We visited Hong Kong in 2013 it was a destination that sparked my imagination but never thought I would visit. After arriving in Hong Kong, we were met by a destination specialist from Eastern Journeys, about 45 minutes later we pulled up in front of the beautiful Peninsula Hotel, supposedly James Bonds favorite, complete with it fleet of green Rolls-Royce Phantoms. The lobby was so grand, we were greeted by pages that still wear the uniforms of days gone by, we were escorted to our room which overlooked the breathtaking Victoria Harbor. A bustling view during the day and a beautiful backdrop of city lights at night. It was sure different from fields of lavender and hiking forest in New Zealand.
Hong Kong is a fast paced, unique city. We had the day to ourselves so we ventured out and found an amazing park in the middle of the city, Kowloon Park, we roamed around and were amazed by this bustling city and the immense number of people here. We returned to the hotel and I visited the wonderful spa and Bert swam in the Romanesque pool. We watched as some guests arrived via the rooftop helicopter. Luxury at its best.
The next day we were greeted by a lovely young lady, Rosita, who privately escorted us around town, across the harbor to downtown Hong Kong. Being someone who doesn’t step out of the box what we were about to see was very new to me. We visited local markets, the dried provisions market and saw all their special herbs and some parts of animals I never want to see again. It made a difference to have a personal guide, a specialist who calls this destination her home. We visited Man Mo Temple and had lunch, Wonton Noodle soup, and drank milk tea in this young lady’s neighborhood. Towards the end of the tour we walk their Hollywood road, like our walk of fame in Los Angeles.
Our stay was full of adventure as we ventured out on the Subway and visited the beautiful Chi Lin Nunnery which sits adjacent to a beautiful Zen garden the Nan Lian Garden. A simply peaceful, serene place to wander and contemplate. It was absolutely, gorgeous and built in the middle of city where a parking lot was. You can’t imagine the tranquility you feel here in the middle of the city. We also sought out the local Catholic Church, both were rare oases of serenity and spirituality amid the hubbub of this unique city.
As guests of the hotel we were also treated to the iconic afternoon tea in this elegant lobby. People line up for hours to get in and we were escorted to a table like royalty. The Lobby strings played from the upper balcony and the sandwiches and pastries were amazing. The Peninsula experience is one that everyone should put on their bucket list.
That evening we cruised on a Chinese Junket. Aboard this historical red sailed boat, we had a wonderful beverage and watched the nightly light show from the center of the harbor.
Hong Kong was everything I thought it would be and more.