Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hong Kong

Between Uruguay and Australia, it was great to make a pit stop in Hong Kong to visit my parents. I had not been back in a few years, so I played tourist by visiting some of the attractions.

One noticeable change is the large number of Western backpacker and adult tourists visiting Hong Kong. I used to rarely see foreigners in my neighborhood. This time tough, there were so many (and they were inside many of the Chinese restaurants too) that their presence hardly draws attention.

The city has also developed its tourist infrastructure. Signs indicating tourist hotspots are everywhere. A nightly sound-and-light show highlighting the harbor’s skyscrapers has been developed. So have trips to the outlying islands to hike the hills or explore the villages.

As a “tourist”, I visited the Peak, with its jaw-dropping views of Hong Kong island’s skyscrapers and Hong Kong Harbor. I also journeyed to the Big Buddha on Lantau island for the first time. Lastly, I joined the local CouchSurfing group walking the Ping Shan Heritage Trail, a path connecting several historical buildings in a neighborhood in the New Territories. I never expected to see old courtyard-style Chinese home and temples in Hong Kong!

And last but not least, I had my fill of scrumptious food, including dim sum, fried beef noodles, wonton soup noodles, steamed fish, egg tarts, mango pudding and sweet tofu. I am sure I will miss Chinese food once I am in Australia!

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