Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hong Kong Post 2: Tourism!


It's been over a month two months (holy cow, and over a month since I started drafting this post) since I came back from Hong Kong and I think I'm still experiencing the post vacation blues! At least I have photos and memories to console me! So I may not be too chronological about this, but I'll talk about a few things that we did, like visit the Edward Youde Aviary, which was a GREAT bird exhibit. You walk around on wooden bridges and see all sorts of amazing birds. The one complaint I had is that their handout did not include all of the birds that live in the aviary, which led to a lot of conversations like this:

Me: Oooh, what's that one?
The Man: *consults handout*....I don't know, it's not on here
Me: Oh. What's that one then? etc.


But even though we may not be more knowledgeable about bird species, we did get to see some awesome things, like this pair of courting birds (I think they are pigeons of some type).


And this beauty just calmy sat there and let us snap away. Actually, Hong Kong Park in general is a really nice place to spend a few hours, and we visited it several times during my trip. There was lots to see, like a pond with a whole lot of cute turtles sunbathing.



And there are also art installations, including a series of riffs on social networking sites, like this one. I found this funny (AND TRUE).


I also started to see that Hong Kong is the land of forbidden activities. And someone in the parks services apparently hates dogs, because they don't seem to be allowed anywhere! But apparently the releasing of fish and terrapins is the biggest problem.


HK Park is near the marriage registry, and I thought this sign was cute.


Oh, and here is one of my favorite buildings, the Lippo Building--it is supposed to look like koalas climbing up the side of the building.


On another day, we went to the Botanical Gardens (which is also where the zoo is) and saw a nice greenhouse display, mostly of orchids. I can't remember what these were, but they are really interesting looking! I love tropical plants.


This spiky flower is in the cactus family, I think. Man, who am I kidding--I have no idea. I just think it's a nice color. I am (obviously) no botanist!


But I know this is an orchid, and I know it's gorgeous.


Of course, you can't go to Hong Kong without going to the Peak (its full name is Victoria Peak), and there are several ways to get there; for tourists, the most popular is probably by funicular. When my brother was in Hong Kong (just a few months before me), that's what they did--they took the funicular up and then walked down. We, on the other hand, are FIERCE--we WALKED up. That photo above is at one of the intermediate tram stops. It looks steep, but I guarantee you that that doesn't even begin to tell you how steep it actually is! There were parts where I felt like I was doing the Smooth Criminal dance, that's how far over I was leaning. I'm not complaining, mind you--I enjoyed the walk (once I caught my breath) and it was a beautiful day. I just had my mind blown by the people who were RUNNING up the hill. RUNNING. Overachievers.


But look at how great the view is! (There are some facilities at the Peak including restaurants and some kind of observation deck you have to pay for, but there are plenty of free look out spots.)


And another view.


Even this stone lion is happy we made it. After we had our fill of the view, we hopped on the tram back down to Central. That tram is damn near a roller coaster--again, SO STEEP. So steep that you are almost lying on your back at some points.

This is definitely a must-do if you visit Hong Kong. Just make sure you pick a clear day!

Next time: Kurosawa exhibit, going to the races at Happy Valley, Ocean Park!


thecoffeesnob said...

Oooh I love Hongkong for all the amazing food it has to offer. And can I just say you take such gorgeous pictures. Can't wait to see the rest of Hongkong you've captured!

Deborah said...

How lovely- I feel like I was on vacation! Hong Kong seems like a dream to me. perhaps some day.

tofugirl said...

thecoffeesnob: I totally didn't take as many food photos as I thought I would (partially because a lot of the restaurants we ate in were too dark) but oh my gosh, the food is SO GOOD. I don't think I ate anything that was bad, and that includes the char siew rice I ate in the airport before I left! Hehe. And thank you :D I have a couple of more posts coming up.

Deborah: Thanks! I would love to go back (and eat egg tarts every day). It's funny but I didn't expect to be as overwhelmed by Hong Kong as I was. It's about 1000 times more busy and crazy than NYC!

Bentobird said...

Wonderful post! Loved your witty commentary and beautiful, bright bird and flora images, wow!

tofugirl said...

Thanks, Bentobird :) I was really surprised by how green HK was! I mean yes, it is a huge city, but there is so much greenery and nature, even within the city. And I love that aviary.

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