Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hong Kong: Kowloon

For our last day in Hong Kong we went out to Kowloon to go to the temple.
It was amazing. The interior was very simple and elegant. It was the
perfect blend of the LDS church and Chinese feel. We did a session in Cantonese, 
so I had to wear the headphones, but that actually helped me learn a lot more.
It was a really neat experience!

If you look really hard you can see Moroni in the background! 


That evening we took another lovely, winding bus ride up to Victoria Peak 
to look at the skyline. It was awesome and a great way to end our trip!
mmmm. . . fuzzy hair!
Hong Kong at night!

Hong Kong: Ocean Park

On Monday we went to Ocean Park, an eclectic animal theme park. We chose to go to Ocean Park instead of Disneyland to get a more authentic Hong Kong experience (but next time, I totally want to go to Disneyland!). It's kind of like Lagoon with animals. Not like the sad animals at Lagoon, but they have their own habitats, so they're not just sitting in a hot metal or concrete enclosure. It was much more like seeing them in the wild, so it was really neat! They have lots of educational programs for kids at the local schools and have an established conservation foundation for the animals. 

The rides, as I said, were like Lagoon, so we didn't ride all of them. The roller coasters we rode were fun, though, and I went upside down! Yup, I can go on big kid rides now :) Also like Lagoon, you leave your bags near the exit, so I didn't get any pictures of us on rides, but these are some of the pictures we did get: 

James the Shark, one of the mascots.
He had no line so I felt bad for him!
Ocean Park has a cable car too!
Bungee Trampoline -- no tricks but still fun!

Cass loves the red pandas! 
We got to see lots of other animals too. Of course, they have an aquarium with the cast of Finding Nemo, but they have all sorts of other sea-creatures: starfish, jellyfish, goldfish, manta rays, sharks, and more! We also saw giant pandas, red pandas, pygmy marmoset, and lots of birds! It was a really neat experience!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Church in Tsing Yi

For Sunday we had planned to go to the LDS church on the island, but I had one of my wicked migraines, so Cass let me sleep in. Once I felt like a human, we headed over to the closest church near us in Tsing Yi. We didn't know the meeting schedule so had to wait a while for the international ward and just hung out at the church. 

The ward we went to was mostly full of Philippina sisters. It's very common for women from the Philippines to leave there families, come to Hong Kong, and work. I never realized how close the Philippines is to Hong Kong, but you can see how close they are here: 

Some women even had babies back in the Philippines! Babies that they never get to see! But here they were, working so hard in Hong Kong, mostly raising other people's children. And they were the friendliest ladies ever! 

I haven't felt so welcome in a ward for a very long time. I think almost every single woman in that ward came up to introduce themselves. I was blown away by their kindness and testimonies. If we ever move to Hong Kong, that's  the ward I want to go to. Those ladies were an amazing example to me. 


Saturday started out sunny, so we figured we should head out to Macau and take advantage
 of the nice day. Wellllll. . . at least it didn't get too rainy! We took a turbojet out of Kowloon
 to Macau. I got a little queasy on the ride (go motion sickness!), but it wasn't that long of
 a trip and by the time we passed through customs I felt much better & ready for a 
delicious, Macau-style, Portuguese lunch!

Excited to go to Macau! 
Pedicabs: ready for tourists!
motorcycles & scooters everywhere!

After lunch we were ready to head out with the rest of the tourists and see the sites!
Ruins of St Paul's Cathedral
(Ruinas de Sao Paolo)
cobblestone roads
chillin by the cannon at Fortaleza do Monte
tried Haagen-Daz for the first time while taking a break from the rain

 We headed back towards the casinos to figure out the buses and how to get to Hac Sa, the black sand beach, clear on the other side of Macau on the Ilha de Coloane. The islands have bridges between them, so we were able to bus it the whole way.

He was so excited to see the sand!
There were all these little pock marks in the sand. Crab holes?
The beaches have nets around them to make a swimming area.
It keeps the sharks and pollution out. 
It looks like the picture is blurry, but that's really
what the sand looked like as the water went back out!
It had a way different feel than any sand I've been in before.
Octopus Mustache!
Spent the last of our MOP (Macau Money) on treats!
Ready to ride the turbojet home!
We had a great day at Macau! I loved it! There were old Portuguese buildings all over & I just loved their architecture. Macau is so diverse. There are all the remnants of the Portuguese colony with China built right on top of it. It's awesome!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hong Kong Island

Friday's rainy view!
We had dim sum for brunch. It was super crowded, possibly because of the heavy rain. It was delicious! And I ate everything -- with chopsticks!! 
King's Yellow Bun -- My favorite! 
That day we headed onto Hong Kong Island and did some shopping on Ladies Street. It was still raining but fun. I got some great stuff & Cass did a great job bartering!

A super tall LDS church building in HK. There's a ward that meets here 
which has sacrament services every day of the week in order to accommodate
the folks who all have different days of the week as their day off.  
The Trolley
That evening we rode the World Famous Star Ferry! From the other side, we were able to see the awesome skyline. 
World Famous Star Ferry
On the Star Ferry!
The Clock Tower
formerly tallest building in the world
current tallest building - hidden by the clouds!