Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Hong Kong part 2

Dragon Boats
It turns out that at this time of year in HK it’s Dragon Boat festival time. On the Saturday morning we got up and took the train to the nearest place where races were being organised, at Sha Tin, north of Kowloon.
We only stayed for an hour or so as apart from the Dragon Boat races – which were good fun – there wasn’t much else to see or do: no stalls, no-one selling souvenirs, DVD’s or books, not even anyone selling any food or drink. Bizarre. This is the first time that’s happened to us in China. Usually there are dozens on street vendors barracking you to buy whatever it is they’re selling.

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We did, however see the best dressed dog in HK.

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Mid-level escalators
On the Sunday we decided it was high-time we went up-town and investigated the ‘real Hong Kong. First, a trip over the bay on the Star Ferry.

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View from the ferry

Then we decided to take a trip up the mid-level escalators – the longest covered escalator system in the world.* Then we went back down again. At the end of the day, they’re only escalators. With nothing else in particular to fill our afternoon, we decided to have a wee beer in Soho.

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And then a curry. No photos of that I’m afraid.

Peak Tram and Victoria Peak
The guide book told us to avoid the peak tram on weekends due to queue lengths so we’d been saving this trip until the Monday. It was well worth waiting for.

After queuing for a bit and avoiding the obligatory paid photo opportunity – in this case, mystifyingly, the chance to have your photo taken in front of a photo of the thing you’re about to go and take photos of – we set off up Victoria Peak.

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Hold on, it’s steeeep

At the top of the tramway, there’s a large building apparently designed to look like a wok.

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Based on a wok? You be the judge…

There’s a viewing area on top that they charge you extra for. Don’t bother. There are far better views if you take a walk around the peak – the aptly named Peak Circle Walk. It only takes about an hour and when we did it it was lovely and peaceful with loads of great viewing spots overlooking Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong and Kowloon from Victoria Peak

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Hong Kong and Kowloon panorama from Victoria Peak

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Giant rubber tree with actual-size Karen underneath

It was the perfect way to finish our stay in Hong Kong.

As usual, there’s plenty more photos and the odd video available if you click the links on the right. Still to come, blog updates from Macau, Guangzhou and Zhangjiajie.

* Everything we see in China is the biggest, the longest, the brightest, the something-est in the world. I swear they’re just inventing categories so the particular sight in question can be #1 of something, anything.

Current Location: Wulingyuan
Next stop: Zhangjiajie


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