By Chitralekha Basu In Hong Kong
Heavy rains on Saturday morning did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the lucky Hong Kong residents who had tickets to go on board the Liaoning over the weekend.
China's first aircraft carrier, opened to visits from civilians for the first time, had people from all walks of life turn up to acquaint themselves with a slice of the nation's military history.
The excitement was palpable early on Friday when the flotilla - with its advanced missile detectors and high-tech radar shining like beacons under the morning sun - pulled into Hong Kong waters.
People stood on the shore, went up on rooftops and out on balconies to catch a glimpse of the vessel as it arrived, chaperoned by guided-missile destroyers CNS Jinan and CNS Yinchuan, as well as the guided-missile frigate CNS Yantai.
The Liaoning's visit to Hong Kong is a tribute to the 20th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army being stationed in the special administrative region.
It was a gift by the Central People's Government to the people of Hong Kong - a gesture, as Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said, to show great care and support toward the HKSAR.
The point is not lost on Hong Kong, evidently.
China's pioneer aircraft carrier the Liaoning sails into Hong Kong waters near Aberdeen early on Friday at the start of its five-day visit to mark the 20th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army being stationed in the SAR. Parker Zheng / China Daily