I was invited by AirPhil Express to join them in their maiden flight from Cebu to Hong Kong and stayed for almost a week to explore, photograph and get to know more about this beautiful place south of the Chinese mainland. An afternoon in Hong Kong was spent on a tour bus around the city with trips to Aberdeen Harbour, a viewdeck near the Peak and at the Avenue of the Stars.
Aberdeen Harbour is popular with tourists mainly for two things: the Jumbo Kingdom, a floating restaurant of casino magnate Stanley Ho and the floating village with their sampans which are traditional fishing boats. These are within the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelters.
On an ordinary day, it is easy to see busloads of tourist buses making a beeline to the platforms where boats carry diners to the floating restaurant or alternatively, ride a sampan usually manned by one of China’s ethnic groups, the Tanka people.
It’s not common knowledge, however, that Aberdeen used to be named Heung Kong Tsai, meaning, Hong Kong Minor. This was where fragrant incense trees were brought to be transported to other cities in China. And it is where Hong Kong, the fragrant harbor got its name.
Well, unless you’re not going to the floating restaurant, there’s nothing much to do and see here, after you’ve taken photos of the sampans and the Jumbo Kingdom from a distance. Or gawking at the juxtaposition of the old (sampans) with the new (gleaming buildings).
From the harbour, we went directly up in the mountains of Hong Kong, in the vicinity of The Peak but not quite there. Only at the lower decks but it still affords spectacular views of the city with her tall skyscrapers, skyline and a beautiful view of the harbor. Too bad, it was a bit hazy but the air was cool. Perfect place to hang out if not for busloads of tourists who come and go.
At the Avenue of the Stars, we just stayed there briefly, gawk at people, shoot and look at the names of Chinese actors and actresses. But I will write about it in a separate post. 🙂