Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Last stop in Asia: Hong Kong

My month-long school visit trip to Asia (2/13-3/11/16) has been a series of adventures and puddle-jumping flights between them:

  • 2/23/16 Kuala Lumpur to Phuket
  • 2/29/16 Phuket to Kuala Lumpur
  • 3/1/16 Kuala Lumpur to Phuket
  • 3/3/16 Phuket to Chiang Mai
  • 3/5/16 Chiang Mai to Hong Kong

A day after I walked with elephants in rural Thailand, I was in the middle of the high-rise city of Hong Kong, where I've come to speak at four international schools. I've learned that I prefer learning about a city once I'm in it; prior to being here, my knowledge of Hong Kong was barely even this:

Hong Kong: where airport staff made me take off my baseball hat five minutes before I reached immigration but did not care when I told them that someone left two plastic bags on the floor in line at immigration.

Within hours after arriving, after a nap to compensate for my 3:30 a.m. wake-up to make my 6 a.m. flight from Thailand, I was on the ferry from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon on the mainland.

Other sights from my wanderings:

Hong Kong junk:

Ball in the air:

The following day, I took on the Twin Peaks; at 3,000 steps (though they say 1,000), it's a workout with a view. And it's actually three peaks; the first is called Violet Hill. You start right behind here, a complex that looks cool but doesn't seem in close proximity to rolling hills:

The first part of the climb:

Remember that building I started at?

Pretty but precarious:

Infinity path:

The area between peak 1 and 2:

That's as far as you go, little one:

Twin Peak 1 is the toughest part of the hike. But I made it to the top:

Ready to tackle peak 2 (in the background): 

My ride back to the hotel; it may look like a mild-mannered double decker bus, but the (rather old) driver gunned that thing down the windy mountain road like he was fleeing killer bees.

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