Out walking ...

Trip Start Sep 03, 2013
Trip End Mar 25, 2014

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Where I stayed
City Garden Hotel Hong Kong
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of China  ,
Thursday, November 28, 2013

Abit of a lie in this morning as the last few days have all been a bit hectic.  Down for a big and liesurely breakfast about 8:00 filling our bags with croissants, pastries and apples for later in the day as we left.
Took the tram across town to the Western Market, an Edwardian building from 1906 that was closed down for many years and reopened in 1991.  It was still closed when we arrived however and later I discover that it opens daily at 10:00 !
We walk along Des Veoux Road where there is a large area devoted to selling dried seafoods.  Isaan folk, Jai included, love dried seafood and she was excited when she first saw the shops.  Problems came when we didnt know what anything was or how to cook it or ... anything at all really !  Of course, a lot of it we simply didnt fancy; turtles, sharks fin, sea slugs, dried bats (not seafood ?) ...  We bought a small bag of something that could have been a shellfisj and Jai said she recognised from Chiangmai.  One shop was selling a jar of something priced at approaching 3000GBP per kilo but we didnt fancy that either !  We turned off into Ko Shing Street home to herbal wholesalers and Chinese medicine shops and great smells everywhere.  Looping around Des Veoux Road and Bonham Strand West we find ginger and ginseng sellers and more good smells.  Up to Queens Road West where there are a collection of shops selling birds nests for soup but these didnt tempt our appetites either.  We then entered Possession Street where Capt Charles Elliot first raised the UNion Jack in 1841 - God bless him.  We walked along Pound Lane and Tai Ping Shan Street and reached Hollywood Road with a number of expensive looking antique shops.  A lot of the windows displayed fantastic carved elephant tusks and although I can admire them I still think they looked better on the elephant !  We then reached Man Mo temple where the inside hall is hung with hundreds of incense coils, burning for good luck, and more great smells abound.  We descended from here via Ladder Street which is just a collection of steps, past Cat Street Market - which didnt open until midday ! - then down Hillier Street where I was planning on having some lunch.  This used to be a location for numerous street stalls, dai pai dongs, but the government in its infinite wisdom is closing them all down and there were none here this morning.  We continued descending until we reached Connaught Street where we took the tram back to North Point for lunch at what is becomming our regular haunt.
Back to the hotel for an afternoon rest.
Go out again at 16:00 having confirmed our airport transfer for 17:05 tomorrow.  We leave the trams tonight and head for the MTR underground system from Fortress Hill along to Admiralty then crossing beneath the harbour for a change to the Kowloon Side and up to Prince Edward station in Mongkok.
When we first emerge from the underground I am a little disorientated and am not sure which is north or south.  After a couple of false starts I get my bearings and we walk along to the flower market which is still a blaze of colours.  We even buy ourselves a small cactus like plant to smuggle back with us.  As the flower market finishes we reach the Yuen Po bird garden.  The Chinese love small birds valuing them more for their song than their appearance and even sit feeding them individual insects with chopsticks.  People bring their birds here to mix with other birds whilst they sit and chat to each other.  As well as taking the birds for a 'walk' there is a market here selling all sorts of small caged birds as well as beautiful cages to keep them in.\We walk back to the main road, Nathan Road, and cut through Tung Choi Street where there are a number of tropical fish shops which, like the flower shops, are a blaze of bright colours.  We walk south along Nathan Road for the best part of half an hour feeling like an ant amongst the swarms of people cramming the pavements.  Stopped briefly to change some money at a good rate then cut through a side street to the Temple Street Night Market.  We are a bit early getting here and a lot of the stalls are still being erected for the nights trading.    We stop at a small restaurant for fish and chips whilst we wait for them all to open up.  Not exactly 'fish and chips' either but rice although we did have a couple of nice pieces of fried fish in batter.  Appetites satisfied for the time being we set out into the chaos of the street market that sells things you didnt even know that you needed.  Jai spotted a pretty little party purse which she bought but we were really looking for a nice pot to put our new plant in.  Ended up buying a couple of noodle bowls but they are too nice for the plant so will need to buy something else back in Phon Thong later.We finally walk to Jordan MTR station then retrace our steps back under the harbour, back to Fortress Hill and the hotel.We start the bag packing ordeal before stretching out with my last Yanjing beer.
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