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Excellent Adventure
Friday, June 4th, 2004

Date:2004-06-04 20:30
Subject:Day 2
Security:Public

Well, after we rested a little bit yesterday we ended up going up Victoria Peak. Victoria Peak is one of many mountains in HK, but it's got really great views of the city and there's a tram that takes you to the top (it's pretty steep). We took the subway to Central (the downtown area). The subway is surprisingly easy to navigate because it's basically exactly the same format as the BART. We walked from the subway station to the tram station, which took us through some of the interesting buildings downtown. At the top of the tram there is a big shopping plaza with lots of tourist-lure crap (like Citywalk in LA). Anyway, we got a really great view of the city from above, and then we walked around part of the loop around the peak. It was hot and muggy, and we got kind of grossed out by these weird caterpillars (with lots of fuzz on them and strange stripes) hanging from invisible threads from the trees. I walked into one!

We came back to the hotel because we were pretty exhausted, grabbed a light dinner at Starbucks (Starbucks here has a whole lot more real food than Starbucks in the US), and went to sleep early. I tried to stay awake watching American Idol (they were advertising for Buffy and Angel after that!) but fell asleep around 8:20.

This morning, we got up early and went across the harbor (on the subway through a tunnel) to Tsim Sha Tsui (which is in Kowloon, as opposed to our hotel which is on Hong Kong Island in Causeway Bay), where we had dim sum around 10 (we walked around for a while before 10, when they opened). The menu was really confusing, but we managed to get some food. It was really good!

After that we found our way to more subway stations and took the subway and a train to Sha Tin, where we walked to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (they have a website, it's like 10kbuddha.org or something). It was very pretty and I took a lot of pictures. After we came down, we went to the Hong Kong History Museum. The museum had sort of natural history stuff, which was pretty interesting. It covered from prehistoric times through the present.

After the museum, we walked along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, where there is a wonderful view of Central on Hong Kong Island (it's like looking at NY from the harbor). We went to the Hong Kong Museum of Art, where we looked at antiquities which were pretty impressive (especially the carved rhinoceros horns!).

We had dinner at Fruit Stop Health Food Restaurant, which was very tasty! I had pasta with veggies, and it came as part of a set meal with pumpkin soup, walnut bread, iced green tea, and mango ice cream. Yum! Ben had chicken with wild rice. A very nice bus boy suggested that we go see a big buddha statue on another island tomorrow, so we might do that.

After dinner, we went back to the promenade to wait until it was dark so we could see the night view. Definitely worth the wait! We took the Star Ferry back to Central and then the subway back to our hotel. Now we're probably just going to retire to our air conditioned room and get some sleep!

--Jessica

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