A day in Hong Kong might begin rather leisurely, especially if someone – me – found herself drawing pictures of cabin crew in her journal at 3am because she couldn’t sleep. Thankfully, I did go back to bed and catch a few more hours before it was time to get up for real and to enjoy the spectacular feast of a Mandarin Oriental breakfast.
It was quite late in the morning then, before we had packed up our bags and got our act together. Whilst my hero dealt with the business of checking out, I took photographs of the funny balloon sculptures in the lobby and arranged for our luggage to be held here for a while. Half will stay here whilst we enjoy our Burmese adventure, the other half will stay for the day so that we can go out and find some fun. Strangely, the gentleman on the front desk knew our travel arrangements better than I did – and it’s remarkable how they manage to address us by name, even though we’d been in the building less than 24 hours.
“See you next week, Mrs Thomas!”
Out into the 95% humidity, then, with plans to get the Octopus cards out and see where we could lose ourselves for the day. Though we (thought we) knew how to find the central bus station, we found it particularly tricky to get there. Nowhere is very far away in Hong Kong, but those six lane highways though the central city make getting around on foot rather difficult.
Quite frequently we can see where we want to be, but we’re one bridge away, or the building is over the elevated roadway. Eventually, we managed it, but that was another half hour gone!
We climbed aboard the #70 bus to Aberdeen and headed upstairs hoping for the front seats, but sadly, someone beat us to it! Five people, five cameras/phones, five sets of photographs all round. I got out my camera and took photos of them taking photos…
Quite fun – except I would have liked to suggest she lift her viewfinder up a little so she could avoid having the yellow bar in every shot. Or maybe it was intended?
Just when I was getting tired of not being able to see anything very well, they all got up and got off! Yes!! And guess where we moved to sit?
It’s not so far to Aberdeen and deciding where to get off wasn’t so difficult. Making a note of where the buses stopped for the return journey, we chose to alight at the “Promenade”. As I did, I looked over at the layer upon layer of high rise apartment buildings which just go on forever in every direction.
It’s a long time since we were here and I very much doubt that we’d even recognise the place was it was then. On a previous visit, we’d come to have lunch at the Jumbo restaurant, so perhaps we didn’t linger around here anyway. But here, there’s a natural harbour known as the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter, and today there were a fair few small fishing vessels and tourist sampans moored.
I like the colours of South East Asia; those bright blue plastic buckets, orange and green tarpaulins contrast well with the deep brown wood of the boats. Everything’s a little worn, a bit shabby but there’s always plenty of life going on.
And with my new camera’s marvellous zoom lens, I can take a sneaky look!
Though it was hazy, it was really warm and the sun was trying to break through the mist. We enjoyed strolling along the Prom and went as far as we could, thinking we’d get a picture of the Jumbo restaurant. It wasn’t to be though, since the pathway came to an abrupt end and a fenced off building site.
This was good news for some, providing a captive audience for one bossy Chinese lady who would have liked to have persuaded everyone to climb aboard her sampan for a harbour tour.
She got all but two and conceded “see you later!”
We turned around and retraced our steps, going on beyond our starting point and wondering how effective the “Sea Cleaner 4” is at its job?
I found myself wondering what life is like on one of these boats. How easy is it to make a living fishing?
Shortly before the Promenade came to an end, we stopped to look at the bronze of the two fisherwomen. Come to think of it, almost all the people driving those boats were women, too. Perhaps the men have to supplement their income by another means?
Or maybe they are all playing cards across the way?
Just behind that small community meeting place was the most beautiful yellow tree. I’ve no idea what it is, but the clear, bright colour shone out against the dull concrete of the backdrop.
I rather liked the style of the park seating, too. Very much in keeping with the surroundings, isn’t it?
At this end of the Promenade were the fish stalls. This one had racks of them, out drying in the sunshine. Seeing the flies buzzing around, I can’t say the idea of a fish lunch was very appetising. The warning notices about rat poison didn’t help.
Then we came across the Jumbo pier, where we’d caught the sampan over to the restaurant all those years ago. As she crossed the bridge down to the jetty, the little old lady beckoned us on, “Jumbo restaurant!” she called. But my eyes had fallen on the chap in front of her, wearing a colourful shirt…
We’d come to the end of the pathway, now and only the fish market lay ahead.
What’s more, much of that was under water, because the drains seemed to be blocked. We picked our way back up to the road and back towards the bus stop.
Find out where we went next in the following post!