October 24th - 31st: Visiting Carola in Taiwan / Stop-over in Hong Kong

As Carola is studying in Taiwan for five months, we used the opportunity to visit her in Kaohsiung ... AND having a stop-over in Hong Kong ...

So after 12 hours of flight we arrived in Hong Kong (bloody cheap Lufthansa flight to Hong Kong, just 450 Euros return per person), spent about 6 hours in the lounge, had a shower, and then headed on to Kaoshiung ...

Kaohsiung / Taiwan

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where Carola met us at the airport ... and we took a taxi to the hotel, which was a very good one ... here the view from the 18th of 20 floors. You can see the harbour and the "love river" in front of the hotel ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After checking-in we took the brand new MRT (underground) to one of the non-touristic night markets to have some dinner ... here Thomas and Carola reunited in the "underground" ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... after arriving at the completely overcrowded market there were food stands everywhere ... here the one, where we had dinner later ... you choose your raw food and it was cooked on these plates (incl. range hood!)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here one of the few "restaurants" where you could sit down ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... if you like octopus, here you can have it like ice cream ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... finally we had our - very good - dinner there ... it was bloody expensive ... around 6-7 Euros for the three of us ... ;-))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Little tip: if you hate washing up your dishes after dinner: just serve the food this way ... plate wrapped in a plastic bag!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Heading back to the hotel, we had a little walk around the Love River ... here a view from a bridge towards our hotel (in front of the twin-towers) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and finally a drink in the hotel bar, located on the 20th floor with a panoramic view of Kaohsiung ... btw, a bottle of Australian Lindemans was 800 Taiwan dollars, i. e. 16 Euros ... can't complain about that ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next morning we were on our next tour ... and the first thing you notice in Kaohsiung is the amazing amount of scooters rushing around ... problem here is scooter parking ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... also special versions of scooters are available ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After taking the MRT North, we took a bus towards the Lotus Pond, a nice lake close to the city ... from the bus we could take this picture ... hands-free for scooter drivers ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Finally we arrived at Lotus Pond and first thing you can see are the two pagodas, one with a dragon, one with a tiger in front ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here a wide-angle view of the Lotus Pond ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... walking around there, we found out that other animals than dogs are taken for a walk on the lead ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Taking a taxi back to Carola's university, we visited the old British Consulate ... we had to walk up all these stairs (!)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). From the cafe there we had a wonderful view over Kaohsiung and the harbour ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here Carola's university, where we met Patty, responsible for foreign students ... a very nice person, so we know, Carola's in good hands ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next we took a ferry to Cijin Island, located in front of Kaohsiung ... here one of the main streets ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we walked to the beach, here Surfers Paradise ;-)) ... still some remains of the typhoon there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Carola and Cynthia at the beach, with the standard victory sign, that is mandatory for photos in Taiwan ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). As we have seen many kids just standing on the scooters, this one was special: a shoe box was strapped to the scooter, so - by holding the mirrors - little boy could look over the handle bar ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... also the Kaohsiung youth is very particular on how they look ... ;-)))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This evening, we went out for dinner with two of Carola's friends, Julian from Hannover and Andy from Taiwan ... to a "hot pot" restaurant, where every guest has their own gas cooker ... yummy!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day we did a tour to the North of Kaohsiung, to the lake of Cheng Ming ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... as it was not too sparkling there, we returned to Carola's university, i. e. the harbour entrance, where we watched the sun going down ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... not too bad ... sun going down and a ship entering the harbour ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Finally we learned to know Smita, Carola's Indian room mate ... very nice and friendly ... so she makes friends all over the world ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Of course a photo of Carola and HER scooter should not be left out ... so here her silver rocket ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Finally - on day two - we took one of the "love boats" to have cruise on the "Love River" ... in the photo a nice lady from Taiwan, that could actually speak a little bit of English and who was very surprised that we came from GERMANY !!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We took some great photos from the rocking boat ... here a bridge, nicely lit ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here including the blinking "love hearts" lights ....
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and another one, where the water of the river is pumped up, sprayed down and lit from behind ... (For those interested in photography: these night pictures are taken with a Nikon D700 and a Nikon 50mm / 1.4 lens)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After the "love boat" trip we had our last dinner with Carola in a "dumpling" restaurant, which was very yummy!

After the dinner it was time to say good-bye to Carola, we had to leave 6am next morning ... it was good to see her "alive" and really enjoying the country and the studies ... we're looking forward to her coming back in January!

Hong Kong

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Wednesday morning we arrived in Hong Kong, took the bus to the hotel, checked-in and started our tour ... here the newly reclaimed land where once the star ferry had been ... it won't take long and you can walk across the harbour!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This is a view towards Kowloon with a new "tallest" tower in construction ... on the right you see - partly - the new star ferry peer ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... so our first stop was Discovery Bay again ... here the old beach ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... after walking quite a bit (and bitten by mossies quite a lot) we had some drinks at the Plaza ... German beer and Australian wine ;-))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Heading back to Hong Kong, we could still find the meat and fish markets in Causeway Bay ... everything still alive ... nothing for Cynthia ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). In the evening we started with some drinks in good old Delaneys Irish pub ... felt like home, although it's three years since the last time ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Following Delaneys we could get a table in our favourite restaurant "Cheung Kee" in Wanchai, where we enjoyed "prawns on sizzling plate in chili sauce" and "lemon chicken" ... YUMMY!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next morning, we walked around Wanchai ... saw some ducklings not too alive ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and went to Central Plaza, once the highest building in Hong Kong, on the 46th floor, where we had a panoramic view over Hong Kong ... here towards the East, the old airport of Kai Tak ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here the Exibition Centre, the reclaimed site of the ex-Star-Ferry (on the left) and in the distance the new tower in Kowloon ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... well you know these two guys ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Then we took the star ferry from Wanchai to Tsim Tsa Tsui ... still cheap (2,80 HKD) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and as Thomas ordered a star ferry to cross while he took photos of the Hong Kong panorama ;-) ... Central Plaza left ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On Kowloon side, we found interesting hair styles ... and headed to Sham Shui Po ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where we strolled through the street stands and the good old "Golden Computer Arcade" which still exists ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... saw the other side of the "rich" Hong Kong ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). In the afternoon we took the bus to Aberdeen, where we were lucky to find a sampan for us ....
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... that took us over to Lamma Island ... and that forced us to wear these hats ... ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This is Aberdeen, taken from the rocking sampan ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here the nice lady, that drove us to Lamma ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Looking back from the sampan, Thomas could take a photo of a huge container ship in front of Aberdeen ... not bad if you had experienced the sampan rocking ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here arriving at Lamma with the large amount of fish and seafood restaurants ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and we were greeted - couldn't believe it - by an ad of Wolf Blass wines from Australia ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We had a great dinner (lobster, prawns, ...) and a nice bottle of - Australian - wine ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On our way back to Hong Kong Island with the ferry, we could take some more impressive pictures of Hong Kong by night ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here Bank of China, Jardin House, HSBC building ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day we found the latest "aboriginal" restaurant in Hong Kong ... "jet fresh Aussie chooks" !!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... went up to the Peak, took the obligatory photo ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... last evening in Hong Kong ... some impressions from Wanchai by night ... including "Cockeye" the famous cartoon character ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and enjoying two (!) plates of the wonderful prawns in chili sauce on sizzling plate ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... a last bottle of champagne in the hotel bar ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and next morning we were farewelled with wonderful weather ... this our view from the hotel room ...

So - all in all - it was a great week, we walked a lot, seeing Carola and Taiwan was great and Hong Kong is again this vibrating, crazy city it has always been ... we think we could have one week of Hong Kong every year!