Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Felt so much better after a really good night’s sleep. We grabbed a cup of the very good, free, coffee in the hotel lounge and taking our smart phone guide with us set off. Bit of a grey day to say the least! Such a shame that the weather is not as good as our previous visit (also in March). It did stay dry all day though which was one blessing.
We got the number 6 bus from opposite the hotel out to Stanley, one of the oldest villages on Hong Kong, on the south side of the island. The bus journey winds all around the place, uphill and down dale….. hugging the coast all around. Some lovely bays along the way: Deepwater Bay, Repulse Bay… And many amazing properties from huge private villas to some of the largest skyscraper apartment blocks I’ve seen. All with magnificent seaviews. There’s a lot of money on Hong Kong. The only place I’ve seen a McLaren dealership, of course there are also common ones like Rolls Royce and Ferrari LOL. The journey took about 45 minutes and we got out in Stanley village and walked down towards the market. Stanley has developed a lot over the years and there is now quite a Disneyesque waterfront, mall and pier as well as the traditional market. We got a bit of breakfast on the seafront and then spent a while walking through Stanley Market. It’s not huge but it’s a rabbit warren of stalls and small shops all aimed at enticing the tourist. Most of the stuff is standard tourist fare, pretty tacky in truth but quite fun to mooch around.
When we tired of Stanley we got another bus (294 I think) which took us all the way back to Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon side). Again a most interesting trip which took in picturesque Aberdeen harbour on the way. We got the top deck on this one and both felt quite queasy by the end because the bus wobbled and swayed and jolted round the winding roads. Plus from the top deck you could see the sheer drops hundreds of metres down the hills as we descended back down to sea level. The buses are a tremendous bargain here though. Super modern. Spotless and very frequent and very cheap. The 45 minute ride was 65p each way. Less for Bob the designated “Elder”.
We had to be in Kowloon by 4pm to pick up our passports so we spent the rest of the afternoon there exploring the very many shopping streets around Nathan Road. Nathan Road is the Chinese equivalent of Oxford Street with the side streets resembling Tottenham Court Rd. Bob enjoyed all the electrical gadget shops. I liked the fashion stores. We had lunch in a Japanese bbq place. I was starving as I had only had coffee for breakfast. Each table had a personal hibachi bbq grill and you got a meal set including the meat of your choice. There were various salads and rice in the set. I chose Black pork belly and Bob had Wagu Beef. We shared! It was about £7 each including a soft drink for quite a big portion.
At 4pm we returned to the visa office and lo and behold our visas were ready and all stamped into the passports! What a relief! That’s a worry gone. Plus so cheap in comparison to what we would have had to pay in London. Cabbed back to the Star Ferry terminal and took that across to the Central Pier this time. Getting quite dark and misty by then. From there we picked up a 15 bus which took us all the way back to our hotel.
Just as we got back, Mick and Maureen had arrived so we went to see them and they were a bit tired but their flight had been ok. So nice to see them! Maureen had kindly brought my jewellery box out in hand luggage for the cruise. It had been hidden at their house while we’d been away.
Bob had located a good dim sum place for dinner very near the hotel as everyone was so tired. We used the guidance system again. Works brilliantly, Bob lead the way like the Pied Piper with us trailing along behind like the err….. 🙂 Along the way we picked up another couple from the hotel who are also coming on the cruise and asked if they could join us for dinner. The restaurant was called Dimdimsum and was in Wanchai. A simple place that gets very good reviews online. We greedily ordered a load of different plates. I am uncontrollable around dimsum, a bit like sushi. The form here was just that! You filled in a form with what you wanted to try! Bob and I had:Steamed shrimp dumplings 4 (lovely) Shrimp and Pork steamed dumplings with crab roe 4 (exceptional) BBQ Pork Buns (yum!)3 Black Truffle and Mixed Mushroom Buns 2 (super) Rice Flour Rolls with Beef (yum) 3 Deep Fried Squid and Pork Patties (Exceptional) 4 Spring Rolls with Shrimp and Thousand Island Dressing (gross) 4 Braised green veg (nice) Bob had a beer and I had loads of black tea.It came to about £18 all in. Really excellent. I don’t honestly think it was quite as good as some of the rave reviews online but a couple of the dishes were outstanding. Trotted back through the neon streets, full up and happy. Mick and Maureen reeled off for a good night’s sleep. A good day. Have walked miles again. Literally!