Melbatb's DIBB Photo Blogs

With no alarm set, I woke up about 7 ish. O was a little later. I had done what little packing there was last night (the Tetris cube of getting what little I had into the wheely case!!)

I reverted to type for breakfast - eggs and beans with toast and coffee.

My flight was not until 11.45pm so I had the day to fill. We decided we would go out this morning, come back, check out (I had got a late 2pm check out), go for lunch, head to the university to drop O off and then I would head at some stage to the airport.

We headed into the central area of Hong Kong. First stop was another temple - Man Mo Temple. Again, it was right in the middle of a very densely populated area.

Built in the 1800s it is known for its intense burners. O actually walked in and walked out as it really was very smoky.

It wasn’t my favourite temple - too touristy!

We then set out for the botanical gardens and zoo. It didn’t look too far on the Maro but very very much uphill. Thankfully we came to the mid level escalators which are a series of escalators which take the pain out of walking uphill.

Just before there was a Marks snd Spencer’s food shop. We went in for a look. A truffle advent calendar caught O’s eye so I treated him to that!

The gardens were signposted and not too much further from the top of the escalators. They were free to enter.

There were lots of information boards about the trees and plants as well as a zoo with mainly animals from the apes world and an aviary.

I am not the biggest fan of zoos at the best of times and this one seemed to have enclosures that were too small and not brilliantly adapted. It was however very popular with families with children and the local maid population who were setting to their picnics for their day off.

The gardens on the other hand were lovely and I can see why people would come here to get out of the hecticness off the city.

We were hot and sweaty by this stage so decided to head back to the hotel for showers. The walk back was at least downhill.

After long showers each and a bit of a rest, we got everything together and headed to check out. I left my wheely back with the concierge. O had 4 bags of stuff that he has accumulated!

Lunch was if course at Pizza Express - why change s gambit of a lifetime. This was our 7th visit! O was happy though - he has had enough pizza to see him through to Christmas!

We then went and got him some sushi- a bargain HK$45 for a tray of 10 salmon on rice and a second tray of salmon, rice and seaweed rolls!

E then got the metro to Hang Hau and then the mini bus to the university.

There had been some graduations as there were lots of students in gowns and mortar boards.

I said goodbye to O with lots of hugs and he left to go and do his laundry as it was getting critical!

I got the mini bus back to Hang Hau where I got a tip from Uniqlo for F from O for her birthday.

I headed back to the hotel to use my drink vouchers on a coffee and a Coke Zero.

At 5.40pm I went to walk the 100m to the bus station - there was a bit of a police presence though no crowds

The bus was a direct one to the airport. It cost HK$42 again. It was freezing on there but did at least have wifi!

I was at the airport at about 7.15pm - way to early. I hate the late departures. I had a wander and a Starbucks before going through security.

There were lots of high end shops I found a seat near the gate and read. We boarded around 11pm. The flight was again full!

Most people seemed to go straight to sleep - me included so I wasn’t too impressed to be woken up with my meal. I ate the rice and chickpea curry and then went back to sleep. I probably slept for about 6 hours which isn’t bad.

I watched Nothing Hill and a documentary on Whitney Houston (very sad).

Breakfast was bought round with about 90 minutes to go - a bit bizarre but if I will choose the Asian option...

We landed on time!

I went back through a sandwich at Boots and a cappuccino at Starbucks. Oh and lots of chocolate for the office!

The gate was called - they were trying to get people to put their wheely cases into the hold. I declined on the basis that I just wanted to get out of the airport at the other end.

The flight was full except for the seat next to me! I just started out of the windows!

Coming into land!

J picked me up and took me home!

It was a fabulous trip! I will do a round up over the next few days!

Thanks for reading!

Florida Escapes

We didn’t set the alarm but as usual I was awake not long after 7am. O managed a bit longer!

We went down to breakfast and I had my usual! O just had pastries and toast - he didn’t fancy eggs this morning.

Today has been earmarked for a trip to the Big Buddha. I checked on the website and it seemed there was a promotion for locals with HK id so we thought that was worth a try for O!

It took about an hour to get the metro down to the cable car, with two changes of train. It was straightforward though.

Queues are known to be horrendous here. Thankfully we were early enough to not have to wait long to buy our tickets - though I was happy we hadn’t bought through Klook (the local ticketing website) as the queue to exchange the vouchers was very long with just one window open.

We decided we would book the Crystal cable car (with a glass bottom). O could make use of his local id so his ticket was HK$138 whilst mine was HK$315.

There was a short queue for the Crystal cable car - and we got pulled out as a party of two.

The airport!

The bridge and tunnel to Macau (opened last year)

Nearly there.

The cable car is 5.7km in length and takes about 30 minutes!

There are three things to see - the Big Buddha, the Po Lin monastery and the Wisdom Path.

When you arrived there is Ngong Ping Village - basically tourists shops.

We took the opportunity to get a Starbucks!

As we walked towards the Big Buddha it became apparent there was a race on -6km and 18km and the last part was running up and down the steps leading to the statue!

So we had to walk up the road instead.

The Tian Tan Buddha, as it is officially known, sits 34 metres high and faces north to look over the Chinese people.

According to the guide book, the eyes, lips, incline of the head and right hand, which is raised to deliver a blessing to all, combine to bring a humbling depth of character and dignity to the massive Buddha, which took 12 years to complete

We walked around the base (we couldn’t go up higher because of the race) and admired both the Buddha and the wonderful views!

This is the monastery that we would visit shortly.

We then walked the 20 minutes to the Wisdom path.

In a figure of 8 (or infinity) the Wisdom Path traces a series of 38 wooden stakes containing verses from the centuries-old Heart Sutra — one of the world’s best-known prayers revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists alike.

It was interesting to see - apparently most visitors don’t bother!

We may have got a bit lost on the way to the monastery and met this little chap!

We eventually found out way and went past the big buddha again. It really is so impressive!

We found out way to the Po Lin monastery. This is considered to be one of the most important monasteries in Hong Kong. Since the Big Buddha was built it has become a popular tourist attraction.

To be honest it wasn’t, in my opinion, as tranquil or calming as others I have visited but I guess that is down to the amount of people there.

We saw half of it and then decided to try the monastery’s vegetarian restaurant. Well I did - O decided he was still full from his Frappuccino!!

I was very brave - I chose a spring roll, a sesame bean paste dumpling, a tara dumpling (the hairy thing) and another dumpling.

The hairy thing was just wrong - inside was a purple mash which had an awful texture and taste. The spring roll was ok. The bean paste was bearable and the other has turnip in it!! O was glad to have abstained! I was glad to have at least tried!

We visited the rest of the monastery before deciding we were hot and tired and a rest back at the hotel would be good. We had been here for about three hours.

We passed by the big buddha again - I couldn’t resist more photos!!

We walked to the cable car station. There was a very long queue for the normal cable cars but no quiet at all for the Crystal ones. We walked straight on, sharing with just one other person.

Those in the other queue were not out into the glass bottomed cars!

The trip down took 30 minutes again - it was lovely to just take in the surroundings. The cable car is said to be one of the most scenic in the world and I can see why!

After arriving at the bottom we were glad to have come early as the queue just to buy tickets was very long!

We had a quick look in the outlet center but were not really in the shopping mood.

We took the three trains back to the hotel where we rested up. I mopped out to M&S to get O two tubs of bites as snacks over the coming days!

No prizes for guessing where dinner was - a happy boy means a happy mum! Pizza and tomato pasta were had!

As a change O had a chocolate ice cream as dessert - not cheap but a treat for him!

Back at the hotel, O did some programming. I tried to stay awake as I wanted to check in online at 11.45pm. I just about managed and got one off the last aisle seats upstairs again!

Home tomorrow - not looking forward to leaving O!

I slept well again! I kept to the same breakfast - stir fried noodles with coriander, a juice and a cappuccino!

I had agreed with O that I would come up to meet him at his university at 1 pm when he had finished for the week. So I had the morning free. I decided to revisit Chi Lin Nunnery that has stuck in my memories from my last visit to Hong Kong 6 years ago.

The Nunnery is in the Diamond Hill area of the city - minutes from another big shopping mall and the MTR station. Thankfully this time there was no getting lost as it was clearly signposted.

It is a stunning place. The monks were in prayer so you could hear their chanting which was very relaxing.

The guide book says:

Established in 1934 and renovated in Tang dynasty style (AD 618–907) in 1990, the Chi Lin Nunnery is a large temple complex of elegant wooden architecture, treasured Buddhist relics and soul-soothing lotus ponds. The complex also includes a series of temple halls, some of which contain gold, clay and wooden statues representing divinities.

There were lots of stones as above with sayings beneath them which were thought provoking in some instances and completely unfathomable in others!

It really was a lovely way to spend an hour just wandering around!

The second part of the number is Nan Lian Gardens

Equally stunning and just as tranquil!

The gardens were also built in the style of the Tang dynasty. They were perfectly kept and an amazing place to walk around.

I made my way back to the metro after a lovely morning and headed over to the university once I had had my caffeine intake! For once I could connect to public wifi so I let O know I would be on time!

I took the metro and then managed to get on the right mini bus to the campus. It was a lot busier than on Sunday!

I met up with O and we went to the university shop so I could buy him a HKUST sweatshirt. We then headed to the admin office so he could ask about a proof of attendance that we need for the tax office! That all sorted we got the mini bus back to the hotel

Having seen my photo of the sushi from last night, O asked if we could have that for lunch. I happily obliged.

After lunch we chilled out in the hotel room before he suggested we hire bikes...

He had done a bike tour in freshers' week and assured me there were cycle paths (HK drives on the same side as the UK - which I am no longer used to! )

We found a bike hire place near the hotel. For the sum of HK$50 an hour for both bikes we were on our way. We cycled down to the waterfront and around the area. As the hour approached we both were worn out - it was pretty hot and not always flat. We took the bikes back - hot and very sweaty!

After showers and a bit of a rest (my legs were exhausted!) we went to our usual canteen. O loves it and I would rather we had something he enjoyed! We rang the changes a bit and had a margarita pizza and a bowl of mushroom pasta to share.

O finished up with a chocolate and banana milkshake. Calorie free of course!

We waddled back to the hotel, tired but happy.

The only day when I won't see my boy at all. This morning he has the listening part of his chinese mid term exam and tomorrow he has another maths quiz.

I actually slept really well - all that walking yesterday! After a shower, I went down to breakfast and had a stir fry with coriander again and my usual cappuccino.

I wasnít sure what I was going to do today so has a look at the Discover HK website which has quite a lot of options that are off the beaten track a bit. One of the options was the Hong Kong Wetlands park near the chinese border. This sounded ideal.

After getting myself ready, I went down to the MTR station and added another HK$100 to my octopus card. The route included 4 different lines but transferring between lines here is very straightforward; usually you get off the train and the next train is just across the platform! There was a bit of a walk at Mei Foo as I had to get on the West Rail line. I took the opportunity to buy a sandwich and crisps as a picnic lunch.

It took about an hour to get to the station at Ton Shui Wai and then I had to get the light railway train 705 to the Wetland stop. The total cost for the whole journey was HK$26. A bargain!

Thankfully the park was signposted from the train stop!

It cost HK$30 to get in. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was absolutely fabulous.

I was actually surprised to see that it really was in the middle of town. I had expected it to be in the middle of nowhere.

There was effectively a circular walk along boardwalks and paths with lots of information about what you were seeing.

It looks s though there was nobody else there but in reality there were quite a few school groups but I managed to avoid them! At about 12pm I found myself a quiet bench and had my sandwich and crisps!

It was also a popular place for the twitchers - there were some impressive lenses on show!

Back in the main building there was a display of the animals and fish that could, at one time, be found in Hong Kong. I couldn't decide if the alligator was real or not!

I left at about 12.15pm and caught the train back to the town for the second part of the trip.

This was the Ping Shan Heritage Trail. This was supposed to be only a 1.6 km Trail linking up some traditional Chinese buildings so as to learn more about traditional life in the New Territories.

Unfortunately the signage was a little haphazard so I did more than that but it was worth it.

The 600 year old pagoda which was built to ward off evil spirits from the north and to prevent flooding. It even had someone guarding it.

This was the Shrine of the Earth Good - literally at the entrance of a car park!

The next building could only be looked at from the outside. Built with traditional green bricks, it is a traditional walled village.

The next was Yeung Hau Temple. Although several hundreds of years old, blink and you would have missed it.

The next were two ancestral halls next to each other. Both were about 500 years old, and very impressive given their age.

By this time I was getting quite tired as it was very hot! Some of the temples were closed.

I couldn't find the last building: I found a sign pointing to it, then another point back in the direction I had come but I just couldn't see it. I decided to cut my losses and head back to the MTR station for part three!

The final part of the day was a two stop ride down the metro line to Yuen Long.

This town has a very different feel to downtown Hong Kong. Certainly less tourists and more local.

I am not convinced by the cheese topped tea...

By this stage I was flagging so headed back to the hotel, though one of the connecting stations was closed (I found out later for to protests) so I had to change at the following station which wasn't a big deal.

After a rest, I went back out to Temple Night market as I had promised to get my colleague a Hong Kong t-shirt.

It wasn't so busy: however getting back to my hotel room I discovered that the protest had not been so far away!

I got two t-shirts for my colleague and two birthday cards for O to write for his sister and his best friend.

On the way back to the hotel I picked up some sushi from the supermarket (HK$15) as I was shattered. I had walked over 18 km today and my legs knew it.

Surprisingly, I slept through the night and woke just before the alarm clock at 7 AM.

Both O and I had showers, before heading down for breakfast. O had his usual egg and hash browns and toast and I had again the noodles and rice. The rice was not that tasty, though the noodles were lovely.

Today was Disney day. I am the first to admit that I'm not the biggest Disney nut. I have been lucky enough to visit four of the parks - Orlando, the original Disneyland in LA, Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Hong Kong. Since I visited Disneyland Hong Kong, it has been expanded.

We did discuss visiting the other theme park in Hong Kong, Ocean Park. However, when I looked at their website, a lot of the main attractions were not in operation for maintenance reasons. I did wonder if this was a cost cutting exercise due to the downturn in tourism in Hong Kong at the moment. It seemed very strange that they would program the maintenance of virtually all the big rides at the same time. So Disneyland it was!

The way to get to Disneyland from the hotel involved four changes on the metro. We guesstimated that it would take about 1 1/2 hours so left at just after 8:30 AM. In fact, everything ran smoothly and it took about one hour 15 minutes.

The last train was the Disney train. It had these very cute hand holders.

We arrived at about 9:50 AM. There were quite a lot of people arriving at the same time, but many of them seem to be cast members as they went into a different entrance.

On the way to buy the tickets, we passed this very cute water fountain.

We had tried to buy the tickets online the evening yesterday But unfortunately O had forgotten to change the phone number on his bank account so he couldn't do the visa verified check.

The tickets were HK$649 - about 75 euros.

We walked to the entrance and were about the fifth party in line. At about 10:15 AM, Mickey and Minnie arrived in a car and were greeted by the family of the day. There was a presentation to them and some photos taken. At 10:20 AM, they announced that the park was open.

We walked through the entrance, though a lot of people run to the Mickey and Minnie meet and greet. It has to be said that neither of us are very enthusiastic about character meats so we went to have a look at the pretty empty Main Street.

The park was all decorated for Halloween.

As the park had opened a little early, there was a holding area. As you can see from the photo of the castle, it was under repair. This obviously did not make for a very pretty photos.

I had actually done some research the evening before us to tactics for the day. From what I had read, the park is fairly quiet at the moment. I wrote down all the big attractions that I thought O would like. We decided we would start in Tomorrowland with the rides there.

As we had a few minutes to spare, we looked in the shops. O found a T-shirt he liked so we took a photo of it to remind us to buy it later.

At 10:30 AM, there was another opening ceremony with another family where they cut the rope. We were then allowed to enter the park. We took a right to the Castle to go to Tomorrowland.

Our first stop was Hyperspace Mountain. From memory, this is very similar to Space Mountain in Paris.

Even though we hadn't run, we were the first people on the ride. This meant we were in the front row of the train. O has good memories of this ride from Paris, even though he must have only been about 10 years old when we went.

We both enjoyed the ride, and as it was still a walk on, we decided to do it again and again. After three consecutive goes, my body was already feeling a little whacked and we decided it was probably a good idea to try another attraction.

We walked through Tomorrowland to the next attraction.

At least there was one angle of the castle that didn't have all the scaffolding in it!

The next attraction was Ant-Man and the Wasp. This was similar to Buzz in that it was a shooting attraction. Once O realized what the objective was, he thoroughly beat me.

We thought once was probably enough for the time being.

We then went on the Iron Man Experience. This was a simulator attraction where we were passengers in a drone and we were attacked by the out of space enemies. Iron Man came to our rescue.

We both enjoyed the ride and decided we would come back later for a second go.

The queues were still non-existent.

We moved from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland.

O was very happy to go on a Small World. He remembers this very clearly from our visit to Disneyland Paris and was still happy to revisit it.

Outside the attraction, it said the wait time was five minutes. This was in fact the time it took to walk through the path to the boats.

We were at the front of the boat. The song immediately got into our heads and I have to say it took a while for it to disappear.

However, we both enjoy the ride. It is one of the classics.

The next stop where the tea cups. Again it was another walk on. It was a ride we enjoyed, but didn't feel the necessity to redo it at any stage.

Next up, was the Winnie the Pooh ride. Yet another walk on. In fact, this ride is only one of two rides in the park that has a fast pass. I don't think anyone was using it today.

This was probably the ride O disliked the most. He thought it was pretty pointless. I tend to agree with him.

Fantasyland was still empty. When we passed through it again later in the afternoon it was decidedly busier.

The next land was Toy Story Land. This was very well themed.

This part of the park had not been here when I visited six years ago.

Our first stop was the RC Racers ride. Another walk on.

It is a disappointing ride in that it is very short. I also didn't like the fact that I had to put my bag in an open cubbyhole to the side of the ride. With two phones,two credit cards, a passport and a HK id card in there it made me uneasy.

O decided to go on it again. I decided I would just watch. We both agreed that it would not be a ride we would queue for and it seems to be a lost opportunity. If the ride had been longer, it could have been good.

We then went on the Slinky Dog ride. Unfortunately, this was another not to be repeated ride. I am sure with young children it is good fun, but with a thrill seeker it was not the best ride. O kept asking when it was going to get faster. It didn't.

Last up in this land was the Parachute Drop. We had done this in Paris and O remembers it. It's a fun ride but I can imagine that when it is very busy it takes a long time to get on. Thankfully, we waited about five minutes.

The advantage of the ride, was that we could see the construction going on behind Toy Story Land. I am not sure what the plans are but something is going on.

We then went into Mystic Point where Mystic Manor was. I think this is the Hong Kong equivalent of the Haunted House. The story behind the ride is that the mansion is full of artifacts that have been collected by Lord Henry and his monkey on their travels. The last was a music box that was rumoured to have special magic qualities.

It was a very clever ride and we both enjoyed it a lot. It was definitely one to be repeated on our second tour of the park.

The next land was Grizzly Gulch. The big ride here is the Mountain Runaway Mine Train. This was yet another walk on. We both loved it. At one point, you went backwards and towards the end it went faster and faster. After the first ride, we went on it again.

We were starting to get hungry. It was about 12:45 PM. Unfortunately, due to the lack of crowds, a lot of the restaurants were shut.

We decided that we would go on the River Cruise in Aventureland before heading back to Tomorrowland where we thought that the quick service restaurant was open.

You had to choose which language you wanted to listen to. There were three queues; one for Mandarin, one for Cantonese and one for English. We chose, of course, the English queue. We were very lucky in that the English boat was about to leave and they held it for us. It was quite difficult to hear the guide but he seemed to be giving it a try. There was laughter from the front of the boat so he must have been quite funny.

On our way to eat, we saw the entrance for the Star Wars meet and greet and decided we would go. There was no queue. We met R2D2 but both felt very awkward talking to it.

Lunch was at the Starliner Diner. O had fish nuggets and chips and I had a veggie burger and chips both with a drink. This cost HK$227. It filled a gap.

Over lunch, we discussed our tactics for the afternoon. As we were in Tomorrowland, we decided we would redo the three rides we had done first thing this morning. We went twice on Hyperspace Mountain - probably not the best idea immediately after lunch. Again it was still a walk on.

After that we did the Ant-Man shooting game. O had really understood how to get points and more than doubled his score from last time. Mine was pretty consistent.

Next was Iron Man Experience. I saw things I missed the first time so it was certainly worth re-doing it. It's a very clever attraction.

We then we did It's a Small World, and really enjoyed it a second time too!

Fantasyland was a lot busier. There were a considerable number of strollers. Having said that, most of the rides we still walk on. There was some queues for the carousel and Dumbo but no more than 10 minutes.

We continued into Toy Story Land.

We went back on RC racer. I loved the notice on the way through; you should be sober to ride.

This time, we put our phones in our pockets. Again the ride is just too short.

It was then time for an ice cream. HK$38 each.

Next up was Mystic Manor again. This was one of those favorite rides. It really is cleverly done. And a very cute story too.

As O needed to do some more studying back at University this evening, we agreed we would try to be back at the hotel by 6:45 PM.

But we definitely wanted to do the Mountain Runaway Mine Train again.

We were really lucky and got on the front row. This was certainly the best position to be in with a clear view of what happens. It really is an excellent ride. Even though the queue time said 15 minutes, it took eight minutes to get onto the ride and we were in fact off within 15 minutes. We still had time so decided to redo it. This time we were at the back. The front is definitely the best place to be.

O wanted to finish with Hyperspace Mountain, so we rode it for the sixth time of the day. We asked to be at the back. It was another great ride and a fabulous way to end the day. We had managed 23 rides in seven hours. This is how to do Disney!

Main street was a little busier.

And the crane definitely spoiled the view of the castle.

We went into the shop and O picked up the T-shirt he had seen and also a present for his friend back in France for her birthday next month. The queue to pay took ages. However we were still on time.

It had been a great day. However, one day is certainly enough especially when there are so few crowds.

Having said that, we didn't watch the parade or do any of the shows. We do have to leave something for next time!

The journey back was the same, just in reverse. We were back near the hotel by 6:45 PM - on time

As a wanted to go back to study, we decided to go to Pizza Express again. We knew what we wanted so ordered as soon as we sat down. We didn't even look at the menu.

The food came within 10 minutes and we had finished and paid within 20 minutes of arriving in the restaurant. Certainly was fast food tonight. O came back to the room to get his things and then we walk down together to the entrance of the metro station.

It had been a smashing day together full of new memories and old.

I was on my own today as O had a busy university day and had slept in his dorm as his first class was at 9 am

The weather looked promising - the sky was at least blue!

I again had a stir fry breakfast! With a liberal sprinkling of coriander. It was very tasty.

My plan for the day was to head to Sha Tin which is to the north of where O am staying. This involved three trains - from Tseung Kwan O to Tiu Keng Leng, then changing onto the Kwun Tong line to Kowloon Tong and then another change onto the East Rail line to Sha Tin.

It sounds long and complicated but it wasn't at all.

My plan was first of all to visit the Ten Thousand Buddha Temple and then go to Ikea as O needed some more bedding.

Finding the temple was not easy. I knew it was behind Ikea as O had told me but there was no signage at all and as I have no data on my phone and it won't connect to public wifi I was struggling. I asked in the mall and they gave me a map and directions but I think they got their left and right mixed up as I ended up in this cemetery. Yes I went to virtually the top where you can see the tower before I realised this was not where I needed to be!

At last a sign! By this stage it was an hour since I had arrived! And I had an uphill climb to do.

At last a buddha - only 9,999 to go!

In some respects the temple and the surrounding parts were very simple - though with a fabulous view.

Built in 1957 there are in fact over 13,000 buddhas.

Most of them are really small Buddha's house in the main temple.

You can just make them out at the very rear of the temple in near rows.

There is also a pergola in the center of the main section of the area.

And as usual lots of incense burning.

There is more climbing to be done. Some sections though were closed off due to renovations.

There is also a shop where I bought some blessed charms for F and J! They were actually very reasonable at HK$20 each.

I sat down and just relaxed for a while - there were not very many people around - a combination of it being of the beaten track, to a very steep hill and there being less tourists anyway due to the current issues in Hong Kong.

I realised that I had in fact come to the back routes as the path down was completely different.

This path of over 420 steps (at least downwards for me this time! ) has buddhas all the way down.

Each one was different - they were really impressive!

I needed lunch and I thought the mall attached to the train station would be the best bet. It wasn't! It was one of those malls where there were no maps, the elevators were all offset so it was impossible to go easily from one level to the next and I struggled to find anything edible! Though I did see Snoopy world - a bit random and not looking particularly busy!

I decided to head off to Ikea as a better option. It was...

I had a veggie hotdog for the princely sum of HK$7 - less than a euro! I certainly needed it.

I managed to get what O wanted - a quilt, a quilt cover and a sheet. The cover was reduced (he said he didn't care about the colour -thankfully it was blue! )

Caffeine has been low today so I grabbed a cappuccino from the Starbucks in the complex and sat and read for a while.

I got the three trains back to the hotel arriving at about 4pm. I sent a photo of the haul to O.

A rest was needed after all that climbing.

At about 6 pm I had a wander around the local mall. I knew O wouldn't be coming back until about 9pm as he had a 90 minute midterm exam at 7.30pm.

There are bakeries everywhere - lots of bread products and some very pretty cakes - no ideas how nice they are and whether they actually live up to their appearance.

I met O off the train at 9 pm and we went straight to the Spaghetti House which had been recommended to O by one of his friends. We thought there would be lots of pasta options but there wasn't - and what there was was meat based.

We had onion rings to start.

I had crab cakes.

And O had fish and chips.

We decided we preferred Pizza Express! It came to about the same -HK$309

We came back to the hotel. O spent an hour writing up his notes and revising his chinese for his listening exam on Thursday. By 10.30pm we were ready to sleep!

O had again set his alarm for 7.10am as he wanted to get back to study. Plus he had a class at 12.

We both had showers and headed down to breakfast. O had pastries followed by egg and hash browns. I went for the local version. Tomato rice and noodles with a healthy sprinkling of coriander - my favourite herb. This was washed down with a cappuccino.

We came back to the room, O got his stuff together and left. He sent me a WhatsApp 20 minutes later to say he had safely arrived!

My destination today was Sai Kung - a coastal town to the north. I caught the bus from the bus station next to the hotel. For the princely sum of HK$7.20/less than a euro I got taken via O's university to the town in about 40 minutes.

Having got off the bus, my first view was of a small temple.

As with all these temples there was an incense smell in the air.

I made my way toward the sea but was drawn into the local market. There was lots of fish.

And behind the market, over the bike racks were some filleted fish air drying. Later in the day they had gone!

I arrived at the sea front and wandered around in one direction.

More air drying fish! I am surprised the birds don't attack the fish

There were a lot of fishing boats of all sizes.

And great views out to the islands beyond. Apparently it is a popular weekend spot for the locals.

There were a lot of restaurants on the sea front - and even at 10.45am they were busy.

I walked to the end of the pier where there were quite a few people fishing. I sat on a bench and enjoyed just taking surroundings.

Looking back at the town, it has to be said that it isn't the prettiest - lots of concrete monstrosities!

I took a walk along the coastal path to the nearest beach. There are some spectacular beaches but they are a bus ride/hike away and on my own I didn't really fancy getting lost!

It really is a world away from the high rise city - and very peaceful.

I passed a BBQ restaurant with its own Peppa Pig family...

I was now quite peckish so I found a restaurant that has a menu I could understand!

I had a salad to start with!

Followed by a fish burger and fries. The fish was a bit undercooked for me so I ate the edge pieces!

With a coke it was HK$98/about 12 euros.

Upon leaving the restaurant, it started raining - lightly at first and then more strongly. I decided it was probably a good time to go back!

The first bus I saw was a green mini bus to Po Lam. I knew this was two stops from my MTR stop so decided to chance it.

It called at O's university again (a shame that I can't access any public wifi except the hotel one so I couldn't contact O to see if he fancied a coffee! ) and then went around the houses to get to the terminus.

There was an other market there which I wandered around. One of my strongest memories from my trip to Hong Kong in 2013 was the smell of roasting meet at a place hotel - it was grim.

The market has some word and wonderful things on offer. Here brain and what looked like the scalp of an animal.

Pig trotters - my nanna would have been in her element!

My favourite roasted birds..

And I have no idea - tripe to the right?

And shops selling popular Chinese delicacies!

I caught the train back to the hotel - it had stopped raining but was still very overcast. However it was still warm.

I had a long rest after all my walking.

At about 7.30 pm I made my way down to the mall. It has to be said that they are so very confusing as one mall seamlessly goes into the next and trying to find something you saw before is virtually impossible!

I took a different turning and came to more restaurants - one is a possibility with O!

I wasnít too hungry so just got a cinnamon danish from one of the many bakeries. It wasn't great - a bit too dry and not enough cinnamon.

I had a quiet evening - ready for another heavy walking day tomorrow!

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Eat and Play Card
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Melbatb's DIBB Photo Blogs
Hong Kong 2019 - Day 10 Botanical Gardens and Going Home
Hong Kong 2019 - Day 9 Big Buddha
Hong Kong 2019 - Day 8 Chi Lin Nunnery and a Bike Ride
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Hong Kong 2019 - Day 6 Disneyland
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Hong Kong 2019 - Day 3, University Markets and a Temple
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