Well, on the way back to UK, I had an interesting couple of weeks in Hong Kong and mainland China with my friend Cheryl. We stayed in the “mid levels” area on Hong Kong Island, and could use the 20 escalators from the centre of town to get up the steep hills home-except that they shut after midnight, which resulted in a few exhausting walks after cocktail filled night outs!
It was the Chinese mid-autumn festival, which meant there were pretty lanterns everywhere and an amazing firework display in front of the skyscrapers! We took our time, relaxing but still seeing sights each day. We were able to enjoy the bustling city life as well as going out to the countryside of the New Territories, and had lots of really nice chinese food-the advantage of staying with locals who know where to go and what to order! Took a huge long chairlift one day up to the big Buddha on Lantau island.
We went on two trips into mainland China. The first one was to the island of Hainan for some sun and relaxation, where we seemed to be staying in with a whole bunch of honeymooners all in matching Hawaiian shirts and shorts. Our second trip was to Beijing for sightseeing. Packed in quite a lot in a few days. Took a tour to the Ming tombs and the Great Wall-which was unfortunately the very touristy part (coupled with the fact that it was a national holiday and so everyone from around the country seemed to be visiting the capital!) We couldn’t walk along it for very long because of the hoardes of people, but we did get some good views of the other parts of the wall. We were really lucky with the weather because the next day it was really smoggy.
The next day we went to Tianamen square and then the forbidden city-full of loads of beautiful palaces and temples. Saw a cabaret show at a pretty little teahouse, which had a mixture of beijing opera, magic, music, singing, acrobatics and an incredible face changing guy! Also managed to fit in a bit of hard bargaining at the markets before catching a flight back to Hong Kong.