A nine hour flight brings us early evening into Hong Kong, a city of seven million. There is a peaceful harbour, mountains, and unending high rises. Into the Central District to be dropped off at the Butterfly Hotel, with a small room on the 26th floor.
In the morning it is a bit of a task to find somewhere for breakfast. The hotel has provided a mobile hot spot for wifi, so Google directs us to Home Eat to Live where coffee is only served with soy milk. The manager Marion is from Paris and she makes several suggestions for sight seeing. The day is 26 degrees C and extremely humid. Having researched beforehand, first on the agenda is a stop at The Old Western Market in search of silk fabrics. Luckily, the building is only a seven minute walk from the hotel. The first stall has a candy colored array of different silks and I happily choose the second addition for the Art Quilt group project from the Three Geniuses shop.
A long walk on endless overhead corridors takes us through a mall full of American shops like Ecco, Lu Lu Lemon, North Face, etc. Onto the Star
Ferry , across Victoria Harbour, and then a bus to Mong Kok in Kowloon. This is where the Chinese shop in a warren of alleys and street markets where bargaining is a must, and quality is questionable. The Goldfish Market sells all sizes of goldfish, each hung in their own water bag and pinned to the metal stands. Live frogs and turtles are also available should you so desire. Returning on the subway, two young men stand up and offer us their seats. A kindness given to two gray haired seniors. The streets are jammed with people, and the buzz of traffic plus construction noise creates organized chaos. Overhead the saffolding is hand crafted using bamboo, and the family laundry is suspended from apartment windows. A pad is $10,000 a square meter to buy and most of the housing is built in the New Territories away from the downtown core.
A new day, and as we head out, Chris offers his assistance to three Asian women attempting to lift a refrigerator up several flights of concrete stairs. He disappears into a building, and then reappears carrying yet again another fridge. In with the new and out with the old.
An elderly fellow gives Chris two thumbs up (obviously a universal symbol) and a shop keeper runs out to give him wet tissues for his hands. Taking the tram provides an opportunity to just view the downtown and people watch. Oh the smells, some good, and others not so good. After lunch, we take our first malaria pill each, for our upcoming journey to India and hope for the best.
We find the people friendly and respectful. There are $1,500 fines for littering, spitting, and smoking outside of the designated areas, and cleaning gels for your hands are in many public places. Hong Kong is a fascinating place and a shoppers delight.
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