27.02.2017 15 °C
Since Australia we have been to Bali and Hong Kong. Moving on to Vietnam today.
We spent a few days in Nusa Dua, Bali, chilling out before the next leg. Bit of luxury after quite a lot of pretty basic accommodation. Can't tell you much about Bali as we saw very little of it, we wished we had stayed longer as what we did see was beautiful. Weather scorching 30 something and very humid so most of our time spent in shade, sea or pool.
Balinese coffee was the best we ever tasted, nutty and velvety but the beer not so good - Bintang Beer available everywhere which is actually Heineken! People were lovely, very happy, they like cracking jokes. Crazy taxi ride to the Airport, we closed our eyes most of the time; even after mad Thailand traffic, a Balinese taxi ride is hair raising!
We arrived in Hong Kong three nights ago after spending a night in Kuala Lumpur Airport, so pretty hanging when we got here. We are actually staying on the Kowloon side and take the ferry across to Hong Kong. Temp here around 15 degrees! Freezing! Had to buy some trousers being the only one wondering around in shorts and flip flops when everyone was in winter clothes.
We thought that having spent a month in Thailand we were prepared for anything - not so! Nothing prepares you for the crowds of people and the massive queues. Hong Kong is chaotic and confusing, but also exotic, bursting with Chinese heritage.
Jaw dropping is the only way to describe the sight of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon at night across the bustling Victoria Harbour. State of the art skyscrapers put on a magnificent light show, the mountains behind form the backdrop and light reflections dance over the water - just stunning.
During the first day we took the historical Peak Tram, a funicular railway tram running since 1888 to the peak for a spectacular perspective of the city at 1800ft above sea level. Even on a cloudy day the view over Hong Kong, Kowloon and surrounding islands was incredible.
Yesterday we started with a breakfast of wontons, noodles and soup, finished off with a yuan yang coffee - mix of coffee and tea with sweet condensed milk, lush! We took a bus to the quaint fishing village of Stanley on the Southern end of Hong Kong Island. Pretty beaches, a harbour and lovely market selling oriental knick-knacks. We sat watching birds of prey skimming the water for fish, in fact these huge majestic birds are everywhere in Hong Kong circling the sky scrapers. They are Black Kites with a wingspan of 4.5 feet. They have been known to pinch food from people and clothes items off high rise washing lines for their nests, usually white things!
Temple Street Market and the Jade Market were also on our list. Jade is everywhere in Hong Kong, it is associated with long life and good health in Chinese culture.
Temple Street Night Market is a warren of narrow paths filled with stalls selling just about everything and haggling is the game. Street entertainers and street food stalls are plentiful. We ate here the first night sat on plastic stools armed with chopsticks, a bowl and a large bottle of Tsingtao beer with eyes like saucers!
We started our last night with a couple of beers in a local jazz bar, we ate in a food hall in the basement of a Chinese mall, a lot of the locals eat in these and the food is delicious, authentic and cheap. Beef cooked on a hot plate on our table, rice and garlic soy followed by Taro Sago, a pudding of tapioca pearls, coconut milk and a purple root vegetable called taro, surprisingly delicious!
We fly to Ho Chi Min, Vietnam later today.
Love Steph & Si