My school had a four day break and we decided to take advantage of our location in Asia by taking a short, less than two hour plane ride to Hong Kong. But before getting into my favorite city in China, here is a short description of the day we left Taiwan. TAIPEI 2:37 pm
The following passage is slightly fictional. Just slightly.
"Loic may you please go down to the office, you are going home. Don't forget to go to your locker for your backpack. See you at camp next week!" This was the last sentence I heard before I was zooming down the deserted streets trying to avoid the full impact of the incoming typhoon. Just as an afterthought, I probably should not have taken my bike home just before the largest typhoon in Taiwan history (and the largest in the world since 2002) was about to hit the capital so hard that half a million homes would be evacuated. Anyways, I arrived home about 17 minutes later, a personal best because of the winds pushing me from behind, and proceeded to change into dry clothes.
A few minutes later, we were in the taxi heading to the airport. We arrived at Taoyuan airport just early enough to make a pit stop at the lounge. This was especially exciting as there was an abundance of extremely healthy food that taunted my taste buds so much that I just couldn't resist. (For reference, the only reason we go to the lounge is for the food:) I started off with a large cheese hot dog, a side of organic cheese pop corn, and most importantly, a 4 scoop ice cream sundae with extra caramel sauce. And just as I finished my first YouTube video, my plate was completely empty. And guess what I did? I went to the buffet-style food court and got another hot dog, some more popcorn, and another 3 scoop ice cream sundae. The only difference this time was that I added mini chocolate cookies on top of the sundae and took a couple of Cokes out of the mini bar. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a third hot dog as we were asked to board via the loudspeaker just as I finished the last bite of my extravagant meal.
Then came the best part of my day... The airplane ride. No we didn't get upgraded to first class, no we didn't get to fly the plane, but we got to experience a flight through a typhoon! We were delayed for just about an hour due to winds over the allowed limit of 80 km/hr and then the winds dropped down to 75 for about 10 minutes and that is exactly when we left. They went back up to 100 just after takeoff. The taxi was already turbulent as the wind kept pushing us to the left thus putting the plane off balance; soon afterward we were in the air. It actually kind of felt like a trampoline park. You know the constant up and down feeling to your stomach and the occasional kid smashing into you except here it felt like a boulder had just hit the rear end of the plane thus catapulting those at the front, including my family and I, directly to the roof of the plane. This process repeated itself for about 40 minutes and then, unfortunately, we were too high for the typhoon to touch us so the free roller coaster ride had ended. The only downside to this flight was that the seat belt fastened sign was never taken down for the entirety of the first half of the flight. Upon arriving in Hong Kong, we took the train directly from the airport to the station in the central part of the town and then took a taxi to the apartment. We were home!
Here is the video that quickly recaps our weekend and it you want to see even more feel free to check out all the pictures and comments below. Make sure to adjust the quality of the video in the bottom right-hand corner and set it to 1080p.
I know the video was a little short but it it is only my second video ever so I am still learning!
These were the scenes in our apartment as we learned how to operate the endless gadgets throughout the room.
My makeshift room! With a view!
View from the back of the apartment.
Our apartment owner was an airplane fanatic thus suggesting his job as a pilot.
Some stores can be creative to encouralike this toilet store!
We found this amazing glass bridge connecting two large shopping malls where we could observe the large skyscrapers such as the one below. Hong Kong loves ice cream too :)
The Lippo twin towers.
We visited many tea houses, this being one of them. They provide contrast compared to the modern city looming above.
Tea is also a prominent part of normal citizens too!
Tea drying in the city!
We went across the water to watch the fireworks one night!
But what amazes me is that the city is so different at night!
On our way home from the night show, we decided to calmly take a walking route back to our apartment. Surprisingly enough it was everything but calm and we did everything except walk. We ran into a dragon festival. It was complete chaos! We even met a Franco-Chinese woman who explained everything to us
After our first short break, we then thought we were done for the night. However in Hong Kong that never happens! We stumbled upon a stadium for horse racing, the national sport, and decided to take a closer look. Inside there was game of rugby, played by expats.
We didn't even plan for it but the lantern festival was in full swing and my mom was loving it!
Beautiful pork shop, or chop :) in a small street! Hong Kong is unpredictable sometimes. Basket of meat lying in the middle of a sidewalk.
Cute little sculpture in a store
Hong Kong temples are very different from Taiwanese ones!
Mandarin Calligraphy that is very common throughout Hong Kong and China
Lower level breakfast shop in the middle of the city
The outside of a nice restaurant in mural town HK.
What a view!!!
These escalators make commuting up and down the hill much easier for many Hong Kong citizens
Beautiful mosque gate in the downtown district.
As we walked through the more remote places of the city, we noticed the rich people that lived tucked away from the busy streets, wanting to take a break from the hustling life.
The view from the top of the Victoria Mountain.
My dad loves his selfies!!!
As we hiked to the top of the mountain, we saw mammals such as this little guy which we couldn't identify
The second day we headed out to the Hong Kong country side to go on a hike with some French friends that we knew from Arizona: Lea used to be in French class with me.
Although this was our last excursion in the city of Hong Kong, we had one last surprise waiting for us at the airport!
We started off by taking a quick pit stop at my favorite part of any airport, the lounge. Anyone likes free food and drink! Then just as we were heading out, the attendants took us with a golf cart to the gate where we were surprised with business class tickets because of my dads status! The plane was an A330 so we did not have the 1-2-1 formation but it was still a great ride!
Arriving back in Taiwan! Clean after the typhoon!