We finished our trip with a few days in Hong Kong, with the most breathtaking skyline I've ever seen. We loved walking the Avenue of the Stars at night, taking in Victoria Harbor and the city lights.
We caught all the classic attractions like riding the Star Ferry,
admiring the skyline from Victoria Peak,
and all the various markets from the charm of Stanley to the bright colors at the Jade Market to the bazaar and chaotic cadence of Temple Market and everything between, all of which sold the same "Oba-Mao" t-shirt which Fabio insisted I capture on film:
(I'd like to say we didn't see the "No Photo" sign until I already took the picture...
I'd really like to.)
We also enjoyed some less known, but super fun attractions like the overpowering scent of coil incenses in the Man Mo Temple.
On our way back from Man Mo we watched a building burn down. Not all the way down... but it was still crazy and kind of scary.
And we also hit a few much-less-usual attractions like XTC gelato. We had to laugh because our friends in Singapore rave about this place as much as Victoria Peak, but our friends in Hong Kong had never even been there. I must confess, the coconut gelato did bring me back for seconds.
I was surprised by how similar Hong Kong was to Singapore. I suppose I was expecting something really different somehow, and while there were definitely some differences, I couldn't help but feel like someone had put Singapore in a bag with some dirt and cigarette smoke, shaken the bag, and then emptied it out to make Hong Kong.
On our last full day, we left the hustle and bustle of the city and spent the day in the more "suburban" areas. We went to the Hong Kong LDS Temple, and it was beautiful. Ever since it was dedicated in the 1990's I've wanted to see it in person. It was a particularly special visit, because we actually live in the Hong Kong Temple District now, which means it is a rare treat for us to be able to worship there. Fabio was so generous and stayed with Jonathan in the lobby so I could go in and enjoy the peace that only worshiping in the temple can bring (only members of the LDS church who have made specific covenants with God can enter a temple after it's dedicated... and Jonathan is still too little, of course).
The next day the boys talked shop while we girls (plus Jonathan) had lunch at a little fishing village by where they live.
And then we coveted the gorgeous view from their apartment.
At which point it was time to say goodbye--to the Stices, to Hong Kong, and to China. It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I'm so happy we were able to take it together.
We were completely exhausted by the time we got to the airport, and for most of the flight back all three of us just stared into space until we fell asleep. And then something really special happened: I can honestly say that when we got off the plane and stepped into the Singapore's Changi Airport, I finally felt happy to be home in the most literal sense of the word, but more importantly in the much less tangible sense as well. Singapore feels like home.