Trip to Malaysia, March 2011: Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu

I was praying that the big “snow storm” would not ruin the long anticipated departure for Tom and I from the cold, snowy place called Minnesota. To our delight the storm fizzled. Our flight took us from MSP to DTW to HKG. The DTW to HKG leg was 15 hours long (4 movies and 3 meals), flying over the North Pole, Russia and China. Flying coach was literally a “pain in the ass”; business class would have been preferred.

After retrieving our luggage in HKG, we met up with Daniel (my classmate since kindergarten) who flew in from Toronto. A ride on the Airport Express train to Kowloon Station, then taxi to our very, very cramped hotel room situated in the busiest district in Kowloon on Nathan Road: neon lights, wall to wall people and exhaust fumes bombarding our senses at the midnight hour.

I had tried numerous times over the years to photograph the Hong Kong island skyline to no avail. This time was no different. The smog and haze prevented a “clean” shot. Tried as I may in Photoshop, the results were disappointing. Guess I have to settle for a postcard from the hawkers by the waterfront.

After a short night’s rest and Dim Sum, we headed to the airport to catch the flight to Kota Kinabalu. The news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan was abuzz, sad and very unsettling; concerned emails were exchanged from my wife and our friends.

We landed at 9 pm Friday to warm and humid air, which was a welcome change from what we had left behind in Minnesota.

My former classmates, wanting to insure that we enjoy ourselves, were more than hospitable by treating us to sightseeing (awesome sunsets at the Sutera Resort) and wonderful food. Acquaintances were renewed, old times reminisced, and as usual accompanied by good food. They made us feel like we belong. Thank You!

Tuesday we begin the climb on Mt. Kinabalu, hoping that three days should be sufficient time to recover from jet lag. Mt. Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in SE Asia at 13,455 feet. We are hopeful that our workout routines have prepared us well for the climb.

Most of my former classmates have climbed it during their high school years. I need to climb it! Stay tune for more photos and narrative of this adventure.

Click on this link to view images: http://gallery.me.com/peterwongphotography#100764&bgcolor=black&view=grid

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7 Responses to “Trip to Malaysia, March 2011: Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu”

  1. julie moore Says:

    what an amazing adventure Peter. You are ready for this!!!! I am glad that you are all safe with your travels and the news of the earthquake and tsunami.
    thank you for sharing the photos and updates, what fun:)

  2. John Olson Says:

    Peter,
    I really liked the shots in the market. The sunrise/sunset shots reminded me of the wonderfully warm weather that we had in Grand Marais. I hope that you brought some of those shots with you to show your friends.

  3. Nikki Schmidt Says:

    PETER! WOW! Sounds interesting so far, and I am so glad to hear that you are okay. I hope that you make it to the top of Mt. Kinabalu!!! Eric would be soooo PROUD! Take Care and be safe!!!

  4. Peter Schneider Says:

    Have fun.

  5. Lisa Rymer Says:

    OMG…. post about your climb already!!

  6. Peter and Tom so fun to follow your trip by blogs and photos. Love the market photos!! I can almost hear the sounds and smell the air!! The sunset photos are breath taking!! Can’t wait to hear about the climb. Glad your both safe and sound , worried the Tsunami might send big waves your way! Glad to hear that’s not the case. Take care. Patty

  7. Cant wait to see those Mt Kinabalu pictures!hehe

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