Sunday, November 20, 2016

Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong & Macau Trip Summary

This was a fantastic holiday.  A whole three weeks away.  The only other time I've ever taken three weeks off was when I went home to Atlanta, Prescott, and Irvine back in 2012.  Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Macau.  Wow!

Krasimir and I met up at Heathrow and then we had a 13 hour flight to Singapore.  We enjoyed our time in Singapore.  I'm really glad that we had a four day layover here because it really broke up the travel time to New Zealand.

It was fun seeing the diversity in Singapore.  All of the unique architecture plus everything from Chinatown to Little India.  The hawker centres were fun and the food was incredible.

While it was fun, I don't have a burning desire to go back.  Don't get me wrong, I would for sure do a layover here again to break up another long trip but, I feel like we got the full experience.  One of the highlights was Changi Airport.  This has to be the best airport ever!  It is one of the busiest airports in the world and it focuses on travellers.  I've never been in an airport that provides art galleries, multiple gardens, a swimming pool and free movie theatres.  For Christmas I really want one of the free foot massage machines that are in the terminals.  

From Singapore we had a 7 hour 40 minute flight to Sydney with an hour layover before our +3 hour flight to Auckland.  New Zealand really is far away from everywhere else.  Auckland was fun and we got to spend time with our favourite Kiwi.

We did all kinds of fun things...hiked up a volcano, saw a gannet colony, saw the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and even saw Priscilla.

Then it was on to Napier which was a nice little town.  It was so wonderful to see the Pacific Ocean again.  This was my first experience with Jetstar airlines which was so much better than any Ryanair flight I've ever taken.

I was shocked however by airport security in Kiwiland.  For domestic flights security is way more relaxed than it is in Europe or the USA.  On some flights we just boarded the plane.  Others when we did go through security there were no restrictions on liquids.  I was shocked seeing being going through with water bottles.  Awesome!

After Napier we were in Dunedin on the south island.  The best part of Dunedin was going out to see the Moeraki Boulders.  Again, I got to see the Pacific Ocean.  It may not seem like a big deal but when you grow up in California and now live in a landlocked country it is a very big deal.

Then it was on to Wellington.  This really is a fab city and I wish that we had had more time here.  It was so great staying with Nat's folks and Robyn and Roger took such great care of us before and after the earthquake.

Leaving Wellington Airport

We were so lucky to have not been on our own on the south island when it happened.  One of my favourite things was sitting down to a Sunday family night dinner.  Everything was so delicious!

Then it was on to Hong Kong via Sydney.  I caught a view of the Sydney Opera House from the plane.  This has sparked a fire so maybe we'll have to head to Australia in 2018, and perhaps a return visit to Wellington (minus the earthquake).

I knew that we would enjoy Hong Kong but...damn!  It was so much better than I had pictured.

Hong Kong (and a day in Macau) in four days just let's you scratch the surface.  There is so much that I still want to go back and see.  If only I had unlimited holiday time.  

Oh well, next came the +13 hour flight back to Heathrow, a three hour layover before my flight back to Vienna and my Student Agency bus home. At least I've got time today to do some laundry before returning to work tomorrow.

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