Being a Tourist Guide in Your Own Home Town: Part Two

Continuing yesterday’s item:

After arriving on the Peak, we strolled on Lugard Rd which runs from a point Southwest of the Peak viewing platform to Harlech Rd. which will take you back to the Peak viewing area. It’s a level, one hour walk and most relaxing. If you have time and are a flora enthusiast, you can take a detour to the Peak Gardens. Along the way there are signs with detailed information on the abundant plant life here and the history of the area. There are also awesome views of both the Western and Southern sides of the Island.

Because of our schedule, we didn’t walk all around the peak but strolled in relative solitude for twenty minutes and then walked briskly back to the Galleria mall for an early dinner at the Two-tiered Cafe Deco Restaurant. Cafe Deco answers the question, “When is a tourist oriented restaurant not a tourist trap?” My wife, Pam, and I love it and invariably find excuses to eat there with friends, business associates and visitors.

Its menu is eclectic, offering Southeast Asian, Indian, Japanese, Continental, and American dishes at reasonable prices given the location, the view and the quality of the food. They feature a huge fresh oyster bar with offerings from around the world. They have an extensive wine list with price points for any budget. One of my favorite attractions there is the band that plays swing-time music from 9:00 PM as well as on Sunday afternoons. They have also collected a number of Art Deco artifacts which are on display throughout the restaurant.

After dinner, we grabbed a taxi to drop us off at our flat and carry our visitors to the Star Ferry. I suggested they take the ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui and walk along the promenade to their hotel in order to catch the light show put on every night featuring Hong Kong Island’s fabulous skyline. They were too jet-lagged, though and instead boarded the Hung Hom ferry which deposited them less than a five minute walk from their hotel, the Harbour Plaza.

I’m a museum nut so I suggested we visit the Hong Kong Museum of History Saturday morning. They had only the morning available as they had to check out and board their cruise ship early in the afternoon. They had heard so much about Nathan Road that they wanted to see it but being too polite to gainsay my suggestion they agreed to visiting the museum. I love this museum and have visited it numerous times, always learning something new on each visit.

Interior of the Shing Chai Tong Herbal Medicine Shop established in 1885 at 180 Queen’s Road Central.

The special exhibit at this time featured the seven 15th century voyages of Admiral Zheng He to the West. Most Westerners have not heard of Zheng He and his exploits which overshadowed anything Vasco Da Gama, Columbus or Magellan did 100-125 years later. It is a mind opening exhibit but unfortunately closes May 21.

My guests absolutely loved the museum and the Zheng He exhibit, spending more time than budgeted in both exhibit areas. They said they’d walk over to Nathan Rd. after they boarded their cruise liner.

We said good bye around 1:15 PM. They were happy to have seen so much in such a short time. I was a little surprised myself that we were able to cover as much ground as we did in such a limited time. I think they really got a sense of the many facets of Hong Kong and an appreciation of its history, variety and ethnic diversity. Hong Kong’s compactness makes it possible to cover a lot of ground in a short time.

I can hardly wait for my next opportunity to be a tour guide.