|From Jamie's Philippines Pics|
We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.
We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.
Thanks for checking us out!
- Mark Twain
- Maya Angelou
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Welcome to Hong Kong
I'll go ahead and warn you, this might be a long post. Jamie and I went into Hong Kong today. I have placed a slideshow at the bottom of the blog that will be up for a while. The pictures tell our journey in order. We woke up at 5:00 and ate breakfast at a little western hotel breakfast buffet across the street. We met a family at the Shekou ferry terminal so the ferry cost would be cheaper. If you have 3 or more people in your group, you get a discount from $160 rmb to $110 rmb per ticket ($23 to $16). On the ferry ride, I was able to take some amazing photos of the port. You can easily see all of the cranes that lift the tractor trailor size crates on and off the barges. These type ports are all over the place on the 45 minute ferry ride to Hong Kong Central. Literally, miles and miles and miles of cranes, barges, and crates. As we approached Hong Kong, thousands of boats and barges were waiting to be loaded up or unloaded in the Bay.
Jamie and I really didn't have a set schedule. We had to be back on the ferry by 6:00 pm, so we had the entire day. We took off looking for an English bookstore and figured we'd be able to see the city in the meantime. At the bookstore, I was helped by a nice lady who helped me purchase a great map and guide us in the direction of the the long long long escalator than ascends up the hill of the city. I've been told it's the world's longest escalator, but I think Japan has built a longer one. I was able to take a couple of pictures of us on this escalator. Victoria Peak in Hong Kong is about 700 feet above sea level and the city is built on the side of this mountain. The escalator probaby ascends about 600 feet of that. It stops at every street level and all on either side are shops, restaurants, and businesses to visit. Pretty cool little experience.
Once we reached the top of the escalator, we decided to check out the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. It was nice, free, and gave us some shade for the hottest part of the morning. I have taken several pictures of some monkeys, flowers, and the best are from the fountain, like the one taken in the photo above. Quite proud of those. The Hong Kong skyline can dominate every picture you take and you should allow it to do so. Simply amazing.
A history and economics lesson. Hong Kong is practically a true market economy. This can be both good and bad. Positives include providing businesses free realm to open and close and control the business the way they want with almost true profit. The negative of this is that there is no safety net for those business, so fortunes are made and lost almost daily. What this means is that all of these pictures you see, the skyline, the massive skyscraper, have all been built within the past 25 years. Hong Kong was a major port, but still basically a fishing village in the early 70s.
After lunch (an amazing Spanish restaurant called Rico's), we then went over to a section of the city that the map called the "western distict" where the streets are steep and hundreds of small shop criss cross throughout a street called Ladder Street. By that time, we only had about 3 hours remaining, so we made our way back to the ferry terminal area and went back to that same bookstore to purchase some books. I found a David Baldacci, but Jamie was unable to find anything she liked. She settled on a couple of magazines.
We bought some gelato and then rested while we waited for our ferry back to Shekou. I can comment on every photo, but I took over 80 and deleted about 10. Just ask me what certain things are and I will be happy to tell you. Hong Kong is a must see. Our goal is go about once per month while we are here. Everything is in Chinese and English and getting around is easy and cheap. Public transportation is top notch. The only bad side of the city is the cost. Everything New York City dollars or the equivilent to Tennessee/Georgia prices times about 15%. Our lunch was a 4 course meal for about $30. Not too bad, but would've been about $20 back home.
So much to write about today. I'm just skipping around but hopefully with this post and the pictures below, it'll give you quite a bit to read and view. Let me know if you have an comments or questions.
As I type this out, Jamie is napping getting ready to watch UGA/Georgia Southern on pay per view. I decided to stay up and write this and watch College Gameday. Her alarm clock will go off at midnight! She'll watch the game (I'll watch until I get tire), then we'll wake up and be at the school Sunday morning to watch some games with some co-workers on Jamie's projector using Slingbox. We even had the sense of mind to save some pizza from the middle schools social Friday for the occasion.
Have a great Saturday everyone!