This week we mostly kicked back and relaxed in Hong Kong itself. Aside from generally getting to know our neighborhood, and I went to Lantau Island with some friends from school. Kat was in Malaysia for the weekend, so she was stuck in Kuala Lumpur with adorable monkeys and elephants (and Patrick, another friend from […]
The Chinese know how to kick off a school semester – with a holiday in the second week of classes. And don’t say “What about Labour Day?” – I mean a real holiday, with celebrations and traditions and history. This week we celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival), one of the three big seasonal festivals in Chinese culture. It’s a pretty big deal here – it’s like an amalgamation of Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving, except that it has floating lanterns.
We’ve now been in Hong Kong for a week (well, a week and a half), and it is treating us well. It has been a period of gradual adaptation and has featured markedly less adventure than the preceding weeks. But that doesn’t mean that there has been no adventure. We’ve been to Disneyland and mountaintops and […]
We took it easy on our last day in Beijing. Our flight was scheduled for 8:30pm, meaning that we could spend most of our day wandering around the city. We checked out of our hotel, stowed our luggage with reception, and headed out in search of food. We wandered down Wanfujing Road, a major thoroughfare […]
I’m cheating a little bit here, because our story actually begins on the previous day. After returning to the hotel, but before going to sleep, we set to work arranging our transportation to and from the Great Wall for the following day. This was far more stressful than we had expected.
Having already seen what we thought was Beijing’s big attraction (exclusive of the Great Wall, I suppose), we decided to spend a day relaxing at the Summer Palace. We assumed, from the name, that the Summer Palace would be smaller and less intense than the Forbidden City. After all, it’s only a part-time palace, right? […]
Today we took on the Forbidden City. We slept in and decided to try out some of Beijing’s street food rather than try to catch the last few minutes of the hotel’s buffet. One of the vendors nearby was advertising “hamburgers”, so we tried out a local interpretation of a tried-and-true Western delight.
We began our day as every day ought to be begun – with cakes. had bought a small cake for her birthday (as you may recall), and Iris had given Kat two mooncakes the previous evening. Not wanting to port these delicacies to Beijing on their backs, the ladies decided to carry them in their bellies.
Today we met with Kat’s cousin Iris, who has been in China for the last 11 months as part of her position in a hotel management training program. We had arranged to meet her at a metro stop, which proved to be challenging because we (a) slept in and (b) had not used the Shanghai […]
This morning we began with failure. We slept in and missed breakfast, and were thus quite hungry by the time we headed out to search for the public bus to Zhūjiājiǎo, an ancient canal town about an hour away. We had some trouble finding the bus depot. Due to the language barrier, we had to […]