Hong Kong Day 1

Trip Start Mar 18, 2011
Trip End Apr 15, 2011

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where to begin talking about Hong Kong. As the ship came in on Monday night, we saw a sound a light show they put on every night, with lasers coming off of the skyscrapers. Having never been here before we didn't know what to expect. We began our day on Tuesday in the shopping center that is attached to the cruise terminal. It is huge and brand new.  Every high end shop you can imagine is there. Prices seemed comparable to what we would pay at home. This shopping center was comparable to the Mall of America (with no amusement park) in size, it seemd to me. We went on a tour entitled Living Traditions. We visited a Taoist temple and a wet market. The temple was fascinating. They had constructed all of these things out of paper; cars, houses complete with furniture, pets, tv's, boom boxes, human forms representing servants. All of these were to be burned to send them to the ancestors in the afterlife as they would apparently need them. The temple was extremely smokey with incense that was hanging in big coils from the ceiling, ;people were hitting a drum and a bell as they entered.  All very different from anything I had seen before. It had an informal feel to it. They wouldn't let us take pictures in parts of it but people did not seem to be at all offended by a tour group standing in the middle of the temple talking in loud voices about what was going on.
We then walked down the street to the "wet market". This was a market selling food, all kinds of dried fish and vegetables, all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh fish swimming around in square pans, live chickens, meat markets where the meat (nose to tail eating here) was just hanging out. Saw some lovely pig heads. The people were very friendly, waving at us and saying hello. We then went to a tea shop where they gave us the darkest tea I have ever seen and put evaporated milk in it. t was very strong. The guide explained that this was the English colonial influence. The Chinese typically drink a lighter green tea. They also had egg custard tarts which were really good. We then took the famous Star Ferry back to the boat and walked around the harbor for a while. What a wonderful city.
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