For the first time since moving to Shanghai we decided to travel during the October holiday break, and took the short flight down to Hong Kong. Our timing was certainly exciting, as we arrived just as the protests, known as the Umbrella Revolution, began to gain some momentum. Though the main roadways directly behind our hotel were blocked, and the art school next door seemed to act as a sort of rest and refueling stop for the protesters, our visit was not impacted by the protests… other than finding it difficult to get taxis at times. Everyone we came into contact with was very calm and peaceful, although their saran-wrapped arms indicated their preparedness for the tear gas used by the police previously. It has been several weeks since our visit and the protests continue…
On our first evening in Hong Kong, we met up with friends we had worked with in Dubai for a lovely dinner. The restaurant boasted beautiful views, and it was wonderful to introduce Isla to Mark and Lori, and catch up over the past 3 years. Unfortunately, we were so caught up in conversation that we didn’t take any photos.Isla’s latest obsession: carrying around tubes of our toothpaste. Too funny!No taxis? No problem! We just headed underground, so that Isla could experience her first subway ride. Hong Kong is so amazingly clean and organized. Navigating the subway system was easy peasy.Look what we found! Nana J and Nana S, we’re always thinking of you!
We spent our first full day at Victoria Peak. After navigating our way through the city to the Sky Tram station, we rode the charming little tram up the steep mountainside so that we could enjoy some of the most beautiful views in Hong Kong.
It’s so hard to tell, but in the above left picture, we are moving almost vertically up the mountain. Hong Kong’s geography is very mountainous, and how the city has been developed and built into the steep inclines of the terrain is absolutely fascinating… and exhausting! Stairs, escalators, and lots of uphill paths made the trip with a baby stroller tricky, to say the least!The Peak, a large mall with a viewing platform offered gorgeous, sweeping views of the city!
Isla made friends wherever we went… here she is waving to her adoring fans.We were LOVING all the beautiful greenery and nature! Less than 25% of Hong Kong’s landmass is developed, and much of the natural land is protected, as parks and reserves.A short walk (uphill!) from The Peak is Mount Austin Park. The grounds are meticulously manicured, and the park is absolutely charming. Though it was hot and humid, Isla enjoyed swinging and clambering around on the play equipment.This girl is full of silly faces these days!
I cannot get enough of this pose- arms flung up into the air as if she is queen of the world!
Miss Observant showing Daddy the birds in the sky.
As fun as the park was, the heat and humidity won out after about a half an hour, so we headed back down the hill a bit in search of shadier surroundings. We found the Pok Fu Lam Tree Walk, right next to The Peak, and decided to take a little stroll. This leisurely walk circled the top of Victoria Peak in just over 2km, and unlike many other trails in Hong Kong, was very stroller friendly!Approaching The Peak at the end of our walk.
Back down the Sky Tram.
Protesters and pedestrians walking along the major roadways behind our hotel.
Isaac went out in search of a little street food for dinner, and Isla could not get enough of these noodles!
Snuggles before bed time… pure bliss!
The next morning Isla decided to take her first steps… unfortunately they took her right off the edge of the bed! Still, that didn’t dampen her spirit and we were able to catch her second steps on camera!
Our friends Cal, Sherry, and Lucas joined us later that day and were with us for the remainder of our stay in Hong Kong! We stopped by a little hole in the wall restaurant to pick up some lunch on our way to their hotel.That afternoon we enjoyed swimming together in the Grand Hyatt’s gorgeous swimming pool!
LOVE this photo of the daddies with their kiddos!
That evening we went to an AMAZING yakitori restaurant called Yard Bird. We enjoyed several bottles of saki and dined on one delicious item after another. I swear we ordered nearly everything on the menu and devoured it all. So, so good!Isla sampled just about everything we had as well…
but decided sucking on lemon slices was the most fun.
Day 2 of the Marshall/Wong family adventures included a subway ride out to Ngong Ping to see the Big Buddha. Upon arriving to the cable car station we were met with a massively long line. The idea of standing out in the heat and humidity for hours with two little ones was not appealing in the least. After questioning a few employees, we found out there was an option to buy a tour ticket, which included a visit to a local fishing village for slightly more money and were fast-tracked to the front of the veeeeery long line. Money well spent!Isla absolutely loved the cable car ride, and she watched out the window so intently! Much of the ride took us directly over hiking paths, and Isla enthusiastically waved to all of the hikers below.See the Big Buddha towards the top left of the photo?
The first part of the tour took us to a nearby fishing village, Tai O, whose main export was dried fish… and yes, it smelled just as glorious as you’d imagine. Shortly after we arrived and were preparing to board a little boat for a tour, the skies opened up and it began pouring! We decided to forgo the boat trip and waited out the rain undercover. Once it stopped we still had a few minutes to wander through the town before returning to our tour.
We decided to skip out on the rest of the tour and walked up the 268 steps to the Buddha on our own.After a long day of sight-seeing we returned to the city and decided to check out Ozone, the world’s highest bar. From the 108th floor we sipped on outrageously-priced, but yummy, beverages and enjoyed the gorgeous view.These two just make me melt!Before flying back to Shanghai we were able to enjoy a little more pool time. Unfortuanately we had already checked our bags into the airport using the Airport Express (seriously, why doesn’t every city have this?! Amazing!), so we didn’t have Isla’s swim gear, but Baby Girl didn’t mind… even when her regular diaper swelled to like 5 times its normal size!When she’d had enough swimming practice, Isla decided to perfect her new walking skills around the pool…and we caught a quick glimpse of the pool-side streaker!