Date: 30th June 2012
Saturday morning, I decided to take the ferry over to Kowloon.
I took the MTR, got off at Central and walked the pedestrian bridge that takes you directly to the ferry terminal
Hong Kong General Post Office
The weather looked like it could rain – or the skies could clear up. In other words, a typical day in Hong Kong I guess.
Bought my HK$2 ticket
Star Ferry is one of the oldest ferry companies in Hong Kong, originally founded by an Indian back in 1880
The journey across Victoria Harbour takes less than 5 minutes
The skyline of Hong Kong island, from Kowloon Bay
As soon as you get off the boat, lo and behold, a mall!
I walked towards the Avenue of Stars
A historic Clock Tower back when there used to be a railway station terminal here
It’s right next to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Walk this way to get to the Avenue of the Stars
But I decided to check out the Cultural Centre first
It’s an indoor concert hall and theatre venue
Aaand that was it. I was back out quick.
The world famous Peninsula Hotel, one of Hong Kong’s oldest
Although I was supposed to check out the Avenue of Stars, I ended up crossing over to Tsim Sha Tsui
Needless to say, this is a pricey hotel
It was a rare sunny sky that I got when I clicked this
I was walking along Nathan Road when I saw the infamous Chungking Mansion across the road
At the time of booking rooms, I saw that many of Hong Kong’s hostels are located in this one building. But the user feedback on hostels.com about Chungking Mansion made it sound as though it was a rather shady place to be. The other problem was that it is a very cramped fourteen-storey tower with not enough elevators. Meaning you would have to wait rather long to get to your hostel or guesthouse.
I didn’t book here because I didn’t want to waste time everyday waiting for an elevator
Otherwise… this place wasn’t bad
Although Indian businesses out number the others, many African have set up shop here too
There are plenty of hostels here, but be warned — some of them are not licensed
DVDs and perfumes? Sure, why not.
A convenient place for Indian backpackers I guess
There are numerous restaurants in Chungking serving South Asian cuisine, with many Indian staff welcoming you to try their menu. After looking around quite a bit, I sat down at one on the ground floor itself.
Small place, decent food, reasonable prices
Although my meal cost close to HK$80 (Rs. 570/$10/€8), I was really full and quite satisfied. I guess nothing like a heavy Indian meal to stuff your tummy. The feeling of content couldn’t have been more complete thanks to the music. The restaurant was playing Bollywood songs from the mid-to-late 90s, songs like “Pardesi, Pardesi” from ‘Raja Hindustani’ and “Meri Mehmooba” from ‘Pardes’ (meaning “foreign land”). Songs from a period which were to be my last few years in Bahrain. I don’t know if the restaurant owners were just going with the whole ‘non-resident Indian’ theme but I kid you not, this was the soundtrack as I munched on my tandoori chicken. I’m no huge fan of Bollywood, but I enjoyed this lunch experience a lot
I exited Chungking Mansion through an alleyway
I walked back to Kowloon Bay to check out Avenue of Stars
There is no entry ticket for ‘Avenue Of Stars’
‘Avenue Of Stars’ is like Hollywood’s ‘Walk of Fame’ — only for Hong Kong cinema’s legends
Along with trivia about the industry’s humble beginnings
And Hong Kong cinema’s greatest export has been the martial arts films
So although I couldn’t recognize some of the stars’ names, I did recognize names like Sammo Hung
Any such statues were crowded with tourists posing alongside it. This was snapped the one second they were spared.
Ahhh, the famous Golden Harvest film studio
This man was quite popular among the visitors
Chow Yun Fat
One of the most famous martial arts superstars
Of course, one Hong Kong cinema legend gets more than just a star
Because he deserves more for being the first great Asian superstar
The one and only Bruce Lee
Needless to say, everybody loves this hero!
The more recent superstars of Hong Kong cinema
The dark clouds were creeping their way left to right, meaning it would rain any moment
And sure enough, it began to pour
Everybody sought cover under a pedestrian walkway
I waited for the rainclouds to pass
Of course, some tourists just couldn’t pass up the chance to take advantage of the statues now being free of other tourists just so they could pose next to them for photos!
Took one last ‘star’ before leaving
I wondered why ‘Ip Man’ Donnie Yen hasn’t gotten a star yet, or maybe I failed to spot it.
Although not a great attraction if you don’t know your Hong Kong cinema, Avenue of Stars is still worth a visit. It will at least encourage you to learn more about one of the most famous film industries in the world.
It was time to move on
I take it these old-timers have been fishing here long before the skyscrapers appeared
This was a wide pedestrian bridge
And I ended up shooting a timelapse sequence here
Lots of glass
Got down at Chatham Road
Walked up the road
… and then crossed
Look, SBI (State Bank of India) in Hong Kong!
Tsim Sha Tsui isn’t just malls
. After all, Hong Kong is home to the Crocodile clothes brand, which got in to trouble with Lacoste for its logo.
I ended up walking all the way to Kowloon Park
After hours of hustle and bustle, it got peaceful and quite all of a sudden
I freshened up at the public restrooms and then sat down to drink a lot of water. It was really calm inside here, and I wanted to give my feet some rest!
I imagine those apartments over-looking this park are very, very expensive
There’s a huge pool here too
Kowloon park is a really nice place to relax
A place to come for your walks too
There’s even a bird
They have a variety of exotic birds
Although I had mixed feelings about seeing them here
The site of Kowloon Park was once the camp barracks of the British Army during colonial times
Thus the cannons
Still, Kowloon Park has a lot of nice facilities
There’s even this multi-purpose sports centre
Plenty of Tai-Chi going on here
I made an exit
I was now in Jordan
Saw this at a restaurant. Couldn’t make out what animal it was, but yeah, they serve it.
This is ‘China’ after all :-/
I kept walking around
I took a break to have some chilled sugarcane juice, which is always nice.
Plenty of more local fare on the Kowloon side
I was still walking along Nathan road
Plenty of markets this side of Hong Kong
It was the usual fare of plush toys, bags, clothes, souvenirs, phone covers and accessories
And there are many restaurants to feed the scores of people who shop around these parts. This seemed like a popular seafood joint.
This was a funny sight. The lady working at the restaurant to the left was calling out to the people waiting in line for the restaurant to the right, asking the patrons to sit in their restaurant instead. Ah Long vs. Ah Lung – sibling rivalry turned sour?
You have a few curry joints out here
Another public square
I was still in the Jordan neighbourhood
I checked out a video arcade, since I missed them
It was nice to see girls actively gaming as well
I then took the train to Mong Kok which was only two stops away
Ended up at CTMA Centre, which turned out to be a cool place if you’re young and geeky
Loads of toys and figurines – most of which are Japanese imports
These figurines were highly detailed and super awesome
Also, super expensive
They couldn’t be more direct
Back out, I was ready to head back to my room
Needless to say, I was a bit tired, and needed to give my feet some rest!
Previous posts in this series:
Hong Kong 2012: Gurudwara, and walking around Wan Chai
Hong Kong 2012: Views from Victoria Peak, day to night
Hong Kong 2012: Getting there
Tags: avenue of stars, avenue of the stars, chungking mansion, ferry, hong kong, kowloon, kowloon park, mongkok, nathan road, star ferry, tsim sha tsui