Friday, March 8, 2013

February 24th – At the Beach in Hong Kong

We've always wondered whether we should have gone to work abroad, somewhere like Hong Kong in our working lives – the ex-pat life here is pretty good.

After narrating our sail-in to Hong Kong's stunning harbour from the bridge, we set off after lunch from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island, to meet up with our local friends Tim and Jill who had kindly offered to show us around for the day. They took us away from the urban jungle of the Central District, to the less-crowded south of the island, to show us a side of Hong Kong which doesn't fit into its stereotypical image of skyscrapers and busy streets.

We stopped at the surf beach of Big Wave Bay – who'd have thought that Hong Kong had a surf beach? It wasn't exactly huge waves, but there was easily enough surf to keep amateurs like us happy if we'd brought our wetsuits. And then we went to the village of Shek O, which still has a relaxed community feel to it, that again you wouldn't expect to find in a place like Hong Kong.

We did a bracing walk around the rocky headland, and then headed for the colonial preserve that is the Shek O Golf Club. This exclusive piece of real estate is home to an exclusive Golf Club that has the look and feel of a Home Counties club, complete with a roaring log fire in the hallway, and jam and teacakes for tea – only the eye-watering joining fee and annual memberships were a reminder that we were in the Far East, rather than Surrey.

Our day was rounded off by a delicious dinner at another essential ex-pat institution – the Hong Kong Country Club. This place had more Chinese people there, but they still maintain quotas of nationalities for their membership, to ensure that no single ethnic group is in ascendancy. We had a great time catching up on the gossip, and getting fascinating insights into Hong Kong life that we'd never get as casual tourists.

A lovely day.