A very long day today; two excursions at five hours each with only about 1.5 hours between them to get a quick snack.
We got a break on the temperature due to overcast for most of the day but that brought problems of its own as there was also some fog due to humidity in the air.
As we started out I got a photo of something I would normally hold onto for any presentation but it’s too good to not post now. In the US we are always practicing NIMBY (not in my back yard) when it comes to the big box stores. Well, in Hong Kong apparently they have a different attitude as one of the first things we saw out of the port was this building… 🙂
Our first stop for the morning excursion was the tram to Victoria Peak. It’s a 23-degree funicular where one set of two cars balances the other set of two cars on the main cable and they meet in the middle. Our ride was one way to the top where the fog and overcast made the view less than optimal. I’ll have to wait until I get home to see what I can pull out of the photos.
Back on the bus for a ride down a twisty road that made at least one person on the bus feel ill (fortunately, nothing worse). We passed by the super rich area of Repulse bay and stopped at the well-known Stanley Market. There I found the item I didn’t even know I was looking for: a chop. In the “old” days people would sign their name with a stamp called a chop. I now own one of my very own. It’s a stone with a dragon carved on top and on the bottom is carved my first name in both English and Chinese characters. It also came with a dragon-themed red ink pad; all put into a fancy box (see photo). It was $150HK which translated on the Visa receipt to $21.15US and when the charge was recorded and I got the e-mail alert the actual cost was $19.64US. Well worth it for such a special item.
Our next stop was at a jewelry factory which largely turned out to be a stop at a showroom. They had free Pepsi there so it was a good stop from that standpoint at least. Finally, we had a sampan ride around Aberdeen Village which is an area in one of the harbors where people live on their fishing boats all tied together. The sampan dock had a dragon fountain; something I had not see before on the trip.
A brief break back at the ship and it was out again, this time to the Peking Garden restaurant for an eight course supper including Peking Duck. Some of the dishes were known and good, some unknown and good, a few most people left just tasted but the crowning dish was the Peking Duck which I really like. I don’t know why but at our table most people took one serving and stopped which left the dish sitting in front of me. Needless to say, I had more than one serving. 🙂
From there we went to see the Symphony of Lights at the harbor where colored lights and lasers perform a show against the tallest buildings in the city. I’d heard so much about it that I expected quite a show; it was underwhelming but I did capture all ten minutes of it on video so eventually you can decide for yourself.
Final stop of the night was at Temple Market. Since I had already purchased earlier in the day I and a few others stayed with the bus and it was a good decision as most who went out returned well before the time deadline saying most of the stuff was tourist junk. Also, they were not happy that this market was right next to one of the Hong Kong red light districts.
We got back to the ship at 10pm, just on time as we sailed from Hong Kong at 11pm.
I’d normally leave this narrative here but just one more note about China in general…
There appears to be a BIG move in Chinese society these days if I can generalize from my short time in the country. It’s toward getting rich and being powerful. We think we have a rich/poor divide; we don’t compared with China. They have the poor, what they call the sandwich class, then the middle class (closer to poor by US standards of poverty) and these are the majority. But, there are many rich and not a few super rich. These are the ones driving the country and are the ones to watch out for on the international stage. Plus, everyone is driving their kids to try to reach one of these levels.
I saw a small sign in Beijing that summarizes this attitude. It’s eight words that summarize what appears to be their international philosophy. It read…
Think about that when you next hear a China news report.