Last Day in Hong Kong: Parks and Partying

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We had a lazy day on our last in Hong Kong – sleeping in, having lunch at the Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui, and then spending a few hours in Kowloon Park. We’d both had some bad news from home and we wanted something relaxing.

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Kowloon Park was actually quite lovely. People wandered around or had picnics, others met for Tai Chi or dancing classes. We explored the aviary and the maze, the Chinese Pagoda and the artificial lakes and water features. There was even a tiny McDonalds outpost which sold only ice-cream and drinks. We succumbed to the heat and got double sundaes.

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Bizarrely, they also had a lake packed with flamingoes. Such weird looking birds, with their gracefully long necks and legs and giant beaks.

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It was strange, seeing this flock of flamingoes in a pool with a background of apartment buildings.

While on the ferry to Macau a few days earlier we’d seen in the on-board magazine that there was a Beer and Music festival happening in Lan Kwai Fong, and we thought it would be interesting to check out. Lan Kwai Fong is a fairly trendy area on Hong Kong Island, and it was easy to walk there from Central station.

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The area was strung up with bunting and the streets were lined with little stands selling beer, both local and international. Music was pumping and it was crowded and alive. Patrons festooned with silly hats [being handed out by scantily-dressed promotion girls] and yard glasses mostly in the shape of bikini-clad women crammed in to the narrow streets. A few small stands sold fat red sausages and nachos. We made our way uphill through the hordes, me lamenting the fact that I do not like beer and crossing my fingers that they’d have cider somewhere.

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Lo and behold, about a minute later we found a stand selling Carlsberg and Somersby Cider, for HKD $80 per yard glass. Despite having exceeded our budget in Hong Kong we figured we deserved a drink and quickly joined the throngs of people with a yard glass hanging around their neck.

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We may have gone back for a refill, after I’d had a bottle of what was apparently an Australian cider I’d never heard of.

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We found a timetable for the music part of the festival – pretty much all DJs we’d never heard of and weren’t particularly interested in. There was plenty of music around so we didn’t hang around the stage, preferring to just wander.

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We found people posing with giant blow up steins and decided that it was silly, but it had to be done.

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As you can see, I upgraded my hat at some point in time.

After having consumed sufficient alcohol, considering we were wanting to take a rather early train to Guangzhou, China the next morning, we headed to the Star Ferry Terminal for our last journey across the harbour.

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We headed back down to the promenade to enjoy the view at night [last time we’d headed down there at night I had cleverly forgotten to put the memory card back in my camera], and to have our photo taken in front of the night skyline. We bought a couple of little 2×3 inch pictures, much to John’s disgust likely as he wanted a bigger one – I just wanted one for my journal.

The view across the water at night, when all the buildings are lit up, is just spectacular. It’s a reminder that even one of the most densely populated cities in the world can be beautiful.

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I wanted to visit the Temple St Market in full swing [we’d been there a little early previously] and so we headed up there for a wander. It was a little disappointing really. Just a busy market with overpriced stuff, and the hassle while not extraordinary was sufficient to make me lose my interest in having a closer look at anything. I figured that they’d likely have similar things in China for a fraction of the price anyway.

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After walking through the market we took the metro back to Mong Kok in order to pack our bags for an early start the next morning. It was time to leave the comforts of Hong Kong for the unknown of China.

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