Hong Kong, Busy City!
I’ve been to Hong Kong twice, once in the 1970’s when it was still a British Crown colony, and again this week in November, 2014. While it is still the same city there have been many changes since the last time I was here. I think it was a little nicer before actually.
It’s still a bustling city with all kinds of activity going on: buildings are being erected and old ones are being added to, soaring even higher into the sky. And it still has outrageous food everywhere. The traffic is still crazy, and for me, driving on the left makes it even more impossible to navigate; which lane do you turn into at a corner where one of the streets is one way? It’s still hard to get a taxi, and it’s still good to know where you’re going before you venture out. The roads veer off in all sorts of weird directions, and some of them are too narrow for any cars.
Old and new coexist side by side. You find ancient artifacts and plastic souvenirs in one little shop. There seem to be no zoning laws. I’m sure there are, but they must be quite different than Western ones. Sleek hotels sit next to tiny herbal open air shops next to tiny diners and antique shops. The sleek new buildings are decorated with laundry hanging out of the windows like flags fluttering in the breeze.
To get around you can take buses, trains, or trolley cars which they call Ding dings, because of the ding ding sound they make when they traverse the electrical wires overhead. And to cross from one of the islands to the other you take the ferry. So quaint, in the modern city.
And those skyscrapers! Up up up they soar! Only a few feet wide in some cases, you wonder how they stay upright!
The Butterfly Hotel on Hollywood Street is a beautiful boutique hotel with an amazing staff and sparkling beautiful rooms. We enjoyed it very much!
Here’s the view from our room in Hong Kong.
Our favorite activity was taking the tram up Victoria Peak to see the bay and across to Kowloon and mainland China. It was a misty morning as you can see.
Here is a photo of Victoria Peak
Up on the Peak was this shop which I had to capture: Peace Love World!
More street scenes in Hong Kong:
Here’s a little park next to our hotel. There are lots of little parks in Hong Kong.
The Lion’s Club is everywhere, even Hong Kong!
Hong Kong was fun, but difficult in some ways. Before when I was here lots of people spoke English and helped you. This was not the case now. They do help you at the hotels, but the average person on the street has no desire to help. We had a lot of trouble navigating since their written language is so different. I was able to learn one word by reading all the signs and figuring out the symbol for central and center. (They’re the same.) But for the most part, people seem to scurry about without talking or even looking at each other, and if you ask for help, they shrug or stare. Only about half of the people we met on the street were helpful. The ones who were helpful were really helpful, but it didn’t make up for rudeness that we ran into everywhere else.
Thank goodness the food is fantastic! You can get any kind of food since it’s an International city. All in all, I wish it was still a British colony. It seemed much friendlier then.
All photos ©Heather Burns, 2014