Hong Kong Island : Stanley & Aberdeen

Trip Start Dec 28, 2011
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Now that I had checked into my hostel it was time to go exploring. I first needed to get some lunch. The ground floor of Chung King Mansions where I am staying has been taken over by Indians and Pakistanis in the shopping arcade. There are many food places and they seem more developed than the last time I was here in 2008.

Back then they were holes in the wall with a few chairs outside and food brought down in elevators from the apartments upstairs. I didnt eat anything then as it didnt seem too hygienic. This time they have more cooking facilities onsite and more seating areas. Again you have to be careful about hygiene so I got a chicken biriyani for $30 HKD which came with a drink ($3.50).

After that I headed down to kowloon harbour to take the star ferry across to Hong Kong island. The ferry was $2.50 HKD ($.30 cents) and a short ride across. The octopus bus card I got from the airport paid for the ferry. On the otherside are long elevated walkways going for a few blocks connecting all the high rise towers.

I went to Exchange Square to get the bus across to Stanley for $12 HKD ($1.50). The bus goes thru a tunnel to the south side of the island. This reminded me of gibraltar with windy roads and homes clinging to the cliffs above. It also seemed quite wealthy as the homes and cars were more high end.

The bus went around two beaches, Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay, which again had very luxurious homes and high rises. I got off at Stanley which immediately had a very British feel. There was a market area and many british style pubs on the promenade overlooking the sea.

A short walk was Murray House which is a large stately mansion housing restaurants and a museum which was closed. Behind Murray House was a path along the shoreline which took you to a small fishing temple overlooking the coast. 

Back up in the courtyard facing Stanely House was another larger temple. I'm always amazed by how temples vary from country to country. These were not like the ones in Korea, Japan, China, or Mongolia province that I'd visited and had their own style. 

I then had a quick look at Stanely Beach before taking another bus to Aberdeen further west on the south of the island. The bus was $5.80 HKD ($.70 cents). The bus passed by the floating jumbo restaurant that I could see in the distance so I got off at the next stop which was a fish market on the river. 

Here there were houseboats along with the market. There were also small passenger boats charging to carry people around the river area to the Jumbo restaurant. I walked to the end of the promenade and there was a decorated pier that belonged to the Jumbo Restaurant. 

They had their own free ferry which would dock with the restaurant so you could go inside. From the outside it was very elaboratedly decorated and the size of a small cruise ship. Once docked I walked around the perimiter. 

It was connnected to an annex boat and on one side there was aslo a fish tanks where you could choose your own produce. I didnt know if you were allowed inside as I heard the restaurant was quite expensive and a well dressed receptionist was at the door. Now I was on the other side and this was the back entrance inside.

I went in and up the main staircase. This opened onto an elaborate tiled mosaic the entire length of the stairway landing and curving round on both sides. The main floor had two vast dining chambers but they seemed mostly empty.

The top floor takes you to a bar area, more private rooms, and the rooftop dining area. It seemed closed to customers but they said I can go ahead and walk around. The whole restaurant was very lavish and opulent and the closest I have ever seen to a luxury palace or home in all my visits to china. This was definately my highlight of the day.

I then took the ferry back across and a bus back to the north side of the island to get a ferry back to kowloon. I was now getting quite tired from my short sleep the night before and early flight so wanted to head back to my hostel to get a good nights sleep for my macau trip the next day. 


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