So finally we are in China! We left from Tampa on May 22, 2009 and arrived in Hong Kong on Friday night. Some of you may know this is my first time EVER leaving the country…go big or go home right? From the moment we got into our taxi I knew this would be the best decision I had ever made in my life. The memory I will keep in my mind for the rest of my life will be my first view of the mountains. Never seeing mountains before (I’m a Floridian) and being able to see them 7,800 miles away from home is something to remember.
It was late when we arrived so we were taken directly to Honk Kong Baptist University’s (HKBU) International Housing and given our room keys. The next morning we began touring the city. The campus is amazing in itself but the city is something I can’t even begin to express. In a way you feel like you may have seen something like it in the U.S. but here, it’s bigger, busier and just different. I mean, the city goes up through the mountains…how do you even get up there? Oh, and even the mall we went to is enormous…I found out people come from all over the world just to shop here. That’s big! Oh and I said we are about 7,800 miles from home. Just in case you were wondering, iv’e seen Starbucks, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC, Dairy Queen, Walmart and Burger King maybe just as often as you find them at home.
Anyway, so while we were in Hong Kong it rained..everyday…all-day, which was fine because we had our 7-eleven umbrellas that would bend the opposite way with the slighest gust of wind. Mine can be found at the Buddhist Temple in Ngong Ping in the trash. Speaking of Ngong Ping Village, it’s on top of another mountain. You can take a 30 minute gondola ride up to the top if you don’t mind hanging hundreds of feet in the air with strong winds, fog and rain….maybe they will stop with you high above giant boulders and leave you swaying back and forth due to inclement weather..but that’s only when it’s REALLY bad, and only when your on your way back down. Ha! but really, that was quite possibly the most exciting trip I have ever had in my life. The gondola ride was still gorgeous because you could see the entire city, waterfalls, beautiful pebble pathways…unbelievable scenery. There is also a tea place at the top of the mountain where you can have traditional tea time (Oolong Tea from the Fujian Province) …and Tian Tan Buddha Statue is well worth it!
Since I have three weeks worth of writing still to catch up on for you, I will also let Joel, Cathy, Sara and Steven add some of their stories about HK and I will let you all keep up with me through pictures too. Here is my address to picasaweb where I am continually posting new pics. So keep an eye out. You can click on Christy, and it will take you to the rest.