Hong Kong -- The Wrong Decision

Travel, like most things in life, is all about the decisions we make.  Hopefully we make more right decisions than wrong ones.  

 Unfortunately, in Hong Kong, on New Years' Eve 2011, I made the wrong decision.   

My friend Rafael Bello told me he had always wanted to welcome in the New Year in Hong Kong.  The country is known for its spectacular lights.  And some claim the fireworks are the best in the world.  He invited me to travel to Asia with him and unfortunately, I messed it up.

Rafael had booked us a two-hour dinner cruise around Victoria Harbor called "A Symphony of Lights."  It was scheduled from 8pm until 10pm which still left us with plenty of time to find a place to ring in 2012.   

We got on the boat and it was great.  We enjoyed the music, the food and the festive lights on all the buildings.  

Steve Hunsicker on a New Year Eve cruise in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong

After about 90 minutes, we pulled into the dock.   Both Rafael and I were surprised because we had expected the trip to last longer.   I asked a waiter if this is where we depart.  He said "Yes."   Rafael wasn't so sure.   But I looked and said "This is right, it is the same place we got on."   We got off the boat and almost immediately we both realized it was "NOT" the same place where we got on.  We were on the other side of the harbor.

I felt terrible.  I was the one who was confident in what was now clearly the wrong decision.  We hailed a cab and asked the driver, who thankfully spoke English, to take us to the other side of the harbor.   He said he would never get us there on time.  All the roads were closed due to the upcoming celebration.   He said the only way to get there was to take the subway.   He offered to take us to the nearest station.   It was only a couple of blocks away.   When we got out of the cab, he didn't charge us and said "Good Luck and Happy New Year's."

We headed down to the subway.  It was packed.  I don't remember how many trains came and went before we were finally able to get on board, but it was quite a few.   And it wasn't just standing room only, it was crammed to the point of being uncomfortable.  The clock was slowly ticking down to midnight.

Finally, we arrived on the "right" side of the harbor and joined the thousands of people getting ready to celebrate.  We looked around for a place to go and didn't have a lot of luck.   Someone suggested a bar that was on the top floor of a very tall building.  We headed there and the bouncer said all the seats were sold.   He said the only option was to still pay, but we wouldn't have a seat.   We agreed and headed upstairs.

At midnight, we ended up with a great view of the celebration from about 70 floors up.    The admission price included two glasses of Dom Perignon Champagne. We toasted the New Year and I resolved to not to make any more "wrong decisions."   Thankfully, it all worked out.

Dates of Travel

  • December, 2011-January, 2012

Places Visited

  • Hong Kong




This post is part of my series "One Photo - One Country."  I'm am selecting one photo and writing one story from every country I have visited.   Your comments and questions are welcome.  

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