Day 18 - Hong Kong - Victoria Peak, Stanley Market, and HK at Night
Unbelievably, this is our last day in China. The buffet breakfast was the best here of all the Shangri-Las we stayed at. It is going to be hard to come home to regular food...
Our tour guide, Joyce met us to go to Victoria Peak, the number one tourist attraction in HK. We took a funicular tram up to the top where we overlooked almost all of the harbor. She pointed out all the major skyscrapers, none of which were there 38 years ago which was the last time we were in HK. The bus brought us down past Repulse Bay where the HK International School (one of two now on the island) is located, and brought back memories of friends who we knew there.
Our next destination was Stanley Market, many streets of alleyways and storefronts to buy mostly clothes and other touristy junk. However, unlike mainland China, there was not a lot of hawking, very little bargaining, and no running after you to get you to buy. I was actually disappointed not to use my perfected bargaining techniques!
Here we left the tour as we were hoping to do some other stuff during the afternoon. We took a local bus back to Kowloon which took almost an hour. Jim's cough, which had developed in Guilin, was getting worse and we opted to stay in the hotel for a couple of hours instead of walking down to Nathan Road and the Star Ferry. A quick note about the latter--it has moved since we've been there. The harbour is getting smaller as land has been reclaimed because of erosion. So the old ferry station is now on land.
After looking at several options for dinner, since he was feeling yuchy, we walked next door to a steak house and had a very nice final dinner.
Our final stop was to take a walk to the "Avenue of the Stars", much like Hollywood's, except that they are all Chinese stars. This is the best viewing for the "Symphony of Lights" that is put on every night. We did see everyone posing in front of the Bruce Lee statue as we walked by.
For about 15 minutes, many of the waterfront buildings are lit up, have colorful light shows up and down their sides, and their are lasers from different buildings. For your listening pleasure, music is played over speakers as you're watching. There were many people there, as the night was very clear- an uncommon experience during the rainy and hot and muggy season.
We packed up as we leave early tomorrow morning to start our long journey home.