Sunday 19th August-Monday 20th August
The next day the four of us headed into the centre of Hong Kong as Rich and I were staying at a hotel that my mum had very kindly shouted us (thanks mum!) as we originally thought our friends would be working this week – thankfully their plans changed. Nice hotels in Hong Kong are a wee bit too expensive for our budget so this was a welcome gift. We stayed at the YMCA Salisbury which while technically a budget hotel compared to some of the really grand places, has some of the best views of the Hong Kong skyline. You’ll see that in a bit…
An odd statue of mini-Maos clambering over a giant book at a train station.
We headed into the city to check out some of the sites. I should point out that the temperature is sweltering in HK at the moment, and coupled with the high humidity it was a little hard going for us, coming directly from Dunedin winter. Regular shade breaks and rehydration were essential. One place we stopped was a pretty square with a pond and plenty of greenery, where the local maids liked to spend their days off. A lot of wealthy families in HK employ maids or helpers, many from the Philippines or Indonesia. Apparently some have a reputation for leading the husbands astray, and Rich and Craig got a few funny looks, meanwhile we girls got glares…
Apparently a very un-Feng Shui building that everyone hates, the Bank of China building is often blown up in movies. Batman jumped off this in the Dark Knight.
The second tallest building in Hong Kong, at 104 stories high.
A beautiful older style building hiding among the skyscrapers.
More maids sat in the middle of the road in the shade of a bridge. Luckily the road was closed!
Because of some bad timing we didn’t manage to catch a day cruise around the harbour, but instead we took the ferry across which was really just as good if somewhat cheaper!
After a few hours of sightseeing we headed to the Ladies’ Market, a famous market which used to be for women, but now seems to have branched out into clothes for both sexes among the various gadgets and cheap Chinese knock offs. Rich made his first successful bargain for a nice t-shirt but I didn’t really enjoy the atmosphere of the Ladies’ Market, it was a bit too busy for me.
Then we headed to Temple Street, the night market which was originally the men’s market but again has diversified. I much preferred this market and was able to buy a few things I wanted here, and because we went quite early it was still relatively quiet.
We ate at an outside restaurant in the market, at which our friends were regular diners and as usual was great Chinese food. Later Rich and I made our first trip back to the hotel via the MTR train without our friends – success! We didn’t get lost!
The next night after another eventful day we hung out in the hotel room with takeaways and watched the Symphony of Lights. We could tune the radio into the music that plays along with the light show every night, it’s a bit cheesy but a novelty to watch and we had a great view.
The lasers were difficult to photograph as the night was very clear but just imagine them shooting out of the top of the tall buildings and across the sky! Planes don’t fly when the show is on!