Our fabulous month long China odyssey started of with a bit of a bump but turned into one of the most memorable adventures that my mom and I would go on together.
Early morning a bit rushed we luckily checked our plane tickets while in the taxi and realized that we were about to travel to the wrong airport! On top of that our taxi braked suddenly sending both of us flying into the glass partition. Yes, in our ticket confusion we did forget to buckle up and I hit the partition full on with my shoulder, ending up hurting it quite badly.
But nothing was going to spoil the start of our big adventure and we arrived at the airport without any further hiccups. Going through security my mom’s knee brace set off the alarm so she got to be felt up by security and in the process actually misplaced her money belt with all her holiday money in it. As we were about to leave a Good Samaritan came over handing my mom her money belt that she hadn’t even realized she misplaced.
This was definitely going to be a very interesting trip if it started out this way…..
After a very long flight we checked in, had a lovely shower and started exploring HONG KONG!!! We took one of the local buses from our hotel down to the harbour and learnt the hard way that they don’t give change on the public buses.
The two of us took a leisurely cruise on the star ferry across Victoria Harbour from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon.
These charming Star Ferry boats have been faithfully carrying passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1888. While the two sides of Victoria Harbour are now connected by a world-class infrastructure system of road and rail tunnels, tens of millions of people still climb aboard the humble Star Ferry vessels each year. This was the perfect way to get a close-up look at one of the world’s most photographed harbours! The relaxed ambience coupled with the sea water gently crashing on to the boat makes it a great experience with spectacular views of the Hong Kong skyline!
Getting off the ferry at Kowloon it took the two of us a while to actually find the metro station and figure out how to buy metro tokens. Taking the escalator down to the train my mom stepped on the emergency brake by mistake and the whole escalator stopped! The two of us tried to look innocent and walked off before anybody could accuse us of any wrong doing!
Eventually we got to Bonham Strand and had another Good Samaritan running up behind us with something my mom dropped from her handbag by mistake. Here I realized that I was going to have to check up on my mom and make sure she doesn’t leave her stuff all over the place. This was going to be a big adjustment for me as I am usually a lone traveler and not used to looking out for someone else, especially someone as absent minded as my mom.
Walking through the narrow streets we got to inspect the small medicine shops that lined the streets. Most of them sold dried fish creatures, swallows nests and a load of other products that I have never seen before. Edible bird’s nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. The nests have been used in Chinese cooking for over 400 years, most often as bird’s nest soup. Here I wished that I could actually read and understand Chinese so that I could figure out what these things were and what they are used for.
My first taste of Bubble tea!!! Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea, is a Taiwanese tea-based drink. Most bubble teas come with small chewy tapioca balls commonly called “pearls”. You get a very thick straw with your tea and half of the fun is getting a soft chewy “pearl” with each sip of tea! It’s a drink and snack all in one and delicious!
This was definitely one of the highlights of my China adventure and I made sure to drink it at every opportunity here after!