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Macyn's Present

Jim has a young friend in California named Macyn, who celebrated her 7th birthday about the time we were visiting Hong Kong. We decided that Hong Kong would be the perfect place to find Macyn a great birthday present, preferably some kind of traditional Chinese handicraft. We had 3 days available, and it took us all 3 days. This is the story of our search for Macyn's Present.

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Hong Kong Harbor.
1. Hong Kong Harbor
Star Ferry.
2. Star Ferry
Golden Bauhinia.
3. Golden Bauhinia
Street market.
4. Street market

Hong Kong — Day 2

We had started our search for a birthday present expecting that it would be easy to find something really neat. By the start of Day 2, we knew that we would have to get serious about our search. Although we were a little sore from our long walk on Day 1, we decided to get an early start, and headed off to Hong Kong Island.

We took the Star Ferry across the harbor. The ferries have been around for a long time, and are beginning to show their age. But they are quaint and fun. The subway is faster and more convenient, and a lot more expensive, but the Ferry is the traditional way to cross. I think that most residents now take the subway. We saw only a few tourists, like us, who were taking the ferry for the great harbor views, and older Chinese who we assumed take the ferry for the much lower fares.

While crossing, we saw two police boats. Although crime rates are reported to be quite low here, we saw a significant police presence throughout the city. Perhaps there is a correlation there. We also saw the Hong Kong Convention Center. It was built specifically for the handover of Hong Kong from England to China in 1997. Today it is used as a convention and exhibition hall, and is a big tourist attracton. Tourists get their picture taken next to the "Golden Bauhinia", the symbol of Hong Kong.

Once on Hong Kong Island, we headed for the escalators, a combination of moving sidewalks and escalators that run from Connaught Road Central up to Conduit Road in the Mid-Levels. They make exploring the hilly terrain much easier. In some places, the escalators carry you high above the adjacent street, in other places you cross at street level.

We continued our search for Macyn's Present in the Mid-Levels. Again, we passed numerous street markets selling a wide variety of goods. We also passed a small meat market that was surprisingly clean. It even smelled good. We saw stores selling the most amazing things, including dried medicinal herbs and other traditional medicines. None of these were potential birthday presents, however.

Then we found a great little shop selling a wide variety of Chinese pottery. Some of these things were really beautiful. But, they were also fragile and might not survive shipping back to the US. And, we could not find just the right item; one teacup would not be very useful, and a whole set was more than we wanted to pay.

Finally, we went up to a lookout point on Victoria Peak. From here, we could get a panoramic view of Hong Kong. It was beautiful, but the day was coming to an end. Our feet were sore and our legs were tired, and we would have to return to our hotel. So, our search for Macyn's Present would have to continue on Day 3.

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