Jane's Travel Blog

New Chapter: Explore the World


The City of Hong Kong

Although Hong Kong has some of the best hiking we’ve done, the shiny skyscrapers and small local shops captivate as well.  The “Happiness Dispensary” still has me wondering.

I spend many days wandering through new neighborhoods soaking up the new and old of the culture. One minute I’m walking by designer-dressed business people and the next I’m watching a storekeeper sweep the sidewalk with a straw broom. This city seems to give energy instead of drawing it from me. I never get tired of it.   

Another contrast in this cosmopolitan city is that they still use bamboo scaffolding when constructing or repairing any building. It’s odd to see a 21st Century building wrapped in really old technology.  It was used to build the Great Wall. The upgrade–black zip ties instead of rope. I guess…why change what works well?

Bob travels on the Star Ferry to the YMCA for his workouts. He’s an “elder,” so it’s free. The government wants its elders to be out more, so they make it easy. The U.S. could learn something from Hong Kong when it comes to elders and transportation. (Ya gotta love the word “elder.” It oozes respect and wisdom.)

I’ve found a wonderful yoga studio. I always leave early so I can wind through the neighborhoods soaking up the energy of the streets.

We have a few days left in Hong Kong before we are off to Thailand, and plan to use every minute, hiking, exploring and visiting Kristin and the fam.  I could easily stay here another month. So enjoy a quick look at a bit of Hong Kong.

And have a Happy New Year! 


Hong Kong – First Week

Country # 10

Continent # 5

Chicago to Hong Kong

Our plane landed in Hong Kong 8pm, Nov 1st. That’s 6am Wisconsin time. Yep, a 14 hour time difference. The obvious question–“What’s it like to flip your internal clock?” The short answer, not easy. Those circadian rhythms hold tons of power.

We arrived at our apartment by 10pm and I was tucked in bed by midnight thinking I’ve got this. I’ll sleep through the night and be on Hong Kong time in the morning.


2:37am. My eyes pop open. I am awake, wide awake, outrageously productive awake. I pretend to sleep until 4 and finally get up and read the Washington Post.

Needless to say, I’m crabby as the day unfolds. This is when you know you’ve married the right guy. Bob loves me for better or for time zone change.

We grocery shop and adjust to our teeny tiny apartment. It’s the smallest and most expensive to date. However, it is the best shower ever. The proportion of shower to apartment is ridiculous. Seriously, the shower could be a small office. No complaints here. With my challenges adjusting to the time change, the rain shower is a small bonus.

A huge plus in traveling to Hong Kong right now is family. Our niece Kristin and her family are living here for three years. They’re just a short scenic ferry ride away in Discovery Bay.

So on day two, I jumped on the ferry to visit Kristin and the family. Discovery Bay….

A few day later Bob and I returned to Discovery Bay, and we all hiked to Tiger’s Head and then on down to Mui Wo for what turned out to be a five hour hike. As we climbed many stairs to reach the trailhead continuing up to Tiger’s Head, it became obvious we’d lost our Norway mountain hiking grit. We hiked a lot in the UK, but not in the steep mountains that keep you in tip-top shape.

A little humility and a day of sore muscles and I’m ready to tackle more of the many mountains of Hong Kong. Most people don’t think hiking when they think Hong Kong, but this city has some of the best hiking around.

On another note, I’m becoming quite confident when it comes to the markets. A little pantomime, a little pointing, and a friendly smile and I’ve purchased tasty fruits and veggies. The skills are building.

My circadian rhythms are starting to align and I’m looking forward to more time with family, a new yoga studio, a Chinese cooking class, and of course, more hiking.

Until later.