A detour On the way to Africa
No Surprises We have free first class tickets to Africa and back on Cathay Pacific, with the only kink being that we have to go thru Asia... no biggy... gives us a chance to visit Hong Kong and see what the fuss is about. (By the way, Cathay Pacific is the BEST airline ever in the history of ever! We feel guilty knocking ourselves out for most of the 15 hour flight from LAX to HK). Hong Kong is as expected: crowded, noisy, crowded, smoggy, crowded, packed! Did I mention crowded?
Victoria Peak Hong Kong's subway is amazingly clean and efficient, and dirt cheap. We catch it to head to the water front, walk about, and end up taking the funicular up to Victoria Peak. On the top, the air is clean and fresh, and the views are - well - very nice and very telling of the thick layer of diesel fumes on the city. Ick. Kowloon isn't much better... it just has a nice view of it.
Fire Beaters Cheung Chau Island is a 40 minute boat ride away, but a world apart. Ahhh... such a nice break from the craziness of Hong Kong. Clean air, tiny village with a lot of stinky dried fish shops, and a nice trail around the edge of the island equipped with lot's of fire beaters... they must have a lot of random-poping fires on the trail. A half-day hike gets some oxygen back into our lungs and in general rejuvenates us. Lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants on the waterfront... we spend more time de-heading and cleaning up the shrimp than eating.
Continuing On On our last day, with an early evening departure, we have this ingenious idea to head to the airport in the morning, check in, and then explore Lantau the and Tian Tan Buddha, since they are all on the same island. Works out great... we spend the afternoon with the Buddha, have some more bad food, and later clean up in the first-class lounge. Ready to head to Johannesburg, South Africa, where we have a rendez-vous with Rick & Randy who will be joining us for the safari portion of our trip.
Too Much Dan likes Hong Kong. Assana, it is not her cup of tea. Too busy, too crowded, too smoggy, too loud, and the food, too stinky.