Hong Kong, day 4

Another day mostly by myself, I decided to keep it walking distance local as I had to meet Kenneth after work. Started by exploring Mong Kok north of me, which is more stores and street markets. And more people.

Hong Kong, day 4

I’m starting to get a handle on how it seems to work in Mong Kok. The older people set up the food markets first thing in the morning and buy stuff until about midday, then it switches to regular goods markets and the kids start showing up. Around midnight stores start to close and the markets begin to pack up, then it’s just the kids out in to the small hours of the morning. Then repeat. But basically, no one seems to sleep.

The first stop on my tour was the flower markets, which was really just some stores on a street. Not worth a trip for that alone, but they do lead on to the bird place. And that was awesome!

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

This was actually a highlight. I’m not sure I can convey why though, you just had to be there. Every kind of bird imaginable, being fussed over by hilariously attentive and obsessive human dads. And the noise of thousands of birds! Just amazing.

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Kowloon City was a hike down the road. This is a great time to remind you of how damn hot it is over here. Walking at pace in direct sunlight all day makes for some real hotness, and a whole lot of brow mopping.

I didn’t take photos as I felt like I already stood out enough, but I had the best Thai dish ever for lunch. Flat noodles, chicken, chili and herbs, vegetables, amazing. And maybe the best drink too, a Thai style longann?

The people there were fun, throwing in the odd funny comment in very rough English. The young boy sitting next to me was concerned the European guy might find it too spicy. It was perfect.

I stopped in to the mall and walked out with my favorite purchase so far, a pair of new Nike+ running shoes. They were ones I’d been chasing after forever, in exactly the right colour, and discounted from already silly suburban Hong Kong prices to around NZ$80. Just awesome. Also kept up my habit of buying a thin red and black print t shirt while traveling. Then I figured I should stop buying stuff before I got carried away.

Another hike up the road took me to the other highlight of the day, Kowloon’s Walled Garden. I’m not nearly a good enough photographer to do this place justice, but it took my breath away. That might have partly been the heat though.

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

I hadn’t seen this style of architecture in this condition in person before, and it’s just achingly beautiful. The materials, the curves, the colours, the textures are perfect. None of the gaudy colours of the temples, and none of the fake looking restoration of other sites. It’s just aged and maintained perfectly.

And it’s a walled garden! With a beautiful mix of perfectly maintained and wild, sprawling plant life. And so very old. It was just the coolest thing.

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Another long hike to another temple. They’re all feeling pretty similar now, if that’s not a bad thing to say. I’m rather templed out. It wasn’t helped by being surrounded by tourists again after the tranqility of the Walled Garden, or that the main temple was under repair. Though the shell does look pretty in photos. This one was a little different with a garden out back though.

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Continuing up the road, my attention was dragged in to a rough looking storefront displaying tasty yummy stuff. I picked blindly as English wasn’t really a happening thing, and it was great, whatever it was. Your guess is as good as mine, but I could have bought that whole store window.

Hong Kong, day 4

Last on my list was another walled garden, though this one was rebuilt to brand new. Maybe even better. Every single structure, path and plant was restored and placed perfectly. So while very, very pretty, it just felt fake. Right down to the guy sticking pebbles in place with a glue gun.

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Caught the MTR back in to town to meet Kenneth, where we jumped on to a bus for an hour and headed for his home. His family is so lovely! I was wined and dined with the most incredibly epic meal I think I’ve ever had. Plate after plate of just the most amazing food. Remembering it is killing me. Want more! Started with a beautiful red too, then grabbed some Penfolds. Yay Penfolds!

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Hong Kong, day 4

Took the MTR home, with Kenneth playing mother hen and getting overly concerned for my (already well proven) train hopping abilities. It went without a hitch, the pro that I am. Threw myself at late night Mong Kok again for another dose of people, light, noise and stuff overload.

Hong Kong, day 4

This place is brilliant.

More photos from Hong Kong, day 4 on Flickr.

From August 10, 2010.

Hong Kong
August 7
 
August 8
 
August 9
 
August 10
 
August 11
London
August 12
 
August 13
 
August 14
 
August 15
Edinburgh
August 16
 
August 17
 
August 18
 
August 19
Istanbul
August 20
 
August 21
 
August 22
Gallipoli
August 23
Troy & Pergamon
August 24
Ephesus & Kusadasi
August 25
Samos
August 26
 
August 27
Samos & Athens
August 28
 
August 29
 
August 30
Paros
August 31
 
September 1
Santorini
September 2
 
September 3
Paris
September 4
 
September 5
 
September 6
 
September 7
 
September 8
 
September 9
Lyon
September 10
 
September 11
 
September 12
Roanne
September 13
 
September 14
Barcelona
September 15
 
September 16
 
September 17
Bilbao
September 18
 
September 19
San Sebastian
September 20
 
September 21
 
September 22
Paris
September 23
 
September 24
Dijon
September 25
Beaune
September 26
Bern
September 27
 
September 28
Fribourg
September 29
Gruyeres
September 30
Luzern
October 1
 
October 2
Zurich
October 3
Venice
October 4
 
October 5
 
October 6
Bologna
October 7
Cinque Terre
October 8
 
October 9
 
October 10
Pisa
October 11
Florence
October 12
Tavarnelle
October 13
San Gimignano & Siena
October 14
Siena
October 15
Perugia & Assisi
October 16
Nocera Umbra & Naples
October 17
Naples & Pompei
October 18
Naples & Amalfi Coast
October 19
Rome
October 20
 
October 21
 
October 22
Eze & Monaco
October 23
Nice
October 24
Aix-En-Provence
October 25
Avignon & Roanne
October 26
Roanne
October 27
 
October 28
Paris
October 29
 
October 30
Nurburgring & Mayen
October 31
Mayen
November 1
Nurburgring & Mayen
November 2
London
November 3
 
November 4
San Francisco
November 5
 
November 6
 
November 7
Wellington
November 8
See all days