Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day One in Hong Kong - Birds

It's our first day in Hong Kong and we were excited to explore. Since it's also my birthday I was permitted to be a little dictator and decide where to go. Before we set out I went for a walk at Victoria Park which is literally across the street from our hotel. In the mornings half a million old people congregate to exercise, mostly by practicing Tai Chi. It was very peaceful.

Then we set out for Sheung Wan to find the Edward Youde Aviary. On the way we stopped at a conservatory that will filled with interesting plants and tons of orchids. Laura was a little nervous about more birds after she, reluctantly, became their queen while we were in Zhuhai. It turns out that it is a beautiful place with a raised walkway meandering through towering trees and birds flitting around everywhere. Some have very pretty calls while others just made a lot of noise.

From the aviary we headed to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. In truth, the zoo section was a little disappointing as it was mostly monkeys and birds but their enclosures were made of a very dense wire so you couldn't really see the animals too well. But the garden part was pretty.

Then we set off meandering through the Central area of Hong Kong. There are lots of trendy little shops, art galleries, and boutiques. We also passed the old Hong Kong Police Station which was architecturally interesting. Oh, and there are ENORMOUS fire hydrants!

We hit a spot of luck because there was a lion dance at Man Mo Temple with a huge crowd gathered. When it finished we went in the temple and on our way our, after most of the people had dissipated, they started another dance and we were right in front!

Earlier we had called a restaraunt called the Hunan Garden to make reservations and it was fast approaching time for lunch so we made our way over. It is situated in a building right by a huge mall so we ate our disappointingly mild, but otherwise nice, lunch and did a little more shopping before heading back to our hotel in Causeway Bay.

On the way we noticed a number of nice cars and a couple are pictured below. I guess the free market is working well for some people here!

After resting we had dinner in a nearby diner and retreated from the evening crowds (it gets packed at night) to our room to play tomorrow's adventures.

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