Getting a later and later start in the mornings – winding down I guess. My left knee is still bothering me from the escalator gyrations I’ve been doing. When I walk it loosens up a bit, but when I sit for a while and then get up, it’s a killer.
The weather is not so bad – not nearly what we had thought it was going to be. A little overcast, but at least not raining, so we decided to postpone the History Museum and instead enjoy the outdoors. Hot and humid though. I did not wear my trusty travel vest today – way too hot.
After a short walk from the Conrad, we toured Hong Kong Park. Very lovely and serene, even amidst the skyscrapers that ring the park. Two peaceful lakes with a path in between cut through the middle of the park. In the picture on the left, you can see the building designed by the famous architect I.M. Pei.
The lakes were filled with koi and medium-sized turtles (terrapins the sign said). On every rock in the lake there were multiple turtles crawling on top of each other.
Couldn’t believe the colors in the dragonfly – he surely is more colorful than those at home.
We walked behind a waterfall that plunged into one of the lakes, and I took this shot back over the lake. The I. M. Pei building is in the background.
Then we climbed up an easy hill to get to the enclosed aviary that houses more than 600 exotic birds. We walked along wooden bridges that are suspended about 30 feet above the ground. This put us up in the tree-tops, at “eye-level” with the birds. This was very unusual. Atop the walkway was a roof made of netting to make sure the little birdies didn’t fly away. I was a little concerned about something landing on my head, given my experience in Stanley Market when an overhead bird did a number ALL over me. But thankfully, nothing untoward happened.
We saw quite a few birds we’ve never seen before – the one in the top row is a Bali Myna bird who was very friendly. Beautiful blue around the eyes. The one on the left below is an Orange-Spotted Bulbul. And the really colorful one on the right is a Rainbow Lorikeet.
We strolled a little further and saw 3 different bridal parties; one couple we would guess to be in their 40s. William had told us that Hong Kongers often don’t get married until their 30s or even 40s. The divorce rate is about 30% – better than our 50% – so maybe waiting is a good idea?
Doubling back on ourselves, we went through the lake area again and noticed the Flagstaff Tea Wares Museum, now housed in the Flagstaff House, which is the oldest British Colonial era house in Hong Kong (1846). The 3 rooms on the ground floor described some of the different teas grown in China and had on display antique teapots (7th century), cups and tools used in a tea ceremony. Upstairs contained galleries of modern current Hong Kong ceramic artists’ teapots and teacups. Some were pretty wild. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed. We watched a documentary movie about tea, which was very good.
Apparently, I’ve been making tea all wrong. You need to warm everything (pots, cups, strainers) with boiling water first. Then you should “rinse” the tea by pouring boiling water over the tea leaves, which have already been put in the pot. But then immediately you should pour this water out. Then refill the pot with fresh hot water to make your first pot of drinkable tea. Very important not to let the tea steep too long as that’s what makes it bitter. They do use more tea leaves in a pot than I do, but they steep it far less. Then they also use the tea leaves multiple times. For green tea, you should not let the tea leaves dry out, but leave a little water in the pot. For all other teas, you should pour (serve) all the liquid out, and just leave the moistened tea leaves in the pot, but not standing in water. In order to enjoy your tea to the fullest, you are supposed to slurp it – that brings in the aroma of the tea as well as the taste.
Just outside the Museum there was, of course, a teashop and café. Sheung Yu Tea House. They had a series of 5 books on tea “on sale” for HK $585 ($80 US). Decided this was too expensive, and DH told me they would weigh too much. Besides, he said, I could get them on Amazon when I got home.
It had turned out to be a lovely day and a lovely walk back to the Conrad – that’s the building on the right; the Island Shangri-La is on the left. We’re on the 55th floor, three floors down from the top. Out in front of the Conrad were these fascinating set of sculptures of modern Hong Kongers, young and old, in Chinese and Western dress.
Up to the Lounge for Coke and tea. We had previously thought we would go to the Chi Lin Nunnery, but since it was already after 2:00 and we figured it would take us an hour to get there, we decided to bag it and have a swim in the Conrad pool instead. But before that, I decided I needed to have those tea books after all, and left Joe reading his Kindle at the hotel. So back to HKG Park and bought my books – all 5 of them. And next to the teashop with the books there just happened to be another teashop that I had missed earlier. Coincidentally, it is a branch of the teashop I was in yesterday on Ladder Street (Lock Cha Tea Shop). So of course I decided this was an omen and just had to buy some more tea. Love this stuff!
I got back to the hotel and we changed into our suits. Dare not look in the mirror!!! Covered up in our fluffy Conrad robes to go down.
Beautiful pool setting surrounded by skyscrapers everywhere you turn.
The reflections of one building in another are really fascinating. Sometimes it almost fools you – what is a reflection and what is not.
After our shower it was time to head up to the Lounge for our drinks and dinner. Same, more or less, as last night. We decided that tomorrow night we should eat dinner out.
DH couldn’t even stay up late enough for the light show from our room at 8:00. He didn’t miss anything – the guy was right, the angle is all wrong. This is the view from our room towards Victoria Peak – pretty spectacular, but no light show. I was in bed by 9:00.