In our first Michelin star-free day in HK, we return to Hong Kong Island for the second part of our Big Bus tour. With street buns in hand, we take the ferry (where we see the USA rugby team boarding their ferry for the Hong Kong Seven rugby tournament this weekend!) and hop on the bus tour for Stanley Market. The ride takes us out of the main city part of Hong Kong on the northern edge of the island to the southern side (below, screen shot of Google Maps). At the top you can see Tsim Sha Tsui, where we are staying on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, connected to mainland China. The main city part of Hong Kong on Hong Kong Island runs along the northern edge of Victoria Harbor, with mountains through the center of the island. Stanley Market is at the southern end of the island.
Our drive takes us along Repulse Bay (upper left), a very beautiful area with property values ranging $2500-$20,000 USD per square foot. As we head along the coast, we enter the Stanley Market area. Restaurants line the walkway along the ocean and open-air markets sprawl in the main market square (upper right). It’s a fun place to stroll, and we find a Japanese handpan player named Taka playing in front of the Murray House (lower left). You can see a short video of his performance here. We also find a huge save-the-ocean art display of different fish created from discarded soda bottles (lower right).
On our loop back westward along the southern coast to Aberdeen (see map above, at the yellow “1” on the channel below the Aberdeen Country Park), we hop on a sampan boat tour (left upper) of the Aberdeen fishing village. Here the harbor is filled with boat houses (right upper two) and floating restaurants. The most famous of these is the massive Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant (lower).
Back in Kowloon, we head to famed Temple Street Night Market at sunset. It stretches for many blocks on both sides of the Tin Hau Temple, and we find stalls selling everything from cell phone covers, lego blocks, and drones, to bowls and chopsticks, scarves, purses, and gemstone jewelry. There is a jade market in this area as well, but it appeared to be closed for the night. The place is packed with people.
Of course, it also smells delicious in the areas between the shops, with street food vendors and open restaurants filling the intersections between the stalls. We stop for dinner at the Tong Tai seafood restaurant (left upper), where we have fried noodles with beef (really good, right upper) and salt and pepper calamari (lightly and crisply fried, left lower). A delightful green coconut from across the street from The Coconut Master (right lower) concludes our day. It is sweet and fresh, and is one of the best coconuts I’ve ever had.
On an unrelated note, we have noticed with interest in the last few days that building scaffolding in Hong Kong seems almost entirely made of bamboo lashed together with plastic cords. This seems to apply not just to the 2-3 story buildings in older neighborhoods, but also in the construction of high rises, where the scaffolding is covered with light netting. The only place we have seen metal scaffolding is in the construction of an elevated highway bridge with surrounding modern pavilions.