Crap. I’m lost. I should’ve saved a copy of that map, but my overconfidence won out and now, I find myself looking into this street sign, with the street’s name and thinking, where the hell am I? I had already crisscrossed two streets trying to get back on track and trying to recall the instructions I saw online earlier, but I was drawing a blank. Did I mention it was also raining really hard? Panic started building. Everything is magnified when you are traveling alone. I knew that the easiest thing to do is to give up and go back to the hotel, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
Okay. Stop. Breathe. Wi-fi. I need to find somewhere where I can get wi-fi and get directions online and get back on track. From where I stood, it looks there is a mall across the street. And yes! Wi-fi. I quickly find directions to 1600 Pandas and try to find my bearings. I was definitely on the wrong side of the street. I need to go back to the other side of the street and backtrack, back to the MTR station and to the complete opposite direction of where I headed to earlier. So I take a quick screenshot of the map, and make my way back.
Finally, I find Aberdeen Street – or should this be called Aberdeen Hill? It’s so steep! And I am so out of shape! Imagine me panting as I make my way up the steep hill. This is actually a nice quaint area of Hong Kong. There are a lot of art shops, coffee shops and small boutiques.
Finally, I find it! Hurray!
I am now at the PMQ Headquarters, the last stop of the 1600 Pandas Exhibit. This exhibit was created by French artist Paulo Grangeon for the World Wildlife Fund. Why 1600 Pandas? Well, that is the estimated number of pandas left in existence in the wild. It’s a bit sad, really, if you think about how few there are left. And this exhibit is one that brings awareness to that.
The pandas in the exhibit are very interesting to look at. Each one looks slightly different and they are in different poses, too. I wish I could get close enough to touch one, but the whole area was cordoned off. There was actually a spot where you can “hug” a panda – not to mention take a selfie with it – but the line to that was way too long, and really with the rain, I thought it would be better to get back to the hotel.
On my way back, as expected, the downpour got even heavier and I had to duck into a small restaurant to wait it out. Eventually, the rain stopped and I was able to make it back to the hotel. Early tomorrow, I leave for home. It was a nice few days in Hong Kong. I actually accomplished a lot work-wise and I was glad I was able to have these little adventures during the little free time that I had.