Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hong Kong

My first visit to Hong Kong was in 1991. It was a trip to get my visa renewed. I don't remember a lot of what I did but I remember wandering Ocean Terminal and going to Toys R Us, walking around the Star Ferry. I learned that trip that the hotel rooms in Hong Kong are small. I remember my room being very small.

I think McDonald's has been at this location since that first time I visited. A number of other shops along the way have changed but as best as I remember McDonald's has been there. It is down in the basement though now they have a small kiosk selling ice cream and drinks.

The Star Ferry has been crossing Victoria Harbour since the late 1800's. It is one of the cheapest ways to get across.

This is looking from Hong Kong Island towards Kowloon. You can see the clock tower which is where the train station was on the Kowloon-Caton Railway (KCR). It used to be that all the tall buildings were on Hong Kong Island and that was because the airport was in Kowloon.

Flying into the old airport was an experience. It was ranked one of the 6th most dangerous airports in the world. The pilot was flying between the tall buildings on Hong Kong Island and the mountains and the only runway jutted out in the Victoria Harbour. You were flying close to the buildings, looking in and .  The old airport was crowded but it was in the city. I flew in and out of that airport the last week that it was open. In 1998 they opened the new airport on Chep Lap Kok. I arrived the night that it opened and they had not gotten all the systems worked out so it took about 2 days to get my luggage.

Hong Kong is filled with high-rise buildings either the office buildings for flats. We lived in village housing and the 1st floor which is the 2nd floor. I do not like heights and I don't think we could have lived in a high-rise.

After that first visit in 1992, I was back in the 1995 as manufacturing had begun to switch to southern China and we used Hong Kong as our entry. Most of those trips I stayed in Kowloon as it was easy to get on the KCR and go to the border. I remember one of those trips we had to cancel our trip to China because a #10 Typhoon had come through and the rail was not running. That was the only time I have seen Nathan Road quiet. I don't think I ever thought I would life there but that is what we did for 2.5 years.

Hong Kong is full of small shops. One of my favourite shops is the stationary shops. They sell all kinds of pens, paper, and various office supplies as well as a few toys and other things. you really don't know what you can find there.

In addition to all the little shops found around the city there are shopping malls selling fashion, make-up, and various expensive things.

It has been almost 18 years since the hand-over. Hong Kong has been a mix of British and Chinese but I think the British influence is slowly fading. This bridge just has a Chinese look to it.

It is common to hang your laundry out the window on a pole. Very few people has an electric dryer.

As I was walking around, I saw these clothing just hanging on the rails at the sidewalk. Someone just hung there clothing out to dry or maybe to air out.

Hong Kong is full of memories for me -- shopping at Stanley, visiting Starbucks when there were just five there, friends that I have met there or visited the city with. I am thankful that the kids and I were able to tag along for one last trip.

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1 comment:

  1. What a lovely trip! That stationary store does look like so much fun!



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