A long time ago…
when we were young, we went to a bus station almost like this one and caught the number 6 bus.
We went straight upstairs and sat in the front seats; the ones with the best view.
The bus took us along Queens Road, Central, past the City Hall
and we were as thrilled to be here then as we are now.
The building wrapped in green plastic was the Prince of Wales Barracks in those days.
and we don’t recall there being anything like the number of tall skyscrapers then as there are now.
As we passed by the dragon emblem planted into the hillside, by the sign for Ocean Park, we remembered the day we were stuck on that gondola when the typhoon warning sounded all too well.
But Repulse Bay is a rather different place now, and though we were delighted to be revisiting some old, familiar places, we felt pleased to have been here when it was an altogether simpler, greener part of the world.
But when the sign came up with “Stanley Plaza”, we couldn’t believe our eyes. What on earth has happened here? We thought we were coming to the small village with the lively market and here we are at some shopping mall.
Making our way down to the seafront, we began to see a few traces of the place we remembered so well.
Smiling, as we passed the “dog park” with tethers placed at a strategic distance apart from one another and this cute little chap sitting waiting patiently for his owner to return.
Once down on the front, the harbour looked much the same, albeit with a smart new pier.
But had someone told me there was now a Pizza Express in Stanley, I wouldn’t have believed them. This is an altogether different place – because, of course, we live in an altogether different world today, don’t we?
It was time to stop thinking back and noting changes, time to appreciate what is here now and make the most of it. How good that the place has prospered, attracted so many businesses and managed to move into the 21st century so well. Free wifi on the street, modern amenities for young families and a clean, attractive seafront.
And of course, the “old” Stanley is still here, just beyond the new buildings. There’s still the old market selling much the same things.
(though I never bought a pair of such cute shoes here on previous visits!)
Stanley market is still where to come for the tacky souvenirs and cheap clothing
- and you can still buy an extra suitcase here to carry it all home, too. Actually, when we were at the night market last evening, we commented on how little there is to sell these days. No rip off CDs or DVDs, computer software or suchlike – the internet has destroyed the market for such things. Every other stall on that market seemed to be full of Ipad covers, cellphone jackets and headphones and there was little to interest us. Here, the market was a little more varied, though in spite of that, the shoes were my only purchase.
But it is quite entertaining at times. “no fitting, no exchange” seems perfectly reasonable when buying men’s underwear, wouldn’t you say?
As we walked towards the bus stop, we looked back and saw Stanley exactly as we remembered it. No vast shopping mall with doggy day care centres and Starbucks coffee shops.
The public lavatories were even in the same place. Mind you, they have improved somewhat!
We took the #6 bus back to Central and felt pleased that we’d spent our morning revisiting old haunts. Stanley is still a great place to visit and the journey itself is very entertaining, especially if like us, you can bag the front seats upstairs.
We hopped off for a spot of lunch in Pacific Place, with an army of bank and office workers and considered what it must be like to live and work here. I found myself gazing up at those huge tower blocks and simply cannot imagine what it’s like to live in one, cheek by jowl with the neighbours. It’s another world.
Any further musing was interrupted by the sound of car horns and sirens, as the traffic on Queens Road was stopped by a police cordon. We’d read that the Prime Minister of Thailand was visiting today, so presume that this was his entourage.
Meanwhile, we did a little topping up of the funds…
and hopped on a passing tram to WanChai, just because we could!
We spent a happy hour mooching about, watching people and enjoying being here. We took care when crossing the road, too.
On our way back to the MTR station, we remembered to look up, to see what was going on behind the facade.
whilst keeping our eyes open for any cuteness which might be going on! Yes, of course I had to buy stickers!
Leaving everyone to gather the ingredients for tonight’s supper, however, we made our way back to the station.
We’ve had a lovely day here and have a fun evening to look forward to, at the China Club with the Super Six!
Not only that, but thanks to my tailor, I have a couple of new dresses to choose from!
I highly recommend his service, which is reasonably priced, efficient and knowledgeable. I took along a dress and he has copied it faithfully – improved the fit, actually – and both dresses are beautifully finished and promptly delivered to our hotel. Now of course, I rather wish I’d had a green one and a blue one too