24 hours in Hong Kong

Old May 4th, 2006, 10:40 PM
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24 hours in Hong Kong

I will be traveling through Hong Kong in mid-October and have only one day to spend seeing the sights. I am interested in cultural experiences, history, great regional food, a real mini-taste of HK. I am looking for off the beaten path ideas as well as top must HK must do/see. Thank you for your help and suggestions.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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There is lots of info on Hong Kong on this forum which you should have a look at . In your situation ( and depending on where you are staying )you might look at the Museum of the history of Hong Kong first ( it is in Kowloon ), then have a look at the shops on Kowloon side, walk down to the Star Ferry wharf and go across to Hong Kong side and take the cable car up to the Peak. You could do the 1 hour walk around the peak and even have a meal at the Peak cafe. If you have time, have a browse around the shops on Hong Kong side before coming back to Kowloon to walk along the promenade after dark and then walk up to Temple Street markets.Just some suggestions among many you could consider. Enjoy that fabulous city!
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Old May 9th, 2006, 02:30 AM
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What date will you be here? What time does your flight land and what time does you flight take off the next day? Where are you staying? These would all affect what I would reccco, as some things will not be available on weekends, and vice versa.

By regional cuisine do you mean regional Chinese cuisine, regional Asian cuisine or regional worldwide cuisine. All are available in Hong Kong.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 02:32 AM
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Sorry, two more questions: where are you going next, and do you have any interest in shopping. I ask the first because I wouldn't want to overload you on a sight you may see elsewhere, and as shopping is really a Hong Kong must see, if you don't have any interest in it, I would leave it off of my list of reccos. If you are intersted in shopping, what items would be of interest to you.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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I'm not into horse racing but I love going to the races in HK. What a spectacle! I particularly like to go at night to Happy Valley. Racing under the lights, on grass, going the opposite direction around the track, the excitement of the crowd, the setting down in a bowl surrounded by typical HK sky scraper apartments. Nothing else like it in the world.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 10:37 PM
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That was going to be one of my suggestions, that's why I am trying to learn the date JAF88 will be there. Race days are Wednesday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It is the quintessential Hong Kong experience as well.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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I agree with the suggestions above from "Peteralan." Victoria Peak is best in clear weather, especially at night.

I have a recent post on my Family Travel blog about Hong Kong....it is somewhat focused on going with kids but has lots of good ideas (and a link to the History of Hong Kong Museum which I also highly recommend.)

Here's the link (and I can't make the HTML cooperate and stop making a duplicate, so ignore the first link and click the second.) http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Seafarer/...-in-hong-kong/

Have fun! Sheila
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Old May 11th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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Sorry, the Preview showed me a duplicate link but the actual post link is fine.

Sheila
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Old May 11th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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I have a few ideas about off-the-beaten-path sites, like the outlying islands, walled villages in the New Territories, etc. However, with just 24 hours, I think you should stick with the other suggestions. Those will give you a good experience of Hong Kong already.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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Sheila , I enjoyed your report and the photos made me very nostalgic! Cheers.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 04:37 PM
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Cicerone and others: We will be in HK on a Mon afternoon and Tues morning. 10/9-10/06. I am really interested in a Tai Chi class on Tues am. The Tourist Board has an interesting one, but it is not on our morning. We will be staying on the Kowloon side near the ferry terminal.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 08:03 PM
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24 hours in HK is tight. As others have suggested, take the ferry to HK Island and hop on the tram to Victoria Peak. When you get back down from the peak, you can then explore the neighboring area (Kowloon Park, etc.). Then, make your way through the business district towards the Sheung Wan area (it's within walking distance); Bonham Street, Possession Street, Man Mo temple. I was charmed by that place!

On a culinary note, I highly recommend you try the snake soup. I had delicious snake soup at Ser Wong Fun restaurant on Cochrane Street.

You can then return to Kowloon: at 8PM, the light show starts - Victoria Harbour is stunning as the city's major buildings are lit up. This is quite a sight and is best watched from Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon side). This takes place daily and lasts approx. 18 minutes.

Finally, if you can, visit the night market on Temple Street (on the Kowloon side). Find an eating spot and try something exotic, like fried snails (this is actually quite delicious). I also found this a good place for buying souvenirs.

I strongly believe that a visit to HK is never complete without trying dim sum. On the morning of your departure, have some dim sum for breakfast. There is a great dim sum place within walking distance from where you'd be staying (I don't remember the exact location). Ask the front desk at your hotel; they should be able to send you in the right direction.

Hope this helps.

Munch
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Old May 12th, 2006, 09:21 PM
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JAF88, there are tai chi classes in the mornings at the Star Ferry wharf on Kowloon side or are they the ones you said are not on your days? When I was staying at the Mirimar in Nathan Road, I used to go across the street to Kowloon Park and just join in with the groups. It is lovely there early in the morning. There is supposed to be a good dim sum place in the basement either of the Y or the Kowloon hotel. Maybe that is what Munch is referring to?
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Old May 12th, 2006, 09:29 PM
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The popular Chinese restaurant at the Kowloon Hotel is called "Hoi Yat Heen".

However, first, it opens at 11am. No early breakfast. Second, for some reason, it's no longer listed on Kowloon Hotel's official website. Not sure what's going on.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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The dim sum place I was referring to is very close to the Kowloon Hotel; in fact, it was the concierge at Kowloon Hotel that has recommended the place to me.

It opens early; by the time I got there around 8, the place was full.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 01:14 AM
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I don't quite understand the dates you wrote, but I think you are here October 9 and 10.

Assuming you are flying in and out of Hong Kong Airport, the first thing you might want to do when you land is try to check in for your flight which departs the next day. This would save you a LOT of time in the morning and free up time for sightseeing. Some airlines allow you to check in for a flight up to 24 hours before departure. The website for Hong Kong airport is hongkongairport.com, they have information on early check-in.

Also, to the extent you can organize yourself, I would leave your larger bags AT the airport overnight. There are checked baggage facilities located in the main arrivals hall (called the Meeters and Greeters Hall). It will cost you about US$6 a bag and is well worth not having to drag big bags downtown with you. Info on this can be found at http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/a...gage.html#left. If you have been able to check-in early, you may also be able to actually check-in most of your luggage as well.

There are TWO Star Ferry pier terminals on the Kowloon side, but I am going to assume you mean the ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui East near the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon proper and not the one in Hung Hom.

Try to get a good street map of Hong Kong before you leave or somewhere on your trip as this will help you a lot to see the less well-touristed parts in your limited time.

Because of your don't have a whole day on either of your days, there are some things that aren't really going to be possible, IMO, like a trip over to Stanley Market and most likely you could not get to Aberdeen as both trips take too much time and would mean cutting out other things. The good news is that on a Monday and Tuesday you won't be fighting weekend crowds at places like the Peak Tram and it the days you are there are not public holidays. If this were my trip, this is how I would arrange it:

1. Check into hotel. If you have not had lunch, two places near the Star Ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, with outdoor terraces and terrific harbour views are below, both are in the Ocean Terminal/Harbour City mall, which is basically to the right of and behind the Star Ferry terminal (as you approach the terminal from Salisbury Road) along the water. Habitu has a slight edge, IMO as they have an outdoor terrace, and as it is hard to find outdoor places to eat in Hong Kong, and as the weather is usually so wonderful in October, thus is especially welcome. Both are casual and serve sandwiches, piazzas and some Asian dishes, the Quarterdeck has seafood and Haibtu is more Italian focused:

Habitu -The Pier
Shop 63
Ground Floor
Ocean Terminal/Harbour City
Tel: 3101-0901

Quaterdeck Club Seafood Restaurant and Grill
Shop 53
Ground Floor
Ocean Terminal/Harbour City
Harbour City
Kowloon
Tel: 2735-8881

(If you want to skip a meal and have lunch on the Peak, see below.)

2. Now that you won't need a meal for a while you can do some serious tourist stuff. Head for the Star Ferry and take it across the harbour. Go first class on the upper deck for about US$.50 or second class for about .30. Take in the billion dollar view of the harbor and skyscrapers. From there, depending on what time it is, you may want to head for the Peak. If it is around 5 pm or after, I would head for the Peak, as I personally think the Peak is best seen from 5 6:30 pm so you can see views starting in full daylight and then stay through dusk and then darkness as the sun sets and all the lights come up. Dusk is quite something and of course the view at night is kind of mind boggling. In October the sun will set at 6 pm but it will be dusk until about 6:30. You will also have almost a full moon.

To get to the Tram from the Star Ferry pier on Hong Kong island you can take the shuttle bus to Peak Tram. (Look for the brown/maroon double deck bus, open on top.) You can also take a taxi or walk, although the walking is a bit confusing. A taxi will cost about $4 and is probably your best option, there is a taxi stand right in front of the exit fro the Star Ferry. There should not be a long line at the Peak Tram in the afternoon on a Monday. Once you get to the top, a great way to see the views is to take the flat loop walk around Luggard Road. From the exit of the Peak Tram station, head around toward the right and behind the station, you will three streets, one is really more of a wide pedestrian path all the way to the right and you will see a sign that says Luggard Road. (Most tourists will head straight from the tram exit to the plaza in front of the Galleria shopping mall, or will head left where there are some crowded viewing platforms further along the road. If you go right and head for Luggard Road, you will be in fewer crowds and will get even better views.) This walk will take about an hour and offers tremendous views especially for the first half, if you want once you get away from the cliff edges and start heading into woods you can turn around, or you can just continue walking and the road will take you back to the Peak Tram. If it is an exceptionally clear day and you want a good workout, take the middle of the three roads which is Mount Austin Road which will take you to Victoria Peak proper for stupendous views, epically of the back part of the island. (The tram dumps you at Victoria gap, not the Peak). The Mount Austin Road walk will take about 20 minutes going up, it is quite steep in parts.

If you want to have a late lunch or dinner here, two places to try are below. The first has great views and pretty good food, the other has very good food but only limited views of the South China Sea and the back part of the island but does have a lovely garden. I don't know for sure if either would be serving at like 3-4 pm if you were there then, you could call or just check when you get there. There are also some very casual sandwich places like DeliFrance in the Galleria Mall which are fine for a quick bite as well.

Café Deco
Peak Galleria
118 Peak Road
The Peak Hong Kong
Tel: 852.2849 5111
http://www.cafedecogroup.com/cafed/v_deco.asp

Peak Lookout
121 Peak Rd
Tel: 852/2849 1000

3. If you have seen the Peak and have not stayed for dinner, I would then head for Wan Chai for some great people watching and hopefully to see some of the evening food markets where everyone is buying their live fish or chicken for dinner and their vegetables to go with it. Take the tram down if you want, if there is a line for the tram, consider taking a taxi (should be about US$15-20) or the number 15 C bus. If you take the tram, when you exit the tram you could walk, but IMO quite honestly the easiest way to do would be to take a taxi (would be about US$5), have him take you to the corner of Johnston Road and Stone Nullah Lane, near Southorn Playground and the Wan Chai MTR exit at Johnston Road (then follow directions below). If you take the 15 C bus, get off at the Hopewell Building. (You should ask fellow passengers or consult the guide at the stops, this is roughly 12 stops from the Peak, about half an hour to 40 minutes.) Cross the street and turn right, look for Spring Garden Lane, this should be basically across the street from the Hopewell Centre or the next street down toward the left (with Hopewell Centre to your back), turn left and then see other directions below.

The evening food markets are in the streets which run parallel between Johnston Road on the north (the street with the trams on it) and Queens Road East to the south which is a busy 2-lane road. The best streets to go down are Stone Nullah Lane, Spring Garden Lane, Tai Yuen, Cross Street or Tai Wo Street. You can just wander up and down these little streets and then when you hit Johnston or Queens Road, go down one block and turn down the next little street. These are best between about 5:30 and 8 pm when they are jammed with people buying everything and are very lively. There are some souvenir stands mixed in as well. IMO this place is so much more interesting than the Ladies Market or the Temple Street Market in Kowloon. If you want to see other tourists buying copy watches, go to the Ladies Market or the Temple Street Market. If you want to see Hong Kong residents buying live chickens and arguing in Cantonese with the butcher, go to Stone Nullah Lane. Most stalls tend to close around 8 pm, but the main streets around Johnston will still be busy until 9 pm or a bit later as stores along that street tend to stay open later, these are mostly clothing shops (the odd designer outlet is here). If you want to have dinner in this area, some places I would recommend are below:

Fook Lam Moon (Cantonese)
35-45 Johnston Road
Wan Chai
Tel: 852-2866-0663
fooklammoon-grp.com

Well-known and very popular in Hong Kong (they also have an outlet in Kowloon). Good for dim sum for lunch. They have a very large menu selection both set menu and a la carte. Excellent egg tarts and other deserts.

Pasar Singaporean Flavor
197 Johnston Road
Wan Chai
tel: 3168-2057

If you like Singaporean/Malay food, this is the place. Excellent pepper crab and char kway teow, hot spicy laksa. Very casual, basically picnic tables, but great food. Crab can be expensive, other things are more medium priced.

Chili Club
1/F, 88 Lockhart Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: 2527 2872

Cheap and cheerful Thai food. Very casual. A few blocks over from Johnston Road toward the harbour.

If you want a larger choice for dinner, then I would suggest you take a taxi to the SoHo area (between US$5-8, would take less than 10 minutes). "SoHo" stands for south of Hollywood Road, a large area around Staunton Street, Peel Street, Elgin Street, and underneath the escalator and around Wellington Street (some of this is below Hollywood Road). These are narrow little streets away from the noisy bustle of Hong Kong and the crazed bar scene that is Lan Kwai Fong. There are about three dozen great restaurants in this area, you can really just wander and pick one and you could hardly go wrong. None are terribly expensive, esp compared to places like Felix or Hutong or Spoon.. Have the taxi take you to Staunton Street, and you can wander along that street, and you can then wander up and down hill to Elgin and Peel Streets to check out restaurants there as well. Old Bailey has some good ones too. I can recco some if you want, my list here is already long enough I think.

If you really want to splurge on a meal, think about Felix, Hutong, Spoon, or Yu. All are on the Kowloon side and all offer unbelievable views. I can give websites and address.

4. If you have time, or arrive earlier in the day and don't want to go right to the Peak, there is a street tram which runs along much of Hong Kong Island that is a great ride. The trams are double deckers and if you go up top, you will get a birds' eye view of Hong Kong street life. The cost is HK$2.20 which is about .50, you need change. You can pick up the tram at a stop near the Star Ferry, head for the Shanghai Bank building. You can go in any direction, if you take a tram heading left with your back to the harbour (roughly heading east) this goes towards Wan Chai (cars may say Happy Valley or Causeway Bay, does not matter for your purposes unless you want to go to Causeway Bay), if you go right you will head towards Kennedy Town and Possession Point mentioned a few posts above. When you have gone far enough, get off, cross the street and take it back in the same direction. If you have questions, ask people in the tram or at the stops, as the drivers generally speak little English. You could take the tram to Stone Nullah Lane and the evening food markets I mention above, you would have to ask someone for the stop, you basically want the Wan Chai MTR stop near Southorn Playground. This could also be done on Monday morning after Tai Chi.

5. After dinner and as late into the night as you want, take a walk along the Esplanade on the Kowloon side. AS this is near your hotel, you can do this last thing and it will be lit up pretty much all night, although some of the neon may go off after midnight. I have to admit to never having seen the nightly laser show despite being back here for almost a year; but I would say that you shouldn't hurry back or arrange your schedule to be there at 8 pm to see it. IMO you have too short a time and too much to see, and the city lights are more than enough of a show. Wait until you see them. The nightly laser show (and the neon on some of the buildings like the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank which I imagine just make Norman Forster want to vomit) were only added during and post SARS to encourage people to come to Hong Kong. They are really just gilding to any already over-the-top-lily if you ask me. You don't need to add a pearl necklace to the Mona Lisa, she is already perfect.

6. For Tai Chi, I am sorry I don't have any specific recommendations as I don't do it myself. I would suggest contact your hotel now for some suggestions, you might also check the website at the YMCA Salisbury Road to see if they would allow one-time attendees, go to http://www.ymcahk.org.hk/general_new_e/. I agree that you will often find people doing it in small groups in parks in the morning if your level is the same as theirs you probably could try to join in.

7. On Tuesday after Tai Chai if you have time, consider a ferry tour of the harbor, the Star Ferry runs several, take a look at http://www.starferry.com.hk/new/en/index.asp. This may give you a chance to see Aberdeen harbour.


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Old May 17th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Good suggestions by Cicerone. Just two minor points:

1. I wouldn't take a taxi from the Star Ferry to the Peak Tram, unless one's really short of time. It's a fairly short walk past the Statue Square, underneath the archtiecturally-interesting Hong Kong Bank building (by Norman Foster), up past St. John's Cathedral, and the Peak Tram is there, across from the US Consulate. It's a decent short walk with a little bit of a climb.

2. If you take tram (not Peak Tram) from Central to the west, DO NOT get on one that says "Western Market", as that's just 3-4 stops, or a few minutes away. Make sure the sign says "Kennedy Town" (end of line) or "Whitty Street", which is a little before.

If you go west, the "Happy Valley" tram to turn right and go by the racecourse. The end of line is at the far end of the racecourse. From there, they will change the destination sign to either "Kennedy Town" or "Shau Kei Wan". The former will take you back to Central. The latter will go east after rejoining the main line and then go through Causeway Bay, North Point, and end in Shau Kei Wan.

If you just want to go to Causeway Bay from Central, then make sure you get on an east-bound train for Causeway Bay, North Point or Shau Kei Wan.

www.hktramways.com
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Old May 17th, 2006, 06:57 PM
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There are two reasons I suggested taking a taxi from the Star Ferry pier in Central to the Peak Tram station in Central (i) the OP is short of time, and (ii) at least once every time I am walking in the area around the HKSB, the Star Ferry, St Johns or any place in the vicinty of the walk between the Star Ferry and the Peak Tram station I get stopped and asked by a tourist holding a map how to get to the Peak Tram station...aparently it is not as easy as rkwan makes it sound, as there are no blocks or staight streets and while there is some signage directing you to the tram station, even I find it confusing and I know exactly where to go.

If you don't want to take a taxi, then the best way IMO is to take the 15C double decker shuttle bus from the Star Ferry to the Peak Tram station. You can't get lost that way. It costs HK$3.20, about .50 cents.

Corection to my own post, if you decide to take the bus DOWN from the top of the Peak, you want the #15 bus, not the 15C bus (the 15C bus doesn't even run FROM the top of the Peak so you won't even see it, but I wouldn't want you to be looking for it.)

While I agree that Western Market on the tram is a shorter ride than Kennedey Town, its more than 3-4 stops from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Stop in front of the Star Ferry. 2 stops is just past Pedder Street. 4 stops would not even take you to the Centre or the Wing On Department Store, and Western Market is beyond that. We can argue about relative length of that direction of the tram at some other time....
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Old May 17th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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1. The Peak Tram really isn't that hard to find. Trust me. Head straight out of the Star Ferry - through the tunnel, Statue Square and through the concourse of Hong Kong Bank. You're then be on Queen's Rd Central.

Cross Queen's Road Central, and you'll see a flight of stairs. Walk up the stairs, and you'll be on Battery Path. Make a left and continue going up to St. John's Cathedral. Walk past it and you'll be on Garden Road. Make a right and continue up the hill.

You'll come to the junction of Lower Albert Road. The US Consulate is at the SW corner; the Peak Tram Terminal is at the SE corner.

2. I strongly believe there's only 4 stops on the HK Tramway from Hong Kong bank to the Western Market. 5 at the minimum. The "Western Market" is called "Sheung Wan Market" in Chinese, and it's just past the Macau Ferry. It's hardly in the Western District.

But of course, it's up to the traveler to decide how long one wants to ride it. If one just want to taste it for a little, then sure, 4-5 is fine. And for reference, Hong Kong Bank to Western Market is about 0.75 mile. The main East-West line from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan is about 8 miles. So, those 4-5 stops is less than 1/10 of the system, especially if one adds the Happy Valley loop.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 07:46 PM
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Sorry, I meant to say 5 stops maximum. If I remember correctly:

1st stop from Hong Kong Bank - Landmark (Pedder St)

2nd - near Pottinger St.

3rd - near Gilman St.

4th - near new Wing On Department store

5th - Western Market

Wing On to Western Market is like 250 yards (1/8 of a mile).
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