AT LAST! A beautiful sunny day in Bonkers Honkers for our very last day! (Even if it was a bit hazy……)
Another leisurely breakfast, then took a walk around. Really very little to report, but here are a few pictures of Hong Kong in the sunshine:
We discovered a small park displaying old seawall fragments, showing where the seawall used to be before they started reclaiming the land from Victoria Harbour as the colony expanded dramatically. It was a bloody long way from the existing seafront……
I sat in another park while Jean explored a museum of tea-making, which she found interesting and I got nice and warm. Result.
Far fewer people around than yesterday as well, which also helped.
Time, then, for our afternoon excursion. It was warm enough for me to don shorts and sandals, for, of course, the last time on this trip.
Caught a taxi to the tram terminus at Western Market, where we boarded an original 1930s third generation tram for an hour’s slow ride eastwards towards Causeway Bay, accompanied by headphones with English commentary. Even though we were there 20 minutes before the official departure time, there was no room on the upper deck, so we had to content ourselves with the lower, which rather restricted our field of vision. No matter – it was a very interesting little journey with a very genial driver.
Apparently, there have been trams in Hong Kong since 1904 and they were electric from the start. As a mode of transport, it is extremely popular in Hong Kong – over 200,000 people a day use it.
We passed through a number of different regions, including Happy Valley, which is now an upmarket residential area and home to the Hong Kong racecourse. Hong Kongans love a gamble, and the Jockey Club is the largest taxpayer to the Hong Kong treasury as it is responsible, on a not-for-profit basis, for all the betting revenues. It’s also a very large charitable benefactor. It’s called Happy Valley because it actually contains lots of cemeteries – go figure. This area used to be a malarial swamp and there were many fatalities whilst it was being developed.
As we made our way slowly eastwards past shop after shop, mall after mall, I began to develop more of a feel for this place. People everywhere, of course, but it crackles with life.
I don’t think I have seen so many shops per square metre anywhere else, and the most expensive retail property in the world is around Times Square, near Happy Valley. Times Square is named after the New York area of the same name, but this shopping mall is arranged vertically, rather than horizontally, just like so much of Hong Kong! It has more skyscrapers (buildings of over 150 metres in height) than anywhere else in the world, including New York and Dubai.
Sadly, our journey came to an end all too soon in Causeway Bay, which itself used to be on the seafront. This area is the premier shopping part of Bonkers Honkers, on the island anyway, and caters for all types of retail opportunities and budgets.
Took a final couple of pictures of the tram before we caught a cab back to the hotel.
All that remained was to have dinner in the hotel and pack.
Dinner was a prepaid buffet which was sumptuous, but neither of us could do it justice. I was feeling pretty dismal because this amazing adventure was finally coming to an end and a 4 a.m. getup awaited us for a long flight back to cold and grey Blighty. Still – gotta be done. All good things come to an end, but on the plus side we do have a Caribbean cruise to look forward to in a couple of months.
At least when we get home, we can do the washing – another plus point. These things are important, you know…..
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