Kowloon & The Star Ferry

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I visit Hong Kong’s old style island and ride on one of the longest running ferry services in the world.

June 18, 2015

From the IFC mall, we walked on a raised walkway above the busy city streets, making our way toward the Harbor.
From here, we took the Star Ferry across the Harbor. The Star Ferries are one of the world’s most iconic ferry systems, and have been operating since 1888. The ferries carry 26 million people across the harbor every year, and I was really excited to see the city from onboard.

The Star Ferry on Victoria Harbor

The Star Ferry on Victoria Harbor

The ride was quick, probably only about seven minutes, and the fare was about $0.30 USD.

From onboard the Star Ferry

From onboard the Star Ferry

The views from the rocking boat were spectacular.

Junk boat on Victoria Harbor

Junk boat on Victoria Harbor

We arrived from the ferries onto Kowloon Island. Near the pier, there was an art exhibition with giant wax statues that looked eerily lifelike.

Art Exhibition seen in Hong Kong

Art Exhibition seen in Hong Kong

We stopped to admire them for a moment before exploring this new area.

Kowloon immediately gave off a much different vibe than Hong Kong Island. The streets seemed narrower, with more advertisements in confined spaces.

Kowloon, seen from te top of a double dedcker bus

Kowloon, seen from te top of a double dedcker bus

Neon signs in Chinese lettering glowed from every skyscraper.

Neon signs in Cantonese

Neon signs in Cantonese

Kowloon Island was colorful where Hong Kong Island was clean.

We hopped onto an air conditioned double decker bus, getting seats on top at the very front. From here, we had an amazing view as the bus zipped through the streets on our way to Mong Kok.

Seen in Kowloon

Seen in Kowloon

The bus dove into the heart of the city, and we stepped off to explore for the street markets.
On our way there, we passed scores of Chinese pharmacies. Dried sea cucumbers, fish bladders, jars of dried scallops, colorfully boxed teas, and countless unguessable items covered the walls and countertops.

Inside a Chinese pharmacy

Inside a Chinese pharmacy

The cashier looked annoyed when we told her, “no, thank you, just looking!” but the experience of seeing the shop was worth feeling guilty about inconveniencing her. A real Chinese pharmacy in China, not just a touristy one in Chinatown of San Fran. It felt very special, even though there were hundreds along these streets.

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