Street Scenes from HK
Hong Kong. It’s bustling and surprisingly clean for a city this size. Well-dressed business people walk rapidly along the elevated sidewalks through the transit stations and ride the Central Pedestrian Escalator – right along with nannies pushing red-haired babies, students and tourists of all ages.
It’s about 7 minutes (and $2.50 HKD) to take the Star Ferry between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
In the past, we’d seen the iconic sites of Hong Kong, so today we ventured across the Harbour and spent the morning and early afternoon just walking around. Our one agenda item was to take the escalator – at 800 meters, one of the longest people movers in the world; and there’s no charge. In the morning, the corridor runs down and then, from 10-midnight, reverses to uphill for the 85,000 daily users. We went up a good portion of the 21 sections, until construction at the Mosque Street entrance blocked us from going farther. On the way back down, we were under our own steam, and this humid day was getting warmer by the minute. We took a circuitous route, but managed to go through the trendy SOHO district featuring restaurants sure to please any palate in the world. Gastropubs share narrow streets jammed with mid-eastern, Italian, Argentinian, American-style Burgers and Asian offerings (to name just a few) for every taste and pocket-book. The chains were there as well; you never went far without seeing a Burger King, Micky Ds, Pizza Hut or 7-11.
Walking along the famous Hollywood Road, we window-shop along some of the few remaining antique shops tucked in among the galleries and boutiques. After seriously considering some antique (?) hair pins I decided I am way too uneducated a consumer to spend that kind of money. So we moved on down the road to the Man Mo Temple, built in 1847, with a history that includes time as a courthouse and community center. Heading back to the ferry docks, we passed street markets, blocks shaded with tall green trees, and construction everywhere, always with traditional bamboo scaffolding.
Hot, tired, and getting hungry, we eventually made our way back to the hotel, which had given us a generous late check-out time. After changing and trying to cool off, we headed to the nearby Ocean Terminal and boarded the Azamara Journey for new adventures in the Far East.