Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On the Southside

For the next day, Ada and Zach organized a tour bus to take us all to see some of the sights of Greater Hong Kong. There were a couple of casualties from last night's reveling who didn't make it on the bus, and for many of the rest of us (including yours truly) it was rough waking up early that morning. I think Heather was awarded the trooper award for rallying after (if I remember correctly) staying up all night and taking a diver down the stairs at the McDonald's by our hotel.

First, the bus took us to the mountains on the southern half of Hong Kong Island. Here we got a great view of the city skyline from up among the lush, green vegetation. We also caught a glimpse of some of the monumental high rises and mansions where Hong Kong's wealthy lived above the hustle and bustle, including my personal favorite, the architecturally striking "building with a hole" of Repulse Bay (pictured below). The big hole isn't there for decoration, but rather it was added due to feng shui concerns -- so as allow the qi to flow unimpeded through the building. Given the high price of units in this high rise, this hole literally cost the developers millions of dollars.

Our next stop was Stanley market, an open air marketplace where I picked up a few souvenirs.

After this we headed to historic Aberdeen Harbour where we got to take a boat ride around the harbor. Aberdeen Harbour is home to the Tanka boat people who traditionally live in a shanty town of house boats floating on these sheltered waters and who subsist primarily on the fish they catch. We were told that the government wants to relocate all these people to dry land, and -- from what I've read -- the younger generation has mostly joined the ranks of the landlubbers whereas the older boat people still cling to the old, amphibian way of life. I guess I'm sort of torn on the issue: I am usually an advocate for preserving cultural traditions, but the boat people's floating community did look pretty squalid.

Also in Aberdeen Harbour we rode past the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. All the colorful flags waving in the air were there in honor of the 10-year Anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.


nola32 said...

is it just me or do you look hella skinny in that photo? what have they been feeding you in dc?!?! you need to come back to nola for some good ol' fashioned fattening up!

Meeg said...

I'm doing ok on my own, trus'.