Good Morning from the South China Sea. We are on a particularly rough part of the ocean while transiting from Hong Kong to Taiwan. Seas are 14 to 17 feet high due to 35-50 knot winds and we are in 144 feet of water. For you Map Heads, we are at Latitude 23° 1’ N and Longitude 118° 19’ E. We will dock in Keelung, the port for Taipei, the capital of the island, formerly known as Formosa, which is the seat of the Republic of China (ROC), tomorrow at 7:00AM.
Yesterday, after a very long travel day of over twenty-three hours which included only about one hour of sleep, we finally arrived, safe but exhausted, at our embarkation city of Hong Kong. The city of Hong Kong is comprised of three distinct regions; Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. It has grown substantially since we were here as a part of our World Cruise in 2006 with many new spectacular skyscrapers, some over 100 stories tall. It is a beautiful modern city encompassing both new age technology and old-world cultural heritage. Once again, we found residents of this city to be friendly and helpful, smiling as they served us or just offered helpful information as we walked the streets and shopped the markets of this clean and vibrant metropolis.
The weather was not cooperating with our visit; cool, cloudy, occasional sprinkles. Most of the building tops disappeared into the clouds and the brilliant electronic tableaus which play constantly on the faces of the glass high-rises, were muted in the thick mist. So pictures were not so revealing as you can see from the very few I offer below. We did have a treat upon sailing last evening as we passed the old cruise ship, the Diamond, formerly owned by Radisson before Regent bought them out. Now the Diamond is a gambling ship operating in Hong Kong harbor under new ownership, but seeing it brought back memories of some of our first Atlantic crossings and cruises to the Mediterranean, the Greek Islands and Portugal, Spain, France and England in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s.
In future Travel Updates I will give you a look at Taiwan, Okinawa (Japan), Shanghai, Hiroshima, Kyoto (Japan), Seoul (Korea), Dalian (China), and Beijing. When in Beijing we will be taking a side trip out to the Great Wall of China, which should be exciting. I hope you will follow along as we cruise this scenic part of the Asia/Pacific Rim.
God Bless you all.