Travels with Dick and Karen

CHINA Spring 2012

Part 7
Hong Kong

china detail map
On the flight from Guilin to Schenzhen, Karen was fascinated by the building thunderheads and that the bottoms disappeared. clouds
The bus from Schenzhen in China to Hong Kong passes over a many mile long bridge, passing through miles and miles of oyster rafts shellfish floats
Once again we arrived at Hong Kong in lower-than-the-buildings overcast, but this time the weather was wetter. city

The room we'd rented the first time wasn't free for our 2nd visit, so we took a room in the Alison Guesthouse a little further east, in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong Island. This turned out to be a space in what had probably been an apartment, now converted into 8 individual rooms with private baths (if you can call something so small with a toilet, sink, shower spray and drain a "bath". The rooms were "efficiency" but well planned. The common area had refrigerator, microwave, internet connection etc. and most of the staff spoke English very well.

Once again shops and restaurants surrounded our door. We seemed to be in a mini "pet" district. A dog store was on one side of our building's door, and a cat store on the other. Across the street you can see the sign for "Science Diet".

Causeway Bay
A typical "double" room in Hong Kong where every inch of space is expensive. The only spot for the luggage was along the floor at Karen's feet. room
Running along one main street parallel to the harbor is this century-old double-decker electric tram system. For 1 (senior rate) to 2.5 Hong Kong dollars (i.e. 14 to 35 US cents) you can ride from end-to-end of the 9 mile route. Fares are even easier through use of the "Octopus" smart-card system. We picked up our cards at the airport. Just wave the card at a sensor, and the fare is deducted. The card also serves as the "senior" identifier, and is accepted by all metopolitan transit systems. It's also accepted by many retail stores as a debit card. The elevated view from the second level is unsurpassed. tram
The goal for one of the tram trips was the Western Market... a British Era building that now houses... western market
the fabric market. Silks, woollens and all other types of fabric fully occupying the mezzanine level of this classic building. The fabric dealers had been displaced by construction of who-knows-which towers, and had been given this space. Karen spent a happy few hours orbiting these shops, trying to find exactly the right shade of green in a fabric she could stand. fabric
Meanwhile, down on the ground floor, Dick explored the history and at-home possibilities of a fully accurate reconstruction of Hong Kong's entire mass-transit system at the Tram Store. Individual Photos were available of all of the trams and most of the buses (and ambulances and fire trucks and...) of the system. Yes, that's a Sprinter ambulance. toy tram
One of the endlessly fascinating features of Hong Kong is the diversity of tower styles. Here is a tiny footprint tower nestled between its far taller and far broader cousins. large and small skyscrapers
Almost next door to our new "digs" was an excellent Dim Sum restaurant. Like most large Hong Kong restaurants the seating was on the 2nd floor. This gave it a commanding view of the harbor. harbor
A couple of blocks east of our guesthouse was Victoria Park. A combination of Arboretum, playing fields, munincipal indoor swimming pool, flower garden... park
and model boat racing pool. These have water-cooled model airplane engines coupled to the in-water propeller, and radio control for guidance. boat
The pond is small but sturdy, with two oval areas: one for slower craft, and the other for these rooster-tailing rockets. moving boat
Further into the park we found this entry gate for the Hong Kong Flower Show! HK flower show
..however, it was just being set up for opening in a couple of weeks. We could only gaze past the gates and fences at the fanciful world being built in the park. HK Flower show
As we've seen before, recycling is big throughout China. Near our guesthouse was a spot where these crushed can pallets would accumulate overnight for pickup in the morning. recycling
One day we dropped into the subway to travel under the harbor to Kowloon to explore some of its street market activity subway
We wandered the neighborhoods under intermittent rain showers. This small park was at the entryway to a Buddhist temple. Nearby was a famous "night market" street, but it was empty during the daytime. park
Not empty was this near-permanent street market. Again we wondered how the "real" shops behind the booths could stay in business Kowloon market
On one evening, we rode the tram to its eastern end. Along the way we passed what must be locally known as the Church of McDonalds church
All around the harbor there were dredges at work, keeping the shipping lanes open. Victoria Peak is completely lost in the clouds. dredges
Finally our departure day dawned... we had spent the previous night in a hotel at the airport to make it easier to arrive by the mandated time before departure. Once again, we needn't have worried. Much of the airport wasn't open when we got there, and the posh shops were only beginning to get going. airpost mall
Our flight back to Seattle again included a connection at Narita outside of Tokyo. coast of Japan
The final leg of the flight gave us sunrise an hour before dropping in to Seattle (where it was snowing!). Due to the international dateline, we had had a 40 hour "day" all labeled March 13th on the calendar. sunrise

Last Stop: Back to Travel Page

Hong Kong Kunming Shilin Menglun Jinghong Yangshuo Hong Kong (again)


all text and images copyright Karen and Dick Seymour 2012,
and may not be reproduced without written permission

Back to the Seymour Stained Glass website:

Home Show
DIY Book &
FAQs, Links
Info., etc.
Contact &
About us
Ordering Gallery