Day 7 – Hong Kong – Kowloon and 10,000 Buddha Monastery

Woke up at the same time Kate did. She had to work that day. So I decided to go out into Kowloon and see the things I missed the first day or two. This felt very strange since it was the first time I was traveling while alone.

As I started to pack for the day, I realized that my beloved white t-shirt had some pink spots on it. This is because I had stupidly left some sort of toothpick wrapper that was red in the shirt pocket. I found out later that it washed right out, but for the day I had an objective to get a new white shirt.

Kate left for work, so I had to figure out how to communicate with her mother. It was difficult because she was giving me things to eat for the day and I was completely unable to refuse her hospitality because I just didn’t know how to say so.

I left for Prince Edward Street. Found the Flower Market, but I was so early that not many people had opened shop yet. A few people did, and I took a few photos of those. Maybe I’ll have to check it out some other trip at a more appropriate time. From there I went to the Bird Garden, which was the same deal. I was just too early. But I got to see the way they set up shop. And a few people were open so I got to see what was there. Bags of grasshoppers, and tons of birds in cages. One guy dropped a birdcage he was setting up and the bird looked very frightened.

Then went to the goldfish market. Same thing. These apparently are places you can’t go to in the morning. But the upside is that there is hardly any crowd. Got a few pictures here and there.

I started walking down Nathan Road and Shanghai Street looking for postcards but I just couldn’t find any. I was tired and feeling a bit off, so I rested in a park near a temple. Took out the food that Kate’s mother had given me and ate that, picking out the raisins. Briefly watched the old men in the park play Chinese chess, and briefly went into the temple, then continued on my way.

Finally got all the way down to the waterfront and I guess I accidentally found the Avenue of the Stars. Similar to Hollywood but with Hong Kong actors and actresses. Suddenly I heard a distant bang, and I recalled reading about a noon-day gun. Sure enough, when I checked my watch it was exactly noon. That was an interesting coincidence. And I did end up finding postcards.

I decided to go to the 10,000 Buddha Monastery. After taking the subway, it was fairly easy for me to find following some basic directions, and I started climbing this very long set of stairs surrounded on both sides by many many statues. Stairs and statues shared a common trait there: Lots of them.

Finally got to the top, and there was this very cool temple with thousands of small buddha statues surrounding one very large one. There was also a pagoda, and a few other things. Then as I was about to leave I saw that there were more stairs. So I walked up those and found more statues and more temples. And then I found more stairs and found a last area with more statues, and also a guy making one of the statues. Then I figured it was time to head down so went all the way back.

I decided to go back to Prince Edward Street to look for a white shirt replacement at the night markets. By that time things were up and running. It took a while to find a good white shirt, and it was more pricey than I had hopped. I bargained down from $70 HK to $60, and I probably could have done better but I’m no good at that thing. Got the shirt. Picked up some good street food (fish balls and other meat balls on a stick). Then walked down to a station and went to meet Kate at her job in the HK Station. She wasn’t done yet, and didn’t really have any ideas for anything more to do, so I walked around HK Island some more. There was this very long escalator that went on and on so I decided to take it to the end. There wasn’t any prize, so I turned around and walked back through SoHo and the very westernized expat communities there. Things are expensive around that area.

Went back to the IFC to a coffee shop to update my journal. Then once Kate was finished I met up with her and I think we just went back to her house to go to sleep. I think we had dinner that her dad made again, but I can’t exactly remember what it was.


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