A Day on Hong Kong Island

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if you would have told me 6 months ago that i’d be back in hong kong again in that time span, i would have thrown my head back and laughed like ursula (from the little mermaid). we had a fantastic experience last time we were there and this time was no different, although it was hotter than a cookie sheet in the oven (that’s really hot).

thank goodness we found a new airline that had two seats to take us from being stranded in singapore to making it to our speech! my husband had the brilliant idea to grab a selfie (his wingspan is incredible) after we wrapped up speaking about improving communication in your personal and professional relationships as well as with yourself!

hong kong ryan and chelsea

the panda hats were part of the gifts given to us for speaking and you should know that we’ve worn them more than just in that photo. the other awesome gift? THIS:


we now have a stamp with our names on the bottom of it and while you can’t see it in the photo, there is a beautifully intricate carving of a rabbit on top because that is the animal from the year we were born (1987). we love it!

this turned out to be one of the more exhausting days/weekend i’ve experienced in the past few years but more on the details and coping with that in another post because this is a happy post all about our adventures in hong kong!

the next day we woke up early because my husband, the big dreamer, secured a chance to dive in the ocean park aquarium! my face looks like that because i had already lost 1 gallon of sweat from my body by 8am.

IMG_4198. ocean park hong kong

he was all “all you have to do is ask and then you can swim with sharks and sting rays!” and i was all “um…or don’t ask and then you don’t have to swim with sharks?!” to each their own.

IMG_4229 ocean park hong kong ryan avery

he said it was a super cool experience and would absolutely do it again! those are my friends derek and mandy who promised to cover my eyes should he be eaten alive.


thank goodness he was not eaten but he sure was a tourist spectacle and that was hilarious.IMG_2751IMG_2774

he even “passed” me a note under water! it was super sweet. it says “i heart you, even under water!!!”IMG_2759

then we both put our hands on the glass and were blown away that it was over 2 feet thick!


ocean park is located on the southern side of hong kong island and is a little spendy to get in at roughly $45 but it’s massive and there is much to do so it appears worth it. our main objectives here were for ravery to go scuba diving, see the view from the cable cars and then me not get whiny in the humidity. we achieved 2/3 for the most part…

IMG_4267 hong kong cable carslook at this view! if you’re afraid of heights this isn’t for you but if you don’t mind them too terribly, it is incredible.

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in case you were wondering “but when would a selfie-stick actually come in useful?” here you go! warning: it will come with a side of wife freaking out that her phone is going to drop hundreds of feet from the selfie-stick so know that.IMG_2925

*tip: the cable cars take you between “the water front and the summit” areas of ocean park but lines to get there are insane. take the ‘ocean express’ train (which transports 5,000+ people per hour) from the waterfront and then catch the cable cars for your way back!

next our gracious friends/tour guides took us to see stanley market, still on hong kong island. from there you can access the beach, tons of shopping and incredibly views.


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be warned that there are a ton of people most places so if you don’t like to be touched by strangers (who does?!) go to your happy place as you brush shoulders with other sweaty people. can you spot me below? i wish i was wearing my go-to stripes like waldo.IMG_2948also on hong kong island is a very famous lookout called “the peak.” it sits atop victoria peak (also called mount austin) and has an altitude of 1,811 feet!

you can take a scenic and quick cable car up to the top of this and our friend derek said “when your back hurts, you know we are getting close.” this was a curious statement until my back started aching against the wooden seat because we started climbing at a 90 degree angle! the tram costs about $11 USD to ride it up and back and is incredibly crowded so allow for plenty of time standing around.



IMG_4319 the peak hong kong

(yes, toastmasters friends, we got to spend some time with kwong yue yang! we totally studied his speech when we were training for the world championship of public speaking! also that’s derek next to ravery, he’s the incoming district director for 89 and those are our friends mandy and paige).

there a few restaurants to choose from once you get to the top so pop in for a bite while the sun sets!
IMG_3035when you come back out, you will be amazed by the bright lights of hong kong!


it was at this point that i started melting down from sheer exhaustion so we took a mini-bus back down the mountain and a taxi back to the hotel. overall though, aside from my exhaustion and the humidity, we fit a ton in on hong kong island and were surrounded by thoughtful and kind people to spend the day with us! thank you everyone!

the next day consisted of me moving very slowing but finding walking around kowloon park (not on the island) very relaxing. apparently it’s larger than central park in NYC and smack dab in the middle of a fast moving city too! i kept seeing signs about it being a ‘pleasure park’ which was a funny translation to me (also because i’m a 13 year old boy sometimes).IMG_3108somebody tried a green tea ice cream sundae and gave it the seal of approval:


we walked to victoria harbor and in the background you can just make out ‘the peak’ where we were the night before!IMG_3102we decided we should probably get some work done (which was my excuse to get out of the sticky, moist air) but later we ventured out to view the “laser show” on the harbor.

we brought a cookie because i think they pair well with laser shows?


mandy even warned us not to get too excited over the “laser show” and it would have probably been more impressive if the city wasn’t already all lit up but it was literally a few laser beams off the top of buildings for a few minutes.

don’t go for the laser show…just go down for the view of the light up city! that amazing red boat is actually a restaurant you can eat on (we didn’t). the water seemed a little rough to be eating and the smell of the harbor wasn’t great but obviously it would be a great view of the city! IMG_3162

we happened upon a british grocery story on our way back to the hotel and because my 6-year-old-tastebuds couldn’t eat anymore local food, we nommed on meat/bread/chips/grapes/cheese and wine and watched “dracula” with subtitles. it was amazing.



we had a great time with excellent people but i was also very ready to get home. 23 days gone felt like too much but more on that later. what’s the longest trip you’ve been on? did you get tired by the end of it?

today, i’m back on a jet plane to colorado for a week to visit my family! hip hip hoooray!


  1. Courtney! @ Redefining Athlete

    June 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Love the photo with the red boat! I agree, the laser show was incredibly disappointing, but the skyline itself is so stunning that it doesn’t really matter 🙂 Those cable cars look fuN! I’m a sucker for things like that!
    I think my longest trip was 2.5 weeks in Thailand in 2011. We were supposed to go to Japan too, but changed plans and spent the whole time in Thailand after the tsunami happened a month before our trip. Have fun with your family!!!
    Courtney! @ Redefining Athlete recently posted…Dirty Kanza 200 Race Recap

    • chelsea

      June 18, 2015 at 8:21 am

      yes you’re so right about the skyline being worth it, courtney! wow i can’t imagine what thailand must have looked like after the tsunami. sounds intense but like the right choice to stay there!

  2. Vivien

    June 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Glad to see you enjoyed your visit back to HK! I remember the ride up to the peak and thinking it could not get any steeper, but it did! Can’t remember if I asked you this before, did you guys ever go on the Star Ferry? Nice thing to experience if you don’t get seasick.

    Probably longest trip was about 2-3 weeks back to Hong Kong to visit family. I vaguely remember it was probably in July that I went back. Felt exactly like a sticky sauna.
    Vivien recently posted…Reaching Deep, Being Brave

    • chelsea

      June 18, 2015 at 8:22 am

      we didn’t do the star ferry, vivien but sounds like we need to add it to the list for next time. right you are about being in a sticky sauna WOOF it was intense!

  3. Elyse

    June 18, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Love these photos (and I’d be giggling like a 12 year-old boy too with pleasure park!)
    Elyse recently posted…Acceptance

    • chelsea

      June 18, 2015 at 8:23 am

      haha sounds like we would have some fun giggling about childish things together elyse!