Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day Four in Hong Kong - Morning and Evening Adventures

Last night Laura and I decided that today would be about afternoon/evening activities so the plan was to go to the night market, have dinner and see the light show on Hong Kong Island from Kowloon.

However, as I am an early riser and get restless easily I opted for my own little adventure whilst Laura slept in. I grabbed my camera and made my way downstairs and, on the way, I decided to explore the Causeway Bay waterfront. So I made my way through Victoria Park past old people exercising and other sitting on benches while reading the morning paper and to the pedestrian overpass.

Although it had been light for about an hour and a half the light was just about to hit the harbor and folks were starting to get ready for the day. On the water side of the walkway there are a number of little shanties set up to sell refreshments to passers-by. Gathered around these stalls were numerous cats and dogs. I don't know whether they belong to the stall-owners or are strays but they didn't look too mangy to me.

I found it interesting that some people obviously live on their boats. There were a few with animals wandering around onboard, others where people were heating water for their morning breakfast and still others who were brushing their teeth. One man (pictured below) seems to be responsible for collecting trash from the other boats; he's equipped with a net and a pole that he uses to grab full bags from the vessels as he passes by. Many people waved me over trying to convince me to take a tour on their somewhat rickety crafts but I declined, at least for the time being in case Laura wants to accompany me.

After a couple of hours it was beginning to get warm so I returned to the hotel to check in on Laura who had rejoined the world of the living. She had and when I got bored I left again to explore while she dealt with some digestive issues.

I read about a small temple one neighborhood away so I made my way over. Hung Shing Temple was built into a rocky hillside and was quite pretty nestled into the hustle and bustle of the city with people stopping in to light some incense and say a few prayers before continuing on their way. Behind the temple was a series of stairs that I ascended for no other reason than because they were there. I never found out where they led because the pathway was obviously not in use and was falling down the hill in places so I climbed as far as I deemed prudent before turning around and heading back to check on Laura one more time.

Apparently the worst had passed so we got a snack and relaxed watching a DVD until it was time to head out the the markets.

At the appointed hour we jumped on the MTR (Hong Kong's ultra-efficient subway system) and got off right at the Temple Street Night Market. It was only early out so many people were still setting up their goods although the crowds were already descending. We may our way from the north end to the south and were only slightly traumatized when we saw signs advertising "Cheap Sex" and were relieved, somewhat, to discover that they were purveyors of novelties of an adult nature.

A lovely clean kitchen, Mom would be proud!

The cat is being employed to guard the oranges.

When you have a stall at the Night Market everyone is expected to lend a hand.

Freshly laden with adult toys (haha, just kidding, kind of) we made a number of other purchases before reaching the end of the market and discovering our burgeoning hunger. Stomachs growling, we went in search of food but quickly realized that we didn't have any pre-chosen restaurants marked on our maps we meandered down various streets until I recognized one as being the home of an Indian eatery we had yet to try.

After taking the elevator to the second floor we arrived in impeccable style at Gaylord, an upscale place in which we were perfectly at home with the silk wallpaper, funky/modern chandeliers and gorgeous wood trim. Once we finished giggling about the name (I am giggling a bit now too) we ordered the set vegetarian dinner. It was comprised of a number of small dishes and were spicy and delicious. The dessert was a little bit of a catastrophe but we forgave them because of all the other excellent food.

Contentedly full, we headed to the promenade to await the light show put of by thirty-some buildings on Hong Kong Island. Jostled by the crowds, we took our pictures and then fled the scene to arrive back at the hotel weary but pleased with the day...

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