy plus a pack and a gas mask up long flights of stairs to apartment buildings! What a trek!
I tried so many new foods in HK I can't name them all! Crab, prawns, salt fish, scallops, clams, Chiu Chow goose, chicken feet... Surprisingly I liked everything listed including chicken feet! But my dad and I have developed a peeve towards a food which we now call "the dreaded A word" - abalone. We escaped going to my grandparents house to eat incredibly expensive black abalone only to find out that the main course of our dinner would be two plates of abalone and one special one just for lucky me. Suddenly our original plans seemed much nicer, but it was too late. Instead of one abalone that night, I got three!
I find Hong Kong to be a restless crowded city of lights. I enjoyed my visit overall and I would go back to visit but I won't live there. I like my nice calm quiet home on the Canadian west coast!