Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hong Kong Kowloon Touring Friday January 23rd

We were up early this cool Friday morning. We were no longer in tropical Vietnam so the 60s felt cold. Both of us wearing jackets, we headed out to a Dim Sum Restaurant recommended by the Concierge. Unfortunately when we arrived, no one spoke English. We sat and stared at the menu for a while while the waitress came over a few times to take our order. We now know how a non-English speaking foreigner feels in America. We called the waitress over and just pointed to a few things that looked good on the menu – it had pictures too – and hoped that we made the right choices. We were served tea, as well, as we waited for our order. I still cannot tell you what we ate that morning but it was good. We paid our check and headed out for a walk in Hong Kong.

Our destination today was Kowloon via the Star Ferry . But first we did a little walking. We came across a garden in the middle of this busy city, Chater Gardens . We walked a bit further and came across Avenue of the Stars. Like the Hollywood walk, it is a tribute to Chinese film stars like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.

We finally made it to the ferry entrance and saw a booth for a tour bus. We talked to the salesperson for a bit and decided that it would be the best way to see most of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. So we bought a ticket for the Big Bus . The ticket was good for twenty four hours and included Star Ferry and Peak Tram tickets. So, we went down the ramp and boarded the Star Ferry, also seen on the Amazing Race. Regular tickets were only 2.20 HKD, about 30 cents.

The views from the ferry were amazing.
It was a short trip to Kowloon and we walked for a bit before stopping to eat at a place called Eat Together . It is probably the most inexpensive chain restaurant in Hong Kong and you actually eat together. If someone is sitting at a table alone, you will be seated with them. We sat with a young girl who didn’t even acknowledge our presence. I ordered Won Ton Soup and it was probably the best I have ever had. Another woman sat down with us and she was a bit more conversational. When she saw that we were having problems with our chopsticks, something that had not been a problem, she asked the waitress for forks. It brought a smile to her face when we thanked her for her help.

So, we then got on the Big Bus and did a little touring while listening to the recorded program with earphones. We got off near the Ladies Market . We shopped for a bit, got back on the bus and headed for the Museum of Art and Culture where we picked up a few nice gifts.

We then headed to Peninsula Hotel. Marty had recommended this place to us and had even given me a Visa Card for my birthday to buy a few drinks. The views were amazing from the top floor bar Felix. We had two drinks each, Stacy had wine, I had martinis and with that we spent almost the entire amount on the gift card.

We headed back to the ferry for our trip back to the hotel to plan our last full day in Hong Kong. We were exhausted from the long day of walking and touring so after a few hundred yards on the walkway, we caught a cab and headed for the Marriott.

We were hungry for western food so we went to a restaurant in the Pacific Place Mall, the Union American Bar & Grill . Here is the description from the website: It truly is the state of the union when a restaurant offers great American regional "must-haves" including BBQ ribs, but also creative modern dishes such as thin-crust flat breads. Union Bar and Grill is a great place for quick mid-shopping bites, lunch with the family, a relaxing dinner, and social gatherings after office hours. The feel is pure American nostalgia, with red brick walls, rich oak wood detailing and warm, glowing custom light features. Comfortable thick padded seats help guests sink into a cozy, warm dining experience. Expect high value and quality as UNION is owned and operated by the Dan Ryan's restaurant group!

I had a half rack of ribs with cole slaw and french fries, you can't get much more American than that. I also had a Tsing Tao beer on draft to complete my goal of having a local beer in each of the cities visited. Stacy had a not so good salad with Ahi tuna and her typical glass of wine. After all of the great Asian food we had eaten, this was a treat -- for me at least.

So after a long day of shopping, walking, touring and eating, it was time to rest our weary bones. Good Night Hong Kong.

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