Saturday, July 21 - Hong Kong We woke up and were out the door by 8 am today. We walked over to the Disneyland metro station, which is close to the park entrance. We purchased day passes and then hopped on the Disneyland subway line and took it one stop to Sunny Bay... ...where we transferred to the Tung Chung line and rode it to the end. Coming out of the station, we walked about 5 minutes over to the Ngong Ping cable car terminal. We arrived just before they opened at 9 am. We had pre-purchased tickets, and got into the appropriate queue. We had purchased tickets for the glass bottom cable car, so our wait was a bit longer than it was for folks on the normal cars (since there are more of those). But overall the wait was not bad. The trip across the mountains took a little less than half an hour, and was very scenic. It takes you up right beside the airport, and you have a great view of the planes taking off and landing. You can also see out to the South China Sea, and there is a hiking trail that crosses the island under the cable line where you see hikers and runners and the occasional waterfall too. Finally we could see the Big Buddha in the distance. We got off the cable car and were in Ngong Ping. It's full of little shops and restaurants, and was not yet too busy. We had pre-selected one place to get a bite to eat before going up to the Buddha, but it didn't open til 10 am. We found another place to get some quick dumplings and smoothies, and then set out to climb the 200-some-odd steps to the top. After the last couple of uphill hikes we'd done, climbing to the Buddha was a piece of cake. It was quite impressive to see close up. We had great weather with good visibility and admired the views down from the summit. After visiting the Buddha, we went back down to see the nearby monastery. After that, we browsed in several shops on our way back to the cable car terminal. I'm sure these were not the best prices Hong Kong had to offer, but the souvenirs we picked up were high quality. We rode the cable car back down the island, and were happy to get a car to ourselves on the return trip (we shared with two other parties on the way up). The line to go up was crazy long by the time we got down around 12:30 pm, which made us happy that we'd beat the rush. Next on the agenda, we took the train to Hong Kong station. Upon arriving, our first order of business was attempting to find one of the legendary Tim Ho Wan restaurants for lunch. We knew we were in the vicinity, but we got completely lost in the maze of subterranean corridors and escalators to multiple levels in the subway station. We found the spot on one of those 'you are here' directories, but could not for the life of us get there. By the time we made it, there was a huge line waiting to get into the restaurant. And we had to be at our next stop at 2:45 pm. Sadly, Tim Ho Wan got axed, and we ate a forgettable meal in the subway complex instead. At the appointed time we went to Statue Square to meet up with a tour guide from KKDay. The best deal we found on skip-the-line Victoria Peak tickets were part of a group tour. We figured that because we were going up mid-afternoon on a Saturday, it would be busy, and the skip-the-line premium would be worth it. We were right. We marched past hundreds of people with our tour group and were at the peak by 3:30 pm. We let our tour guide know we'd be doing our own thing after getting on the tram to the top, and she was fine with that. We admired the view (luckily we had a great weather day for this), we shopped in the bazaar, and we had a bubble waffle before hopping in line to come back down. The return trip was just as quick, even though we didn't have any more front of the line privileges at that time. Once off the peak, we rode the Star Ferry across the harbour to Kowloon. It was a good way to see the city skyline, and the trip was short and cheap (13.30 HKD for all of us on the premium upper deck). By now it was past 6 pm, and we were all starting to drag, but we were at the waterfront and the Symphony of Lights show was scheduled to start at 8 pm. We thought we had to stick around late enough to see this classic Hong Kong show. Well... it was totally underwhelming... especially coming off the Paint the Night parade just the night before! I would totally rate this as skippable. As soon as it ended, we hoofed it back to the subway, and rode back to the Disneyland subway stop. We walked back to the hotel, and all flopped on the beds in relief once we were back in the room. It had been another couple of back to back very long days, and we were wiped out. Overall, our impression of Hong Kong was very much that it is 'Asia lite'. It felt a lot like Vancouver (and looked a lot like Vancouver, too). There's lots of English language signage and most people speak at least a few words of a it; there's lots of western food available; toilets are western style; queuing seems to be more of a thing than it is on the mainland. Today was our last full day in Hong Kong. Tomorrow we head home. I'll be back with a quick wrap-up of our last day.