We made our way outside to the tourist centre to get some info and maps as we would be doing Hong Kong on our own..no guided tours. We had heard about the 'Hop on Hop off Bus' and decided to give that a go. There are a number of 'Big Red Buses' which are open top, double decker buses and have commentary via earphones supplied to you. The buses have several routes and you can basically hop on and off wherever you like. This is how we explored Hong Kong Island after first catching the star ferry over to the island.
The Star Ferry
View from the top of the bus
It was a beautiful, sunny day but not too hot and we loved sitting on the top of the bus and taking everything in. We saw a lot from the bus…more than if we had been on foot, and Hong Kong Island is hectic, crowded and energised! There are so many shops that you couldn't go to them all in a month and lots of great food aromas, as well as interesting sights.
More high-rise washing lines
There is a lot of building going on and we loved the mix of old and new on the building sites - they still use bamboo (very strong but much cheaper) for scaffolding and other things along with regular steel and wood.
Unbelievable bamboo scaffolding!
Our first stop was to catch the Peak Tram up the mountain to the observation deck. The climb is very steep and sometimes you pass within inches of buildings but it was a great ride up.
The Peak Tram
The view from the deck is amazing if not a little smoggy. It was a great way to see the city.
Fabulous views from the deck
There is a whole tower of shops and restaurants up there…we found the Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant (from Forrest Gump!) and had to have photos on the bench with the suitcase and box of chocolates.
Kieran in the Forest Gump pose
Our next stop was to ride the world's longest undercover escalator…unfortunately we only rode it for 20 metres and then had to get off as segments were not working and were getting repaired! Never mind, we were there at least!!
Kieran and I at the beginning of the escalator
We decided to look for somewhere to eat and found a small but extremely busy restaurant full of asians…good sign! We managed to get the last 3 seats in the restaurant and tried to look at the menu which was not in english and had no photos. Luckily, the nice, old chinese waiter came over and gave us the english version!! The restaurant was absolutely packed and had won some awards for its food so we were looking forward to our lunch which didn't disappoint. We were very happy to have stumbled across this little place.
The restaurant, one of our dishes and happy customers!
Around the corner we found a little bakery and had some yummy cakes and tarts while waiting to hop back on the bus to see the rest of the island.
In the afternoon we did some shopping at the Ocean terminal and discovered my perfume and makeup were much cheaper here so hooray for me! Anisa had a manicure which was also a bargain.
Anisa drying her nails
We were going to catch the Big Bus again to do the night tour but unfortunately we got there just as the bus pulled out so we missed it!!! We walked to the subway and caught a train to the Temple Street Markets.
Waiting for the train, Subways are always so busy
We walked the streets for hours looking at all the stalls and picking up some bargains.
Tourists?? What tourists!
Anisa and her cousin, Laura love 7Eleven slurps so when we spied a 7Eleven amongst the little shops we had to go in and see if they had Slurpees…and they did. Anisa chose the Green Apple flavour and it was delicious!!
Anisa gives the thumbs up to Hong Kong Slurpees.
At one point we discovered we were in the 'sex' section of the markets as all the stalls were now selling sexy underwear, kinky toys and blow up dolls…trust Anisa to take a picture of Kieran and I, just at that moment!!
Browsing the 'red light' section
Luckily that section finished and we got back to the usual stalls and lots of food vendors and shops. We decided on a very busy street corner set up with tables and chairs and very reasonable prices and chowed down to some local food.
Loving the street market food.
Just around the corner we happened upon a massage/reflexology place that our tablemates, Rob and Pam had told us about. Kieran and I decided to get foot massages as we had been walking around all day and night. Anisa sat in the waiting room just near us and took these photos. The massage cost $12 and I was in heaven…soooo good! They soaked our feet as we sat in massage chairs and then washed and cleaned our feet. Then we were ushered in to the next section where you lie down with nice hot heatpacks under your neck while they work on your feet and legs. It was so good that I didn't want to leave!
We are in massage heaven.
Tai Pan Massage and Reflexology, Sooo relaxing
After our massages we walked back to the ship around 11pm and had a very good nights rest.
Hong Kong Day 2...
We had planned to go back to Hong Kong Island, go to Aberdeen Harbour and take a Junk boat ride and then visit Stanley Markets…however, we all had a slight sleep in and were a little tired from our big day yesterday. So instead we shopped in the massive complex on Canton Road. We did have some yummy Yum Cha on the 4th floor out on the deck overlooking the harbour. Our purchases for the day included 3 new pillows as our cabin pillows are flat little feather pancakes and no matter how many you use, they just shrink up to nothing! We also had to buy a suitcase to accommodate our growing amount of purchases.
We went up on to deck 10 at 'sail away' and took some farewell shots of Hong Kong. We all loved Hong Kong and have decided we must come back and spend a week here so we can see and do all the things we didn't get to do. We love you HK!!
The different views from the ship, Bye HK.