A Travellerspoint blog

All good things ........

It's almost time to go back to work.

sunny

I don't normally spend my holidays in Hong Kong. To be honest I'm usually longing to get out of it whenever I have a break, but thanks to covid there's really been no choice. If I go anywhere, I have to have three weeks compulsory quarantine in a hotel, fully paid for by me. In the summer I didn't enjoy staying here. It was too hot and we weren't allowed to swim anywhere, but this holiday, in the cooler months and with no crowds of tourists flocking in, I have really enjoyed looking around. I've discovered there are lots of beautiful places here and lots of places we have not visited yet. Thus, I have absolutely no wish to stop being a tourist and go back to work, but unfortunately, I go back tomorrow.

Well, this final weekend of freedom we used more of our hotel points to stay in The Park Lane, Causeway Bay, for one night. This is a nice hotel, right in the heart of the city, but overlooking Victoria Park and very quiet at night. We came on a room only basis, discovered they had a special offer for breakfast and afternoon tea, but didn't take it, as we planned to eat out in restaurants instead. Eating out, at the moment, must be done before 6pm as all restaurants have to close then, so it wasn't really compatible with afternoon tea.

Our room didn't have a good view, so I went up to the hotel's Skye Bar to look at theirs. I didn't want a drink there but the staff didn't mind me just coming in to take photos. The views are either over Victoria Park or Causeway Bay Marina and Typhoon Shelter. I thought they were pretty spectacular.

Our Room.

Our Room.

Christmas in the lobby.

Christmas in the lobby.

View from our window.

View from our window.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

View from the Skye Bar.

Outside the Skye Bar.

Outside the Skye Bar.

I tried to go to the Skye Bar to take pictures at night, too, but of course it was shut, so I just took them through the window which wasn't great as there was a lot of reflection, but it was better than nothing.

Nightime view over Victoria Park.

Nightime view over Victoria Park.

Nightime View.

Nightime View.

Nightime View.

Nightime View.

Causeway Bay nowadays is a built up, crowded shopping area with a huge Japanese Sogo store, Times Square, Hysan Place, Windsor House, Lee Gardens and many, many more shopping malls. It's also filled with restaurants and bars. Therefore, it is hard to imagine that it was at one time just a heavily silted bay with a little fishing village on it. Historically, Causeway Bay was a bay between North Point and East Point. Over the years more and more land reclamation has taken place here, so what we now know as Causeway Bay was actually once under the waters of Victoria Harbour. In 1841 the new British colonial government sold the first commercial plot of land in Hong Kong to the Jardine Matheson Company, right here in Causeway Bay. That's why there are street names like Jardine's Bazaar, and Jardine's Crescent here.

I spent my afternoon in Causeway Bay down by the waterfront. There is a marina and typhoon shelter here. The waters are filled with lots of sampans, houseboats and yachts. It's really very pretty.

Door to door service.

Door to door service.

Boats and Skyline.

Boats and Skyline.

Boats and Skyline.

Boats and Skyline.

I thought this was a houseboat, but just found out it is a floating Tin Hau Temple.

I thought this was a houseboat, but just found out it is a floating Tin Hau Temple.

Sampan Service.

Sampan Service.

Boats and Skyline.

Boats and Skyline.

Boats and Skyline.

Boats and Skyline.

Sampans.

Sampans.

I thought this was a houseboat, but just found out it is a floating Tin Hau Temple.

I thought this was a houseboat, but just found out it is a floating Tin Hau Temple.

The Floating Tin Hau Temple was originally located at the heart of the Pearl River Delta, but since 1955, it has been anchored in the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter. It is the only floating temple in Hong Kong. To visit it you must hail a sampan.

Sampans and Skyline.

Sampans and Skyline.

Sampans and Skyline.

Sampans and Skyline.

Sampans and Skyline.

Sampans and Skyline.

Sampans and Skyline.

Sampans and Skyline.

After enjoying our walk, Peter and I went out for an early dinner. We decided to eat in the King Ludwig Beer Hall. This is very close to our hotel. Obviously, with a name like that, it's a German restaurant. It's known for selling huge litre glasses of German beer and for hosting the October Fest celebrations in Hong Kong. Naturally Peter went for the almost unliftable litre glass. I just stuck to the usual half litre size. For dinner we shared a large appetizer plate with cold ham, pork belly, cheeses, olives, salad and an absolutely delicious pate. We also shared Nuremberg sausages and a pretzel.

Peter, happy with his beer.

Peter, happy with his beer.

Peter with the appetizer.

Peter with the appetizer.

Me with my pretzel.

Me with my pretzel.

Me with my food.

Me with my food.

Appetizers Platter.

Appetizers Platter.

Sausages.

Sausages.

Inside the restaurant.

Inside the restaurant.

Inside the restaurant.

Inside the restaurant.

After dinner I returned to the waterfront to see the harbour lit up at night. I like doing this as it's generally very colourful and peaceful by the water at night time.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

I thought this was a houseboat, but just found out it is a floating Tin Hau Temple.

I thought this was a houseboat, but just found out it is a floating Tin Hau Temple.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Victoria Harbour at night.

Then I decided to get my neon fix by strolling around Causeway Bay's streets. Some are as brightly lit as day time. Causeway Bay is generally an extremely busy place and although there were still lots of people, for a Saturday night it was relatively empty due to covid and the fact that restaurants and bars close at 6pm.

This is food street which would normally be very busy.

This is food street which would normally be very busy.

Food Street.

Food Street.

Food Street.

Food Street.

There were various colourful paintings on the walls.

Painting.

Painting.

Painting.

Painting.

Painting.

Painting.

I then moved onto the predominantly shopping areas. While everything else is closed, shops are largely still open so there were people still wandering the streets and malls.

Sogo with its ever changing screen.

Sogo with its ever changing screen.

See it's changed already.

See it's changed already.

Colourful signs next to Sogo.

Colourful signs next to Sogo.

Night time Street.

Night time Street.

Narrow Lane.

Narrow Lane.

Signs, signs and more signs.

Signs, signs and more signs.

Taxi anyone?

Taxi anyone?

Brightly lit shop selling lucky red packets for Chinese New Year.

Brightly lit shop selling lucky red packets for Chinese New Year.

The streets were also dotted with Christmas displays. Not sure what was going on with Times Square's. It looked like a car had driven into a Christmas tree. Must have been something I missed

Christmas displays.

Christmas displays.

Christmas displays.

Christmas displays.

Christmas displays.

Christmas displays.

Christmas displays.

Christmas displays.

At one point I came across a long line of stationary trams. I wonder if this is where they are parked up for the night. I'd have thought they'd go into a depot, but I guess not.

Is this where trams go to sleep?

Is this where trams go to sleep?

Is this where trams go to sleep?

Is this where trams go to sleep?

Next morning we had a late check out at 1:30 which was handy because I wanted to go and see the noon day gun. I mean I've seen it before, but I've never been there at the right time to hear it being fired, so since I was so close, I thought I might as well go.

Before going there I took a walk through Victoria Park again. It's Sunday, maids day off, so there were a lot of maids around picnicking and dancing and enjoying the sunshine. Earlier this week one politician here called for maids to be locked in on Sundays so they don't violate social distancing. Personally, I hope she doesn't manage to do this. Again I noticed most of the maids were Indonesian. Not sure if there are now more Indonesian maids than Filipino ones here. I myself don't have a maid. The park had some lovely autumn colours and I liked a statue of two horses I've never noticed before.

Maids'Day Off.

Maids'Day Off.

Maids' Day Off.

Maids' Day Off.

Maids' Day Off.

Maids' Day Off.

Maids' Day Off.

Maids' Day Off.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Horse statue.

Horse statue.

The noon day gun is fired by an employee of the Jardine Matheson Company every day of the year at midday precisely. These gunshots once acted as time signals. This is the "Noonday Gun" mentioned in the Noël Coward song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen". The gun was certainly very, very loud!!!

The history of the noon day gun goes back to the 1860's. There's a famous legend about it. At that time whenever an important member of the Jardine Matheson company arrived or departed Hong Kong by boat, a company employee would fire a gun salute over Victoria Harbour from East Point. On one occasion a senior officer of the Royal Navy, who had just arrived in Hong Kong, was startled by the sudden gun fire. He was also offended by the fact that the gun salute was used for anyone other than royalty. He then issued a penalty to Jardine Matheson to fire the gun on a daily basis at noon in perpetuity. Nowadays this practice continues. The only time it was halted was during the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.

Noon Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Non Day Gun.

Non Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Noon Day Gun.

Finally, we went shopping in IKEA for new kitchen cabinets then headed to the Outback Steakhouse where we had Aussie fries and shrimp Caesar salad for lunch before going home.

Lunch in the Outback.

Lunch in the Outback.

Lunch in the Outback.

Lunch in the Outback.

Lunch in the Outback.

Lunch in the Outback.

Posted by irenevt 13:36 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

I love the night pictures. Your blog as made my afternoon, have a nice day at work.

by alectrevor

Hello, Irene! Thank you for taking us along for your walk about the harbour... Your pictures have conveyed to me the mood and the setting very well... You are right: the dinner with German beer and a large appetizer plate is what I would have appreciated as well.

by Vic_IV

Hi Alec, I'm glad you enjoyed my blog.

by irenevt

Hi Victor, yes the meal was very nice. We just have to get used to eating earlier. All the best. Irene.

by irenevt

The waterfront looks like a great place to take photos, both day and night. I'm sorry you have to go back to work - I've enjoyed following your 'holiday at home' explorations :)

by ToonSarah

Hi Sarah, On my way into work now. Bit of a shock to the system getting up at 5.50am again. At moment still Zoom teaching so only need to go into work twice a week and Zoom from home other days.

by irenevt

I loved the photos. The night city photos were exceptional.

by littlesam1

Hi Sam, Hong Kong is certainly pretty when it is lit up. Thank you for visiting. Happy New Year.

by irenevt

Everytime before 9AM is too early to be out of the house! Glad you managed to have a good staycation, or can it be call that when you stayed at hotels too? :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna 5.50 certainly came as a shock. Yes staycation can be in a hotel if it's in the place you live in. The hotels were fun. All the best, Irene.

by irenevt

Gorgeous pictures. It looks like you had perfect weather. The night shots were lovely. Cities look better at night.

The King Ludwig Beer Hall looked like a good restaurant. I love soft pretzels. When I was young, we got them in New York City but when we moved upstate, I learned how to make them. I still do and they are a family favorite. You can buy them anyplace now but I like mine better. Yours looked excellent.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally the pretzel was very good. I agree that Hong Kong looks prettier by night when it's lit up. It's very colourful then.

by irenevt

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