After spending the night on the couch at the Beccadome, I put on some mosquito repellent and set off for a guided tour of Zhongshan’s major tourist attraction, the Sun Yat-sen Park.
I was a bit embarrassed at how little I knew about Sun Yat-sen – the guy helped start a revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty, founded the (ill-fated) Republic of China, and is still considered a hero in both mainland China and Taiwan. No wonder he got such a cool park.
We went to lunch at a noodle place where they pull the noodles by hand. It looked really exhausting.
After lunch, Becca took me to the ferry terminal to head back to Hong Kong. While on the ferry, I had my first (and to date only) conversation entirely in Mandarin. It basically went like this:
Me: Hi. I’d like some water.
Very patient ferry employee: Eight yuan.
Me: Eight yuan.
Very patient ferry employee: Thank you.
Me: Thank you.
Very patient ferry employee: Don’t mention it.
It took me about 10 minutes to get up the nerve to do that. I basically felt like a superhero afterwards.
After returning to Hong Kong I checked into my new hostel, YesInn@Causeway Bay. Causeway Bay is a sort of shopping/entertainment district toward the east end of Hong Kong Island. This hostel had a bit of a too-cool-for-school atmosphere about it; the hipster density was a little on the high side. On the other hand, it was clean and the bathroom didn’t smell funny and it probably isn’t notorious as a hub for illegal activity, unlike some other places.
While exploring around Causeway Bay, at one point I heard loud drums and gongs and things coming from around a corner. When I went to investigate, I saw an art gallery (it seemed to specialize in mosaic art) with a bunch of very well-dressed people mingling about and some people doing a lion dance inside. It was hard to get a good picture, in part because I really didn't feel well-dressed enough to try going inside.
The guys in the yellow pants were the ones doing the music. And the woman with the wide-brimmed hat isn't an actual person; it's a sculpture covered in mosaic tiles. As is the giant shoe bathtub.
I got some freshly-bottled sugarcane juice from a street vendor, which was awesome. I also tried Hainan chicken, which had been highly-recommended by a friend from Hong Kong. I wasn't crazy about the skin.