When I studied abroad in Hong Kong many years ago, my mom visited me twice and my dad once. They figured it was best to split their trips up so I’d have less time alone. Two of these trips were outside Hong Kong and one was in the city.
In December 1990, my mom returned to Hong Kong for the first time in 15 years, this time to visit me. It was so much fun showing her around and to see Hong Kong from her perspective, too. Here we’re in Central, where she convinced me to get a shoeshine. I love the alleys in Central and they’re still there.
We also took this memorable trip to Lantau Island. I think it may have been my first time there. My mom and I had lunch at the vegetarian restaurant at the temple by the Big Buddha. This was way before the gondolas went up, so we took a ferry and then a bus. We also saw the most primitive toilets in Hong Kong. I wasn’t sure those were still in existence there, but Lantau proved me wrong.
More from Lantau.
I was volunteering at a Vietnamese refugee camp that year, so took my mom to their Christmas pageant. We headed off to Japan the following morning.
My mom and friends at the Yokohama Chinatown on Christmas Day, 1990. She left for the US soon after this photo was taken. I’d stay on in Japan for a couple more weeks.
After I finished my year in Hong Kong, I was ready to travel more! My mom met me in Kuala Lumpur, and we went on to Penang, Kuching, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bali.
We loved the E&O in Penang (although I was stubborn at first and said I was going to stay at a youth hostel next door).
The Cathay Theater in Kuching!
My mom left me in Kuala Lumpur, from where she headed back to the US. I went on to Vietnam and Cambodia. So few Americans were traveling there at the time and the US didn’t have relations with Vietnam. Pol Pot was hiding in the jungles of Cambodia. The scariest part of the trip was when I was supposed to meet my dad in Bangkok after I went up to the Thai-Laos border for a week and he didn’t show up!
This was where I was supposed to meet my dad in Bangkok, only he went to the wrong hotel. We finally figured things out the next morning. Thank goodness for cell phones now, right? Something like that would never happen now.
After hanging out in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, I showed my dad Hong Kong (his first time; but it wouldn’t be his last!) and then we headed to Shanghai and Beijing!
My dad and I went to Zhou Enlai’s house in Shanghai. They were still using Wade-Giles romanization back then.
In Beijing (and in Shanghai), we stayed with his students’ families.
Obligatory photo in Tiananmen Square:
He left me off at the Beijing train station so I could go on to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, then he flew back to Chicago.
And those were my parents’ trips to visit me when I studied abroad!
So now that I have a child studying abroad in Shanghai, it’s only natural that I visit him. Like my mom, I’m going twice, once to Shanghai and once elsewhere to travel with him. We met up in Hong Kong in November and had an amazing time. I still can’t get over how well everything worked out and how much fun we all had. I had my two youngest kids with me (while my husband toiled at work back home). It’s not always easy to find things to do with pre-teens and twenty year olds–things they’ll both enjoy–but leave it to Hong Kong! We had a ball!
Dim sum at Lin Heung!
The Peak at dusk–before and after!
The Jumbo! A first for me, too!
These are just a handful of photos from that trip. Jake will be finished with his year in Shanghai a month from now, but it’s not too late to visit him! I’m going to take my younger son and will meet my mom in Shanghai so we can hang out with Jake before he leaves.