New Years 2018 in Hong Kong

“Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Hong Kong is one of my favourite places in the world. This is where I have shared some of the best memories with friends and loved ones, and perhaps where I've captured the most scenic photos too, yet it's also one of the least documented on the blog for some reason (along with Edinburgh). I've been wanting to post more photos at least, but then I also want to make this blog more than just another caption-less online photo album where "the pictures speak for themselves". I want to write a bit about each place and event, give it some context if you will. But then, how do I put all these moments into words? When there are so many memorable ones, that at the same time literally leave me speechless half of the time. But let's give it a try anyway.

As mentioned in my previous post, Hong Kong was my first stop in Asia this winter. That's my fifth time in Hong Kong since 2015, which is a pretty good indiction of how much I love it. This time was extra special because I traveled together with my family, something we've been wanting to do since I was little. My dad used to live in Hong Kong for five years way back when, and it's always been his dream to re-visit. It's so amazing that it finally came true. During our trip we went to a park in Sham Shui Po where he once had his photo taken when he was in his twenties, and I managed to get an "after-photo" of him at the exact same spot. It's a long (family hi)story, but it was a pretty special moment that words can't describe it and pictures don't do it justice. 

We spent altogether almost one week in Hong Kong including one day in Macau. We did a lot of city sightseeing and dining in both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (pictures from Hutong Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui), and on one of the days Rickie's family also took us out to the outskirts near the mainland borders where we could see Shenzhen city. I loved the local experience, and the opportunity to visit the Tsz Shan Monestry was definitely a highlight. This was a large Buddhist temple where we had to make an appointment two months in advance in order to enter, since there is a limited daily quota for the general public. I'm so glad Rickie's sister organised it all for us. The 76-meters tall Guanyin Buddha blessed us with a safe and happy journey for the rest of the trip.

We celebrated New Years Eve together as a family, as I have done 22 out of 23 years of my life (except for NYE 2016 in Shanghai). We joined the public countdown and watched the fireworks from the top of IFC. Later after midnight my sister and I went to TST with my best friend, Sammie, for an afterparty at Aqua club. It had the most amazing view of Victoria harbour. 

Towards the end of the week, Rickie and his family traveled to Sri Lanka while we continued our journey to Taiwan. I kind of wished I could join him since Sri Lanka is on my bucketlist, but we have so many more upcoming trips together in the future, while traveling with my parents only happens once in a while. I'm sure they appreciated my company, at least I hope! In the next two posts I'll share more from Macau and Taiwan. There are still many more countries to catch up on after that i.e.: Japan, Philippines and Thailand, and I also have more travels coming up in Europe in the next few weeks so fingers crossed for quicker updates.