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Hong KongOccupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.

(This information is taken from the CIA The World Factbook)

Cinnamon Toast and Tea
Submitted by bugsly on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 15:38 Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hong Kong | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Walk

It's great to be back in a familiar place. We are staying at the same hotel (The HW Mariott) as the last time we were in Hong Kong. There is a typhoon warning so they are taking down the flags and closing the pool. It's really windy.

We had dinner at a restaurant called yè shanghai and it was delicious. Our friend Walter in Santa Cruz suggested we go there.

We are packing for our journey to Japan tomorrow.


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Bye-Bye Bejing
Submitted by bugsly on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 22:19 Car | China | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hong Kong | Train | Walk

Today we woke up at four thirty in the morning (yawn) and set out to board our seven thirty flight. Cmoe Qiu picked us up right on the dot as usual and we were off. We arrived at the airport said goodbye and scurried off to catch our flight in time. There were already people getting off of flights even though it was only five thirty! Our flight prepared for take off as scheduled and we quickly downed our blueberry muffins and drinks from Starbucks. As we landed in Hong Kong airport we once again entered the crowded yet clean and organized hubbub. As we were going through passport control we even had these men with a TV camera come up to us and ask us if we would smile for the camera because they were making a “Corporate Video” I think I will type “Going through passport control with the Levy’s” into Google and see if we are universal movie stars! Afterwards we grabbed our bags (the only ones left on the carousel) and sped through customs. Eventually, we finished with all that airport stuff and moseyed on to the train platform that will take you to the center of Hong Kong. After a fast thirty minute ride we were out of the airport and into a taxi and on our way back to the JW Marriott. Finally, we were back in a hotel room swimming, napping, and lazing about!


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Kowloon and on to Beijing!
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 23:24 Boat | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hong Kong | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Tea | Train | Walk

Thursday we visited a travel agent that helped us with our Japan Rail Pass. Then we took the MTR to Kowloon on the other side of Victoria Harbour. Kowloon was full of electronics shops. My Dad was in heaven. We went to a small jade shop that we walked by and I picked out a pair of earrings. The woman that helped us assured us that it was good quality jade and that the price was fair.

We then looked for a place to eat and on the way we went through the wedding dress district and saw lots of exotic looks for brides in the windows. After lunch we headed for the Star Ferry to take us back across the harbour.

We stopped by the travel agent on our way back to the hotel and picked up our passes. We had sushi for dinner at the California Sushi Restaurant.

Friday morning we packed for Beijing and said goodbye to Hong Kong for now.


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Victoria Peak on a Clear Day
Submitted by bugsly on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 23:35 Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hong Kong | Physical and Health Education | Tea

Today we woke up to wonderful, clear skies and headed out for the Tram to Victoria Peak. On our way, we walked through Hong Kong Park where we went up stairs for almost the entire time. In the end it paid off. When we got to the station, we bought our tickets and waited for the next Tram to arrive.

We rode the Tram, which has been in operation for more than 100 years, all the way to the top of the mountain. When we arrived at the top, the view was amazing. We could see all of the way across Victoria Harbour and the skyline of Hong Kong, Kowloon and beyond. It was special to have such a clear day and to be able to see so far (according to my Dad).

We had lunch there and then headed back down the mountain. Hong Kong is the home to the worlds longest pedestrian escalator. So, we took a taxi to ride it. My Dad suggested that we start at the top and go downward towards the markets. So the taxi driver dropped us off and we immediately discovered that the escalator was running up the hill as you would expect. So, we walked down, next to the escalator, an extremely long flight of stairs that covered more than 40 or 50 city blocks.

After that we found an antique store to explore and then my Dad and I headed to the outdoor market nearby and I bought presumably fake Paul Frank watches for my Mom and me ($2 each!).

It was a fun day! Hong Kong is a bustling, yet organized city.


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Phuket - Bangkok - Hong Kong at last!
Submitted by bugsly on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 23:45 Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hong Kong | Physical and Health Education | Tea | Thailand | Walk

We woke up this morning and took a shuttle bus to Phuket International Airport. We got our flight to Bangkok and one hour later we landed. We got off of the Thai Airline airplane and got on to a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong.

Two and a half hours later, we landed in Hong Kong. Now we are back on track with our original travel plans. The drive into the city from the airport was spectacular. There were high rise apartment buildings like I have never seen before. The bank buildings were lit up in lots of interesting ways. Also there was a really long bridge that was equally amazing.

We got to our hotel, the JW Marriott, and checked out the mall that it is connected to (Pacific Place). We had dinner at a restaurant in the mall, but you have to understand that this is a super-fancy mall. It was a nice restaurant.

We were tired from our long day so we went right to bed after dinner.


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