|Kowloon is a peninsula on mainland China directly across Victoria Harbor from Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong Island is the financial center and Kowloon is where most of the hotels and shopping are found. The streets, as you have seen in the night time photographs, are ablaze with brightly lit neon signs that virtually cover it. There is always a hustle and bustle of people going from one place to another doing their daily shopping.
Legend has it that Kowloon was named by a Chinese emperor who fled here during the Sung Dynasty. He counted eight hills and named them the "eight dragons," when a servant reminded him that an emperor was also a dragon. He then referred to the land as "Gau-lung," or nine dragons. In English the name became Kowloon.
Kowloon is an absolutely fantastic place to get a feel for how the modern day population lives and shops.
|Food shopping on Reclamation Street, Kowloon|
|Anyone visiting Hong Kong for the first time will find visiting their food markets an interesting experience. Hong Kong is by all means a modern city. Complete with cell phones, modern skyscrappers, and every convenience you can think of but one ... the modern supermarket. If they exists in Hong Kong we have never seen one in our two visits. In Kowloon certain streets are designated as the main shopping area for the different goods one might want to buy. Reclamation Street was where the food stuffs were displayed as you see in the accompanying pictures. You think that here in the States we have the modern supermarkets where fresh foods are sold. Wrong! Our|
|definition of the word fresh doesn't hold a candle to the Hong Kong. For example, the fish you see in the picture above were delivered to the vendor in a tank truck. They were alive when they were netted and handed to the vendor. The vendor then proceeds to slaughter them and place them on the bamboo trays you see. As you walk by and look at the fish you will notice that their hearts are still beating. It's absolutely amazing.
On our first visit to Hong Kong we stood by and watched as a young woman selected a live snake for her dinner. The vendor took the snake from the cage, stepped on its head and held it stretched out. He then proceeded to cut the skin behind the head and pull the skin off of the snake. Now skinned the snake was beheaded and placed in a plastic bag for the trip home, still wiggling as she marched away. Chinese markets can be found with a variety of live animals for slaughter and immediate take-home including, chickens, ducks, frogs, fish, etc. They certainly know what fresh means. Visiting these areas is not necessarily for the faint of heart.
During this visit something interesting happened while we were walking down Reclamation St. looking at all the displayed fruits, vegetables, fish and meats. The food vendors set up in the middle of the street using crates or something similar to set their bamboo trays with whatever fare they are selling on it. Without out any notice at all there was a whoosh and every vendor in the street immediately picked up and disappeared. All in a matter of seconds. One minute they were there and the next they were gone. Why? Apparently these were illegal vendors without licenses and some police were spotted coming down the street.
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|Planning the trip and Getting
Singapore -- Orchard Road | Chinatown | Merlion Park | Arab Town and Indian District | Tang Dynasty City | Singapore Zoo | Mandai Orchid Garden | Sentosa Island
Hong Kong -- Hong Kong Island | Hong Kong at Night and the New Territories | Lok Ma Chau | Causeway Bay
Macau -- Monte Hill and St. Paul's | A-Ma Temple and Lou Lem Ioc Garden
People's Republic of China -- The Border and Farming Village | Lunch and the Ox | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Home | Chinese Market
Bangkok -- The City and Weekend Market | The Grand Palace | Grand Palace (Emerald Buddha) | Grand Palace (Dusit Group) | Ayutthaya (Reclining Buddha) | Ayutthaya (Ruins) | Bang-Pa-In Palace | Chao Phraya River
Phuket -- The Hotel and Popeye | Phuket Island | The Beaches and Local Wat | Promthep Cape
Japan -- Tokyo | Niko & Toshogu Shrine | Osaka & Kyoto | Visiting Friends | Nara | Hiroshima & Miyajima | Going Home
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