Last day in Hong Kong

Ian was having a business session with William so I headed out to Hollywood Road (named long before Hollywood in the US was even thought of) when there are numerous antique markets, all rather interesting but cannot imagine that I would want any of it sitting on a shelf at home. Notice there was a Sun Year Sen museum soon went for a look see. Rather interesting in that very little of the display was about him, it was more relevant to the guy who owned the house “Kom Tong Hall”, A Ho Kom Tong owned this first house that blended Chinese and Western architectural styles and was cheaper for the government to use the house as the museum as it required so little because it had been looked after so well. Then information displayed was regarding building of the military academy of the Chinese nationalist party so as the establish a regular army. The training was both military and political and they help build a base camp for the revolution in the province.

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Then continued to the Museum of Medical Sciences which covered the Black Pleasure of 1894 and also the man who encouraged the washing of hands in hospitals. He realized that patients attended by doctors following an autopsy had a higher mortality rate than patients being attended by midwives.  Midwives were not involved with autopsies and had an incredibly lower mortality rate.

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Headed back to the hotel so we can be ready for eviction at 16:00.

 

 

Friday 3rd October in Hong Kong

Was an individual again today and did the Big B Bus tour over on mainland Kowloon. Caught the ferry from peer 7

 

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and as I got off the ferry it started to rain. While getting instruction on where to catch the  Big B Bus, ponchos were provided so we would not get wet on the sudden downpours. As soon as I put it on, the rain stopped, as it should. Started witha complete tour around Kowloon (as my ticket expired at 12md).

 

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Finally got off at the Sky100 which is the highest tower  in Hong Kong. The lift went from bottom to top in 60 seconds and my ears popped. As there was a Peak Rail ticket spare from yesterday, I got the free ride so up I went.

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The single fare for each of the  Sky100 & the Peak funicular ride would have been $160HK –  whereas the Big B Bus ticket cost just $400HK for everything (rather economical).

Excellent 360° views (and could see our iBis hotel on Hong Kong island)  but a pity there was some smog around. Rode the lift back down and played on the underground to the Mong Kok markets via Central then wandered around enjoying the atmosphere and hassling. On the way to and from the markets, the train traveled through Admiralty station so if that is now open, the problem in the papers about demonstrators and teargas has dissipated. Took a tram ride home after getting off the train.

Whilst I was waiting to have dinner there were numerous flashes of lightning in the sky whilst I was talking pictures across the bay and this is the photo I got (much much brighter than any of the others).

Checked with reception for a local Chinese restaurant and off I went – not sure what I ordered but the head waiter seemed to realize and looked after me because I ate well and he was the only one with any splattering of English in the place. I realized during dinner that Ian had had a bad experience with a Chinese on a 2nd floor and wondered if this was where it was. Not sure but i certainly did OK.

 

Arrived Hong Kong – 1st October

Lightning included   Taken whilst lightning flashed

2014-10-01 20.20.12  Taken with no lightning flash (2 seconds later)

Went out to the airport on the train as it was a public holiday for their ‘National Day’ and this year it is 65 years, and we figured that with the hour and a half it took to get to the hotel, we may not get on the plane. We imagined all the people on the underground but were quite pleased with how quiet out was at 9:30. Within the 75 minutes we were at the airport and all finished in half an hour after that, ready for the plane.

It started to rain as we got on the plane so did not get wet but it poured after we were taxiing out to the runway. We had to wait a while and did not get in to Hong Kong until 5. Ian was offered an upgrade to a harbour view in the hotel for very little extra and instead of the 4th floor with views of buildings we are now on the 24th floor with a views of the harbour like this one.

When we got to the room duty manager rang us and said that that included breakfast also (the extra cost was in fact the cost of breakfast). So, after the last 2 last hotels in Russia, these last 2, especially this one has been excellent. When I was here last time I was in a hotel about 3 quarters across the photo.

This city is delightful to walk around at night, everyone well behaved, no drunks, no punch ups and many girls walking alone – seems similar to Singapore.  Look forward to seeing the town via the Big B red bus tomorrow.

 

Monday 29th September – on the great wall

What a brilliant day it has been today. Up at 6am and down stairs for breakfast and then we were collected by Linda at 7:10 but still kept looking for Chas who was at our hotel and heading back to Unn Zud after some time in Tashkent. He eventually turned up and so we rolled on to the next hotel for a French couple working in Abu Dhabi and then on for a Spanish family of four.

Small commuter bus but capable of 11 so we all had plenty of room. Made good friends with Chas during the day and hearing of his experiences in Tashkent which continued over dinner when we got back to the hotel.

Started at the jade shop and were given a good talk and the great opportunity to buy (i guess they all have to have their pitch and commissions) and then on to the tombs/mausoleum of Emporer Shenzong of Great Ming.  We had another good explanation and tour – interesting learning that the Emporer was buried normally in one room and then his wife or wives in adjoining rooms (they usually only had one wife unless she pre-deceased him) but he still was allowed and expected to have concubines who were buried elsewhere in a concubine grave.

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Left the Ming tombs and headed off to the Great Wall where we had a traditional Chinese meal on the way to give us strength before heading up for the long walk. We took the chairlift up to the top because it was easier and time restrained but Ian & Chas went up on the cable car – the only restriction was that they had to return the same way whereas we could choose between the chairlift or the toboggan to drop down the book. Jenene and Jon will know where I was, I went from tower 7 and climbed to tower 1 and beyond and then returned to tower 8 & started towards tower 9 before I realized it was time to get on the toboggan.

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Even ladies from Yorkshire can do it

Even ladies from Yorkshire can do it

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It was a great experience and i was surprised how hard it was to get up some of those steps. When I got back to the transfer station it was on the toboggan and off down the hill. ll was good fast running until about 90% of the way down and I could see there was a group of 3 in front who were practically stopped. The game has come to an end but what a wizzer of a run up to then.

Back into town and we were eventually dropped at the hotel by “Not English”, the bus driver who was also called Lee. It has been an absolutely brilliant day and certainly worth doing if you are in the area.

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Us since Saturday 27th September

Returned to the hotel and got organized for the flight tonight, had another walk mid afternoon and returned after a light dinner, booked out and headed to the airport.

We noticed that all toilets in Beijing have gents on the left and ladies on the right because apparently they always are!!

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Met up with a late 20s Chinese breast cancer surgeon and we enjoyed each others company until we took off. He was trying to join us in our car to the hotel but realized it was the wrong Novatel and found his own way back to his home. He was a nice lad who had just enjoyed 2 weeks in Russia.

Headed to the “Gate of Ritual and Celebration” in Tianemen Square which is rarely open to foreigners but as Wednesday is their national day, 1 October, we had today only to have a look at it and so in we went.

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There are some photos of people we did not know but certainly provided wonderful views of the city. We met a Swede, Samuel and asked him if he came from the Manchester area but no, he was born in Sweden and his Dad was from Nottingham and had always spoken English with the kids. We walked a little more round the square afterwards and he left to go to the museum.

Sorted tomorrow’s details for the great wall, tombs, Olympic web & lunch. It will be a bus tour rather than taxi but seems to be well worked out.

Ian decided on a rest so I went off to the Temple of Heaven where I spent nearly 3 hours wandering in the solitude with few interruptions – it was brilliant.

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Walked back at 6 pm and woke Ian add I opened the door. He was obviously really tired and I feel invigorated. Decided to have a light meal downstairs rather than try and find something outside as we need to get to bed also at a reasonable time, lucky breakfast starts at 6am.

The problem with smog in this city has be mentioned as a real problem, there is practically none, we just picked the right days and this is weekend and many things will be closed here tomorrow which might hold the smog off for a few days. With the celebrations on the 1st, lead up work has been done in the hope that the smog will have lifted and they have also had a few days of rain which makes a big difference.