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.
After a quick, fun ride to the top, we were excited to take in the views!
Oh, look! Another “Mail a postcard to the future” store in the visitor’s center!
Ok, back to those incredible views we were about to see…… Uh oh…. Nothing but fog and clouds! WHAT?!
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…
I laughed and said, “Let’s get a picture of us in front of the skyline!” And here it is:
We braved the rain to walk around for a few minutes before finally ending up in a Starbucks nearby.
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.
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.
I think this is the world’s largest floating restaurant.. (Another “Worlds Largest” superlative!)
You can picture what it used to look like when Hong Kong’s fishing industry was at its height.
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.
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!)
I had the most amazing gnocchi and Irving had a bowl of tomato soup. Perfect for a rainy day.
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.
Here’s a closeup of the park in the distance!
See the gondolas here?
I’ll save the rest of this day for another post. These days were very full and exciting, indeed!