September 25th, 2006 – by: clearviews
the ornate temple
Looked up my diary and found that after nearly 10 months of faithfully recording most days, I had given up. Nothing. No entries! By this stage we were so close to the end of our mammoth trip and would be seeing all our families, Tia ( the wonder dog), Opus the cat and our beach side house that I just stopped.
Our hostel was in Causeway Bay and this appeared to be the fashion district of Hong Kong with many international names and national fashion houses lining the street below our 3rd floor room. Also found so many wonderful eateries with the most memorable being the local cafes where often there weren't menus, just lots of Chinese characters written up on the walls so we did a lot of pointing. You know how it goes, "I'll have some of what she/he is eating please".
Found a Yum Cha happening one lunchtime and every so often I had to get up from the table and the old ladies would open a drawer of a cabinet steamer and I would choose a bamboo steamer with something delicious in it. All the cafes served a glass or beaker of a warm brown, coloured liquid that was made from a concentrate of dark brown liquid, not tea leaves. It was pretty tasteless but I figured that it was good for you as it was free and liberally served up. I almost made the mistake of choosing something that looked deep fried and crunchy when as it was put on our table it dawned on me that they were chicken's feet. Now I have kept chickens and I know what they walk in so I drew the line at this little adventure!
a view of Hong Kong from the ferry
We booked a day trip to take us out into the New Territories and as always we learned a lot about the history of Hong Kong from the informative guide.
Visited a temple, a lookout, a village right near the Chinese border which is now almost deserted. Just a few old ladies living there as the men have died and the young people don't want to live there as there is only rural work to be had. We stopped to look at a Hakka Fishing Village that might soon be relocated due to some development happening in the area. Stopped at another village and walked through the narrow streets that are for pedestrian use only and looked into some of the tiny little houses,
busy streets near our hostel
We did find street markets and did some serious shopping for gifts for our children hoping that this wouldn't finally push our weight limit over in our luggage. In fact we just came to the limit with a total of 64 kilos between us and quite a bit in cabin luggage plus the duty free alcohol and other items we took back with us.
Found many reflexology places so I decided to give my travel weary feet a treat and we went upstairs to one of them that clearly stated the price above the door. Andrew decided to have one too and we were ushered into comfy arm chairs and our feet placed in foot baths of warm water. Then a girl came to do my feet and a guy to do Andrew's. We were given glasses of warm water with something added like perhaps a green tea to drink. It was a 45 minute treatment and was wonderfully relaxing. Andrew's guy found several places on his feet that caused him to wince or change his expression. With very little English the guy would solemnly pronounce things like "Spleen, heart lymph" which then caused Andrew to think that he was in imminent danger of one of the body parts or systems imploding or something.
the fashion windows
It was quite amusing to watch! I then took up the offer to have a full body massage for another 45 minutes which once again was wonderful! Surprisingly I was not supposed to take my clothes off but it was very effective and in all the cost was very reasonable-- I think it was about $HK180 for both treatments for me.
Hakka Fishing village, their homes are their boats
On our third night in the hostel the hard be got to us and we could see that it was actually only the base of an ensemble double bed so Andrew went to reception to ask if something could be done about the bed. They agreed that it could and promised someone would be along soon. We went out to have our evening meal and on our return found nothing had been done so he made another trip to the desk.
Eventually a woman came along with a quilt which was put under our bottom sheet and gave us about one and a half inches of softness. Oh well, the next night would be spent sleeping on the plane home and then................................ our own bed!!!!
We took a ride on a ferry from one side of the harbour to the other when we left our day tour a couple of stops early so that we could avoid the city traffic congestion. Used the tram service which was very cheap at only $HK2 which one pays as you get off the tram not as you get on we found. The trams are double decker and very narrow in build, quite unique. It was a great place to stop over for us but I think that we wouldn't have wanted to stay any more than the four days that we had there or we would have been pushing it to find things that interested us to do.