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Published: June 11th 2017
It's about 1:30 pm now and we're having a rest in our hotel room after a morning of lots of walking. Also, I'm not feeling very well and needed a break.
This morning we walked to the Star Ferry terminal with the intention of taking the ferry over to Central, and then taking the Central Big Bus tour (including taking the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak). Because of road closures related to the protests, the Central Big Bus tour was not running again. Very disappointing. But we spoke to the Big Bus rep and found out we could walk to the Peak Tram from the Star Ferry terminal on the Central Side. So we took the ferry over (it's kind of like the seabus) and walked quite a long way to the Peak Tram terminal, some uphill. It is a very hot and humid day today so we have been sweltering all day. Given that I'm not feeling well I could have done without all the walking in the heat, but I really wanted to take the Tram to the Peak, so we persevered.
The tram was actually quite fun. It has been in operation since the late
Lori in front of big ferris wheel in Central
Taken on the walkway from the Star Ferry in Central. So much construction all over HK.
1800's, and it goes right up the side of the very steep Victoria Peak. The views from the top are spectacular, even though it is quite smoggy. It was sunny and hot up top, but we walked around for a bit, then went inside for a cold drink. There is basically a shopping mall on top of the Peak, full of restaurants and cafes and tourist shops (called Sky Terrace 428).
We took the tram back down and walked about 10 min to Central MTR station, took the train 2 stops to the closest MTR stop to our hotel, which is the Tsim Sha Tsui station, maybe 7 min walk away. Central is a huge station because several lines meet there. Each station has at least ten different entrances/exits and you have to know which one to use. We are quite proud of our MTR use!. We then stopped at the nearby 7-11 to stock up on water and yogurt and buns for tomorrow's breakfast.
We'll head out in a bit to do the Big Bus tour to Stanley (the other side of Hong Kong Island). The shower wasn't working properly so the guy is fixing it now,
Taken from the walkway in Central
Just some barricades and people milling about was all we saw.
then Susan will have a quick shower and we'll be off. It's nice in here, of course, with the A/C, but soon we'll be back out into the heat. As you are walking down the streets in Hong Kong, and pass entrances to malls or shops, you can feel the cold air coming out, so you get a blast of cool now and then. Anyway, I'll add some pictures from this morning, then will update this entry later tonight.
It's now about 8:45 pm. We sure had a full day today! Plus I felt much better as the afternoon progressed so I'm really happy about that. We left our hotel around 2 pm and walked to where the Big Bus green route (Aberdeen and Stanley Tour) leaves from (the Peninsula Hotel). Usually it leaves from Central but because of the protests it left from Kowloon. It takes maybe 15 min to walk to the Peninsula Hotel.
We both really enjoyed the Aberdeen and Stanley tour. The scenery was quite beautiful. Plus only one other couple was up with us on the second level of the bus so no heads in front of us. We went through the Cross-Harbour
tunnel (from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island) and the Aberdeen tunnel which leads to the southern area of Hong Kong Island. The road was narrow and twisting, and followed the coastline. It was a fun ride. We went through Aberdeen which used to be a fishing village and now has its share of highrises, Repulse Bay (so named because at one time pirates were "repulsed" from here). Repulse Bay has a very nice looking beach. Then onto Stanley, which has a well-known market. We did some shopping at the Stanley market, walked on the causeway a bit, got an ice cream cone, and hopped back on the Big Bus for the the return trip. The ride back was also very enjoyable (the driver drove quite fast so it was a bit of a wild ride on those twisty narrow roads!).
We got off back where we started at the Peninsula Hotel (there is a very nice bathroom in the lower level - handy when you are out and about), and decided to head to the Mongkok area to check out the "Ladies Market". We took the MTR again from the Tsim Sha Tsui station to the Mongkok station. The
The entry to the Peak Tram
We were so relieved to finally get there!
MTR stations are huge and jam packed full of people (nothing like our Skytrain stations). Our MTR travel pass is working out really well. It gives us a return trip to the airport on the Airport Express, and 3 days unlimited MTR use.
We walked around Mongkok a bit and went through the Ladies Market. Lots of t-shirts and electronic stuff and tourist trinkets. Mongkok is the most densely populated area in the world, and is quite something. It has narrow, crowded streets, lots of neon signs. There was lots of street food around but we wanted to sit down to eat. We found a place to eat, which turned out to be a good choice. Susan had a beef with thick noodle dish and a Tsing Tao beer, and I had a really tasty mixed veggie curry with rice. It was a little spicy but not too much. The server spoke English and was very nice. I also had a iced coffee/tea combo with milk drink. It was really good.
The weather was good all day, but after we left the restaurant thunder rumbled and soon it began to rain. We got to the Mongkok station before
it got too bad and rode back to Tsim Sha Tsui station, and walked back to our hotel. The hotel is on a hill and there is quite a little climb up the stairs on the sidewalk to get to it.
We have been watching BBC world news and see the protests as they are going on right now. They are in the Admiralty area of Central, but are also in the Mongkok area (must have been close to where we were earlier tonight) but we didn't see any protestors.
Tomorrow we will be picked up at 8:25 am at the lobby of a nearby hotel for our full day Lantau island tour called "Tsing Ma - Lantau & Monastery". Lantau Island is Hong Kong's largest outlying island (the airport is located on Lantau Island). We visit Tai O fishing village, Po Lin Monastery (home to a giant Buddha and where we have a Chinese vegetarian lunch) and take the Ngong Ping cable car. The weather forecast is for rain but hopefully it will turn out ok. If it does rain it likely will be only for a short time.
Tomorrow is our last full day as
we fly back to Vancouver on Thursday - it has been an incredible advenure!
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