Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pris Explores Hong Kong

Sunny works as a teachers assistant during the days so she had left early.  I decided to venture off to buy a camera in the recommended electronics shop near by Wan Chai Station. My goal was just to buy a basic camera nikon or sony unfortunately kiss my Canon good bye.  I met with a nice guy who I negociated a good price for a memory card, charger, case, and brand new camera(first hand of course). They actually have a law in Hong Kong against selling second hand goods including electronics. If you purchase a second hand good, you can call the police for them to file a report.  Can you imagine this ever going down in NYC? I think they would probably laugh at even the idea of it.  I was content with my purchase and went off to explore. Instead of giving you a play by play let me highlight some of my lovely sight seeing spots.

1.) Hong Kong Park

Hong Kong Park is a beautiful combination of modern design with natural landscape. Within the park, there are birds, streams, fountains, and it goes up hill to provide beautiful views of  Hong Kong. I read that the park costs approximetly $400 million to build and the layout plan for the park was changed several times, perhaps to perfect it's beauty.  The highlights for me were the Olympic Square, Tai Chi garden, Fountain Plaza, and the conservatory.  It is near the financial center so many people were out on their lunch hour sitting on the benches having a nice lunch.  I walked through all the main areas and photographed people and the park's natural beauty.  It was quite a pleasure strolling through and off I went to the next destination.

2.) Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens are located right next to Hong Kong park and The Peak, which is one of the highest points and best views in Hong Kong.  The gardens are free and open to the public and among the flowers and fountains there are monkeys, birds, and reptiles.  What was super adorable was the field trips of pre-schoolers and a group of special needs children that touched my heart. The teachers and assistants were so kind and friendy and the children waved at me with big smiles and some high fives.  The special needs group reminded me of my days working at Leichman with my high schoolers in the valley of Southern California.   My boy, Kyle(name changed for confidentiality) had severe mental retardation and many underestimated his capabilities, but were suprised to see his abilities with persistence, love, and God working with us. 
"Special" is definitely a word that should be associated with this population because they each have their own characteristics, strengths, and talents.  God may have taken away their physical capabilities, senses, and/or cognitive processes,  but their heart is still beating and their soul is still shining-PRIS.

Continuing on through the zoo,the highlights for me were the flamingoes, the various species of birds, and my ultimate favorite- the Siamangs which are found in the forests of the Malay Peninsula and Sumantra. They bark like a dog and it is so cute.  Check out this little chunk of love. 
 I named him Barney=)

And the adorable little kids speaking Cantonese...

3.) Central Markets
In Hong Kong, there are many hills and it pretty much an up hill hike through specific areas. I ended up taking up in the middle of some hotels away from the train so I hopped on the bus to go to Central. On the bus, I met a lovely girl who said she would accompany me to the Central markets.  Her name was Margalee.  She said she works as a teacher and was very impressed by my independent travel.  She was quite shy, but very lovely to walk the streets with.  We eventually parted ways as I ran into my couchsurfer, Sunny at the halloween market.  In Hong Kong, they have this Halloween market 365 days a year as people love to dress up at anytime.  Sunny was looking for a wig for her disco queen costume and I decided to browse around and see if I could find a little something to wear.  Leaving America I do not care much about celebrating the American holidays, but apparently Hong Kong loves Halloween so why not join in on the fun!

4.) Nan Lian Garden
This garden reminded me of the Brooklyn Botanical Japanese garden in New York. It had little temples, hidden walkways, and beautiful spots to self reflect and write.  I enjoyed it very much!


5.) Sushi Express-  Found the freshest tasting and a huge variety of sushi for only 25 cents per piece!  

6.)Jade Market
400 stalls selling anything from electronics to sarongs to purses to shoes. The sides of the market are filled with fresh, local cuisine and inside the restaurants you hear locals singing karaoke. It is quite adorable. A man sat selling bananas and looked so deep into my eyes I felt bad not buying a banana from him.  I still feel bad to this day for not buying the banana-those eyes touched deep down to my soul.  My purchase-a mini calculator to add up my exchange rates always watching the money!

7.) 1801 Heritage
The architecture in Hong Kong is fabulous and this Victorian style colonial building and area was one of my favorites. It is located near Tsim Sha Tsui(TST) with a mall, hotel, and exhibition.  It was originally the headquarters for Hong Kong police from the 1880s.

8.) Symphony Of Lights
Ran to the TST waterfront just in time for the show and had a wonderful seat next to a cute Indian family.  Symphony of Lights is the largest light and outdoor sound show according to the Guiness Book of World Records.It takes places near the TST water front every night at 8pm and lasts for about 14 minutes.  The buildings all light up in various neon colors while classical or "symphony" music plays in the background.  Again, the architecture of Hong Kong is incredible so it makes this show definitely worth seeing.

9.) Ozone at the Ritz Carlton
Well I am suppose to be avoiding my materialistic side, but I could not resist checking out the highest bar in the world and I love love love th Ritz=) People laugh when I say I could live in hotels, but I am pretty serious. Shout out Ritz, Four seasons, and the Mondrian Pris hearts you=)

And an extra pit stop at the W


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