Kowloon Waterfront

Kowloon Waterfront
Kowloon Waterfront - June 2024 Samsung SM-S908E, 6.4mm, 1/1900s, f1.8.

The above shot was talking while walking from Wan Chi to Central in between showers, and shows the Kowloon Waterfront, from the International Commerce Center, past the Regent Hotel and heading towards the old airport.

Ok, enough of the view from the other side of the harbour, so after a quick crossing on the iconic Star Ferry, it's time to head out for the waterfront walk.

This walk from the Star Ferry Warf to the far end of the Avenue of the Stars is one that I have been meaning to do since the 1990s; I just never had the time or the cooperation of the weather gods.

Today, all thats changing, er well, most of it, time I have, the cooperation of the weather gods is marginal. But still, it's enough to head off.

Okay, getting off the Star Ferry at the Kowloon Wharf opens out to a fairly busy bus interchange.

Star Ferry Bus Terminal
Star Ferry Bus Terminal - June 2024 Samsung SM-S908E, 6.4mm, 1/320s, f1.8.

Yes, honest, it's usually busy, but for once, when I want to take a photo, it all clears out for me.

So, turning right and heading for the waterfront promenade, the first thing I see is the clock tower, which is the one piece of the old Kowloon station, in the Kowloon-canton railway, still standing.

Kowloon Clock Tower
Kowloon Clock Tower - June 2024 Samsung SM-S908E, 2.2mm, 1/2200s, f2.2.

To the right of the clock tower are the stairs to the raised viewing area, which is above the Kowloon Public Pier, and yes that's the direction I am heading.

Yes, you can stay on the ground level; just be aware that this is a public pier, and you will be hassled by "harbour tour" sellers, but at least they usually take "no" for an answer.

So, making it to the top of the stairs and wandering around, the first surprise of the day, it's empty, just a photographer taking shots of Hong Kong Island.

Kowloon Promenade
Kowloon Promenade - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f8, 1/3200s.

Maybe today, I am lucky, as usually the crowds range from heavy to nightmare, depending on the time of day. Just try it after dark, which can be so crowded you cannot even get a good shot of the island's skyline. And yes, this is from personal experience.

Looking around, you can get a better view of the Clock Tower, Star House in the background, and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Time for some trivia: The Star House building used to contain a computer and technology shopping centre. However, that's long gone; now, it's home to various other types of stores.

Clock Tower and Star House
Kowloon Clock Tower - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f8, 1/2500s.

Ok, I am on the viewing deck, with very few people, so time for the money shot of the Hong Kong Island skyline. Grrrr, the sun went in just as I shot these images.

Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island Skyline Composite of 6 shots - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f5.6, 1/3200s.

Moving on, heading for the far end of the viewing deck, a few more people joined me up there, but not even close to enough to stop me from taking in the stunning views. Time to head for the steps down to ground level.

Bottom of the Stairs
Bottom of the Stairs - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f8, 1/2000s.

Remember earlier when I talked about pushy salespeople trying to get you to take their harbour tour? Well, just as soon as I made it to the bottom of the stairs, two of them approached me.

Shock horror, they accepted a "No" and continued their day. This was not always the case, as back in the day, they used to follow you trying the "hard sell".

Moving further down the waterfront promenade, heading for the Avenue of the Stars, it's getting more and more crowded, which is not really unexpected as there are couch bays ahead and multiple mainland tour groups.

Some more trivia: You can tell they are this sort of tour group, as there will be a guide with a flag, everyone will usually wear a badge, and in some cases, they even have a photographer recording everything.

Before getting to the Avenue of the Stars, there are a few places to eat, although I have not tried them personally, I would expect high-quality and high prices.

Avenue of the Stars
Avenue of the Stars - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f8, 1/2500s.

Ok, now I have arrived at the Avenue of the Stars; what exactly is it?

Not really sure, but guessing it is something like the Avenue of the Stars in Los Angeles, which has stars embedded in the sidewalk for various movie stars and other personalities.

And yes, I was right, with one difference: rather than stars on the sidewalk, there are silvered handprints on the railings on the water side of the walkway.

Hand Prints
Hand Prints - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f8, 1/2500s.

Each plaque with the handprints includes details, in both English and Chinese, of the specific persons whose handprints they are. The one shown in the above photo is for Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi

A nice touch is the addition to shaded seating, which, given the >30c heat and very strong sun with the UV off the scale, to the point I could feel my skin burning as I walked alone, and that was with heavy use of sunscreen.

Shaded Seating
Shaded Seating - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f8, 1/2500s.

Moving further down the walkway, I came across something very much intended for tourists, and while no real interest to me, there is no doubt kids would really like it.

Hello HK
Hello Hong Kong - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f5.6, 1/2500s.

Dead right about kids liking this, as the second I took the above photo, several kids started playing around it and taking photos.

Hello HK
Hello Hong Kong - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f5.6, 1/2500s.

Time to move on, and yes, more of the same sort of thing, but this time as I got closer, the people taking photos moved away, so before more arrive, time for another photo.

Ok, the time has come to see something I have heard about for years, but just never got to see it. What is it? well, a certain statue of a certain martial artist and actor. The one and only Bruce Lee.

Starbucks and Bruce Lee
Starbucks and Bruce Lee - June 2024 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f5.6, 1/2500s.

Getting closer, and being quick as one of the tour groups I saw earlier where getting closer.

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee Samsung SM-S908E, 7.9mm, 1/350s, f2.4.

This statue is located in a small garden area right by Starbucks and has all sorts of information covering his career and general history. If you are in the area, its well worth a visit, just be aware it can be quite crowded.

Moving past Bruce Lee, there is a straight walk to the end of the promenade, then on to the Hung Hom Promenade, and eventually on to the old airport, although its not all waterfront.

Now, is this walk from the Star Ferry Warf worth doing? Well, to me, yes, especially if you are into movies or want to visit the Bruce Lee statue.

If you are going to do this walk, remember to bring hydration and wear lots of sunscreen, or you will burn. Use your judgement and stay sunsafe.

For me, this was a good morning walk, although I did run out of water, so am in need of hydration, now its time to do something about that then head out for the rest of the days wanderings.