12 April 2011
Last evening we took a boat cruise along the waterway of Guilin. The city has built bridges over the lakes and rivers copying other world famous bridges – like the Golden Gate Bridge and even one that has the Arc de Triumph. There is a fisherman on a bamboo long boat using oil lamps and fishing with his trained cormorant birds the way things are still done along the Li River villages.

On the way to the airport we stop at Reed Flute Cave – a large cave system all lit up with colored lights. The main cavern is huge. After arriving in Hong Kong, we take in the light show across the harbour admiring the HK skyline.

13 April 2011
Busy day over on HK Island. We take a tram ride up Victoria Peak for scenic views, being thankful we did not have to walk up the steep slopes. Then onto Aberdeen Fishing Village where we see hundreds of huge yachts and the famous Jumbo floating restaurant. Then shopping at Stanley Market and the Sheung Wan area. Back across the harbor to our hotel in Kowloon on the mainland. We take the Star Ferry back which is much less impressive than the Staten Island Ferry in New York.

14 April 2011
There are no bikes or motor scooters in HK, but every day we see very expensive cars – Two Ferraris today, yesterday a very expensive Porsch (so says Guy), as well as a Lamborghini. Everyone seems to drive a BMW or a Mercedes – lots of money in HK. Today we visit Lantau Island via bus up and down steep winding mountain roads with hairpin turns. Our destination is the Po Lin monastery and beautiful temple which also includes a giant bronze Buddha. Buddha sits on a bronze lotus leaf atop a huge staircase. The Buddha is 72 feet high and massive. Also on the island we bus over to Tai O fishing village. Here the houses are rickety structures built on stilts. All manner of seafood can be purchased including live lobster, eel, and octopus. We also take a boat cruise out to look for dolphins. The driver points out something between two rocks that is supposed to be a dophin, but it was really difficult to pick out. As we are close to Disneyland, we take the subway over to get pictures outside the gates. No need to go in, as I was just there in October.

15 April 2011
We spend the morning in beautiful Nan Lian Garden – full of bonsai trees big and small, a golden pagoda, koi ponds and waterfalls. It is very serene, but nestled in amongst skyscrapers all around – much like Central Park in NY. Beside the garden, is the Chi Lin nunnery with magnificent crafted timber structures, all put together without any nails. The buildings contain ornate golden Buddha figures and many visitors are about burning incense and praying.

We round out the day in the Mong Kok shopping area, where there is a whole street dedicated to flower sales, one street for birds, and one selling aquarium fish.

16 April 2011
Return to Victoria via Seoul and Vancouver.

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