Sunday, June 20, 2010

CHINA! Day 3

Thursday, May 20 we went to Lantau Island. Here, at the Po Lin Monastery, is the Big Buddha. And by big they mean GINORMOUS.

The "original" Tangs: Jason, Dad, Clarence, Nancy. You can see the Big Buddha way in the background and the gazillion steps you have to climb to get there.
Just in case walking down all those stairs didn't hurt our old knees enough, we had to finish them off with some sweet jumps.
Jason being, well, Jason.
They have those "stick your head in the hole" picture things in China, too!
Outside the monastery were these random holy cows. They fit right in with the Taxis.
The best part was definitely the "toilet" signs. Not only were they entertaining to look at, they also spared me from using my only Cantonese phrase. Chee-saw hai bin do (Where is the toilet)?

And this work of art was inside one of the restrooms. Isn't it great? However, 99.9% of the restrooms failed to provide hand-soap, leaving this poster useless. Good thing I always carried my trusty hand sanitizer!
After some debate, we decided that the tram would be the best way to get back down the mountain. We took a bus up, and while the views were incredible, the winding road was too much for some of my fellow travelers to handle. This is one of the cars we passed. The views from above were even more spectacular. I never tired of the beauty of this region. So green and lush!

When we got back to the metro, we were feeling a little bored, so we entertained ourselves with some silly pictures.

love those camelbaks!
How many different shades of hands in one family?
Since we hadn't done tons of walking, we decided to head over to the Temple Street night market. This is the only picture I took there. Oops.

Friday, June 18, 2010

CHINA! Day 2

Wednesday, May 19. We went to go meet Dad T and the gang, and on the way ran into an old friend. I'm lovin' it!

Dim Sum at Cheer's. This place was seriously amazing, as is evident by everyone's faces. For reals though. It was fantastic. We had sooo much food. There were 8 people, and it was less than $10/person!

Uncle Edward. Auntie Fanny. Annie

After breakfast we rode the metro to Tseun Wan. We made our way towards where Jason's Mom lived, but first made a little detour to explore this Monastery. It was beautiful.

Here's Jason, Nancy, and me at the front gate to the monastery.

Down the road from the monastery. It's hard to believe this is how a lot of people live. There were little run down shacks/homes all over. Very humbling.

After some walking and a lot of asking (thank goodness Dad T was there to speak for us), we found where the Chan family once lived. The house is no longer standing, but this was the general area. To the left of this picture is a little stream where Mom T used to do the laundry. I can see this as being a pretty fun place for a kid to run around and explore!

From here we went to Ping Sahn. This is a Tang Temple. It isn't a direct line to our Tangs, but they do share the same ancestors.

A few blocks from the Tang Temple is this beauty. This is the house Dad T lived in when his family first moved to Hong Kong. The picture is a little out of focus, but you get the idea. It's amazing that is is still around.

When we were done in Ping Sahn, we went to Yeun Long. On the way, we had to stop for a potty break, and Jason grabbed some tasty snacks. Why don't we have these crazy flavors here in the US?

In Yeun Long. Dad T lived up this stairwell. It's all commercial now.

He also lived in another place a few stairwells down. It's hard to imagine this place as apartments 45 years ago.

We couldn't leave Yeun Long without a visit to this noodle house. Dad T used to go here as a kid. He said nothing had changed in all those years..the decorations and everything were still the same. And the noodles were just as good as he had remembered!

By the end of the day, we were completely beat. Annie and Clarence konked out on the bus did the random guy behind them. I am pretty sure we all passed out as soon as we got back to our hostel. Day 3: Big Buddha!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

CHINA! Day 1

It's been about 2 weeks since we returned from our amazing Asian vacation, so I guess it's about time someone blogged it. I only have pictures from our camera, though. If you want to see more from other's eyes, check out Annie's Facebook page...

Sunday, May 16, we left the good ol' USA to head to Hong Kong. We had a 1 1/2 hour layover in Tokyo, where I first laid my eyes on one of these bad boys. No, the picture is not sideways, and yes, that is in the ladies' room. That, my friends, is a squatter. And, sadly, that was not the last one we would see.

We arrived in Hong Kong Monday around 10:30 pm. Luckily, when we were in the vicinity of our hostel, Clarence and Annie were outside waiting for us. Otherwise I think we would have been wandering for a lot longer. This is the door we would have had to find on our own. Yikes!

Our hostel (Hong Kong Budget Hostel) was actually quite nice. Jason and I were able to have our own room and bathroom! Our room was teeny! It was only wide enough to fit the set of bunk beds. We estimated it to be about 8'x9'. And that may be generous. Our bathroom was set up very efficiently though, with the toilet, sink, and shower sharing the same space. BUT, the toilet wasn't a squatter! Yay!

In the morning we got up and went to a delicious bakery. I especially liked the pineapple bun. The really great thing about China was the food. Super cheap, and even more delicious!

We walked down to the ferry and met up with Dad Tang.
Clarence. Jason. Dad. Nancy. Heather. Annie

Here is our destination. Hong Kong Island!

Once we got to Hong Kong Island, we jumped on a bus to go up to Victoria Peak. We ended up at a mall where you could pay $25 HKD to go on the roof. Although a little hazy, it was a pretty sweet view!

After our eyes feasted, we headed back to Kowloon and to the markets to try our hands at bargaining. So fun. I bought a couple trinkets at the Jade market, and then we went to get some fruit.

Lychee! We got some lychee fruit and walked over to Kowloon Park to rest our aching feet and eat a tasty snack. It my my first time eating the stuff fresh. Yummy!

Also at Kowloon park were these cute little buggers. No, they aren't bugs, just teensy weensy frogs. They were about the size of a finger nail. So cute! I would put one in my pocket if I weren't so afraid of it's germs!

Later that night we went back down to the ferry dock to watch the "Symphony of Lights". It was impressive how they had all the buildings participate with their lights and what not, even if the music was a bit lame.

To give you an idea of how exciting the show was, this is the position Clarence and Dad assumed during the majority of the show.

After the show we were thoroughly exhausted and went right home to bed. Up next...New Territories!