Living in the moment - Hong Kong, China
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Jason and I marvel at our compatibility at times. One day before leaving Singapore; we are just finalizing the booking of our hotel stay for the next day in Hong Kong. We may have our differences at times but we both admit there is not another person in the world that could put up with our travel style. Some might call it “flying by the seat of our pants”. We like to refer to it as “living in the moment”. I think Eckhart Tolle would be proud. I guess this is one advantage of these mega cities—they always seem to have more than enough rooms to accommodate—even with one days notice. Our best travel companion is Tripadvisor. I am so thankful for all the people that take the time to write about their positive and negative experiences—including all the great details. I seriously can’t imagine doing this trip without them. I only hope to return the favor someday—just as soon as I catch up on this blog : )
As lucky as we have been so far with all our hotels, this was the first to throw us for a loop. We arrived to a beautiful, recently built hotel in a suburb area of the financial district. Wanting to experience some of the local street flare we heard this was the best location. (per Tripadvisor). As we walked down the corridor of the hotel, we all agreed it was the best hotel corridor design we had ever seen. It felt like we were on a luxury yacht with rich wood paneling and dramatic sub-lighting guiding the way. As the valet opened the door —our fantasy popped—the thick smell of mildew permeated the air. This was just the beginning of a three-day ordeal of being moved to and from one room to the next. After the third day, we gave up. We were all in desperate need of some good luxury downtime—without mildew! Something only a 5 star city business hotel could guarantee– We caught the first cab and ran for Big City salvation. I suddenly remembered what I loved so much about big cities.
We were thoroughly exhausted…. We had traveled to 2 countries, stayed in three different hotels and moved to 5 different hotel rooms all in a 10 day period. The only upside was that we had spent a good deal of time outside the room (to avoid the smell) so we had some good sight seeing time. We had already admired the city from a distance. One of the most amazing experiences was the nighttime city light show—The entire city skyline danced to set music as one building lit up to another. It was incredible, as though someone was playing the city like an instrument. Very surreal! Very cool!
We experienced our first Tea Ceremony as well, in the midst of a picture perfect Chinese garden nestled in the middle of the big Skyscrapers. I am embarrassed to say that we were not educated enough to do this experience justice—let’s just say, we arrived hungry and had only “moon” cakes to eat. We ordered far too much tea and had to take some to go… wow, were we ever the typical American tourists this day. Win some, loose some—we will have to try this again someday : ) The garden and the nearby monastery were peaceful and stunning almost as though they were doing a service for the city, by bringing such peace and harmony to the chaotic, hectic city that engulfed them.
I believe Hong Kong has one of the prettiest skylines in the world. As we sat in our corner room with floor to ceiling glass windows—we were proud to be a part of it…. 20 stories high in the air with room service at the touch of a button—this is just what we all needed before we set off on our next big adventure; Beijing China. Of course we still needed to book the hotel…
Interesting cultural experience: Children must sit straight up in public. While waiting in the lobby for our new room (again) -Ariana lent down on her side while sitting—within seconds the manager walks over and reprimands her to sit upright… interesting..