Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Trip to Hong Kong and China

Early in the year, we were visited with happy news that our friends Julio and Camila would be visiting Asia for Julio's graduate program. Because of this, we decided to also visit China while they would be there, as their passports didn't allow them to come to Taiwan from China.

In order to get visas for China, we had to go to Hong Kong (There's no place for a US citizen to apply in Taiwan) or we had to ship our passports all the way to the US. Since my sister's wedding was coming up, we didn't want to risk being without our passports for that long, and maybe even lose them. Plus, that meant we could go to Hong Kong!

So mid-March we took a 4 day weekend and went to Hong Kong. Here are some pictures of our trip!

At a restaurant called Ho Lee Fuk (Yes, really)

We had a marshmallow, chocolate ice cream, brownie and popcorn with caramel dessert. I remember it was good, but the popcorn was a bit out of place.

On the ferry to Hong Kong Island

We took a two hour Double Decker bus tour of Hong Kong Island. It was nice, but the tour was through headphones, so not as cool as it could have been. 

In front of a temple

We went to some gardens, here is Jon, waaaay ahead of me as always.

Hong Kong behind us

This is the Buddhist version of Jesus Christ Super Star... we think? 

Jon got hot CocoCola with Lemon. It was amazing! We ate at this little Chinese fusion place that was one of the oldest in HK. Really neat little place, and we enjoyed eating there.

At the night market we saw some interesting magnets.

And purses...

At the temple

This temple we went to was kind of in the middle of nowhere. We had to take an hour bus ride to get there. The skyrail was closed.

Another view of the temple

The highlight is that big Buddha sitting at the top of those stairs

A little closer haha

And looking down from the top!

The important thing about our trip is that we got our visas for China! A few weeks later in the beginning of April, we boarded our plane in Taiwan and set out to meet our friends and spend another 4 day weekend in Beijing!

Goodbye Taiwan!

On the plane

First view of Beijing. We took the train in from the airport.

About to eat some Beijing Duck!

Beijing Opera

At the Pearl Market, you could see the Temple of Heaven and surrounding park area.

The park around the Temple of Heaven

Really cliche, but this is what I think about when I think of China. Blossoms! haha

There it is! Temple of Heaven 

We went to this little place for breakfast, right by the exit from the subway. Everything was delicious, but especially this brownie! I think the place was called Grandma's Kitchen.

Baibai at the temple

We had a butter Thai tea at this place we walked by. Just to take a little rest.

Mr. Shi's Dumplings!

I liked this guy's shirt!

Temple Bar Restaurant - We had dinner here twice because it was so amazingly good. And the service was impeccable. We were late for our reservation (like a good half hour late) and THEY apologized that they didn't have a table, and that we had to wait, and then that we were in the corner. We got all kinds of free stuff. It was great!

Us and some of our dishes. This place was really cool. It was built inside of an old temple.

FREE desserts!

Finally, we met up with Camila and Julio. This is on our tour, just outside of the Forbidden City.

And inside the Forbidden City

As we left the forbidden city we could see Jingshan park.

At the top of the hill in Jingshan park, you can see the whole sprawling area of the Forbidden City. 

Admiring the view

A Hutong is an alley in China. We took a tour of some Hutong areas on a rickshaw.

Here we are on the rickshaw

In the hutongs

We went into someone's house in the hutongs and she played the zither for us

Her daughter doing homework

Market in Beijing

Our hotel was in the hutongs. I took this picture walking to Camila and Julio's hotel for our tour.

On this day we went to the Summer Palace. It was absolutely beautiful.

This lady is writing calligraphy in traditional characters. Our tour guide thought it was cool that Jon could read them. She couldn't because in China they read simplified characters.

A little girl trying to write with the brush

View through a window

Admiring a picture

I was trying to take a picture of me and Jon with the blossoms but he basically ruined it. And by ruining it made it better. haha

Julio - master of the selfie

We took a chairlift up to the great wall

It was the scariest thing. In this picture, you can see the metal slide you take down from the top. We got to slide down in a toboggan. It was awesome!

On the ride up!

Camila and Julio and a good picture of the slide


Just breathtaking!

It really was incredible

I took this picture coming down some stairs. They were really steep!

Camila and I just waiting for the boys

The next day I took a plane back to Taiwan and the others went on to Shanghai. Hopefully I can go back to China someday and see some more places.