January 12, 2014

Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is one of Hong Kong's most popular tourist attractions. I really enjoyed walking around there, even if I never figured out how to pronounce "Tsim Sha Tsui" correctly. It's a nice stroll along Victoria Harbour, and you can see the Hong Kong Island skyline across the way.

Pretty nice photos, right? I'll have to thank iPhoto for the color editing, because my originals looked a little more drab. It wasn't very clear out, though still a fine day at the harbor (oops, harbour. This was a British colony after all).

The biggest highlight along Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong's answer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There's information about the history of film in China and Hong Kong, a lot of fun photo opportunities, and of course, celebrities' names imprinted in stars along the walk. I hoped to see some familiar names, and did! There's also a famous statue of Bruce Lee, which we were very fortunate to see right before it was covered for some maintenance.

Chow Yun Fat (I loved him in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
...but not as much as Michelle Yeoh's character did T__T) 
Jet Li. I took this photo from behind a fence, hence the awkward angle.
Andy Lau!
Bruce Lee!
All we would have seen if we'd come ten minutes later.
Mom trying to be cute.
Me trying to be cool.

These cute little carts were scattered along the promenade, and we wondered what they were for until they began to open. Vendors sell freshly pressed cuttlefish snacks, and the sharp seafood smell wafts around the walk and tickles your nose. It's kind of overpriced, though, so we didn't get any. Interestingly, the only other hawkers you'll find on the promenade are photographers.

The colonial-era clock tower signifies the start of Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, though it was the end for us. It was built in 1915 and is super pretty. The modern-looking building next to it is the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Also an honorable mention is the commemorative sculpture of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch.

That domed building in the center background is the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

For a change of pace, 1881 Heritage isn't far from Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. We passed it on our way north to Kowloon Park and the Temple Street Night Market. The former Marine Police Headquarters, it was transformed into a cultural center with luxury shops, restaurants, and a hotel. It was especially pretty decorated for the holidays, and a whole wedding party was even having a photoshoot there! If you click to enlarge the first picture below, you'll see the bride and her bridesmaids under the bell, and the groomsmen on the left. It seemed like a rich people's wedding of the young and pretty, haha. 1881 Heritage really lives up to its name as many historical features are preserved monuments, such as the Time Ball Tower and Old Kowloon Fire Station.

Time Ball Tower 

If you visit Hong Kong, you must visit Tsim Sha Tsui and walk along the Promenade. If I were to redo my vacation, I'd definitely look for a hotel in this area. Next, I'll share some images of Hong Kong by night, so check back in a few days!