We arrived in Hong Kong yesterday (Friday) at 6:00 am after about a 15 hour flight from Newark. We were all tired, but we knew our best bet for adjusting to the time change – and seeing as much of Hong Kong as possible – was to get moving for the day. There are two main reasons adoption agencies recommend getting to Asia a few days before your Family Day – first, it gives you a bit of leeway if your flights get delayed; and second, it gives you a couple days to begin to adjust to the time change before the emotionally intense experience of having your child placed in your arms. Beyond that, though, it also gives you a bit of time to experience a different area of the world, an area near your child’s birthplace.
We opted to spend these first few days in Hong Kong, and I’ve been excited about this part of the trip – it’s sort of like a little mini-vacation! However, with all the actual adoption preparations, I didn’t actually get much of any time to research what to do in Hong Kong, so many thanks to my friend Marisa and my brother Daniel for handling the researching and planning of our itinerary for these couple days!
We took a taxi to our hotel and dropped off our luggage and changed clothes. Then we walked over to the harbor and bought tickets for the green line of the Hong Kong Big Bus Tour. Essentially, this allowed us to take a ferry across the harbor and then ride a double-decker bus all around the island of Hong Kong, getting off at various stops and enjoying the attractions, and then hopping back on the next bus, eventually coming full circle back to the ferry.
Our first stop was at the Peak Tram, a very steep tram ride up to the top of Victoria Peak. From the top we could enjoy beautiful views of the city of Hong Kong.
We then took the bus around more of the city and got off at Stanley. We found a restaurant at the plaza at which to have lunch, and then we wandered around the area, taking in the scenery and looking at some of the shops at the marketplace.
After we got back on the bus, we headed to Aberdeen, traditionally a fishing village, where we took a Sampan ride and saw much of the area. It was quite a juxtaposition of the old and the new, seeing some more traditional houseboats and fishing boats but also a number of more modern boats.
After that excursion, we got back on the bus, headed back to the ferry, and then walked back to our hotel, where our room was ready, and we were able to check in. We then walked a few blocks to a local dumpling restaurant that was well-reviewed online (it was good!) and then came back to our hotel to watch the nightly light show. We paid a little bit extra for a room with a view overlooking the harbor, and I think it has been worth it 🙂
And at that point, having been awake for hours and hours, we were all beat! I tucked Madeleine CaiQun into bed, and she fell asleep within minutes. Danny and Sharon were next, and I was asleep myself after a quick shower. It was a fun adventure of a day. We laughed thinking about how we’d taken a plane, a taxi, a ferry, a double-decker bus, a tram, and another boat ride all in one day! The tour bus was a good way to explore a number of areas in Hong Kong all at once, and we enjoyed our first day in Asia! I was relieved to hear from Matt that he and my mom and the kiddos at home were all doing well, too, so all in all, it was a successful first day!