Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hong Kong Day 2

Hong Kong day2

For day 2 in Hong Kong, I had booked a ship tour called Off The Beaten Path. It visits three places, two of which weren't the easiest to get to on one's own. It's also a good tour to take if you've been to Hong Kong before and want something different. 

The first stop was the Walled City Park. It used to be a Chinese fort until 1898, when it turned into a sort of enclaved sanctuary when China turned over the New Territories to Britain. It was a 6.4 acre area and population inside its borders reached 33,000 after the Japanese occupation in WW2. Um. Tight squeeze. 

The buildings along the borders were built so close together that they actually leaned on each other. It was mostly ruled by triads of people, I would call them gangs today. 

In 1987 the Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish the walled city. It took until 1993 to get everyone out and then the government turned it into a beautiful walled garden park. 

Next, we visited the Wong Tai Sin Temple, a very popular shrine and temple where city residents come to ask for things - to maybe have questions answered. There's a whole process involved where you get a canister of wooden sticks, each with its own unique number. You burn incense and get on your knees and start shaking the canister. When a stick falls out, you write the number down next to your question. Then you take the canister back and go see the fortune teller at a window and give her your number and she will give you a piece of paper with that number on it. Inside is written your answer. 

That's the short version of what happens. 

Finally, we visited the Hong Kong History museum. It so happened that this day the museum had a kids day exhibit full of Star Wars characters. We didn't visit the exhibit but concentrated on the chronological history of the development of Hong Kong which was very interesting. 

So that's it for Hong Kong. Next up is Vietnam. 

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