Hey there! Thanks for coming back! I promise there will be no more talk of illnesses in the rest of my posts. Only positive things!! In fact, when people ask me what was my favorite place to visit over the course of the semester, I am torn between Thailand and Hong Kong. Thailand because of the elephants, obviously, but Hong Kong was just such an amazing city in so many ways. Buckle up, here we go!
It was me, Brad, and Zach on this trip. We had a very early start on Friday – woke up at 2:30am to get to the airport for our flight. Luckily I was able to get some sleep on the plane, enough to fuel me up for a day of exploring Hong Kong! We walked around the city for a bit along the water, until we were ready to check in to our place. It was small. Very small. The smallest space I’ve ever shared with other people. It was like a closet, with a couple of bunk beds in it. All I could think about was “Gee, I’m glad I like these people.” We made a pact, after seeing our room, that we would spend as little time there as possible. We’d wake up, get ready fast, and leave for the entire day, not to return until we were ready to sleep. That plan worked out quite well! We saw a lot of the city and had a minimum amount of claustrophobia.
We spent the rest of the day exploring. We went to the Sky Walk, to see the city from above, and then went to SoHo for dinner. SoHo was this super steep group of streets filled with shops, bars, and restaurants. It was so steep that there were escalators built right into the sidewalks. Nifty!
Our Day 2 in Hong Kong was almost everything else that was on our list to see. We took a tram up to Victoria Peak, which was amazing. We got to see the best views of the city, go into a trick eye museum, see a chocolate museum (everything inside is made of chocolate!) and we also got to eat lunch in a woodfire pizza place. I had a mission over lunch, which was to convince the guys to go to Disneyland the next day. Brad had never been to Disney, so he was all for it. Zach was a little bit harder to convince, but because we got so much done today and we planned to get high tea before we flew out on Monday, he also agreed! Success!!
Later that day we saw Garden of the Stars, which was a collection of handprints from famous Asian celebrities. We recognized probably 3 of them in total, including Jackie Chan. We also walked around more of the city.
That night, we ate some classic dim sum! We found this small little place recommended by the locals, and tried a lot of different things. The best one was a pulled pork bun; I wish I had a hundred of them. It was a cool experience because the restaurant was such a hidden gem. To finish off the night, we explored one of the night markets and did some shopping! When we got back to the tiny little room, I planned out our entire next day. I looked at times of shows and parades, downloaded a map of the park, and wrote every ride we’d want to go on. Safe to say I was a little bit excited.
Sunday – We’re going to Disneyland!! This was one of my favorite days of the entire semester. Not only were we in Disneyland, which in itself is amazing, but it was all decorated for Christmas! The weather was cooler too, so it really got us into the Christmas spirit. Throughout the day, they had a ton of shows and performances for us to see! The guys were so great; they just went along with whatever I wanted to do. And I even caught them in the middle of a water gun fight with a 5 year old kid in the Wild Wild West! I had the map, the schedule of events, and my handwritten checklist for everything to do. It was such a busy and exciting day!
We started the day in Toy Story Land, and we rode a ride that was some sort of terrifying looper ride. Zach found it hilarious that I was screaming the whole time, because apparently the ride was meant for 5 year olds?? Unsure.
Next we made our way to Fantasyland, where they had a garden of different displays from all of the princess movies – pretty darn cool, right?
Now, since this was Brad’s first time EVER at Disney, I had to put him through Disney initiation. For most of the day I was nice, showing him all the best things of Disneyland and having so much excitement that it overflowed to him, but I did make him do one thing that wasn’t fun – the It’s a Small World ride. I knew he had to go on it to understand, but I sat out. I literally sent him in and then waited on a bench. I’m pretty sure that ride is what nightmares are made of.
Some of my favorite things were Mickey’s Philharmagic, the Lion King show, the runaway Mine ride, and Hyperspace Mountain. Some of the attractions were the same as Disney World, and others were completely new. It was fun to see how Hong Kong Disneyland is different. It felt so magical! Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Disney fan, so this day was completely perfect. We walked along Main Street and got dinner at one of the bakeries, and ate right on the edge of the street.
At night, we got to see the tree lighting ceremony and then the Christmas parade. The lights along Main Street were absolutely beautiful, and there was even fake snow! I was just giddy the entire day, and got caught up in the fantasy of the park. So many moments of pure happiness. How magnificent.
We started off our last day in Hong Kong by checking out of the tiny room and running away as fast as we could. We left behind cockroaches, a toilet that didn’t flush, and rusty sheets. We didn’t look back! For brunch we went to R&R Bagels, which was delicious.
Our one plan for the day was high tea, which wasn’t until 2:30, so we spent a majority of mid-day playing I Spy in a park… Afternoon tea was a highlight of the whole trip. Behind Disneyland, it was my favorite part of Hong Kong. We got three kinds of tea, and the waiters kept refilling the pots when we were out! We each ended up having 3 or 4 pots of tea, and were highly caffeinated by the end of the afternoon! We also got trays of finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries. The apparent protocol for high tea is to gossip, and discuss the “talk of the town.” Because the three of us spend all day every day together, there wasn’t much new to talk about, but we reminisced on the trip and our favorite memories.
What a great couple of pals! I’m so thankful to have them with me on this journey! Even though we were living in less than ideal conditions, and all had different top things to do on this trip, we made it work and had a great time. And I’m pretty sure I was laughing the whole time. Thanks guys ❤