on February 15, 2006
Meanwhile, on the other side of the island...There's a lot more to Hong Kong than banks, skyscrapers, and Buddhas. On the other side of the island from downtown Hong Kong are several very nice uncrowded, during the week, beaches. I wouldn't call then secluded because they aren't really hidden from view, being near the main road, but they are very nice little coves. It's really surprising to find such nice natural areas so close to the main city of Hong Kong. Also on that opposite side of the island is Stanley Market. Stanley Market is a huge souvenir shopping market. There are dozens and dozens of little shops and stalls packed together, from which you can get any Hong Kong souvenir you can think of at reasonable, negotiable prices. Our 9-year-old's favorite find there: a huge pack of about 50 Hamtaro Hamster play figures (with names in Chinese, which I had to get translated by a Chinese coworker after we got home.)Yes, it is very touristy, but it is a lot of fun, and these markets are so much more fun (and cheaper)than the shops on Victoria Peak, for example.There are places to eat, but not a lot of them. We had a relatively cheap lunch at a bakery-cafe at Stanley Market before getting on the bus to go back to the city.With help from your hotel desk or tourist publications, it is pretty easy to figure out the bus system to take you from downtown Hong Kong to the other side of the island. They use double-decker buses. Sit in the front of the top for the best effect as the bus zips around the curves on the twisty mountain road.
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