Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day Five: Part 1

I define heaven as aNy place where I am treated like a queen. Silk robe laid out, slippers on stand by, bath waiting, room lit with candles and a specially chosen scent to match my mood wafting through the air. And of course my own personal (for 90 minutes at least) massuere to kneed away all my worries. By that definition, I have just spent the better part of my morning in heaven. Now I am sitting in the lounge sipping (free) bubbly and nibbling (free) treats. The only stress in my mind is knowing that as soon as I post this blog CK will get a copy via email while he is slaving away at work. Sorry dear... And thanks for bringing me to Hong Kong. X

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Four: Hong Kongs Only Attraction

Shopping, of course.
I set out with a plan... Hit up the designer sample sales, then the Sosa Mall, maybe a few temples and then back to TST for an up and coming HK Designers mall. I have just sat down for the first time after 10 hours of shopping... No lunch, no water breaks and no temples... Just shopping except for the 60 minute semi lost excursion into lands unknown. I've been elbowed, kicked, stepped on and possibly poked in the ribs by little Asian ladies all day. They take their shopping serious. At one point I had a few things in my hands trying to decide on sizes when a woman took both items from my hands and walked away with them. I could have fought or said something but since I was slowly losing my will to live, I just let her walk away.I left the store and head out to ride the double decker trolley... because there is no other way to wipe away your shopping tears than on a trolley.
On I hopped and away it went (clang clang went the trolley), 15 minutes later I was suddenly aware that I had gone the wrong direction. So, off I hopped and then started the journey to the right place... 30 minutes, 2 buses and a subway ride later I was saddling up to mall number 3.
A good idea in theory as it was half way between the last destination, the next destination and the hotel. However, I quickly discovered that Ocean Galleria (or something to that effect) does not cater to my budget. I am pretty sure that only 1% of the worlds population could shop here. The mall itself was teeming with people but the shops (Valentino, Prada, etc) were empty except for security and the shop assistance. So needless to say I was on to the fianl destination rather quickly.
A lovely back alley, 5 story office building that has been gutted and filled with stalls. I had my heart set on designers manning their areas with needle and thread in hand but was disappointed to find most stuff was imported from Korea. The stall keepers were all painfully cool and did everything in their power to make shoppers feel uncomfortable in the stalls.
Not a total wash as I did make away with some bootie. Shoes, cardagian, vest top, jacket and scarf! However, there will be no photos to commemorate the adventure as photography is banned in the malls! Seriously, one snap of a poorly worded t-shirt sent security running from their secret hideaway threatening to take my memory card until I convinced them the blurry image had been deleted. Security told me in broken English that photos of public spaces were a threat to national security. I suppose if you want to inflict maximum damage in HK blowing up a mall would do the trick! Now this blog post will never make it past China censors! Just to be clear I in no way condone blowing things up malls or otherwise.
Tomorrow's plan... Traditional Chinese massage at 10:30 preceded by a ritual bathing to prepare me for ultimate benefit and followed by lounging at the rooftop pool. Closing out the afternoon with high tea at the Peninsula Hotel and then dinner with the hubby. A day of shopping followed by a day of pampering... Folks, you are witnessing the birth of a monster!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 3: An Attempt to Escape the Smog

Over (or under if you take the express bus) the mountain and through the semi jungle lies Stanley... More markets, a dip in the bay and unfortunately more smog, too. Most of the photos just look hazy. Hazy: noun, what the locals call the smog in Hong Kong.

Another bus, another country, another adventure

I am sat on the top of a double Decker bus to Stanley on the southern side of Hong Kong Island. Can't help but recall our adventures via bus in Laos and Cambodia. There are differences today; the bus was built in this century, it is not held together with duck tape and there is no thumping of bad techno music to be heard. And, of course, this is a solo bus journey.
I've been fighting the urge to visit the same markets as yesterday. Staying within walking distance of the hotel is appealing. But the thought of missing an adventure is mire than enough to pull me along through the subway, onto the bus and ultimately  wapping 15 km over (possibly under as I've heard rumor of a tunnel) the hills to southern Hong Kong Island.
Typing on a tiny phone on a bumpy bus is less than ideal... so I will end with this... I am a lucky lucky girl and am trying my best to make the most of every possible opportunity.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hong Kong

Thinking back to our trip to Bangkok, I remember thinking this is the land where West and East collide in spectacular fashion. Well, Hong Kong is the land the West consumed and the East is eager to reclaim! I have never seen so many high rise buildings in one place. Nor have I seen so many malls and shops. Around every corner is a Prada, Gucci, Dunhill, Longchamp, Tiffany, D&G, Coach, Valentino... You get the picture... And in-between are every other possible shop you could imagine including door to door malls and gallerias. And I suspect, from what I could see, they are full of people. As I type, it is Sunday night at 10:58 pm and as I look out my 40th story window I can see hundreds of people in the streets, the shops are all open and the neon lights are aglow! Speaking of 40th story, we aren't close to being the tallest a long shot! The main thing reminding me that we are in Asia is the fact that I tower of most of the women and the majority of the men!

I have not fully formed my thoughts on this crazy little island. But I can say with certainty that I am looking forward to getting to know it. Today we wondered around Hong Kong Island, riding the Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak, took in the views of the Harbor and the skyline over a late lunch, then road the bus down to Central Pier to take the Star Ferry back to Kowloon and finally enjoyed drinks and dinner while watching the nightly laser light show along the skyline.

The bed is calling me now but I will try to upload photos tomorrow. I until then...