So much has happened since I’ve been back from Hong Kong! Sitting down to write this blog, I’m a little like, “Wait, what did happen in Hong Kong?”!
My brother plays professional basketball over seas and he was spending two months in Hong Kong, so we packed our bags and went across the world to visit. First let me tell you about the crew we traveled with because that’s a TV show or a therapy session waiting to happen. My boyfriend and travel photographer boyfriend Matthew, myself, my father, my step mother and my maternal grandma traveled 15 hours, around the world, to Hong Kong for seven days.
I have travel anxiety. Not “OMG, the plane is going down” anxiety but anxiety about traveling while fat. I never want to slow the group down or honestly call too much attention to my size while traveling. Anyone who is plus size or of a certain size knows, traveling is not the one size fits all situation we’ve been sold. The seats are uncomfortable, other passengers can be very rude on airplanes about your size, the seat size, the arm rests, the seatbelt extenders. For me, it’s anxiety inducing. SO much so that I spent hours before traveling speaking with the airlines confirming our seats and making sure I will be slightly comfortable for 15 hours. To be completely transparent, Hong Kong Airlines wasn’t the easiest to communicate with and not that comfortable. I did a lot of research and Cathay Pacific is supposed to be the most comfortable for the price, as far as airlines flying to Asia. I felt really alone and like I was the issue, while preparing for our travels so I did some research and found some blog posts that were very informative and made me feel less alone about flying while fat. Here are the articles that made me feel less alone:]
We fly out of LAX, board the plane, 15 hours of flying later, we make it to Hong Kong. We left LAX at noon on a Tuesday and arrive in Hong Kong at 6pm the next day, time travel. Hong Kong is hot and humid. My friends who had been to parts of Asia warned me but wow, I was not prepared! For some technical information, Hong Kong is a collection of islands. I had no idea but also I do very little research before traveling, much to Matthew’s annoyance! In Hong Kong you can travel around the city by public transport, Uber or taxi, boat and you can pay for all (not the Uber) with an Octopus card. We stayed on the Kowlon side of Hong Kong, across the bay from Hong Kong Island. I enjoyed where we’d stayed but it was a few miles from the action at Victoria Harbor but for $50 USD a night, the rooms were clean, comfy and everything we needed. We stayed at Hotel Ease Access. https://www.hotelease.com.hk/hoteleaseaccess
My brother was an amazing tour guide and took us all over. Traveling with family, as an adult, is wild. I haven’t lived with my parents for 10+ years so this was an amazing time to spend with family but really an adjustment. We had many, many laughs. I was surprised at how westernized Hong Kong was, there was a Starbucks on every corner. Chain restaurants, right next to old temples, it was really cool to see. We went to Hong Kong Disneyland, the Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery, Victoria Peak, MongKok, Jumbo the Floating restaurant, all while exploring and eating!
Day One: We woke up jet lagged, took the public transportation to meet my brother in Mong Kok area to eat breakfast and shop. We had a traditional Hong Kong breakfast of egg tarts, milk tea and pineapple buns with butter. Try it all when you’re in Hong Kong! We went shopping at Ladies Market and shopped around Mong Kok. Ladies Market is like Santee Alley in LA or Canal Street in NYC, all knock off designer purses that you can negotiate for. Walking around, it’s hot, so prepare for that. We walked about 6 miles a day. We jumped on one of those tourist buses and we went over to Hong Kong Island. Matthew needed to try roasted goose and suckling pig so we went to a Michelin star restaurant, Yung Kee, to try it all out. Did I tell you we ate on this tri
Day Two: We were at the mercy of my brother’s practice schedule. He only had two full days while we were there to do a full day activity. We went to Hong Kong Disneyland. Now I wouldn’t consider myself a Disney super fan but both my grandparents worked for Disney for 50+ years and growing up in Southern California with grandparents who could sign us in, we have been to Disney many times! We had to go to Hong Kong Disney. My grandma signed us all in, hello perks! but Hong Kong Disneyland is actually a lot smaller than the original California Disneyland and about 619 Hong Kong dollars for the day, which is roughly around $70 USD. Hong Kong Disney was in the jungle, beautifully over grown planets, it was gorgeous. We had a great, sticky, humid time. The weather was interesting, it was so humid we had random rain. The rain would come in a moment and be pouring in one minute. We were standing on Main Street and a storm came through. I have never seen so many people clear so quickly!
Day Three: After the trip we all sat down and talked about our favorite days of the trip and this was our collective favorite. I had been nervous about this the whole trip because going to the Tian Tan Buddha was very physical, you have to climb 260+ stone steps to get to the top. I was worried would I make it? To get to the Tian Tan Buddha you either need to take a 20 minute gondola ride up into the mountain village or take an hour and half bus. We, not too excitedly, took the 20 minute gondola into the sky! It was gorgeous, but yes six full grown adults hanging from a wire in the mountains scared me! You get to this ancient Chinese village in the mountains thinking it won’t be commercialized, there was a Subway sandwich shop when we got off the gondolas. We ate, not at Subway lol, and we then moved through the tourist shops. They had signs all over not to touch or get to close to the roaming cows. A herd, a flock, a gang of cows comes running through and I was still so shocked haha! We then make it over to the base of Tian Tan Buddha which just looks incredible. I make it up! I take my time and honestly it was much easier than I had anticipated. The view from the top is gorgeous, there is a little shop inside and that’s about it. On the same property is the Po Lin Monastery which maybe one of the most
beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life. The buildings are gorgeous. We lit incense and took the gondola home.
Day Four: It was Matthew’s birthday and we wanted to celebrate! We took a speed boat over to Macau. You need your passport because this is out of Hong Kong. Macau was a Portuguese ruled province so it’s a really cool hybrid of Chinese and Portuguese influence with the architecture, food and general feeling. Also this is the Vegas of China, with huge hotels and casinos. There is literally a Venetian hotel that looks exactly like Vegas. We had street food, got rained on at St. Paul’s churches ruins.
Day Five: This was our last full day, we took cabs to different parts of the city and just explored. We shopped, ate and enjoyed our time together. We had brisket noodles at this little hole in the wall called Sister Wah’s. GO! It was the best meal we had. We saw Sean play a game while we were there and the team took us to a traditional dinner, shark soup anyone?! We had dinner at Jumbo’s Floating Restaurant, very much a tourist location but really cool to experience.
We had an amazing trip! I have a highlight of the trip on my Instagram page ++