Ports of Call
This is a warm up port of call not much to see or do at all. We took the $8 shuttle to the Phoenix Hotel downtown because the view from the ship suggested that we were in the middle of a large container port. Actually, however, the Busan Station is just across the street from the pier and there is a tourist information center there.
Anyway, from the hotel we walked to the Jagalchi Fish Market (worth a look-see but be sure to wear closed toe shoes). After that we had our only bout of bad weather on this trip heavy rain so we took shelter back at the hotel until it stopped, then walked around downtown until it was time to catch the shuttle back to the ship.
Very easy to get around on your own here. Yen sold onboard ship. We bought an all day tram ticket ($5) and got a map at an office that you see as you disembark. A few steps take you to the nearest stop and from there its easy to make your way to the Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Epicenter and Museum. (Heres a URL for a streetcar map if you want to orient yourself ahead of time: http://www.h3.dion.ne.jp/~chikyu/intro_e/trammap.htm. After the Park we rode the tram to the end of Line 3 (Hotarujaya) and explored a charming hillside residential area with stupendous views of the city. Back downtown to walk around the Dutch Hill area, then back to the ship.
Had a great, if hectic, time in truly futuristic Shanghai! The Pacific Princess docks pretty close to town but we opted to take the shuttle to a Friendship Store next to Peoples Square, where we changed some dollars to yuan. By asking directions two or three times (the Princess guide was no help), we were able to find the subway, which we rode to Long Yang Road station. Here we exited, crossed the street, and bought round trip tickets on the Maglev, the worlds fastest train, for 80 yuan each. A thrilling ride, and we captured it all on video.
Back by subway to Lu Jia Zui station, where we asked the first foreign-looking person we saw to point us toward the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. This was also well worth the 30 yuan for a one-way ride under the Huangpu River. We walked along the Bund, then along Nanjing, the main shopping street, finally stopping for much-needed rest and nourishment in the air-conditioned comfort of the Chatea Teahouse near Peoples Square. Having recuperated, we made our back to the Friendship House and caught the last shuttle back to the ship.
Another city of skyscrapers and more to see and do than you can possibly manage in a day.
The Pacific Princess docked at the Ocean Terminal in Kowloon, which is integrated in the Harbour City shopping center. There are ATMs in the mall, as well as in the Star Ferry Terminal right next door. We took the ferry to Hong Kong Island and then walked to the Victoria Peak Tram Station. (Bus No. 15C runs from the Star Ferry Terminal to the Peak Station but does not start until 10:00 am.) On the way we purchased the very convenient Octopus card at an MRT station for HKD150 each (including an HKD50 refundable deposit) to save us the hassle of scrambling to put together exact fares for public transportation. You simply scan the card to ride most forms of transportation and its also good at 7-11s, supermarkets, etc. The HKD50 plus any unused funds remaining on the card are refundable, less a small handling fee.
We walked around at the Peak for a bit, soaking in the superb view, then took the tram and the No. 15C bus back to Exchange Square, where we hopped on the No. 70 bus for Aberdeen to see the few remaining boat people. At the terminal in Aberdeen, a very helpful lady immediately pointed us to the subway (pedestrian underpass) to get to the waterfront. She then proceeded to follow us around for a full 10 minutes trying to persuade us to take a 30-minute or one-hour sampan tour. We declined as you can pretty much see all there is to see by walking the length of the waterfront, including the famous Jumbo floating restaurant (which has a free ferry shuttle, by the way).
Back by bus to Exchange Square, then we got on one of the rickety double-decker trams and rode from one end of the Island to the other. This is a great way to see life in this crowded and hectic city!
We got back to the ship with about an hour to spare, but saw at least one super shopper who had ignored the captains repeated warnings to be back on time. He just missed the ship and had to board by speedboat.
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