Yesterday I took myself out on a perfect date in Hong Kong. After a nice quiet breakfast at Starbucks, I got on the MTR and made my way to the Causeway Bay train station, arriving and exiting the station at Exit F. My plan was to wonder and do some souvenir shopping at the popular Jardine’s Market and walk around in Hong Kong’s Times Square shopping mall.
Here’s a video of my tour through the market and on the Star Ferry;
It was so easy to get here. I arrived in the mobs of people that frequent the area for some Saturday shopping with just about everything you could imagine from designer stores to dollar store items. It’s a shopping mecca and although shopping isn’t really my thing its such a fascinating cultural experience here and so different from anywhere else in the world I’ve been. At the market many vendors sell a wide variety of goods, mostly cheap clothes, bags, souvenirs and essential items. It’s a great place for a bargain and be prepared to haggle a bit for the best prices. It’s not particularly touristy so you won’t find the ‘I Survived HK’ type t-shirts here but if you want an authentic cultural experience it foots the bill.
Just across from the underpass after Times Square I ended up in the Bowrington Road Market, an eclectic, small fresh market featuring vegetables, meats, anything from the sea and of coarse a few mandatory dried seafood stores. It was so vibrant and lively, reminded me of the food markets in Sicily but with a distinct Asian flare. It was a sensory experience heightened by the large crowds of people that squeeze their way through the market and the sounds of a busy market. I was enthralled with the action of Hong Kong life here in the bowels of the Causeway Bay shopping district.
Heading back into Times Square I took the escalator up into the mall and wandered through all the upscale designer boutiques. I had a fab lunch at a nice fusion restaurant on the 9th floor and then made my way back to the central entrance where I was entranced by a street performer playing the HandPan. It was an instrument I’d never heard before, watching her play the instrument was like watching a finely choregraphed dance and the melodic tones were hypnotic. I could have watched her for hours but dropped a few dollars in her bucket and headed back to the MTR for my next stop at the Central MTR Station.
Arriving at Central I exited and followed the signs directing me past the Hong Kong Train station (for the Airport Express) to the pier for the famous Star Ferry where I bought a ticket (about $10 CDN) for a one-hour tour around Victoria Bay. I had about 45 minutes to kill before departure so I bought a gelato and sat at the pier people watching before boarding time. At 4:15 pm I climbed onto the boat with small group of a few dozen other tourists, the boat was barely full maybe because the weather was starting to turn. Little did I know a typhoon was heading our way and would shut down a good part of the city on Sunday so good thing I ventured out Saturday. The tour provided stunning panoramic views of Victoria harbor over an hour long leisurely tour of the Bay.
By the time we disembarked it was starting to get dark and time to head back home. I grabbed a Subway for dinner and made my way to the train station and home.
I had grand plans for Sunday to head earlier in the morning on an hour and half journey to see the Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha but mother nature had other plans. As I write a severe (level 8) Typhoon called Khanun is bearing down on the China sea about 200km from Hong Kong and causing some strong weather. As advised I stayed nearby the hotel, public transportation could shut down and already most businesses are shuttered up and closed for the day. We’ll see what the evening brings.