DAY 1. Sunday, December 22.
Let's begin the first day of the vacation, excluding the plane trip. Well, I'll try to bring back as much as I can. Because of this 16 hr time difference, I'm having trouble keeping time, but I'm guessing it's somewhere around 9 PM, December 22. That's right. I'm a day ahead of all you Americans. So here's what's been going down so far. The plane ride from here to Hong Kong took nearly 15 hrs. From this time to that time, I didn't get up once, so my legs lost complete circulation. Sigh... when I got to the airport, I had to wait about half an hour to get a bus back to the Marco Polo Hotel and arrived there at 5 in the morning, but then we had to wait for a while. you know... get settled in. Later we got bored, so we walked around for a while... did some exploring basically. It's really weird in Hong Kong when it's early, because it's practically a ghost town. Anyways, most of the shopping malls and resturaunts were closed. It took us about 20 minutes to find a good noodle place, but the bad thing was... since it was so early, there was hardly anything on the menu. But I wasn't complaining, it was good. It's weird. Over there, they give you tea and wet towels, instead of here, where they give you ice water and a dry towel to put on your lap. Oh well. After that, stopped by this 7-eleven to stock up on products like drinks and junk food. Then we went back to the hotel to wait for our tour guide to pick us up. In order to do all of that, we had to check in with the concierge to see what time our ship would be ready to board, and it was around 1:30... so plenty of touring time. Our tour guide Anthony along with the driver took us to many different tour places, like the Jumbo Floating Resturaunt, the Hong Kong Jewelry Factory, and this markettown where it had a lot of nice little items. It was really fun, but tiring. Let's see... 1:00 was when we got back to the hotel, and that was the time I had to board the plane. So much to do, and so much to take care of. It was pretty tiring, but somehow we managed to take care of everything and board the ship without any problem. Get this... I walk in, all these Asian ladies are prepared to serve me. Drinks, wet towel, brochure... yup. That was awesome. From then on, it was just settling in and exploring the ship. Because of my keen explorer skills, it only took me half an hour to know where everything was. It's expensive here you guys. They charge us for almost everything that we do, but I guess it's worth it. There's no TV here, so that's out of it, but there's a lot to do here. Meet a lot of Asian people and doing a lot of eating and exercise. That's pretty much the first day of my trip to Asia.
DAY 2. Monday, December 23.
Woke up really early today, but probably in California its around 1 in the afternoon. Anyways, woke up around 5 AM and took a long walk around the top of the ship. You know how there's always a track around every ship? Yea... took a walk up there. Around 7 AM, it was time for breakfast, and so we went to this Chinese resturaunt on the lower deck. Man o man was it a big ripoff. $3 for a glass of OJ. With no refills! It sucks so bad, but then again.. it's an all you can eat dim sum place. After that, we had to get prepared to board for China (Sanya City). So the whole thing with the passports and boarding passes had to be taken care of. It took really long to get through Chinese customs, but in the end, we managed to get to our tour bus. The tour guide George was awesome, and his English was so broken that it made me crack up. haha. He took us everywhere around the area, and even hung around our family to help us. I guess he knew we were rich... kinda expected a big tip from us. haha. He was nice, and he got us some good bargains with our souvenirs. Let's see... went to the Crystal Emporium, ate at a five-star hotel, and get this... went to the end of earth and back. I'm not kidding. I have pics to prove it. The whole bus sung Christmas songs on our way back... it was kinda annoying. Hmm... so we got back to the ship around 8 PM, and after that... ugh... I can't remember. We were so tired, we got back around 7 PM and headed straight for our cabins. That was pretty much DAY 2 of the trip. Oh yea... X-Men was showing on TV, so we watched that. Other than that, nothing else happened.
DAY 3. Tuesday, December 24.
Had a great sleep last night, so now we continued the routine we decided 2 days ago. Now that we familiarized ourselves with the ship, we know where to go and what to stay away from. Freakin ripoff resturaunts killed us, so we figured that the buffet on the upper deck would be better. More variety, you know? Anyways, next stop was in Ha Long Bay in North Vietnam. Sort of uncharterd area on a regular map, but it's really one of those famous places. All I can say is, it was incredible when I first saw it from far away, but on closer look, it's pretty... damn. Haha. It's exactly how I pictured Vietnam. Enough said. There was really nothing to do except shop and eat there. The food was so good, because come on... North Vietnam makes the best Vietnamese food. So... let's see, waited about an hour to get back to the ship, and went back to our rooms to stretch. For the first time, I went upstairs to play basketball. Let me tell ya... the best ballers in Asia are like the worst players in California. I literally scored 200 pts and grabbed 100 rebounds in 10 pickup games. I did Umair proud, and I gave the Asian audience a show. This 13 year old kid threw me a perfect alley oop pass and I just jammed it. Keep in mind that this was a 10 ft rim. My god. I established my baller reputation on the ship. Anyways, that was the highlight of that day. After that, we dressed out for formal night and got to watch the Bucs-Steelers game on TV.
DAY 4. Wednesday, December 25.
Merry Christmas everybody! I'll try to remember everything that I can... since it's pretty late right now. We're scheduled to be out at sea all day, so no stops today. The weather was terrible, so the upper deck was closed off. Mostly everyone was down in the lobby or in the shops and resturaunts. Oh yea... today was the first time I went online, so I might have written a few of you some comments and emails while I was out. Damn internet was too slow and it charged by the minute, so I was limited to it. I also went to the arcade and fooled around with the DDR machine. Haha. I suck at it. Never played before, but it's not a bad game. Spent about the rest of the evening just eating at the buffet and taking a walk around the main deck. I'm tired, and we get to Hong Kong tomorrow afternoon at 4 PM. I don't think I can go on anymore. Pretty tired today, and when we get to Hong Kong, we're suppose to have more passengers come onboard. Today is good. Perfect weather, and the water is really calm... so no sea sickness. Instead, my family decided to stay and enjoy the rest of the cruise. Me... I overslept about 3 hours. Missed breakfast, but it was ok. Had a big lunch to make up for it. Most of the day was at Hong Kong, so we just stayed on the boat and waited for the passengers to leave and have some more people come on. However, they did make us get off the ship to go through customs... again. Hong Kong loves to do that customs crap. But afterwards, we got back on and waited for dinner. It was funny what happened later on. So stupid. My dad got pissed off because this Indian waiter was telling us what to do and asking us to leave to make way for more people. It was rude, but hey... he was a bitch about it. Today was a disappointing day. Watched this really gay show at the Moulin Rouge, and it made me laugh. haha. That's all I remember about it. This concludes the OJ.
DAY 5. Thursday, December 26.
Bad news... such bad weather coming in from overseas that the ship could berth, so the trip to China was cancelled. The cruiseline reimbursed us with discount certificates on our next cruise instead. haha. I WANT A DAMN REFUND! oh well... but since the weather was so bad, we spent all day out at sea, and we'd be at Hong Kong the next day. So what happened today? Remember the Indian waiter guy I told you about the other day? We complained about him to the managers, and they set him straight. Also, this weird rash started developing on the left side of my neck. It starting bleeding, so I got kinda scared. Even the back of my heard is starting to react. What's goin on? I don't know. I'm just afraid of my skin. Let's see... the boat was rocking so much that I started getting seasick, but somehow I managed to eat ok. Still kinda dizzy, but I pulled it off. Went to the Moulin Rouge and saw this really cool show, and then went to this bar to watch this Australian comedian. Pretty funny guy. He can juggle and ride a unicycle at the same time while the ship is rocking. haha. Cracked me up so much. So did his accent. haha. Anyways, I g2g sleep. Making me sick putting up with this rocking. Hong Kong will be fun I hope.
DAY 6. Friday, December 27.
Well... said byebye to the ship... and hello to Hong Kong! haha. Met up with Anthony at 2:30 PM to get us to the Miramar hotel. He explained the entire schedule for the next day, and he managed to show us all of the good places to buy souvenirs and other places to eat. The Miramar hotel is nice, and our rooms were at the very top. Pretty nice. Today was a day for exploring the depths of downtown Hong Kong, and so far, my prediction was correct. It was an Asian version of New York City. Exact same thing, except everyone was Asian. No mix of white or black people... just Asian. I started freaking out. Got what you might call "Asian withdrawal symptoms." Crap. It happened just now. ewwww... ughhh... Oh well. I needed to get out and get some fresh air. It started getting really cold. I don't know how it is over there in California, but I can tell you its really cold over here. Feels like it's below 8 degrees out here. Sucks to be outside with a tshirt on, that's for sure. Anyways, all I can remember is doing a lot of walking. I practically knew every street of this island by heart, and trust me... that's not easy to do around here. Oh well. Hong Kong...what else? No better place around here than Hong Kong. Ate at this really good Chinese resturaunt, and then went out shopping. That's it for today.
DAY 7. Saturday, December 28.
Went to downtown China today. In order to get there, we had to arrange a tour guide to come along and take us to a ferry. We had to go along with this other Malaysian family to China in order to make it more fun. The little eight year old girl named Amanda from the other family kept my little sister company for the whole trip, so the kids were occupied, which was good. The ride from Hong Kong to China took about an hour, but I don't really remember that well. When we got there, our tour guide named Richard took us first to this Jade Museum where I bought a lot of nice little artifacts for souvenirs. I also got some nice jewelry and this bronze horse for decoration. haha. Don't ask why. Later we went to this flea market to check around, and then we stopped at this amusement park to take pictures. After all that, we went to lunch at this nice hotel. Then our family split up and another tour guide named Beth took us to this underground market where we got all these replica Rolexes and Omegas, and replica Louis Vuitton handbags and Parker pens. It was crazy. It was also illegal, but who the hell cares? Yea... anyways... it was pretty fun. All my Christmas shopping is taken care of right now, and all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride. Pretty fun. When we got back to Hong Kong, had some dinner and then walked back to the Miramar. That was it for the day... just rested up. Watched Batman Forever... had a dream about Nicole Kidman... haha.
DAY 8. Sunday, December 29.
Like I said... Hong Kong rocks. All we did today was spend time shopping and eating really good dim sum. It was at the Sheraton hotel, and it's cool because this resturaunt is ranked top ten out of all the dim sum places in the world. Let's see... went to Harbour City to go shopping in the really huge mall. Best shopping place in the city, so we got Christmas shopping taken care of. Hong Kong baby. Best place for shopping. My dad bought this really expensive Cartier watch, and I got my band fixed for my Omega De Ville, so it fits perfectly. Let's see... bought some long pants and some tshirts. That's about it for shopping. Later at night we went to dinner. It takes so long to walk in Hong Kong... plus the traffic is heavy, both human and cars. I took Eddie Zhang's advice and went to this really good place where they serve awesome Peking duck and Hainana chicken. Everywhere we went had good Peking duck actually. That was it. Went back to the Miramar hotel for our last day here.