It is the first time since my time in Uganda in 1997-1998 that I spend a winter in the warmth of a tropical country. And for this, waking up in Noosa is good reason enough to celebrate. Chillax, as they say here, time goes slowly by, all activities we do inks with the outdoor. We are hiking in cool mountains, we do family walking on the white smooth sandy beaches, surf on the gentle waves of a cove, bodysurf on the rough waves of the Sunrise Beach, Slackline between trees, swim in open waters or in beautiful salty lap pools of the Noosa Aquatic Centre, etc…
All activities are outdoors…well no, we do also indoor activities and this is mostly celebrating big events like the birthday of our host Rita, Christmas Eve & New Year. We also celebrate just that we are all together around a big table with 5 boisterous and gorgeous children!
We took advantage of the jet-lag to experience Hong Kong by night during the first days. The Kids were showing first signs of fatigue at around 11:00 and went to bed around 01:00 AM. So 2 second night after our arrival we took the old “Star Ferry” to Hong Kong Island and walk a fair bit to take the so called “Peak Tram”. This tram is officially the oldest public transport of Hong Kong. It goes from Central to the Hong Kong peak in a couple of minutes and it is steeeeeep.
The view from the top was incredible, but the wind and the rain did not make it a very pleasant experience. So we quickly took the few compulsory snapshots and went down to “Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant” and had some huge waffles and ice cream. I think the kids remember this part better.
A truly great night experience in Hong Kong for us was the Kowloon night markets. Opens officially at 16:30 but stalls really start to sell at around 18:00 until 11:30. From the fake “Hello Kitty” watches to Spicy Wonton Soup via full-lit real size Buzz lightyear, you can truly find everything you don’t need! Most items sold are guaranteed not to last more than 24 hours…but yes, it is dead cheap and our daughters just could handle all that glimmered and shined.
1 Week after our arrival, we were still jet-lagged enough to attend the 130th Fire Dragon Festival in Tin Hau district on the Hong Kong Island. Scheduled at 19:00 the dragon did not appear before 20:30. I never thought possible to keep our daughters waiting for 90 min without getting close to nervous break down, but this time went quite well. And we were rewarded for our patience. What we saw, was not one of those big white Chinese dragon but an ancestral Fire dragon held up by about 60-80 people and entirely built out of wood. Millions sticks of incense we attach to it and were burning for hours leaving an incredible cloud of smoke and a very strong acrid scent. Anyway, we enjoyed it a lot and went then to the “Panda” restaurant a very good Japanese Homestyle Curry place.