Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Family Visitations Part 1

My Japanese family came to visit! It was only for a short weekend, but we tried to fill it up as much as we could.
The first thing I did was go to pick them up at the airport via bus. I figured being in the very front seat of the top of a double-decker bus would have a great view.

And indeed it did. Wow.
Once together, we checked in at an amazing hotel. I felt slightly out of place because of all the grandeur. The view from the room was absolutely worth it.

Casually watched some boats go by.
As often is the case with Hong Kong, the view at night was even better, although the flashing lights from all the buildings made it a little bit difficult to fall asleep.

The evening was spent walking along the Avenue of Stars right outside and admiring the big names.

Unsurprisingly, Jackie Chan's hands are far bigger than my sister's.
The following day, we went to the locals' favorite amusement park - Ocean Park! My Hong Kong friends had all told me that it was far better than Disneyland, so I trusted their judgement. I sure am glad that I did. The line for the shuttle bus to the park was long enough that it literally wrapped around an entire office building, but we made it eventually.

This park had roller coasters, pandas, theme rides, carnival stands, aquarium shows, gondolas...you name it. And it is very large -  large enough to cover an entire mountainside and its surrounding areas. There's even a subterranean ride that goes under the mountain to get from one side of the park to the other. Not only the size, but the sheer amount of cute and cuddly animals everywhere was wonderful.

Pygmy Marmoset!

Arctic Fox!
And much much more. I had so much fun that I forgot to take more pictures! Bit by bit, we made our way along through arctic escapades, dolphin shows, and jungle adventures. At the end, we made our way out of the park via gondola.

After picking up some egg tarts and macarons first of course.
We finished up the day with a lovely dinner at a Cantonese restaurant, admiring the waterfront at night from the hotel lobby, and some late-night swimming in the hotel pool.

My family left the next day, but before going to the airport, we made a quick run over to the top of Victoria's Peak (something that every visitor to Hong Kong should do.)

Despite the warm weather, it was quite windy.
A trip to Hong Kong would also not be complete without the amazing meal of dim sum (otherwise known as yam cha).

15 plates to share among 4 people. Absolute heaven.
All in all, I think everybody enjoyed the trip. We parted ways at the airport - my family back to Japan, and me back to continue my adventures here.

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