The trip to Hong Kong was last minute for me because I decided to tag along on a business trip that Joel was taking. He was just going to go for one night for an early Monday morning meeting, but my dad was nice enough to offer us some of his hotel points to stay for two extra nights and make a long weekend out of it. This was definitely one of those trips that make you rethink where you currently are living, and even though we are on this huge adventure in a very exciting city, I found myself jealous of the permanent Hong Kongers. Not that I don't like Shanghai, but I think it slipped down a number on my top ten cities list this past weekend. That list is constantly evolving however, depending on how long it has been since I visited a certain place so I'm sure it will change again soon.
The flight to Hong Kong from Shanghai was so easy, two hours and we were there. The Shanghai and the Hong Kong airports are very efficient and we have never had too long of a wait going through customs or security which makes traveling very nice. Joel and I are, as of a few weeks ago, official residents of China so it is easy for us to come and go and not have to worry about new visas. After our flight we took the express train to Kowloon, where our hotel was for the first two nights. For those of you who haven't been to Hong Kong, the main city is on Hong Kong Island as well as on Kowloon Peninsula with a ferry and tunnels connecting them.
We stayed at the Intercontinental which was really nice (thanks dad!). We were able to pay to use the Club Lounge that offers breakfast, tea time and nightly snacks and drinks. We spent a lot of time there the first few days, didn't even step foot in a restaurant (except for one snack for Joel) because the food was so good and there was so much of it that we didn't need to. It was also unlimited drinks of pretty much anything you wanted, so I of course had champagne every night.
Our first night we were in Hong Kong we spent a few hours in the lounge eating and drinking and planning our next few days. The lounge had such a great view of Hong Kong Island that it was hard to leave. We wanted to just relax and take it easy that night so we decided that we would take a swim before the hotel pool closed. The pool at the hotel was on the roof, overlooking the city lights and it was totally empty. Normally I am not big on swimming but it was such a nice night and the pool was so cool that I decided to jump in. The pool closed at nine, so after we got cleaned up we caught a cab and headed to the night market.
There are two night markets on Kowloon that open in the afternoon but get busy after dark. The first market we went to was the ladies market, where there were tons of stalls full of clothes, shoes, purses, artwork and anything else you could want. I of course bought some art, which I don't have a pic of but will post as soon as I get them framed. The market was really crowded even late at night, tons of tourists out seeing the sights and trying to find the perfect souvenir. After we had made a few purchases and had our fill of the stalls we decided to walk back to our hotel because it wasn't too far away. We happened upon another night market that we later found out was known as the men's market. There weren't as many stalls selling goods but they had a whole street of outdoor restaurants and street food, with tons of people eating even at midnight. Joel decided he needed a snack and found a restaurant serving doner, which was his favorite food when he lived in Spain. We wandered the streets for a while and finally caught a cab back to the hotel because, although the city was still bustling, we are getting old and 1am is past our bedtime. Plus we had a big day ahead of us.