(Hong Kong Flag)


(Hong Kong Map)


All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2009:

On Tuesday we docked at a container terminal on the Kowloon Peninsula.
A young group of entertainers was there to Welcome the Diamond Princess to Hong Kong.
Docking in Hong Kong's Harbour Docking in Hong Kong's Harbour Hong Kong welcomes the Diamond Princess

Five minute video of the Diamond Princess arriving in Hong Kong for a 2-day stay.

The first place I visited was Aberdeen Harbour where I took a sampan ride.
Hong Kong's Aberdeen Harbour Hong Kong's Aberdeen Harbour Floating restaurant in Hong Kong's Aberdeen Harbour

Six minute video of my sampan ride at Aberdeen fishing village in Hong Kong.

Next on the itinerary was Stanley Market.
Stanley Market is one of those places where every tour operator dumps all of their clients to buy worthless junk.
There is an array of little shops selling silk garments, sportswear, art, Chinese costume jewelry and souvenirs.
Stanley Market Stanley Market Promenade in Stanley, Hong Kong

Two minute video of my visit to Stanley Market, on the back side of Hong Kong island.
It is a beehive of tiny shops selling all things Chinese.

The highlight of any trip to Hong Kong is the spectacular view from Victoria Peak.
Me at Victoria Peak Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak

At an altitude of 1,810 feet, it is the highest mountain on the island proper.
It's a major tourist attraction offering panoranic views of central Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour, and surrounding islands.
Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak

After descending from Victoria Peak on the tram funicular, I took the Star Ferry from Kowloon to central Hong Kong.
Kowloon from Victoria Peak Kowloon Kowloon

The fleet of twelve ferries carryies over 70,000 passengers a day, or 26 million a year.
Even though there are now other ways to cross the harbour the Star Ferry continues to be efficient, popular and inexpensive.
The company's main route runs between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui and has become one of the icons of Hong Kong heritage.
Victoria Harbour looking toward central Hong Kong Star Ferry and Victoria Harbour looking toward central Hong Kong Star Ferry and Victoria Harbour looking toward central Hong Kong

I spent a little time walking around central Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, I was suffering from a cold and started feeling poorly so I returned to the ship.
Central Hong Kong Central Hong Kong Central Hong Kong

Eleven minute video begins on the Star Ferry as I cross Victoria Harbour from Kowloon to central Hong Kong.
Next I admire the view from Victoria Peak before descending the mountain on the tram funicular.
The video concludes back on the Star Ferry as I journey back to Kowloon.

It was a fun evening back on the ship. We were entertained by a talented group of young Chinese acrobats.
Young Chinese acrobats aboard the Diamond Princess

22 minute video of Acrobatic Show aboard the Diamond Princess in Hong Kong.

The highlight of the evening is when the Diamond Princess sailed through Victoria Harbour during the Symphony of Lights.
A Symphony of Lights is a synchronised building exterior decorative light and laser multimedia display,
featuring 44 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour accompanied by symphonic music.
Guinness World Records has named A Symphony of Lights the world's largest permanent light and sound show.
Hong Kong's Symphony of Lights

Eleven minute video of the Diamond Princess sailing through Hong Kong's
Victoria Harbour during the nightly Symphony of Lights Show.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON OCTOBER 13, 2009
Hello everyone,

Yesterday was a sea day. I started the day by watching the Colts slaughter the Titans. The ship gets ESPN and the Colts were the Sunday night game. Well it was Sunday night for all of you. It was Monday morning here.

We sailed into Hong Kong very early this morning. Beautiful day here but also very warm. I spent the first part of the day on a tour. The first thing we did was take a sampan ride at Aberdeen fishing village, home to Hong Kong's "water people." Would have been more interesting if we actually saw some "water people." The only people on the junks and sampans were tourists.

Hong Kong's Aberdeen Harbour

Next it was off the Stanley Market, an historic shopping area where all the tours dump thousands of tourists all at the same time.

Stanley Market

The last stop on the tour was Victoria peak. Spectacular view of Hong Kong and the harbor. We drove to the peak and then took the funicular back down.

Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak

After the tour I set out on my own. I took the Star Ferry across the harbor from Kowloon, where our ship is docked, over to Hong Kong Island. I walked around the city for a while. I wanted to do more but I have been battling a cold the past couple days and I started feeling pretty bad so I headed back to the ship.

Star Ferry and Victoria Harbour looking toward central Hong Kong

This evening on the ship I attended a show of local Chinese acrobats. They were mostly young kids. One little girl was only eight years. They were all very good.

Young Chinese acrobats aboard the Diamond Princess

After that our ship sailed through Victoria Harbor during the nightly light show. It's the largest light show in the world where various lights and lasers are emitted from many of the tall buildings. The light show was fine but just sailing through the harbor at night was spectacular.

Hong Kong's Symphony of Lights

My favorite captain deserted us today and we now have a new captain. We have a new cruise director too. We will be in Hong Kong all day tomorrow also. I hope this cold passes quickly. I was worried they wouldn't let me off the ship this morning. Local health officials come on board in each port and thermal scan you and if you have a fever they don't let you go ashore. I apparently passed the test because they didn't pull me aside. Will write more tomorrow.

Tim



WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2009:

After sailing through Victoria Harbour Tuesday evening we did not return to our berth.
We dropped anchor in Junk Bay which is about a forty minute tender ride from central Hong Kong.
Diamond Princess anchored in Hong Kong's Junk Bay

On a gloomy Wednesday with a little light rain I ventured out to Lantau Island.
We crossed the Tsing Ma Bridge as we left Hong Kong Island.
It's the world’s seventh longest span suspension bridge. It has a main span of 4,518 feet and a height of 676 feet.
Our first stop on Lantau was Upper Cheung Sha Beach.

The three minute video begins as we leave Hong Kong Island by crossing the Tsing Ma Bridge.
When we get to Lantau our first stop is at Upper Cheung Sha Beach.
We also pass a maximum security prison on the island.

Our second stop was at Tai O fishing village.
Most of the people in Tai O have painstakingly built their homes on stilts,
and they navigate through the waters on colorful and oftentimes dilapidated boats.
Tai O Fishing village on Lantau Island Tai O Fishing village on Lantau Island Tai O Fishing village on Lantau Island

Four minute video of Tai O fishing village, partly located on an island of the same name,
on the western side of Lantau Island in Hong Kong. The village has many things to offer, like exotic food,
here you can get your share of the extremely exotic, like snakes, sharks, and escargot.
Also noticeable are the varieties of dried seafood like fish, squid, and mussels among others.

The highlight of the day was the Tian Tan Buddha. This is the world's largest sitting Buddha.
The bronze Buddha is 110 feet tall and weighs 250 metric tons.
Tian Tan Buddha Tian Tan Buddha Tian Tan Buddha

There is a nice view of Lantau Island from the base of the Buddha.
View of Lantau Island from Tian Tan Buddha View of Lantau Island from Tian Tan Buddha View of Lantau Island from Tian Tan Buddha

Visitors have to climb 268 steps in order to reach the Buddha.
Buddhistic statues praising and making offerings to the Tian Tan Buddha Looking down the 268 steps from Tian Tan Buddha Tian Tan Buddha

The statue is located near Po Lin Monastery where we had a vegetarian lunch.
Po Lin Monastery Po Lin Monastery Po Lin Monastery

Six minute video of my visit to the world's largest sitting Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery.

After two great days in Hong Kong we sailed away around 6:00 Wednesday evening.

Six minute video of the Diamond Princess sailing away from Hong Kong.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON OCTOBER 14, 2009
Hello again,

We just sailed away from Hong Kong a few minutes ago after another full day here. It wasn't a very nice day. It didn't rain but we saw very little sun and lots of gloom. I spent the day on an all day tour out to Lantau Island. Lantau Island is twice the size as Hong Kong Island but very few people live out there. The new airport and Disneyland are both out there. I went out there to see Po Lin Monastery and the world's largest sitting Buddha.

It took quite a while to get out there. After last night's sail through the harbor our ship never went back to it's berth. Instead we dropped anchor in Junk Bay which is a 45 minute tender ride from central Hong Kong.

Diamond Princess anchored in Hong Kong's Junk Bay

On the way out there we walked through a fishing village. This is one of the few remaining fishing villages which used to be very common here in Hong Kong.

Tai O Fishing village on Lantau Island

We finally got to the monastery around 1:00. Po Lin Monastery is perched on top of a mountain. You can also get there by cable car but unfortunately we came and went by bus.

Tian Tan Buddha

The brightest part of the sky was directly behind the Buddha's head which made it very hard to photograph. There are 300 steps up to the bronze Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha

While there the monks prepared a traditional Chinese vegetarian lunch for us.

Po Lin Monastery

It was a fun but long day. I am still battling that cold. I got my flu shot before I left home. With all the huge crowds that I have had to push my way through while in China, it's no wonder I caught something.

Tomorrow is a sea day as we make our way to Vietnam. According to CNN there is a typhoon between where we our now and where we are going. Not sure if that will effect us. Our new captain seems to be the silent type. I have not heard one word out of him since he replaced Captain Sagani.

Tim

I returned to Hong Kong in 2016. Click HERE for the details.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2009:

On Thursday we sailed across the South China Sea bound for Vietnam.
Late Thursday evening there was a party around the pool on deck 14.


Click on the arrow above to continue to my next adventure, VIETNAM.

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