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"Cacilhas" is an harbour in Tejo river, facing Lisbon.
For those who knew Lisbon before the construction of the first bridge, Cacilhas was… the other side of the world, a world of hard work, hard conditions, but the charm of the adventurous crossing in a “Cacilheiro”, the generic name given to the boats and ferries used as the only solution available to cross.
The bridge reduced the importance and use of the “Cacilheiros”, but they keep on working, and going to Cacilhas to drink a “Ginginha” is a tradition known by many Lisbon inhabitants.
Now you may understand (and allow) my discreet smile when I saw a “Cacilheiro” in Hong Kong.
Signs of the connection to Macao, of course, but… what about a Ginginha?
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
St Johns Cathedral - Central
St Johns Cathedral is not really off the Beaten Path. Anyone walking up Garden Road to the Peak Tram Lower Terminus will walk straight past it. I have myself on many occasions.
The last time I walked past, on a particularly hot day, I decided to take a closer look thinking the interior might offer some respite from the heat. Once inside I sat for a long while enjoying both the slight crosswind from the church's open windows and the Cathedral interior itself.
The Church was built in the late 1840's in the Gothic style but the architecture is much less ornate than normally seen in a cathedral with the white columns, altar, and walls making the interior look larger and uncluttered. There is a lovely stained glass window behind the main altar.
I'm pleased I took the time to see the oldest Anglican Church in Hong Kong, but its easy to walk by and not really notice as it is somewhat sandwiched between the skyscrapers.
Free Vantage Point
You don't need to go to the Peak to have a great view of Hong Kong's harbours. There is an excellent and free vantage point from one of HK's tallest buildings -- the TWO IFC Tower -- and you can even do some shopping at the IFC Mall afterwards.
The HK Monetary Authority has an exhibit area (museum) and library on the 55th floor of Two IFC. (The photo is of TWO IFC from the Star Ferry.)
First, go to the IFC Mall in Central (for example by MTR to Hong Kong Station, Exit A2). It's a little difficult to describe the directions within the mall so look for signs to Two IFC, HK Monetary Authority (HKMA), "Offices" or ask directions to the "museum" / "library".
The entrance that I took was NOT from within the tower itself. It was within the mall. In the absence of signs, wander through the mall and look for what looks like a normal hotel entrance -- with only two or three people guarding the security entrance.
Tell the receptionist you wish to visit the "museum" or "library" and they will examine your passport or HKID card. They will give you a special pass and allow you through the metal detector to the elevator.
Open Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Li Yuen Street West: Under-rated Shopping
Hong Kong is well known for its glitzy shopping and even if it's not always the case, visitors will still visit Men's or Women's Street.
But there is still life in Li Yuen Street West. Clothing, shoes and even children's ware can be bought at a snip, but the tricky bit is that you'll need to bargain and with stall holders knowing that you are a foreigner, it will be a battle of who can hold on the longest wins. i.e. If I suggest a price and the shop owner feels it not a good price, you can either further negotiate, or totally give up on purchasing the goods. No hard feelings!
Stop by the central library - you'll be surprised
It is not exactly a place that most people associate with tourism, but if you wind up in Causeway bay, you may want to spend a few minutes to stop by HK central library. It is pretty impressive in design - I would not say it is a library if there was no sign on the front.
Central to Mid-levels Escalator
Here I quote the introduction on my map: "The world's longest network of escalators snakes its way up from Central,through SOHO,and into the mid-levels residential area which is popular among Hongkong's expatriate community".
The escalator consists of many sections. There're lots of unique bars and restaurants along the way. While going upward you can enjoy viewing local lifestyle and street scenes along the hill. On the midway, there's a mosque on the left side.
At the start of the escalator there's a machine. Screen your Octopus card on it. You'll pay HK$2 less if you take the metro on the same day. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the machine.
- Budget Travel
- Work Abroad
The secret peak path
This isn't very secret its obvious actually just go to the top of the peak and at the right hand corner near the bend in the road theres a great walk straight down to the mid-levels
Takes about an hour nice views of HK Island and Kowloon Side.
- Hiking and Walking
The longest escalator in the world!
This escalator is not found in a popular part of Hong Kong and therefore remains quite undiscovered. But it allows you to see a lot of the back streets in Hong Kong and can truly make you appreciate what you have, as some of these areas do not have a high standard of living. This 'path' is actually used by the locals as a mean of getting up a steep hill, but it does give you time to rest your legs whilst still exploring the hidden part!! But dont be surprised at where the escalator finishes, as it is quite random!! From the end you can easily find public transport and commute your way back to more conventional attractions!!
Gas Lamp and Stone Steps
Duddell Street is a very short road connecting Queen's Rd Central and Ice House St. But the stone steps and 4 gas lamps on the end of the road have already over 100 years' history and the lamps still work well. It's said in many movies there're scenes shot here. Pay a visit if you drop off at MTR Central Station.
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
The longest escalator
The Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System is the longest escalator in the world!! It is 800 m long and ascends 135 m from Central to Conduit Road, Mid-Levels. It serves 34000 users daily. We had a lot of fun using it!
And afterwards take a ride on one of the old trams of Hongkong - we had two hours of fabulous sightseeing for almost nothing!!!
Shops at escalator
While these are not really places that people shop, taking a closer look shows that these shops have some really interesting things. I found this little statue of Chairman Mao in a window. But be very very careful while taking pictures here. The shopkeepers absolutely hate it and understandably so. This is at the beginning of the escalator in Central.
- Work Abroad
- Budget Travel
Peacful park in the middle of big city life.
Walking around the Central District, I happened to stumble into this rather beautiful park under the shadows of the giant sky scrapers. Here there is a manmade waterfall and some ponds. Alot of fine chicks come here to relax from their work in the warm afternoons.
Kom Tong Hall
it is located in mid-level and surrounded by residential buildings. it was a house of a rich local people and now it is one of our monument.
location: junction of Caines Road and Aberdeen Street, mid -level.
Sheung Wan, near Central is not a very touristy district because it seems there is nothing very exciting about it.
This district is quite old and has a lot of old buildings. So if you walk around, you would get a 'taste' of authenticity.
The picture shows a shop of chinese medecines. There a quite a lot in this district. Sometimes, when it's sunny, people will lay herbs/medicine on the ground so it can be dried. Chinese people strongly believe in its traditionnal medecine. I still remember how it was always interesting to go into those medecin shops for me when I was a child. Indeed, there are big transparent bottles showing all sorts of strange dried herbs or insects.
Eating on the street?
Tired of eating in nice restaurants? Bored of eating dim sum? It's time to experience something special - let's eat on the street!!!!
Hong Kong is a food paradise, you can find nice food everywhere even at the corner of a street. These food stalls which provide tables and chairs for you to eat on the streets are known as Dai Pai Dong in Cantonese. Don't be misled by the wrong impression that eating there is not hygienic! Many locals like eating at Dai Pai Dong as the food is much more delicious than in a luxury restaurant!
If you plan to hang around the pubs at Soho in Central, don't forget to visit a local noodles stall at the junction of Elgin' Street and Hollywood Road near Soho.
The stall's specialities are rice noodles with beef (ngau lam hor) or shrimp dumplings (won ton and shui gao). A nice meal just costs you less than HK$20 with special experience offered, it really worths a try!
After dinner, it's time for desserts! Next to the noodle stall, there is a dessert stall selling traditional Chinese desserts such as red bean soup (hung dou sa), green bean soup (luk dou sa$i), black seasame paste(ji ma woo), my favourite coconut sago (sai mai lo) and coconut dumplings (tong buc luc). Each costs you around HK$7.
After dessert, I guess there should be not much space left in your stomach for the beer~ haha!
- Budget Travel
Hong Kong Travel Guide
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