Yesterday, we flew to Hong Kong.
The flight took 10 hours
from Copenhagen (our stop-over from Amsterdam), and it took us over
Ulaanbaatar and Beijing. We saw the Great Wall from a height
of 30,000 feet. We arrived on Sunday morning. We had to get a transit
visa for Li-Xia allowing her to stay at most 7 days in Hong Kong.
Showing our international marriage certificate paper did the job.
The weather was moderate hot, and quite a change from what we had
when we left from the Netherlands. I even regretted that I had not
brought any shorts.
We were picked up from the airport by
Dr. Mabel Yang, a very
good friend of Li-Xia, who we according to Chinese customs always call
Aunt Mabel. She is the one who gave Li-Xia's her wedding dress as a present.
The first thing we did, was going to church. After church we had lunch
in a typical Chinese restaurant, where they tow around carts with
freshly made dishes. You buy the dishes directly from the people
towing the carts.
We saw several wedding processions, as it was the 10th of the 10th.
Chinese find numbers important. Nobody will marry on an odd date,
and 10 is a very blessed number, which explained a lot.
After lunch we immediately start to do some shopping, adding to
the load of presents we already carried with us for all our friends,
relatives, and family members, which we were going to meet in China.
Later during the afternoon we returned to the home of Aunt Mabel,
where we will stay for our time in Hong Kong. Her apartment is located
just south of the most west tip of Hong Kong Island,
looking out over the sea. We had a nap,
and took showers after we woke-up again. I still remember sitting
on the balcony, shortly after sunset, watching the various kinds
of ships cross the sea, a hearing someone playing the piano in some
other apartment downstairs.
Monday, October 11, 1993: Second day in Hong Kong
On our second day in Hong Kong we first went to the bank to
collect the money that Li-Xia still had on her account.
Next we went to the Chinese travel agency to book our train
tickets to Guan Zhou (Canton). We booked them for the
The rest of the morning we have been shopping in small streets.
We had our lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken. In the afternoon
we visited one of the many gold shops there are, to buy some
gifts. And we did some more shopping. Shortly after we came
home, I saw the sun set over Chek Lap Kok Island.
We were invited by the brother of Aunt Mabel for a dinner in the
American Restaurant, where we had:
- sea slugs with crispy-rice
- stewed slice fish with wine sauce
- roast spring chicken
- pea shouts
- barbecued Peking Duck
- duck soup
Tuesday, October 12, 1993: Third day in Hong Kong
We decided to do some sightseeing today. We took the Peak Tram to The Peak
and walked around there. We same some huge butterflies, and mailed a post
card to my parents. We took the Peak Tram down, and we took the free shuttle
bus to the Star Ferries. We crossed the bay with the ferry and arrived
in Kowloon, where we had lunch at a McDonalds restaurant.
We went to the `Chinese International Travel Service H.K. LTD." to refund
the ticket that Li-Xia never used to return to Hong Kong when she went
to a conference in the United States. It took them some time to find
the papers, but the ticket was finally refunded.
We walked back to the concert hall and watched the ships cross the
bay with the sky-line of Hong Kong Island in the background. Then we took
the Star Ferries back to Hong Kong Island, where we looked around some
shops until it got dark. We had a dinner in a restaurant in a basement
that Li-Xia often used to visit. Then we looked around some more shops
without finding anything interesting.
Today, we went to the Computer Science
department of Hong Kong University, where Li-Xia worked for one
year to visit some
I took a picture of Li-Xia
before one of the buildings.
We also had a small lunch there. In the afternoon we went shopping again,
and we exchanged some money, which was a rather risky undertaking.
In the evening Dr. Mabel had organized a kind of wedding party
for us. Besides Pastor Juan, of the church that Li-Xia attended
when she lived in Hong-Kong, and Mrs. Chen, a good friend of
Li-Xia, she had also invited some students from main land China.
She had ordered a huge amounth of dishes from the university cafeteria.
After the dinner we shared something about how we became Christians, and
how we met. After Pastor Juan had prayer for blessing over our marriage,
we cut a wedding cake
with our names. And we also had some watermelon.
Thursday, October 14, 1993: Transfer to Guang Zhou, first day in China
In the morning we did some last shoppings. We took the light bus till the
end, which took almost one hour.
In the afternoon we took the train from Hong Kong to Guang Zhou (Canton).
Getting on the train was almost like boarding a plane. First our passports
were checked, then our tickets, and then again our passports.
The train left at 18:10 according schedule. It was quite cold in the train
because of the airconditioning running at full speed. We ordered some simple
meal for HK$ 30, which was rather expensive.
After nine we arrived in Guang Zhou. While standing on the platform,
nobody seemed to know what they should do. After some waiting we came
through nicely. Nobody even glanced at our suitcases.
Outside the station taxi-drivers asked very high proces. One lady thought she
could ask us HK$ 100. When we refused she almost became angry. At last
we found someone who only asked ¥30, which is still far above the
regular fare, and his "taxi" even didn't look like an official taxi.
The traffic is even more chaotic then in Honk Kong. There are many bikes
and moter-bikes all sharing the same road. I really had to laugh
when we came at a large round about and the drive took a short-cut
by driving agains the normal direction. Because the hotel was on the
otherside of the road we had to make a full turn.
We stayed at the hotel Bai Yun and had to pay HK$ 640 just for a single
night. Yes, they wanted us to pay in Hong Kong Dollar while this is
really the Peoples Republic of China.
(Continue with Part 2)