Our trip is almost over. In a few hours we head to the Hong Kong airport for our flight home to Vancouver.
We were very happy to get out of Bangkok. The city can be incredibly frustrating with a large amount of poverty leading to a huge amount of tourist scams. Even heading to the airport was challenging. We loaded into a taxi that was refusing to turn on the meter and trying to extort us by telling us a fixed rate way beyond what we knew it to cost, despite me explaining that we had been in Bangkok before and were very familiar with the price. We forced him to let us out after opening the car doors and yelling for help from the buildings security guards. We got our bags and hailed another taxi. The security guard helped confirm this one would use the meter as required by law. Sure enough once we were driving away he started shrieking incessantly, “no meter, no meter.” We argued but the price he proposed was actually less than he would have made by the meter. He was not the person in the driver’s photo license on the dash. He seemed irrational and drove excessively fast which caused us some worry. On arrival we were dropped away from the usual spot near the end of the terminal as he tried to avoid the traffic control. We flew with Emirates Air and were very impressed.
Our flight was filled with tourists from mainland China. In the airport waiting lounge they started posing for photos with Leanne and then with the two of us together. We were quickly surrouned and had as many as twelve people at a time taking photos of us as everyone took turns getting pictures. We must have posed with about 50 different people and are in hundreds of photos. We were mobbed for pictures by the entire group, and aren’t really sure why as we weren’t the only foreigners taking that flight. It was very amusing and is the closest we will probably ever feel to being a celebrity in front of paparazzi.
We spent two nights in Hong Kong. On the first night I went to the island to meet up with Marco and Teresa for drinks and food. We hopped around three different places including a Russian ice bar. On our second day Leanne and I spent the afternoon at Ocean Park, which is part aquarium, part zoo, and part theme park before going to the Peak of Hong Kong to admire the skyline since the weather was good. We later met Marco and Teresa again and went to the Horse Track for Wednesday night racing. It was busy and a lot of fun, but Leanne and I left without any winnings. We had dinner on the street nearby at a place we would never have visited without local help. We enjoyed the company and it was great finish to our last day.
Photos from our last day are posted here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=123235&id=673382190&l=792a22407c
I plan to post one last blog entry once we are home, but that will be it for now. Our around the world trip is done.