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Hong Kong - a brief walking tour leaves me hungry for more - despite excellent dim sum

If there is one place on this voyage - so far - that I felt cheated for time, it was Hong Kong. What an extraordinary mix of traditions, architecture and people!

John and Judy from Florida, Jane from Britain, and two other ladies and I hired Amy, a British gal who has lived here for 13 years, to give us a glimpse of the city over the course of an eight-hour walking tour (that also involved subways, double-decker buses, a funicular and a ferry.)

It was a rainy day - something we have not seen much since setting sail in January.

Not very long ago, the territory was the site of violent protests by residents who objected to an extradition regime imposed by their Chinese overlords. But, other than widespread caution about saying anything against China that could land one in prison - life here is still very capitalist in nature. Money is king.

We started by taking the subway to the financial district (pro tip for anyone who visits here in future - a day pass on the subway is cheap and gets you everywhere).

The HSBC building above (along with two of of predecessors) has held a dominant place in the harbour for more than 100 years. It is forbidden to build between it and the water. And if you rub the feet of the lions that stand at its entrance, as Jane is doing here, you will be wealthy, or so Amy says.

The streets in the downtown (much of which was once water but had been infilled over the centuries of British occupation) are constructed to take fung shui into account - water should flow into a building and not out.

We visited St. John's Cathedral, one of the oldest places of Christian worship in the city which was cleared of all its fixtures used as a Japanese social club during the occupation of the late 1930s. It has been beautifully restored.

Then it was off to the peak of the massive hill behind the city. We took the funicular... which was very steep and only slightly scary.

But the views from the top made the white knuckles worthwhile.

And the downhill ride at the from of the top of a double decker bus was petrifying. We could see so clearly over the edge with each switchback of the narrow road. It left Judy completely nauseated and basically took her out for the rest of the day.

After landing at the bottom, we walked to a massive dim sum restaurant that was full of Hong Kong business folks having their traditional lunch. The spring rolls, pot stickers, pork dumplings (yah - pork twice in a week for this non-red-meat-eater) and other delicacies were fabulous. And cheap!

We crossed back to Kowloon on a star ferry with a large group of tourists from mainland China.

Then we took the subway to a street that is known as the ladies' market which sold cheap trinkets - from bags to jewelry to tee-shirts.

I bought a backpack to replace the one that has worn thin over the course of this trip.

Back on the ship that evening, I opted against having dinner in the formal restaurant - I was perhaps a bit socialized out and needed time to myself - and instead sat top deck so I could watch the sail away from Hong Kong in the dark. The city was a rainbow of coloured electronic billboards and glowing lights from commercial and apartment buildings.

We are off to Vietnam and then Thailand. There is just over a month left to go and it feels like times is moving very quickly. Yet January in France seems like long ago.







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canuhead
31 Mar 2023

What a shame you didn't get more time in HK. At least you got to have dim sum ! I understand that there's also a series of escalators that basically takes you to the top of Victoria Peak. Looking forward to your Vietnam and Cambodia visits. Fred

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gloria139
07 Nis 2023
Şu kişiye cevap veriliyor:

Hey Fred … just saw this … and yah … HK was definitely a highlight of this trip that has a lot of highlights!

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