Hong Kong Revisited

I was last in Hong Kong three and a bit years ago, and I wasn’t going to do any more posts on it, as I posted here and here, but this trip I was with Mark and we did a few different things, then a couple of friends requested a post, so here I am.

Hong Kong this time was really a stopover. We had a 12 hour layover and I decided to turn that into a four day layover – much better!

One of the things that I had really enjoyed on my last visit was the display of comic characters in Kowloon Park and I was keen to show Mark. However, this is the only remnant that I could find. Clearly the displays change frequently. I’m not really a comic follower, but some of you may be able to identify the characters.

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It rained a bit during our stay and here is a photo of me looking rather damp in front of the lovely 1881 Heritage building, which has been recast as a shopping and cultural hub. IMG_1259

This  was originally the marine police headquarters and comes with some fascinating artefacts, namely a noon gun and some cells where pirates and smugglers were incarcerated. There are also pigeon coops built into the walls of the courtyard so that messages could be sent and received. The part that fascinated me was this little building below.IMG_1265

This is the Time Ball Tower. This tower was once able to be seen by ships in Victoria Harbour and when they arrived their chronometers would have lost accuracy, with possibly dire consequences in terms of navigation. The ball mounted on the pole in this tower was raised every morning and then dropped at exactly 1pm every day. Ships captains could then recalibrate their chronometers to within one-tenth of a second accuracy. We found all this rather fascinating and spent quite a bit of time wandering around here.

Onwards to Sham Shui Po, the scene of much shopping with my friend Bea the last time I was in Hong Kong. I only bought one piece of fabric this time – unbelievable. And it’s for Mark! However, I did love looking at all the swatches – these are all different denims and tencils. And this is just one side! I’m sure I had to wipe off the drool.

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I have never seen this before, but this whole shop was full of woven rafia fabrics which could be bought by the yard. Had I had my act together I would have bought a piece for shoes or a bag. I could have gone mad in here!IMG_1280

Wandering around Sham Shui Po is a delight. There are lots of little street markets which still manage to look bright and vibrant even on a grey, damp day.

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We stayed on the Kowloon side and it was lovely to stroll about after dark admiring the light displays and finding quirky things.

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My IG followers may have already seen these photos, but I’m putting a couple here for those of you who don’t follow me there. Hong Kong Island has the prettiest light show.IMG_1359

We spent quite a lot of time to-ing and fro-ing to the Island. We decided that the Star Ferry was the way to go. It costs 50c each way and we got a seat every time, unlike on the MTR where seats are always unavailable, as of course are any views. The ferry terminal is connected to the city by a series of walkways, so it’s easy and undercover.

In case you are reading this post in anticipation of a trip, may I urge you to shop around the money changers as the rate varies hugely, by up to 16% during one day of our trip.

I had managed to leave my cable needle at home and whilst I could manage without it, I decided to buy one as I find it makes the knitting easier. Off to Tailor and Alteration on Hennessy Street, Hong Kong Island. I give instructions for getting to this shop on my Fabric shopping on Hong Kong Island post, but would like to restate that this shop is located on the 19th floor, so it requires a certain purposefulness to get there. Mark was extremely surprised when I dragged him into what looked like an office building and ushered him into the lift. Totally worth the trip though. This is just part of a book case which is jam packed with Japanese sewing books. So many of every description.

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The whole shop is full of everything your sewing or knitting heart could desire. IMG_1365

You can’t really see, but I’m wearing my wool Itch to Stitch Bellavista top with epic cowl. It’s nice to wear it in appropriate weather as I made it in the summer and only tried it on quickly. IMG_1368

Mark hadn’t remembered about the double-decker trams so he really enjoyed seeing them as they trundled around.IMG_1376

This photo is taken outside the Central Market which is home to a whole floor of fabric (described in more detail in this post). I was quite amused to notice that every piece of fabric I looked at miraculously had a remnant attached to the bolt. They must have known I was coming. I only bought one piece of fabric here, a gorgeous ombré wool, which the shop owner cut off the bolt even though there was a remnant. I was quite proud of myself as the starting price was 770HKD and by feigning complete indifference I got it down to 330HKD. I probably could have gone further but the guy looked quite sad and business was obviously slow. As he handed the fabric to me he told me it was Hermès from their last collection. Hmm, ok, a bit sceptical on that one, but I like the idea so this shall henceforth be known as my Hermès wool!

This shot back over towards Hong Kong Island after disembarking the ferry gives an idea of the weather. IMG_1377 (1)

On our last day the weather improved a lot and I even wore my sunglasses for about ten minutes. We decided to take the funicular railway to the Peak and spent the next hour and a bit regretting that decision as we waited in a queue that snaked several times round a fountain. I whiled away my time reading a fascinating book about current international politics.

Anyway, once at the top, the queuing was forgotten because the clouds lifted and there was Hong Kong laid at our feet. IMG_1420

I was so happy! But quite cold. IMG_1423

A quick trip back and we headed off to The Peninsular Hotel for high tea, which has been on my bucket list for a while. Sadly there was a queue – another one!, and we decided to bail out. We had it at the InterContinental Hotel instead, which has never been on my bucket list! Having said that it was lovely and it does have amazing views, unlike the Peninsular which is no longer waterfront (having been pushed off the water by land reclamation). This photo doesn’t really do the food justice, but it was delicious and I can recommend it.

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I was rather taken with this cake but Mark didn’t like the look of it at all, so I scored two – just what I need!

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The lips were made of chocolate dyed red, and that black ball was actually a black profiterole filled with custard. Weird but amazing.

We then had to do a long walk to get rid of the effects of all those carbs on middle-aged bodies. We kept finding new places to walk and this was along the waterfront and was quite delightful as dusk fell.

I am wearing a new Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck, made from a cotton ribbed knit which I found for 50c in an op shop. IMG_1442

The sleeves are pieced as I didn’t quite have enough fabric. This is one of those tops that is fabulous for travel as it’s easy to layer but looks ok on its own. IMG_1446

And a final photo just for a laugh. I’m not sure what went on here, but I’m sure that it’s Mark’s fault!

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Fadanista

20 thoughts on “Hong Kong Revisited

      1. I think it’s great you got to enjoy them and that you get to travel. I always look forward to your adventure and sewing blogs, and am so happy that I can finally comment since I figured out the WordPress reader function better–you have done so many marvellous outfits with handmade and handdyed cloth and very inventive fabric use, and I admire it so much.

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  1. The temperature is certainly very different from when i was in Hong Kong at the beginning of December. You look like you had a lovely mini break and your wardrobe is always a pleasure to see in action. You have probably told us before but what is the brand of the red shoes you are wearing?

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  2. I loved my tour of Hong Kong- as amazing as I imagined and you are such a wonderful & well dressed guide! Enjoy your travels and thanks for letting me accompany you!

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  3. Thank you so much for this post! It’s always a pleasure reading about your trip adventures. What an intriguing city! The buildings, the lights, the shops, the food! Have a good flight to your next goal!

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  4. So interesting Sue. I can´t believe that there are so many sewing related shops. And, I can´t believe you bought so little. Mind you, you need space for NY shopping. My last trip to HK was when I was 19 so things have changed lots. xx

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  5. This post is sooo interesting! And it was worth reading to the last bit as this funny picture of you made me laugh out loud. Love xx

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  6. Thamk you so much for the tour. I lived there 35 years ago and it’s fun trying to identify buildings from that era. Land reclamation is an amazing thing.

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  7. I recognised some of this from our stay last November but you really do pack your trips! I didn’t get to do any fabric shopping – probably just as well – but i would have loved the opportunity to browse those Japanese sewing books 😞.

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