travelling the seven parts of the world
Jan 26th, 2008

Hong Kong, an English outpost in a world that is radically different from anything English, gives you a nice option of exploring something Chinese without having the inconvenience of not understanding what everyone around you is talking about.

For the first two nights we stayed in a hotel on the Hong Kong island, but in the Sheung Wan district, which is very Chinese. At first I thought all of Hong Kong is like this, but its clearly not - packed with Chinese people pushing their carts and selling stuff, most of which is apparently edible though I didn't have the courage to try most of the things. When walking on the streets of this district, you get the feeling as if everyone in this place has something to do, as the streets are very busy. I didn't really get a very good picture, as the first couple of days we didn't take many, and after that it was raining, but here's one of the streets in the evening:

Hong Kong is packed with people, and its pretty obvious there is a problem with space. Here's what drying your laundry entails:

Do note that this picture was taken from the 15th floor. In our second hotel we had a room on the 20th floor, which is probably the highest place off the ground I have ever had a hotel room in.

One of the main attractions of Hong Kong is the peak tram. This tramway, the oldest mechanized form of transport in Hong Kong, goes 400m up the mountain, and apparently gives you a beautiful view of the Victoria harbor.

The tram goes up in a 45 degree angle, so the view to the outside is often pretyy funny, as the skyscrapers bend in an angle, but it doesn't really make for comfortable seating.

However, as I noted before, the weather was so fantastic today, we ended up not seeing much at all. After the journey up, and climbing the several floors of the peak tram station, the great view that we saw was this:

Absolutely nothing.

By the way, that didn't stop the station operators to charge more if you wanted to actually go to the top of the station to see even less. This is the view that we were supposed to see.

Hong Kong is also obviously synonymous with skyscrapers, as its packed with them. The biggest and most magnificent one is probably the Bank of China skyscraper, as well as the International Finance Center ones.

That was about it for Hong Kong. There is obviously more stuff to do here, like blowing your money on an expensive restaurant or shop, going to Disneyland, seeing that large Buddha statue, or going to Macao, but it was foggy and raining outside, and Liene was feeling a bit sick, so we just stuck to the comfort of resting in our hotel room. Hong Kong for us was a stopover on our way to New Zealand that was added on the last minute, so I wasn't expecting to do much, and we basically stuck to my expectations.