Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hong Kong: The Tour and the Typhoon

Okay, I am FORCING myself to at least begin this entry. It is now the beginning of my third day in this harbor and I really do want to share what I've been up to.

The first day was a bit tough. But even after traveling and losing an entire day and my Dad and I not really on the same internal schedule, we wanted to see the city.

I was actually surprised at how Westernized the city was. I had forgotten that it had been an English territory until 1997, so I wasn't expecting for the cars/buses to be English, or that they would be driving on the left side of the road.

Also what struck me was how English translation almost always came before the Chinese characters. In America, Europe and (as far as I know) most of South America, if there needs to be an English translation, it comes after the dominant language in the country. But not Hong Kong. (I suppose it is due to being an English territory.)

So around 1: 25, Dad and I caught a half-day tour of Hong Kong/Mt. Victoria. But not before negotiating for a tailored suit and meeting Bono:

The tour itself had its high points and low points. The first two stops I liked very much, the first being the Temple of Man and Mo and the second being Mount Victoria.

The Temple of Man and Mo was beautiful.

The Temple of Man is also the temple of Literature, Intelligence. Students often come to pray for better grades. The Temple of Mo (like General) is the temple of Power and Justice. The Hong Kong people often go to pray for health, intelligence and wisdom, writing them on red sheets of paper and/or lighting incense and placing them in bowls of sand in front of the statues.
We also ran into a very familiar street name.

Mount Victoria's view was breath taking. Though it didn't lack modern amenities.

However, the tour also stopped at two different types of markets, encouraging us to buy things. I learned from my Chinese classes that this was common practice, but was still disappointed.

The last thing we did was take a small boat tour around the Hong Kong harbor and it offered some incredible sites. One being the largest floating restaurant (appropriately named: Jumbo Floating Restaurant), owned by one of the richest men in Hong Kong/China. It can seat up to two thousand people at once.

The second day was more of a vacation. There were plans for a boat tour of Hong Kong junk boats at night (supposedly artfully lit up and gorgeous with the backdrop of the Hong Kong skyline). But due to a typhoon less than 800 km away, the trip was cancelled.

So I treated myself to a massage and got some reading done.

Now, I am in Shanghai (it took me a few days to get this entry done) and have so much more to tell you! But for now, I have to take a break. I leave for my job in Wuhu in less than 48 hours! I cannot believe it's almost here!

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