My original plan for coming to Hong Kong was to use the first afternoon to plan and book some activities. However, with the delay in the flight leaving London, I arrived much later than expected. So after finishing up with breakfast, I stopped by the tour desk at the hotel to see what might be possible. I found out it is possible to book onto tours at relatively late notice and soon had my name down for a tour.
Hong Kong City Tour
The tour that I booked even though the brochure made it sounds good, I knew was going to be a little sales focused. It is better to get driven around with a guide sharing some information, but the focus was on sales at two of the last stops.
The first stop was one that I had wanted to visit but was not quite sure how I would go about getting there. It was at Victoria Peak, which is located on Hong Kong Island. From here depending on the pollution level of the day you can see across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon. Considering what the haze could be like, I am told this is a reasonably good day.
Traditional Floating Fishing Village
The next stop is where I, found a little deviation from what the brochure indicated. It suggested that you could see a traditional floating fishing village in the pamphlet. In reality, to see the floating village, you needed to pay an additional $55 Hong Kong Dollars. For this, you could board a Sampan for a 20-minute ride to see the village.
Without taking the trip on the Sampan, there is very little to see at this stop. There is a view to the nearby JUMBO Floating Restaurant, and nothing much else. I am not sure that many people were happy about the additional cost, but most paid it.
The next stop was more disappointing than the last. The brochure described the visit to a small local industry and seeing how they make the handmade jewellery. Admittedly being a Sunday, I maybe should not have expected a lot.
The process went as follows, at the factory we started in a small presentation room. They gave a short two-minute presentation about the methods they use before describing their three latest designs. We then get to pass a work room where one worker is crafting a piece of jewellery we cannot see. Before finally entering a showroom, which is larger than the work room with about a dozen people ready to help us buy something.
The last stop on the tour I was quite happy with, and it was a place I had planned to visit anyway. It was nice to get a chance to walk around and see what was available. However, it is also a place that you do not want just to visit hoping to find something. It is best if you know what you want and you are ready to buy. For me not knowing what I would find here made it hard to plan in advance. So in the end, I did not get to buy anything.
I am glad that I took the tour and got to see a couple of places around Hong Kong. But I am quite disappointed in the tour myself; it is on par price was with the other tours I took. However, other tours I have taken don’t usually focus on selling you something, and often include some sort of entrance to an attraction. I suppose it is likely a case of different countries and different cultures approaching things differently.
Hong Kong History Museum
Once I arrived back at the hotel, I decided to find out how to get to the History Museum. It is something that I had been suggested as a place to visit and to take a look at an exhibit called “The Hong Kong Story.”
The entrance price is just $10 HKD, which is very reasonable considering how extensive the exhibit is here. The exhibit takes you through the stages right from the geological formation of the area to settlement. Including information about British handing back control of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and everything in between.
I did not have time to visit everything in the exhibit, but it is a stop worth making if you are visiting Hong Kong. If I had more time or return to Hong Kong it is somewhere I would return again.
A Symphony Of Lights
The last stop for the day was to watch a show that is a must-see in Hong Kong. The “A Symphony of Lights” show is a free show that is played out in the sky above and on the buildings surrounding Victoria Harbour. The show includes lasers, lights, and spotlights timed to music and runs for about 15 minutes. I understand the show is in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest light show.
Harbour City Shopping Centre
On my way back to the hotel from Victoria Harbour, I made a stop at the Harbor City Shopping Centre. Even though it is just the middle of November, they are getting ready for Christmas here. With some great displays set up including a lot of baubles and lights. It was not the easiest spot to get photos with the hundreds of people in the area.
There are two more days in Hong Kong for me before heading home to Brisbane. I have booked another tour tomorrow called “The Land Between Tour.” It is a tour that has come recommended by a family member who lives in Hong Kong, so kept the booking. However, if I did not have the recommendation I might have considered cancelling it after this mornings tour. I will have to see just how it is tomorrow and look forward to sharing more from Hong Kong with you tomorrow.