How quickly do three weeks away fly by? I have had a wonderful holiday catching up with my family and I definitely feel like I have eaten as well as shopped, my way around HK.
I have been super busy over the past week hence the lack of posts as suddenly coming back from Holiday means coming face to face with reality. No more uni and now I suddenly feel very nervous and a bit lost as to what happens next. I'm still figuring that out, just like most of my fellow graduates but for now I plan to earn some money before I make any more decisions about further study.
Anyway here are a few photos from Hong Kong as promised! The first image is the view from the Peak which is a must for any tourist, we ran out of things to do one day and we decided to go.
The following image below on the Left is the view from my aunt's flat who lives in a block of flats identical to the ones that can be seen on the right hand side of the image. You can just about see the swimming pool in the hotel opposite. I often found myself wishing I could jump in too, as the heat was on average 34 degrees centigrade. There was not a night where we didn't need the air conditioning on. The photo on the right of the skyline, was taken from Harbour City at Tsim Sha Tsui which is a huge mall but on the whole, very expensive with lots of designer boutiques including Chanel and Dior. HK is a haven for those who love their designers as standalone stores from Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs and Valentino can all be found in HK which is definitely not a common sight found at home. It's strange because Vivienne Westwood is British yet there are far more stores in HK than in England which I guess shows her super populurity in Asia. For those who have never been to HK, their sales assistants are crazy as they like to follow you around the store asking if you need help or that the item you brushed past was available in blue,red, orange, yellow etc. I'm assuming they get commission on their sales.
Above are my sisters and I being silly at Harbour City where they were celebrating the Olympics which were yet to start at the time. We were approached by a television crew who wanted to ask us about sports and the Beijing Olympics but we made a run for it. It was a close call! Above on the right is Causeway Bay which is where I wondered for hours on end in the malls that they like to call the 'youth malls' as it seems those malls are where the young can often be found perusing the tiny shops for the latest fashions. Having said that, the shops aren't really that cheap (though there are a few shops that sell garments that could be found in markets) but are worth having a rummage for those interesting items from local designers or clothes from Japan and Korea. There are loads of these malls but many of them are in Causeway Bay and a couple are located in Mong Kok. You need to remember to ask if there are any discounts as often they can give you a deal on your second item. Another thing is that these shops open at around 2pm until late and the sales assistants are always either applying mascara or eating their takeaway lunches but be warned, many of the items you can't try on and are also non returnable. In fact a lot of things in HK are non returnable so you must be sure when you are handing over your cash. The shopping is great in Hong Kong as it is a different shopping experience but overall, there isn't as much choice as our highstreets in the UK.
The cantonese love to eat and I don't even want to know how much weight I gained just by being there. My favourite though has to be Korean BBQ which is pictured on the left. You order lots of dishes and you cook it all on the little cooker in the middle. It's lots of fun but it does get quite hot! It's the opposite of chinese hot pot (where you put everything into a big simmering bowl of water). We also went to a couple of buffets, on the right is me posing with a little lobster but the poor thing didn't even have much meat on it and was nothing more than a big prawn. Still, I ate it anyway. Things I always remember to eat when in HK are seasme ice cream, taro ice cream and bubble tea. Yummy!
Above we have the open hallway of the block of flats that my dad grew up in. The flat is in Tai Hang Sai and we still have the apartment and go back often to burn incense and other rituals. It's crazy how small the flat was as we could barely move for space when seven of us went to visit. It was very much like a shoebox! It makes my aunt's flat seem huge and our house in England seem like a mansion. Every time we go back it reminds me just how far my parents have come and how lucky my sisters and I are. Finally we have the random photo of the three ice skating animals, they were so cute! It was taken at Taikoo Sing (shopping centre) where it houses the only ice skating rink in Hong Kong. I'm terrible at ice skating and some of the kids put me to shame as well as (my favourite) skating turtle. Haha, I wanted to take him home but he was bigger than me.
It was a great holiday but I am glad to be back too. HK can get incredibly claustrophobic as it's such a small place and I can understand why so many overseas students come from HK. Having said that I am already looking forward to my next trip to HK which could be next Summer or the year after. I have to return anyway as I have a HK Identity card which requires me to return every three years for it to remain valid. It's always so lovely going back to see family, I just wish I could go back more often!
Anyway...I do feel a little shopped out and haven't bought a single thing since I've been back. Have I gone mad? Time will tell! I will have to post up some of my purchases soon too but maybe I will leave some for outfit posts!