Work and school let out on December 14th and we departed Perth December 17th for Hong Kong. We flew 5 hours to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with a 3 hour stopover then 4 hours to HK.
It’s been 10+ years since I’ve been back and it is Paul and Atticus’ first trip to HK. My parents came to meet up with us and our 9 day trip felt like a big family reunion.
Hong Kong is a very busy city (pop. 7.3 million), but it is very easy to travel within it. Their transportation is very efficient and safe…there is the subway, bus, minivan and ferry as well as taxis and uber. I believe you can get by with just speaking English (at least in the touristy parts) but Cantonese and Mandarin are the languages most spoken.
Our highlights were mainly gathering with family. On December 21 it was Winter Solstice. It is tradition to have dinner with your family. It is a big deal like how we gather for dinner at Christmas. My Chinese family don’t really celebrate Christmas, although it is recognised in the city but there are no decorations at home or presents to be given. It’s more of a tradition to celebrate Chinese New Year and we give red envelopes (lai see) with money for luck.
We certainly ate a lot during our visit. There is a plethora of restaurants and cuisines to try. And when we did gather for a meal, Paul became the VIP (and also the token white guy). Everyone was amazed with his chopstick holding skills and loved that he had a great appetite and can hold his drink. It brought my elderly relatives great joy to see one eat and drink so well.
We also did some sightseeing and landed ourselves at Disneyland Hong Kong. It is the smallest Disney but nonetheless still a very happy place to be. We went on a weekday and were able to walk on some rides with little to no lineups. Of course the place was mainly filled with tourists from China. Hong Kong people don’t associate themselves from China…they are from Hong Kong.
On one of the days, we spent the entire day honouring my ancestors. We first traveled to visit my mom’s side and then to the other end of the island to visit my dad’s side. Families will go visit the dead and offer incense, food and fortune. One believes we are only here because of them and just because they are gone it doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. When we pay respect to our ancestors we only hope that they will look out for us, the living.
We stayed with my cousins for a few nights and Atticus got to play with his cousins. Once again we ate well and shared many laughter and drinks. I think I gained 10 lbs after this trip. We found my family eats much later because they work later. Sometimes dinner was around 8pm and if we’re eating out, we don’t get home until 10 and then in bed by 11 or midnight. Luckily Atticus was able to adjust to the new schedule so even though he went to bed at midnight he would sleep until 10 am the next day.
Another successful trip in the books and the end of our 2017 adventures. We will see you again Hong Kong… now homeward bound to Canada.