Avenue of Stars

a ride to kowloon on the star ferry & a stroll along the avenue of stars

Saturday, April 4: After getting off the Big Bus *Hong Kong*, I take the Star Ferry back across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon.

The Hong Kong skyline from the Star Ferry

The Kowloon skyline from the Star Ferry

Looking back at the Hong Kong skyline from the Star Ferry

Looking back at the Hong Kong skyline from the Star Ferry

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Island

Looking back at Hong Kong Island from the Star Ferry

Looking back at Hong Kong Island from the Star Ferry

Ferry in Victoria Harbour

Ferry in Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong skyline with Victoria Peak behind

Hong Kong skyline with Victoria Peak behind

Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Island

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.

Kowloon ferry and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Kowloon ferry and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Colorful boat in Kowloon

Colorful boat in Kowloon

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.

Buying a new camera card

Buying a new camera card

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.

Clock Tower in Kowloon

Clock Tower in Kowloon

Looking back at the ferry dock

Looking back at the ferry dock

The promenade in Kowloon

The promenade in Kowloon

Clock Tower and Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Kowloon

Clock Tower and Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Kowloon

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.

Looking across Victoria Harbour from the promenade in Kowloon

Looking across Victoria Harbour from the promenade in Kowloon

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.

Junk in Victoria Harbour

Junk in Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong skyline

Hong Kong skyline

Junk in Victoria Harbour

Junk in Victoria Harbour

Let there be light

Let there be light

Junk in Victoria Harbour

Junk in Victoria Harbour

Light & clouds over Hong Kong's skyline

Light & clouds over Hong Kong’s skyline

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.

a performer belts out a song at Avenue of the Stars

a performer belts out a song at Avenue of the Stars

Junk in the waning light

Junk in the waning light

Boats under the clouds in Victoria Harbour

Boats under the clouds in Victoria Harbour

The Avenue of Stars is a tribute to Hong Kong’s film industry, third in the world behind Hollywood and Bollywood.

Avenue of the Stars

Avenue of the Stars

I find a statue of this actress, but I don’t catch her name.

a famous Chinese actress

a famous Chinese actress

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.

Handprints of Yeoh Choo Kheng, Michelle on Avenue of Stars

Handprints of Yeoh Choo Kheng, Michelle on Avenue of Stars

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.

Bruce Lee on Avenue of Stars

Bruce Lee on Avenue of Stars

Near the end of the promenade I’m captivated by the light shining through the clouds on some skyscrapers in the distance.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel

Curving promenade along Victoria Harbour

Curving promenade along Victoria Harbour

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).

The Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Hotel

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.

Streets of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon

Streets of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon

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.

Vietnamese Restaurant

Vietnamese Restaurant

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. 🙂

Categories: Asia, Avenue of Stars, China, Clock Tower, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Peninsula Hotel, Star Ferry, Travel, Victoria Harbor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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