Hong Kong

Hong Kong was amazing! It is such an international and Western city. It’s like New York meets Miami weather meets San Francisco trolleys meets Chongqing mountains. I planned to go on this trip with Derrick, Marilyn and Trisha. (all CIEE and American) So the morning we were supposed to leave Derrick missed his flight, sorry Derrick,  Marilyn and I  were on the same flight at 3:10pm direct to HK. Derrick was on a flight at 8:20am and Trisha was on a flight the next morning at 8:20am. Soo Derrick wasn’t on his flight and wasn’t going to be able to make it.

Marilyn and I got into HK around 5:30m. We took a bus and found our hostel. Then we tried to find food since we were both starvinggg! We were gonna go to this German restaurant but it was pretty expensive and we ended up looking around for another place to eat. We found this Indonesian Restaurant that turned out to be the best thing since white bread! I had what was basically lo mein with fried/grilled chicken and veggies. It was so good… new favorite food, sorry malatang!

 

 

 

Then Derrick told me that one of the rugby guys and his brother were in Hong Kong too. Marilyn’s niece is studying abroad in HK soo she told us about a bar that was having a ladies night and free champagne till midnight. So we went to this bar and popped champagne till 1am and met up with the British brothers. Shout out to Tom and Chris. There were so many foreigners in HK and at the bars it was crazy… I don’t think I’ve seen that many foreigners in my entire life.

 

The next day we got up and got breakfast at MickeyD’s. It was delicious. I can’t believe how good it was. Then we met Trisha at a certain place called…. DISNEYLAND HONG KONG! We had so much fun. We bought Mickey and Minnie ears and wore them the whole day. We took pictures with Woody from Toy Story and we rode the most awesome roller coaster I’ve ever been on. I don’t even like roller coasters but I LOVED this one. There weren’t huge drops or anything upside down, it was really windy and it was fast and at one point it stopped and then started flying backwards on the tracks. It really was awesome.

 

On Friday we got up early and again got McDonald’s for breakfast and went to see the Tian Tan Buddha or the giant Buddha on top of a mountain. We waited forever in the cable car line and finally got up there and it was so worth the wait. It was incredible. It is quite big and from the base of Buddha you can see the ocean and the view was one that people would pay millions to have every morning. After we made our way back to the city we got some delicious pizza and walked around Kowloon. We saw the avenue of stars, cartoon stars that is but it was still cute. We went down to the harbor and saw the classic view of the Hong Kong skyline.

We saw what was supposed to be a spectacular light show but it wasn’t good at all. Disappointing but the night view of HK was just as amazing as during the day if not better. We took the star ferry and met up with Marilyn’s niece and had a drink. I actually got carded at the door. Can you imagine that? I’m 23 and it’s HK why was I carded? No one cards. I still think it was a joke that some foreigner guy thought was funny. Maybe because we didn’t look like we would be going to a bar but rather sightseeing and hiking. Who knows!

 

Saturday was our last day and it was a great day and our last day of McDonald’s breakfast. Trisha and I got up early and went to the Temple of Ten Thousand Buddha’s. We ended up  going to a cemetery first because it looked like a temple and was pretty cool. Then we found our way to the temple and it was all stairs up a mountain. I swear everything in HK in on top of a mountain. Anyway, it took a while but once we made it to what looked like the end but wasn’t, Trisha stayed and rested while I went up to the top. It was worth it. The last Buddha to me was the best and the most peaceful and calming place I’ve been.

 

After that we went back to get Marilyn and Tricia ended up staying behind because she didn’t feel well. Marilyn and I went to the longest covered escalator in the world. It was super long and we didn’t even start at the beginning. We didn’t even now that until we walked back down. We accidentally found some alleys with street vendors on them and so we did a little shopping.  We bought presents for family and friends.

Then, we went to Victoria Peak, yet another thing on top of a mountain. We were going to take the tram but the line was soo long that we decided to hike it up. It was a very long hike.  It was also very steep. Our legs were dying, but we made it and again, it was worth it. The views from the top of the mountain overlooking the city were breathtaking. There was a storm coming in so it wasn’t the best time but it was still awesome. If there hadn’t been a storm it would have been a view of the city at sunset. Oh well. We hiked halfway back down and got a cab to take up to our hostel to get Trisha for dinner. BTW everyone speaks English in HK and it was great! So we went to Outback and we all got steak for dinner. It was so good. Yumm

 

 

 

 

 

And the last thing we did in HK was take a taxi to Aberdeen to see the world’s largest floating restaurant called Jumbo Restaurant. It was impressive and it was so pretty with all the lights at night. We got a free boat ride to the restaurant and on our way back it started raining. We got a taxi and went back to the hostel. That was the end of my Hong Kong trip. We woke up and went to the airport and came back home. It was sad leaving Hong Kong because Hong Kong is so different from China. It’s actually not even close. Facebook wasn’t blocked in HK what?!? Awesome! But it feels good to be home!

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It’s been 3 months, we’re halfway there!

Can you believe that it has 3 months since I arrived in China? And only 3 months till my mom arrives in China? I cannot believe it! Time has seemed to fly by. I knew it would but now that I’m halfway through my 6 month contract, I have to figure out what to do next. That in of itself is kind of frightening, do I really have to go back to real life? Maybe I’ll find a new place to go to! My students all tell me I should try to work for Emirates with them… Maybe Dubai is calling? Hmm I’m kinda diggin it! We’ll see I’m applying for jobs in the states and in Spain. I got offered a job teaching English through the Spanish government starting in October.  Shout out to all my Spanish friends and family- os echo de menos!- These 3 months have been amazing! I have made great friends with so many people and I’ve made friends with all my students. I was lucky enough to take a 4 day trip to Hong Kong (that’s a post all to itself) and go with the rugby team to Chengdu. I just got back from a work “bonding retreat” where we went to an old town called Longzhong. It was a fun trip with my Chinese coworkers and Jared. Not at all what I was expecting.  I have a few more trips planned in my next and last 3 months here in China. I am going to the Avatar Hallelujah Mountains in Zhangjiajie, Chengdu/Leshan to see the giant Buddha there that is the largest sitting Buddha in the world! And of course I have an awesome trip planned for my mom when she comes over in August.  We will be staying in Chongqing for a few days, flying to Beijing-seeing the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and other sights, taking the train down to Xi’an-seeing the Terracota Warriors and other sights, taking the train down to Chengdu-seeing and feeding baby pandas, hopefully flying to Juizhaigou National Park –one of the most beautiful places in China and then coming back to my home then we fly out to Finland and back to the states we go! Crazyyyy!

Trip to the zoo and graffiti part of Chongqing

About a month ago I went to the zoo with my friend and fellow CIEE participant Derrick. We had a blast. Who knew the zoo could be so much fun? Although the animals don’t have big cages and don’t seem to be taken care of as good as in the USA, they weren’t in bad shape. I could go on and on about the zoo and the animals we saw but I think it’s better to let the pictures do the work. And yes I did feed a giraffe and a hippo 😀

I also rode the longest escalator in Asia a few weeks ago with my friend and other fellow CIEE participant Eric.

 

After the zoo we went to a part of Chongqing not far from where we were, where all the buildings have graffiti on them. It was pretty cool. It’s the Huangjueping Graffiti Street 黄桷坪涂鸦街 and is said to be the largest graffiti art region in China and the world.

Speaking of graffiti listen to Kat Graham and scroll down.