A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Hong Kong: Escalators, Lights & The End of the Tour May 24, 2014

Filed under: China,Hong Kong,Travel — Kelocity @ 10:15 am
Tags: , ,

Ha, that title pretty much sums up this post! I left you after lunch in Hong Kong, here’s a recap of how we spent the rest of our day. Our tour guide took us to an iconic part of the city. A glimpse into ‘old Hong Kong’. Or perhaps ‘traditional’ Hong Kong. Most of the city is very developed and modern, but it was fun to visit this area as well.

The colors were so fun. Especially with all the umbrellas added as well. IMG_2374






It had all the pieces of a ‘big city’ with the advertising and bustling people on cell phones, but still had old charm as well. IMG_2386

After a failed attempt at shopping in some of the touristy kiosks, we used some free time to experience “The World’s Longest chain of escalators“, totally a half-mile total. And we rode the whole thing. haha.


Of course riding the escalator all the way up meant walking the stairs all the way back down. It took a while, but it was fun and it’s in a buzzing part of town with lots of stores and restaurants to look at along the way.

I loved the reminder that they drive on the other side of the road here! It must be an issue with tourists and mainland China visitors!IMG_2398


Here’s a map of how far the escalators take you! From here to here!

Wow, really does feel like home here!IMG_2403


Finally back at the hotel, we met back up with our group to attend our farewell dinner and the Hong Kong light show! Here’s our trusty tour guide, Alex!IMG_2405

On our way, we sped past the Peninsular Hotel. This used to be an iconic place for the wealthy to stay and dine. They’re famous for their “High Tea” which is so authentic, you feel you’re back to England! Next time, Hong Kong!IMG_2406

First up was the light show! We sadly missed the show in Shanghai, but this one more than made up for it. It was very cool to experience. Music plays on the viewing platforms we were on and the entire skyline lights up and animates to the sounds. Here’s a plethora of photos and a video at the bottom!IMG_2408















A video of the show!

A Selfie with our local guide, Gain, before dinner!IMG_2494

The last included dinner of the trip was at a British Pub. Fitting for Hong Kong, but we all sort of wished it was Chinese Food instead. But it was fun and delicious.




Bread pudding for dessert!


After the dinner, the tour was officially over. We’d be on our own for the next three days while we explore Lantau island and Macau! The adventure continues!


Hong Kong: The Peak Tram and Stanley

Filed under: China,Hong Kong,Travel — Kelocity @ 4:37 am
Tags: , ,

We woke up to the sound of rain outside. A quick glance out the window revealed a very grey, cloudy day. The rain literally chased us around China during this trip, but we were quickly cheered up after seeing how amazing the breakfast buffet was! I can’t believe I forgot my camera on this day, because it was huge…Vegas-sized! A+ to the Harbour Plaza Metropolis Hotel. I think it’s mostly a business hotel that caters to Westerners.


We boarded our coach bus and headed first thing to the Peak Tram. Because we were part of a tour, we skipped the line and quickly boarded one of the world’s oldest funicular railcars up to the top!

We were excited because the views at the top were rumored to be spectacular. It leads up to one of the highest peaks in Hong Kong that used to be home to rich Westerners living in Hong Kong. IMG_2267


After a quick, fun ride to the top, we were excited to take in the views!IMG_2272


Oh, look! Another “Mail a postcard to the future” store in the visitor’s center!IMG_2276

Ok, back to those incredible views we were about to see…… Uh oh…. Nothing but fog and clouds! WHAT?!IMG_2277

See this view here… this is what we saw. Grey all around us. I’m not even kidding. We couldn’t see 10 feet in front of us!


For comparison’s sake, this is what the view was supposed to look like (borrowed from our friend, Ed, who went back a few days later for a better look!) What a difference, right?!

Haha I love this picture of what we’re supposed to be able to see… IMG_2281

I laughed and said, “Let’s get a picture of us in front of the skyline!” And here it is: IMG_2282

We braved the rain to walk around for a few minutes before finally ending up in a Starbucks nearby.IMG_2284

This place will come back to haunt us a few days later when we try to visit again… only to be caught in the rain AGAIN! Oh well. It just wasn’t meant to be this time. Guess I’ll just have to come back some day 😉

From there, we got back on our bus and drove to our next destination. The drive was really pretty (yes, rain and all). Here’s a drive-by shot of the Hong Kong Cricket Club. We also passed one of Hong Kong’s only golf course. It opened in 1889 and rumor has it that it cost hundreds of dollars to play there.IMG_2286

We stopped to take a Sampan boat ride through a bay that housed really expensive yachts alongside really old fishing boats. Old Hong Kong meets the new. So neat to view something like this from the water. IMG_2287




I think this is the world’s largest floating restaurant.. (Another “Worlds Largest” superlative!)IMG_2294





You can picture what it used to look like when Hong Kong’s fishing industry was at its height. IMG_2316



We went from boat back to the bus to head to Stanley Market. A quiet neighborhood situated along a beautiful bay. This was our lunch spot today.IMG_2328


Hong Kong belonged to Great Britian up until 1997. The Chinese have British accents and they drive on the left-side of the road there. The whole city looks very European, which is probably why I loved it so much.

Here’s a little history lesson about Stanley, courtesy of our friend, Wikipedia.

After the annexation of Hong Kong in 1842, the British made Stanley the temporary administrative centre, before moving it to the newly founded Victoria City (present dayCentral) on the north shore of Hong Kong Island.

Stanley Fort was where British and Canadian troops mounted a last stand during theBattle of Hong Kong. The survivors surrendered to Japanese forces in December 1941. The fort, which was the former British Army barracks in Stanley, is now occupied by the People’s Liberation Army following the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to thePeople’s Republic of China in 1997.






We had a few lunch options here, most of them had Western food. It was between a few British Pubs and this Italian place. (Which we later found out was a huge chain in Hong Kong, who knew!)IMG_2343

I had the most amazing gnocchi and Irving had a bowl of tomato soup. Perfect for a rainy day.IMG_2344




On the drive back to our hotel, we passed this mountain. If you look closely, you can see a giant gondola, 1 mile long, that goes up and over the hill. On the other side is Ocean Park, a huge amusement park. Some friends went the next day and loved it. Have to add it to my “next time in hong kong” list. IMG_2355

Here’s a closeup of the park in the distance!IMG_2356

See the gondolas here?



I’ll save the rest of this day for another post. These days were very full and exciting, indeed!


Arriving into Hong Kong May 23, 2014

Filed under: China,Hong Kong,Travel — Kelocity @ 3:25 pm
Tags: , ,

We arrived into Hong Kong quite late. We checked into our hotel quickly and turned back around to have a late dinner and experience the night life a bit. Even though we were exhausted, we were also very hungry, so we joined a small group from the tour and set out in search of food. Luckily we didn’t have to look far, our tour guide had the perfect place in mind for some delicious Hong Kong noodles. Enter: King’s Noodles & Dumplings.


This place was perfect. What was supposed to be a quick, nothing-special meal, turned into an amazing people-watching experience that lasted about two hours. They definitely weren’t ready for a group of 20 hungry English-Speaking Contiki folks. They had a system of numbering everyone’s seat, giving everyone a piece of paper and a pencil, and a menu with everything numbered. All each person had to do was make a list of what we wanted. But then they got confused on who was which number and who ordered what and did they want that tea hot or cold. It was pretty awesome to watch. The dishes were coming out of the kitchen faster than they could carry them and they were all yelling at each other to move faster which made them get even more confused. And then the drinks came out well after the meals did and people forgot what they had even ordered. Oh man, we were all so tired (it was 11pm at this point) it was just so funny. The food was amazing though. My first authentic Hong Kong noodles. LOVED them!!!

After that, we hailed some taxis over to the Ritz Carlton (fancy, right?) to visit the World’s Highest Bar: Ozone! (I’m a sucker for superlatives. I’ll visit anything that is “world’s biggest”, “world’s tallest”, “world’s whatever” places. Of course I had to see this place!
We didn’t stay that long… and we actually didn’t even grab a drink! Talk about a missed opportunity! But we were happy to look around, take in the atmosphere and check it off the ole’ bucket list. It was an awesome bar.

Of course, the views were incredible as well. You could see the skyline in the distance.

Soon after, we took another taxi back to our hotel. We were so impressed with the taxis in Hong Kong. They are all regulated so you know what the price will be before you even get in. 
Get ready for an exciting (and rainy) day tomorrow in Hong Kong! Rain and all, I’d have to say this city is on my top 10 list. Perhaps my top 5. Our time here wasn’t long enough, but we made the best of it and really enjoyed it!



Yangshuo: The Beauty Up Close May 14, 2014

Filed under: China,Travel,Yangshuo — Kelocity @ 4:48 am
Tags: , , , ,

I’m aware that I have posted an insane amount of China pictures recently. And not enough Adele pictures, according to my family. But I’m just trying to get them all up so they live on the interwebs. Feel free to skip the captions and just look at the pretty pictures. Especially the ones in this post. These pictures really do make my heart skip a beat. I feel so lucky to have visited such a beautiful place.

Our last day in Yangshuo started with more breakfast. And more watermelon. (And always served with tea!)


Our expedition of the day was a bike ride through the country roads to Moon Hill. Along the way, we stopped to take pictures. Everything is just so beautiful in a way I’d never seen before anywhere else. These little rock mountains were adorable. IMG_2104

Ha! Adorable. A word I use to describe my daughter… and moss covered rocks. But they are though, look how cute!IMG_2106




Oh, and in case you were wondering, it was raining on our bike ride. Just a drizzle, but still. Come on, rain! Stop it!IMG_2111





These bikes weren’t your average cruisers where you can pedal for a few minutes and then coast for a little bit… no. If you weren’t pedaling, you weren’t moving. And that meant pedaling a lot! My legs were tired!IMG_2122

But all the effort was worth it when we got to Moon Hill! (It looks like a crescent moon!) On a good day, you can actually hike to it, but we settled for taking pictures in front of it instead.

Our brave group of bicyclists! IMG_2127



On the way back, we got a close up view of some rice patties. IMG_2137

Those farmers work so hard! This man was literally moving rocks out of the way to clear the land or build a wall or something.IMG_2139

I mapped the route later and it came out to be 10.8 miles of biking total! But these legs weren’t done yet. Oh no, siree. It was time to hike up a mountain when we got back! To the top of the town Pagoda! I had watermelon for breakfast, I was ready to go!

It was a lot of steps, but didn’t take too long, and the views from the top were totally worth it! IMG_2143

How cool to see a little town nestled in the adorable rocks!IMG_2147



Lots. Of. Stairs. I wonder if there’s a Chinese proverb somewhere that says something like “No great view can be seen without stairs”. If not, I just made one up. Because its true!IMG_2155

(Oh, hi Hotel down below! That’s where we stayed!)IMG_2159


We reached the top!IMG_2163








Once we made it back down to the bottom, we met back up with our group to head back to the Guilin airport. This was our local guide during our time here in Yangshuo. IMG_2194

On the bus ride to the airport, our driver kindly stopped at this bridge to let us out to take pictures. We missed it on the way in and wanted a chance to photograph the boats!IMG_2198








Most of our group!

And then our time in the countryside was over and it was time to head to HONG KONG!!!



But before we get there, I’ll let you listen to this song that our tour guide, Alex introduced us to. Warning, it WILL get stuck in your head:



Yangshuo: The Cooking School May 13, 2014

Filed under: China,Cooking,Food,Travel,Yangshuo — Kelocity @ 2:57 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I don’t like to cook. I like to eat. This is a fact. I hate everything about cooking… which is why I was excited to go to Cooking School! Maybe I’d learn a thing or two and make it seem more fun! And you know what, it was awesome. I loved the class and now I’m excited to be home so I can try out some of these recipes again!

The class was taught by a very talented chef who spoke in perfect English. She was very nice and even catered to my vegetarian preference.

The first part of our class was visiting a local market and seeing the ingredients we’d be cooking with. Lots of great looking produce and then everything else you’d expect to find including all kinds of fish and fresh meat. We had to the option to visit the meat side of the market, but Irving and I decided against it…. for those who are interested, yes, there were dogs and cats in there. But we chose not to see them.IMG_2015


After the market, we had a short walk back to the school to begin our class! (I loved this Billboard because as much as it looked like propaganda, we actually found it to be true! “The Police Community Relationship is Harmonious”. =)IMG_2021


And then it was time to start cooking! Each of us got our own cooking station, complete with all the ingredients we would need to create a delicious meal!IMG_2023


And we all got huge, awesome knives to dice those veggies with! I need to get one of those, you wouldn’t believe how easy it was to crush garlic with that thing!IMG_2030






Look at these dumplings I made! We learned how to fold them two different ways. I was so proud of myself! They looked almost professional!IMG_2051

Irving’s were looking quite dapper as well!IMG_2052


Everyone else made Kung Pao Chicken, but since I chose the vegetarian option I made pan fried noodles. HECK YES! IMG_2057

The best part was being able to eat them all when we were done! Everything smelled so good!

The final products! Here was Irving’s Dish:IMG_2059


And my dish! You had to roll us out of there at the the end of the meal, we were stuffed! That was a TON of food! All that on my plate PLUS seven dumplings!IMG_2062


The view out of the window during the class was beautiful Yangshuo… and a McDonalds. We thought it was funny in comparison. But I’ll take that delicious authentic Chinese food over fast food any day. Healthy food for the win!IMG_2031
If anyone is interested, I have all the recipes if you would like a copy. Send me an email (kelocity at gmail dot com).

Anyone want to come over for dinner soon? I’m dying to make this all again!



%d bloggers like this: