Hong Kong Island
This was Anne's and my second visit to Hong Kong, and we looked forward to again being in such a wonderful city. I can recall the first time we visited Hong Kong in 1984. 1984 was a wonderful year for the frequent travel programs. During 1983 all of the travel related businesses were getting on board and joining the airline's frequent travel programs. During that single year I earned enough frequent travel awards to: Get two free tickets anywhere on TWA courtesy of Avis Car Rental, get 6 free tickets on American Airlines, and two free tickets on Pan Am and a week at any Holiday Inn hotel worldwide courtesy of Holiday Inn.

For our two free tickets on TWA I brought home a TWA Getaway Tours brochure and told Anne to take a look and pick something. I figured she'd pick a trip Europe and be done with it. Boy was I surprised. She picked a combination land and sea cruise of the Aegean. We boarded the boat in Athens and made a stop in Rhodes and Alexandria, Egypt. Leaving Alexandria we sailed to Port Said, Egypt where we disembarked for a week's stay in Egypt. While in Egypt we visited Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. Following our week in Egypt we rejoined the cruise ship and made stops in Israel, Turkey and another Greek Island, Patmos, before returning to Athens. On our way home we stopped for a few days in Rome. That was our May, 1984 trip.

To use the free air tickets on American we decided to take the whole family to Hawaii. Anne and I, Jeannette, our daughter, and my Mother for two weeks in the Sun of paradise. On the way home we stopped in San Francisco for a few days where we were joined by my father. That was our September, 1984 trip.

For our final trip, the free air on Pan Am and week in any Holiday Inn hotel I picked Hong Kong. I can remember it now. Anne was not happy about going to Hong Kong. She thought is was to far to go for just a week and, in some ways, she wasn't wrong. Reluctantly she got into the program and by the time the trip materialized in November she was looking forward to going. She absolutely loved the city! So, when this second trip came up she was not at all hesitant about going back to Hong Kong. She looked forward to it eagerly and with much excitement. This time we would be joined by our friends Ken and Darla which would make it all that much more fun for everyone.
Hong Kong is truly a magical city for the tourists with much to see and do. Just walking around the city and enjoying its many sights is a pleasure. There is one thing you must be careful of though ... the traffic coming from the wrong direction. Being an English territory they drive on the wrong side of the road (as seen from an American's perspective) and it takes some getting used to. Another thing that might have made someone worry a bit was the approach to Hong Kong's Kai Tak Airport (now closed). It was not for the faint of heart. During the final approach to land you were literally flying between buildings on both sides of the plane that were higher than the plane was. Not an airport with much room for errors on approach at all. It was, tough, exciting and made even more exciting by our knowing what lay in store when we landed.

Visiting Hong Kong there are three major areas to consider: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

Look Left When Crossing!
Hong Kong Island is the centerpiece of Hong Kong and contains some of the world's most valuable property. It is a modern city of skyscrapers and concrete that is always bustling with activity.

Anne checking out "things to do and see"
in Hong Kong
Anne and I arrived before Ken and Darla giving us most of the day to ourselves before they arrived. We decided to visit one of our favorite spots from our previous trip to Hong Kong ... Victoria Peak. The Chinese name for Victoria Peak is "Tai Ping Shan," which means Mountain of Great Peace. It is better known, however, as a mountain of wonderful views from its 1,805 foot vantage point.

Anne by the
Peak Tram Fountain

A view of Hong Kong Island with Kowloon in
the distance taken from the tram.

The Peak Tram
approaching the station.

Hong Kong harbor separates Hong Kong Island from
Kowloon. It is one of the busiest harbors in the world.

A Ming Lion overlooking
Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

Anne with Hong Kong background
Arriving at the top of Victoria Peak there are some dramatic views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon in the distance. Having enjoyed the views of the city Anne and I then proceeded to follow the walk around Victoria Peak. It is a pretty walk that goes completely around the summit and deposits you back at the tram station. From the walk you will have various views of Hong Kong Island and the harbor, and there are numerous playgrounds throughout the park where you can watch the children running and playing. Suggestion: Anne and I usually bring several bags of balloons with us to give the children. They don't take a lot of room in the suitcase and they aren't heavy. The reward you will get from watching the children's faces light up is wonderful.

Yours truly standing by
one of the observation areas

Yours truly by a trickling
waterfall on Victoria Peak

Anne reverting to her
childhood days climbing trees
Anne (left) yelling "I'm stuck up a tree and can't get down ... help me!" No matter where you go or what you do one of the greatest pleasures in life is watching the children. Whether they're the big or little variety makes no difference. The little girl (right) has just received a balloon from Anne and is delighted with her new possession. The expression on her face proves indeed that we are "one world and one people."
By the time we had completed our walk around Victoria Peak, about an hour, lunch time had arrived. We stopped at the Victoria Peak Cafe for a light snack. The cafe was new since our last visit in '84 and much improved in terms of food quality from what was there before. However, the previous cafe had a nicer menu with a panoramic view of Hong Kong taken at night which Anne and I brought home and framed. We have this habit of liberating menus and using them as home decorations. The current menu wasn't even a temptation. But it was nice to sit back and enjoy our lunch in the open courtyard to the restaurant.
The true magic of Hong Kong can only be felt by riding the Star Ferry across Hong Kong Harbor
between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. To ride it transports you back to the "World of Suzy Wong."
Leaving Victoria Peak we headed to the Star Ferry for the ride across Hong Kong Harbor to Kowloon. For some reason the Star Ferry in Hong Kong is one of those things that, for me, is absolutely magical. It's a wonderful experience, one of those mystical experiences that, for some reason, does something to you. Perhaps it's the magic created from the movie "Susie Wong," or maybe it's just the realization that you are in such a wonderful and exotic place as Hong Kong.
Join us on the next page to enjoy the magic of Hong Kong by night and discover the New Territories, the land between Kowloon and Mainland China ...
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Singapore -- Orchard Road | Chinatown | Merlion Park | Arab Town and Indian District | Tang Dynasty City | Singapore Zoo | Mandai Orchid Garden | Sentosa Island
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