Welcome to Hong Kong. Although considered a separate country, Hong Kong is an autonomous territory of the Republic of China. We were only in Hong Kong for one day and took an excursion called “The Best of Hong Kong.” My advice: I think one can actually see this city without an excursion. Taking a city bus or a taxi ride to get around to the interesting sites might be a good option to see the most of the beautiful place.
On our excursion, we first visited the Jade Market. To the Chinese, Jade represents wealth, power, and good fortune. At this location, there are multiple shops selling the jade jewelry, trinkets, sculptures, and souvenirs. If you love Jade, then this is the place for you.
Next, our bus took us to the top of Victoria Park to see the panoramic views of Hong Kong and the Kowloon Peninsula. Once we were at the top, we took a very quick ride down on the Peak Tram Funicular. We pressed on, passing the Colonial Hotel that is a landmark in Hong Kong. Then we headed to the Aberdeen where fishermen and their families live on boats called junks and sampans. This was probably this most fascinating and scenic part of our excursion. Our group boarded a small sampan boat and meandered our way through river while observing the many junks and other sampans to take a closer look at the life of the fisherman. Most of the junks were occupied by the fishermen along with their families. This was evident by laundry lines hanging outside on deck, children’s toys scattered about, and even little gardens growing in the sunnier sections of the junks. Even though the living quarters of these vessels can be quite cramped, I found the junks to be a somewhat cozy living environment. What an interesting way for a child to grow up. Living among many other families in a small floating community on the rivers of Hong Kong.
Once the short sampan ride was over, our group lunched at the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant. The meal consisted of dumplings, noodles and rice dishes. Next, we explored the floating ship and were able to peek inside the kitchen, preparation area and food storage facilities. Since the restaurant floats, the design of the preparation areas were much like what you would expect to see on a small yacht. Waterproof containers were securely fastened with metal fixtures and tightened ropes were in place in order to hold everything together. Everything was orderly and clean.
Next, we visited Stanley, one of the oldest settlements in Hong Kong. It, too, was once a fishing village but has been transformed into a shopping complex selling Chinese handicrafts, clothing, and sports shoes.
Our final stop was to the flower and bird markets. At the floral markets, every variety of plant and flower is available for purchase. In the bird market, there is a large selection of cages on display that come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. Different breeds of live birds are for sale too. In addition, there is a vast assortment of bird cuisine consisting of seeds, live beetles, bamboo worms, and crickets for sale.
For more information about Hong Kong can be learned by visiting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong
再见 Zai Jian (Good-Bye) for now.