The penultimate day began with a tram to Pacific Place shopping centre (http://www.pacificplace.com.hk/en/) and a quick window shop. My trembling credit card avoided my tempted paws and, thankfully, I didn’t wind up in debt. But to those who love their labels – yeah, good luck manning your unruly “ID” if you do happen to pop in (sorry – that’s my psychology A Level resurfacing).
From there, we hopped on another tram (I do love trams) and trundled along to Western Market and had a wonder around the surrounding streets (http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/shop/where-to-shop/malls-and-department-stores/western-market.jsp). There we saw Chinese arts, crafts and fabric merchants; all huddled in a relatively confined area, all selling pretty much the same thing, all as happy and as chirpy as the next. It was an experience watching these tradesmen in action… and unlike many other markets, they didn’t hassle or haggle, no hussle and bussle. In fact, they were perfectly charming.
Now for another highlight of the holiday; namely the day I entered the realm of cool and christened my feet with Converse! And here’s the really exciting bit… they were under £30! Not bad considering high-tops retail at £45 in the UK. So yeah, you can pick up some bargains if you know where to look.
Temple time! Navigating our way through the Soho streets, we by-accident-on-purpose stumbled across Man Mo Temple (http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/see-do/culture-heritage/chinese-temples/man-mo-temple.jsp). Built 166 years ago, the Man Mo Temple situated on Hollywood Road is a visual spectacle that features the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). One is encouraged to leave tributes (in other words; to light one of the free incense sticks and bow to the gods). Enormous hanging incense coils coupled with stunning gold and red décor deserves a greedy eye. There is something very subdued about this temple and I left feeling at peace (it could have been the incense dulling my overactive brain and buzzing senses though).
Here’s what it looks like on the outside (no photos allowed inside):
For lunch, we dared enter a very, very, VERY busy Hong Kong work-lunch hot-spot and ate our goose noodles among the locals. Upon slurping the last of the broth, we were eagerly shuffled out by the waiting staff, who were evidently keen to replace us with the next dollar signs… sorry, I meant customers.
Hunger sated, we caught a bus to the village. Situated in the New Territories, Man O Sha was certainly an eye-opener to the HK way of life. Separated from the thrall of the island, the remote town did not cater to English tourism and I struggled with a basic supermarket transaction. Serves me right for being so English and arrogant to expect otherwise. Walking through the food markets was … bracing. Fish flapped, crabs crawled, lobsters lulled and chicken feet dangled and wobbled precariously. Walking past various crates of very smelly flesh (which had probably started decaying in the afternoon heat) nearly ruined me and the poor Goose I had consumed hours before threatened to rear its ugly head.
I am definitely a carnivore and nothing could come between me and meat… but that market came pretty close.
Public transport on the outskirts is pretty much non-existent, so we hopped in a taxi to Che Ha Village (stupidly cheap taxi fares by the way). There I had the best home-made dinner EVER in the history of my 27 (28 next month) years. God it was good. Look!
And it was my first glass of wine in 4 days! (They drink a lot of beer out there…). Happy Mojo.
After smothering myself in deet (mosquitos love me, I hate them), I took part in the world’s weirdest pyjama party and finally caught some shut-eye on a stone floor (don’t ask).