Hong Kong skyline and the Star Ferry
A traditional Chinese sailing junk
Delicious Dim Sum
Our non-stop flight to Hong Kong leaves San Francisco late tonight, as we fly across the Pacific Ocean and the International Date Line, enjoying the award winning services of Singapore Airlines.
Our flight arrives at Hong Kong’s new airport early in the morning. After clearing customs & immigration, we proceed to the meeting point for our hotel transfer. After we check into our hotel, we have a few hours to relax before our guide awaits us for the city tour at approx. 1pm this afternoon. We leave Kowloon and travel via the Cross-Harbour Tunnel to Hong Kong Island. Driving by Wanchei we reach Victoria Peak for a great view of the city, the busy harbor, the skyline and the surrounding area. This is the picture Hong Kong is famous for! After we leave the peak we continue to Aberdeen village. It feels like years taken back in time – fishing junks, bringing in the latest catch, next to floating restaurant boats. And all that against the backdrop of the impressive skyline! We return to the hotel late this afternoon.
We meet our tour guide early this morning and taken to our open air Tai Chi class. A form of ancient Chinese shadow boxing, the fluid body movements of Tai Chi are an eloquent form of exercise that helps us keep fit, prevents diseases and slows down the process of aging. Under the guidance of a Tai Chi Master you will learn simple breathing and relaxation exercises which are easy and enjoyable, and you will come away with the seeds of an ancient tradition of healthy living.
Afterwards, we go to learn more about another important part of Chinese life – Tea. We are told about the history and the classifications of various teas, the best way to storing tealeaves and why brewing techniques are important. And finally we learn about using the proper tea ware and the health benefits of tea. Finally, a Dim Sum (which literally means ‘touching your heart’) lunch awaits us. These light snacks include a variety of dumplings, buns and pastries stuffed with meat, seafood and vegetables. Later, we return to our hotel, the afternoon is at our leisure.
After breakfast, our guide will take us across the harbor to Hong Kong Island and the Island School Institute, where we learn more about the secrets of Chinese Medicine. What are Yin and Yang? What is Qigong and how does Tai Chi and Qigong help us to live a prolonged and energetic life? How are herbs and food used as medicine? While all this might sound very strange and alien now, after this 2 hour lecture we would have a much better appreciation of the fascinating principles of traditional Chinese medicine and there will be plenty of time to ask questions as well. After learning all this we may want to spend some of the afternoon browsing through the Chinese medicine and herb shops and discovering more about their stocks of strange looking plants, dried herbs and a variety of other traditional ingredients.
A free day to enjoy Hong Kong on our own. We could check out some of the fabulous shopping that Hong Kong is famous for, or take an optional tour to one of the surrounding islands perhaps.
After breakfast today we will be transferred to the Hong Kong Chinese University and learn about Acupressure as a form of Chinese therapeutic massage. This 2-part introductory course will provide guidelines on how to use acupressure for alleviating frequently encountered imbalances in the body. Techniques of pressure will be shown and we will have many opportunities during the class to practice some of the techniques ourselves. The second part of the class deals with foot reflexology, which involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot, which are said to correspond to various parts in the body. Traditional Chinese therapists believe that one can gain relief from fatigue and stress through reflexology and that even some long-term illnesses can be cured eventually. The afternoon is at our leisure.
Our last day in Hong Kong is free for us to spend as we wish – taking another ride on the famous Star Ferry across the spectacular harbor or simply savoring the fascinating street scenes all around us. We need to check out of our hotel room by noon, and will be transferred to the airport early in the evening, for our flight back to the US on Singapore Airlines. Crossing the International Date Line from the opposite direction, we arrive back in San Francisco on the same evening.