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Touring Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Waterfront

While we were planning our trip to Hong Kong, we decided to schedule a 1/2 day tour so we would be sure to see a few of the more typical sites.  We had be assured that public transportation was cheap and easy, but sometimes when you’re traveling, it’s nice to be able to just jump on and off the bus without having to worry about how to get where you’re going and where you’re going to next. 

The tour bus picked us up at our hotel and did a circuit of pick-ups at a few other hotels before we headed over to Hong Kong Island.  (Our hotel was on Kowloon Peninsula.)  Our first stop was at the harbor where we got to ride on a traditional Chinese Junk. 


The owner took us on a tour around the Aberdeen Harbour area so we could see some of the surrounding city, boat life, and a famous floating restaurant.




The Jumbo Floating Restaurant has been used in several of Jackie Chan’s martial arts movies.  (This point was stressed to us several times by the boat owner.)


Many of the boats in the Harbour are generational family homes.  Some of these families don’t go on solid land.  As with my experience with mainland China a few years back, it was startling to see the disparity of wealth in the area.  Boats that appeared to be held together with duck tape were anchored right next to million dollar yachts.


I snapped this shot as we rumbled on by.  Today’s catch out to dry on the top deck.


After the boat ride, we hopped on the bus to drive to Stanley Market, a famous open-air market. 


It was crowded and noisy.  Several people from our tour came back to the bus with bags of items they were ecstatic about – evidently there were some great deals haggled on purses.  Brandon and I walked through the first few shops on the outskirt of the market and found a few items – Hong Kong pins for our bulletin boards, a shot glass for Brandon’s collection, some post cards for my travel journal, and we had a stone carved stamp made with Brandon’s name in Chinese.  (I have a similar stamp of my name from my China ‘07 trip.)  We stuck our heads in part of the main market and decided that we probably didn’t need to squeeze our way in there.  Unless we’re on a mission for something specific or there is promise of action figures, neither of us are big shoppers.  Now give us an open-air market full of sci-fi action figures and that would be a different story!  Good luck ever getting us out of there!


Our next stop was the Aberdeen Jewelry factory and showroom.  No photos were allowed inside, but it was very fun to see some of the pieces of fine jewelry being created.  And, of course, as all good factory tours (and Disney rides) do, they empty you into the show room (or gift shop) and encourage you to spend your money.  They had some gorgeous jewelry and great prices on good investment jewelry, but nothing specific caught our eye.  (You know us, we still had action figure hunting in mind.)


Then we were onto Victoria Peak, where you can see for miles and understand where most all of the Hong Kong postcard photos come from.


Positively gorgeous views from up there!


We even found a Hong Kong lion (not quite a shisa, but close) for Brandon’s collection of photos!


And speaking of lions, we also found this familiar sight:


And we enjoyed gelato at the famous Gino’s Gelato on top of Victoria Peak!  Vanilla for me and Rich Chocolate Brownie for Brandon.  (We thought happy thoughts of our trip to Italy and my best friend and her hubby currently living abroad in Rome!)


We piled on the incline to ride back down from Victoria Peak.  The tram is very popular and was very crowded, but was quite the experience.  DSC05578

Beautiful views of the surrounding area…and with a 48% grade, those of us without seats were bracing ourselves anyway we could.  Made for lots of laughter with the Australian couple next to us!


A great 1/2 day tour where we got to see and experience all sorts of Hong Kong sites all before lunchtime!  Now we were on our own to explore Hong Kong Island for the rest of the day.  But as this has turned into a fairly lengthy post already, I’ll save our exploring for next time.  All-in-all, a great morning!

Hong Kong Boat

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Reader Comments (2)

Your descriptions paint a vivid picture in my mind. Not at all what I expected Hong Kong to be like. The water is so beautiful! It looks clean and very inviting; I somehow imagined brown/gray/muddy water along waterfront areas like the ones in your photos, but the colors are reminiscent of some in the Caribbean! Great photos and captions; a very enjoyable read!

January 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMom Smith

Did the gelato taste as good in Hong Kong as in Italy?

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

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