Our 2010 China Trip

Page 9

We continue our tour of Hong Kong.

This is the interior of the Man Mo Temple. It's non-denominational in the sense that Buddhists, Taoists, and Confucianists worship here (maybe some Unitarians, as well).
Those spirally looking things are smoldering coils of incense. Apparently they smolder for a long, long time and the smoke lets the recipient know that someone here is thinking of them. The roof is open otherwise you couldn't breath in here.

It was pretty dim and smoky around the shrine area, but I took this shot to show the offerings to the deceased. There is paper fruit, paper flowers, and even imitation paper money bundles called "Ghost, Hell, or Heaven money" (on the right). I guess you still need cash where ever you go?

Outside the temple there is a little shop where you can buy other offerings. Including: Paper suits, suits and ties, paper dresses, Ghost money, and even paper dentures.
All this stuff gets burned by the Monks as offerings to the deceased.

We had a tour of Aberdeen Harbor (on the south coast of Hong Kong Island)on a sight seeing Sampan. The sampan was bouncy and tippy and could only carry 8 people at a time. It was a fun ride and we got to see all the expensive boats tied up and anchored in the harbor.

If you've ever seen any pictures of Hong Kong, you've probably see one of the "Famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant". I've been told that it is a very expensive tourist trap. It looks real neat from the water, however.

This guy was zipping around the harbor looking for floating trash which he would scoop up. It was a very clean harbor in spite of all the boats!

We went to the two "night markets in Hong Kong. The one on the left was a typical night market: lots of tee shirts and knick-knacks (aka Junk). The one on the right is the "Suzie Wong" market. Prostitution is illegal, but it's not illegal to invite a guy in a bar for just a drink. Yeah, I bet!

I took this shot from the bus. The wives shouted "Don't Stop!"

Before going up Victoria Peak, we took the Star Ferry to Kowloon for some views of Hong Kong at night. What an amazing skyline. All lit up. It was dazzling!!

PS The tall building is 88 stories high. A taller one - 118 stories in now being built in Kowloon. It will be the 4th tallest in the world!

We took our tour bus up a steep and winding road to the top of Victoria Peak. Many people take the popular tram. To our amazement, there were 2 huge malls on the summit. One was a regular "western" mall, but the other was this 5 story mall on a massive "pedestal".

Being that this was part of "Golden Week", the crowds were enormous. There were waiting lines to get in! Unbelievable!!

We finally found a look out point on Victoria Peak. The view was spectacular. The downtown Hong Kong and Kowloon buildings around Victoria Harbor were all illuminated and there were laser light shows going on all over.

Almost in the center of the picture is the Star Ferry Terminal. For years, this was the only was to get back and forth from Hong Kong to Kowloon. Now there is a vehicle tunnel and a fast Metro line.

On our last full day in Hong Kong Mary Ann and I took the Metro to Kowloon to visit the Flower and Bird Markets. Obviously they were all beautiful. One interesting fact: The Bird Market is "men only". Women can visit and buy, but the men do all the breeding and selling.

I waited to the end to show the cast of characters who made up our 16 tour co-travellers. Right to left, top to bottom (w/State):

Joe Piziali & Roberta Fleishmann, MI, 40th OAT Tour, Great travellers! Zell & Margot Goodrich, NC, Nice ex GI guy, picky German-born wife. Lionel & Kathy Boursossa, NH, Good savvy travellers, easy to talk with. Rick & Judy Brush, PA, He's the big kidder, she's the shopper.
Rich Sutherland, CA, The loner, drifter, non-talker. Well traveled.
Sally Strazdins, NH, Single tough, older traveller, A real trooper!
Mark & Muriel Goldfeder, AZ, Been there, done that, only better.
Cindy & Jim Lyon, GA, She's lotsa laughs, he's kinda quiet. Nice couple!

All in all it was a super group. Lots of travel experience. Stuck together like "Sticky Rice". (PS I introduced our super terrific tour Director: Joan Zhou on Page 1.)

These 4 pictures shows a bit of our return trip: A breath of fresh (non-smog) air and a beautiful sunset in Toronto; our late night arrival at daughter Karen's in Cambridge, MA on day 23, our day 24 trip on the "Downeaster" train to Maine; and our arrival at our summer home in Wells, ME.

So ended our exciting our tour of China. Whew!!

If you want to send me an email my address is: prstevens13@gmail.com

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