Hot Damn….Hong Kong Heaven

I LOVE HONG KONG! Seriously, it is clean, civilized and gorgeous. I was lucky to stay on the outskirts in Cyperport at the Le Meridien Hotel. Infinity pool. CHECK. Crazy bean bag lounge overlooking gorgeous water view. CHECK. Walking distance to mall and park on the water where dogs, really big ones, roam free. CHECK. International grocery that sells bagels and People magazine plus cheap wine. CHECK, CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK. Hot Damn Hong Kong Heaven!  A Westerner’s paradise in Asia, Hong Kong is visually stunning with high rise luxury apartments seemingly everywhere and drivers actually following the rules of the road. What, what…what, what?? That’s crazy talk. No bikes/scooters and the buses are all charming double deckers whizzing around the curvy hilly roads. One safety reminder-they have British heritage so they drive on the wrong (at least to me) side of the road. Remember to look both ways or die when crossing the street.  They actually have painted reminders on the pavement to remind folks like me to look both ways first.  How thoughtful!

View of Victoria Harbor from The Peak
View of Victoria Harbor from The Peak

We took a cab to The Peak for dinner. About 90 Hong Kong $’s which is about $15 US. Our driver would definitely feel at home behind the wheel of a Porsche in a Grand Prix race. He took those steep curves with confidence and precision as we wound our way upward into the clouds. Though there were some guardrails, in general, it was frightening to look over the edge of the mountain as we raced by the steep and stunning vista’s below. Oh well, it did get the blood flowing as my heart pounded and I occasionally had to just shut my eyes in terror. I figure he knew what he was doing and, if he didn’t, there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it so I just had to pray, hard, and trust.

Once at The Peak, there is a very western shopping mall with McD’s, Burger King, Starbucks, etc. but we ate at a lovely Thai restaurant with outside deck, enjoying shrimp, salad, spring rolls, etc. I am getting much better with the chopstick control and managed to eat quite well with them without launching food at my fellow diners. We literally were in the clouds and the wispy puffs were on the move with a strong breeze making the hot weather very lovely. The deck on the mall has an outstanding view of the Victoria Harbor. You can take the Tram down the mountain or cab it. The Tram does have a long line so be prepared to wait quite awhile for this scenic ride. At 9 p.m., one of the largest skyscrapers has a light show on the outside of the building. Quite beautiful so time dinner right and you get a show afterward for free.

Bean Bag Lounge at Le Meridien in Hong Kong...easy to get into and harder to get up, especially after a drink or two!
Bean Bag Lounge at Le Meridien in Hong Kong…easy to get into and harder to get up, especially after a drink or two!

Surrounded on one side by lush green mountains and water on the other side, I’ve so enjoyed watching the boats in the busy harbor. I’ve decided to be happy and content, I must live near both water and mountains. When we lived in Seattle, we were right on the water and loved seeing the ferries and cruise ships with mountains in the background. Now, in Shanghai, it’s a different experience watching the coal boats shoot up the Huangpu River but still, while not so scenic, it does provide an interesting and always different view.

So, back to Beijing and then on to Shanghai to enjoy a long Chinese Dragonboat Festival weekend.  I do love all the Chinese holidays.  I’ll be watching for the dragons and boats on local waterways-the ferries should have fun dodging those as they cross the river.  It will be so good to get home and enjoy a respite from living in a Beijing hotel. I’ll be looking forward to another trip to Hong Kong this summer to share it’s excitement with Thom and James and do more exploring of this beautiful city.  Bean Bag Lounge, here I come!

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