Day 3 HK
Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 3 of 9 › view all entries
I spent the whole day traipsing around the entire city, jumping from trolly to MRT to bus to ferry. I got up early this morning to catch the number 602 double-decker bus to Stanley from the central exchange station. As my guide book suggested, I sat in the top in the front row and held on for the ride through the winding mountain and costal road, and as promised it was better than any amusement park ride. It was espically nail-bitting when passing other buses as I thought for sure we would collide head-on, only to swing by with the narrowest of margins. Stanley itself is a picturesque beach town with a nice outdoor market. All along the beach are quiet little restaurants and cafes with people milling about in no rush to get anywhere. The market was compact and colorful, with great prices on textiles, such as tablecloths and silk purses.
The only down side was the oppressive heat and humidity, which leaves you soaking wet in a matter of minutes. Luckily all the public transportation systems other than the trolleys are heavily air-conditioned. Surprisingly though even on the trolleys which are always packed like sardines, no one has body odor and no one ever pushes or shoves. It is refreshing how polite and quietly reserved the Chinese people are. During the evenings when the MRT stations are at their busiest, huge crowds of people will pass down a single escalator; with everyone just smooshing together and shuffling and bumping along in a sort of organized chaos. Again no pushing or shoving is involved and you never feel like your space is invaded, it is really quite amazing.
After a quick cool shower, I was back on the bus, this time to Aberdeen to take a sampan ride out to one of the floating restaurants for dinner. I went to the Jumbo Floating Palace, and the name truly fits. It is quite a sight of ornate flashy Chinese architecture floating along in the harbor amidst freighters and houseboats. The food was primarily seafood and more geared toward large groups with meals served “family-style” on large turnstile tables. But it was really all about the experience and the dining hall was large and flashy with great views of the harbor front. After dinner, I spent the evening enjoying the Hong Kong night scene and wandered the Ladies night market for more souvenirs. Tomorrow I’ll be flying out to Bangkok for one night before catching my connection to Kathmandu Nepal.