Friday 26 July 2013

What to do, what to do.....

The weather....well, what can I say that I haven't said a hundred times before? It's unpleasant at this time of year, let's leave it at that. Last Thursday we got back to the Big Lychee after 2 1/2 weeks away, mostly in the south of England. It was amazing - the weather was fantastic, the kind of weather you expect to see about 2 or 3 days a year in the UK. Somehow it lasted the whole time we were there, and the boys completely loved it. Everyone else is Getting the Frick Out, and we've just got back.

Last time we returned to HK after a long trip (last October) there were still a fair few of our oldest, bestest friends around, but this time - not so much. There has been a mass exodus to Singapore and Aus, so we are a bit marooned here currently, feeling like little lost orphans. I think that is part of why it felt so important and happy-making to see our families in the UK, and some of our best friends. It got me thinking that I would like to make our plans to visit the UK (and get visitors here) a bit more formal. I hadn't realised that we had somehow given the impression that we would only be coming back to the UK every two years, so Ross's parents were planning to come to HK every other year. To be honest, the reason that we didn't go back for two years had a lot to do with the expense, stress and logistical problems of taking two little people on a 13+ hour flight to London, then back again (and dealing with jet lag). It seemed to make a lot more sense for them to come to us at that time while the boys were little.

We've been here 5 years now (more on the pros and cons of the 7 year Permanent Resident status later!) and in that time, my parents have been over 3 times I think, Ross's parents twice, Ross's sister once and my brother about 5 times. Obviously, Hong Kong has to be THE top tourist destination in the universe, but there are only so many times you can see the Big Buddha. And don't get me started on bloomin' Ngong Ping.... The rellies have hunted down some of the less frequently visited sites, including Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill (I think this has recently made the shortlist to become a UNESCO world heritage site, even though it was built just 14 years ago). They loved the gardens and the peace a quiet, right in the middle of the soaring residential towers.

We also went to the Kadoorie Farm last time my brother was here, which is near Tai Po. It's an awesome escape from the city, with a few animals to see (mostly raptors and chickens) as well as beautfil semi-wild terraced gardens. Here's a tip for the pros - pushchairs are not ideally suited to the super-steep terrain! Also, if you get the minibus, you might like to get off at the first stop on the way up, because it gets very high very quickly after that. More pics of Kadoorie here.

What else? We visited the Race Course Fire Memorial with my brother a while ago - that's one of my favourite HK things. It's so hidden and unknown, I love it. Next time I want to go to the Produce Green Foundation, as recommended on Mochachocolata-Rita's blog. My mission is to prove that HK isn't all LV, bubble tea, red bean lollies and pollution.

My parents did a tour of the New Territories (or New Toiletries as my dad accidentally re-named it), but I think it was a bit disappointing. I have already written about how underwhelmed we were by the Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree on our first visit to the NT, several years ago, and I think that's pretty much the effect that the NT had on my parents.

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