China, Hong Kong S.A.R. · 17 Days · 15 Moments · November 2018

Motai’s On the Move in China 🇨🇳

4 December 2018

Today we said goodbye to Hong Kong and hello to Thailand! We had an 8:00 PM flight so we took advantage of eating one last big meal - beef and broccoli and fried noodles with chicken at Wang’s Restaurant - and seeing the skyline in the daylight near the promenade. We loved Hong Kong but we cannot wait for Thailand! We have been looking forward to this country for a longgg time 😊

3 December 2018

Today we went to Hong Kong Disneyland and it was so much fun! It was quite small in comparison to Disney World Orlando but we still spent about 8 hours in the park. Highlights of the day included: Space Mountain - Star Wars version, the mine car roller coaster ride in Grizzly Gulch, the Lion King show and the Mickey Mouse Story Book show! It was a great way to celebrate my birthday 🎁

2 December 2018

Today we slept in until noon!! We ate our Mrs Fields muffins that we bought the night before and then headed out for our day of sightseeing. Aaron found a 1 star Michelin dim sum restaurant and it ended up being amazing. SO yummy! Then we took the metro over towards Victoria’s Peak. On the way we stumbled upon a Chanukah event held by the Chabad so we decided to check it out. It was so nice to be surrounded by hundreds of Jews on the first night of Chanukah and to have said the blessings as they lit the menorah! After that, we took the tram up to Victoria’s Peak after waiting about an hour in line. Totally worth it though! The Hong Kong skyline is stunning!! We ended the night by taking the ferry back across the harbor. Aaron told me that it is one of the cheapest ferry rides in the world - only $3 HKD or $0.38 USD! Tomorrow we go to Disneyland!

1 December 2018

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! Can’t believe I’m spending my 27th in Hong Kong! We are taking a bullet train from Yangshuo to Guangzhou and then from Guangzhou to Hong Kong! We arrived around 1:30 PM and scored a great Airbnb in the heart of HK - Mongkok. The room is small but it is just what we need for 3 nights and is super close to the metro! For my birthday, we went to a really nice Moroccan Restaurant that was in the Michelin Guide! It was called Le Shouk. I ordered the lamb kebab and Aaron ordered the lamb shank! It was delicious and memorable!

29 November 2018

Today we woke up, ate breakfast at the hostel and then went to the scenic spot on the Chinese 20 yuan note before catching a 1 hour bus to Yangshuo. The bus ride was 10 yuan a person (~$1.44). When we arrived, we got checked into our hostel called Yangshuo Wada Hostel. We quickly sucked down our smoothies we ordered, rented 2 bikes for the day, and then biked about 30 minutes to Gold Water Cave. I had heard about this cave on a travel blog I read online. It sounded really cool because it had a natural hot spring inside the cave! However, the hot springs were definitely NOT what we were anticipating. The “hot spring” was 30 cm deep, the water barely made it up to my knees, and was luke warm at best. Oh well. You can’t win ‘em all 🤷‍♀️ The bike ride to and from was quite beautiful and we ended the night with some noodles and chicken on a stick from the local food stalls.

28 November 2018

Today we slept in, had banana pancakes for breakfast at the hostel (that actually tasted like American pancakes!!), and took a bus to the South bus station from where we were to catch another bus to Yangdi Pier. Well, like most things in China, we were met with some challenges. When we got off the bus, we could not find the bus that was going to Yangdi Pier. The signs in the windows were all in Chinese and there was no one around to ask for help that could speak English. We resorted to taking DiDi for about an hour ride for 113 Yuen (including 1 toll). We then bought our tickets for the bamboo raft on the Li River and it was amazing! The beauty of the Karst landscapes literally brought tears to my eyes. We got checked into our hostel - This Old Place - in Xingping, ordered 2 wood fired pizzas, then quickly left to make sunset at Laozhai Mountain. It was about a 30 minute hike up and the views were breathtaking! Totally worth it! Tomorrow we head to Yangshuo.

26 November 2018

Today we took an 8:30 AM bus to the Longji Rice Terraces, about 2.5 hours from Guilin. Our driver had mad road rage and I was thankful when we arrived and could finally get off the bus. We are staying at a cute hostel called Lost in Beauty in the village of Dazhai. We got a Black Friday Deal on for 130 yuan for a queen sized bedroom with a balcony (<$20). We had lunch at one of the local restaurants and I ordered fried rice noodles with beef. It was yummy! 😋 We then went back to the hostel and took a 2 hour nap. Well rested, we decided to do the 50 minute hike up to Golden Buddha Peak. We made it just in time for sunset. The views were stunning! Tomorrow we will do the 4 hour hike from Dazhai to Pang’an.

25 November 2018

Today we woke up at 4:45 AM to catch a 6:40 AM flight to Guilin. That was rough. I slept about an hour on the plane and got served an awful breakfast (fermented milk, tofu? and tasteless porridge). We made it to our hostel, the Ming Palace, and we were impressed with our room - cute decor, a nice sized bathroom, and super clean! We ended up taking a 4 hour nap and then went about searching for food around 5:00 PM. We shared a bowl of noodles with beef and some pan fried dumplings. The town is so cute with all of its lit up side streets! After a few hours exploring around Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (and another jasmine milk tea 😅) we went back to our hostel to book bus tickets to the Longji Rice Terraces. We decided on the 8:30 AM bus and it will take approx. 3 hours. I am really looking forward to seeing the Rice Terraces!

24 November 2018

What a packed day we had in Shanghai! We took a 12:00 bullet train that took ~25 min. and went straight to the Old City. This felt like the real China, with all its temples, shops, and food stalls. We went to the City god Temple and saw people give offerings and light incense to their gods. After, we got delicious steamed dumplings from Nanxiang Mantou Dian. We then went to the Yuyuang Gardens and the Huxingting Tea House for overly priced green tea (more like lightly infused water) and quail eggs. Strange. After we checked out the Old City, we walked 25 min. to the People’s Square and got delicious jasmine milk tea. We then walked down one of the largest pedestrian streets in the world, Nanjing Street, which reminded me of New York with all its lights. I got Kung Pao chicken for dinner. We then saw the Bund in all its glory. It was a beautiful sight! We ended the night taking the world’s fastest elevator up 118 floors to the 2nd tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower.

23 November 2018

Today was meant to be a full day of sightseeing and eating in Shanghai but Aaron and I just couldn’t get our butts out of bed! We had a late night last night and didn’t get home til around 2:30 AM. So we decided to postpone Shanghai until tomorrow and spend one more day exploring Suzhou. We had a late lunch, booked a flight and accommodation for the next leg of our journey and then in the evening, we took a nice scenic walk towards Suzhou center and the Gate to the East (Suzhou’s tallest building that looks like a pair of pants). We walked along Jinji Lake and saw the beautiful skyline, got a soy latte from Starbucks, and then walked back to the massive shopping mall. Inside we had the best dumplings we’ve had so far in China from a place called Yang’s. I also tried baozi, a sort of bread-like dumpling, one filled with green vegetables and the other filled with pork. The mall was the largest mall I have ever seen - 7 floors of stores, an Olympic sized ice rink and even a pony club!

22 November 2018

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family in the USA! It’s hard being in a country that doesn’t recognize the holidays that we hold near and dear to our hearts. But today we are so thankful for friends we made at the Great Wall from NY who has invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner (one of them teaches English in China!) There is nothing more comforting than turkey, mash potatoes, mac n cheese, and lots of wine! . . . On another note, we really enjoyed exploring the city of Suzhou, the “Venice of China,” with all its cute waterways and bridges. We walked around the old town and saw Tiger Hill for sunset. The Yunyansi Pagoda, the symbol of ancient Suzhou, was built in 959 AD. Wow that’s old! 😮

21 November 2018

Today we woke up at 6 AM, quickly got ready, and left our Airbnb by 6:30. We were to take a 5.5 hr bullet train from Beijing to Suzhou. We planned on getting a DiDi ride (China’s equivalent of Uber) to the Beijing South Railway Station by 7:00 AM. We were told that we should be at the train station 1 hour before our train departed. Unfortunately, when Aaron pulled up the app on his phone it said no drivers were available. Our only option as that point was to hail a cab and we were nervous that it was going to cost a fortune. Luckily, the taxi had a meter and we were able to tell the driver where we needed to go via Google Translate. Our ride cost RMB 49 for a 35 minute ride (that’s about $7). Not bad at all. When we got to the station, we went through security, picked up our tickets from the counter and got in line to enter the platform for the train. Our train left right on the dot - 8:05 AM! Aaron slept for about 3 hours while I planned the next leg of of our journey!

20 November 2018

One thing Aaron and I really wanted to try in Beijing was the Peking duck. This is a dish from Beijing that has been around since the imperial era. The skin of the duck is thin, crispy, and packed with flavor. We decided after some research to go to Da Dong Restaurant - one of the famous restaurants in Beijing for Peking Duck. Just moments after we ordered, the chef came to our table side. He delicately sliced the duck into a beautiful arrangement of small pieces on a plate. The duck was served with hoisin sauce, spring onion and cucumber, and thin pancakes to wrap all the fillings! The meal was delicious and memorable 🤤 #wheninbeijing

19 November 2018

Great Wall of China 🇨🇳 . . . Today we completed all 7 New Wonders of the World ☑️

18 November 2018

1st day of sightseeing in Beijing . . . ▪️Forbidden City ▪️Jingshan Park ▪️Tiananmen Square