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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hong Kong

As I prepare this last blog on the trip we are seated in the AC lounge in Hong Kong. This morning we left our hotel to make our breakfast purchases. It was about 8:00 am, early by HK standards and the hawkers and fruit peddlers were just opening. The freshness of the morning air, the sounds of Hong Kong reverberating in our ears, we made our way up the alley, then down the next street until we found the bakery. Fresh baking just laid out in the display cases was quickly being purchased, and we made our selections and left. What an amazing experience this has been! We have enjoyed so much in such a short one mth period, from seeing our grand-children after 1 yr. grow up so much, to the new home Shannon and Jim have, to Jet boating, snorkeling, sailing, elephant riding, bike riding in Cambodia, New Years in Singapore, touring virtually the whole west coast of Malaysia by car and finally Hong Kong, experiencing life on the streets as it is every day. All we can say is WOW! We're looking forward to having some time to rest. Please read on for Hong Kong!
Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

This trip could really be called the “Big 3 Tour”, in recognition of the size of the 3 large cities visited, Hong Kong being the largest population wise while KL is largest in area, still huge population wise, and Singapore, the least Asian, but cleanest city likely on the planet. That of course would be a dis-service to Phuket and Siem Reap which were so unique to stay in our hearts forever.
Us at Vic Peak
Hong Kong is working at becoming as efficient a city as Singapore but with 7 million plus residents its tough. Also Singapore is a flatter terrain to work within while Hong Kong is set in some mountainous islands with a connection to mainland China. The enormity of the city was somewhat prefaced by the size of airplane we took to get there from KL. It was a jumbo jetliner with close to a 1000 passengers on it. We have never experienced loading like that before when they announced they would begin loading from rows 62- 85. What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And the seating was 10 across, in a classic 3-4-3 arrangement, with a second floor for business and first classes.

2 Girls Selfie

On arrival in HK we decide to make the most of the remainder of the day by catching a quick meal at Tsim Chai Kim Noodle, a Wonton noodle place that ranks #29 of 4074 ranked food places on Trip Advisor. In typical Chinese fashion the place has a series of tables, mostly bench-like where people will seat next to one another to eat regardless of whether they know each other or not.Our second time there it was so busy we were seated with in the back where the staff eat. What the heck…. It is unbelievable wonton soup with super large prawns in them. We also know why the Chinese slurp so much now… a habit we have picked up!
Next onto the mid-level  walkways. These elevated walkways begin at the International Finance Centre (IFC) and using the world’s longest escalator system they allow people to rise above the traffic and narrow streets as the terrain gains altitude. We made our way using these walkways back to the IFC. Along the way we found hundreds of Pilipino women sitting together
Sunday on the elevated walkways
on cardboard, playing cards, talking on their cellphones and generally socializing in small groups. Sandra asked what they were doing there and it happens every Sunday when they have their day off from housekeeping/maid duties and they are away from their families back in the Philippines, they go there to socialize. And every Sunday night after 8 pm. The Hong Kong civil service cleans up the cardboard as they leave.
Finally we get to the Star Ferries, an iconic service in Hong Kong since there were Chinese Junks plying the harbor. We boarded a ferry for Kowloon for $3.40 HK
Riding the Star Ferry to Kowloon
Dollars, that’s less than 50 cents CAN. To see the Light Show that comes on nightly at 8 pm. Similar to Singapore’s, except this is a much more imposing skyline, and the orchestration is done much better. We really enjoyed the amazing laser lights that went on.

Hong Kong at Night - always a mist in the Air
Today we started out at the Chinese bakery a few blocks away “Tai Cheong “  #68, in listings and had Chicken pot pies and shared an egg tart for breakfast along with coffee and juice. A breakfast for Chinese Champions!! Delicious!!!
Onto the Victoria Tram, a funicular type railway that climbs up Victoria peak and allows a stunning view of the Hong Kong skyline. When you see the price of $75 HKD you might think wow that expensive, but it is really only about $10 CAN.
While standing in the line… you do that a lot here…. I noticed and pointed out to Sandra two Chinese girls dressed up in little school girl outfits, wearing colored Boller Hats and glasses. On closer look I noticed the glasses didn’t even have lens in them, they were just costume glasses. Weirdoooooooooooos!!!
Frames have no lens

Later we headed on a walk of old Sheun Wan, an area of HK that dates back to early times. Here we found the park that identifies and grows all the herbs used in Chinese medicine and has a Statue of the Chinese God of Healing  “Wong Tai Sin” .

Reflections HK is a nice City
Chinese New Year Feb 1. Year of the Horse
Next to Man Mo Temple the oldest shrine in Hong Kong.
Wong Tai Sin

Walking the Side Streets, Meat and Fish Hawkers

Funeral Caskets Different Shape
Old Printing press in Use
Sandra with Old Press in Use
Pretty Funny Eh?
Oh! That's not funny at all!

Streets in the morning

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