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HONG KONG: Kowloon
January 27- February 2, 2006

Once in Hong Kong, we took the metro to our hostel, located on Nathan Road, the famous “golden mile” shopping district in Tsim Sha Tsui on the very tip of the Kowloon peninsula.  Accommodation in Hong Kong is expensive, so we had booked the cheapest option: a 4-bed dorm at the Cosmic Guesthouse in the Mirador Mansion.  For about $100, we slumbered for the week in cramped quarters with a variety of roommates from Spain, Ireland, France, England and Canada.  After dropping off our bags upon arrival, claustrophobia began to set in so we quickly headed back out to find some supper.

Hong Kong is famous for its restaurants, but Zac and I were floored by the prices.  The cheapest proper meal for two people cost at least HK$100 (we can eat supper in Dalian for Y12-Y25).  Even street food and dumplings were expensive (HK$24.00 for dumpling soup that we can buy in Dalian for Y3.50, HK$15 for a roasted sweet potato we can buy in Dalian for Y3), so we figured as long as we were paying high prices, we might as well take a break from Chinese food and indulge in the international restaurants.  That first night we ate Malaysian food, and throughout the week we dined on Indian and Mexican cuisine, ate pizza twice, and went to McDonalds (with a sandwich, drink and fries costing about HK$22, it was one of the cheapest dining options).

After our repast, we headed down to the waterfront to view the Hong Kong skyline, which is perhaps one of the most beautiful in the world.  From the Walk of Stars (Hong Kong’s shoreline version of the Walk of Fame in Hollywood) we had an unobstructed view of the impressive Hong Kong Island skyline across Victoria Harbour.  The promenade was decorated with red lanterns for the Lunar New Year, and was swarming with people posing for photos next to a Bruce Lee statue with the skyline in the background.  It was about 11:00pm by now, and the city was still very much alive—much more so than at 9:00 the next morning.

Saturday was rainy, so after visiting Kowloon Park in the morning, we decided it was a good day to take in some of Hong Kong’s museums.  We went to the Hong Kong Museum of History, had some pastries for lunch, then spent the afternoon at the Science Museum.  After the museums, we were quite ready to sit down for a while, so we took a bus that went clear out to the New Territories (the northern part of Hong Kong).  It turns out that taking a bus around the city at night in the rain isn’t such a good idea, because we couldn’t see much.  Later, we returned to Kowloon, where we went to the famous Temple Street night market.  Zac and I actually weren’t that impressed with the market, having seen better ones in Dalian.  We’ll allow that maybe the market was small because of the bad weather and the holiday.  We did buy some small flashlights (which we found again a few stalls later for half the price we’d just bargained for—doh!) and two small pieces of watercolor artwork.

Tsim Sha Tsui
Nathan Road

Tsim Sha Tsui
restaurants

Walk of Stars HONG KONG
Walk of Stars

Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park

Tsim Sha Tsui

Tsim Sha Tsui
Nathan Road
Tsim Sha Tsui Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong cultural center
Hong Kong Cultural Center

Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park Lanterns
Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park Lanterns
Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park Lanterns
Kowloon Park
Mirador Mansion
our hostel was in this building
Mirador Mansion
Mirador Mansion
Cosmic Guesthouse dorm
our dorm

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