Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hong Kong {Market Day & Chi Lin Nunnery - Days 7 & 8}

I can't believe that we're already recapping our last few days in Hong Kong!

Our hotel was right on the MTR line, so jumping on the train to the Chi Lin Nunnery was a breeze. We wandered around the garden for a while before making out way up to the temple. We really enjoyed our morning here, but it was super muggy outside. Sad, but getting on the MTR felt nice!

After the temple, this was the day of the markets. We started at the flower market, then walked over to the bird market and goldfish market. Afterwards, we grabbed some french toast at Cafe Mido and walked over to the Jade Market. I got a beautiful bracelet and we had to get a souvenir for our house as well!

That evening, we decided to take it easy. We hit up the executive lounge (of course) and then bought tickets to see Guardians of the Galaxy at the theater right below the hotel. (We loved the movie!!)

Our last morning in Hong Kong was dedicated to souvenir purchases and more Hong Kong french toast! This time, we grabbed a table at Lan Fong Yuen and had a couple of servings with some milk tea.

Afterwards, we said farewell to the executive lounge and jumped on the Airport Express back to Hong Kong airport. We have Priority Pass access to lounges (thanks Chase Sapphire Reserve card), so we hung out for a while at the craziest one! The view was great, but the made-to-order noodle bar and self serve reverse kegs put it over the top. 

After a bit of a mishap coming home (a delayed flight led to us missing our connection in LAX), we made it home 5 hours later than planned. We we also able to argue our case to American and got ourselves some points to pay for at least the return leg of our future travels...dreaming of  Antigua, Guatemala!

Recap of our "deals": 
Paid for 5 nights with Marriott Rewards Points (with 5th Night Free with Marriott Reward Redemption) at JW Marriott Hong Kong
Free lounge access (All meals available and cocktails each evening) - Marriott Gold Status
Priority Pass Lounge access in DFW, HKG & LAX - Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
$300 Travel Credit for each ($600 Total) for Airfare (meaning our airfare was only $200 RT/person!) - Chase Sapphire Reserve Card 2017 Bonus
25,000 AA points - due to delayed flight

Next Up: We're heading to Portland in a few weeks for a celebration/family reunion! I love it there and can't wait for Jason to fall in love as well. We'll be there for 5 days and hope to visit Cannon Beach, some wineries and have plenty of family time!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Hong Kong {Hiking Dragon's Back & Central Hong Kong - Days 5 & 6}

Our next few days might have been my favorite pair during our time in Hong Kong! We love to get outside and hike, but we grouped it with plenty of relaxation time as well. We also love doing food tours every place that we visit.

On our 5th day, we decided to get up early and avoid the expected afternoon showers. We wanted a clear view from the top of our hike along Dragon's Back. It was surprisingly hot outside and humid and once we rose above the tree line, we definitely felt it. The hike wasn't even that long, but since it was straight up hill, it definitely took about 45 minutes - 1 hour to reach the top. We got our leg workout this day, that's for sure!

Afterwards, we took a taxi/subway back to our hotel to cool off by the pool for a while.

That evening, after our usual stop at the executive lounge, we took a cab to the ferry terminal for our Aqua Luna boat ride along Victoria Harbor. It was nice to sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the view! Craving something sweet afterwards, we stopped by Oddies Foodies for some AMAZING egg waffles and gelato. We both opted for the "night wolf" which was composed of a brownie and chocolate-filled eggette, gelato, carmalized banana ice cream, and passion fruit panna cotta - OH MY GOD. Life-changing!

The next morning, we took it easy. We had breakfast in the lounge and then went and worked out. We didn't grab lunch though because we had a food tour planned of the Central and Sheung Wan area with Hong Kong Foodies.

Our favorite stop was the first - the wonton noodle bowl. I really enjoyed walking around the wet markets (so named b/c they are hosed down periodically), exploring Man Mo Temple and learning about the food culture in Hong Kong from our wonderful guide, Yammy! At one of the stops, we even picked up some preserved fruits to bring back as gifts. Our last stop was also amazing - more egg tarts! I think I preferred the Hong Kong version more than the kind we got from Macau a few days prior. More shortbread-like instead of puff pastry-like.

We were pretty exhausted after stuffing our faces all day, so we went back to our lounge, grabbed a few drinks, and hit the sack!

Up next: Our last Hong Kong post - In which we wandered around a nunnery, explored a ton of markets, and ate a lot of Hong Kong-style French Toast.