Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thirty Years Ago

My mother went to the Peninsula Hotel for High Tea with my father thirty years ago on her first trip to Hong Kong. She told me about it as a child and described the hotel to me as a child. So on her trip she had a list of things that she did thirty years ago that she wanted to do again.
High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel with Mommy (before the incident)

The List Was As Follows
1. High Tea at the Peninsula
2. The Peak (especially the tram ride)
3. Ride a Red Sail Junk (She only got to see one last time.)

My mom was really interested in seeing how things had changed in HK in over thirty years. Her opinions were that she had never seen as many people in her life. This is from a woman who has traveled all over the world. Who has lived in LA, visited New York and Japan. So, I did not take this comment lightly. She was also surprised by how many hills are in Hong Kong. It is not a flat plane. I live in a hilly part of town (Sai Ying Pun) and we would have to walk up hill to reach my apartment. (She was dreading it, every day!!) I think we did a great job with our planning and the ammount of city we got to see in the time she was here. Unfortunately, my mother got sick while she was here and she was unable to see some of things I had originally intended on her seeing. If you plan on taking a sightseeing trip to HK with an older traveller it might be a good idea to put a buffer day into your trip. It really saved us as we used this buffer day to allow her to rest up when she got sick. (Also, you can always stop for a fresh lime soda which is the cure all for tummy related sickness!)

Junk is chinese for boat
We rode the red sail junk the first night my mom was here. I was determined to get her jet lag beaten. So I made her stay up for the festival of lights! The festival is the Guiness Book of Records holder for the longest running lazer/light show (in minutes). We road the aqualuna for 220 each we got a drink and got on board to watch the show. We got to ride the boat for about an hour which was a pretty good ride. We got to see both sides of the harbor and got to see highlights from Central, Sheung Wan, Wanchai, Causeway Bay, TST, and Kowloon City thanks to the light show. The harbor wasn't too rough but if you can't afford the boat ride you can watch the show for free from the harbor. The view is better from the TST side or you can ride the ferry across for 2HK while the show is running.

Mommy loved riding the red sail. By doing it she got to mark something off of her bucket list and I was more than happy to join her! It was a lovely ride ran by a lovely company!
Us ready to ride the boat!

We had a bit of mix up with our trip to the Peak but it turned out to be a happy accident. When I got in the taxi I asked for the peak. I totally left off the word tram. I realized part way there he was taking us to top of the peak. I asked if we could go back and the taxi driver started yelling at me. My mom and I were so scared of him!!! We said never mind and to keep going. It was my mistake and I said sorry but he was very rude for him to yell I feel. In the end the line to go UP the peak is VERY long and it would have been a very long wait so it was meant to be...

We got to the Peak Galleria which has a "free" viewing area which is just as high as the viewing area you have to pay for. You also get free view finders. SCORE! We used the view finders to look at the cool bamboo scaffolding on the buildings and accidentally found a lady sunbathing topless. From the giggles and gasps coming from the free view finders after us. I think everyone else was finding her also. (Note to self, if you have a rooftop pool in Central, do NOT sunbathe topless.) We then wandered down into the Peak Tram area where we watched the tram run up and down the track, checked out the view some more and hiked around the little paths for about half an hour. My mother also bought a spoon for her collection. Then we went down on the tram. The tram costs 28 bucks each way and a taxi for two people to the top is 40 dollars so actually a taxi is cheaper but the experience of the tram is something you cannot miss. It moves at a 90 degree angle!


Every day at 2pm the Peninsula Hotel in TST serves a traditional British tea. My mom has been telling me about this tea since I was a little girl so ever since I moved to Hong Kong three years ago she has been wanting me to go. I didn't want to go without her so I have been waiting to do this with her. It is a very fancy place. It is the only place in HK with a dress code still. You cannot wear flip flops or beach shoes, men cannot wear sleeveless shirts and after 5pm: men must be in formal trousers. It is a beautiful hotel and while you have tea a full string quartet and a random flute play for you. My friend Joni almost started dancing when The Little Mermaid started being played. You feel like a princess. The tea is NOT cheap though. You pay for the ambiance and the fine china ALL THE WAY. For four hundred dollars we got a full traditional English tea (food and all for two) and a refill of water in our silver plated tea pots. We also got little sorbets half way through and macaroons with the bill.
Fancy, right? I could hawk my tea pot and pay my electric bill!
Here's the deal though, my mother got sick at the Peninsula. She didn't puke on the oriental carpet but she got pretty close. I thought I was going to have to carry her out of there. I'm very lucky my friends were there to pay the bill and enjoy my macaroons. I'm sorry she couldn't enjoy it and very thankful for the wonderful bathroom maids who helped me take care of her. She was a hot mess but I'm glad she is feeling better. And I'm sorry she missed out on the one thing she really wanted to do. We got in a cab and we went home. Thanks friends!


  1. The thing I love the most, you labeled the post with 'mommy'.

  2. I label a lot of posts with mommy.