The years have melted away and it’s just great to be back in Hong Kong:) 5 days is not enough to see everything, but that’s all we’ve had, so here it is in a nutshell.
The public transport system is still incredibly cheap here. I love the fact that you can still get on a tram and go just one stop or to the end of the line for the same money – HK $2.30 – that’s the equivalent of 17p 🙂 It’s slow, clunky, jerky, crowded, and hot, but if you’re not in a hurry it’s a great way to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of HK.
There’s also a very efficient underground system here, which is clean, bright, and air conditioned!
When on holiday in a foreign country, it’s very tempting to take taxis everywhere, simply because you don’t know how to use the local transport. It always seems a bit of a cop out to me, but we used a taxi yesterday because we wanted to go up to Victoria Peak. The queue for the Peak Tram was about an hour long. Because it’s a tourist attraction it’s not cheap, so as there are three of us we decided not to queue up in the heat & humidity but jump into a taxi, which worked out at about the same price. I love that the taxis are almost exactly the same as they were 37 years ago, except that they now have silver roofs instead of white.
We’ve done a lot of walking, and have also taken a bus to Stanley Market, which has changed a lot since I lived here. It used to be full of market stalls selling rejects or end of line clothes, and Mum always used to marvel at how I could dive into a shop crowded with rails and rails of clothes, and come out with something amazing and cheap. It’s more civilised now, with shops instead of stalls, and you can’t barter nearly as much. Having said that, Francesca and I did get something down from HK $199 to $100 – about £7.50. The sales assistant said she would cry, but there was still obviously a profit in there! HK is handbag heaven – if you’re into handbags, come here! So many gorgeous colours and designs you could fill a suitcase with them! Yes, I have bought one 🙂 Just one. So far…….
And then of course there’s the wonderful Star Ferry. Again, dirt cheap, (about 20p) with a choice of two classes – upper or lower deck – the lower deck is even cheaper. My favourite way of crossing the harbour – it takes about 5 minutes:)
We’ve had a cracking thunderstorm, and torrential rain overnight and a couple of mornings. The rain hasn’t stopped us going out though – we just borrowed brollies from the hotel, wore shorts and flip flops, and marvelled at how soaking wet our legs and feet were, yet we didn’t mind as the rain was warm.
Strangely, there have been quite a few moments when I’ve fleetingly thought ‘I must tell Mum’, or ‘I must ask Dad’. I don’t think that at home but obviously my memories of HK are all tied up with them and I’ve found myself missing them more since I’ve been here 🙁 (For those of you who don’t know, I lost Dad in 2009 and Mum in 2011)
Friday night brought us the most beautiful sunset – it’s the first evening that the clouds haven’t rolled in, so we watched the sun sink behind the distant mountains, and the sky turn the most beautiful colours.
HK is a huge mixture of ultra-modern buildings that are all glass and steel, with the old rundown ones holding their own between them.
I love the fact that the scaffolding is still bamboo:)
There is a great waterfront area on Kowloon – Tsim Sha Tsui – pronounced Chim Sow Choi.
One of my favourite streets – Pottinger Street. A series of steps with little stalls at the side selling ribbons, buttons, sequins, zips, wigs, feather boas, masks etc etc. Everything you could want for accessorising costumes and adding to your sewing box.
A little shady area of calm in amongst the high rises:
They have been making bags out of this fabric for at least 40 years!
A few random images
Tai Chi is still practiced in open spaces
No visit to HK is complete without a visit to a night market and wandering the streets taking in the neon, the hustle & bustle, the smells and the noise.
And that’s it. 5 days gone in a flash. Despite the heat & punishing humidity I still love this place and no doubt will visit it again some day.
Off to Cambodia next, for a brand new adventure:)