UAE's National Day is December 2nd. We're generally given two or three days off for the event, depending on when it falls during a week. Jim & I had been talking about going to Hong Kong, possibly over the Eid. But it's impossible to plan for an Eid break, since the actual dates depend on moon sightings. So when we found out the dates we had off for National Day, we jumped at the chance. (Well, I did. But it didn't take much arm-twisting to get Jim into the idea!) On less than a week's notice, we went off to Hong Kong.

We arranged the holiday through our usual travel agent, who got us the package through Emirates Holidays. Emirates is a nice airline. We arrived late at night, at the new Hong Kong Airport. We'd been in Hong Kong for a few days back in 1997, just after the turn-over to China. Hong Kong is great on a cheap budget, but as we found out, much better on a bigger budget! The new airport is a huge improvement over the old, which had a very short runway right into the harbor, and brought you in within what looked like inches of highrise offices and apartments.

The new airport is on Lantau Island. It's big, and modern, but the inbound customs have not quite figured out efficiency yet. After a long wait, however, we were admitted, got our bags, and were met by a representative of the travel group Emirates works with in Hong Kong. Instead of trying to figure out transportation, we got a nice ride to our hotel, with a guide pointing out things and filling us up with facts (many of which we already knew from the last trip). The bridge from the Island to Kowloon, the mainland side of Hong Kong, is gorgeous. I wish I'd gotten a picture of it.

Our hotel was the Park Hotel, in a nice location in Kowloon, within handy walking distance of just about everything. That night, we went to the Hard Rock, and just walked around getting familiar with what had changed and what hadn't.

The second day, we went down to the Harbor, had Dim Sum for lunch, and then took the ferry across to the Hong Kong Island side. A double-decker bus ride took us over to Stanley for shopping and scenery. Then back to the main city, still on the island, to go up to Victoria Peak on the Peak Tram. The third day, we weren't due to leave until late, so we went to Hong Kong Park, then did some shopping. Then we spent quite some time down at the Harbor, watching night fall.

For the pictures and details, just click on the links to get started with each general location. Lots of good pictures from Stanley, some from the Peak, a lot from the Park, Harbor pictures from both days, and finally, an assortment of other pictures of Hong Kong!

In case you were wondering, the flower on the background of these pages is Hong Kong's Flag. The flower is a Bauhinia Blakensis, which is unique to Hong Kong. This flag is for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, replacing the old Hong Kong flag from the Colonial Era.

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