Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hong Kong - Day 3

Today we decided to head over to Hong Kong Island since technically the whole trip we’ve been in Kowloon. So we headed back to the subway to the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon and to the famed Star Ferry, except right when we got to the ferry it started to rain. Well, it wasn’t supposed to rain today, but I guess there is another typhoon headed to this area of the world (one passed on this same route on Thursday of last week) so we got some showers.

What to do, what to do? Well, of course, another mall!

I have to say that Stevie and I were both pretty jazzed up at the prospect of shopping on this trip. After all, it’s been over 2 years since we’ve been in a mall and our shopping prospects are basically the Exchange or online, neither of which is ideal. But both Stevie and I thought the shopping would be different. When we think malls, we think anchor department stores and lots of retailers running sales and promotions and such. Well here the malls are plentiful, and nice, but the stores are all UPSCALE shopping without the good deals. And no matter how desperate I am to shop, I still refuse to pay $300 for a Polo sweater. Not gonna do it!

After deciding to stop delaying our day, we headed to the Star Ferry port to catch a ride to the other side. This is a short ride across the Victoria Harbor and gives you great views of both sides of the city.

Since the rain was still coming down, we grabbed a cab to take us to an area where supposedly there were clothing bargains to be had. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant featuring specialties from Shanghai (got my dim sum I’ve been wanting!) and as a bonus it had a great view!

So finally, after all this searching, we found an area called Jardine’s Crescent that was a cattle shoot of small stalls offering some fairly good deals on clothes. But it was SOOO crowded. And we did find a shop offering reject designer clothes like Jos A Banks and Hurley – but only one. And this is what I thought the shopping here was going to be!

Stevie looking like a giant among the Asian women.

Watch anyone?

Care for some "fresh" meat?  I wouldn't venture any further into this market - didn't know what I'd see!
So after a run through the gauntlet, we caught another cab over to our one touristy stop of the day – The Peak Tram.

So you’ve probably gathered from the photos that Hong Kong sits in valley opening onto a safe harbor. Built all around the harbor are huge apartment and office skyscrapers. Some of these skyscrapers are actually built on the sides on the mountains – an engineering feat I’m not sure needs to be tested. So the Peak is the top of one of these mountains that looks down onto the cityscape below and is an amazing view. I mean how many times do you get to look down on a city? The Peak Tram, as its name suggests, is a tram car that climbs the mountain, sometimes at a 45 degree angle. It’s pretty fantastic! At the top of the mountain, at the Peak, is not only a spectacular view, but also lots of shops (surprise!) and restaurants. Since we made it to the top slightly before sunset, we got the experience of seeing the view in the daylight and with the evening lights.

Stevie (and apparently the man behind him) looking thrilled at the hour long wait to go up to the Peak.

Look at the crowds!

Going up?

And up...

Yes, I'm taking my own photo because Stevie was in a safer place.

The Peak Tower - restaurants and shops

Stevie's face says it all about the ride back down the mountain!

View from the top

The view off the back of the Peak.

And the lights come on...

Hong Kong at dusk
So after our trip down the mountain, we headed back to the hotel to Skype the kids and then out for dinner at a yummy Thai food restaurant.  And that caps day two - we were pooped!

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