Saturday, February 16, 2013

CNY holidays

Chinese New Year here is like Christmas. No one wants to work. Everyone was in super holiday mood on Thursday and people started leaving at around 3-4pm. And today, Saturday, all the drillers are on holiday so there is not much going on at site. A lot of people are on vacation so it feels like you can't get much done anyway.

On Wednesday, I met up with a friend to go on a hike. We were trying invite another friend to come along but apparently she had also planned a hike on Lantau Island. But her hike was more strenuous than what we had in mind. The trail that we looked at was a good length but didn't have very much uphill or anything challenging. The most challenging part was where to get off the bus. The buses on Lantau Island are more like long distance coaches. They don't announce the stops like the regular buses elsewhere. So of course we got off too early. Luckily, the bit that we added was very easy, mostly concrete paths so that was a nice warm up.

We hit the uphill part at one point and there were good views of the harbor. I am definitely in better physical shape than before going to site. I didn't find the uphill part very challenging at all. We snacked at the top before going down. The good thing about hiking in HK is that not only is it super convenient to get to the trails, you can also stock up on food before you start. There are always supermarkets around. We got some muffins, sugary drinks, and Snickers bars before heading out. I think we hiked for a good 4 hours before reaching our destination of Tai O, a fishing village on Lantau Island.

I had actually chose the trail specifically because it ends in Tai O. I had never been there before and have been meaning to go. I like seeing the sea. The waterfront at Tai O is filled with little shops selling all kinds of snacks. You can also get a small boat out to see pink dolphins. Some friends of mine who came to visit said that they saw some on these boats! Anyway, we were not so interested in these dolphins and went in search of food. This particular friend really likes to eat so we had toufu fa and 2 different pancake-like snacks. I was full by the end of it. We waited around to watch the sunset at the beach. Typical of these close-to-equator places, the sun sets straight down and is very quick. It disappeared off the horizon in a matter of minutes. There was a patch of clouds at the sea-sky horizon though.

The line for the bus back to town was super long. I think we waited 30mins to an hour for a bus. And they had a lot of buses taking people back. It seems like is village is a popular destination, even for the locals. My friend had wanted to eat dinner back home but forgo that after seeing the line for the bus. So we went to a mall near Olympic and had dinner at the Simply Life. There is a Simply Life at the mall at our office. It had a small location and there was always a line for it. Then it moved to a much bigger location and we had all been anticipating its opening for months. But it is just too popular. There is always a line for it and reservations need to be made a month or two beforehand. So I still haven't been to the one at our office.

All in all, it was a fun day. I got slightly sunbrunt on my face and neck. Should really wear a hat to these hikes.

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