Under the Harbour and through the Hill

We decided against venturing to Macau, and instead played a bit of public transportation roulette. Okay, so I had done a bit of research (Google maps public transportation directions), but I don’t think we actually wound up taking any of the buses we’d planned to.

First, a cheap breakfast of baked goods to-go, which we ate while sitting on a park bench. Though to call the place a park would be a stretch — it was more like a wide median with a winding path, benches, shrubbery, and a fence around the outside. Near the entrance, there was an interesting older fellow dressed in yellow, wearing a cooking pot on his head and some sort of makeshift metal mask over his eyes, but he didn’t seem to be bothering anyone.

After our breakfast of champions, we took the MTR (subway) under Victoria Harbour to the Central station, and tried to figure out how to get a bus to a smaller town on the South side of Hong Kong island. We wound up loitering outside a fancy-mall Starbucks, using the wifi to look up bus info. Eventually, we found the bus station, but didn’t see any signs for the bus number we were looking for. We saw another bus to Stanley, though, so we hopped on. After winding through Central and Wan Chai, the bus got on a highway and took us through a tunnel to the other side of the hills. The other side wasn’t nearly as developed, and through the rain-streaked bus windows, we saw a lot of lush green trees. The double-decker bus occasionally hit some low-hanging tree branches as it swung around the tight corners of the 2-lane road.

It was still raining when we got to Stanley, so it was a pleasant surprise that the market area was covered. I bought a couple of souvenirs, and then we found ourselves at a little beach. There wasn’t much to do in the rain, but we walked along the waterfront, dodging the restauranteurs who were trying to pull us in, and eventually wound up at a Shanghai-style restaurant in a nearby mall. My soup was so spicy that one sip had me coughing, and after a few bites I was sweating and my lips and tongue were numb. I asked for a bowl of white rice, and that helped cool things off a bit.

After lunch, we poked around the mall for a few minutes, hoping the rain would slow, but eventually just made our way back to the bus stop and rode back into the city.

C wanted to check out the Science Museum, so we asked at the bus station if there was a bus we could take to get us there. The guy working there told us a bus number and impatiently waved toward the other side of the street, but when we got to the other side, we couldn’t find a stop foor that bus number. We walked for a while, looking for a coffee shop that might have wifi, but eventually just ended up back at the ferry terminal. We had just missed a boat, so while we waited for the next one I checked and found that there was wifi, so I looked up which bus to take from Tsim Sha Tsui to the museum. After getting off the ferry, we found that bus stop easily, but when the bus showed up, the driver appeared to be having a problem getting the front door to open, so after trying a few things, he drove off.

I was prepared to wait for the next bus, but C decided that she’d rather walk around a bit instead of waiting for another bus to the museum, so we checked out the TST area a bit, and walked through some of the smaller side streets. We stopped for fancy coffee to rest our feet, and then walked some more. Eventually, we wound up at the Temple street night market that we’d been to the night before. Rather than walk North up Nathan road this time, though, we walked South, hoping to catch our regular bus toward home well away from where the protests had been. This was just not our day for finding the right bus, though! After walking several blocks, we gave up on finding a stop for our bus number and spotted a different bus that we were pretty sure we had taken in the opposite direction a few days ago. We hopped on, but the bus wound up turning in an unexpected direction, and it took us away from where we wanted to go. We got out and ended up walking quite a ways, but eventually we got to our destination: the dim sum restaurant we’d been to on our first morning here, with the dumplings that reminded me of stuffing and kaya French toast for dessert. Happy Thanksgiving!

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