And then before we knew it, we were back in Hong Kong. One year less a couple of days later, it didn’t seem much different (you may recognize the market photo similar to last years shot!). But this time we had a much more refreshed view of the city and spent 2 nights there also.
We had arrived mid day and spent the first day getting settled, doing a bit of shopping and met up with Simon. We had booked in at the Eaton Hotel in an executive package which gave us free access to the executive lounge – with cocktails, free internet (wireless or their computers), snacks, gourmet breakfast buffet and more. And to top it off, our room was upgraded too!
So after a bit of luxury and shopping, we met Simon for dinner and had a much more congnizant visit this time around. It was great to catch up on how his life had changed in the past year and to recap our experiences.
The next day was reserved for Hong Kong site seeing. We took the MTR (the rail system in Hong Kong is flawless) to catch the gondola cable car to Lantau Island to see the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha. While we knew the cable ride was going to be interesting, it was much more impressive than we had anticipated. It was a half hour ride over water and secluded mountainside for over 5 1/2 km.
At the top is the Po Lin Monastery and the giant Buddha. We had a wonderful vegetarian lunch at the monestary (thanks again to Simon for his suggestions!), and spent lots of time exploring the Buddha.
The bus ride back down was quite time consuming and a little hairy given the single lane journey over twisting mountainside for much of it (they are widening the road) – we would recommend taking the gondola back down also!!
And still wanting to collect a few more items, we headed back and I did a bit of last minute shopping while Mike & Kyle hit the computers. We had one last dinner out (again one of Simon’s recommendations) – at a restaurant where one of the Iron Chef’s resided! As expected, it was another great meal.
In the morning we had a relaxing breakfast at the Eaton Hotel enjoying the smoked salmon, French pastries, fresh fruit and more on the buffet. And after a final leisurely shower and final packing, we were off home.
And that’s what a year on teaching exchange to Australia was like for us. We hope you’ve enjoyed sharing our journey – we’ve certainly enjoyed sharing it with you. Thanks to everyone who signed our journal and sent us emails – it was great to hear from you. And it’s great to be back seeing so many of you now. Although we do miss all the friends we have left behind. Stay in touch!