Hong Kong - July 2017

3rd July 2017 - Ferry to Hong Kong

Time to pack-up and move on, Hong Kong beckons. So down to the ferry port and jump on the TurboJet. All so easy. You can turn up twenty minutes before, check your bag, go through immigration and still have to wait until it's time to jump on-board. The ride was very smooth, the weather was calm and the boat stays in land of many island so it really was a comfortable journey. It didn't feel like we were going all that fast but it covers the forty miles in an hour so it is going at quite a rate for a boat.

I took the 12:30 sailing as that would then mean I could go straight to my hotel and check-in with no hanging around. Butterfly on Victoria, a nice boutique hotel near the metro. Like the hotel in Macau they provide a mobile phone for use while staying there which is great. Free data and calls so no need to get a SIM card. I headed out for a bit and decided to walk the mile or so down to the Wan Chai ferry and take a ride across the bay.

The old Star Ferries are the iconic image of Hong Kong and give great views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Going across and back was a pleasant way to spend and hour or so despite the showers.

4th July 2017 - Kowloon

The main reason for this trip to Hong Kong is to get my paperwork sorted out and try to open a bank account for my new company. First up today I go into the agency who helped create my company to sign some docs and pick up my company particulars and then on to OCBC bank to apply for a company account. It is a proper interview and getting an account isn't a formality you have to convince them you are serious and have a real business. I think it went well but won't hear officially for about a month.

All the company stuff was done by 12am then it was back to the hotel to change into something more comfortable and then head out for an explore. First up I took a look at the Tin Hau temple, it's only a few minutes from the hotel so rude not too. This temple was built in 1747, where it is said an incense burner was found floating magically on the sea (at that time it faced out onto the bay before land reclamation). This supposedly gives rise to the name of the island Hung Heung Lo (red incense burner island). Of course later on the British changed the name to Hong Kong (fragrant harbor). The temple has shrine for Tin Hau (goddess for seafarers), gods of wealth, gods of childbirth and the black faced Pau Kung, the judge of the underworld. The temple is small and looks tiny compared to the surrounding skyscrapers.

After a fairly quick visit to the temple I jumped on the metro up to the markets on Kowloon (mainland part of Hong Kong). I visited the flower market where they sell flowers, bird market where they sell birds, jade market (jade) and finally the ladies market which was very disappointing :-) But there is lots of other stuff to buy and I stocked up on presents.

Three great finds today, first up a Mark's and Spenser and most importantly a Mark's and Spenser food hall. Then the best find ever my two favorite drinks in one bottle! Ginger Pepsi Max and it does taste as good as it sounds. Lastly flaming spicy crisps, I just love the idea of the not being spicy, they are flaming spicy.


I hadn't actually eaten much all day so on the way back to the hotel I stopped off at Harbour City to check out the food hall and have a well earned sit down as I'd been walking for hours in the sunshine and showers. I had a tasty Kong Po Chicken and enjoyed the view below from my table.

5th July 2017 - Victoria Peak

Up early (for a holiday) to head for the Thai Consulate to apply for my Thai working visa. I had most of the paperwork already filled out by my business sponsor but of course there was just one more form to fill in. Then take a number, wait my turn, hand it all in and come back tomorrow.

As it was fairly clear I decided to take my chances and head up to Victoria Peak so I walked up to the peak tram. Not much of a queue and I was soon on the historic tram heading up to the peak.

I definitely picked a good day and a good time the view from the top was great or at least as good as you can expect at this time of year. It was a little hazy but I was lucky to have got up there when I did. Clouds started to roll in and by the time I left the view had gone and it had started to rain.

Time for another selfie.

For lunch I decided to do something local and traditional. Maxim's Palace at the City Hall. This is a traditional dim-sum restaurant with little old ladies pushing their carts around between the tables and you select the dishes you want. Each time they mark it down on your card and you pay at the end for what you've eaten. It's pricey but the room is great and oozes tradition.

In the evening I headed down to the harbour intending to see the harbour light show. I remember it being quite spectacular but tonight it was pretty disappointing. Maybe it was because of the humidity and haze but the lights weren't that clear. Anyway it was good to go down to the harbour at night and see all the buildings lit up.

6th July 2017 - Hong Kong History Museum

Picked up my passport and all is OK, the visa is in place and ready for me going back to Bangkok on Sunday. As it was a bit showery I thought I'd give the History Museum a go. It's quite a decent museum which goes from geological times right up to the present day. The most interesting parts were from the colonial era showing how Hong Kong developed into the metropolis it now is.

There were lots of rooms fitted out in the styles of the times and lots of video screens showing Pathe News films. The news films were great as was the exhibition on the Japanese occupation in the war.

In the evening I went back across to Kowloon to check out the Temple Street Night Market. Market stalls, fortune tellers, karaoke on the side of the street and lots of food. Like last night I was a little underwhelmed, the market wasn't as big or busy or as exciting as I remember it. I wonder is it quieter or have I now seen so many other great night markets that this one just doesn't make it into my Top 10 any more?

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