A Travellerspoint blog

Hong Kong

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - HONG KONG

HONG KONG & HALFWAY THROUGH THE CRUISE.

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THERE WILL BE A FEW GETTING OFF HERE.

GINA & HANS FROM MY DINNER TABLE WILL LEAVE & AN AUSTRALIAN COUPLE WILL JOIN US.

I WILL NOT LAST MORE THAN A WEEK WITH THE NEW DINNER COMPANIONS WHO ARE NOT AT ALL TO MY LIKING.

TOO BAD, THE OTHERS WERE GREAT.

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I LEAVE THE SHIP & INTEND A LONGISH STROLL NORTH THROUGH KOWLOON TO THE BIRD MARKET... & TAKE IN THE STREET SIGHTS ON THE WAY.

I ALSO GET A HONG KONG ESSENTIAL - THE OCTOPUS CARD.

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ALREADY AT THE BIRD MARKET...WITH LIVE FOOD ON SALE.

CAGED BIRDS ARE VERY POPULAR HERE.

LOCALS TAKE THEM OUT FOR WALKS & SIT IN PARKS WITH THEM.

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THESE ARE LIVE, CRICKETS I THINK

AND ITS ON TO THE FLOWER MARKET JUST NEXT DOOR..

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AND ON TO THE FISH MARKET & A BITE TO EAT...

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AND THE MEAT MARKET

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GETTING A BIT TIRED NOW, SO I DELVE INTO THE UNDERGROUND - WHERE YOU COULD EAT YOUR DINNER OFF THE FLOOR.

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THE TUBE TAKES ME UNDER VICTORIA BAY & TO HONG KONG ISLAND WHERE I STUMBLE UPON A RARE PATCH OF GREENERY AMID ALL THE SKY SCRAPERS... & ON TO THE PEAK TRAM FOR THE RIDE TO THE TOP OF VICTORIA PEAK

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THEN IT'S A BUS RIDE DOWN THE MOUNTAIN & THE FAMOUS STAR FERRY BACK TO KOWLOON...

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THESE GIRLS ARE TAKING A SURVEY & PRACTISING THEIR ENGLISH...

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BACK ON BOARD SHIP - WHAT A PLACE TO PARK THE BOAT..

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NEXT DAY, IT'S A BUS RIDE TO THE KOWLOON WALLED CITY PARK...

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ON THE BUS I SAT NEXT TO AN ANCIENT MAN WHO SPENT THE ENTIRE JOURNEY PLUCKING THE HAIRS ON HIS CHIN. A VERY PAINFUL WAY TO SHAVE BUT HE WON'T HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN FOR A WHILE I GUESS

THIS IS NOT LAUNDRY - BUT A PIECE OF ART, SPRINKLED THROUGH THE GARDENS...

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ONLY CHINESE TOURISTS HERE..

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IN HONG KONG, THE CITY IS NEVER VERY FAR AWAY....

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MORE KIDS DOING SURVEYS & BRUCE LEE ON THE STAR WALK...

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TIME FOR THE LIGHT SHOW....

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AND AN AFTER DINNER TREAT... ME WITH MY FAVOURITE LADIES - THE ADAGIO STRINGS..

NOTE TO SELF - GET A SUIT THAT FITS..

Posted by hasbeen 07:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

2013 - OCEANIA - CANTON & HONG KONG

Next up is Canton, China.

Now known as Guangzhou.

The Chinese couple I met in Singapore did not know what I was talking about when I said I was going to Canton & I could not remember Guangzhou.

Not that it mattered as we never even docked. Sat parked outside in the fog & then moved on to Hong Kong.

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A lot of people getting off in Hong Kong & this would have been their only visit to China proper.
Hong Kong being a special part of China where the visa rules differ. That meant that the money they spent on a China Visa was wasted. Not a problem for me as I would still need mine for Shanghai & Beijing.

Anyone who had pre-paid an independent shore excursion may have kissed that money goodbye too. Again, not a problem for me as my excursion was with the cruise line who made a refund.

Too bad for all concerned, even me as I missed Canton..

Come to think of it, we never got a refund for port fees. Other cruise lines refund those if we skip ports - not Oceania.
Another strike against them.

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Now in Hong Kong for 3 days.

I have been here before. Very busy, crowded place where no one takes a blind bit of notice of you.

I have excursions planned for 1st & 3rd day & will wander around on my own on day 2.

Day one is a bus ride to Lantau Island forTai O, a small fishing village. On to the Tian Tan Buddha, Po lin Monastery & a bite to eat & back to Kowloon by cable car.

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So - The boat is docked in Kowloon, opposite Hong Kong Island & first it's the bus ride to a look at the bridge we will take to get to Lantau Island......

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across the bridge, a change of bus to the fishing village of Tai O,

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& a quick flip through the market..

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& inside a temple....

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Quite a small temple..

See the sign " snow white spouse wanted " - Perhaps I should apply.

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and back on a bus to a place for a walk up to & inside the Buddha..

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Diana & her mum

Then to the Po lin Monastery.

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This lady is from my ship. Traveling with her daughter, Diana. They live in San Francisco. Mother would wander off & Diana was always wondering where she had got to.

I saw the mother taking oranges from a small tree in the temple & thought "oh no, she's stealing fruit - in a Temple".

Then she hands the oranges to me. "oh no, I'm an accomplice".

She gives me 5 oranges & says 4 is for luck.

Did not say what 5 was for - jail maybe!

She stuck like glue to me after that.

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Time for a food break...

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People buying incense to send their prayers to heaven.

See - I was paying attention before.

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Chinese new year lanterns..

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& Diana on the cable car...

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Mother kept her eyes closed the entire 5.7 KM ride back to Kowloon..

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The girls who took our photo...

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It was a little bit high....

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And back to Kowloon..

Posted by hasbeen 18:22 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

2013 - OCEANIA - HONG KONG 2

Still in Hong Kong,

I had some time in the evening to stroll along the Avenue of the Stars & watch all the people posing with the Stars.

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The famous light show is impressive but I am not close enough to the sound effects so it is a bit like watching TV without the sound.

The lovely Niki has seen it all before..

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Today I have an Octopus card to get me anywhere & I head out from Kowloon by bus making for Shek O on the south coast of Hong Kong island. The bus takes a totally unexpected route by heading due east, as expected, but then north, then West & then south.

So I am going round the western tip of Hong Kong. Very narrow roads that twist up & up & up. High rises all the way.

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I get to Aberdeen fishing village which has a very unsavoury reputation so I am tempted to get off but it looks like a concrete jungle so I stay on. A guy that evening was raving about what a great place Aberdeen was to visit - oh well.

The bus carries on around the coast & I get off the bus just before Stanley & walk down the hill to the promenade. This reminds me a bit of Spain.

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All English pubs & fish & chip shops but just beyond is this tiny beach.

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& this row of houses fronting the beach. I get talking to one of the residents who lives in one of them who tells me she is a model from Germany & she just might, be but I don't get her name or her photo, silly boy.

I get another bus & head for Shek O. A great ride with lots of nice views of the coast.

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I hear english, english being spoken on the bus & it's a couple from Southern england somewhere. We chat about nothing for a while. They are heading to Shek O cos they heard about it on-line.

I am here cos I like the name.

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Shek O is a very nice little village, & practically empty of people. Just about all Chinese that are here.

It does have one of the prettiest temples I have seen. Must be some cash here..

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Great looking outfit...

& more Chinese new year - will it ever end?

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And a grand sweep of a beach. Not something that first comes to mind when thinking of Hong Kong. Going by the life guard huts, they must get a crowd here sometimes. The changing facilities are great. Nice & clean.

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More posers..

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Then it's a bite to eat & a drink of something I know not what, but not at Mcdonalds, & back on the bus.

No idea where I was after a while but this is in the far east end & it has these very narrow trams so I hop aboard one of those that's heading in the right direction - west.

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Hope the old lady made it across the road...Those trams don't seem to stop for anything.

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The ride was a very long one & makes you realise that Hong Kong is one big shop.

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I did get off to have a walk round Happy Valley horse racing course & it looks fine but no races that I could see.

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Got off after overshooting my objective which was the Star Ferry.

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Lots of shops selling Gingsen in this area. Took the underground instead of the Star Ferry back to Kowloon in time to take in....

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...the early evening news and...

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.... a spectacular sunset..

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Another nice day & very cheap travel at under 10 dollars..

Sandy has got off along with lots more people & I only know about 6 people on board now. Gonna have to break in a whole lot more now.

Posted by hasbeen 18:21 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

2013 - OCEANIA - HONG KONG TOO

Last day in Hong Kong is a tour towards China,

...... into the new territories behind Kowloon, to see markets mostly.

passing the neighbouring ship... very nice..

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We stop at another temple & I couldn't figure what these were at first.

Incense burning.

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While I was waiting in the courtyard for the group to emerge there was a man in handcuffs being talked to by the cops. Looked very serious but everyone just carried on regardless.

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Then a walk through a local market..

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While I was waiting for the bus to fill up I saw some groups of school kids heading up some stairs to a builidng that turned out to be what I assume to be a small railway museum.

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A different style conical hat...

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& a stop at a garden......

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......Squeezed in among the hi-rises

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& another stop, at a nunnery with really nice buildings and lily gardens...

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Then a bird market...

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A flower market...

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A jade market...

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I left the tour here about & walked back to the ship passing a meat market..

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Snacks..

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I did get a bit lost a one point but any city with a subway system is impossible to get lost in, so I dived into the underground

& back to Kowloon.

I was about to take a photo of the McDonalds when this took my attention for some reason..another market???

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I had a walk round the shopping center attached to the cruise terminal. Very big, very expensive & totally confusing. I bumped into Jenny who insisted I go into this room to see some chocolate.

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Well I have seen chocolate before, but this takes the bisquit as everything on the table is made chocolate....

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Last segment, new passengers - new country.

Tomorrow -

Posted by hasbeen 18:20 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

2015 - SWAN HELLENIC MINERVA - HONG KONG

The starting point of a cruise to Singapore via the Philippines & Indonesia aboard the now defunct Minerva


View 2015 MINERVA - HONG KONG TO SINGAPORE on hasbeen's travel map.

This is going to be an epic journey .. Starting in Hong Kong with an ocean voyage to Singapore, river cruises on the Mekong in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos, the Irrawaddy in Myanmar & a Transpacific from Australia to Vancouver

First a short stay in Hong Kong to wait for the Minerva to turn up.

Here I am flying into the airport.

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Hong Kong is such a delight to visit. Right in the airport there is a stand selling the Octopus transport card. I picked up the seniors version & they do not even ask for ID .. It will save me a few dollars off what is already a really cheap transportation system.

The train to Hong Kong Island from the airport starts right inside the airport .. . beautifully clean, fast & efficient, it dropped me off at a station where there are free shuttle buses to hotels. I stayed in the City Garden Hotel near Fortress Hill Metro station . . an unremarkable but ok hotel a bit away from downtown.

I walked to the closest ferry crossing & used my card that gives me a free trip to the Kowloon side. Strolled along the shore-line & saw a little boy on his own riding a tricycle a bit too close to the edge of the water for my liking. I tried to get a passing lady to understand that he seemed to be in danger, but without success. There was a nursery where I could see kids playing inside & adults but I could not get anyones attention. A couple of old guys appeared to keep an eye on the boy so I left them to it. I hope he did not end up falling into the ocean.

After a bit more of a walk I found a food street teeming with kids out of school for lunch .. no tourists at all & it looked very interesting but too many people for me so I wandered back to ferry & returned to the hotel.

Unusual for a cruise, my ship allowed me aboard a day before it sailed so I took the metro to the ship, parked my suitcase & went for a look at Kowloon by night ....

Here is the MS Minerva .. parked right downtown .

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Lots of people along the Avenue of the Stars ..

& out shopping.

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The excursions are built into the price of the cruise & here is the start of the first one as we wait for the Peak Tram.

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& people peeking out as we climb the Peak.

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Some nice views at the top of Victoria Peak

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Chinese New Year seems to last all year.

Now we are down the other side of the Peak & on the waters of Aberdeen harbour & the Jumbo Floating Restaurant where I expected we would eat but no such luck.

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That building has a hole in the middle .. Fenn Shui perhaps or to let the spirits have easy access from the mountain.

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Here we are at a pleasant little beach at the back of Stanley Market

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& so back to the ship & a front row seat for the famous Hong Kong light show .. which I had seen before & is not so good if one cannot hear the musical accompaniment .. a bit like a fireworks display without the noise

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Posted by hasbeen 16:00 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged hong_kong Comments (0)

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