Saturday, April 21, 2007

Buying Backpacks in Hong Kong Night Markets

Yes, it's true, I bought a backpack. Here I am, proudly displaying my merch, with my man at the Avenue of the Stars in Kowloon.

So, we arrived into Hong Kong at 9pm, and after a quick 2nd farewell show, we grabbed a taxi in Kowloon to temple Street Night Market, for more time to bargain.
It was a warm, beautiful night. These durian fruit are possibly the most scary fruit I know. When I worked in Malaysia, the hotel complex strictly forbade guests to bring these things in, because they stink, and I mean stink, when the flesh is exposed. They are, however a delicacy, often used to flavour icecream. It's an acquired taste.
Eric tried on many hats, all in vain, and I tried on many backpacks, eventually plumping for the one above for a cool $140 Hong Kong, $20 and well worth it as it holds your laptop and is so full of seperate pockets it's like a fabricated chest of drawers.

We wandered around til midnight, and then stopped in an outdoor place on the market for food. We had scallops with vermicelli, deep-fried squid in rock-salt (SO good!) Singapore-style noodles and some bok-choi with garlic. It was an awesome meal.

We walked down Nathan and Peking road, via this informative sign (good to know) on a mission for live music in Ned Kelly's Last Stand. We were disappointed to find it closed, at 1.45am. Hardly a "last stand" really, is it?

We weren't tired, and wanting to walk off a bit more food, took a subway stroll to the Avenue of the Stars. At 2.15 am, this cricket game in the courtyard of an office block was a nice surprize, as was the dude singing an Indian ballad accompaniment to the Chinese/Indian equivalent of the Barmy Army who were gathered around watching. After taking in the view, as well as the clock tower (a historic landmark of Hong Kong) and stopping for some soft drinks (they have Ribena in Hong Kong! It's a great English blackcurrant juice, try it if you ever get the chance!) it was back to the room for a sleep.

We overslept, the next day, and an 8.30 optimistic start turned into 11.45, and only then because Paul woke us up to ask what we were up to. We took a taxi to Kowloon central station, where we boarded a train to Tung Chung MTR station, (where Paul took this cute pic...ah!) and Lantau Island, where the Ngong Ping skyrail would take us to the Ngong Ping village, Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha Statue, known to most as the Big Buddha.

The skyrail was pretty spectacular, and about 25 minutes in duration. There was a hiking trail below us which I think Eric would rather have been on, but the view was beautiful.

Once on the ground again, the Village Square, Bodhi Path and Country Market are not what you'd call authentic, 7 Eleven, Starbucks, etc, but the air is definitely clearer.

There actually are monks wandering around, too. I caught some on my camera, which alas is playing up right now, most of these photos come from the camera's of either Paul or Eric. For some reason, they don't fit properly, so there's some weird writing to follow. Sorry about this, I don't know how to alter it!

The monastery contained the usual oranges, joss-sticks, lions, gold buddhas and this bell (but no big log to hit it with in sight, hmm) and was peaceful, if tourist-infused. Paul bought this parasol from one of the many souvenir stalls, and we played while Eric scooted up the squillions of steps up to the Buddha. I must confess, my legs are hurting of late, and one more buddha on the top of one more hill, beautiful though it was, I can live without. I enjoyed it very much from the BOTTOM of the steps, thankyou very much!

So, after waiting for the bus a while, we ate our Starbucks sandwiches (Paul's came in a shoe box and looked like this, like swiss roll kinda things) and jumped in a cab, which, $125 and 30 minutes later brought us to Mui Wok.

This little port had a McDonalds (good for restroom stops!) and about a squillion bikes outside it. Eric had a little lie down on the dock, while we waited for our ferry to take us to Hong Kong island, for $4 Hong Kong each. It was a sleepy little town, and a relaxing ride of about 20 minutes (another Paul special, this pic!)

So, at Hong Kong Island, Paul left us to go find H and M, and we carried on, grabbing a taxi to Stanley Market. I have pics, but alas they are stuck in the camera. The market was covered, and a little more expensive and, dare I say it, a tourist trap compared to the night market, but it was good to visit the south of the island, with it's more relaxed feel. This is clearly where the expat community came to live, the harbourside is full of English bars selling ploughman's lunches and fish n chips. We got stuck in traffic coming back (we drove past Happy Valley, an amazing cemetary amongst the high-rises) and didn't have much time to spare getting the star ferry back to Kowloon ready for sailaway. Paul took this great picture of deck 11, this is the neptune pool. The hot-tub is great at night, when most guests are asleep!

1 comment:

Ex-Shammickite said...

I find the idea of ploughman's lunches and fish'n'chips rather strange in Kowloon, it just doesn't seem right. But I suppose it's the equivalent of Chinse take-out here! Nice post, all your exciting travel adventures make my blabbing on about my garden seem so ORDINARY!