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be in love with your life. every minute of it. -jack keronae

With only 25 days left of my second Hong Kong contract, I am in a constant state of "I hope I made the right decision to leave". With so little time left before I head home, I knew I had to go to China at least once, since it was so close. So I purchased my entry visa, bought my bus ticket, and took off.

We were only there two days but the main purpose of our visit was of course to go to a theme park, Chimelong! Chimelong is a small entertainment resort consisting of a theme park, a circus, a zoo, and a waterpark. We took the bus at around 7am and crossed the boarder into China. We arrived at the theme park around noon, where we played for most of the day. The rides were a little more Universal Studios style, but a lower intensity, and all in Mandarin. My favorite roller coaster was one that goes up and before you tip down, you sit stuck at the top, ticking slowly at a 90 degree angle for a good 30 seconds before you finally drop. The crowds were very, very low, so we got to ride everything. But the best part of course were these amazing souvenir hats...

Who sewed this beanie baby to the top of this hat and why did they think that was a good idea??

Got some new ink (that only lasted a day because of the water park) 
look how cute my little seahorse is!

There was a ride at the theme park that was called the Ancient Temple which ended up being a haunted house type place with scare-actors inside (which I absolutely HATE) and I wanted to leave the entire ride but it was literally like a 9 minute thing with no exit. 

After the theme park all day we headed to the hotel on property for a quick dinner before rushing back to the circus. It was really amazing and the technical elements were breathtaking. There were lots of live animals in the show and they were amazing. Also, the cast was huge and probably consisted of at least 150 people.

Next day we took the taxi from our hotel to the water park where we find out we have the wrong tickets, and left the right ones at the hotel, so we had to go back and get them (womp, womp). The water park (once we finally got in) was actually really fun. It reminded me a lot of Wet'N Wild in Orlando. Lots of water slides and fun splash pad type places.
Wahhh sorry lack of photos since I didn't carry my phone around much...this one shows literally nothing too
That evening before taking the bus home we went to dinner.Buffet style dining is a really big deal in China so of course we had to check one out. This place was huge, and I really enjoyed the dessert bar.

yummm cheesecake
China was very similar to Hong Kong, however, there was one issue that really made me feel uncomfortable the whole time I was there; the staring. People in Hong Kong stare at me pretty frequently but usually are at least doing it sort of sneaky way. In China everyone, literally everyone was always looking at me and if I would look back, they did not try to hide the fact that they were looking. I am normally sort of laid back when it comes to this but at a water park where I am walking around in a swim suit, I was pretty uncomfortable with it. Luckily the people I was with picked up on this and started to sort of hide me in lines and such. The other issue I was having by the bus trip home was the smokers cough I had picked up from the terrible air quality. 
Check out that smog from the hotel window view

The Clifford Hotel was a great place to stay and comes highly recommended!

Chinese Coke
The day after we got back it was a Chinese holiday called Mid Autumn Festival. This holiday you are suppose to eat mooncakes and play with lanterns, and of course I did both.
 Pictured above is a tradition Chinese Mooncake with duck egg in the middle. Most people split these with about four people because they taste so rich. I personally am not a big fan. The middle sort of tastes like a peanut fondant which I was not so much a fan of. Later in the week I tried an egg custard mooncake and liked it so much more.
Playing with the lanterns at a coworkers home
 In Central there was a big lantern festival and fire dragon dance. First of all, I think there were more tourists than locals at this event, which was super weird. The lanterns were beautiful though and the fire dragon is just a dragon made of incense they light on fire and do a dance with which smells so strong but is really cool.

(I stole this picture off Instagram because I could not get close enough for anyone to see the actual fire dragon)

The day after that, still celebrating Mid Autumn Festival, I headed to the beach with Flow, Chris, and Margaret to go clam digging and play with more lanterns (except this time it was mostly candles). Clam digging is actually kind of hard, and I was not very good at it. We had a bbq and ate the fresh clams right off the grill though, and I actually liked them.

Hong Kong Disneyland celebrated it's 9th anniversary this week and a concert was held downtown during the celebration. I was lucky enough to get to go and it did not disappoint. Most of the songs were sung in English but every now and then they would sing in Cantonese, or even mix both together. I really enjoyed it, and also got to network with some of our upper management at HKDL. Not gonna lie though, the best part was the giant glow sticks they gave us!

Some of the famous HK artists performing

We had a typhoon here this week and it finally got up to Signal 8 which means there is just some crazy wind and thunderstorms. Usually at a T8 you can't take the MTR or a cab anywhere which means we can't go to work. Of course the day we have T8 I am off so it didn't even matter. Some trees were down but for the most part no damage done...

And of course, as always, rounding out this week, some new photos of my girl Belle. I really am going to miss her....

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