Last month, after a few nice but rainy days in Tokyo, we popped over to Hong Kong on our way back to Singapore. (Yes, our boy was in three of the world’s great cities in the space of a single week. Rough life, eh?) Here’s some of what we got up to.
The territory of Hong Kong includes an island, where much of the central business district is, across a harbor from the Chinese mainland, where the Kowloon section of Hong Kong is. From Kowloon you get a pretty spectacular vista of the Hong Kong skyline, day or night:
There are lots and lots of boats in the harbor – something that pleased Nyan greatly.
One morning we headed up to Victoria Peak, a ridge overlooking Hong Kong on one side and the mostly undeveloped southern part of the island on the other. You get up there on a very steep cable car/tram, and at the top are some restaurants and tourist shops, plus some pretty amazing views.
And we did a lot of just wandering around the city, soaking up the scene. It’s quite an intense city, with some pretty interesting architecture, as well as some very interesting housing stock.
Some random shots of Nyan from around the town: posing like a lion outside the HSBC bank headquarters; relaxing in the window of our hotel; kinda-sorta posing for a family portrait.
And finally, here’s our boy on the plane — transfixed by something on his video screen — and at the airport, transfixed by all the planes.
As you may know, Nyan’s been taking an art enrichment class at school — an hour or so per week where they do a variety of painting and drawing and coloring, experimenting with color combinations, and so forth. We also take him to a nearby art studio twice a week — an hour on Tuesday evenings for painting/drawing, and an hour on Saturday mornings for clay. He absolutely loves it all.
On Friday, we got a small package of photos from the school’s art instructor, showing Nyan in action in the class, as well as the teacher’s assessment of Nyan in class. He is, we are told, a skilled painter. a sensitive and sensible boy, well loved by classmates, takes pride in helping his classmates, and also “always full of wacky ideas.” Here, check it out for yourself (click to enlarge):
Proud parents, us? You bet.
Bonus: here’s Nyan at the art studio the other day. Hard at work on his latest masterpiece. At the end of class he was showing it off to his teacher. Daddy whipped out his camera and said to Nyan: “Give us a smile!” You can see the result. Yes, that’s our boy and his wacky ideas.
We missed the peak of the famed cherry blossoms by only a week or so, but our April trip to Tokyo was nonetheless fantastic. Mommy had to head up there for work, so Daddy and Nyan tagged along. Here’s some of what we saw and got up to.
Here we are at Narita airport, after our pleasant six-hour flight on a Singapore Airlines A-380. As you can see, we had a great view of the tarmac as we headed for immigration control, and we spent a *long* time looking at the planes. We finally made it out, and waited for a bus for the 90-minute ride to our hotel.
We stayed at the Prince Park Tower hotel, and it was great. Even better: when we arrived late on a Saturday night, our room wasn’t ready — apparently someone had been smoking in it and so it stank, or something — so they bumped us into a one-bedroom suite, complete with our own private Japanese garden. Here it is:
Not bad at all. Here’s more: the three of us at breakfast on the 23rd floor, overlooking Tokyo Tower, plus Nyan being Nyan, napping and drawing and whatnot.
Our first full day was a sunny Sunday, and we made the most of it. We visited a nearby temple, and also checked out a new year celebration being put on by the local Burmese community.
We also met up with Mommy’s Aunt Jessica and cousin Toru, who both live in Tokyo. We wandered around central Tokyo, had a nice lunch, visited the grounds of the Imperial Palace:
And this being Tokyo, we also came across a Godzilla statue:
As Mommy headed to work on Monday, the weather completely collapsed, and our poor tropical bodies were subject to wind, heavy rain and cool (cold to us) air for two straight days. We figured this might happen, so Nyan and Daddy’s first stop that morning was Uniqlo, the cheap Japanese clothes retailer, who have a 12-story flagship store in Ginza. The floor with the kids’ clothes has a big model train display, so Nyan was transfixed by that while Daddy shopped nearby and thawed out. We ended up with a nice thick sweatshirt, which cost us all of S$12 (GBP6, or about US$9.)
Then it was off on our adventure. We grabbed our umbrellas and hit the subway and then a monorail, bound for a science museum. We had a bit of walk once we got there, but Nyan did a decent job holding his own umbrella. (He eventually got tired of this, so Daddy had to hold the umbrella and try to keep both Nyan and Daddy dry. He managed to keep Nyan dry at least…)
The museum itself was pretty good, with lots of space rockets and the like. There were displays where you dropped balls and wathced them circle around, to show the effects of gravity or the Coriolis effect or something. (Daddy wasn’t sure.) This being Tokyo, the museum had a big focus on robots. One display allowed people to speak into a microphone, and the somewhat creepy robot heads-and-torsos would sort of respond. Nyan dug it.
The museum’s centerpiece was a show, two or three times a day, of a robot that emerges from its holding pen (cage), talks and walks and dances a bit, and then returns to its cage. Kinda cool and lifelike:
And on our last morning in Tokyo, we headed across the street to Tokyo tower. Nyan had to vamp around a bit before we headed up. It’s quite a structure.
The tower has a few windows set into the floor. This is not a video for those who are squeamish, but Nyan clearly is not squeamish or subject to vertigo:
Here are a few random shots in and around Tokyo. Some from the ground, some from atop various buildings, with mountains in the distance. (Behind some of those clouds is Mt Fuji.)
All in all, a great trip, with a lot of fun and a ton of great food. Here’s our final image of Tokyo, just before our flight out at Narita airport. Photo by Mommy.
We had an action packed month, filled mostly with traveling to Tokyo and Hong Kong. You can read about the Tokyo trip in a previous post, and you can read about Hong Kong in an upcoming post. Here, just a few random shots from the rest of the month. Eating a sushi roll, riding his scooter, showing off his artwork, playing in the dirty laundry with Kyle… just Nyan.