We might make this trip a Chinese New Year tradition. We spent the last week of January in Hong Kong; seeing the parade, eating great food, walking, visiting gardens, seeing pink dolphins, and more.
We stayed in a great hotel on Wellington Street in the heart of Central (http://www.butterflyhk.com) , steps away from a fresh food market on Peel and Graham Streets, and 7 minutes from an incredible diner where we enjoyed breakfast nearly every morning (http://www.the-flying-pan.com/). Yes, we do like an American breakfast. We enjoyed the bustling restaurants and bars in Lan Kwai Fong, the movie theatre at Pacific Place mall, a visit to the Man Mo Temple (dedicated to the Gods of Literature and War), and a rainy walk through Hong Kong Park. For us, Hong Kong does not disappoint, and Central certainly does not either.
One aspect of Hong Kong that was new to us was The Escalator. All roads between Queens Road and Conduit Road are linked by a 2600-feet long string of escalators; the longest covered outdoor escalator system in the world. Why? The elevation increases by 400 feet in half a mile. That’s quite a bit of hiking. The Escalator runs downhill from 6AM to 10AM, and uphill from 10:30AM to midnight. Most of the buildings on the upper side are apartments and houses, so the morning hours allow for folks heading down the hill to work. The rest of the day accommodates the tourists, then gets people home after work. It was an interesting city sight, and also allowed us to visit Mosque Street and the Mid-Levels. And got us back to our hotel a little easier after a big dinner.
We weren’t expecting the weather. Last year for Chinese New Year, we wore long sleeved tshirts and enjoyed day after day of sunshine. This year, it was coats and even an umbrella. Standing on Nathan Road for the New Year Parade (at night) was quite chilly. One day, we decided to visit Victoria Peak for a hike. You can see by the pictures that our visibility was comical at times. If Tim walked 10 feet ahead of me on the trail, he was nearly out of sight. Still a nice hike on the Governor’s Walk and the Peak Circuit though.
A lot of other visits kept us busy during the week. We took a trip down to Stanley again, on the south side of Hong Kong Island. We saw pink dolphins in HK harbor. We had a gorgeous visit to Nan Lian Garden and the Chi Lin Nunnery near the Diamond Hill area of Kowloon. Originally built in 1934, the Nunnery was rebuilt in the 1990s using Tang style and traditional architecture. The buildings we saw in this huge complex are wood frame and built with no iron nails! For more info on these locations and more, visit the websites below. And enjoy some photos.
Hong Kong – http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/
Mexican food in HK – Agave, 93-107 Lockhart Road. El Coyote, across the street at 114-120 Lockhart Road. Check them out at Trip Advisor.
Learn about protecting the pink dolphins – http://www.hkdolphinwatch.com/
Nan Lian Garden & Chi Lin Nunnery – http://www.nanliangarden.org/home.php?eng