July 18, 2003

Shopping in Fragrant Harbour and Nine Dragons

Apparently from my chinese lessons from today Hong-Kong means "The Fragrant Harbour" (it used to export fragrance years ago). Kowloon itself means "Nine Dragons" and refers to the hills that form the backdrop to this area. A chinese speaker or someone married to a chinese - hint, hint - may (in/con)firm this culture minute.

I spent the afternoon walking around Kowloon and probably stayed in a 1 km^2 square. There are shopping centres just about everywhere on several floors, linked betweem them across buildings and I often kept moving in circle between floors. I though for a moment stopping to buy a GPS or at least a compass to figure out where I was heading !

I think it might be a bit difficult to shop in Tsim Sha Tsui. There are hundred of shops selling camera but more than often the price is not displayed. This smell scam big time. For the record I have asked about the price of an Olympus C5050Z and found a price ranging from HK$3500 to HK$5500. A (likely) reputable shop like CY e-Shop selling it for HK$5000 (US$641 as of today which is higher than the price of US$599.95 at BH Photo Video in New York).

On the other hand I have been very impressed by the oriental crafts sold in a few shops. They sell finely ciseled ivory carving at astronomic prices. I'm talking about prices in the range of HK$50000+ (US$6500+) for something half the size of your hand and there were very impressive carving the size of a tusk and even bigger probably made of the assembly of several one.

Enough for today, now I'm off trying to find a cheap/good/not packed chinese restaurant that displays the menu in chinese AND english. My chinese is a bit rusty ). The price in a 'normal' restaurant is more around HK$150. I'm not yet totally sure about 'street' price, however I figured that the price of a McDonald meal is around HK$20.

Canton road, Kowloon Peninsula Luxurious buildings are next to other one that are slightly less salubrious and look like a fire and safety hazard Inside a shopping centre Ivory carving in a chinese crafts shop next to the Kowloon pier Clock Tower, Kowloon Hong Kong Central from Kowloon Hong Kong Central from Kowloon Hong Kong Central from Kowloon Serious business here ! Hong Kong Central by night from Kowloon Hong Kong Central by night from Kowloon

Posted by stephane at July 18, 2003 01:11 PM