Hong Kong 10/05/09

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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Kowloon City Park

After ending up with the traditional Chinese dinner of a double cheeseburger, fries and a coke (McDonalds) we retired back to our hostel to go back to sleep and attempt to sort out our sleeping schedule (while promising ourselves we would eat ‘real’ Chinese food tomorrow).

At 10am the next morning we left for Tsim Sha Tsui which is in the centre of the touristy district. The moment we left the station, we had an Indian guy approach us tryingto sell us knock-off watches and T-shirts! We must look like complete suckers as this will seem to be the theme during this day.

We wandered into Kowloon City park which was really nice. There was a pond with a fountain which contained lots of huge koi and even a few shy terapins.

Nearby, there were a group of men practising maritals arts with swords.

We wandered further and came across a small lake, again filled with koi and terapins. This lake also featured swans, ducks and flamingoes with a dramatic city skyline in the background.

The park was bustling with families, tourists, groups of children, martial artists and people just taking it easy. It was quite a humid day, so a great time just to chill out in the park.

We walked through the park and exited towards the main shopping area, past the Science Museum and the History Museum where we took a seat and decided where to go next.

Looking around us, it was easy to forget we were in Asia. Everywhere you looked there were Western companies - McDonalds, Starbucks, Subway and so on mixed in with huge skyscrapers and neatly maintained flower boxes in litter free plazas.

Terapin
Hong Kong is so clean! They even have non smoking areas outside!

We checked our map and realised we were not far from the habour or the Avenue of Stars which is akin to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame but for Chinese movie stars.

As we were crossing the bridge towards the harbour we stopped to take some photographs. As we stood there, a man came up to Fab and said he had a lucky face then did a magic trick which involved Fab’s lucky number and favourite colour appearing on the piece of paper he was given moments earlier. Sadly for the man, he misheard the number and it wrong, but still a neat trick. He then proceeded to tell us he was a Yogi from Kashmir and that he wanted us to give him money. Erm…no thanks. We continued over the bridge to the harbour, waiting for the next con artist to try his luck.

Kowloon City Park

Moments later we were in front of the astonishing harbour. The waterfront was crowded with hundreds of skyscrapers majestically peering out towards the water. The mountains in the distance, were peeking out from behind the clouds. It is a spectacular sight.

Moving further along the harbour, the buildings started to look familiar when we realised that we were in the place you see on all the photos - where the light show takes place - the Avenue of Stars. We made a mental note to return in the evening to watch the show.

Now came the challenge - could we find the stars we knew in the Avenue of Stars? Since we arrived in Hong Kong, Fab had been keeping an eye out for Jackie Chan. Moments later, we found him, and his hand prints. Then a monument for Bruce Lee, and Jet Li’s hand prints, Raymond Chow, Chow Yun Fat and a few others.

Kowloon City Park

After having our fill of celebrities, we decided to move on to the Nan Lian garden and Chi Lin nunnery for a bit of culture! After getting a bit lost, we found our way there. The garden was very pretty and ornamental. There was piped ‘zen’ music throughout which gave a nice feel to it, although it felt a little artificial with it being right in the middle of a highway. Nonetheless it was beautiful.

The winding paths took us to the central element of a golden temple and orange bridges surrounded by a koi (and frog) filled moat. By this time I had realised that I should have broken in (or thrown away) my flip flops and my feet were in agony. Two blisters on each side of each foot had turned into open sores and the ball of each foot was on fire. Needless to say, Fab had a very satisfying “I told you so” moment!

I limped my way to the nunnery, which was closed but still a lovely building.

Kowloon City Park
We could hear the nuns singing and it felt much more authentic than the garden. We took a few photos, had a wander around the grounds, and then headed off for our final destination - back to Tsim Sha Tsui for the Symphony of Lights at the harbour.

After a long rush there, after getting a bit lost (again!) we made it with 5 minutes to spare before the show started. We found a place to sit, got out the camera/camcorder and waited. There were lots of people about, but we had a decent spot and good view (until this annoying woman stood right in front of us).

The show itself was good but not as good as we expected. It lasted about 15 minutes and the laser lights were used sparingly but the finale was pretty special and it was worth a watch and something to tick off the list.

Kowloon City Park

Fab dragged my weary feet back home and we stopped off at the restaurant next to our hostel for some dinner. I had a bowl of choy sum (Chinese cabbage) with plum sauce and Fab had fish balls, beef balls and noodles. Very tasty and only cost $29 HKD.

We wandered back to our hostel, had a well deserved shower and went straight to sleep. What a fun filled day!

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Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Terapin
Terapin
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
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Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park
Kowloon City Park