Saturday, April 4: After getting off the Big Bus *Hong Kong*, I take the Star Ferry back across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon.
Back on the Kowloon side, I hope to catch the blue line of the Big Bus for an early evening tour through Kowloon, but at the dock, I can’t find any sign of the Big Bus. A later studying of the map shows me I needed to catch it at the back side of the Peninsula Hotel, but I don’t check the map until I am able to sit down for dinner.
As I’m taking a few pictures of the beautiful light over Victoria Harbour, suddenly I get the message that my camera card is full. I have a 32 GB camera card, but I guess it’s filled with the nearly 6,000 pictures I took in Myanmar. As I’m not ready to erase them yet, I go in search of a new camera card and I finally find one in this shop near the ferry.
Now, set up with a new card, I continue to the promenade than runs for about 500 meters east from the Clock Tower. The Clock Tower is the only remnant of the Kowloon Railway Station, where intrepid travelers were once able to take a train via Russia and Mongolia to Europe. It sits in front of the drab Hong Kong Cultural Center with its skate park roofline.
As I continue east on the promenade, I can see boats zipping about in Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline glowing under dramatic clouds and blue sky.
A junk pushes out into the harbor from a dock off the promenade. It just sits out in the harbour for quite a while, and I wonder if it’s just there for photo ops for tourists. The junk is picturesque in front of the city skyscape, the perfect icon for Hong Kong.
At the east end of the promenade, I come upon the Avenue of Stars. I had planned to visit this area, but I hadn’t yet figured out how to get here. I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve found it quite by accident.
A bright red stage is set up along the Avenue of Stars for different performers to serenade the tourists.
The Avenue of Stars is a tribute to Hong Kong’s film industry, third in the world behind Hollywood and Bollywood.
I find a statue of this actress, but I don’t catch her name.
There are handprints in the concrete, much like the prints of famous actors and actresses in Hollywood. The one shown below is by Yeoh Choo Kheng, known as Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng, a Malaysian actress based in Hong Kong. She’s known for performing her own stunts in Hong Kong action films of the 1990s. She’s best known in the Western world for her roles in the Chinese martial arts film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and for her role as Wai Lin in the 1997 James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.
Of course, the Avenue of Stars wouldn’t be complete without Bruce Lee, widely considered to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He died in 1973 at the young age of 32.
Near the end of the promenade I’m captivated by the light shining through the clouds on some skyscrapers in the distance.
After leaving the promenade, I pass by the famous Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong’s oldest hotel, and one of the oldest in Asia, having opened in December of 1928. Under a partnership with Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, Richard Wilson RA has created a replica of the vintage Harrington Legionnaire coach featured in the 1969 British heist caper, The Italian Job, which he’s precariously balanced on the edge of the hotel’s 7th floor Sun Terrace, playfully juxtaposed against the building’s iconic façade (Peninsula Hotel: A Partnership of Artistic Derring-do).
By this time, I’m pretty exhausted from my morning of travel, my Big Bus *Hong Kong* tour, my Star Ferry harbour crossings and the long walk down the promenade, so I head north toward my hotel.
I find a Vietnamese restaurant, where I order an appetizer tray for two. I figure it will be a good meal for one. It’s pretty good, but not great, as some of the meat is a little chewy. I top it off with a Tiger beer.
I have it in my mind to go to Lantau Island tomorrow, so I’ll try to get an early start so I can squeeze everything in. 🙂