Wow wow wow what an amazing experience. Thank you so much Cruise.Co.UK for allowing me to visit this most magical and diverse City. I can only describe it as a sophisticated fusion of the East and West. Where old meets new on every street.
Arriving into the new sleek airport with so much space and glass, the feel of the outside is everywhere. This is a new airport built on Lantau Island approx 40 minutes from the city depending on traffic, (never seen so much) with fantastic road and rail links. That journey alone is an experience. With enormous suspension bridges rising from the South China Sea, breathtaking mountain backdrops and thousands of container ships below we felt immediately in the Far East. We even passed the sign for Disney World which is over there too. Mickey Mouse Chinese style.
Our hotel was on Hong Kong Island which is connected to the mainland area of Kowloon by several toll tunnels and after queuing for what seemed like an age you are through within two to three minutes. The Dorsett Wanchai is a lovely four star hotel overlooking the Happy Valley race course. We were lucky enough to be given a deluxe room overlooking this on the 17th floor so our views were amazing.
A very pleasant hotel suitable for both leisure and business guests. We were about a 15 minute walk from Causeway Bay which is the main shopping and entertainment area. We spent the afternoon finding our way around and enjoying the local culture. One street was just like being in a Dubai shopping mall then turn a corner and you are in a local food market with the most amazing fruit and veg, some I had never seen before. You should have seen the size of the asparagus and it looked so fresh.
Obviously with the time difference and very little sleep on the aircraft although we did treat ourselves to extra leg room we decided a local meal and an early night. No one cooks in Hong Kong ! the restaurants we so busy, people queuing to get in before they had even opened. We were talking to a young local couple on the next table and they told us most people eat out. They sit down, eat and go, whereas we make our evenings entertainment from the meal.
The next morning after a good nights sleep (the beds and linens were exceptional quality) we were greeted in reception by our tour guide, or so we thought. This was a feeder coach to join the rest of the tour. This meant we did not have to call at several hotels for pick ups. Our guide David was hysterical but very knowledgeable and kept us informed and up to date at every stop. He was convinced one day we will see him on the TV as a movie actor he also enjoyed the odd Micheal Jackson song and dance routine. He really made the tour. Our first stop was the Man Mo Temple .
“Man” literally means civil while “Mo” is martial. The Man Mo Temple is dedicated to the King Emperor Man and Holy King Emperor Kwan. The two gods were human. Man, the Civil God, known as Cheung Ah Tse was born in 287A.D. during the Chin dynasty. He was said to have jurisdiction over the destinies of the lives of government officials. He was granted the title “King -Emperor Man Cheong” by an emperor in Yuan dynasty. Kwan, the Martial God, is known as Kwan Wan Cheung, Kwan Tai or Kwan Yue. He was born in 160A.D. during the period of Three Kingdoms. He was a great warrior and was always associated with righteousness and loyalty.
Then on to the highlight of the day for me Victoria Peak. It offers stunning panoramic views over the Hong Kong skyline. After a 10 minute tram ride up,get ready to be blown away. As you can imagine the queues seemed to go on forever and in this instance I was glad we were on a tour as our David just took us straight to the front and we were up in no time.
Our ticket did not allow us to go to the sky terrace which was another viewpoint so we decided to buy this anyway as it was only an extra £5.00 we intend to get this added into the tour package if we do this for clients. Up there you not only had the views but an array of shops and dining venues. Shopping at every opportunity in Hong Kong.
from there we went to the Aberdeen Fishing Village which is home to several hundred traditional junk boats, fish markets and floating restaurants. We took a Sampan ride to look around the bay and it dropped us for lunch at Hong Kong’s biggest floating restaurant Jumbo which was constructed in 1950 and can house up to 2000 people. The walkway into the dining room shows you many photo of famous people including our Queen who have dined there.
After a short stop at a jewellery factory and some very hard selling we headed across to Stanley Market passing through some very exclusive residential areas such as Repluse Bay. However there had been an accident and the traffic was so bad we arrived just as the market was closing. We did however literally bump into a colleague on holiday with her husband on a zebra crossing and arranged to meet for drinks that evening. Would you believe it.
Will tell you all about the next day next time.