OK, OK, let’s talk about Hong Kong

2 09 2010

First off, let me apologize for our lack of updates on bringing our China adventure to its close, at least temporarily. We’re now residing in Portland – and incidentally, check out our new, as-yet-mostly-un-updated blog at http://mjamericablog.wordpress.com – and we’re deep in the throes of job-hunting and settling in to our new abode, so blog updates haven’t been as much of a priority as they might have been in the past.

Anyway, dear readers, our last post saw us visiting the green and beautiful locales of Guilin and Yangshuo in southern China. After spending a couple days in Guangxi (the province where both towns are located), we caught the evening train from Guilin to Shenzhen, a new and large city near Hong Kong. Interestingly, Hong Kong is still an international border crossing, so after getting off the train, we had to go through a border check station and do the usual passport-scanning, baggage-inspecting thing. After that, we hopped on the Hong Kong metro for the 45-minute ride into the city proper. For those not as in-the-know and worldly as us, Hong Kong is mostly wooded mountains. The bulk of the city is a strip on the bay as well as parts of Hong Kong Island.

Since we had been on an all-night train ride, by the time we reached the hotel, it was still early. Maybe 10 am or so? So we had a quick snack at a very good Indian cafe across the street, then walked to the Hong Kong History Museum, because that is the kind of stuff I am into. And it’s a fabulous museum if you’re interested in stuff like what a house built by the Hakka people who lived in Hong Kong looked like. I like that kind of stuff, though I understand it might not be that exciting to other people. After spending several hours in what might be objectively called one of the most dedicated and extensive history museums in the world, we headed back to our hotel. After a short stop there, we decided to take the metro up to Hong Kong’s  famous Yuen Po Street Bird Garden and Flower Street. At this point it was starting to get late in the afternoon, though, so I doubt the bird garden was quite as impressive as it might’ve been early in the morning, though we did get to see our fair share of wizened old Chinese men walking around in wife-beaters with their birds in wooden bird cages. We decided to shop a bit at local markets and picked up some cool Hong Kong-only paraphenalia before heading back to the hotel where by some weird coincidence we once more ran into our friends from Finland. Their names are Kirsti, Laura and their mom Sirpa, and they’re really fantastic, so find them on Facebook and add them, and you’ll have Finnish friends too. To Kirsti, Laura and Sirpa, I apologize in advance if you get friend requests from people you don’t know. We decided to have dinner together and went to a pleasant Thai place for good food and conversation, after which we probably went to watch the World Cup, because as all of you know, that’s pretty much all I did at night for a month straight.

Next up: Hong Kong Island