Sunday, January 4, 2009
We spent the last few days of our vacation in Hong Kong, with Jill, Joe, Oliver and Martin. We're back home in Canada now, but I'm just getting to updating the blog now. The days in Hong Kong were busy, busy, busy (as Hong Kong is) so the computer remained untouched for most of that time.
We stayed in the Mong Kok district, which supposedly has the highest population density in the world. Jammed into a subway car with barely enough room to stand, I believed it. We splurged and stayed at a very nice hotel. This bit of extravagence was made possible by the fact that we had free accommodation (thanks to Joe and Jill) and incredibly low food costs in Singapore, and also because Todd booked us the itinerary-from-hell to save us $1000 CDN per ticket on our flights. Miraculously, despite the so-called "snowmaggedon", we completed our flights with no significant delays, no misplaced luggage, and only a low-to-moderate amount of whining from the kids about the long travel days.
The hotel had two great things going for it. It had a large, beautiful, heated outdoor pool in which you can listen to piped-in classical music when underwater. It also included a magnificent breakfast buffet. Kate and I both love breakfast, and getting an East/West breakfast is certainly the best of both worlds: congee, smoked salmon, oatmeal, dim sum dumplings, .... yum! Kate's big thrill was sneaking chocolate croissants when I wasn't looking. The hotel had a very comfortable bar/lounge with an intriguing offer: an all-you-can-drink buffet (beer, house wine, common mixed drinks, juice, tea) for the equivalent of $20 CDN over a three-hour period. The host assured me that, if I would consume a minimum of four beverages, I'd most definitely get my money's worth. I was tempted, mainly because free snacks (spring rolls, satay skewers and dumplings -- no boring Western bar snacks here!) accompanied the drinks, but I declined, as I can't possibly consume four drinks in one sitting and still be responsible for the children. Despite this great $20 deal, the bar wasn't packed; there's probably a very good reason why such buffets don't exist in Canada.
In Hong Kong, we spent a very fun three days touring, covering Hong Kong Disney, the Hong Kong History Museum, Stanley Market, and Ocean Park. More on this in the next blog posts.