Europe Trip 11-12 – Hong Kong Stopover

La bonne année!!! from Paris!
Arrived here three days ago, but for the four days before that, I had a stopover in “Asia’s World City” of Hong Kong. My first time overseas that’s not Shanghai or Beijing. So it was nice to explore a city other than Australia, and not exactly ‘China’.

I arrived down at 10pm on Christmas Day, so I spent the night at my friend Geoff’s over at Tai Po who showed me around the fish market in the morning.

This is what fish markets should be like. It is a little disturbing to see that many of these fish that have chunks chopped out to be still moving, but at least you know the fish is still fresh.

Checked into the hotel later that day with another friend Shannon who arrived earlier and I’m tagging along with here in Europe, along with a bunch of others. (A decent view outside the window too)

After checking-in, we bussed down to the southern point of Hong Kong Island where the world famous Stanley Markets are, where there are tons of Angry Birds on everything, everywhere; just like the rest of Hong Kong.
Lots of shirts. clothing pieces and stuff you’d find at two dollar shops that sell a variety of souvenirs and overpriced tech. But it’s a fun experience to browse.

Having Geoff to show me around Hong Kong helped make the most of my four day stop-over. He’s up there for two months thereabouts so he had some time to help me out buy some winter clothing.

Decided to climb around on the rocks along the side of the bay. It’s a nice view out to the other side of the bay.

The place is a tourist hotspot with people from the Mainland, as well as Western tourists. It’s a medium length bus ride from Central, that is rather scenic but also a little scary if you’re on the top deck of a double decker, with the narrow roadways and steep cliff-faces.

Later that night, we visited the Causeway Bay area, and the Time Square department store complex.

Some form of Barbie doll exhibition was there at the time, and so plenty of barbie figurines and portraits of Ken around the bottom floor of the mall.

There is a large advertising campaign in Hong Kong at the moment for the Nokia Lumia 800, Windows Phone device.

But despite this campaign, along the Metro (MTR) and at restaurants, it’s most common to spot the iPhone, iPad, and Samsung Galaxy Notes and S IIs in the hands of all ages and occupations. Did not sight a single Windows Phone product over the duration of my stay, and so I was disappointed.

We also visited a rather cool eatery which offers meals in different serving portions. (They call it “democracy”, which I would have thought to be a rather dangerous word to use considering the official return of Hong Kong to the Peoples’ Republic…
I think it’s a genius idea offering “Small”, “Medium” and “Large” size options and respective pricing for pretty much everything on their menu.

This was a “Small” size of their Paella. Although the concept is nice, it’s a shame that the food is actually not that great… (If it’s not patented, I’d probably like to steal it =P)

Downtown Mong Kok – Street markets where arcades and alleyways are the way to shop. Plenty of random junk (or ‘goods’) and almost any form of technology (new and second hand) can be found around here, similar to the markets down in Stanley, but with much more pollution. Neon signs are everywhere, and so are a lot of people trying to get you into shopping/eating at their store. A true asian marketplace.

Down closer to Kowloon, where more of the higher-end stuff is, several large department stores and hotels along line the main road of Nathan Street. (Your Sydney “George Street” equivalent.)

Inside this one (not sure which department store this is) a Hello Kitty exhibition. I’m finding this Hello Kitty to resemble the Android robot…

An Ajisen Ramen was located here and so we decided to grab us some grub. The one’s in Sydney I’ve found to be not that great. This Hokkaido Scallop Ramen was really good, and a little more of what I’d expect from an almost world famous chain of Japanese fast-food.

Decided to take a trip down on a “Symphony of Lights” cruise along Victoria Harbour, which arguably offers the best views of both sides of the incredible Hong Kong skyline.

The iconic red sailed boat (don’t know it’s official name) sailing along side us.

Above is the International Commerce Centre, the tallest building on Hong Kong, and fourth tallest building in the world, and only recently completed.

The “Symphony of Lights” runs everyday like clockwork at 8pm for around 15 minutes, where the Hong Kong skyline is lit up with dancing lights and lasers on both sides of the harbour.

We need a universal power standard…
Ran into some power adaptor issues when it came to getting plugs for the outlets in Hong Kong when you use other adaptors from your imported good. Had to buy a Hong Kong adaptor to plug into the European to Australian Double Adaptor, to a Australian to Universal adaptor, to a Chinese to USB power adaptor so I could charge my phone… =/

My first “Cafe De Coral” experience for breakfast. A mild curry with pork cutlets, rice and an Iced Mild Tea to start the day. Food is alright considering the price, but considering this is the Hong Kong version of MacDonalds of Asian Cuisine… Eh…

Despite all the markets and large banner ads that decorate the walls of pretty much everywhere advertising nothing and everything, I still hadn’t bought anything substantial or needed for my Europe trip, and so the immensely large Sha Tin shopping complex was the last place for me to visit, where I picked up a new down jacket with a detachable windbreaker, a new MAN BAG, Touch screen compatible gloves, and a few dress shirts…

Jumped up to the public observation deck of the Two International Finance Centre, (55th floor I believe), where the view is incredibly disappointing, and generally unexciting… Just like the other skyscrapers over on Hong Kong Island. (But the 1ifc is so cute sitting next door! =P)

Below the 2ifc is the ifcMall, where the ever iconic Apple Store is located, the first in Hong Kong.
– Highlight of my trip.

A lot of the shoreline on both sides is on reclaimed land, and there is much still being created.
The ICC and the “Water”, and “Fire” apartment complexes of Kowloon can be viewed just across the harbour.

The last two things on my bucketlist; HSBC Main Building, and the Bank of China Tower.

Squirrel hunting in downtown Hong Kong. An interesting catch amongst the towers of Downtown Hong Kong.

Posing on a wall outside the Bank of China Tower.
Above photo credit goes to Shannon.

The Bank of China Tower – Highly controversial piece of architecture for not following the guidelines of Feng Shui.
Nonetheless, an icon of Hong Kong, and my favourite building in HKG.

Last, but not least, just before the flight, The Peak.

An awesome view of the North and South sides of Hong Kong Island, and incredibly windy.

Flying out of Hong Kong, heading off to where I am now.
Hong Kong International Airport is a beautifully modern structure, where the the coloumnless interior makes the ceiling just seem to stretch to infinity…

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