A Travellerspoint blog

Home Sweet Home

sunny 7 °C

March 15
I left Hong Kong on @ 8:30 am on March 15 and arrived in Vancouver @ 10:00 am on March 15. Paperwork said that I was to land in Vancouver at 11:30 am.

I arrived in Beijing with a 2 hour layover. Beijing airport is so unorganized. I had to go through another 2 security checks. The line up was so very long... I got tired of being pushed and having elbows in my back and head. So, I started pushing back and being aggressive. I made it through both security checks with an hour to spare.

Loved all the positive support and comments. Thanks for coming along on my adventure.... I never ever felt alone!
Till the next adventure.

"I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Posted by Samchow58 22:16 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

Stunning view and amazing skyline

overcast 16 °C
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March 14
Today I boarded the bus to the Star Ferry Pier, purchased my ticket to take the ferry over to the Central District on the iconic Star Ferry.
Got to Central District and I realized I didn't have any plans. So I decided to take the bus up to Victoria Peak again since it was a dry clear day. Boy! I forgot how cramped the buses can get here. People in Hong Kong do not know what personal space is...I had an elbow in my face and the side of my head and people all crowding me. Wouldn't you know it... I start feeling car sick and I can't look out the window to find the horizon (height challenged). Just barely made it off the bus!
I walked around some of the trails, where there are lots of memories. Went up to the sky deck again....
Beautiful views
Rooftop view of a house from The Peak
Took the bus back to the Star Ferry Pier. Thank goodness the bus was empty going back down.

Walked by to the hotel, stopped for lunch along the way. Relaxed and rested my feet for awhile.

Then I got the bus to the Sky100 Observation Deck. Sky100 is a 360-degree indoor observation deck on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre, in West Kowloon. To get there a high-speed lift will whisk you up 100 floors in just 60 seconds. I could feel the elevator swaying while going up. Arrived there just at sunset.
Bused back down to Tsim Sha Tsui area and watched the Symphony of Lights in Victoria Harbour. Took my last leisurely walk back to the hotel.
Things I've learnt about Honk Kong...
There are lots of people in HK. LOTS!
People here love eating, they eat all the time... Late into the night.
Shopping is a job here. Stores everywhere, selling everything! Loads of designer stores!
Their transportation system rocks! It's so easy to get around, but it would really help if the bus drivers spoke English.
There are so many people here.... You cannot walk a straight line anywhere!
The weather here has not been favorable. Today was the only dry day the whole week I've been here.

Posting this as I wait for my flight to Beijing. Will post my last one when I get home.

Posted by Samchow58 15:23 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

Walk, walk, walk....

rain 14 °C
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March 13
After a really awful sleep (room too cold), I decided to get up and grab breakfast. Back in the room I got dressed in layers again... Cold and rainy day.
Decided that I would go to the Sly 100 Observation deck again to see if I could see anything. Off on the bus, found the Kowloon MTR station and headed up to Rhenobservation deck. Walked up and down couldn't find where to buy tickets. I noticed that there is definitely a shortage of signage here in HK. Before I bought a ticket the lady at the counter showed me what the view looked like...all foggy, very white! So I decided not to go up.

However, getting on a bus was not to be. I walked and walked and walked stopped for lunch and then back to the hotel (1.5 hour walk)! Rested for about 40 mins when the housekeeper wanted to clean the room.

So back out I went.... Took the bus to Flower Market Road in Mong Kok. It is HKs premier destination for any type of plants and cut flowers. Some shops specialize in a particular type or even in a specific types of orchids or roses. The smell of the flowers were intoxicating. For many that know me, knows that I was a floral designer in my former life and I love flowers and plants (especially orchids).
Across the street was the Bird Garden. All types of birds and supplies for sale!

From there I walked to the Goldfish market. There were fish of all types, even turtles, puppies, and kittens. Little bags of fish hung up for sale.
Next was the electronic market. Anything you ever wanted to buy! Cell phones, tablets of every kind, earplugs, cameras....
It was time for dinner after that. I met a wonderful couple from Vancouver, Canada. We chatted while we ate. After that I headed to the Temple Street Night Market. Same old things for sale. By this time the skies opened up and it was time to call it a day.

Posted by Samchow58 07:51 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

Kowloon and memories....

overcast 14 °C
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March 12
The hotel shuttle took me to the Turbojet ferry terminal. I bought a ticket for the 10:05 am ferry.
Here is a clear shot of the bridge that joins both islands.
It was a very rough ride.... We arrived about 15 minutes late because of the weather!

I walked from the Turbojet terminal to Star Ferry (about 2km) with my backpack.
The famous Star Ferry terminal
Got a SIM card for the cell, loaded some money on my Octopus card (a tourist card that can be used for public transportation, dining and entertainment), and got some information from the toursit rep. Got some information on where my hotel is and started walking there... About 4 km.
Nathan Road - shopping

So, when I had planned my HK trip I decided I was going to try and find where I used to live.... 48 years ago. I used Google Map to find the address and it told me the bus route I needed to take.
28 Pak Tai Street
We lived on the 7th floor, the right side. My aunt lived on the left side. I remember my cousin and I used to bounce a super ball between the two apartments. We lost a few balls.
There used to be a battery store at the front... Now it's an upholstery store
The inside of the lobby... Just as I remember it! Same same but different.
I stood there for a long, long time just looking up and remembering. Remembering the layout, the small kitchen, the bunk beds. I was hoping that I could have gone inside but it had a security door.

I headed back to the hotel and explored Nathan Road. Nathan Road is the main thoroughfare that is lined with shops and restaurants and throngs with tourists. I went into a few stores - found a pair of shoes but decided against it! Cost was $2,299 HK dollars which is $313 in Canadian dollars. I stumbled onto Kowloon Park. I found these characters in the park.
He's supposed to be a Chinese star....

I got back to the hotel only to find my room was very cold, too cold to stay there. I told the front desk they sent up an extra blanket. The room got even colder as time went on (and I turned off the air conditioning when I first checked in). On my way out, I asked the front desk to see if they can turn the air down or the heat up. They said they would take care of it.

I decided to visit the Sky 100 Observatin Deck. I took the bus down there but decided not to go up there because of the weather (would be seeing the same thing we saw at Victoria Peak).
So I walked back to Star Ferry to look at the old Clock Tower. Standing 44-metres tall, the old Clock Tower was erected in 1915 as part of the Kowloon–Canton Railway terminus. The once-bustling station is long gone, but this red brick and granite tower, now preserved as a Declared Monument, serves as reminder of the Age of Steam. It has also been a memorable landmark for the millions of Chinese immigrants who passed through the terminus to begin new lives not just in Hong Kong, but in other parts of the world via the city’s harbour.
I had a leisurely walk back to the hotel

Room is still very cold. Called down to Reception and they sent up another blanket. Called back down to them and asked that I change room....
I'm now in a different room... Much warmer!

Posted by Samchow58 05:44 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

Macau - Vegas of the East

overcast 12 °C
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March 11
This morning I walked up to the bus stop to catch my bus to the Macau ferry terminal. It's been awhile since I've ridden public transit.
Turbojet provides high speed service between HK, Macau, and Kowloon. It is the first to provide round-the-clock jetfoil service and has over 50 years of shipping experience. Hong Kong skyline from the jetfoil

Macau is a small peninsula in mainland China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. Its giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname, the "Las Vegas of Asia."

The majority resides on the Macau Peninsular where you can find a variety of both Oriental and Western cultural and historical places of interest and all sorts of old buildings that are either European or traditional Chinese in style. The two outlying islands of Taipa and Coloane (Cotai) connected to the Macau Peninsular by two bridges.
Both bridges are so long....

I read that all hotels provide shuttle service from the ferry terminal, so I boarded the shuttle bus to the Holiday Inn Macau only to find out I got on the wrong bus going to the wrong Holiday Inn. One on Cotai and the other in Macau (where I was supposed to go). I took the shuttle back to the ferry terminal and waited for my shuttle to come. I was so cold waiting for my ride.... I thought I was back home!

Once I checked in, I headed out to see the sights.
The Grand Lisboa casino
I stopped for a traditional Portgeous lunch which consisted in cabbage soup (warmed my tummy) and roast (rump) slices served with french fries (it tasted like roast beef). After lunch, I continued on my way to Senado Square. Senado Square, is a paved town square in Macau, China and part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. I loved the tiling on the ground and the traditional Portugese influenced architecture. It's crowded and lively with plenty of shops.
Next stop, the Ruins of St. Paul's. The Ruins of St. Paul's are the ruins of a 16th-century complex in Macau including what was originally St. Paul's College and the Church of St. Paul also known as "Mater Dei", a 17th-century Portuguese church dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle.
This is the back side of the wall

Then walked up to Fortaleza do Monte. It is the historical military centre of Macau, China. It forms part of the "Historic Centre of Macau", a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers a great and picturesque view of Macau.
Matteo Ricci was an Italian Jesuit priest and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China missions.

Back to the hotel for a little rest, then back out to,check out a few casinos on Cotai. I took the shuttle back to the ferry and boarded the shuttle to the Galaxy Casino.
Walked around s bit and play the slots. Then I shuttled over to the Venetian. Lost more money in the slots then headed out to explore.

A bicycle powered rickshaw
Making cookies
Don't know what he's supposed to be!

Posted by Samchow58 06:59 Archived in Macau Comments (0)

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