Sunday, March 16, 2014

Being a Tourist in Hong Kong

The past few days have been exhausting as Caroline and I have tried to pack as much as possible into our time in Hong Kong. We knew we would have to be selective in what we could see as we only had a few days so we chose to explore both the cultural and the popular. We'd already visited Wong Tai Sin Temple and Flagstaff House in the first couple of days, and we added to the cultural extent of our trip with visits to the History Museum and the Chi Lin Nunnery.

The Hong Kong Museum of History is excellent, and we were lucky as our visit coincided with an exhibition of historical photo's detailing the history of photography in Hong Kong. The main historical galleries details a 4 million year timeline of the region which is currently Hong Kong. While the natural history of the region is fascinating, I think the most impressive part of the exhibitions were those which pieced together the historical development of man in the region from prehistoric times up until the 1800's. As someone completely ignorant of anything about Hong Kong, this was a great learning experience.

Pavilion of Absolute Perfection, Nan Lian Gardens

Another learning experience was at the Chi Lin Nunnery. This Buddhist temple complex and connected Nan Lian Gardens are well structured and beautifully kept. Compared to the Taoist Wong Temple we visited earlier in the week, this seemed more serene and austere, though no less beautiful.

Bronze Wishing Lamp in the centre of the Buddhist Halls of Chi Lin Nunnery
As tourists we don't just go to the educational sites. We've seen our fair share of touristy things (though we haven't bought a fridge magnet...yet!) including the Peak Tower view, Victoria Harbour Tour (we jumped on a junk that toured the harbour), Victoria Harbour Light Show (the buildings put on a light show at 8 pm each night), and just walking around the central areas looking up at the tall buildings. Here's a few photo's to show some of these things.

Peak Tower, great views from the top!

View from the Peak Tower

Chinese Junk, Victoria Harbour Tour

Avenue of Stars

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