Apologies! After the last Hong Kong post I realized I left out some other pictures we took while we were at Ngong Ping village and Tian Tan Buddha! The architecture and details really were amazing. Some areas prohibited pictures to be taken and would not let us enter but here are a couple more pictures!
Day 2 in Hong Kong started out really slow since it was raining and most of the things we had planned to do were outdoors. We wandered around the courtyard and the mall below the hotel a bit. We found some delicious donuts at the grocery store bakery and enjoyed some coffee. Eventually, and after a wardrobe change, we decided to venture out and head to Victoria Harbor and Victoria peak even though it was still drizzling.
In order to get to Victoria peak we needed to take a taxi to the Harbor, then a ferry across to Hong Kong island. The ferry was very fun. We had to purchase small plastic tokens from a vending machine to use for the ferry. We boarded and got on the lower deck. It was a fun 10 minute ride to Hong Kong Island and was very cheap something like $2 for kids and 3 for adults. We caught a sunset while on the ferry on the way home. The last picture in this group is the Star Ferry boat.
Victoria peak was highly recommended by the tourist blogs and research I did. One other cool thing is that there is a tram that goes straight up the mountain. When we arrived at the tram station the line was so long. We were afraid we would be standing in line for 2 hours before we even got on the darn thing. This is where my research paid off. From what I read you can take a taxi up the mountain and ride the tram down to get the tram experience. We aren’t huge on waiting in unnecessary lines so we found a place to hail a taxi (read more about Hong Kong taxi’s later) and headed up the mountain. In general taxis in Hong Kong had proved to be very inexpensive, but the the trip up the mountain was a little more pricey than the local trips we had taken. The cost was the equivalent of about $30 USD but totally worth it. The road was very winding and the driver dove pretty fast. Maybe it was just me who was being tossed around a bit because my seat belt buckle was stuck and I could not fasten my seat belt. We eventually made it up to the peak and walked around the tourist area a bit. My research also told me that there was no need to pay the extra fee to go to the special viewing deck. Just down a path there was a lookout! By now the weather was cleared up a bit and we had some great views of the Hong Kong Skyline on Kowloon and the bay. Very cool. After walking around a little bit we were ready to head back down via tram. We waited in a much shorter line and bought tickets for our ride down.
Ok, I admit I did not understand the hype of riding a tram down the mountain but it was quite crazy. Everyone jammed into these 2 train like cars. There was enough space for about 30 people to sit on wooden benches, and another 20 people stood in the aisles. Once were loaded we headed down the mountain. It was much more of a thrill than I anticipated becasue a times you felt it was quite possible for the tram to race down the hill out of control. The Maximum Steepness: 48 % Track Gradient: 4–27 degrees https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_Tram We even caught a bit of the ride on video for you. I enjoy roller coasters more but this was a unique ride. 🙂
Near the tram station is Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Garden and Hong Kong park. It was nice to be out in nature a bit but it was very hot and humid. We were quite uncomfortable climbing stairs and being bitten by mosquitoes. We were disappointed to find out that the Conservatory and aviary were closed for the day. We followed the paths found a waterfall, lake and lots of cute TURTLES.
If you didn’t know I have become quite fascinated with turtles lately. Actually, I have always thought turtles were quite cute. My fascination only increased when we went to Mexico in 2012 and we actually got to swim with sea turtles when we were scuba diving. Consider yourself warned: I may end up getting a new pet in the near future. I am researching breeds of turtles that stay small. The pet store near us has a “Stinkpot musk” turtle that I am currently considering!
On the way back to the hotel be decided we should eat some traditional Chinese/ Hong Kong food. We looked through the menus at the restaurants in the mall at the base of our hotel. We ended up going to Tim’s (yeah I know it is a really authentic name) for some traditional Hong Kong food: Peking Duck! None of us had ever had this dish before but when we told the hostess we were interested in eating Peking dusk we were immediately treated like honored guests. We were all happy to rest our weary feet and quickly dove in to the celery and scallions dipping them in a sauce provided. Soon after our duck arrived on a platter, with it’s head still attached. It was all eyes on the chef as he carved the duck right at our table. We were very surprised that the restaurant manager, several servers, and other tables were staring! The chef presented us with the platter of sliced duck and we were given some thin crepes. It was at this point that we realized WE HAD NO IDEA how to eat this meal. Thankful for google (Again) we quickly learned how to properly eat the Peking duck, wrapping the thin slices of duck in the crepe, adding the celery and scallions and hoisin sauce. So I guess we weren’t supposed to have eaten all those vegetables they had put on our table. oops! Soon the server realized our error and brought some more out. The Peking duck tasted really good, the fatty skin was crispy, meat was tender and flavors were good. Upon further speculation we feel that there should have been more meat on the duck but then again we had never eaten a whole duck before. Maybe they are much leaner than a chicken! Hmmmm, thoughts to ponder. The remainder of the meat was stir fried with rice and brought over at a later time. Over all it was a great meal and we left the restaurant full and happy!
For your reading pleasure: This is a tutorial on how to eat Peking duck:
Thanks for reading! Look for more Hong Kong posts and other posts too…. we have so much more to share!