Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Honeymoon Pics Part 3: Hong Kong

This was the part of the honeymoon I had been looking forward to the most and we had a fantastic start when a lovely lady on the reception desk at the Shangri-La Hong Kong, upgraded our room and sent champagne and chocolates up on our first night!I knew I would have to be quick in getting a chocolate since Chris consumed around 4 all at once! Don't worry though, I got my fair share!
On our first day we decided to go to Ocean Park as we heard it was alot better than Disneyland in HK.  It has a Giant Panda, Red Panda and Gater sanctuary.  Above was the view of the other side of the park as we took a cable car across the hills.  I was slightly nervous of how up we were since the cable car was a bit rickety!
I could have spent hours watching the Giant Pandas, they were soooo cute and cuddly looking! The red pandas were unbelievably adorable as well, kind of like big red racoons.  I tried to get some good photos but it was really difficult to catch the Red Pandas since they are very fast! We went on lots of rides at the park and luckily we both love rollercoasters so we were in our element!
I persuaded Chris to get a souvenir from Ocean Park...a cute panda teddy that we named Xiong (pronounced Shawn) which means 'bear' in Chinese.  As soon as our friends saw it they wanted one too!ha ha.  Here's a pic of Xiong helping Chris to navigate around the park...
This is the amazing view of the harbour from our hotel room at night...it really was breath taking when we saw that view on our first night.  There's a laser show at 8pm every night too so that's always cool to see!
We also went to the Bird Garden were people take along their pet birds in ornate cages and hang them from trees...it's apparently a very old tradition.  Although all the guide books said this was a must see, we were quite saddened when we arrived and realised that there were alot of tropical birds for sale as well.  The big parrots were kept 10 in a cage and I was almost in tears looking at them.  No one had mentioned to us that there was such cruelty there.  We were disgusted to be quite honest and left.  I decided not to post pictures of this as I felt it was too upsetting.
We went up Peak Tower and this was the brilliant view of Hong Kong island from the top...
Here's us looking very windswept (notice the red blotchy mosquito bitten legs on me!)...
Chris often amuses himself by making faces at me! There were endless escalators to get to the top of Peak Tower...thank god we didn't have to climb steps!
We headed over to Lan Kwai Fong, a nightlife area with loads of pubs, bars and nightclubs.  We, of course, had to have a drink in an Irish pub! It was pretty quiet as we were there at 6pm...we thought we would start early!
The Phillipino staff, namely Avonne and Ryan, in the Irish pub were so lovely and friendly to us.  They really made us feel so welcome and chatted to us about the local area and where we should go.  It's meeting genuine people like that which can really make your holiday.
On our last day, we decided to go and see the Po Lin Monastry and Giant Buddha.  You have to get a cable car up to it and the views were just unbelievable...
As you can see, we were VERY high up but the cable car was really sturdy this time so I could forget my nerves and just enjoy the ride.  The cable car had a glass floor so you could look down and see everything as you passed over it.
There's nothing quite like seeing the Giant Buddha on the hill as you come over the last hill, it's pretty spectacular...
I thought the architecture at the monastry was really beautiful against the backdrop of the lush mountains...
There were 268 steps to reach the Buddha at the top...
It really felt like a very spiritual place and we both felt like this was our favourite day of the whole honeymoon.  There were 6 statues surrounding the Buddha called the offering of the 6 devas...
This was the view once you get to the top...we didn't know that Hong Kong was surrounded by over 200 islands...
This place was truly unforgettable...
There was also a 'Wisdom Path' that you can follow and apparently people walk this to reach enlightenment.  Once you reach the end of the path, you come across these wooden pillars arranged in a figure of 8 to represent infinity...
I was speechless at this point, you just have to stop and take it all in.
Once we walked back down, we went to see a presentation about Buddhism and where it all started.  Then the Shaolin Monks show that was on.  These guys are pretty damn impressive!
Overall, we felt that the Po Lin monastry has become quite a commercial area for tourists however nothing can take away from the amazing feeling you get from walking up to the Giant Buddha and the Wisdom Path.  You feel like you are connecting with nature because you are surrounded by mountains and lush greenery, I can see why this is a place of worship and a place of peace.
So that now concludes all our honeymoon highlights!  I hope you guys enjoyed seeing what we got up to and hopefully it will help those of you who were thinking of visiting that part of the world.  If you want any advice or tips, please just ask me!

10 comments:

  1. beautiful pics!!! I would love to go to hong king one day..thanks for sharing your honeymoon with us..it seems like u had a blast!!

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  2. wow looks amazing..thank you for sharing :) looks like you had a great time x

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  3. Just read your last few post and It looks like you both had an amazing time! The places you visited look beautiful! I've never travelled so far east but seeing your pics is making me want to xx

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  4. wow, you too look so amazing together, and happy of course...i definitely have to visit hong kong one day...its a great choice it seems for a honeymoon !! Have fun honey ;) xxx

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  5. I've really enjoyed seeing your wedding/honeymoon pics - and it's made me want to go to Hong Kong even more!
    Congratulations and here's to a happy future for you both x x x

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  6. Your pictures look amazing. i'm actually heading to malaysia and hong kong (as well as bangkok) in 4 weeks and would love some advice. i was wondering if it would be cheaper/better to book a tour guide when in hong kong..or would you recommend exploring the island by yourself.

    Your post has made me so excited! you sound like you truly had an amazing time..i can't wait! xx

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  7. @limes - You're gonna have an amazing time in HK! We loved it! I would advise skipping the tour guide and getting around on your own. Tour guides can be really expensive and they end up taking you to lots of places that aren't worth the money/time. These are the things you HAVE to check out and how long they take: Giant Buddha & Po Lin Monastry (allow half a day-full day for this), Tram up to the Peak Tower (3-4 hours), Laser show on HK island at 8pm every night (30 mins - try and get a seat directly across the harbour where lots of people congregate, there's a great atmosphere), Ocean Park (a whole day), Lan Kwai Fong district (clubs and bars), Ladies Market (2 hours). I would skip the flower market...that's not great unless you're mad about flowers! I would also skip the bird garden/market as we found it really cruel in places and it upset us. You can research this stuff online to get an idea of the locations etc but your hotel will provide you with leaflets on them. Hotels often offer day trips to these places so you could check that out as it may be cheaper and more efficient than using taxis. They will also advise you on how much you should be paying for taxis, be careful not to get conned on this. We found that HK was no cheaper than the UK so the only place you will get bargains is in the street markets. Some of the electronics are a bit cheaper but make sure they aren't fake. Don't be too worried about people staring at you, this happens alot because alot of tourists visiting from Mainland China are very interested in anyone from the west. I know it's rude to stare here but it's not there so don't take it personally. One girl explained to me that for some of them, it's the first time they have seen a white person in the flesh. The streets are generally very safe and there's not alot of pick pocketing around but always be on guard just in case. Hope this helps!

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  8. It looks absolutely beautiful, hope you both had a wonderful time! They are places I've alwasy wanted to go and your photos are amazing. Your hair looks really nice pulled back with a hair band too :) xxx

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  9. Thank you so much for your help - my friends have been to HK but aren't even this helpful!
    I've jotted down everything you've mentioned and can't wait to visit all of these amazing places.
    Also thanks for the tip on the staring. It's so bizarre thinking that for some it was their first time seeing a white person in the flesh!
    xxx

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  10. Nice post.I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts. Thanks for this information .I really appreciate your work, keep it up.
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