Exploring Hong Kong

Having fought jet lag enough to keep myself up for just the right amount of time, I decided to stay in Hong Kong for a few days so that I could have a look at this city and also be able to fully recover from jet lag.

The areas that I have visited include Kowloon, Lantau Island, and Hong Kong island, including a visit to Ocean Park on the other side of the island to see what it was about.

The first thing you notice when you get to Hong Kong is invariably its skyline:

Some examples:

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{% img center http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7166/6523515469_2c2b5948ef.jpg Skyline 2 %}
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{% img center http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7144/6548065819_59f60d8d75.jpg Bank of China Building %}

which is quite impressing on the first sight. Then you kind of get used to it. It looks as if there’s some kind of competition to see which building rises higher in this town, on both Kowloon and Hong Kong island. And this seems not to be limited to office buildings but also to apartment blocks. I wonder how many people live on one of these buildings.

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It would be certainly interesting to have a look inside of these buildings, really. But that was not possible. The only thing you could do is visit a couple of skyscrapers which had a sky deck from which you could watch Hong Kong. I was lucky to visit one of them on my last day as it was only possible to visit them during office hours. The good thing is that you don’t have to pay anything.

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But the visit was really worth it.

The best view however can be seen from Kowloon and Peak Mountain. From Kowloon you can watch a light show every day at 20:00. This involves music and some fancy stuff with lasers and lights between the buildings on Hong Kong island and Kowloon. Pretty impressive:

{% img center http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7173/6547948801_40e59f1581.jpg Hong Kong skyline light show I %}

{% img center http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7006/6531386373_6bc495ab4c.jpg More Skyline %}

If you go up to The Peak, this is where you can have the best views. It’s a nice ride on a tram. The best moment to go is right before sunset, so you can see a really nice sunset and then see how the buildings in Hong Kong light up for the night until it’s completely dark. This is when you get, in my opinion, the best view.

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{% img center http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7151/6528420441_29c599df6b.jpg HK Skyline 7 %}

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It feels so nice that one could happily stay for a good couple of hours just watching this :-)

But Hong Kong is not only this, its streets are full of people, street markets and other kind of markets where you can find absolutely everything, from electronics, to feet massage, from good eateries to crappy restaurants, and of course, all the people trying to sell you something when they spot you are not of asian descent. Funny.

{% img center http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7022/6523464351_b7c36ff68e.jpg Street Market %}

{% img center http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6523472765_669bc24d28.jpg Lights %}

And then you have the Chungking Mansions, with its spacious rooms and no windows:

{% img center http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7162/6548059407_84333f3459.jpg Three in one %}

This is the kind of toilet you would get in many places in Asia, but here it’s at its maximum. In Chungking Mansions you get a tiny room with a small window leading to a hole and a small bath which is actually 3 in one. You have the shower head over the toilet and at hand you have the sink. It takes a bit to get used to this and once you use the shower the floor is flooded so you can’t really use the bathroom for much, so you have to do your stuff in order very carefully ;-) Mind you that that photo was taken with a wide angle lens, so it’s smaller than it looks like!

Anyway, this looks like a fun city, possibly to come again and visit with a bit more of time and when it’s warmer so you can plan a couple of trips to the beach and at the same time explore what this city, which looks like a city from Blade Runner, can offer at night.

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