After 17 days in Thailand we were ready to start our next year-long adventure: moving to Hong Kong to teach English. We gave ourselves 3 weeks to settle in and explore Hong Kong as much as we could before we started working, timing it so we could arrive on their new year’s eve to join in celebrations!
On the first evening of Chinese new year we got the bus to Tsim Sha Tsui to watch the new year’s parade. The pavements were crowded which created a great atmosphere and the parade itself was pretty impressive. There were floats and entertainers from all over the world including Italian flag throwers, cheerleaders from the USA and disney characters from the Hong kong disneyland resort. There was also an abundance of lion dancers, with the lion costumes looking incredibly real, you couldn’t help but step back when they approached you.
On the second evening we made our way to Victoria Harbour to watch the new year’s fireworks, a spectacular show with a backdrop of skyscrapers to add to the display.
The next day we were taken to Sha Tin racecourse with some of George’s family friends. Horse racing in Hong Kong is a very big deal, unlike in the UK when most people attend either to dress up or get battered (or both). It was a great experience watching the races and soaking up the atmosphere, although we weren’t tempted to try our luck! The landscape has got to be one of the most impressive things about Hong Kong. One minute you’re watching fireworks over skyscrapers, the next you’re watching horse racing surrounded by mountains.
After the horse racing we were taken to try out some local cuisine in a traditional restaurant. We tried everything from pork buns, leek pancake, spring rolls and sweet bread accompanied with a LOT of Chinese tea! I concluded that I needed a little more practise with the chopsticks.
Our first 3 days gave us just a small idea of what a friendly, lively and vibrant city Hong Kong is. Bring on the next year!