Wake up at 8am.
Isabelle goes and buys fruit and Rice Krispies (they are the favourite Kellogg’s of our children but have always been more difficult to find than the other ones), at the supermarket nearby. We eat this nice breakfast in the refreshment room.
We take the Star Ferry, which has shuttled people between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island since 1888. The ferry ride offers a thrilling perspective on the towering skyscrapers and the jungle-clad hills of Hong Kong Island.
We start our tour of Kowloon with the visit of 3 markets: fish, flowers and birds. The Goldfish Market is a popular spot for locals, as a fish tank in the right spot is thought to ward off bad luck. After birds, fish are the second pet of the Chinese, who attribute to them many feng shui virtues (yellow or orange fish attract fortune while black ones protect the house, e.g.). Most (small) fish are sold in plastic bag. The Flower Market is a wonderfully colourful sight. At the Bird Market, the stalls are showcasing and selling songbirds and exotic species, in nice cages.
Lunch at Tim Ho Wan, a popular Chinese dim sum restaurant chain. We’re apparently lucky not to have to queue. All the HK branches received one Michelin star; since then, the restaurant has been dubbed as “the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant”. The dim sums are excellent.
We wander a bit the Flea Market. We also need to find a shop to repair the iPhone screen of Ludivine, which broke in one of the countless falls of her phone. It’s quite difficult to find a shop doing it at a reasonable price. The best price I finally can get is 500 HK$ (55 Euro). We of course want to watch the repair (we are a bit afraid that they exchange other pieces during the repair). Finally, we choose a shop in the street, where a girl does it in 15′. Meanwhile Isabelle goes to some craft stores.
We take the metro to the Sneakers Street, we then walk to Tin Hau Temple (through Shanghai Street). The temple is unfortunately already closed when we arrive. We rest a bit in the park beside (the children’s feet hurt).
We eat a few dim sums (again) in a small eatery, as early dinner.
We then go to Temple Street Night Market, where we can find an overwhelming array of cheap goods (clothes, shoes, accessories…). Kids bought their usual magnet, of China (they were not that easy to find since we are already in HK…). We can see also some fortune tellers.
We take a double-deck bus along the “Golden Mile” (Nathan Street) to Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) Waterfront Promenade. It is a popular place to watch the harbour’s ‘Symphony of Lights’ show (at 8pm) during which 45 buildings on both sides of the harbour put on a light and sound show. We find the show a bit disappointing though. We take the Star Ferry to go back to Hong Kong Island.
We’ve walked 15km today!
We take a shower and we put the kids to bed before going out for a drink with Nicolas Pulinx. Nicolas has been living in HK for 25 years. He’s the brother of Jérémie, who is the MD of Waterloo Assets Management (WAM) – where we put some money –, and the son of a good friend of Marinette, Isabelle’s mother. We have some drink together on a terrace. As always, it’s nice to meet someone living in the city where we are. I drink 2 gin-tonic. I quickly “feel” them; I indeed drink even less than before during this trip.
Tuesday 17/10 (1/2)
Rice Krispies as breakfast, in the hotel.
I go and buy the Lonely Planet Japan (the new edition, issued in August 2017). I also try to go and see the viewpoint from the 43rd floor of the Bank of China but it closed 2 years ago…. Meanwhile, Isabelle goes to the post office to send some stuff back to Belgium (guidebooks, books, shirt…).
We take a taxi to the airport (the typical HK one, so we are rather tight…). Our flight to Japan is at 3pm.
We eat at the airport: wonton soup and dumplings.
During our flight to Kansai (3h30), we prepare our first stop in Japan: Kyoto. I read the new Lonely Planet Japan. I’m excited: Japan is the country I’m most looking forward to visiting in this world tour!