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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Chinese Dumplings Have Changed My Life

What did I do in Hong Kong? You may ask...

I ate my weight in dumplings, hung out with Big Buddha, and shopped until I dropped. 

Just as I predicted, the culture was quite different from what I'm used to. But the sights and the food kept me wanting more. Personal space is not as respected in Hong Kong as it is in the States. Given that there are millions of people living here, it's a little more difficult to avoid bumping into everyone when walking down the street. 

If you're unfamiliar with Chinese dumplings, I suggest you find the nearest restaurant ASAP. This is #1 on my to do list when I return to the States. (For those of you in Charlotte, if you have any recommendations, please let me know as soon as humanly possible.) 

Friday was a long day as the flight from Sydney to Hong Kong was 9 hours. I feel as if I've spent 1/2 of my time here thus far in an airport but I certainly cannot complain with the end results. 

We stayed on Hong Kong Island in a very nice hotel. While the rooms were small, it was all that we needed. Every single day we were gone for anywhere between 11 and 12 hours. I slept like a baby to say the least. 

That night, we briefly explored our surroundings and called it a night very early to prepare for some busy days ahead. We had five days in Hong Kong and wanted to pack in as much as possible. Lucky for me, Hannah lived in HK for a year when she was younger. She has many friends who were able to give us a TON of recommendations and helpful hints. We were set for our trip. 

Saturday, we took the Star Ferry to Kowloon, While the weather was quite cloudy and cold, it was nice to have a break from the piping hot weather I had been experiencing. The clouds made for some great pictures on our trip over. 

Our first stop was important--Chinese dumplings. We went to a restaurant recommended by a friend at the bottom of a hotel. I'm still not sure how we managed to find it but we did and boy, was it worth it. 

In these restaurants, you are typically given a card where you essentially "check off" the items you would like to order. The waiter/waitress takes your order and then your dishes are brought out one-by-one or a few at a time. Don't let these small sizes fool you, I was STUFFED after eating what is pictured above. 

Our meal included Chinese tea, prawn dumplings, fried silver fish, pork buns, and steamed rice flour rolls. Talk about incredible. If you decide to venture to a dim sum restaurant, please order any and all of the above. 

After lunch, we visited the Wong Tai Sin Temple and its surroundings. Very beautiful and we were able to snap lots of great pictures to share. Lots of people were practicing worship rituals so it was truly incredible to experience that moment. 

Sunday, we ventured to Victoria Peak for one of the most stellar views of Hong Kong, While this was a heavy tourist location, it was worth it to take in the view. 

This is obviously a must visit for those traveling to Hong Kong for the first time. It is even more convenient if you have already purchased an Octopus card (consider it a convenient transportation card that can be used on trains, trams, and even convenient stores, etc.) You can purchase these cards at many locations including the train station or 7-Elevens (yes, they're everywhere here). 

After walking around to do some more shopping, I found the most incredible ice cream cone at a local shop. 

The little piece of heaven that you're looking at is a sugar cone, topped with fruit loops and cream, with Oreo ice cream and melted marshmallows on top. Holy sugar rush. Possibly the best thing I've ever eaten. 

Monday, we went to the infamous Ocean Park, aka I pretty much pretended to be a child for an entire day. It was an absolute blast. I cannot remember the last time I went to a brand new theme park that I've never visited. 

We rode every roller coaster, saw some Pandas, and I even ate Korean fried squid... still unsure of how I felt about it?

It was an amazing (and exhausting) day. For those traveling to HK with children, this is a definite. The park is located on an island with incredible views (second photo above). 

Tuesday, our final full day, we went to see the Big Buddha. 

The architecture was amazing and it was a very humbling experience. I've always been fond of what Buddha preaches. It was a very calming and relaxing experience to witness. This was the only day where we had a full day of sunshine, it was lovely.

After a few amazing days in Hong Kong, we jetted off to Bangkok, Thailand where I am currently. We arrived Wednesday afternoon (yesterday for me) after a short three and a half hour flight. 

Thailand has been the country that I'm most excited to visit. Ever since I caught pictures of the Thai Islands, it's been a dream destination of mine. Very excited to finally check this one off the bucket list! 

We will begin our trip in Bangkok then fly to Krabi on Friday and then take a boat to Koh Phi Phi on Sunday where we will spend the remainder of the week. Please go ahead and prepare yourself for the envy that you may feel when I post pictures from the Thai Islands. I'm in denial that I will finally get to experience the beauty in real life. 

Here's to soaking up the sun and the wonders of Thailand for the next week and a half. I cannot wait to share this portion of my trip with you all!

Thanks for following. Xx

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