Day 3 - 29th July 2001
Star Ferry & Temple Street night market

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The view from the ferry
I was woken up at 10am today to the sound of drilling upstairs - someone was doing some work up there. I tried to sleep though it but couldn't, so I got up and had a shower, and then left to try and visit CyberCity again. When I got there it was still closed - I think the place has shut down or something, as the shop nearest the entrance is definitely empty.

Anyway, I went to an online games place called Cyber Sniper (they certainly seem to like the word 'cyber' around here...) and spent an hour getting completely thrashed at Half-life Counterstrike. By this time I was getting a bit short on money, so I decided to go back to my hotel to cash some traveller's cheques (all the banks were shut by this time). Instead of taking the MTR, I decided to take the Star ferry across the harbour, stopping to buy a nice mango flavoured ice cream from one of the stalls outside. The ferry was not designed as a tourist event, it is actually a well used route for commuters to cross the river, but it's also an essential trip for any tourist, as the views of the skyline are second to none.

The ride is short, taking only seven minutes, and I arrived in Central. I noticed that everyone was out on the streets and they seemed to be waiting for an event to start. It didn't take long to find out what it was. The biggest minority group in Hong Kong are Filipinos, and this was a anti-racism show, with displays of Filipino dance. I stayed and watched for about half an hour, but by then the humidity was starting to get to me so I went back to the hotel.

The street show
Once I had refreshed my supply of money I decided I would go out for a meal, and visited the American Restaurant, which is recommended in my guide book. Despite the name, it serves Peking food, and I had a nice bowl of soup noodles with shredded chicken, for less than five quid!

After digesting the meal I went to see the Temple Street night market, which sells all manner of clothes and jewellery, and takes place in Mong Kok in the northern part of Kowloon. I bought a T-shirt to take back with me. I also took a stroll around the rest of Mong Kok, which is a bit more seedy than the other areas I've been to. I came across a local arcade, went in an watched the locals play baffling games of video Mah jong, the rules of which eluded me completely. I went to play some of the other machines, and the machines wouldn't accept my money. The owner came over and managed to explain to me that the machines only take $1 coins without being able to speak a word of English. He was really friendly and helpful. I played a few games of some random shoot-em-up and King of Fighters 2000.

Temple Street night market
On my way back to the hotel I spotted a shop selling VCDs, a format I thought had long been obsolete. It seems that it's alive and well in China though, as the shop was packed. I bought Crimson Tide, Titan AE and Dark City, three of my favourite films. They all have English speech and Cantonese subtitles, but I got all three for less than a tenner!

After stopping off at a newsagent to buy some snacks for the night, I went back to the hotel and went online to locate a hotel in Tokyo.

So, this was my last full day in Hong Kong. It's been a really enjoyable experience, and I would fully recommend it to anyone. I would definately love to come back here again some time, and explore it in more detail, as there's plenty more to see.

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