Mad Dogs and Englishmen!

The Noon Day Gun in front of Jardine Matheson building.

I have always been fascinated with tales of the old colonial days and the epic stories from famous 19th Century explorers. Hong Kong was of course once part of the old British Empire and itself under colonial rule for some time. Today you can still see traces from this bygone era around and about old Hong Kong, from the street names, to the architecture, even to the financial and business systems still in place to this very day.

One of the most famous hangovers from colonial rule is the Noon Day Gun. Now I have always had a fascination about the gun and its history and with only a few hours left in Hong Kong I decided to cram in one more trip and search out and find this legendary gun.

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Ten Thousand Buddhas and counting!

With only one full day left in Hong Kong it was a tough choice how to best spend the day. There were still so many things we wanted to do and places that we wanted to visit. Eventually though we had to choose one, in the end we chose The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery at Sha Tin a short train ride away in the New Territories.

The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery at Sha Tin.

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Over the mountains to Stanley

Hong Kong Island south was just begging to be explored, and with a bus stop directly outside our hotel and a bus-route over the mountains to the southern coastline of the island on hand we just had to jump aboard and give it a go.

We jumped aboard a very British looking double-decker bus and using our now ubiquitous Octopus Card we hammered our credit some more and headed for the port of Stanley.

Stanley's small bay.

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An island apart – Cheung Chau!

‘Next sailing in 30 minutes’ the neon board exclaimed! I had always wanted to take a slow boat to China but a slow ferry to Cheung Chau Island would have to do instead. Having braved the markets and temples of a totally chaotic Mong Kok the previous day I was now more than ready for a quiet backwater of an island like Cheung Chau.

Pier 5 for Cheung Chau ferry.

At just under a square mile in size the island is very small, but that made it a perfect destination for a lazy day of sightseeing. The island’s topography is relatively tame and most of the main attractions can be seen in an easy 3-2 hour walk around it. So with the National Geographic Traveler Guide in hand, and a healthy appetite for adventure to go with it we set off on the slow ferry from Pier 5 in downtown Hong Kong, across the South China Sea, towards Cheung Chau. Continue reading