Saturday, June 25, 2005

Another Day, Another Airport Lounge

Now I'm in the Cathay Pacific lounge at the Hong Kong International Airport. This lounge is pretty nice. At both the Taipei lounge and here, there is a noodle bar that serves Asian noodles. I just ate dinner on the plane and there will probably be more food on the flight to LAX so I haven't ordered any noodles yet.

Anyway, our hotel in Hong Kong was located on Nathan Road in Tsim-Sha-Tsui which was really close to a MTR station. Right after lunch and finding a laundry shop on Sunday, German took us to the MTR and we bought an Octopus card. This card (HK$50 deposit) allows you to pay for fares on all public transit as well as pay for stuff at stores. I still have the card in my wallet as a souvenir and just bought some Airwaves gum in the airport. BTW, we dropped off 7 lbs. of laundry for wash/dry and it only cost us HK$20. Our first stop on the MTR was Mong-Kok and the Ladies' Market where we picked up some gifts, including a couple "Louis Vuitton" purses.

Ladies' Market

Since it was Father's Day, German had to meet his family for dinner so Shirley and I walked to Canton Road for dinner and dessert. The dessert place (picture below) had excellent soybean tofu although I had trouble finding the one I liked (with peanuts).

Picture of "Sweet Dynasty" stolen off the Internet (in Chinese, the pronounciation for "Sweet" is the same as "Tang" as in the Tang Dynasty)

The following day, we went to dim sum for lunch. I'm not sure where we went but it was right by a bus stop on Nathan Road. I was initially disappointed that they did not push the food around in carts so we can look at it but the food was excellent and cheap. We ordered dishes from a list by writing how many orders we wanted; good thing I was with people who can read Chinese! Interstingly, I had originally thought that all Chinese dialects shared the same writter characters. That is mostly true but there were many Cantonese specific characters that Shirley did not recognize or did not make sense when read in Mandarin.

Classic dim sum: har-gow and shui-mai

After lunch it was more shopping as my mom wanted a "designer" purse as well. We went back to Ladies' Market and this time, they brought us to their secret warehouse to check out the goods. Actually, we picked out a purse but they brought out the wrong one. To save time, they brought us to an apartment where the walls were covered with purses and bags. It was interesting since we all wondered where they stashed the good stuff and why it took so long for them to get items for us to look at. Next, we paid a visit to Shirley's uncle/aunt in Hong Kong. They have an apartment right near our hotel that overlooks Victoria Harbour.

View of Hong Kong from 8th uncle Liao's 37th floor apartment

That night, we were invited to dinner at German's house with his parents. We took the MTR and then KCR train out to the New Territories. The ride took about 45 minutes and cost HK$11 from our hotel. German's mom cooked a lot of food for us including stewed baby pigeon (I didn't have any) and a wonderful mango dessert. I must say that fruit is much better here in Asia than in the U.S., especially if you like pineapples and mangoes. After dinner, German's dad insisted on driving us back to our hotel. He says he hardly gets to drive in Hong Kong so this was a chance for him to drive.

Apartment buildings out in the New Territories

Only an hour left before boarding time for my flight to LAX. I'm not looking forward to the 13 hour flight. I hope the business class seats are better than the crappy EVA Air seats I had coming over the Pacific. I'm going to take a break...

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