Today we took two open-top bus tours of Hong Kong Island. Both of them started at the Central Star Ferry pier.
On the green route this morning we passed through the man-made canyons of glass and steel from the Two IFC Tower to The Bank of China, the complex at Admiralty Station and those at Central Plaza to enable us to take the elevated highway to the tunnel through the Central Mountains to Repulse Bay, Stanley Beach and the fishing port of Aberdeen.
The origins of Repulsive Bay’s English name have become extremely obscure. There are many stories none resting on any solid evidence that has so far been established. A typical example is that in 1841, the bay was used as a base by pirates and caused serious concern to foreign merchant ships trading with China. The pirates were subsequently repulsed by the Royal Navy, hence the name. Aberdeen is Hong Kong’s busy fishing harbour which is filled with wooden and more modern fishing boats. The wholesale fish market is at the western end of the harbour and this morning it was packed with lorries waiting to distribute the fish.
We returned to the Central Pier through the Hong Kong University complex. All of this took an hour and three-quarters. It was noticeably cooler at the other side of the island as the wind and cloud came off the South China Sea.
Upon our return it was still not possible to see the peaks of the mountains. We immediately hopped on the red bus which took us beyond the skyscrapers to Causeway Bay. This area has many older buildings and street markets in the narrow lanes as well as tall apartment blocks with shops at the ground floor level.
The bus turned inland at Victoria Park which is Hong Kong’s largest urban park. This eastern end of the island was developed first in the 1950s and so seems a little worn at the edges, especially along Lockhart Road. It was interesting as the bus headed west when we climbed the hill to the area known as the Mid-Level near the Man Mo Temple and many smaller shops and nightclubs. We returned to the starting point by passing through the relatively new Central Station area.
By now it was approaching 2:00 p.m. and time for a late lunch of the ubiquitous sweet and sour pork served in half a pineapple with steamed rice and delicious dainty ‘egg pies’ for dessert.