I had an amazing time in Hong Kong today – what an incredible place. I had a 9 hour layover after my 13 hour flight from SFO, so I tried to make the best of it. My plane landed at 6:00 am and I was through customs & immigration and on the train headed into downtown Hong Kong by 6:25.
The first thing that hit me was the insane humidity. I’ve never experienced anything like it. My camera fogged up so badly I couldn’t take pictures for a while. The first one still had some fog but made kind of a cool effect:
I actually got scolded for taking that one… Maybe “scolded” is a strong word – a very polite and friendly police officer kindly asked me to stop taking pictures of the building. Apparently it’s a financial building and the owners “don’t appreciate people taking pictures.” I asked him how to get to Victoria Peak, since that was the #1 destination Tricia recommended. He gave some vague directions and I headed out determined to find it.
The heat really started to get to me, so when I saw a Starbucks I b-lined for it. It was amazing – air conditioning, free power to charge my phone, and a huge iced vanilla latte. I sat in there for quite a while, mainly just enjoying the cool air. I finally got my determination back and started up the hill, trying to find the Peak Tram. I kind of stumbled onto it while looking for the Botanical Gardens.
When I got all the way to the top it was 8:30. I headed straight for the observation deck, only to find that it didn’t open til 10:00. No big deal, I thought. I’ll just poke around and see what else is up here. First thing I stumbled upon: a great hiking trail that went all the way down to the water. Seemed like a good idea, so I went for it.
I got some decent pictures out of it, but the hike turned out to be a dumb idea! I went down this ridiculously steep trail for about 35 minutes, all the while thinking, “this is going to suck when I have to climb back up.” Sure enough, the hike up was miserable. It was so hot and muggy I literally sweated through my jeans. When I got back up to the top I collapsed and just lay there pouring sweat. I should’ve taken a picture of the concrete after I got up – it was an outline of my body. Gross.
I finally cooled down while uploading / editing some pictures in a nice little restaurant and it was time to head up to the observation deck. Well worth the wait – beautiful views!
Now I’m sitting at my gate, waiting to board my flight to Surabaya. My cousin Darren just called from the plane – their flight from Chicago is late and they’re not going to land til 3:45, which is 10 minutes before our flight is due to take off. Not sure how this is going to work out… I might be going to Indonesia solo… Stay tuned.