April 15, 2009

Hong Kong – Walking Tours

I went to Hong Kong on a working trip at the end of February, and hubby joined me at the end of my meeting. It has taken a loooong time to me to sort out the photos, as I’m usually dead tired by the end of the day (partly due to the pregnancy, and partly due to waking up earlier in the morning to prepare bentos for Yiu Yiu), and hardly stayed up late to do my own stuff anymore. Anyhow, I figured I better quickly post these up (and more to come on my Yogyakarta trip, also in February) before they grow mould.

We started our holiday with a walking tour of the Central and Western Districts in Hong Kong Island, beginning from the Hong Kong Park, near Conrad Pacific Place where I stayed the last couple of days. It is one of the most popular green lungs among Hong Kong city dwellers, and also where the marriage registry is located. We saw several couples and their families posing for photos outside the pink Rawlinson House, which houses the marriage registry. There’s also the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, which houses a small collection of tea utensils, with descriptions of tea making through the various Chinese dynasties.

The stairways just outside the Rawlinson House

Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware

We then took the tram to Victoria Peak and had lunch at one of the many restaurants inside the Peak Tower. It was extremely foggy and we could hardly see anything from the rooftop viewing deck. We had initially planned to do the hour-long circular hike around the peak but since the weather was so terrible, we abandoned the idea.

Back in Central, we walked past landmarks such as St. John’s Cathedral, Court of Final Appeal, Duddell Street Steps & Gas Lamps, Victoria Prison Compound, Former Central Magistracy and Former Central Police Station Compound. We then visited Hong Kong Island's oldest and most well-known temple, the Man Mo Temple. The temple, which dates back to the 1840s, pays homage to the Taoist gods of literature (“Man”) and war (“Mo”) — “Man” with his calligraphy brush and “Mo” with his sword. Inside, the air is thick with plumes of aromatic smoke from huge incense coils hung from the ceiling.

The walk continued along Cat Street and Hollywood Road, with rows of curios and antiques shops, into Bonham Strand West (aka Ginseng and Bird’s Nest Street), Ko Shing Street (aka Herbal Medicine Street), Des Voeux Road West (aka Dried Seafood Street) before terminating at the Western Market, an Edwardian-style building originally housing the waterfront Harbour Office when built in 1906. Later it became a public market until 1988 before being renovated and then re-opened as a bazaar for shops and artisans.

We then took a bus to Stanley, located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island. Once a fishing village, Stanley is now a lively center with trendy restaurants strung along the waterfront promenade, as well as various stalls selling everything from silk suits to name-brand shoes, casual wear, and souvenirs. Near the waterfront is Murray House, a 160-year-old restored three-storey colonial building that was dismantled in 1982 from its original site in Central and then rebuilt in Stanley. It reopened in 1999 and now houses the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. Situated beside Murray House is Blake Pier.

Hubby in front of the row of restaurants in Stanley

Blake Pier and Murray House

We took a bus back to Conrad, grabbed our bags and took a taxi to Kowloon, where we’d be staying for the next few days. After checking into the hotel, we walked to the Ladies Market for dinner, before browsing around the various stalls.


moms-diary said...

Hello from an other moms-diary :-)


KittyCat said...

Love the green lungs pic at the top of the post :)

I definitely didn't see much of them in HK. We were soooo tired during that trip that when Hubby volunteered to watch Lucas and offered me to go to Ladies Market a street away, I declined!

Looking forward to your Yogyakarta pics...

A Mom's Diary said...

Mom's Diary - Haha...what a coincidence. Unfortunately I can't understand the language of your blog.

Kittycat - Apparently that's one of the most popular parks in HK. With Lucas, you guys must have gone to child-friendly attractions. Travelling with a toddler is also very tiring, so understandably you must be exhausted by the end of the day.