On the way to the hotel the first night, our guide showed us a fancy jade exchange she said was very popular with tourists, but next day we tried to find it and no one knew what we meant. However, we were taken to a very non-touristy sort of place with many stalls and there, I think, we did pretty well. This is one of the booths. Sorry for the over-exposure, but it's a good thing I got this, because in the touristy part of town, you weren't allowed to take pictures of stores. Seriously. Not sure why. It was the same in Poland in the amber shops, unless you bought something. Then they would let you.
The second full day in Hong Kong we got our city tour. It wasn't so good, by which I mean I think the guide was a little off, but we did get to see the high points. Trouble was, the weather was still bad, so everything was shrouded in mist. Here's what I mean:
And check this thing out. It's a bit of modern art in one of the outdoor markets. Click and you will see it's a mobile of plastic water bottles.
We did the rest of our shopping on our own in the neighborhood around the hotel, as well as eating out there the whole time. We went to Thai, Chinese and an American-themed restaurant with Western food prepared for Chinese palates. That was interesting. They also had Americanized Chinese food, and at night the place turned into a disco. We didn't go then, but you could hear it for blocks. Also, Aunt Marion had spotted a place (actually a health food store) that sold dried mango so I got a bunch, and we also found a Thai bakery with wrapped items we could pack. I got two of mine all the way home and Joyce ate them.
Also while wandering we met the same man every day who tried to sell us a bespoke suit ready in 24 hours, and one day a young lady gave us a flyer for a French cafe so we used the coupon for breakfast the last day. I have to confess that was a nice change of pace!
Finally it was time to pack up and leave. I had the most fun throwing stuff away that I had collected over the course of the journey. I also threw away a shirt three days in a row. The housekeeper didn't believe me and kept pulling it back out of the trash and folding it.
We had to wait in the lobby a couple of hours for our car and a 6 PM flight back through Manila. I wasn't exactly thrilled with having to return there but we had to go out the way we came in. At least I was able to find places to recharge my nook so I could stay in touch with family via Facebook, which was my only means of communicating back home since AOL would never load. I was glad to have that lifeline, and thanks to everyone who kept Joyce in the loop as AOL e-mail wasn't cooperating and she doesn't know how to do FB. I did get to speak with her, finally, in Hong Kong, for the first time in ten days. I admit that was rough, not having easy access. I wouldn't put myself in that situation again. It was very unpleasant.
I have a couple of entries to go. Stay tuned!