My first trip to Hong Kong

I’m going to write about my trip to Hong Kong. My boyfriend and I booked this trip just 2 months after we’d started going out. It was my first trip out of Europe so it was slightly scary (mostly because I wasn’t sure how well I’d cope on a 14 hour plane trip), but having someone from Hong Kong who could speak Cantonese certainly made me feel better.

P1140814Our journey on the plane

We went in December 2012, just before Christmas, because I’m not good with heat. I get sunburnt in the UK, so I would have no chance in Hong Kong in the summer. We took the plane from Manchester Airport for my first ever long haul trip and I was pretty excited! My boyfriend found it hilarious that the air hostess spoke English to him, but German to me as she hadn’t realised we were together. He now likes to tell me i’m German all the time… (We flew on Lufthansa via Frankfurt so it was understandable – I could have been German!)

We’d left Frankfurt at 10.15pm so we slept on the plane at a normal bed time for us. We hadn’t managed to sleep too much on the plane so we were a bit tired, therefore the time difference wasn’t too much of an issue for us. We arrived in Hong Kong at 4.10pm so we could just have a short first day.

P1140836View of Hong Kong from the plane

The heat was too much for me straight away. We took a bus to our hotel, an Ibis right next to the North Point MTR station, which took about 1 hr 10 minutes, giving me a chance to see Hong Kong for the first time. It was interesting to see that the hotel missed out a lot of floor numbers, which my boyfriend explained to me was due to Chinese superstitions. For example, in Cantonese, the number “4” sounds a lot like “death”.

P1140855Lots of British food in the supermarkets!

After checking in, we went to the Hong Kong supermarket “Park N Shop” which my boyfriend loved – all that Hong Kong food he can’t get back in the UK! It had a lot British food too so I was happy, even though it was a bit more expensive than normal. We had to stock up on lots of bottled water because the water in Hong Kong isn’t really drinkable. We also went to a very cool shop called “Wonderland” which is full of anime/manga things. One issue we had was that my boyfriend’s Hong Kong debit card kept being rejected because he completely forgot that the pin numbers are 6 digits, not 4 like in the UK! That caused us a lot of hassle, with him having to go to the bank to sort it out. We went back to our hotel for a snack before heading to the MTR.

P1140869My first real view of the streets of Hong Kong at mid-levels

My boyfriend gave me an Octopus card, a lot like London’s Oyster card, which made travel very easy. I was amazed at how cheap the transport was! We headed to Central where we went on the world’s longest escalator called Mid-Levels. It’s over 135 metres from top to bottom. I was expecting one massive escalator, which on reflection was a bit stupid of me, because it has lots of gaps so that people can get off. On the way, we found a pub called “Yorkshire Pudding” which made me laugh. (My boyfriend is from Yorkshire!)

P1140880The streets in Lan Kwai Fong

We then went to Lan Kwai Fong, a square of streets in Central which is very popular with tourists as it’s full of pubs, restaurants and clubs. We weren’t that hungry so we didn’t stop for any proper food, but we did get some Hagen Daz ice cream from their own shop – expensive but tasty! We headed back down the escalators and towards the International Finance Centre for a quick look. As we came to Hong Kong just 2 weeks before Christmas, there were lots of Christmas lights up on the massive buildings, which was very impressive to see. We then went back to our hotel for sleep. My first day of being in Hong Kong was over, and I was loving it already!

P1140894Christmas lights near our hotel

More posts on my adventures in Hong Kong here:

Day One: My first trip to Hong Kong

Day Two: Lantau Island

Day Two: Whampoa and the Avenue of Stars

Day Three: Hong Kong Disneyland

It’s Christmasssssssssss! (Almost)

I’ve been busy…again! Graduations. Doctor Who. Work. Illness. Blah blah blah.

December is coming! Christmas isn’t a really big thing in my family…but it’s certainly a thing! My boyfriend however has never received a Christmas present from anyone except me because his family just don’t celebrate it. This year he’ll be celebrating with my family and will get to experience Christmas like I think it should be for the first time.

On the 1st of December, we get cheap £1 advent calendars to count down until Christmas. It’s purely for the chocolate. We put up the Christmas tree and decorations. We also recently bought a light up reindeer that goes outside in our garden.

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My parents have informed me they are banning stockings this year (ruining the fun 😦 ) because me and my brother are too old and they’d have to make one for my boyfriend too. We used to wake up each morning and spend an hour opening lots of tiny presents in there while we let our parents sleep for a bit longer before going downstairs for our main presents under the tree.

We then spend the morning eating pain au chocolat’s or croissants (breakfast treat!) and opening our presents under the tree. After that we spend a bit of time just messing about with our presents before getting ready to go out to our Grandparents house. This year I think they are coming to our house though.

We have a massive Christmas dinner, usually of beef because none of us really like turkey, with lots of vegetables and roast potatoes. We have crackers and all wear the funny hats that come out of them. We then have puddings; things like jelly, Christmas pudding or cheesecake, which normally none of us really want because we’re too full. The leftovers usually last us the rest of the week.

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We then just relax a bit or play games until tea time. We have a mini buffet because we’re all still full! Just things like crackers, cheese and crisps. We then all watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special and any other Christmas-y TV that is on.

Everyone then goes home and we all go to bed tired! I hope my boyfriend will enjoy it. I always feel like Christmas is something you can look forward too all year. I wouldn’t want the feeling that there is nothing to look forward too.

How do you guys celebrate Christmas in your family, and in your country?

(P.S In December 2012, I went to Hong Kong for the first time with my boyfriend, so I’m going to be posting about the trip over December this year. Sorry if you’re not interested in Hong Kong but that’s probably all you’re going to get for the month!)

Image: the-pink-vodka.deviantart.com, christmasstockimages.com