9th Dec 2008 - North & South Is, New Zealand
Hong Kong to Auckland
We will be leaving Hong Kong today and flying to Auckland - excited about the next stage of the journey, but will be sad to leave this great city. Last night one of the staff at the hotel knocked on the door and gave us a card telling us what the weather would be like tomorrow "to help us plan our day" - it said it would be 21C and sunny, so once we are packed and breakfasted, we will be going to see Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple in the north of Kowloon. We have booked ourselves on the hotel shuttle to the airport at 3pm for our early evening flight. Not sure when I will next be able to update the diary. Keep watching - have a good day wherever you are.
Update - Visit to temple was really interesting. There has been a temple on the site for a long time but today it is surronded by modern skyscrapers. Various bits have been added and it largely succeeds in being a little oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. There are a constant stream of people passing through to pray and burn incense sticks all day every day. When we arrived and exited the underground, we were greeted by a gaggle of old women selling incense sticks to burn in the temple. On our return to the station, we were amused to here raised voices, which to the untrained ear appeared to be the usual excited babble of the locals, however when we looked over we realised a fight had broken out between two 80+ women, presumably over terrotorial incense stick selling rights on the station concourse. Security were called, however the fight by now had reached fever pitch, with one woman hitting another over the head with a wholesale bundle of incense sticks, whilst the other was ramming everyone who got in her way with her makeshift trolley/stall. I wanted to take some pictures, but Tracey would not let me. We left without identifying a conclusive winner.
We had a few hours still to kill, so we went back down into the city, and strolled around Kowloon Park, attractions in which included an exercise area for the elderley, a maze, and flamingos. We then returned to the hotel, collected our bags and set off on the bus to the airport. The plane which was due to take off at 7.15pm, eventually left just before 8pm due to some re-fuelling problems.
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