Hong Kong Stopover Before Bike Tour Around Taiwan

On April 4, 2012 by admin


Not technically part of the bike tour, but still a part of this trip, Hong Kong has been a whirlwind of sensory overload.

We departed Nanaimo on Thursday March 29th at 5pm, finally boarding the flight from YVR to Hong Kong by 245am. At my brother in laws house in Richmond we managed to purge a few more unneeded items out of our luggage to keep things as light as possible. By the time we had checked in my bag it only weighed 10kgs, a far cry to the days when I’d routinely huff along 2 bags of 32kgs each from Canada to Japan and vice versa. Traveling light is great, and its nice to not blow your back out just carrying your stuff.

The flight started off very much on the wrong foot. Almost immediately after seating the symphony of babies crying began. Just two rows behind us! I admit to being fairy averse to the sound of babies crying, probably because I don’t have one of my own, at this point hearing that sound is akin to nails down a chalkboard to me. The flight was 14 hrs in all, and I don’t exaggerate when I say that the babies cried for probably 12 hrs of the 14. It was almost comical at times, there would be a ten minute lull where I could almost doze off again, then one would start up then soon the wailing banshees symphony would be in full force. The main issue I had was the parents didn’t seem to care or think about bringing a toy or a soother for the poor kids.

We landed a full day ahead in HK at 7am, meaning we had the whole day to try to stay awake. My first order of business was inhaling a coconut bun and downing a bottle of ice coffee, Our hotel in Wan Chai let us store our bags until check in, so we headed out visit my wife’s Grandpa, great uncle, great aunt, and her parents. We explored Tai Koo and the waterfront and had more good food. Back at the hotel by 430pm, told myself I’d only sleep 40 minutes tops, just a quick nap to recharge the batteries.

Woke up at 430am.

Day 2, since we were up so early we took advantage of it and caught an early subway and bus up to Po Lin monastery where the Big Buddha resides, the worlds largest seated Buddha in fact. We saw a few packs of cyclists climbing the mountain roads here on the island of Lantau. It made me want to army roll out of the cramped bus and rent a bike. I’ve been impressed by how beautiful Hong Kong is, my first impression was the narrow minded view that it was just a large city, which it is, but it’s a country that makes use of every square km it has, and the mountains and ocean bordering every developed area just makes me see how accessible the hills and trails are for people here.

The Buddha was nice and quiet, we were the first through the gates to climb the stair to it’s base up high above. This place is so calm and serene when the tourist hordes haven’t arrived yet, as I found out when we got back down. Inside the Buddha statue was a museum, with the prize piece being a relic of the Buddha himself, consisting of some of his alleged cremated remains. For making an offering we were rewarded the close up view of this, along with an ice cream and water afterward, always a nice touch.

Tonight we also had a large banquet with 60 friends and family, a wedding celebration of sorts since both my wife and I, plus her brother and his wife, were married last year and this was the first chance to meet many who hadn’t been able to come to the weddings. It was a full evening consisting of ten courses and plenty of introductions. I was so bagged by the time I was on the mtr heading to my hotel I fell asleep right on the train.

Day 3 (Monday), was a full family day exploring Repulse Bay, Stanley Market, visiting the heart of Hong Kong to see some of the highest skyscrapers too. The highlight for the day was either getting a “Bruce lee is my homeboy” tshirt or seeing his statue during the walk along the avenue of the stars a tsim sha choi. Actually I was most blown away by the symphony of lights display along the harbor as lasers shot out of rooftops and buildings lit up in time with the music. Very very impressive!

I followed this up to finish the 11hr sightseeing day by getting a massage. Ophelias cousin found a reputable place and we all went in. I somehow drew the short straw and had the angriest old lady working me over on the massage table. I am sure she didn’t know the word painful or stop in Englishman, or pretended not to know them, as she raked her knuckles into my back and I silently wished for my 45 minutes to speed up.

The final day in Hong Kong was spent visiting relatives and then a bit of shopping. Ophelia went off to some malls while I went to 188 the gadget and computer shopping area to load up on cheaply made goods that seemed like good prices compared to Canada.

Also of fairly big news in relation to the bike trip, is we have decided to change the route. I was put in contact with the son of a friend of mine who lives in Taiwan. He strongly recommended we didn’t ride south from Yilan to Hualien on highway 9 as it’s heavily trafficked and has many tunnels. I ended up spending about 4 hours researching routes inland and changing hotel dates. Basically we may now end up needing an extra day to reach Taroko Gorge as we’ll climb inland south along route 7, then east on route 8 but crossing over Dayuling pass at 2565m.

Excited to get this trip on the go!



On April 4, 2012 by admin













3日目(月)は家族のための日で、香港の様々な場所を見て回りました。この日の一番のハイライトはチムサーチョイの近くで買った「ブルース・リーは俺のジモ友だ!(Bruce lee is my homeboy)」Tシャツでしょうかね。










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