We travelled on a ferry from Hong Kong Island for 25 minutes to reach the new island of Lantau and then caught a bus on which we travelled too far and had to retrace part of the journey on foot through a long road tunnel. Is the holiday going to continue with its difficulties we thought? Despite missing the correct bus stop the children sensed a change, I think, and for the second part of the holiday they were transformed back to the children that we are proud to be parents of, grateful, polite, helpful – well most of the time anyway.
We spent 3 days here on beaches, the locals thought we were mad going in the sea when it’s their winter but when it’s 40 – 50 degrees warmer than your home you don’t turn down the opportunity for a quick dip – we didn’t tell Noah about the danger of sharks. To sit on sand, smell the sea air, feel the sea breeze and listen to the sound of the waves was greatly relaxing. It’s not until you get some things back that you realise how much you’ve missed them and being able to sit on a beach and listen to the sea is one of them. We celebrated new year by visiting Disneyland, I was sceptical, I’m not one who enjoys queuing for ages to then go on a 2 minute ride or spending extortionate amounts of money on what amounts to a few rides but Disney won me over. The show of Lion King that we watched, the parade, the fact that I didn’t feel they were trying to con me out of money every 5 minutes, the costumes they all wear, and mostly short queues all added up to a hugely enjoyable family day out. Pete and I were completely freaked out and on the edge of enjoyment with the Space Mountain ride but a dose of sugar in the form of candy floss and popcorn sorted that.
We returned to the hotel exhausted but determined to see in the new year. We counted down and watched the balloon drop in the hotel foyer then promptly fell into our beds.
New Year’s Eve fun
New Years day was spent on a beach along with alot of others although once again ours were the only children who actually went in the sea.
On the final full day of our holiday we thought we’d visit the world’s largest seated Buddha – a popular tourist attraction in Hong Kong. We’d learnt from the first week of queuing and so caught a taxi at 8.30 in order to arrive even before the cable car station opened. Our planning paid off this time, after 25 minutes in the cable car overlooking parts of Lantau island we arrived at a very touristy ‘street’ along which we avoided every shop in order to reach the Buddha and no queues in sight. We also took time to walk around the temple that was next door to the statue, a beautiful sight and walked the ‘Wisdom Walk.’
The statue was huge, reminded me of the Chinggis Khan statue that we visited when we first arrived in Mongolia.
Afternoon visit to the beach which we had all to ourselves.
On the morning before we flew home we managed one final walk along the beach, it rained but that was actually quite enjoyable as we haven’t felt rain since September in Mongolia. Thankfully I had a hat in my bag in anticipation of arriving back in sub zero temperatures so that helped my newly straightened hair from returning to a frizz. I tried to savour that smell of sea air, that feel of the breeze and that sound of the waves and save it up as a memory to be called upon during the depths of Mongolian winter.
All in all it did turn out to be a great holiday with some fabulous memories and the best thing is that although we were sad to be going home, like you are at the end of any holiday, there were things that I was looking forward to. I may miss the sea in Mongolia but in Hong Kong I missed Mongolia’s blue sky, Hong Kong was hazy for most of our stay. And another plus of returning to our home in Mongolia is that we landed at 5.45pm and by 6.30pm we were in our apartment. Now that’s not going to happen when we arrive at Heathrow in June!