Note to self: passports and visas are tricky things. I have always had a British passport – my mother was born there – so I’ve pretty much never had any problems regarding visas. Until now. Well, until I tried to get into China, anyhow.
I’ve heard of a place, so wonderfully full of the most amazing shopping, just an hour outside of Hong Kong, visas available at the boarder: Shenzhen. And apparently this is all true, so we organized to go there and splurge, do all my travel shopping there, stock up on gifts forever, and exploit the prices. However, when I got there, I went through the boarder (i.e. left Hong Kong officially), but it turned out, (when I was in no-mans land) that one cannot simply purchase a Chinese visa when you did not leave your previous country on a British passport. So no Shenzhen shopping for me! :( We went all the way there, for nothing.
Apart from that little mishap, my trip to Hong Kong was really great. It was very much a family visit, and certainly not my first time there, so much of the tourist stuff was skipped (certain things are not worth seeing twice).
We did the classic Junk trip, went to a lovely little bay by Stanley Prison, but the water was freezing. It was the first day in a long time that the sky had actually cleared up (since before I got to HK), and the sun was shining, so I managed to squeeze in a tan before returning to the almost-winter South Africa. We sailed with Jaspa’s Junks, and their food was incredible! Best meat I have had, as far as I remember anyway. And, true to reputation, they kept their Ocean Breeze punch flowing all day – that stuff is amazing. And rather dangerous…
I love Hong Kong, and I love how different it is, there is such a rich culture, yet it still maintains Western characteristics that I need due to my city-girl limitations. Which makes staying on Lamma Island rather challenging: Lamma island is like a jungle, and you have to walk everywhere: there’s loads of insects and mosquitoes and frogs and snails and centipedes. It’s fantastically rustic yet still enough part of the first world that is Hong Kong.
I was in Hong Kong in time to see the Tin Hau festival, which was quite interesting, but, as it was on my last day, family was more important. The decorations were awesome to see, everything was so colourful and there was always something to look at.