Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Hong Kong: New York on Steroids
It's a really crazy city! Crowded, glitzy and glamorous, fast-paced. Did I say crowded? (And this coming from someone who, back in the day, would jump on a Virar fast from Churchgate at rush-hour without blinking. Not anymore, alas. Too many years in the US) At one point, as we were returning, we were on a closed off sidewalk with a proper human traffic jam. It took 15 minutes to go one block. Aargh!
Won't be doing the normal diary style travelogue. Just a few paragraphs. Got to Hong Kong around 1 pm, having slept in the morning in Macau. Took the fast hydrofoil (190 HKD one-way), which sped across the mouth of the Pear River in an hour. The morning was a little grey, but still, one's first view of the Hong Kong skyline is quite impressive. The harbor was full of a variety of craft, from tiny tugs to large barges and cruise ships. Didn't see a single junk. Guess they're not really used anymore.
We did get to do the two main Hong Kong musts: take the Star Ferry across the harbor (at 2.2 HKD a ticket a real steal) and go up to the Peak. The line for the Peak Tram was unbelievable -- this being Christmas day, there were tons of tourists, local and foreign. The 10 minute ride up the Peak is definitely worth it though. Especially the central part, when it feels like one is at a 45 degree incline!
The view from the top is definitely worth it, though the Peak Galleria is a schmaltzy tourist trap.
Nathan Road, the shopping drag is, well, LOUD. Lights! Shops! Crowds! Z spent an hour and a half in an Espirit Outlet getting some outfits, most of it waiting in line to use the fitting room!
Hong Kong! Not sure that I'd have stayed here too long. One really needs to have lots of moolah to enjoy what it has to offer. We returned to China the next morning.