Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hong Kong Part One

During my last few days of summer vacation, Chris and I headed to Hong Kong and Macau for some rest, relaxation, and adventure! 

Hong Kong is like China’s independent, rebellious, wealthy child.  China owns Hong Kong, but Hong Kong has its own government, currency, and dialect.   There is very little Internet censorship in Hong Kong, so I was able to access sites like Facebook without a VPN.  Since the United Kingdom controlled Hong Kong until 1997, many of its citizens speak both Cantonese and English.   Their ports are packed with shipping containers; and like Shanghai, the country never sleeps.  As soon as we arrived at the Courtyard by Marriott on Hong Kong Island, Chris and I were ready to explore the island where “East meets West”.

After we grabbed lunch and a few Mini Cards, we headed to the Tsim Sha Tsui area to check out Victoria Harbor and The Avenue of the Stars.

We found these awesome mini cards at the hotel concierge desk.  They gave wonderful descriptions of different Hong Kong tourist attractions on one side of the card.
On the reverse side, the card list directions and a handy map to the attraction.  I later learned that the company that manufactures the cards has an app that can be downloaded from the iTunes app store.  These babies are free and very handy for traveling in Hong Kong and other countries!
Welcome to Victoria Harbor!

The entire pier/ harbor area smelled of fried shredded squid.  
Avenue of the Stars is a Hollywood Walk of Fame/ Grauman’s Chinese theater like tribute to the Hong Kong film industry.  Distinguished actors and actresses earn stars on the avenue, and make imprints of their hands in wet concrete.  It is all very glamorous!
Many people were out taking pictures when we visited Avenue of the Stars.  
There were plenty of sculptures that provided fun photo ops.  

Chris gets ready for his directorial debut.

People of all ages knelt down to get a picture with their favorite star!

I recognized a few of the names.

Many people wanted a snapshot of a fun pose with Bruce Lee.  This made getting the perfect pic difficult at times.

I decided to jump in to get my shot when a stranger started posing a la Kung Fu with me.  The iPaparazzi went crazy with this scene.  I felt like a D-list celebrity again!

After our Kung Fu pose, my new friend wanted a friendly shot.  Like China, many people wanted to take a picture with the western white girl.

One woman gave me her child so she could snap a picture.  I guess people aren't afraid of kidnappers here. 
After our visit at Avenue of the Stars, we hung around the harbor area so we could catch the Symphony of Lights show.  During the show, the Hong Kong skyline flashed in time with classicalish muzak playing over loudspeakers. 

This is Victoria harbor at night.  Asian cities love lots of neon at night.
The show was impressive, however it did not exceed my expectations.  Chris and I were both exhausted from a hectic week and early flight, so we headed back to the hotel to get a good night’s rest.  The following day would be our whirlwind tour of Hong Kong!