Today was a rest day for us after a long day yesterday. We slept in and spent the morning in our cabin catching up with laundry, reading, organizing our cabin and backing up all of our pictures on our external hard drives. Around 3pm we were ready to leave the ship and explore Nathan Road and the Mongkok shopping area and points in-between. After winding our way thru Harbor Place we headed over to the Star Ferry terminal and picked up a few post cards to mail later. The weather was perfect and while we wore light jackets, we really didn’t need them. Continuing along the waterfront we came across the Hong Kong Space Museum which was closed for renovation till later in the year. We did wander thru the gift shop, which remained open, but didn’t see anything interesting enough to buy.
Across the street from the Hong Kong Space Museum was the Peninsula hotel – very high end – with rooms starting around $500/night. They had two doormen, one for each door, dressed in all white, and opening the door yourself was impossible. Bentleys, Rolls Royce’s and Ferraris littered the circular driveway. One of our readers from cruise critic, Jig, recommended we check out the view from the men’s room on the top floor. We learned that the restroom is in a restaurant called The Felix, but that it didn’t open until 7pm and coming back then wouldn’t work for our schedule. So we did a quick internet search and discovered, believe it or not, that someone has a website dedicated to urinals around the world and they rank the men’s room in the Peninsula among the top ten. Here is a LINK to the page with some photos and you can be the judge yourselves and also wonder how this web site ever got started in the first place. We wandered around the hotel for a bit and were a little surprised to see plain clothed security guards positioned at the entrance to each of the hotels high end shops. They looked very dour, almost scowling, and not a place that seemed to welcome customers. We didn’t see anyone shopping inside and we weren’t interested in exploring them either.
Back on the street we summoned an Uber, which arrived promptly and took us 2 miles down Nathan Road to the Mongkok shopping district. Total cost $5 US. Bus fare may have be 50 cents to a dollar, so taxis and Uber are more expensive, but not by a lot.
Mongkok is bustling and crowded. The streets are lined with shops selling pretty much anything. We were on the hunt for yarn shops and Judy had a list of 3 shops in the Mongkok area. The MAPS.ME app (Free on the app store) on our phone proved its worth once again as we were able to use our phones to search the various shop addresses and track our progress as we moved about the Mongkok district. The first shop on our list was closed and replaced by store selling decorative items for your home. The second shop, called Double Knit, was a few blocks away and we saw its sign over a door leading to a dimly lit hallway and stairs. While we hiked up to the third floor, we got the feeling we were in a scene from a movie where trouble might be around every corner. When we opened the door to the brightly lit shop, a bright melody burst out that sounded like something you would expect on your neighborhood ice-cream truck. The shop keeper was very friendly and had a nice selection of yarn. Judy browsed for a bit and saw a scarf she liked on display. She bought the yarn so she could make one just like it. The shopkeeper also reviewed our list of other yarn shops and let us know that they were all closed and his was the last remaining shop in the area.
Now that we were finished with our “Yarn Crawl” we headed down Nathan Road back toward the ship, taking the time to peruse any shop that caught our eye along the way. After a couple hours of wandering about the various streets, we realized that we still had a ways to go to get back to the ship where we wanted to see the 8pm light show followed by the ship’s Chinese cultural show scheduled for 9:30. Time to get another Uber and within a few minutes we were on our way back to the Star Ferry Terminal to see the sound and light show.
Next to the Star Ferry Terminal is an elevated, curved viewing platform, probably 200-300 yards long, overlooking Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong Island. We climbed up a set of stairs and found a spot to watch the show that would be starting in about 15 minutes. The 8PM light show, sponsored by Hong Kong Tourism Board, is called “A Symphony of Lights”. The show originated from various buildings across the harbor on the Hong Kong side and consisted of 13 minutes of lights flickering on the various buildings with the occasional laser bursts from the roofs, all synchronized to music playing from outdoor speakers. Here is a LINK to a YouTube clip of the show. Once the light show ended, we headed back to the ship to watch the “Lion Show” in the Queens Lounge at 9:30.
I realized after the light show ended, that we probably could have seen the show from the Sea View pool on the ship. After we returned I went up to the pool to find it covered with chairs with Debby Bacon playing music under the stars. This show was on the schedule from 7-9:30 pm and by the time I arrived only a handful of people remained, but it looked as if it was full for the light show earlier.
The “Lion Show” was a fascinating performance of various Chinese cultural performances. The show started with a duet by two young girls playing stringed instruments I wasn’t familiar with. Other performances included a lively dragon show where a group of men raced around the stage holding a long paper dragon with sticks and causing it to loop and swirl to the beat of a drum playing in the background. The final performance was by a quick face change artist. This person, dressed in a very colorful costume, was wearing a hard theatrical mask which he would change, almost instantaneously, after passing a scarf in front of his face or while spinning around. It was amazing to see these different masks appear and disappear.This entry was posted in Uncategorized