A Travellerspoint blog

Victoria

sunny 25 °C

The internet tried to tell me that the only way from Vancouver to Victoria was by way of a fancy, expensive tour bus. The internet was wrong. I caught a train, two public buses and a ferry and I was in Downtown Victoria, albeit without my luggage.

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Victoria Water Taxi

Victoria Water Taxi

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The first story the ferry company tried to tell me was that I needn't worry, my bag was on the fancy tour bus. Nope, that wasn't right. Eventually they confessed that while I was on the ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, my bag had gone on a frolic of its own, and went by ferry to somewhere called Duke Point. 24 hours and another trip out to the ferry terminal and I finally had my bag.

I liked Vancouver, but when I saw Victoria, I was blown away. Yes, it is touristy, but that is because it sits on a very pretty harbour and had great old buildings. Right in the apex of the city it has the British Columbia Parliament (who thought Vancouver was the capital? I did.) and the grand old Fairmont Empress Hotel. I really did mean to go hang out in the verandah bar there, maybe drink a G&T or fancy cocktail, but somehow it never happened. Too late, I also found out there is a public restaurant in the basement of the Parliament, which would have been fun.

Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour

BC Legislature

BC Legislature

BC Legislature

BC Legislature

Fairmont Empress

Fairmont Empress

Fairmont Empress

Fairmont Empress

Fairmont Empress

Fairmont Empress

When I saw all that Victoria had to offer, I almost regretted not staying right amongst it, but I was happy where I was - I booked a room through Airbnb in a suburb called Fernwood, which had a tiny village centre with a handful of shops, a nice cafe, the Fernwood Inn (where I found myself more than once of an evening soaking up one of their hoppiest brews) and a playhouse.

Fernwood Inn

Fernwood Inn

Belfry Theatre, Fernwood

Belfry Theatre, Fernwood

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Every day and evening I'd walk a different way between home and town, and find that there were shops and cafes just randomly dotted throughout the area. One of the best cafes I found through this process is the Parsonage Cafe, roaster of Fernwood coffee and an absolute hive of industry - I sat there one morning eating my breakfast, thinking it was a bit warm, wondering how the three in the tiny kitchen, who were awlays on the move, were coping - pretty sure I wouldn't have. Just down the street, I found its counterpart: Yokas. This is a roastery and honey and chocolate dispensary run by a retired couple from Vancouver - they seemed surprised I wanted not just a cup of coffee but to sit down and drink it. While I was there, the only custom was to buy beans, chocolate and honey and to discuss a big housing development I think they were all opposing. But my fave coffee place in Victoira would have to be Discovery, just because the environment was so ramshackle, a lot like the living room of someone a bit eccentric.

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Parsonage Cafe, Fernwood

Parsonage Cafe, Fernwood

Parsonage Cafe, Fernwood

Parsonage Cafe, Fernwood

Yokas Coffee and Honey

Yokas Coffee and Honey

Discovery Coffee

Discovery Coffee

Discovery Coffee

Discovery Coffee

Discovery Coffee

Discovery Coffee

Apart from the harbour area, the part I was most impressed with was Oldtown - the original core of Victoria, with great old buildings, the oldest (and tiniest) Chinatown, interesting murals and shops - I'd say I wandered through this part every day. Market Square was at the centre of it all, and has been renovated. Other old buildings in the area are being done up, not torn down, to be apartments.

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Oldtown Victoria

Oldtown Victoria

Old Town Victoria

Old Town Victoria

Market Square

Market Square

Market Square

Market Square

Swans Hotel

Swans Hotel

Swans Hotel

Swans Hotel

Chinatown Victoria

Chinatown Victoria

Chinatown Victoria

Chinatown Victoria

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I went out to University of Victoria one day (I could not use their internet, so went to the public library the rest of the time). Again, I was surprised at the lack of grandeur in their buildings - all pretty functional - but the campus itself was well laid out and had a fabulous central green space, with a fountain, seats, totem pole and the like. I had planned to stay in the area to watch a movie at the local shopping precinct, thinking it would be a lively place to hang out - it was so dull, that the most exciting place was Tim Hortons. So, still haven't seen a movie since I left (apart from on the plane).

U Vic

U Vic

U Vic

U Vic

Totem, U Vic

Totem, U Vic

On my first night in town, I went into the bottle shop of the Strathcona Hotel to get some beers in: the person who served me must have spent at least 20 minutes helping me select my half dozen (I ended up taking her advice and buying a local style called Indian Session Ale - hoppy but lowish alcohol). Since you don't tip people who sell you stuff, or those who make it, just those who bring it to you, I decided I owed it to the Strathcona to come back for dinner - their Sticky Wicket was a great place to dine, lots of energy, plenty of good beers on tap and nice food (I dipped my toes for the first time into eating fish tacos). Only a couple of other meals were truly memorable - the burger at Pink Bicycle and, on my last night in town, the great Italian food I had at Fiamo Italian Kitchen. There is a fish and chip shop in a container on the wharf which has a bit of a rep, but when I went past, the queue was so long I couldn't even see the shop. So, I wandered around - there was a dragon boat festival happening, and quite a few musicians busking - including one girl who was much smaller than her instrument, but still seemed to do a good job.

Queue for fish and chips

Queue for fish and chips

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Finally, since they don't really fit in anywhere else (and indeed, one of them wouldn't even fit the frame on my camera), my last pictures are somewhat opposed to each other - a convent and an armoury.

St Ann's Academy

St Ann's Academy

St Ann's Academy

St Ann's Academy

Bay Street Armoury

Bay Street Armoury

Bay Street Armoury

Bay Street Armoury

Bay Street Armoury

Bay Street Armoury

Posted by NZBarry 22:25 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Vancouver

sunny 24 °C

It has been a while - I have been doing a lot of travelling. In my last post, I concluded with the six hour wait on the tarmac at Manila airport, while they cleared away the other flight which had mis-judged and ran off the runway. I have to say that the crew onboard my Philippines Air plane were exceptional - giving us a snack when it became clear we would not be leaving, sorting out dinner as soon as we levelled off and coping very well with the fact their shift was suddenly six hours longer than expected. I was thinking that if I had been on Air NZ or Qantas, pesky labour laws would have intervened and we'd need a crew change before leaving - I hope PAL suitably looked after our crew.

The plan had been to arrive in Vancouver at a civilised time but, thanks to the delay, it was close to midnight before I finally arrived at my hostel, where I received a cheerful welcome. Luckily it was just off the lively Davie Street, so there were plenty of options for a quiet beer and dinner: there were two burger bars virtually opposite each other, each boasting the best burgers in town but since Vera's was the only one actually open, it was definitely the best on the night. One thing I noticed pretty quickly as I wandered around that evening was the smell of weed - a guy I spoke to in a bar said they have a pretty relaxed attitude to it in Vancouver, and I saw several places advertising themselves as medicinal cannabis lounges, yet the same guy said that there is a zero tolerance attitude to a very kiwi experience, drinking beer at the beach. No smoking on beaches is tolerated either.

I spent a week in Vancouver, and enjoyed the city. My main reason for being downtown was to use the magnificent central library. It was so big, enclosed in a circular sheath, that I never got an adequate photo of it. The library itself was squared off, so with the resulting crescent, they made a six story atrium and put in a row of cafes and the like.

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I occupied my days and evenings working, hunting for the best coffee shops and food and generally wandering about. In terms of the coffee hunt, oddly enough, my favourite was out at the University of British Columbia - a good strong brew. The campus was otherwise curiously lacking in interest - mainly modern low-rise buildings. I also found that there were many local brews of ginger ale, and while they tasted fairly similar to each other, one stood out for its label.

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Each day, I would set off on a different street to get to my destination. Downtown Vancouver is on a small finger of land, a carbuncle if you like, between Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. The quadrant below the hostel was all proper downtown - skyscrapers, offices, department stores,

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the library etc - but I spent little time there apart from to work and drink coffee: once I even had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend over a posh sandwich for lunch. I did enjoy Gastown - it is the oldest part of Vancouver, essentially between the train station and the water-front: It has had a checkered past - it bunrt down completely about 20 years after it was first built, they started again and it became the premier commercial district, but was hit hard by the depression so that it was just "cheap beer parlours, flophouse hotels, and loggers hiring halls" and just got worse through until the 1960's, when people started to think "something must be done", and it was. It has been re-vitalised with interesting shops, bars, cafes and food places.

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They had something like 51 tap beers at the Lamplighter - I could only really do justice to one of them, and then proceeded down the street for some delicious BBQ brisket at Peckinpah.

The quadrant above the hostel was more residential, and I really enjoyed wandering through those streets - some of the houses were quite grand. At the very end of the finger is the enormous, wooded Stanley Park, which I did visit and I am sure I had photos, but I can't find them. That particular walk took me to the beginning of Denman Street, where I had been told there were good fish and chips. I found them

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along with many more casual and cheerful eateries - it was a very pleasant street to walk along, and culminated in a complete surprise: English Bay. Lots of people were there, just hanging, watching each other or the boats or the various performers or the sculptures I now know to be called A-maze-ing Laughter, which are apparently portraits of the artist in states of hysterical laughter (and I just thought they were freaks!).

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And then there is Vancouver Harbour - most days I would walk along its edge at some point, but on about the second day I was intrigued to find a very busy sea-plane port - there were always a couple lined up to land, another couple taking off and a couple moving about on the water. They did touristy flights which were quite expensive and limited in what I could do, but I found that over the weekend, they had special fares between Vancouver and various points - Nanaimo (home of the variant of the caramel slice) offered the cheapest option, so I signed on. Now, I hate things like ski-lifts and have been known to have minor panic attacks at the tops of hills, so I wondered how I would react to a tiny 14 seater plane taking off in water: it was absolutely fine.

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The last three are of the main street in Nainamo, a hotel and the top of its courthouse. I have to say that I didn't really give it a fair shake of the stick, as I was feeling considerably under the weather - after a coffee and cursory look at the museum, I retreated to the sea-plane port to wait for my plane, then spent most of the afternoon, slumped in a chair in the hostel. Next day, I was fine again and ready for more adventures.

Posted by NZBarry 16:56 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Manila

rain 27 °C

The Philippines have never aroused any interest in me to visit them, but when I found that the cheapest way to move on (by far - like 50%) was via Manila, I thought it would be interesting to stop over for a couple of days. Cebu Pacific had me in Manila before I knew it - almost literally, as I had become convinced it was a four hour flight but it is around half that. The arrival terminal was huge, quite new, and seriously under-used.

Then the fun began, as I had to get myself into the city - I'd read awkward arrangaments can be made involving unmarked buses which drop you whoknowswehere, and was very wary of the taxis. My theory is that the more insistent they are to get you to take their taxi, the more likely it is you are being ripped off. I knew the official metered rate into town - of all the taxi drivers who pestered me to use their services, the only one who gave any idea of price was charging well over four times the metered rate.

So, I walked, not the whole way - just about 3 km over poorly formed footpaths, dragging my bag behind me. At least it was much cooler than in Hong Kong. I had maybe 100 taxis (not joking) want to give me a lift, some were extremely persistent in their attentions. My first contact with normal locals was when I popped into the good old 7-11 for a cold drink - the guy behind the counter (as he did with everyome who came in) boomed out a "Good day, welcome, come in". I stood around with my drink - there were a couple of young kids begging, but mostly it was just people going about their business. There was a fellow who could not speak sitting at the seats - he gestured for me to take a load off. After the 7-11, the road went up through a sort of street market - there was still traffic, including lots of the famed jeepneys,

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but it was moving more slowly than me. Eventually, I saw what I was looking for - the jutting end of an elevated railroad, part of a project to link the airport with the centre by rail which has been caught up in political intrigue and corruption, so no-one can say if and when it will get finished. Rather than get on immediately,I celebrated my arrival with some fried chicken at Jolibees. On the train, there were three girls, teenagers, standing beside me, presumably speaking Tagalog, but I did get the gist of part of their conversation: one of them is coming to New Zealand to study and that revelation operated as a comedic thunderbolt - her two friend almost hit their heads on the ground, they were laughing so much, and then the intending student joined in.

At the other end, I had about another km to walk, but this was easy, as I walked straight through a rather nice park and into my fabulous hotel:

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I had a voucher to redeem for a night in a hotel, worth $US130, which was almost exactly what the grand Manila Hotel cost. William Taft decreed that it was to be built, and it was, in 1912. MacArthur moved in for six years during the war as special military advisor to President Quezon and then used it as his command post when America joined the war. Being the best place in town for a long long time, many famous people have passed through its doors, from Nixon to Clinton to Bhutto, from the Beatles to the 2011 American idol finalists and, of course, me. The place was so incredibly nice, the staff so gracious, that it seemed a shame to even go outside (if I had known it was the middle of rainy season, I might not have). In fact the first night, I stayed in for dinner, had some adobo (marinated meat) and a tasty dark version of San Miguel and marvelled at the lobby, which was a bit beyond my normal range of experiences.

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I was super impressed when I complained at about 11:30 at night that the internet was not working - they sent up a tech immediately who installed a router right in my room: problem sorted. In the morning I wandered out the back of the hotel, behind its pool, and had a small mystery solved - I knew I could not be far from the coast, but had seen no sign of it. This is what is immediately behind the hotel

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I spent the day wandering the Old Quarter, Intramuros: it is on a rivermouth, so people have lived here for centuries, but it was the Spaniards who decided upon a walled city, which was built in the 16th century, damaged heavily during the War (not all the marks made have been repaired or healed). Fort Santiago was built in the river mouth - there is not a whole lot of it left - the reconstructed moat, the walls and associated features like guardhouses and a couple of subordinate buildings.

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Here I learned about one José Rizal, who was incarcerated by the Spaniards in the chapel, tried for treason and put to death by firing squad. There are suggestions he was falsely found guilty, but that seems to undermine him: he worked strenuously to get rid of Spanish rule, fomenting discord, causing difficulties for the Spaniards - I can see why they might convict him, and it made him a martyr. Apart from his cell and the courtroom, his final walk out to his death has been re-created, with various groups of mourners.

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Lunchtime - beside the Fort, there was a line of restaurants, all selling very similar products, but this sign was the winner

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The business started during the war: apparently Max was doing a roaring trade selling fried chicken out of his home, and the business he was convinced to start is still going strong. The food was terrible, but the staff was entertaining - there were several young guys and mainly just the one girl on the floor with them: they were constantly teasing and flirting with her (and she gave as good as she got) and play fighting with each other. There was also the cashier, an older woman: the guys would try to tease her, and she'd have none of it, remaining all stern and businesslike, until the strain of being serious got too much, and she'd crack up as well. It looked like they were having a lot of fun with each other, and managed to keep serving the customers.

This shop was near the former residence of the Governor, the soon to be Treasury and a couple of other cool buildings.

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I wanted to see the rest of Intramuros, but the rain got the better of me - I spent at least 30 minutes huddled under a small pice of canvas which was a sort of verandah for a tiny shop - by the time the rain cleared, the water had pooled so deeply I could not carry on, and had to make some lateral moves. I got about two blocks, when the rain started again - at least I had a proper shelter. A couple of uni students wanted me to take refuge in the church - when they couldn't get me to move, they had me do a pretty long survey about the tourist infrastructure and environmental protection measures of Manila - like I knew much about either topic! But they were sweet and thought my input would be valuable. The rain still hadn't gone off so I was eventually persuaded by a young girl to join her family in the museum across the road - I must have sat there at least an hour, waiting for the rain to stop, looking at this.

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When it did, the sensible thing would have been to hurry back to the hotel, but I saw cake and a coffee machine, and that was the end of me being sensible, which resulted in yet another wait for the rain to stop. I had to find out what a chocolate cappucino was - it was important research (hot chocolate, but with milk frothed as with a cappucino, as it happens).

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On my last morning, I maintained an anxious weather watch and decided I'd leave early and walk from the end of the train line - the departure terminal was not the same one I had arrived at and careful scrutiny of satellite images revaled good wide footpaths, so I thought I'd be fine. And I was, right up to the point that I could see the entrance to the airport when the rain came tumbling down - luckily I had another shop with a wee canvas verandah. Only real problem was that I'd walked to the wrong bloody terminal. A policeman (or maybe security guard) got me into a taxi, telling me it would be 200 pesos - the driver laughed and told me he'd never forget me when I showed him I only had 86. He took the lot, and of course the metered fare was more like 60.

This terminal had the worst food facilities I have ever come across - three stalls selling near identical products, two cigar stalls and a pathetic duty free counter. I really wanted a beer after allmy exertions and it wasn't until I'd walked the lentgh of the terminal twice that I discovered they had put the bar inside the smoking area - oh well, the beer was cheap.

Philippine Air, despite being very cheap, was not a bad airline to fly with. There was an incident on the runway, in which a Saudi plane couldn't handle the wet and skidded off. That delayed our flight - the airline kept us informed of develpments and after about 90 minutes did a snack service. They said they'd even do dinner service if the problem persisted, but that didn't seem a good idea to me, as we'd not be able to take off with iour tray tables down and dinner half eaten. As it happens, we were stuck in the plane on the tarmac for SIX HOURS before we could finally take off. Then we had dinner.

These are a few of the photos I took as I wandered around Intramuros and then from my hotel room, which overlooked it.

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Posted by NZBarry 01:10 Archived in Philippines Comments (1)

Last Week in Hong Kong

sunny 30 °C

A while ago, I read a Magnuss Mills satire, which was an odd one given that I never quite got the point of what he was satirising, called The Maintenance of Headway. Headway is the idea that instead of public transport running to a timetable which always gets screwed up, they simply maintain a fixed period between each bus, tram, whatever - this is headway, and Mills's book was really about maintaining it. I had never actually seen any place use this notion of headway, not until I went to Hong Kong, and the plaque at the bus stop would say "Headway - 7 minutes". Oddly enough, I have another connection between my reading habits and Hong Kong: another fairly obscure book I read was called How To Sharpen Pencils (really). The essential answer was to get a particular model of pencil sharpener - one I could not find in New Zealand, except for a very expensive antique version on trademe which has been unsold for more than a year now. In my wanderings around Hong Kong stationery shops, I found lots of these wee beasts, so that (together with about 3 dozen pencils, lots of cool notebooks (made from card, paper and spiral binding not silicon and plastic) and a few pens) is my souvenir of Hong Kong.

I actually did quite a lot of blog read research before I came to Hong Kong and so had quite a long list of places I wanted to see: most I didn't see. Instead, I took a more accidental approach - stay in one part for a while, see what was local, and move on to the next place, one which was largely chosen by the fact it was relatively cheap, provided free internet and didn't look like I'd get broken into. This process led to my last week being spent in North Point, in the same hotel my mum spent on the last night of the great trip she did shortly before she passed away, the Ibis. Although I was way up on the 27th floor, unfortunately I was facing away from the harbour - my only chance to view it was when the cleaners let me into the room opposite to admire the view - I'm sure it would be fantastic at night.

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It turned out to be a really good location - several decent eating places nearby, a short tram journey down to the central library and a pleasant walk back in the evening. I don't think I'll be getting the Florence Nightingale award from the library any time soon - one afternoon, I was up in the very quiet 9th floor study space, but was constantly interrupted by this incessant sniffing and coughing - I actually thought it was an elderly gent, perhaps down on his luck, coming in out of the heat. I'm not sure what I would have said if it had been, but when I discovered it was a smirking teen, I suggested he might like to either die or get out of the library. [Poetic justice payback: I've had a sniff and cough for a week now that I can't shake.]

Just the other side of the library is central Causeway Bay and here I think I found my favourite cafe of all those I have liked in Hong Kong. I'd visited and liked the Coffee Academics cafe, but then discovered there was another, the original. It had a more lived in vibe, great food and bev, great staff and just a really nice atmosphere.

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By about Friday night, I really thought it was incumbent on me to do some of the touristy things - Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the major tourist destinations - as Wikipedia says, many shops and eating establishments to cater for tourists. I had a quick walk though and accidentally found myself on a ferry to Hong Kong Island, where I found myself in Central. I've already had a quick walk through here - lots of places for tourists, yes, but also for locals, and very hilly - the streets zigzag in all directions. It was nice to wander though at a relaxed pace,

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at least until the thunder storm! I went into an HMV high concept store - not even sure it was open, as the staff were stocking empty shelves, but it looked like an interesting venture, with a modernised version of the HMV dog featuring strongly.

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Finally, on the Saturday, I found my way to the famed mid-level escalators - they run for nearly a kilometre, downhill from 6 - 10 and then uphill for the rest of the day (various attempts have been made to double-track the line, but it is unlikely to happen)

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After a final roast duck on rice, I popped into the Maritime Museum for a look around - lots of history about Hong Kong maritime life, as to be expected, with models of various ships used in the past and then a few more modern items

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Of course, I spent a bit of time on the Star Ferry boats, whichcross between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, among other places - they're pretty utilitarian but such a landmark of the Hong Kong water scene.

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Years ago, I had a client making catamarans for use as ferries in Hong Kong - but I was not able to recall or find out which particular company is using them or even if they are still in service.

My last night in Hong Kong was actually back in Tsuen Wan, which proved to be a brilliant move. The bus to the airport, after touring several housing estates to collect passengers, soars over the western tip of Victoria Harbour and then has a straight run down the coast of Lantau Island - green bush to the left, ocean to the right. After sacrificing my umbrella to the check in guy and my waiter's friend to the X-Ray guy, I was good to go.

Posted by NZBarry 23:52 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (2)

Sham Shui Po - Stanley

sunny 31 °C

After finding myself yet again staying on Castle Peak Road, this time at its very beginning, I thought it was high time I did some research about this road. It turns out it is the longest in Hong Kong, starting in Kowloon and running all the way up the West coast(ish) through the New Territories - it sort of knocks on the door to Shenzhen and then curls around and comes back down the East a bit. I was staying in the main HK-YHA hostel, Mei Ho House. Back in the 1950's, there was a huge fire which destroyed a large area of squatter huts or shanties - the British Administration built a number of blocks (29, actually) of public housing, a first for Hong Kong, in which to settle those who had become homeless (58,000!). All but one of those blocks has gone, to be replaced with higher density housing. The last has been retained to commemorate the past events here but has been completely refurbished in order to be Mei Ho House. I spent three nights in it and walking around it, I could not believe it was not a completely new building but looking at pictures of it prior to its restoration, I can see that it really is not. Apparently there is still a room or two kept the way it was for people to see, and they run tours every so often through the building but I missed out, although I did visit the museum set up on the ground floor.

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The hostel is in the Sham Shui Po area of Kowloon: it seemed a good idea at the time to walk to it from my previous hotel, because it was only 2 kilometres. But the combination of the heat and carrying my bags meant that by the time I arrived, I looked like I'd spent the time fully clothed in a sauna turned to high. My room mate looked a wee bit dismayed when I turned up, but I eventually felt human again. The hostel itself is well set up - a very popular onsite restaurant, a wee kitchen (which hardly anyone used) a big outdoor sitting area and a room full of security guards - I looked in this small window as I walked into the hostel, and had two of the guards peering back at me.

Sham Shui Po itself is a bit off the beaten path for tourists, but locals flock here for two reasons - the fashion market and the flea market,

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although it is a very specialised flea market as it focusses on electronic bits and bobs, so there were stalls selling just remote controls for air conditioners, or power boxes for laptops. One was selling old cameras - made me feel quite sad that such fine equipment is no longer needed. This market goes with the fact that Apliu Street is quite specialised - lots of shops selling lighting, others selling surveillance equipment and several selling quite decent hifi stuff - if I was here on my way home, I'd be tempted, although not by the stereos just piled high and looking sad. There are also a couple of malls selling computer gear.

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Apart from the massive fire, this area has another sad history - it was used by the Japanese as a POW camp during the war.

On the Saturday, I decided it was time to just completely take the day off and go out to a seaside town on the south coast called Stanley. I'd actually tried to find a hotel there, but it isn't that kind of place. As it happens, a day trip was fine. I took the MRT down to Admiralty and then a bus, another of the great urban bus trips, as it wound its way up the side of Happy Valley and then twisted down the other side past Repulse Bay - I finally got to see some greenery and plenty of glimpses of the coast.

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Stanley had a wee mall, the Stanley Plaza, a pier, a Victorian barracks moved across the island about a decade ago to house posh restaurants, a tiny main street, a rather larger market selling tat and a line of terrace houses.

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I was entertained by a wee dog for quite a while as he frolicked and made friends with every other dog which came past - still don't know why he had a McDonalds bag tied to him. It was then time for lunch, which I enjoyed in a restaurant in the mall, called Chungs Quisine - which not only made great dimsum but provided me with a menu I could understand.

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After lingering for a while, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, I caught the bus back up to the top of the hill and walked down the other side, about a 6 k walk. I'd seen several things on the way up I wanted a better look at - unfortunately, being on foot, I didn't have quite as good a view as from the top of a double decker bus, so didn't get the cemetary quite as I wanted it (it was packed incredibly tightly) or the racecourse. The green roofed octagonal building is the Happey Valley Club.

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Finally, I was back on the flat, in the Wan Chai district, which has a long-standing and apparently famous market, and has a nice transition from the old to the new in its buildings. Then I went to a market of a different sort, a very flash supermarket where I finally found the particular tea I'd been looking for and a reminder of home.

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Posted by NZBarry 23:19 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

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