Star Ferry to Victoria Peak

One of my favorite walks begins at the Star Ferry in Kowloon.  Arriving in Hong Kong Island, we walk through Central along the sky bridges to the mid-level escalators (the longest in the world).  From the top of the escalators, we cut across to the Peak Tram, which we take to one of the most incredible views on earth. Victoria Peak has so much to do, from Madam Tussaud’s to a pizza restaurant with an unparalleled view.  After hiking Lugard Road around the Peak, we descend in the Peak Tram to Hong Kong Park, exploring its amazing aviary. As the sun sets, we enjoy the light show.

Tiger Sanctuary, Chiang Mai

Easily the most memorable (and frightening) experience on our trip was being in a cage with tigers.  What I didn’t know was that the animals were not drugged.  We saw cuts on some of the tigers from recent fights.  Fortunately, we were assured that the tigers had eaten recently, but the the trainer/photographer kept pushing my hand away from the tiger’s mouth just in case.

Maesa Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai

We debated going to one of the elephant sanctuaries because we had heard stories of mistreatment.  Maesa is supposed to be one of the better ones (if such a thing exists).  It was amazing watching the elephant paint, and I even toyed with the idea of buying one of the paintings ($100).  Riding on an elephant isn’t as easy as it looks!

Karen Hilltribe Settlement, Thailand

The Karen village was settled by refugees from Myanmar.  One of their unique practices involves “elongating” women’s necks by adding rings each year from childhood.  It doesn’t actually make their necks longer.  Rather, it pushes down on their shoulders, making the neck appear longer.  The kids  were so cute that I ended up buying many more trinkets than I had planned.