Today’s plan, visit Peng Chau Island, which for those who do not know, is a tiny island close to Lantau.
From my research and talking to some friends, it seems there is not much there, just some temples, lookouts, and a few walks. For me, that’s more than enough.
Anyhow, after doing the breakfast thing, it’s time to head for the star ferry, as the ferry to the island runs from one of the outer-lying island wharves in central, located very close to where the star ferry runs from.
As always, the star ferry was its usual fun crossing, and even the weather was cooperating, although check out the sky in this shot, I took while crossing the harbour.
Something tells me, todays not the day for this trip, but never know, it could clear up later.
Anyhow, the first issue for the day, I get to the ferry wharf for the Peng Chao service to find that there is no way to actually buy a ticket.
Yes, really, I spoke to one of the few staff around and asked to be told, it was “octopus” only.
The Octopus card for those who don’t know, is the common public transport ticketing card, which works on just about everything, plus some stores will take for payments.
Think of the Octopus card as the NSW Opal card, just more developed. And so far, I did not have one of those, as for me it’s not high on the list, as I usually walk everywhere, the MTR takes credit cards, plus the entry cost of this is HK$200.
Oh well, if I want to visit “Peng Chao”, then I have no choice but to join the Octopus club.
And yes, as expected, there was no place at the central ferry wharves to get one, as it seems they are only available at MTR stations.
With the closest MTR station being Central, which is quite a hike, but at least it’s all undercover via the elevated walkways.
Getting to central station, and finding the customer service desk, I see a sign that states the payment types accepted including visa.
So, I asked the staff if I could use a credit card to pay for it, and get told “no”, and they had another sign saying “cash only”. WHY???????
It was not worth the time to push things, and with the ferry departing soon, I just decided to let it go.
Not that I would have blamed the station staff, as they would be only doing as instructed, and regardless never deserve any abuse.
Okay, so now I have the “octopus” card, and the ferry leaving in 10 minutes.
Yes, I now know there is a “tourist” card which is cheaper and available for the ever-present seven-eleven stores, but when I was talking to the customer service person in the station, I was not made aware of this.
I made it to the ferry just as it was boarding.
These ferries are not the same as the others I have been using, they are fully air-conditioned, but still allow you to sit outside out the back.
And yes, I decided to avoid the extreme cold of the inside and headed for the outdoor seating.
Just as the city was fading from view, the rain started.
Did I move inside? nope, just one seat to the right, which kept me dry, for now anyway 😀
Thankfully, the rain stopped before arriving at the ferry wharf, so after disembarking I headed off to explore.
The first thing I see is a “wellcome” supermarket, and after the trip I was needing snacks, so most welcome (pardon the pun!!)
Fuelled up, heading off in the direction of one of the walking trails at the northern end of the island, walking past the scrap metal collection area.
With the plan being to do the walking trail, then visit “Tae Li Island” which is on the left in the above photo. However, the weather gods where not on my side, as when I get to the start of the walking trail, the thunder starts in the distance, so after giving it some thought for about 1 nano second, and looking at the steps, decided to skip the walk for the day, and go see the temples.
So, heading back the way I came, I started looking for the temples, and finding the following sign was a step in the right direction.
Thinking of the weather, and not wanting to get my DSLR wet, yes, I know it’s basically water resistant, but it’s not something I really wanted to test. So decided to head for the “Tin Hau Temple” as its closer, and most likely there would be shelter should the rain start again.
Nice, but I really need to head inside, and get some shots, assuming they allow it. Heading inside, there was no one around to ask about the photography, but given there was a sign saying no flash or tripod, it was a pretty safe bet it’s all ok. Just remember to always ask.
The lighting was interesting, so the quality of the above shot is not to my normal standard, but still good to show the interior.
One thing I noticed, was I was coughing while inside, and while looking around, I saw the incense burning, and figured it was time to leave.
Yes, I know, I should have smelt it, but my sense of smell is basically non-existent, all thanks to covid 🤬
I would have liked to stay inside and examine the wood carvings, which is an interest of mine, but coughing put an end to that.
Normal people, without breathing issues will not have any problems, and should visit as it’s well worth it,
Getting to the open air, my breathing returned to normal, but the rain started, it was very light but still wet, so looking around I headed for shelter, and made it just in time, as the rain got heavier.
I ended up getting stuck undercover, although I did have to relocate after my shelter proved to be not enough, a quick run across the alley gave me much better shelter, which ended up being home for about half an hour before the rain eased off enough to let me escape.
Just before I crossed the alley, I was looking around, and spotted one of the locals looking out of a window, a smile and laugh resulted in a thumbs up.
Just another example of communications without talking, see no language barrier.
Check this shot to see how heavy the rain was.
And that was when it started to ease up, before I took this, you could not even see down the alley. Yuk, and not the day to be without the umbrella or at least a plastic bag for the camera.
While I was sheltering, a few locals came past on bikes, and most just gave me the “crazy tourist” looks, but again a smile replaces a thousand words.
So, after escaping from my dry hiding place, I made the very wise decision to abandon the day and return when the weather gods where in a better mood.
Heading for the Ferry wharf the rain threatened to start again, however having half an hour before my ferry left, I went for a wander, but made sure to be close enough to the wharf to allow me to escape the weather, but still get some photos.
The rain was very annoying, as I really wanted to explore the rest of the island, but that will have to wait for another day, and for me to remember the umbrella and plastic bag for the camera.
Anyhow, getting back to the city, was just a repeat of the trip out, and yes more rain started about halfway back, yes time to move seats again.
And yes, the rest of the day was cancelled 😒
Daily stats: 28,654 steps, which Samsung health tells me was around 24km.