Day 1 in Hong Kong – markets and humidity! 19 April 2013

I’m a bit behind with my posts but here’s what happened anyway.

Felt so much better after a good night’s sleep.  We awoke to not being able to see beyond the huge balcony of our friend’s flat which normally has beautiful views.  In fact we couldn’t see anything beyond the Club and it was drizzling with rain.

Hong Kong Skyscraper Fog

Over breakfast at the Club we discussed what to do on our one whole day in Hong Kong.  I wanted to get a snapshot of the feel of Hong Kong – and I got it!

Despite the weather, we decided to take a taxi to The Peak, take The Peak Tram down, then the Star Ferry to Kowloon where we would browse the markets.

The taxi ride to The Peak was quick as we were already quite a way up the hill at the Club.  We walked through the shopping mall to the viewing platform – but couldn’t see a thing for mist.  No point lingering there so we checked out the picture of the view and then headed for the tram.

Hong Kong The Peak Tram

The tram was a bit of an experience.  We should have had spectacular views of Hong Kong – but there was the mist.  Wikipedia tells me that the gradient is 4-27 degrees but my eyes told me that it was at least 45 degrees and plain scary at times.  I was hoping that the brakes would hold out – which they did of course.

The rain had eased off but the humidity was still probably close to 100% and the heat was rising.

We caught the Star Ferry to Kowloon.  I’m not sure how to describe it.  Antiquated? Rustic? Perhaps just authentic.  The diesel fumes were rather overwhelming.  You probably don’t notice any of this when the weather is better and you can see the harbour.

We then caught the train to Prince Edward station and then walked to find the flower markets. It was debilitatingly humid!  The flower ‘markets’ as such are actually a few blocks of shops.  There were certainly some exotic flowers and plants that I hadn’t seen before but also lots of familiar ones.

Hong Kong Rickshaws

We then found the bird markets which were just sad.

We moved onto the ‘ladies market’ but by then I had had it with the humidity and crowded streets and was starting to need to a toilet.  We whizzed through the markets which mainly sell every day Asian fashion – not to my taste.

The bamboo scaffolding looked rather precarious!

Hong Kong Bamboo Scaffolding

We were very hot and bothered by this stage and found ourselves in a large shopping mall with various exits to train stations.  We wanted to get back to Tsim Sha Sui station where we had got off the Star Ferry – our friend had been to a nice restaurant for lunch there.  ‘Nice restaurant’ meant ‘nice toilets’ in my mind and given that the toilet situation didn’t look too promising around the markets, I was willing to go the distance.  However, we were so tired that we elected to go out the closest exit to a train station that was not on the red line that we wanted.  I think that we ended up going around in a square with about 3 changes to get the line that we wanted.  The trains were very crowded and it was quite overwhelming on top of being hungry, jet lagged and needing a toilet.

Luckily the end destination of Hullett House was worth the trek and we spent a couple of hours having lunch and drinks on the balcony.  The weather had cleared quite a bit by this point and we were lulled into a false sense of security while sitting under the verandah.

We then crossed the road to Star House where there were many electronic shops.  The prices were fairly expenses though so we didn’t buy anything.

After that we headed back to the Club for a well earned rest.  By this point a stomach upset had set in for me and my focus was on toilets.  I ended up staying in that night as I wasn’t feeling too good and was well aware that we had big flights the next day.  However, hubby and friends headed to a Peruvian restaurant in Soho (the nicer area that I had deferred seeing and now wouldn’t see) and partied away until 2am!  I was happy to be on the lounge.

Probably about a 10km day.

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