Day 2 Hong Kong
I must say that the buffet Breakfast at my hotel is really quite good. Full hot and cold selections, so I have been eating really well at breakfast here anyway.
So the tour today, was entirely different to the one yesterday. So much better and not a single bit the sales pitch at any of the stops. The stops were really showing us what different parts of the New Territories Area of Hong Kong is like and really seeing that Hong Kong is not just a bunch of Skyscrapers.
The first stop on the tour today was at a place called the Yuen Yuen Institute, this is a Temple complex dedicated to the Three main religions in Hong Kong, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. This temple is situated in a really beautiful area, although even with greenery around you are still very much aware of the city not far away as looking down the mountain you immediately see more tall buildings. However you do not hear the noise of the city and it is a particularly peaceful place after the noise of the city we left behind not half an hour ago.
The next stop is at a lookout at about 800m above sea level on the side of Hong Kong’s highest peak (which actually is 957m) named Tai Mo Shan. From here you get a view of the town Tsuen Wan, which today was kind of visible through the haze, and if you really strained you could just see one or two of the buildings in Kowloon from here.
Moving on we were headed to a walled village, named Fanling Village. This village is about 400 years old, and until recently only had the one single entrance at the front with the ability to close off the entire village. This is a very tightly built village with fairly narrow passages between the houses.
By this time our tour had taken was to probably within half a km of the China/Hong Kong Border, before we turned off the road into China. To arrive not long after at a Lookout on the side of the road named Luk Keng Road. From here there are three things that you can see. Sha Tau Kok which is a town on mainland China across the water (unfortunately not overly visible due to the haze). An Island which at the right time of year is a bird nesting area, and finally a lot of green hills, which definitely proves there is more to Hong Kong then the Skyscrapers.
Without forgetting where we had just been it was onto see a little more of nature, at a place called Bride’s Pool Falls. Which is as it sounds a series of pools and waterfalls. This is a really nice place. And to be honest walking through here to where the waterfalls are you could easily imagine you were walking in Australia, some of the trees may be a little different but you could easily forget where you are.
The final stop on the tour was to see a small Fishing Village, but not just any fishing village, a floating one. Where the fisher folk don’t just catch fish but they actually breed them in submerged cages under the village. This is in a fairly nice calm area of the coast (at least today, though some have had damage from typhoons). Unfortunately it seems though that this village only has a short period of time in which that it will still exist at least as it does today. As the water area where it is has been earmarked for a Marina, to be attached to a nearby high end residential development.
Finally after this stop there was just one more stop on the tour and that was for a Chinese Lunch at a local restaurant. It was served Banquet style, and there were six main dishes served, along with Fried Rice, and Seasonal Fruit to finish it off. This was definitely something a little different, as the tour guide explained it this was food cooked in a traditional way that has not been enhanced or changed in anyway to suit western expectations. It was a good lunch.
Finally I spent some of the evening after the tour wandering around a whole new area of this shopping center called Harbor city near the hotel, which I also found out covers almost 2 million square feet, and has over 700 shops, 2 cinemas, and is attached to multiple hotels. Quite the experience to shop here as there is a lot of the upper market brand names here and a lot of small fairly unique looking shops as well. Overall a good day in Hong Kong.