Hong Kong, China Day 2

                                                                 Hong Kong Light Show

March 29, 2010

For day two we had another tour scheduled, this one called “Off The Beaten Track: A Day In The Life Of Hong Kong”, which was specially designed for people who have visited Hong Kong before.  The tour started out with the Bird Market, which was fine because there is always more to see there.  

The tour took us next to the Kowloon Walled City Park, a tranquil, stylized Chinese garden in the middle of the city.  The area where the park now stands was originally a walled city garrison, covering 6.5 acres.  After the Japanese destroyed the walls during World War II the area became a slum which housed 50,000 squatters in high rise tenements, and it became an area of complete lawlessness.  The slum was demolished in 1987 by agreement between the governments of China and Hong Kong.  The only original building remaining is the Almshouse.  There is also a Chinese zodiac garden and the mountain pavilion, along with floral walks and other pavilions.   What was once a totally lawless place is now a peaceful oasis.

Our journey next took us to the Wong Tai Sin Temple, one of Hong Kong’s largest Taoist temples.  It is such a busy place that the officials there pretty much herd everyone through.  We learned about making wishes by shaking numbered bamboo sticks in a cup.  Once a stick falls out the person takes it to a fortune teller, and then, if necessary, buys a souvenir for a good luck charm.  The fortune tellers are located right next to the local hospital. . . .

Our final stop was at the Hong Kong Museum of History.  This is a museum that requires far more time to explore than the hour we had.  We spent our time in the natural history portion of the museum that displayed fossils and rocks, and showed the geological history of the area.   This section of the museum also covers the local flora and fauna, as well as some of the historical culture.  They have a replica of a typical home inside the museum.  The displays we saw were very nicely done.  There is so much more to the museum that it would probably be easy to spend a couple of days going through it.

Although this was a shorter tour, it included enough to easily fill a whole day.

In the evening we went over to the area by the Star Ferry terminal to see the light show complete with music.  The lights were beautiful, and it was nice to have music with them.  We were able to see details that we couldn’t see from the ship.

Our final experience of Hong Kong was the cultural show, the same one we saw two years ago.  Not to worry.  It is so good that it is fun no matter how many times one sees it.  The show starts out with a dragon seen under black lights.  This is followed by a dance and then a trio of traditional musicians.  Then there is the tiger who gets drunk (photo below), and finally, the man who changes masks so quickly that one cannot figure out how he does it.

Hong Kong and Kowloon together make up a very interesting area to visit.  There is so much to see and do that it would take multiple visits to cover it all.                                                                   

                                                     

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com