Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Friendliest City

I can't believe we "already" are leaving Hong Kong (having been here for two weeks, somehow!) Time has just flown, and even though we've been here for fourteen days, we still feel like we could be here another week.

It's true that time flies when you're having fun, and it's also true that having friendly faces around goes a long way in contributing to said fun. The first week we were here, we did the normal tourist things -- museums, tourist traps, and bus tours -- but we also did a lot of early morning, late morning, early evening, and very very late evening chatting and laughing with friends. We ate gigantic, delicious, communal meals, and we even sang karaoke! We met with some old friends, and most happily, we met many new ones as well.

Our second week started off most auspiciously with a hike on the west side of Kowloon and a fresher-than-fresh seafood meal at a seaside restaurant. The giant seawater tanks that front the restaurants contained scores of fish, crabs, lobsters, clams, geoducks, snails, squid, and prawns that were scooped out of their crowded homes and cooked on the spot for a belly-filling, finger-licking, garlic-doused meal. The hike was gorgeous -- I never expected the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong to be so green and mountainous. There were even campsites!

We also discovered a gorgeous little island just 20 minutes away by ferry. This island, called Lamma, can be walked in a day, and has it all: quaint villages, beautiful beaches, and wonderful walking paths weaving their way through lush greenery and forests. Again, we were amazed at how much natural beauty exists only a few kilometres away from the teeming masses and concrete jungle of the city. We sat on the beach, sipped gourmet coffee, and again, ended our day with a fresh seafood dinner. Ancient fishing boats bobbed in the water next to us, and the lights of the skyscrapers could be seen across the harbour. Surreal doesn't even begin to describe it.

In the past fourteen days we've consumed: a massive hotpot dinner, two giant seafood dinners, conveyor belt sushi, endless Korean barbeque, tropical fruit, crazy Asian snacks, ice cream, Portuguese custard tarts, sweet buns, and many, many Starbucks coffees. It's been delicious, but as I said earlier, the best part of all was that we did much of this consumption with friends.

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