Hong Kong Journals

Hong Kong - Personal Thoughts Abound

Best of IgoUgo

A March 2001 trip to Hong Kong by jmineo

Hongkong by Night from Victoria Peak   Photo, Hong Kong, China More Photos
Quote: Hong Kong, a real pleasure. This trip brought many "firsts" and was guaranteed to be exciting, like my first time in China, first time on the upper level of a 747/Mega Top, first time a hotel bill exceeded $300/night and first time frog legs dinner.

Hong Kong - Personal Thoughts Abound

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Hongkong Skyline at Night Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Hong Kong has easily accessible getaways for the most discerning traveler. Its Park and the Zoological Garden are the best examples. All are free and well used. On weekends tons of people go there to relax and to be surrounded by greenery. The Park really fascinated me. The aviary is true magic. Once you enter this outdoor aviary you are in the midst of a tropical jungle. Birds surround you and their chirping stirs your senses. The air is fresh and you can walk around the tree tops on an elevated path. At the same time you are circled by the skyscrapers with their glittering facades. A spectacle. To me anyway. The Park is also the favorite place for wedding pictures. Brides and grooms flock the Park o...Read More

Oodles of Noodles

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Story/Tip

Quote:
You think I ate a lot of rice in HK? I know you've heard the "all the rice in China" line (or was it tea?), and you''ve all eaten Chinese take-out with rice in the States, but I was pretty much rice-free in HK. The reason is simple. I am in wheat country. What do you make with wheat? No, not bread, which seems rare to non-existent, but noodles. Remember when you were small, and told that Marco Polo brought back noodle technology to Italy? Well, before I got here, I went along with the idea, but I was skeptical. If not pasta, what did the Italians eat before noodles? And even after noodles, what did they put on 'em before the arrival of the tomato from the New World? After my third day in HK, an...Read More

A Note on Transportation

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Story/Tip

The Peak Tramway Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
As I climbed into the back seat of a taxi at Hong Kong's International Chek Lap Kok Airport, I immediately knew I was not in a third world pac-rim nation. First, the taxi was a full sized car. Yes, these Toyotas, while being steering column-mounted stick shifts, had legroom! No backseat knee-to-chin claustrophobia for me! The slick leather had me sliding from window to window as we maneuvered down Hong Kong's narrow streets looking for the Marco Polo Hotel. I had quite an unexpected tour of the city, as the driver was taking me to the wrong Marco Polo hotel. As I later found out, there are actually three of these hotels in HK and he was taking me to one of the two in the Harbor City district. Fate w...Read More
Quote:
People are always friendly. I hadn't met a single rude or unfriendly person throughout my 9 day stay. Some car or truck drivers might run you over while you are crossing the street but other than that they are charming. They are helpful whenever you ask them and they are tolerant when you do something wrong like entering the wrong line (I guess I should use the term "queue" here instead of "line"). A local habit that I noticed that might be considered impolite is that as soon as the subway doors open people rush in before giving people room to leave first. You just have to get used to that. All races live peacefully next to each other. That should give us hope that maybe after all we can coexist witho...Read More

Shopping, Food and the ol' Snake Shot

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Talk about shopping, big shopping malls are spread all over the city. I heard that during the humid summer time they are a favorite air conditioned hangout. From fashion to watches everything is on sale. I haven't necessarily found that the items are particularly cheap though. Electronic items seem to be on par with U.S. prices. Smaller outdoor or indoor markets are more exciting than these US-style malls. Some markets focus on a particular product; e.g. there is a meat market and a veggie market. Other markets sell any kind of stuff from flea market items to toys, socks, traditional drugs such as herbs, and so on. The traditional drugs are strange to westerners. Deer horn, illegal tiger penis, and m...Read More
Hong Kong Park  Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
My nightly adventures brought me into many suburbs such as Aberdeen, famous for the junks, the dirty water, and the restaurants in the middle of the bay surrounded by water. Other trips showed me North Point, Yau Ma Tai, and Chai Wan. I felt always safe, even when I was by myself. In no way would I walk around in South Central Los Angeles like this. Homeless people exist. There are not that many, but along Shanghai St. and near Ferry Rd. are several dozen. Panhandling is unheard of. Unlike San Francisco where you can't walk for a quarter mile without being asked for money and cursed at if you don't give any, nobody will bug you here. Some means of transportation stop at midnight. The subway, tram, and...Read More
Buddha Close Up Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
If you want to get out of the city take a ferry to one of the islands. I spent a day in Lantau and a day in Cheung Chau. Lantau is bigger than HK Island but only has 17000 people. Since most people are Buddhists, cows and bulls are considered holy animals. They roam around freely. On occasion they go through trash cans on the search for food. Lantau is famous for the world's largest outdoor bronze Buddha statue. But there is more to the island. It's a paradise for hikers with a variety of trails. It also has beaches and fishing villages. For example, the main beach in Silvermine Bay which reminded me of Santa Monica. There is a boardwalk, bike rental places, food vendors, and lovers who watch the wave...Read More