Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hong Kong

At the beginning of September we spent a long weekend in Hong Kong. It was a great weekend! We really enjoyed the city, even though it was ridiculously humid. Hong Kong was a nice break away from mainland China. It had a similar feel as mainland China, but it also felt like we were in a large western city, like New York or London. Language wasn't an issue and getting around the city was very easy on the subway.

Our first day we headed up to the peak, which is at the top of Hong Kong Island. The view was good, and it wasn't a completely clear day. We rode the tram down, which was fun but much more expensive than the bus that we rode up. After the peak we walked through Hong Kong Park and stopped at a tea museum.
The view from the peak looking towards Kowloon

The next day we headed out to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. It took a while to get out to the museum (which is on Kowloon) from our hotel (on Hong Kong Island) and it was not what we were expecting. We were looking for some history and we got Bruce Lee. It was an interesting museum, but we might not have visited had we realized that there wasn't much historical information.

We had heard that there were some wild monkey's on the Kowloon. We rode the bus part way up a hill and walked in a park for a bit before we found them. We didn't stay too long, but we did get to see a couple of the young monkey's wrestling.
On the bus

The next day we did a little more exploring on Kowloon, but this time we road the Star Ferry. Then we walked along the Avenue of the Stars. We only knew one of the stars. We spent most of our day at the Hong Kong History Museum. I'm pretty sure J could have spent even more time there, he loved it! That evening we walked down to the waterfront to watch the "Symphony of Lights" (a laser light show). It was rather underwhelming, not worth keeping Baby O up late two nights in a row (we attempted to go the night before but missed it).
Sometimes you just have to skip dinner and go straight for dessert!
Baby O enjoyed the music.
Our last day we only did one thing - eat breakfast, and it was Delicious! After that we had to head to the airport. I definitely recommend going to the Australian Dairy Co if you are in Hong Kong. Don't be intimidated by the long line, it is long, but it moves quickly. Breakfast was thick cut white toast, Hong Kong Style milk tea, macaroni soup with ham and the best scrambled eggs. I'm hungry just thinking about it.

We only had a few days in Hong Kong but they were great. I really loved this city and I'm ready to visit again!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Xi'an, China: Drum Tower & Muslim Quarter

While in Xi'an we also went to the Drum Tower. There is a huge drum inside the tower (it was much to dark to get a good photo). Each day at sunset this huge drum was beaten to indicate the end of the day. There is also a Bell Tower in Xi'an (we walked by it, but didn't go in). The Bell was rung each morning at dawn.
This family wouldn't get out of the way so they get to be part of our photo :)
The bell tower is in the back ground.
Next we wandered around the Muslim Quarter of Xi'an. It was a little bit overwhelming. There were a lot of shops, restaurants, food carts and so many people!
Here are just a few of the food options that I photographed:
While in the Muslim Quarter we also stopped at an ancient-styled folk house.
We had three days in Xi'an and it was plenty of time of us to see everything we wanted to see. We did hire a guide to take us out to the Terra Cotta Warriors. It was nice to have someone show us around and answer questions as well.

Xi'an, China: City Wall & Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Our first day in Xi'an was spent driving out to the Terra Cotta Warriors and also stopping at the Banpo Village Museum. This took up all of our first day because the site is outside the city of Xi'an. The next day we explored the city of Xi'an.

From our hotel we were able to walk to all but one of the tourist attractions we wanted to see. We went to the city wall first. The wall encircles a small section Xi'an, about five and half square miles. I read that it is nice to rent a bike and ride around the city, it is about eight and a half miles. They did not have baby seats/helmets or this would have been a fun thing to do.
This building is across the street from the city wall. I just liked the look of it :)
We also went to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. We were stopped by some school children who had an assignment to practice their English. They were very sweet! I wish I had taken a picture with them.
View from the seventh level of the pagoda.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Xi'an China: Terra Cotta Warriors

Way back in August we spent a long weekend in Xi'an, China. I usually take notes on our vacations but didn't for this particular trip. I don't have as much information, but here are some pictures from our visit. 
There are three pits containing the warriors. The room is HUGE!

I believe we are looking at the spot where the warriors were found in 1974 when a local farmer began digging a water well.
Part of the "hospital" section of the pit
More "hospital".

On this day we also went to Banpo Village. This museum is the site where a Neolithic community lived. (Sorry about the poor quality pictures, these were taken with my cell phone.)
These are urns used for the burial of children.
A portion of the Banpo's home were under ground.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Picture a Week | 31/52

Happy Halloween!

We had a great Halloween. This year Baby O was 'Shaun the Sheep'. We went to a party and did some Halloween activities, including an art project. O painted for the first time, and he tried to eat the paint! We also went "trick-or-treating" around our apartment complex, he wasn't really sure what to think about all the costumes and Halloween decorations.
At the Halloween party
Eating a chocolate - the wrapper is still on!
All his candy!