After a 15-hour flight, I step into the glass and light of Hong Kong airport,  spontaneously deciding to venture into the city for the first time. What can you do with 7 hours in Hong Kong? Plenty.

1. Join forty women in the park doing early morning dance-taichi-exercise and glide through slow-motion synchronicity set to classical Chinese music.


Downtown Hong Kong, through a haze of pollution.

2. Gawk at the impressive aviary collection (despite an aversion to captive animals): Helmeted currasow, Amazonian parrots, Macaws, Cockatoos, pheasants, Nigora pigeons, and a stunning pair of aptly named Rhinocerous Hornbills. What IS the purpose of that unwieldy protrusion???

3. Spend $4 to buy succulent buns, dumplings, and rolls of dim sum; spend $4 to buy a glistening pile of roast duck meat over rice, and spend $4 for merely a coffee (not even a latte, just plain coffee!).


Streets of Kowloon

4. Wander along the waterfront, to watch ferries cross in front of sleek skyscrapers with the mountains in backdrop.


Smoky serene Buddhist temples with hanging incense coils

5. Enter Buddhist temples filled with the smoke of 2-foot incense coils hanging from the ceiling.

6. Shop. Of course. At the street markets, I bought an afro wig (which I actually do need) and a fabulous scarf (which I only needed after I fell in love with it).


No lying on benches in the park! (among other prohibitions)

7. Straddle the line between pleasure and pain through 45 min of foot reflexology.

A day’s escapades…and I’m on to Nepal, where the work begins!


Topiary maze in the heart of the park