Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hong Kong - Wandering Around

My fourth day of my visit to Hong Kong was a Sunday. Naturally, the day the started off by attending church at St. John’s Cathedral. With the congregation consisting of Filipinos, British, Americans, Chinese and most likely other nationalities, it was the most diverse church service I’ve ever attended. The Reverend Nadim Nassar, who is originally form Syria and has an impressive list of achievements, also graced us with a wonderful sermon.

YASCers, Sara, Me, Will and Katie in front of St. John's.

After church, Sara had work commitments to attend to all day and Katie went off exploring with her sister, Caroline. Will and I were the only ones left to wander around for a relaxed Sunday afternoon. After fueling up on Starbucks coffee, we walked around the corner to explore Hong Kong Park.

The park doesn’t look natural, mostly man made but has a grand beauty about it with arched bridges, ponds, fountain plaza, clean walkways and large trees. It’s amazing all the little treasures you could find within it including the Olympic Park. The park is a lovely place to spend an afternoon in as indicated by families setting up picnics.

One thing I read about before visiting was the Edward Youde Aviary within the park. It opened to the public in 1992 and consists of over 600 birds comprising of 80 species indigenous to Malesia according to the brochure. And it’s free! The aviary was the coolest. Here is this spectacular rainforest oasis full of exquisite birds in the middle of Hong Kong skyline. At first Will and I couldn’t find a single bird. Then our eyes adjusted and we were pointing every which way at the array of colors fluttering by, really a one-of-a-kind experience.

Will suggested we head over the Hong Kong Museum of Art on his side of the harbor afterwards. The Museum currently holds a diverse collection of Chinese art ranging from contemporary mixed media art to Chinese antiquities and calligraphy. My favorite section was the photography gallery, which displayed different perspectives of Hong Kong’s streets I would have never otherwise seen. The array of different medias truly showed how art and society has transformed over centuries.

Supposedly Hong Kong weather was showing off for me and Sunday afternoon was no exception. According to Katie and Sara, Hong Kong weather was blistering hot and humid the past few months and in a couple of weeks it will be continually cloudy and rainy. Will and I escaped the quiet, stuffy indoors of the museum to walk along the harbor and crowded Avenue of Stars. The name is from the stars and corresponding handprints of Asian celebrities along the walkway. I, of course, only recognized Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, and Jet Li.

Statue of Bruce Lee

We had plans to meet Katie and Caroline for dim sum for dinner. However, it was only around 3 in the afternoon so we decided to relax and enjoy the view at Deck’n’Beer. The name says it all. After a couple of beers and peanuts, we met up with Caroline and Katie to head over Din Tai Fung. The location in Taiwan was named one of the Top 10 restaurants by New York Times. Due to its reputation it was crowded, but the wait was completely worth it. Katie and I sat back as Caroline and Will checked off items to order. I can’t even tell you the names or what all we ate but it was scrumptious.

To round off another perfect day in Hong Kong, I bought savory macarons in salted caramel, dark chocolate, coffee, and vanilla flavors. Then we all headed back over to the Avenue of Stars for the nightly light show. It was completely different to see it at ground level with the music playing. It’s quite spectacular and hard to believe they do this every night! As I was awe-struck watching the show, I tried to soak in this moment of being in an amazing city with wonderful people! I couldn’t believe my time in Hong Kong was almost over.

Here's a video I put together of the light show, but it only shows a snippet:

Check back Monday for my last installment of my Hong Kong adventures!

Thanks for reading!

1 comment: