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Hong Kong–Nov 2011


(This is part of my “catching up on the past” series.)

Anyone who has traveled with us knows that traveling with Brandon and Arielle tends to be quite the interesting experience.  It can be interesting in the “I got chosen out of an entire audience to perform with Stitch” and it can be interesting in the “How are we getting from the airport to the hotel late at night?  Let’s look at the map.  Map?  What map?!”  But travel with us usually tends to be a mix of the two extremes and we are always guaranteed to have lots of fun!

Brandon proposed a trip to Hong Kong in November 2011 to celebrate our 3rd anniversary over Thanksgiving.  That’s my sweetie for you – taking his favorite girl to Disney!  Oh wait.  You thought we were going to Hong Kong so we could see Victoria Peak, ride incredibly long moving sidewalks from the middle of Hong Kong Island to the harbor, check out a jewelry factory, take in smells that I can only compare to aged road kill, enjoy the gorgeous Christmas lights displays along the water, go action figure hunting, and find the best Natchan flavor in the world (Honey Lemon Natchan)?!  Well, yes, we did all those things as well, but we were super excited to visit another Disney together!

We flew Hong Kong Express from Naha to Hong Kong.  This was our first time flying out of Naha’s International Building.  (Be warned – there is no food once you go through security in the International Building.  None.  There are, of course, two drink vending machines.  This is Japan, after all.  The land of the vending machine.)  Can you believe that while it takes us 3 hours to fly to Tokyo, it only took us 2 2/12 hours to fly to Hong Kong?  I’m happy to report that after a successful backpacking weekend to Tokyo, we decided that we could do Hong Kong for 4 nights with only our backpacks.  Makes traveling so much easier!  We don’t have to track down our luggage and don’t have to drag suitcases all over the countryside (or city metro) trying to locate our hotel. 

We exchanged some money at the airport so we could purchase MTR (rail) tickets and found a map at the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s kiosk.  Everything felt different, sounded different (aside from Cantonese, Mandarin, Indian, there was also Chinese-British-accented-English), looked different…if you’ve ever experienced culture shock, you know what I mean.  After an absolutely crazy-fast-swervey shuttle ride from Kowloon Station to the Kimberley Hotel, I was experiencing extreme culture shock.  On Okinawa, we don’t honk our car horns unless it’s for the occasional “thank you” toot or in dire emergency.  It felt like in Hong Kong the vehicles were carrying on long detailed conversations by way of horn.  Quite the difference!  I was very happy to get my feet back onto solid ground and start across the street to the hotel when Brandon was promptly engaged by an Indian tailor.  I swear, my feet had barely hit he pavement before this gentleman had convinced Brandon that he needed a new suit and that this man was the perfect one to facilitate the creation and purchase of said suit.  Being travel weary (car, plane, long train, crazy shuttle), we heard out his spiel, saw his shop, and agreed to think about it and come back the next day.  We were thrilled to spot a 7 Eleven near our hotel (we had caught a glimpse as our shuttle swerved around the corner) and stopped in to grab our usual orange juice, chocolate pastries, and coffee (for Brandon) for the following day’s breakfast.  We sure do love our “combinis” (convenience stores) in Asia!

The hotel lobby looked ritzy and the hallways on our floor were mirrored and had gold accents.  The room…well, not so much.  In fact, they had evidently had some damage done to part of the room’s ceiling at one point and had patched it by stapling white poster board to the ceiling.  No joke.  Staples and poster board.  We were definitely wondering what we had gotten ourselves into by this point.  (Remember, I warned you at the beginning, traveling with us is always interesting and an adventure, but it always turns out great in the end!  And this trip was no different!)  So we drifted off to sleep, laughing about the culture shock, laughing at the poster board, and anxious to explore Hong Kong in the morning – after we thoroughly enjoyed our 7 Eleven breakfast, of course!

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Reader Comments (1)

Poster board ceiling...hm. I take it you booked from one of the budget sights? LOL.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

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