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Exploring Hong Kong Island

Guess where we ate our first late lunch in Hong Kong?!


Overpriced, but I was still experiencing culture shock from the previous evening and running around all morning on our tour, so I was in the mood for something familiar.  Plus, we don’t have many American eateries on Okinawa, so it was a special treat.  And being so tired, I totally forgot to take photos of our very American meal.  Oh well.  I did remember to get a photo of the TV inside the elevator on the way down from Ruby Tuesday.


And on the bottom floor, we stopped for a fun photo.  We may not always have a plan when we travel, but we always manage to have a lot of fun!


Our “plan” for the afternoon was to locate the Bruce Lee statue we thought was located on Hollywood Road on Hong Kong Island.  So we set off from Victoria Park and headed east.  During our over two mile walk, we enjoyed the Christmas displays that were being worked on throughout the city.


Definitely an interesting arty sight to see all those white feathers stuck into the ceiling.  Created quite the neat effect!


Hong Kong is set up in “districts.”  You have the wedding district (I think we drove through this on Kowloon), the cooking district, the expensive shopping district, etc.  On our journey to find Hollywood Road, we took an unofficial tour of the hardware district.  Not too many tourists or foreigners there, I must say.  Toilet store after bathtub store after sink store, they had everything one might desire for bathroom furnishings all clumped together in one area.  If you didn’t see what you liked in one store, just pop on over to the store right next door.

We were also quite impressed with the bamboo scaffolding we encountered on several buildings under repair.  We’d seen bamboo scaffolding used sometimes on Okinawa, but never to this height.


We stumbled across an outdoor concert at one point.  Stopped for a few minutes to listen, but then kept walking east.


Thought it was quite neat that they still had some working streetcars.  Like we had been told, not very many people (percentage-wise) own cars in Hong Kong.  Most use public transportation so there are many, many cheap and easy methods of public transportation available.


As it was November, the city was preparing for Christmastime.


Loved the giant Tiffany & Co. Christmas tree we happened upon!


We caught the moving walkways that go from near the harbor front to the middle of Hong Kong Island.  Remember that blurb about awesome public transportation?  We can heartily attest to how helpful the super-long moving walkway system was!  There were exits every so often so you could get off at certain intersections.


Especially nice when going up inclines!  And did we mention, they’re all covered, so when it rains, no worries?!


We finally made it to Hollywood Road!  There were these neat medallions in the sidewalk all along the road.


And some really neat trees growing along the wall!  Check out that root system!  What nice shade they provided – an escape from the heat.


We made it all the way down to Man Mo Temple without seeing hide nor hair of the Bruce Lee statue.  Lots of antique shops along the road, but no statue.  We sat on a bench across from the Man Mo Temple and decided we’d better head back towards the moving walkway system and see if we could find a coffee shop with free internet.


We stopped at lovely “Café O” for drinks and internet, whereupon we learned that the Bruce Lee statue is actually located on Kowloon Peninsula.  We were on the wrong island!  Seeing as how it was nearing dinner time for us (we eat between 5-6pm…most of Asia eats much later), we found the address for the Hard Rock Café and set off in search of dinner and new pins to add to our growing collection.


We got to enjoy sound-check of the band that would be playing later in the evening.  There weren’t many patrons yet, but the wait staff was full of energy and having a blast!  They were so happy to see us!


I worked a bit on our travel journal while we waited for our meal to arrive.  And we had fun telling our Hard Rock story to the staff in the Rock Shop as we purchased our pins.  The first time Brandon and I met in person, we ate lunch at the Hard Rock Café in Cleveland, Ohio.  The following day, we headed up north for a day at Niagara Falls.  As it was wintertime, part of the falls was shut down and the only restaurant open in the area was the Hard Rock Café.  Since then, Hard Rock’s have become our “thing,” along with Disney, Universal Studios, and action figure hunting together.  They are fun reasons to go to different places, collect memorabilia (our bulletin boards are covered in pins from places we’ve been), and then stay an extra day or so and explore the surrounding area or learn more about the different culture.  So maybe our “thing” is actually just travel and these other “things” are places to visit when we travel.


On our way back to the harbor, we passed a very packed Apple Store.  Not sure if there was something special happening that night, or if it’s just a Hong Kong past time to hang out at the Apple Store.  Made for an interesting photo.


We caught the Star Ferry back to Kowloon.  Inexpensive, fun, and gorgeous sights!




And many of the buildings were lit up for Christmas!


On our walk from Tsim Sha Tsui station, there were more fun Christmas displays!  This one was an advertisement for the opening of Toy Story Land at Hong Kong Disney!  Loved all the bright, happy colors!


1881 Heritage, an upscale shopping and dining center with hotel, had a gorgeous display in their courtyard.  People could have their photo taken in the carriages.  Very pretty!  (1881 Heritage used to be the Former Marine Police Headquarters.)


And we stopped at our favorite 7 Eleven on the walk to the hotel to pick up breakfast.  We found this amazing Natchan flavor that both of us instantly fell in love with – Sweet Honey Lemon!  Oh my, if you’re ever traveling and come across this drink, don’t hesitate, buy five!  So good!  Brandon really likes the orange Natchan we get on Okinawa, but this was so incredibly better!  Wish we could find it in Japan!


We had quite the busy day our first full day in Hong Kong!  Got to see so many awesome sights, walked over two miles and saw parts of Hong Kong I seriously doubt the usual tourist sees, had an absolute blast at the Hard Rock Café for dinner, and finished off the evening with a wonderful, relaxing ferry ride!  When we got back to our hotel, we rode the elevator with several girls from the Japanese Cheerleading team and were very happy to say a familiar, “Oyasuminasai,” as we got off on our floor.  Nice reminder of home and a great way to end our evening.

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Reader Comments (2)

Inquiring minds need to know: why is there a need for a TV in an elevator? Just another way to advertise things?
AND, can you really claim to have walked two miles when you used a moving walkway for some of it?? hmmm??
Lastly, statues must be a lot different in Hong Kong. I've never seen one that has "hide" or "hair" on it. :P

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

We're looking forward to trying FIVE bottles of Natchan Sweet Honey Lemon, lol. The photos are great, and we especially like the one of Brandon in the spacesuit. Hong Kong is surely a bright, bustling city and we're glad you two have happy memories of your (many) travels! Love you, Mom and Dad Smith

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMom and Dad Smith

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