First Day in Hong Kong - Kowloon and the Man Mo Temple
We arrived around 7 PM, after a 15-hour flight, and immediately wanted to go to sleep. Our hotel, Marriott Sky City is a very close to the airport, but the road isn't walkable. The hotel offers an efficient shuttle, so within minutes, we had eaten and then collapsed in bed.
We had an afternoon food tour scheduled, but had the morning for exploring. The hotel runs a bus to the Tung Chung station (MTR). We purchased four Octopus cards. These are reloadable subway cards and can be purchased at the staffed counter. They only accept cash. You tap the card to enter the system and you tap to exit. The subway is very clean and efficient, with the directions and stations well marked. The Tung Chung station is the end of the line, so you can't go wrong with the direction!
We stopped first at the Bird Market in Kowloon. Kowloon is the older and more Chinese section of the city. As in many Asian cities, there are markets for specific items. (In the U.S., each neighborhood tends to have a wide ranges of stores to suit the needs of residents.) Birds used to be popular pets and people would talk their birds, in ornate cages, for a walk, just like people walk their dogs. The Avian Flu epidemic changed the popularity of birds. The Bird Market had dozens of stalls for vendor selling many small birds and even some large parrots.
We walked on to the Goldfish Market, which was a street of aquarium supplies, including shops that specialized in plants.
We hopped the Metro and traveled on to Hong Kong Island. After wandering the streets of this very modern area, we stopped at the Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wang. This temple is devoted to two gods - Man Tai (god of literature) and Mo Tai (god of war). It is a small, low temple with three sections. It is a popular destinations for students seeking help around exam time. Worshippers pray and light incense.
|This are spirals of incense that burn continuously|
Hong Kong is built into a hill. Many narrow alleys reveal sets of stairs that connect to adjacent streets higher up. Although there are wide sidewalks, the crowds make walking a slow process. It was also quite cold - around 53 degrees. We needed warmer coats!