Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 11: Exploring Hong Kong

After a leisurely brunch with Jay & Cheron, the four of us headed to Hollywood Street and the SoHo area of Hong Kong Island to shop and explore. We parted ways mid-afternoon, and Che & I continued to walk around on our own, eventually wandering back to our hotel in the late afternoon. The subway system (MTR) in Hong Kong is extremely user-friendly and has been easy to navigate. An octopus card makes it even more convenient. For $150 HKD (or approx. $20 US), you get a debit card with a balance of $100 HKD to use on all forms of public transportation (MTR, buses, ferries) and at many convenience stores and restaurants as well. The remaining $50 HKD is a deposit that is refunded to you when you return the card. It allows you to conveniently access the subway and not have to worry about purchasing a ticket for each ride, figuring out the appropriate fare, or carrying exact change for the buses.

We cleaned up and rested for a bit at the hotel, then met up with new friends Amy and her husband Erik for dinner at a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant, Indochine, for delicious food and wonderful company. Afterwards, we took the Star Ferry to Kowloon to walk along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, which affords incredible views of Hong Kong Island's brightly-lit night skyline. There was also a wonderful and huge lantern exhibit on display at the waterfront called WonderWaterWorld, an artistic effort to increase public awareness of environmental protection, in particular marine and wetland creatures.

Che at the Admiralty MTR station adjoining our hotel at Pacific Place:

Full moon at the WonderWaterWorld lantern exhibit on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront:

Sea life at the WonderWaterWorld lantern display:

Pearl in oyster:

View of Hong Kong Island skyline from Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront on Kowloon:

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