It’s been a long time coming, but allow me to continue where I left off–my last full day in Hong Kong.
Not having researched sight-seeing locations as thoroughly as I probably should have, the only thing I had in mind was to go see the Nan Lian Garden, right near the Diamond Hill MTR Station. I followed the helpful signs posted along the street, but the garden was literally across the street from the shopping mall that contained the station, not difficult to find at all.
I walked in and was greeted with the sights of classic Chinese architecture and perfectly maintained gardens. In fact, they were a little too perfect. What I hadn’t realized was that the garden was not particularly historical or even old. It was created by the Chi Lin Nunnery and Hong Kong Government as a joint project that opened to the public in 2006. It was a total tourist attraction! Indeed, it was beautiful, but walking in, I had immediately felt that the garden was not authentic, more like something you would find in any “Chinese-style garden” that one might visit in the U.S.
A bit bummed out, I at least decided to rest and enjoy the tranquility of the water and scenery–only to be interrupted by a group of British tourists. Despite the koi fish and well-tended flora and fauna, I would find no peace there.
I headed back to the shopping mall above Diamond Hill Station to browse the many stores, most of them being typical clothing and apparel stores, eat a quick lunch at the food court, and then treat myself to some gel nails, since the garden had been so disappointing. I returned to my hostel shortly afterwards, but to spend the rest of my time in Hong Kong in a hostel would be just too sad, so I hit the streets once again to browse the street markets. I actually bought myself a purse!
I had been browsing the purses, but only had so much money left, and most sellers turned me away when they heard the amount I was willing to spend. “What? Only 100? Give me more to work with, how about 300?” Or perhaps “100 for a purse? No way! I can sell you a wallet.” I had more or less given up on finding a purse I could afford until I met a very persistent seller who would not let me walk away. She had grown almost angry with me when I said I wanted to buy a purse but couldn’t go over my price, which I finally raised to 150, but as I walked away, she chased after me and dragged me bodily back to her stall muttering in what little English she knew, “Okay, okay! 150, okay? This purse for 150. You happy, I happy, okay?” It was still more than I’d been willing to spend, and I had to be extremely thrifty with my dinner and breakfast the next morning, but I did come away with a nice little purse for a pretty good price.