Spiritualism, speed boats and Scotland

Trip Start Oct 22, 2009
Trip End Dec 08, 2009

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Flag of Hong Kong  ,
Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another action packed day today started with a leisurely swim and an hour or so in the sun (I said it was action packed!), before I left it to the experts and headed off on a sightseeing tour – covering the main highlights that Hong Kong has to offer.

After interesting pre-trip discussions with fellow day trippers (mainly Americans) about the psyche of Canadians (I was certainly out of my depth here having only visited the country once when I was about 11) and the weather in Vancouver (I have never been!), we set out.

Our first stop of note was at the Man Mo Temple. A place of worship for Taoists, this particular temple is dedicated to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of Martial Arts (Mo). Actually seeing people paying their respects (I'm sure that they were bona fide worshippers and not hired in actors for tourists’ benefit) was kind of cool – though it could have been the incense fumes clouding my judgement (at least that’s what the tour guide said the smell was).

Following Man Mo we headed up to Victoria Peak, which stands (over 400 metres - I was listening!) above Hong Kong Island with stunning views. The tram ride was the steepest I’ve ever been on (not far from vertical) and it resembled the sort of incline you'd experience making the first steep climb on a roller-coaster. The views as per the pictures were amazing.

After Victoria Peak we headed towards Aberdeen, a fishing village on the outskirts of Hong Kong. We headed out on a sampan (a small fishing boat). At this point my imagination ran wild - and I started envisioning a James Bond film, which wasn't helped when we saw some very nice looking yachts. 

Following the sampan ride and then touring through a few of the suburbs (including passing Hong Kong Golf Club where membership is allegedly $50k per year), we hit the low point of the tour – a trip around a jewellers. Now, I’m sure the jewellery was of reputable quality (though some of it was very gaudy indeed) but I have no idea, other than the obvious revenue generation exercise as to why this was part of the tour. On exiting the jewellers, one of our group asked me whether I had enjoyed the viewing. I think my English humour (which was to say to her that this was the main reason I came to Hong Kong) was lost in translation. Or perhaps she thought she saw me at the Underwear & Swimwear expo and therefore knew it wasn't true!

We finished with Stanley Market, where I managed to haggle for a panoramic hand painting of Victoria Harbour. Are you supposed to pay more than the starting price? 

Anyway, I got back to the hotel a few hours ago and decided to stay put as tomorrow is going to be travel day (a 4 hour flight to Singapore on the A380) and I want to go out and watch the Man Utd vs Liverpool game tomorrow night.
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