Dr. Chun
Hong Kong, China

July, 2014


My third stop during the backpack trip to China was Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a former British colony in southeastern China. Vibrant and densely populated, it is a major port and global financial center famed for its tower-studded skyline.

013After I checked into a hotel in Mongkok, I headed for Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. One of the finest city skylines in the world has to be that of Hong Kong Island, and the promenade is one of the best ways to get an uninterrupted view.
023Along the first part of the promenade is the Avenue of the Stars, which pays homage to the Hong Kong film industry and its stars, with handprints, sculptures and information boards.  Is he Bruce Lee?

033It must be a lovely place to stroll around during the day, but it really comes into its own in the evening. I really enjoyed the nightly Symphony of Lights, a spectacular sound-and-light show involving 44 buildings on the Hong Kong Island skyline. 043The Clock Tower, located on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui, is the only remnant of the original site of the former Kowloon Station on the Kowloon-Canton Railway.
053Next morning, I took a subway to Diamond Hill and walked to Nan Lian Garden, which is a public park built in the style of the Tang dynasty.
063I got there early, so it was still quiet and empty.  I was able to take lots of pictures and enjoy everything.
073The garden is quite picturesque and well cared for. Unfortunately during my visit, the golden pavilion and red bridge were closed off for renovation. 083Chi Lin Nunnery is located within a walking distance from the Nan Lian Gardena.  It is a large temple complex of elegant wooden architecture, treasured Buddhist relics, and soul-soothing lotus ponds.
093A trip to Hong Kong is not complete without taking a double-decker bus. 103An oasis of calm and space in teeming, bustling, non-stop moving Causeway Bay, Victoria Park can offer a welcome respite to an unban shopping spree.  This is what makes it so popular with locals.
113One of Hong Kong’s oldest temples, atmospheric Man Mo Temple is dedicated to the gods of literature (‘Man’), holding a writing brush, and of war (‘Mo’), wielding a sword.

123The Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system in Hong Kong is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. The escalators travel downwards from 6am to 10am daily. After 10am, the flow is then reversed so that the escalators travel uphill until midnight.
133Everyone knows Hong Kong as a place of neon-lit retail pilgrimage. It's not the bargain destination it was, but Hong Kong is positively stuffed with swanky shopping malls and brand-name boutiques. All I bought was a small wooden duck as a souvenir. 143Victoria Peak is a good location to view Hong Kong and Victoria Harbor.  How to reach Victoria Peak?  I took the Peak Tram, a pleasant ride ascending the mountain.
153If you want to take a photo with your favorite movie or sport stars, then visit Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. This museum exhibits over 100 waxworks of celebrities from all works of life from the middle ages to the present day, including President Hu Jintao. 163The Hong Kong's panoramic vista is one of the most beautiful scenes in the world, so a visit to the Lion Pavilion on the peak is a must.  I took a double-decker bus again on the way down from Victoria Peak.
173My next stop was Kowloon Park. It was hot and sticky in the afternoon, and I was so delighted to find such an oasis of calm in the hustle and bustle of the center of Kowloon. 183There is also a large outdoor swimming pool which could offer relief from the heat.  I felt safe and secure even in the evening.
193Some sculptures on the street, and my favorite quote: "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."

203It was the last evening in Hong Kong.  After I enjoyed the Symphony of Light at the promenade one more time, I took Star Ferry to cross Victoria Harbor and then Airport Express for my midnight flight.
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