Day 13: Hong Kong

Today we woke up to rain, rain, and and more rain.   And not just a wimpy sprinkling of rain here and there.  Luckily, we had a nice hotel room to relax in and watch some of Hong Kong’s elaborate drainage ditches deftly handle the runoff from the steep hillsides.  And when that got dull, we headed up to breakfast where we could see there was plenty more rain coming in from the east.

Rainy morning overlooking Tolo Harbor

With monsoon season in full effect (apparently), we planned accordingly and decided to visit the New Town Plaza mall in Sha Tin — two train stops south of the hotel.  One website told us this place was Hong Kong’s second biggest mall.   Based on the crowds, I have no reason to dispute that.

Hoardes of people at the mall, unsurprisingly

The place had all the trappings of your typical Asian mega mall, including many floors of brand name shops, a large food court, and an upscale grocery store on the first floor for Nicole.  Plus, there was even a “Snoopy’s World”, which reminded me of the good ‘ol days at the Mall of America.  Bummer that it was closed due to the rain.  Yep, it was still raining.

Only Charlie Brown seems to like the fact it won’t stop raining

Fun grocery stores

Asian engineering in action

After strolling around the mall for a couple hours, we decided we should not leave China without having at least one meal of dumplings.  Crystal Jade (an upscale chain restaurant we’ve eaten at before in Asia) is not as good as Yang’s Dumplings, but their pork dumplings (streamed and fried) were at least in the same league.

Last call for dumplings in Asia

Useful for after a trip to the mall with a billion people

After a quick trip on the MTR back to the Hyatt, we headed up for more drinks, snacks and newspapers in the Regency Club.   We didn’t sit by the same engineers/businessmen who yesterday had been discussing a brilliant plan to improve Coleman camping lanterns, but I kind of wish we had. I should have told them to relax because headlamps are way better for camping anyways.

Relaxing in the Regency Club

Later in the evening, I was willing to make the train trip downtown to get some photos of the city, but I wasn’t sure how the weather would cooperate.  Thanks to the wonders of late 90s technology, I found a couple webcams overlooking Victoria Harbor, and yeah, it was still raining.  So much for that plan.  Glad we saw the nighttime harbor in all of its neon splendor a couple years ago.

Wanted to make a quick visit to Victoria Harbor, but this webcam suggested I save my time

This nighttime harbor shot from the Hyatt will have to suffice!

So… With no great reason to venture out into the rain at 9PM, we stayed in and packed our bags for the flight to Chicago in the morning. I probably would have gone to sleep at a normal time if I hadn’t flipped across Hunt For Red October on the TV!

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